No one really wants to go No Contact. They don’t. It’s why when we’re post-breakup and struggling to get over them or hurting from continued disrespect, mind games, mixed messages or just the realisation that it’s not possible to be friends at this time, we’ll try to do anything but No Contact. Distance ourselves from the person we hoped was the love of our life or our salvation? Get off their social or lock down our channels? Stop being Dial-A-Lay? Jaysus, we can’t do that!
We predict (and exaggerate) the negatives the decision to go No Contact (or have better boundaries in general) will bring.
The inconvenience of it all. How hard it will be. When we try on this identity of being someone who draws a line, whether it’s post-breakup or in life in general by having boundaries, it’s as if we think that not only will it make us a ’terrible’ person but that it will threaten the good stuff in our life.
- What if they spontaneously combust into a better person in a better relationship with someone else?
- What if this is the last chance saloon?
- Surely I should be able to continue sleeping with [my ex]? I have needs, you know!
- I just don’t think boundaries are going to work because as soon as I say what I need, think, expect, feel or think, or I try to show up as I really am, everyone will jump ship. They’ll abandon or hate me and then I’ll be left with no one.
If we see No Contact or having boundaries or basically anything that involves self-discipline, as a restriction of everything pleasurable, we’re guaranteed to bail on ourselves.
It’s a very rigid mentality but also, we’re focusing on loss. We think it comes from doing the right thing by us and the situation when actually, we lose when we shelve medium to long-term happiness and our goals and desires because of short-term discomfort.
No one leaps out of bed and says ”I want to go No Contact!” They don’t stand up and say ”It’s a miracle! I can WALK, and I’m ready to have boundaries!”
No, we decide to invest in moving ourselves away from where we are so that we can feel, be and do differently.
We don’t want No Contact or to stretch out of our comfort zone by creating healthy boundaries, but we do want less anxiety. We do want to feel safe and secure. That’s why we make (and follow through on) the hard but necessary decision.
We want to give and receive love, care, trust and respect. Resentment, anxiety, guilt and fear not gnawing away at us is pretty appealing. So is getting off the merry-go-round.
We can honour our needs (to be free of a toxic cycle, to have genuine, consistent companionship and the freedom to plan a life together, to be ourselves and free of the burden of shame, guilt and blame) without having to give up your desires. It’s not about ‘I want to go No Contact’; it’s about ‘I want to be free of this cycle and be open to something better’.