I assume that you have understood the importance of no contact rule if you are keen to get back together with your ex, and you have already initiated no contact. The no contact rule serves two main purposes. The first one is to help you detox from post-breakup trauma. The second purpose is to help boost your chances of reconciliation with your ex.
Just like the old saying, it is easier said than done. Sometimes, it is not so straight forward when you decide to stop contact completely with your ex. I have had so many readers emailing me about how they should approach no contact rule if they work with their ex or if they have a child with your ex and etc. If you find yourself stuck in this kind of situation, you might want to read on.
Situation A: Your Ex Is Also Your Coworker
Office relationships are very common these days. In some workplaces, office relationships are not encouraged. That means your relationship was not known to all your other coworkers the whole time.
In this case, it is going to be even more challenging for you to practice the no contact rule. Whether your relationship was a secret one or publicly known to all your coworkers, you need to adapt the no contact rule to your unique situation.
First and foremost, let’s talk about how you should look when you are working with your ex in the same company. You have got two choices: looking good and looking fabulous.
It is absolutely not an option for you to look like a mess because you see your ex almost every day at work. If you allow yourself to look like a mess and unattractive in front of your ex, you are just ruining your chances of getting your ex back.
If you are secretly hoping that your ex would come back to you out of pity after seeing that you are devastated and depressed from the breakup, I am sorry to dash your hopes and tell you that that is just false hope and wishful thinking.
Just remember that looking good and attractive is the number one thing on your to-do list after breakup with your co-worker. It helps to win your ex back if they can see what they are missing out.
Second of all, please don’t bad mouth your ex behind his/her back with other co-workers, even if you feel very strongly about the way your ex might have ended things with you or how much your ex has hurt you. This is because there is usually no right or wrong in a relationship.
Generally, both parties are to be blamed for the failure of a relationship. Yes, I know that you are hurting from the breakup. But, don’t forget that your ex might be hurting from it, too.
Also, if you still harbor hopes of reconciliation, you wouldn’t want to ruin it just because it feels good to talk bad things about your ex after breakup. Chances are that your ex might find out and it will then kill your chance of patching things up.
So, what should you do if your ex tries to have a small talk with you in office?
Just act normal and be polite and keep your reply short. If you are not comfortable talking to your ex yet, you can find an excuse to get yourself out of the conversation.
Sometimes, it is inevitable that you might need to work alongside your ex and discuss work stuff with his/her. Don’t panic. It might feel awkward at first. Just remember that your ex might feel just the same way as you.
My advice is that you just need to handle everything in a professional way. Below are the 3 Donts you have to keep in mind:
- Don’t sidetrack your work discussion
- Don’t bring up your relationship problems
- Don’t end up telling your ex that you miss him/her and you want him/her back
As long as you stick to no contact rule outside of your work zone, it will still work:)
Situation B: You and your ex have a kid together
When you and your ex have a child together, it is difficult to cut off contact with your ex completely because there are always kid issues now and then which require the two of you to deal with together. Just make sure that you only talk to your ex about kids-related topics.
Besides that, you have to remember that talking about your personal feelings is off limits when you meet your ex or when you talks to your ex over the phone. This is because it might snowball into an emotional breakdown. On the other hand, if your ex tries to talk about your relationship or flirts with you, just don’t respond and end the conversation immediately.
Lastly, it is an absolutely no no to bad mouth your ex to your child. It is very bad parenting. Just keep the kids out of whatever is going on between you and your ex as much as possible.
Situation C: You Want To Give Back Your Ex’s Stuff / Your Ex Wants To Take Back His Stuff
When you were with your ex, it was common to sleep over at each other’s place or even share a place together. After breakup, we always have this problem of getting our stuff back from our ex’s place or giving your ex’s stuff back to him/her.
If your ex contacts you during no contact period to get his/her stuff back or you need to get your stuff back from your ex, just arrange the exchange of items with your ex and keep all the communication about that and nothing else.
If your ex wants to talk about your relationship, just tell him/her that you are not ready to talk about it yet.
In the case where your ex has some stuff at your place but he/she hasn’t contacted you to get back his/her stuff, you can choose to put his stuff in a box and keep it away first and return to your ex after the no contact period.
If you want to return his stuff as soon as possible, then you can call or message them regarding how and when they can pick up their stuff. There should be no hidden agenda on your part.
Remember that it should not be used as a convenient excuse for you to see your ex and talk to him/her.
Situation D: You are still living at the same place with your ex
This situation happens more often than you can imagine. Normally, a couple who moved in together some time back gets into a big fight and then decides to break up and they are forced to still stay at the same place together because they cannot find a new place in such a short time or they have difficulty finding someone else to take over the lease.
I understand how awkward it is going to be after breakup, especially if one of them brings back a date.
I have to admit that the no contact rule is probably the least effective in this situation since you see this person every single day but that doesn’t mean that it’s not going to work. The effectiveness of the no contact rule very much depends on how you approach no contact rule in this unique case.
When you have no choice but to talk with your ex about something, please remember to steer clear of your past relationship.
I would also advise you to be positive and happy. It is not a good idea at all to give out a negative vibe because people are turned off by someone with a negative vibe.
Situation E: Your Ex’s Birthday/Your Anniversary/Christmas/Valentine’s Day
These occasions mark a passage of time that may highlight and even accentuate the differences between the present and where you were at that time the previous year.
Sometimes, it can bring back past memories and make you feel sad and make you miss your ex even more. It is understandable that you might feel tempted to reach out on these occasions because it is the perfect excuse to get in touch with your ex.
Yes, it is true that these occasions can become opportunities to ensure that your ex has not forgotten about you and to place yourself front and center in your ex’s mind.
But, think again. Is a text message/email/birthday card going to make your ex have a change of heart or regret breaking up with you and come crawling back into your life? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
With this in mind, here are some more tips for navigating these situations during no contact:
- Your ex’s birthday is not a valid reason for breaking no contact because it’s like trying to give yourself some kind of birthday present in the form of validation and possibly attempting to rekindle the relationship. Birthdays only last for one day but the effects of misplaced expectations last far longer.
- It is Christmas/Thanksgiving. You are thinking about sending a card or a text message, but it doesn’t achieve anything but sending a mixed signal to your ex.
- If you feel that you cannot stop yourself from contacting your ex on his/her birthday, you can consider starting your no contact after your ex’s birthday.
- Surround yourself with family and close friends and keep yourself occupied, so you won’t have the time to think about sending your ex cards or messages.