Signs the no contact rule isn't working

Many of us struggle to completely cut off an ex after a breakup. After all, you've shared a lot experiences together, whether good or bad. Your lives have likely also become intertwined with friends and family and it can be hard to completely sever ties with someone you once cared so much about. If you're struggling with the no contact rule, we're here to help. 

But first, let's define what the no contact rule officially is. Dating and breakup coach Lee Wilson told Cosmopolitan, "The no contact rule is where you don't call, text, or message an ex in any way after the breakup. It includes not talking to their friends or family about them or the breakup itself." Wilson says this can last as little or as long as you want it to. 

However, if you're obsessing after a breakup, this rule isn't working. If you're questioning daily what went wrong, constantly worrying if your ex has found someone else, or if you're agonizing over what you did wrong, you're likely panicking. Psychologist Deborah L. Davis says these feelings are normal after a breakup and said daily affirmations can help. She says it's important to remember this mantra: "My distress is a result of brain chemistry and I'm not crazy. Just temporarily off balance" (via Psychology Today).

Try to get back to your normal routine

This method is also not working if after you've agreed on no contact you're still putting your life on pause. If you've been wallowing in the past and not participating in fun activities, something needs to change. "Being productive and structured gives you a sense of consistency and safety after having the upheaval of the breakup," relationship expert Lisa Concepcion told Bustle. "Think about it, people break up and after feeling blah for a few weeks, something kicks in where they want to be productive." So use this time to create a new healthy routine, go out with friends, or pick up a new hobby. It's important to remember what life was like before you met your ex.

After getting back into a normal and fulfilling schedule it can be easy to think you're completely over something and fall back into bad habits. It's kind of like being on a diet for 30 days and deciding to eat junk food again. You likely won't keep those pounds off and end up right back where you started. It's a slippery slope. Resist that urge to call, text, or message until the urge no longer remains.

Remember that ultimately things will get easier with time — just be patient and let yourself heal.