No Contact vs. Disappearing – is there a difference?
At first glance it may seem like these two – No Contact and Disappearing - are the same, but taking a closer look shows that they are not. It is true that in both cases the other person is out of our life, but it’s HOW it was accomplished explains the difference.
Disappearing is commonly associated with new relationships while the No Contact is more prevalent among long-term ones. It is certainly not a matter of black and white here, but rather a tendency.
Disappearing happens when they decide that they do not want to see you anymore (or cannot deliver on their promises, feel ‘suffocated’, found someone else, got back together with their ex, etc.). They pack their imaginary bags, deliver imaginary ‘I am sorry’ speech, and disappear behind the other side of the door. They will walk, but most commonly run. They do not want you to see them leaving because that would mean pausing for a second and admitting to what they are doing and why. They do not want to talk about it plus they do not want you to change their mind. They would rather disappear into Eternity, wash their hands off and be done. Easy breezy and simple.
If you leave them alone and do not chase they MAY re-appear again. They will re-appear again to disappear AGAIN later. And they will keep doing it as long as you let them. You will live in constant anxiety wondering when they will show up again or what else they might say or do that was not said or done before. It is like watching a very sloooow playing 1 hour movie-drama lasting for weeks, months or perhaps even years. Or, it is like playing and replaying the same record hoping to hear or see something different.
The Disappearing (and reappearing) in itself is something that is ambiguous, something that keeps us guessing, assuming, and hoping. There is no logical end to it and there is definitely no closure. And, since we never (well – USUALLY) see it coming we never know exactly why they leave.
Disappearing happens after first dates (super common), after several dates (when they do not think they owe you an explanation) or sometimes in established relationships (when they do not have the guts to break up with you). Interesting, but re-appearing, on the other hand, has the opposite tendency: they rarely to never re-appear after first dates, sometimes after several dates, and very often in established relationships.
It just goes to show how nerve-wrecking and emotionally damaging it can be for those who are trying to move on after a breakup. This is when the No Contact rule comes into place. This is when we take charge of our destiny, put our foot down and say ‘Enough is enough’.
Unlike with disappearing and re-appearing, there is nothing ambiguous about the No Contact. Actually, the No Contact rule is a great tool to stop their re-appearing on you for good.
When a breakup happens mature and reasonable adults do understand that it is best not to talk to each other for a while. It is just common sense, isn’t it? It is the commitment phobics, emotionally unavailable, narcissists, psychopaths, players, immature losers, flip-floppers, and womanizers who do not get it, and therefore should be subjected to the No Contact rule.
These people have zero respect for how you feel and do not understand how relationships/breakups work. They do not understand how their actions – when in a relationship or after it ends - affect other people. They only think about themselves and therefore they will keep pushing and pushing until you stop them. You need to stop them for them because they won’t, or in other words - it will be your job to remove them from your life.
The No Contact rule is also about giving yourself closure. No matter all the unresolved issues and a gazillion unanswered questions, you simply draw the line and that’s it. You quit them cold turkey.
Unlike with reasonable adults, explanations with these people do not work. Try to reason with them and see what happens. Since they live in a world of distorted delusions (where no reasonable person would even want to step into) they are masters of twisting reality. They will turn all the tables on you and make it all look like it was your fault. You will end up being the ‘bad guy’ once again, tortured by guilt and doubts.
The No Contact rule is a ‘new rule’ of how you expect to be treated from now on. If they had unlimited access to you, or if they were putting you through an endless make up –break up cycle, then it means that from this point forward this whole convoluted charade will have to stop. This is your sole choice and no negotiation or agreement on their part is necessary. They will surely be disappointed and may try to resort to their old time-tested tricks that worked on you in the past to get you back. BE READY FOR THIS.
The No Contact rule is NOT about manipulating someone into liking you. You cannot coarse them into feeling what they aren’t. Read WHY it won’t work here.
As you can see now, Disappearing and No Contact are two absolutely different things. Unlike with Disappearing, where you feel like you have no control over ambiguity, the No Contact rule gives you plenty of power and control. There is even a difference in handling their come backs! Unlike with disappearing and re-appearing where you play ‘nice’ and end up being walked over, the No Contact is about being nice towards yourself and elimination of any possibility of being walked over time and time again.