Question: I was on a relationship advice forum recently and I read through a few posts that dealt with ex girlfriends and everyone kept mentioning this no contact rule that you are supposed to abide by. Sounds reasonable, you don’t want to make your ex girlfriend feel smothered by you, and I get that. Here is the thing, though. I see my ex girlfriend a lot still, as we have some mutual friends and we tend to cross paths with one another from time to time. I don’t see how I can literally have no contact with her, as it would make it seem like I am being kind of a jerk. So, my question is, what do I do when I can’t have no contact with my ex girlfriend.
My Answer: Okay, I know where you are coming from. There is something that you should know about the no contact rule and that is – it can’t always be taken literally. There are situations where you are going to have some contact with your ex girlfriend, like the one that you mentioned and it would be a jerk move to act like you don’t know her or act like you don’t even see her. That’s not going to be a good thing at all.
The reality is that for a lot of situations, it’s less about having no contact at all and more about LIMITING the amount of contact that you have with your ex girlfriend.
I’ll use your example of running into her because you have mutual friends:
Let’s say that you are at a social event of some kind with some of your friends that she knows and she happens to be there. It’s okay in that context to say hello to her and even carry on a little bit of a conversation. The thing that you don’t want to do is to use a situation like that to hover around her or spend too much time around her. Limit the contact that you have with her. Say hello, maybe even get into some small talk, but focus on hanging out with your friends and talking with them more than with her.
That way – you don’t come across like a jerk or like you are being immature and just ignoring her. You are still being friendly, which is good, but you are showing her that your world does NOT revolve around her and that you are not going to be one of those guys who is fixated on his ex girlfriend only.