In this post, I am going to talk about the No Contact rule that you probably read all about as you were searching the internet for ways to get back together with your ex. If you haven't heard about the No Contact strategy, it is pretty simple. Basically what this strategy involves is ignoring your ex for a set period of time after the breakup in order to win them back. It's that simple. Most people generally advocate around a month of No Contact after the breakup if you want your ex back. Now, is it a good idea? Is this a good strategy? Does it work? Generally speaking, this is a good strategy that I do advocate and it does often work and it worked for me. And the reasons why it works is actually quite scientific, there's a lot of research and real reasons why it works.
So why does this No Contact thing work?
Why should you ignore your ex completely for say 30 days after the breakup?
Well the first reason, rather the first couple reasons are actually very straightforward.
- Number one, it gives you time to heal privately. So you don't have all your emotions, all your heartache, and all the pain you feel after a breakup, it's not all open in the public and for your ex to see.
- Secondly, by ignoring your ex, you are also basically preventing yourself from doing something stupid. From an irrational idea that it would be a good idea to send your ex a text message at 2 AM when you are drunk to tell them that you love them, and that you miss them and all that. By ignoring them completely, you are not going to make any mistakes. You can't when you are not talking to your ex.
- Now the third reason is actually a lot more subtle, but it's probably the most important part of the whole No Contact strategy and that it forces your ex to miss you. Basically, when you ignore your ex after a breakup, you are essentially forcefully removing yourself from your ex's life. So basically your ex has been accustomed to you. They have become very comfortable having you around, and if you suddenly disappear from their life, they are going to be in shock, essentially. And it's it's going to be a lot more difficult for them to recover and it's going to be a lot more painful for your ex and they are going to be a lot more likely to miss you. So that's one of the main reasons why No Contact works. It forces your ex to start missing you. And you need them to miss you if you want them back, because you need them to have that decision to get back together with you, organically to have them decide to get back together, often times because they miss you so much that they just want to make the pain of the breakup go away by getting back together. And of course, that will work to your advantage.
- Now the fourth reason why the No Contact strategy often works extremely well is because, in addition to making your ex miss you, it also allows them to forget the negative memories and sort of generally forget why they broke up with you in the first place. A lot of the times, humans tend to let go of negative memories and hold on to the happier ones. And it's extremely likely that your ex will do this. They will let go of some of the negative memories, they will start to forget some of the reasons why they wanted to break up with you and why they weren't happy, and that happens a lot more effectively and if you are not talking to them and reminding them of all those same reasons they wanted to breakup. So, by ignoring them, you are basically giving them time to forget all of those negative memories fade to the background.
- And finally, the last reason why No Contact is often an excellent strategy is that it sends a very clear signal to your ex that you are going to move on. You are not going to wait around for them while they screw around, trying to decide whether the single life is right or whether they will be able to find someone else. You are just not going to be around forever. You are going to move on to bigger and better things if your ex doesn't reconsider the decision to break up. And that essentially ties into the whole concept of shifting the balance of power from your ex(who broke up with you or presumably decided to break up with you or doesn't want to get back together) to you. Because all of a sudden, now you are saying, you know what? I can live my life on my own. I am going to be just fine. So if you know, you don't want me in your life, I am out. So that's essentially shifting the balance of power in your favor and that's going to work to your advantage of winning your ex back.
Now that I have given you enough reasons as to why you should implement the No Contact Rule, I am sure you have plenty of questions like "How long should no contact rule last?", "What happens when you break the no contact rule?", "Does no contact really work to get ex back?" in your head.
No-Contact Rules... & Answers to Your Questions
Listed below are all the rules and the dos & don'ts of the no contact rule. I have tried to answer as many questions as possible, but if you still have some doubts in your head, you can just let me know in the comments section below:
What is the no contact rule?
No contact is just that. It's breaking all ties to your ex. No texts, no phone calls, no emails, no Facebook or Instagram or any other social media. It's breaking all ties.
What is the no contact for?
No contact, in brief, is meant as the best and quickest means for you to heal and move on.
Does no contact really work to get your ex back?
Works for most of the people, I have coached. But that's not what No Contact is meant for. Yes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but if you're banking on No Contact as a way to manipulate your ex back into your life - you are in for a rude awakening.
How do I properly implement the No Contact Rule?
Absolutely cutting all ties to your ex.
That means no calls, no emails, no text messages, IM's, absolutely no checking Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat Stores - nothing. You need to vanish completely from their life and in the process, make them disappear from yours. In addition, get rid of their phone number, emails and email address, remove all the pictures/photos/memories/gifts. Anything that reminds you of the ex should be boxed up and put in a safe place out of daily view and easy reach. If necessary, get someone else to hold on to them for you.... after a while, you won't know what's there, and won't want it back, anyway...
My ex keeps texting me, and nothing seems to put them off. What do I do about this?
First of all, delete their number. Never ever respond to their messages like "Hey!", "Just checking on you." etc. These messages don't mean a thing. They are hurting just like you after the breakup. If you text them back, you are helping them get rid of their guilt. Then the next time they text you, reply IMMEDIATELY - with this message:
"Hey! It's good to hear from you. When are you free to get together?"
If they respond something like, "Meh!", "I'll think about it" etc., just text them back telling that you are busy, and you gotta go. Text this: "It was good to hear from you. But, I gotta go. Let me know if you change your mind".
You should be able to convey to your ex that you really don't care about what's going in their life, that you have your own life, and the only relationship you want from the is a romantic relationship, and nothing platonic.
NEVER EVER AGREE TO STAY FRIENDS WITH YOUR EX. NEVER.
What should I be doing during No Contact?
First of all, allow the grieving process to happen naturally. You need to grieve a loss, but don't dwell on it. Hang out with your friends, immerse yourself in a new hobby and start working out. Working out is especially useful because not only does it release endorphins which help make you feel better but you'll start looking your best which will help you attract someone new. If you need Counselling, by all means go.
I don't want to implement No Contact because I don't want to lose him/her. Please help me.
Unfortunately - you already have.
Clinging on to them or clinging to the hope you'll get them back will only keep you down longer. Additionally, the natural reaction of any ex when you cling on to them is for them to literally spring in the other direction. If you do have any chance of reconciliation, your best bet is to leave them alone and forget about them.
My ex wants to be friends, is this a good idea? Should I be friends with my ex?
NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT - especially if you are still in love with them. For the most part, exes will keep you as a friend so they have a 'back up plan' in case things fail with the new love of their life. Ask yourself if you're happy being #2 in someone's life. If so, more power to you. But if you respect yourself and have healthy self-esteem you'll never settle for being left hanging on a string.
Furthermore, keeping you as a 'friend' is designed to make them feel better about things - not you. Keeping you as a friend, is a way of relieving their guilt, and convincing them that hey, it can't hurt all that much, if you're willing to just be a buddy, right....?
See, it’s like this.... When the dumper extends the hand of friendship, well, that seems very kind and generous, but it's actually very thoughtless and selfish. Your heart's just been ripped out and turned inside out by them leaving you - it's like a phase of mourning - so how can they tug at your heartstrings and expect you - as someone who still has deep-seated feelings for them - to just flip to 'be my friend!" Well, really - it's completely irrational and unreasonable. But it makes the dumper feel really charitable. "I don't want to go out with you - you DON'T rock my world, and you're not 'the one' but at least if I suggest staying friends, it doesn't make me out to be a callous person, and if you WILL be my friend, then I can't be that bad - and you can't be that hurt, can you?" It eases their guilt.
Do NOT agree to this - it will prolong the pain, and cement the agony.
The dumper carries on in their merry way, texting you, friendly, verbal 'arm-punching' in a "we're such great buddies!" kind of way - and all the time, you'll be screaming inside "I want to get back together with you again!!" The only time friendship will be possible, is when you can see them in the arms of another loving partner, completely happy, and holding their child - and think to yourself, "Meh... that reminds me....I need some sweet peppers and tomatoes."
Benign Indifference. That's what you're aiming for.
All this “Let’s just be friends” thing will do, is keep you clinging to the false hope of getting back with your ex, keep you down in the dumps much longer than you should be and ruin any chance you have of meeting someone new. So hey, if you want to be miserable, go ahead and be good buddies with your ex.
I can't resist the urge to contact my ex! What should I do?
If you've deleted all their contact info yet still remember how to reach them, call a friend instead. Go and work out at the gym. Take a bike ride. Go for a jog. Do something to occupy your mind. Get out, don't sit around the house pining for your Ex. Because, guess what? They are definitely not sitting around with their new love, wondering why you aren't calling them.
Exercise releases endorphins, and after a while, the more you take care of yourself, the better you'll look. And the better you look - the better you'll feel.
How long should I wait to contact my ex? How long is the No Contact Rule?
Never, EVER be the first to contact your ex!
If you need something back, ask a friend to go get it for you. If you have kids together, NC is almost impossible. The best thing to do is keep whatever contact you must have to a minimum. Don't argue with them, don't ask for a second chance, and don’t beg them to take you back. Just be very polite and business-like. You thank yourself later for being the bigger person. Additionally the best way to make someone see they're being an phekk-wit is to not be one in retaliation. Let them vent and just be quiet. Sooner, rather than later, it'll hit them that they're being absolutely childish and you'll come out smelling like a rose.
I've been on NC for some time and my Ex just contacted me, what do I do? What do when you ex contacts you during the No Contact?
The question is: Why are they contacting you? If it's just to get something back, box up their stuff and have a friend give it to them.
Otherwise, there's no need to reply. No matter what, don't contact them back right away. Don't answer if they call. Show them you have a life and you don't need them in it. Yes, it's kind of a game but at this juncture, it's a necessary evil. I know a lot of people might disagree, but first of all, I would want to know why the ex is contacting me. If they are having doubts, they will make it clear. If you respond to them, be sure to take a day or two to do so. This will give you time to think clearly about what you want to say. When you reply, make sure that it's polite and to the point.
- Don't make any small talk.
- Don't bring up the past (big no-no).
- Don't volunteer any information about yourself.
- Be the first to end the conversation.
- Be happy, do smile inside (CBT) and know that you'll be fine.
Trust me, if your ex wants you back nothing will stop them from getting in touch with you. And this is ideally what you want. You want them to initiate the contact because it will be their heart that has changed.
If they really want you back, then you have to listen out for the apology. The complete 180. "I'm really sorry for what I did. I don't know why I did it, but all I know, is that it was the most stupid thing I've ever done. I want to try again, and will do whatever it takes to make it up to you, prove I'm deadly serious, and regain your trust. Please, can you find it in your heart to try again?"
Anything other than this - any small talk, any "so how are you?"s, any tentative chit-chat - is just breadcrumbs. Mostly, to appease their own guilt, make them feel better, and confirm that they can still yank your chain.
The only thing you should actually ever respond to is a clear and absolutely unequivocal signal, from them that they desperately love you and would do anything to be able to try again. Anything - ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING - else - is just a way of chatting with you and keeping you simmering on a back-boiler until you are roasted, broiled, cooked, done, shredded, dried out and falling off the bone.
Remember: The question is NEVER "Why are they doing this or why have they said that?" The question is always, but ALWAYS: "What do I do now?"
And the answer to that, is to not try to head-read, or second-guess. It's to keep on doing what you're doing. Ignore it, and stay in No Contact.
What happens if I break the No Contact?
A. You'll end up right back to square one and have to start all over. Trust me, while you are on NC with them and they are with someone else, you don't want to know how they are doing. You don't want to hear how happy they are. If you're nursing a shattered heart, you can't handle what they have to say. Why rip out the stitches, and tear the wound open again? if you pass razor wire up one nostril and down the other, while poking your eyes out with needles - it will hurt only marginally less than talking to them, and getting nothing from them but pain.
A question we get asked a lot, is 'what about Birthdays?'Yeah, right. What about them?Just another day, just another situation to completely and utterly ignore. Do not ever send any form of Birthday wish (just another excuse to cling to them),and do not respond to anything they send you (Just more breadcrumbs rubbish).
What if I see them in public?
A. Bottom line, avoid contact with them at all cost. If you can't, just be polite and smile and wave if they wave at you. If they want to talk, remember the rule. No small talk, no information. As far as they're concerned, it really looks as if you're doing great without them - even if you aren't.
What if my Ex never contacts me?
Then it was never meant to be. Consider yourself lucky and smart enough to realise that, the sooner you implement NC and get on with your life the sooner you can meet the right person for you. That's really what this whole 'No Contact' deal is all about. Healing, and Moving On.
What do I do if I have obligations with my ex- which make Complete No Contact impossible?
A: Well, I guess we're talking about the care of children, the legal division of property, or the professional requirements of having to work together, here, right? Situations where there is absolutely no way that you can avoid having to speak to them, at one point or another...
There is something you can do, though:
It's called 'LC' - Limited Contact.
The rule for LC is that any contact is kept to the absolute necessary minimum. If, for example, you need to discuss the children, or any custodial arrangements, just discuss the children and the custodial arrangements - and that's it.
If you are obliged by circumstance to live together, you should treat each other like housemates, respect each other's space and treat each other with cool, reserved and detached courtesy.
If you happen to work together in the same workplace, ensure that all and any discussion in the workplace, is about work. Whenever professional dialogue is required, keep to that.
If contact is required, keep it business-like. Don't permit emotion to cloud your judgement or to affect your discussion. If you make decisions based on emotional rationale, any arrangement is likely to fail. Emotions are the worst things to base any decisions on.
Simply because the other person is your ex, is no reason or excuse to be rude, insulting, hostile, deliberately difficult, stubborn or intransigent.
You may well be emotionally hurt; of course you are. But pain is pain, business is business. If you are thrown together by circumstance, it is far better to focus on the latter, and to deal with the former, alone.
The above advice is, of course, providing there is no abuse, of any kind, or any severe issues making these kind of arrangements difficult. Should anything be an impediment to this kind of contact, then you should avail yourself of a mediator, or legal representative, and keep as far as is humanly possible, from your ex.
Ensure that all negotiations, agreements and arrangements, are arrived at logically, not emotionally. And never resort to spite, or retaliation; if you are obliged to do something, and agree to a specific arrangement - stick to it.
What is the best way to get closure from my ex?
You will never, ever get closure, from your ex.
Writing letters, or arranging to meet 'one last time' to get closure, is a pointless exercise. For several reasons. One: Very often, the dumper themselves, cannot really come up with a straight answer. They themselves may be confused about the situation, so you may get one answer one day, and a different one the next.... Two: They will lie. Either to protect themselves, or to protect your feelings. Which of course, is pointless, because they're shattered anyway. Three: Any answers or responses you do get - will simply serve to prompt more questions on your part. Because deep down, all you want out of closure - is for them to do an about turn and admit they were wrong. You want them to change their minds. Seeking closure just reeks of 'desperate'. And it will merely serve to break your heart again.
Closure, is like Vomit: It comes from within, but you need to get it out of your system.
So you have to face facts, get real and accept matters as they are.
Realise that none of us is immune to heartbreak. Consider each relationship as a lesson life teaches us for us to carry on to the next relationship. You know what they say: "What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger". I actually hate that phrase, but it seems to be true..... That's what NC does. It allows you to reflect on your past mistakes and grow as a person. Each time you fail in a relationship you gain invaluable knowledge that will aid you in the next.
There will be someone else, I guarantee you that. The sooner you cut ties with the ex, the quicker you heal yourself up, improve where you can and embed the lessons of your past - then the better off you'll be for someone else. Someone who deserves you. And someone for whom you will be a dream come true.
Above all, never tell yourself "I'm not good enough, no one loves me, blah blah blah." That's a self-defeatist attitude and kills your confidence and self-esteem. You are plenty good enough and someone will love you. You just have to be happy with who you are.
You simply cannot lose on an investment in yourself.
Once you've done the work, it's there. Forever And you can share it with whomever you choose. Be the best 'you' you can be.
Every step forward you make is one step closer to meeting the person of your dreams. It will in all likelihood, happen as soon as you have decided you respect yourself enough to take back your personal power. The power you give to your Ex every moment you spend thinking about them, wishing they would call or clinging on to them. Take back control of your life by vowing to move on. To accept what has happened. To let go completely. And become whole, to love again.
This post has been inspired by Brad Browning and this amazing post on redddit on the No Contact Rule. If you still have some questions in your head, make sure you watch the video, as it covers almost everything when it comes to the no contact rule, and also, you can just ask your queries in the comments below.