Have you heard about the no contact rule after a breakup? If so, you’re probably wondering about it, and what it might mean for you.

Imagine refusing to talk to someone close to you for say, 3 months. That’s over 90 days. And then, suddenly, out of the blue, texting them. Wouldn’t that look a bit weird? No matter how you tried to swing it?

Well, you need to clear about what the No Contact Rule is really about. It’s not about punishing your ex. And it’s not primarily about making your ex miss you, although that is an important secondary effect. No, the main reason you need to practice the No Contact Rule is for what it can do for YOU.

It’s to give YOU time to heal.

When you’ve been with someone for any length of time it’s a severe emotional shock when, suddenly, they’re no longer there. It’s like falling into a void. It’s dark and empty. So why would you want to increase these feelings by doing no contact?

It’s because you need to move on. Even though you want your ex back, you have to accept that it’s not going to happen overnight. You need to process the breakup and understand what went wrong before you can mend the relationship. You need to reclaim control of your emotions and your life. You need to get back onto an even keel, rebuild your life and become a better version of yourself.

Most of all you need to teach yourself not to look back.

Going cold turkey like this is hard. So it will help if you understand why it is worth the struggle, and why it will help you to get your ex back. There are good reasons why the No Contact Rule is a vital strategy in what is a complex and delicate process.

1. You’re Depriving Him of Emotional Support

You aren’t the only one suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Even if he dumped you there’s still a void in his life. As the dumper he will not be suffering from the same degree of shock as you, but he will still feel a sense of loss.

However, this can take time to manifest itself. At first he will probably feel confident about his decision and tell himself how great it is to be free again.

But he’s used to you being there. If he needed someone to talk to, he had you. If he needed advice or help, he had you.


If you remain in contact, he’ll still have you – as much of you as he wants. He’ll be able to withdraw gradually, painlessly, from his emotional dependence on you, until he hardly notices you’ve gone.

You need to deprive him of this.

2. YOU Will Gain Clarity

It’s a curious fact than when a person is dumped they are prone to idealize their ex. It’s sounds mad, it is mad, but it’s a quirk of human nature that what you no longer have becomes overpoweringly attractive and desirable.

You’re convinced you will never find his like again. He was perfect. He was The One.

He wasn’t.

And you need to teach yourself to see him without rose colored spectacles.

Getting him back should be a conscious, considered decision; one you make after a clear-eyed attempt to understand what went wrong between you and whether getting back together is the right thing for you.

3. You Are Regaining Your Power in the Relationship

You are making it clear to your ex that he doesn’t have a two-way option. If he finds that the grass on the other side isn’t as green as he expected, tough. He probably thought that if he wanted, if he changed his mind, he could return to your ever open arms at his convenience.

He can’t.

And YOU need to show him that by not being at his beck and call in the forlorn hope that one day he’ll sweep you off feet and try again.

Is there a chance for you?
Can you get your ex boyfriend back?

So What Is The No Contact Rule?

The No Contact Rule in its purest form means simply not contacting your ex. It applies in all circumstances (except where some contact is unavoidable), and it also forbids you to respond if your ex tries to contact you. There is usually a time limit you must observe, which can be anything from 21 to 90 days.

No phone call, texts or emails

No going to his house or workplace or anywhere else he hangs out

No “accidental” meetings

No following him on social media

No checking up on him via your mutual friends

Whatever happens, YOU MUST NOT CONTACT HIM! Even if He contacts YOU, the “rules” are still the same. YOU MUST NOT RESPOND!

A bit extreme, in fact. Even draconian.

the no contact rule

Now put yourself in your ex’s shoes. There are any number of reasons why your ex might call or text you.

Something important has happened, something it’s important to tell you

He wants to know you’re OK. Your relationship might be over, but he still cares what happens to you

He’s having second thoughts, and he wants to talk things over with you

How would you feel, in the light of these possibilities, if your ex refused even to talk to you?

Would you try harder to get your ex to respond, or would you wonder why he is being so childish and petty? Might you wonder if he is playing games with you?

Seeing the No Contact Rule from HIS Point of View

Remember that the internet is available to everyone. It’s just possible he’s heard of the No Contact Rule himself, and will conclude you are playing games, or trying to manipulate him. In that case, how do think he’s likely to feel?

Alternatively he may think that you have completely turned against him and are determined to move on. An absolute refusal to talk doesn’t set up a good feeling in the person to whom it is directed, and he will soon decide to stop trying and move on himself.

It may well confirm for him that the breakup was for the best.

He might even think that you are just being mature and sensible about the breakup, and giving things a chance to calm down. In other words, he might not see it as a calculated act at all. So when you DO contact him…well, as far as he’s concerned, nothing has changed.

the no contact rule

So why do so many people still advocate it?

Just What Is The Point Of The No Contact Rule?

Well, there are certain ideas that have grown up about what the No Contact rule can do for you; ideas which are not always true or helpful.

Following the no contact rule will make your ex boyfriend miss you

Well, this is possible. It’s also possible that your boyfriend will miss you even if you do still talk occasionally; what he misses is the relationship, the emotional connection. But it’s also possible that he won’t, or that it will take longer than your designated No Contact period before he does.

How long it takes a person to miss someone is like asking how long a piece of string is. You just don’t know the answer.

Missing you means he wants to get you back

It’s usually inferred that this inevitably follows. But he probably expected to miss you, and may accept it as an unavoidable stage in the moving on process.

Of course, he needs to miss you if he‘s ever going to want you back. But on its own, it isn’t necessarily enough to make him want to get back together. And it SHOULDN’T be, either. A good relationship needs a far more solid foundation than that.

The no contact rule has worked if he contacts you again

Well, this is a good sign, but it doesn’t solve the problems that caused the breakup.

You BOTH need to make changes if you want your second chance together to be successful. And unless you have done the work to make these changes happen, you’ll soon find yourself breaking up again.

You needn’t worry about your ex moving on

Well, there’s a rash promise for you!

There’s no predicting the future, and if you implement the No Contact Rule so rigidly that you ignore him completely, he might do just that – because he thinks YOU have moved on.

It’s better to tell him that you’re fine and it’s nice to talk to him, but you’re too busy to meet up just now. Suggest you talk later. That way he’ll know you haven’t cut him off completely.

What If Following the No Contact Rule Just Isn’t Practical For You?

There are situations where No Contact is simply a non-starter.

If you live or work together, it’s probably impossible to change your circumstances immediately after the breakup. In this case you HAVE to find some kind of modus vivendi. You don’t want to spend your time flouncing around behaving like an immature jerk.

This is even more important if you have children together. Breakups are tough enough on kids without having their warring parents using them as weapons in their fights. You owe it to them to keep things as civilized as possible.

In these cases you should keep your interactions to a minimum, while remaining polite and cooperative. But don’t let conversations become personal. This is not the right time to be talking about what went wrong – it’s more likely to turn into an exchange of recriminations about what you did wrong, and whose fault it was.

Try to spend as little time together as possible. If you live or work together, try to find a way to change this. Then you will have a real opportunity to start again.

Why You DO Need to Spend Some Time Alone

Right now you desperately want your ex back. But he doesn’t want to be with you. This gives him enormous power over you.

When someone has this kind of power over you, it’s like an addiction. In fact the pain from a breakup is associated with the same part of your brain as drug or alcohol addiction. His approval is necessary for you in order to validate your self-worth. You become so desperate to get him back that you will do literally ANYTHING to succeed.

This kind of neediness and dependence makes you very unattractive. It also makes you powerless to control your actions, and even your life. It’s vital that you regain control over yourself. And like all addictions, that means weaning yourself off the cause of your addiction.

the no contact rule

As long as you feel like this, you cannot see your relationship in perspective. When relationships fail, there is always a reason for it, and that reason may be one that makes it best not to try to resurrect it. You have to become detached enough to see whether or not getting your ex back is the right thing for you to do.

Is Your Ex The Right Man For You?

How can you tell? Well, here are some useful pointers.

Did being with your ex make you feel good about yourself? Were you happy and optimistic when you were together? Or did you feel insecure and inadequate, and fearful of losing him?

Do you feel validated simply by being in a relationship, and by having someone you can call your boyfriend? Do you hate being alone, so much that it makes you feel worthless and your life without value or meaning?

Did you have to give up or compromise other things in your life to be with your ex? Things that should be important to you, such as work, friends, hobbies or family?

Do you feel that being with your ex is your only guarantee of happiness? That without him you can never be happy again?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, no matter how reluctantly, then you are suffering from some degree of addiction. You need to withdraw, to get some perspective and learn to live without him before you can see whether getting him back is the right thing for you.

Even if you weren’t needy before the breakup, the rejection can be devastating enough to tip your over into being so afterwards. Getting him back is necessary to neutralize its negative effect, and to stop you feeling so empty and worthless.

Spending Time Alone – Remember You Are Doing It For YOURSELF

So even though you want him back, you must learn not just to live without him, but to be happy doing so – BEFORE you can build a happy relationship, with him or with anyone else. As long as you are feeling needy and desperate, you will be placing your happiness in someone else’s hands; and that can never end well for you.

the no contact rule

In case you still have doubts, here are 6 reasons why you need to spend some time apart from your ex right now.

1. Constant Reminders

You can’t move on as long as you go on seeing your ex. It will be a constant reminder of what you have lost, and how much you miss him. You must look away and find other things with which to fill your life.

2. Allowing Your Feelings to Subside

Your feelings will constantly be stirred and rekindled by the sight and sound of him, when you should be making every attempt to help them subside and fade.

3. Healing Your Inner Wounds

You won’t be able to heal inside while the sight of your ex keeps reopening the wounds. Nor will the memories fade while you are doing everything to keep them alive.

4. Moving On

It’ll be harder to fall in love with – or even feel attracted to – someone else.

5. Reconciling For the Wrong Reasons

You risk getting back together for all the wrong reasons. When people who have broken up nevertheless continue to see each other, they often end up getting back together because

They are both lonely and need the old relationship to feel complete (and they miss each other’s company)

They are constantly stirring up each other’s memories and emotions

They don’t give themselves a chance to forget and move on

They come to believe that they won’t find anyone else, and decide to settle for the what they’ve got – the bird in the hand syndrome

But the old problems are still there, so they end up unhappy, dissatisfied, unfulfilled and stuck in an on/off relationship which leaves them feeling worse than before

6. Remaining a Wounded Bear

You remain vulnerable and unable to behave naturally around him, but you can’t imagine that hole in your heart being filled with love by somebody else.

As long as you stay connected to your ex in the old way, you will never get the clarity and perspective to see if it’s a relationship you SHOULD try to save. And you will never be able to build a new and better relationship, because you haven’t moved on from the old one.

His Happiness is Not Your Concern

Now that your relationship is over, it’s important not to let him think that you are still a shoulder to lean on. You are no longer his girlfriend, so he can’t expect you to go on giving him those benefits.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that being his friend will be a ‘back door’ back into the relationship.

Acting as his emotional crutch won’t make him realize how much he loves you. Instead it will help him to heal from the breakup more quickly, so that he can move on and find someone else. This includes providing him with money or sex too. You won’t get him back by trying to make him feel grateful to you.

This isn’t about him, it’s about you.

You are empowering yourself to become a woman of value. A woman he will come to see he cannot afford to lose.

the no contact rule

It’s vital to be disciplined here. Giving him any emotional attention now will be seen by him as a kind of victory; as proof that he could still have you back if he wanted. And you don’t want that. You want to create a feeling of urgency in him, to make him aware that you will not always be there in the background, just waiting for him to come back.

How to Use Your Time Positively and Productively While Following the No Contact Rule

This is going to be a busy time for you!

You are going to LIVE your life. That’s it in a nutshell. Do everything you can to make yourself feel better, happier and more confident. No matter how hard it is, you MUST make the effort to become your own best friend and take care of yourself, because no one else will do it for you.

This is the time to rediscover who YOU are, and to build a happy and satisfying life as a single woman. The best relationships are made between two people who are not dependent on each other for their happiness. These people enlarge and enhance each other’s lives by being together. They don’t depend on each other for their sense of self-worth, or for having something to do at the weekend.

If this is sounding good to you but a little vague, here are 3 different ways you can improve your life and give it more intrinsic meaning and value.

Self Improvement

Looking after your health and well-being should always be a priority. Exercise is vital and you should do some challenging physical exertion at least 3 times a week. If you are out of shape, you may need to devise a more intense exercise routine to get you looking your best. There’s no greater confidence boost than knowing you can stun your boyfriend when he sees how good you are looking.

Ditch the junk food. A balanced and healthy diet is vital if you want to look your best. It only takes a few weeks of eating good quality food for the effect to show through in your looks, with brighter skin and glowing vitality.

These things might be hard for you to do, but the sense of achievement you will get and the boost to your looks and confidence will be well worth the effort.

It’s also good to improve your mind. Read books and use the internet to enlarge your understanding and knowledge. Never stop learning, or adding to your skills.

Spend time doing some of your favorite things, or try something new and exciting that you’ve always wanted to do.

The most important transformation you can make is internal. If you spend time learning how to improve your relationship skills, you will be better equipped to build a successful relationship with your ex boyfriend. This is what you will learn from The Ex Factor Guide. Follow the link below to find out more.

Be Social

Spend time with your friends and family. It’s important to bask in that warmth right now, and to know that they love and care about you.

Accept invitations. Resist the temptation to stay home watching movies or replaying that sad song about heartbreak over and over. Knowing that you are not alone; and that you can still enjoy yourself will help you to cope with the aftermath of the breakup.

Make the effort to flirt with the men you meet. It’s good practice, and it’s good for your ego. And posting pictures of you having fun with other guys will be a wake-up call for your ex. But don’t make it look as if you’ve already found someone else, or started a new relationship. You want to make your boyfriend aware of the possibility, not to convince him that it’s actually happened.

Give Time to Your Career

Moving forward in your career is another way to add value to your life, and boost your confidence and self-worth. You can give all the time you need to work on a new project or promotion. Getting ahead will distract you from your troubles, and give you another focus for your ambitions.

If you are unhappy in your job, then now is the time to do something about it. This is an area of your life that you do have the power to change. Try to improve your current working conditions, or if that’s not feasible, then look for something new.

Don’t just let things fester; this can be a real opportunity for you. Decide how you can boost your career and act upon it. This can be a seminal moment for you.

What NOT To Do When Following the No Contact Rule

There are also some things you should try everything to avoid.

One is obsessing over your ex.

You are trying to distance yourself from your relationship so that you can gain clarity and perspective. You won’t do that while you are thinking about him every other minute, constantly checking for phone for calls or messages or following him on social media.

The other is indulging in destructive habits, smoking, drinking too much or taking drugs.

the no contact rule

This is like putting a plaster over a gaping hole that needs stitching. You won’t heal, and the pain will be worse when the effect wears off. It will also lower your chances of ever getting your ex back at all.

When Should You End No Contact?

The time you need to spend in No Contact can’t be set as an arbitrary timeline. You will be ready to see you ex again when you have regained control of your life, and thought carefully about getting back together.

Following the No Contact rule will not necessarily end in a reconciliation. No matter how desperate you felt at the beginning, in time you may come to see that your boyfriend is not the right man for you.

As long as you are still tempted to contact your boyfriend out of neediness, you know it is too soon. Thinking and fantasizing about seeing him again is a sure sign that you have not got your emotions under control yet.

When you are tempted to call him, make yourself write down your reason for doing so and what triggered it. Then think about what you hope to achieve by it, immediately and in the longer term. If you can’t come up with a cogent reason, then your longing to call is an impulsive, knee-jerk reaction. If you can, then ask yourself if it is a realistic objective. When you think about it dispassionately, you may come to see that it is just an idealistic fantasy.

This is not about game-playing. What you are really concerned about is healing yourself, so that you can truly move on, either to a better relationship with your ex boyfriend, or with someone who will make you happier than he did.

What About Your Boyfriend During No Contact?

During this time you have spent apart, your boyfriend will have had his own thoughts about the breakup and whether it was the right thing to do. You have to face the fact that he may decide it is. If you are the only one still trying to rebuild things between you, then any reconciliation will be on his terms and will only confirm his power over you.

It is also likely to be temporary, as he will probably be keeping an eye out for someone better, and will move on when he finds her. If you are ever going to be happy with him, he needs to want you as much as you want him.

How Has No Contact Worked For You?

When you do it for the right reasons, the consequences of following the No Contact rule should always be positive.

That doesn’t mean you will always get your boyfriend back.

But whatever the outcome, if you observe the No Contact rule positively and actively, you will achieve massive improvements in your own life. This will make you a much more desirable partner for your next boyfriend, whoever he is.

Remember that a high quality man will not want a woman who depends on him for validation. He wants a woman who brings her own positive contribution to the relationship.

It’s time to raise the bar, and either build a better relationship with your ex, or find a man who is better suited to you than he was. Your old relationship was a failure. That’s sad, but you can only learn from experience. Now you can promise yourself that your next love is going to be MUCH better, and longer lasting. It’s what you’ve worked so hard for.

When you know you are ready to contact your ex boyfriend again, go here to find out how to do it.

To help you build a long-term plan for getting your boyfriend back, you need to visit this page.

For a full and empowering insight into your breakup, and how to build a better relationship with your ex, you need The Ex Boyfriend Guide. To find out all about how it can help you right now to get your boyfriend back, check out the link below.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Chloe

    i was talking to this guy for atleast 3 months and we were going to start dating but we did eveyrhting couples usually do. a few days back i unintentionally cheated and was assualted but to him his question was why did i meet the guy if i loved him . he has blocked me and told me he doesnt want anything to do wiht me anymore but i really want him back what should i do?

    1. Sarah

      Report the assault.

  2. Jennifer

    I was only with my boyfriend for a few months and we were both headstrong in establishing our feelings from the get go. Over the last two weeks of the relationship he was going through some stress elsewhere in his life which he assured me was nothing for me to worry about and he recognised how his behaviour towards me changed during this time. Of course I was there for him and supported him but he gradually began to withdraw from me and two days after I seen him he broke up with me claiming he sees me more as a friend and doesn’t feel romantic spark. This was a shock following how he had been coming across and many talks of future. I’m not sure if things moved too quickly, maybe I should of gave him more space during his bad patch rather than making him feel pressured to continue the same level of attention to me – I was trying to be there but not smother him but undoubtedly he was very different with me. He says he found himself forcing himself to talk to me and it should come naturally (which is true) I’m not sure why is feelings randomly changed for me following how he came across from the start but i haven’t spoke to him since the break up only a few days ago. He said he will get in touch in a few days to see how I am and that he doesn’t want to lose me from his life but he doesn’t see a future with me. How shall I reply when he reaches out? Do I accept defeat and put on a brave face and be friendly? I’ve read a lot of pages on here and I want way more than to be his friend.

    1. Sarah

      It’s much better to set your standards and be true to them. You don’t want to be friends; it’s not enough for you. So you should tell him that but do it calmly and without blaming him. This is being your best self, and perhaps it’s time you showed him that again.

  3. Josie

    I’ve been dating a guy for a year but he won’t commit. We haven’t exactly broken up but I was thinking maybe doing no contact to see what he does. Do you think it’s a good idea?

    1. Sarah

      It will help you find out whether he has any real feelings for you and that has to be a good thing. But you need to be prepared for the discovery that he hasn’t and that he will just let the relationship drop. Can you cope with that?

  4. Rebecca

    My boyfriend keeps calling me. I’ve told him I think we should take a break, but he still calls. Should I stop answering?

    1. Sarah

      Why does he call? Is it something genuinely important, or is he just harassing you because you’ve told him you want a break and he doesn’t like it? Is he perhaps a controlling kind of person, who doesn’t like feeling impotent? If so, are you sure you really want him back?

  5. Carla

    I have a problem. I have been practicing no contact, but my boyfriend calls me every 2 weeks to ask how I’m doing, and we talk a bit. He never suggests meeting up, but he’s called 4 times now. Should I not answer him next time? Or should I ask him not to call again? Or should I suggest we meet? (we broke up because we had an LDR)

    1. Sarah

      I assume you want to get him back? If so, it looks as if you’re half way there already! But before you rush to see him again, what are the circumstances of your LDR? Is it temporary? Do have a plan for being physically together at some time in the (not too distant) future? If not, then what exactly ARE you planning? No relationship can grow and succeed when the two people involved are permanently separated.

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