No Contact: What Is It And What You Need To Know


no contact, the no contact rule, how to use the no contact rule, tips on the no contact rule

Breakups are one of the hardest things you can go through. Your heart is shattered and you don’t know how to get your ex back or move on. Enter the no contact rule. It is by far one of the best techniques you can use after a breakup or divorce. 

The problem most people face is the jarring effects of splitting up with someone.

  • Your entire routine changes.
  • You no longer have someone to be with emotionally, physically and psychologically. 
  • Breakups usually cause a ton of stress, anxiety, depression,loneliness and uncertainty.
  • Your life plan has to change, especially if you were married. 
  • You may have to deal with unresolved feelings, especially if you were dumped. 
  • You also don’t have much control over the situation apart from what you do next. 

It’s a mess. Even if you are the dumper, that doesn’t mean you get to skip through most of these difficulties. 

The majority of people have a hard time accepting this sudden and significant change of their relationship status and life.

I completely understand how difficult it is to leave someone you love in the past and just move on.

It’s easier said than done. 

Unfortunately, a lot of us lack the self control to deal with a breakup or divorce appropriately. 

Let’s talk about some common mistakes people make.

If they want their ex back, they end up chasing, begging, pleading, negotiating or settling to be friends.

Rather than win their ex back, they drive them further away.

You may ask, why?

Well, none of this behavior is considered beneficial to attraction, perception of value and love. 

In fact, one could argue that they are detrimental to the above. 

Now let’s assume that you actually have no intention of making up with your ex and you just want to move on.

But even though you are accepting of the breakup, you’re still suffering from loneliness, overthinking, separation anxiety and trauma.

You’ve tried rebounding but it hasn’t stopped you from thinking about your ex. The unsettling change in your life is still a bother and you don’t know how to forget your ex.

For all of these scenarios, there’s a solution. And that is no contact. 

No contact has been proven to help people move on after a breakup or get an ex back. It’s effective on both men and women. No contact also helps you build self-esteem and confidence.

There are two popular forms of no contact and they are as follows:

  1. The indefinite no contact rule.
  2. The 30 day no contact rule. 

Both of these variations of no contact have their respective place in real-life situations. Let’s discuss them below by explaining their differences, benefits and cons. 

But before we do, allow me to give you a basic explanation of what the no contact rule entails. 

In order for you to move on, it is imperative that you put as much space and distance between your ex and yourself.

If you have been dumped, initiating no contact gives you some control and power over the situation which is something you didn’t have the second you were dumped.

And let’s face it, most breakups are often initiated by one party, making it a unilateral decision. 

By walking away, not only do you give yourself the space to move on or process your feelings, you also attach real consequences to your ex’s decision of ending the relationship. 

During no contact, you are not allowed to text, call, meet or interact with your ex in any capacity. 

By doing so, you avoid any behavior that diminishes your self worth or ruins any and all residual attraction your ex may still have for you. 

With that being said, let’s talk about the indefinite no contact rule and the 30 days no contact rule because they are significantly different in one important regard. 

What is the indefinite no contact rule?

As its name indicates, the indefinite no contact rule calls for a complete elimination of all contact with your ex for a continuous period of time without break or exception.

Some relationship experts, including myself, believe that there is no fixed period for when a person may either become uncertain of their decision to break up or to fully accept and move on from a split. 

Even though it is unnecessary for me to say, I still think I should emphasize the uniqueness of people. 

We can never accurately predict the behavior of all people.

So the idea of using the no contact rule for an indefinite period of time is to ensure that you maintain distance from your ex for as long as it takes to either move on or for them to reach out.

And that’s another significant difference between this form of no contact and the 30 day no contact rule.

Unlike the latter, you should not end no contact at any specific point or period. If your goal is to get your ex back or to simply be friends, only when they reach out to you via text, phone or in person, may you start communicating with them again!

It is estimated that the average person starts to really move on from a breakup after approximately three months apart. 

However, some people take a much longer time to make peace with the past and accept change which is why the indefinite no contact rule is growing in popularity. 

What is the 30 day no contact rule?

Just as the name implies, it is the elimination of communication for a period of 30 days. 

The motivation behind this form of the no contact rule is to give your ex just enough time to get over negative feelings and thoughts about you as well as experience the shock of separation anxiety, loneliness, change, uncertainty and confusion. 

If your ex reaches out to you before the 30 days ends, you may proceed to communicate with them because the desired goal has been achieved.

Otherwise, at the end of 30 days you may reach out to your ex with the intention of rekindling the romance and rebuilding attraction.

Please read this article on what to text your ex after no contact to ensure they reply and are keen to hear from you. 

The indefinite no contact rule vs the 30 day no contact rule

Personally, I advise all my clients and readers to utilize the indefinite no contact rule because it has the least risk of rejection in contrast to the 30 day no contact rule.

However, the 30 day approach is a lot easier to endure. Also, on the off chance that you are lucky, you may just initiate contact with your ex just when they begin to feel uncertainty and separation anxiety at its peak. 

When it comes to which of these approaches has the highest rate of success in respect to moving on and getting over a break up, the indefinite no contact rule is far superior. 

Another problem with the 30 day no contact rule is that you never know when your ex may be ready to talk whereas with the indefinite approach, it removes that scenario from the equation altogether.

When your ex reaches out, it’s obviously because they want to talk which gives you some peace of mind and certainty. 

If you end up getting rejected or ignored after initiating contact after 30 days, it’s highly likely that you have to start over again and deal with those negative feelings all over again. 

Personally, I’d much rather use the indefinite no contact rule because it forces you to face a very real possibility that your ex may have no interest in getting back together with you.

Rather than sit around for 30 days waiting on your ex, you can actually get started on the process of healing and moving on. Those are 30 days of your life you can never get back if you don’t use it wisely and to better yourself. 

Look, I’m not saying the 30 day no contact rule doesn’t work.

Sometimes couples break up for silly reasons or have a habit of making impulsive decisions. In which case, getting back together after a month or so of not talking makes sense. 

But when you’re dealing with a very real breakup caused by much drama, problems and heartache, it’s far more effective and beneficial to use the indefinite no contact rule.

Signs the no contact rule is working

Okay let’s say that you have pulled the trigger and jumped head deep into no contact. 

Congratulations! You made the right decision for your well being, dignity and future. 

If this is your first time at the rodeo, I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel nervous, uncertain or anxious because you don’t know what to expect or to look out for. 

No worries, I have a list of 4 signs the no contact rule is working and we can discuss them right now. 

1. You no longer think about you ex

Immediately after a breakup, everyone is tossed into a state of turmoil. Your emotions are all over the place and your mind can’t stop thinking about your ex.

Trust me, I’ve been there. We all have. More than anything, I know how frustrating this is because you are probably trying to pull yourself together and focus on other things but it somehow infects your every moment. 

During the first few weeks, it’s particularly difficult to do anything but think about your ex and the breakup. I remember struggling so bad after the end of a really serious and long term relationship. 

I kept playing events out in my head in detail, trying to spot signs I missed and mistakes I made along the way.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t haunted by the thought of my ex moving on with her life. It really sucked.

This was further emphasized by staying in contact with my ex. I mean, of course you’re going to think about someone if they’re still in your life. 

When I finally used no contact, things began to change. The first few days made me think about my ex the most. But with each passing week, I thought about her less and less.

Eventually, I was taken aback when I realized that I could go days without thinking about my ex. That also correlated with my ability to start focusing on my own life again and chasing after my goals and career. 

If you find yourself going through a similar situation, worry not because it’s only going to get better and better with time.

2. You don’t feel heartbroken anymore

This sign is a huge one and is pretty self explanatory. 

So long as your heart remains attached to your ex, you will think about them often. Not only that, but you will also experience feelings of loss, sadness, loneliness, anxiety and even depression.

At first, these feelings are overwhelmingly obvious but with time, it kind of evolves into a mellowness that never leaves you. 

You may not be feeling extreme sadness anymore but joy is missing from your life. 

I strongly believe this to be one of the last signs of heartbreak. When you least expect it, things start to take a turn for the better, especially if you manage to put in the work to move on even when you feel like crap. 

When you find yourself feeling perfectly content with being single and you experience a desire for living life again, that’s when you are clearly not heartbroken anymore.

This is also perpetuated by a desire to meet new people and start dating again.

3. Your ex contacts you

If your goal was to get your ex back and he or she contacts you after you disappeared from their life for a significant period of time after the breakup, then that’s considered one of the strongest signs the no contact rule is working. 

Some may argue that this result is a successful no contact attempt. 

Most of the time, an ex will contact you either because they’re feeling lonely, sad, uncertain about their decision or if they are curious to find out if you’re still hung up on them. 

Irrespective, as long as they reach out, you have successfully got back some control over the situation and stayed away long enough for them to get over a very negative emotion or opinion of you. 

4. Your ex is talking about you to others

This is less of a direct result but it’s a good sign if your ex is talking or asking questions about you because it obviously means they’re still thinking and curious about you after the breakup. 

Someone who has completely moved on from you would not be asking about you to others, especially family and friends. 

This sign can also be interpreted to mean that your ex is on the brink of reaching out to satisfy the curiosity. 

How it feels to be in no contact

Since I’ve been through no contact before and have coached clients as well, I’ve managed to pinpoint a few commonalities experienced by most people who do not contact. 

Week one – Possibly the hardest, week one tests your resilience and emotional self control. It is normal to feel upset, depressed or fearful during this time. Walking away requires strength but so does staying away. 

Week four – You find yourself a bit more accepting of the situation but your broken heart is still as damaged as ever. You find yourself thinking about your ex often as well as battling the urge to reach out. Don’t be alarmed or tricked into convincing yourself that enough time has passed since the breakup. Even if you feel better, you are still vulnerable and invested in your ex. If you’re doing the 30 day no contact rule, then you are at the point of reaching out. Feelings of nervousness, excitement and restlessness are to be expected.

Week eight – Two months in and you’ll find yourself developing a new routine. Unlike before, you’re not isolating yourself or curling up in a ball on your bed crying over your ex or dreading to deal with reality. It’s still difficult. Nostalgia sets in and you may find yourself feeling reminded of your ex by many things. You’re far more stable than you were before and things get easier. 

Week twelve – After three months of no contact, it is safe to say that you have gotten over the hardest phase and obstacle. You may find yourself feeling a lot better than you did before. You’ve started to work on yourself and found some peace with what has happened in the last. It’s not uncommon for people to even start dating after three months. You may not be completely over your ex but for the most part, you aren’t in the middle of heartbreak anymore and the harsh change of a split has subsided. Everything gets better and easier from this point onward. 

Does no contact work on women?

Absolutely. No contact works on women, perhaps less so than with men. Women are normally used to having guys chase them.

For you to turn around and initiate no contact on her will be impactful and unexpected from her perspective.

If one of the reasons why she broke up with you is because you made too many mistakes and portrayed yourself as weak, boring or clingy, no contact will have a profound effect on changing that. 

Related post: 10 reasons why relationships fail and fall apart

Does no contact work on men?

Yes, without a doubt, no contact works on men. Guys are known for not preparing themselves for the reality of a breakup.

They may be impulsive or motivated by the wrong reasons to leave.

When he realizes that he may have lost you forever or that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, he’s going to come running back to you especially if you initiated no contact.

When does the no contact rule not work

If your goal is to move on, then no contact is ridiculously successful. But if your goal is to reattract your ex, the rate of success is much lower and here are the top scenarios when the no contact rule does not work. 

Your ex hates you

When you have hurt your ex throughout selfish and heartless behavior like infidelity and abuse, I wouldn’t be surprised if he or she hates you. Making amends may work but depending on what you have done in the past, no contact may not work for you at all in this case. 

Your ex has moved on

I’ve come to the realization that most of the people we date won’t actually be in our lives forever. Most of them will move on just as we do. If your ex had someone lined up after the breakup or they dated enough to find a rebound relationship, then for now, no contact will not work. 

Your ex is no longer attracted to you

It’s hard to imagine a reality when someone who once adored you no longer feels anything remotely close to attraction for you. It seems impossible but unfortunately, if you’ve done enough to ruin the relationship and their perception of you as a person, they could very well lose all attraction for you. So if your ex is no longer attracted to you, no contact may no work or may require a significant amount of time to create any change. 

Your ex has nothing left to say to you

Some relationships go on beyond their expiration date and people often don’t realize it. When their partner finally pills the trigger to end things, they are completely shocked and dumbfounded. This is further perpetuated when their ex no longer has anything left to say. I hate to generalize but a lot of women tend to stay in a relationship beyond the point of when they start falling out of love. They want to make every attempt to try and fix or salvage the relationship. So when they eventually leave, they’ve already made peace with the end which is why no contact may not work on them.

Will my ex come back after no contact?

More often than not, yes. Whether it be to find out if you are still in love with them or to win you back, they often do come back. 

I think it’s crucial for you to control your expectations to avoid making unnecessary mistakes when your ex comes back. 

It may take a month or it could take up to a year but if you stick to no contact after the breakup properly, the chances of him or her reaching out are strong. 

As long as you both genuinely shared a strong connection and a relationship that lasted for any significant amount of time. 

What to do after no contact when your ex comes back

You want to be as positive, calm and happy as possible because these feelings influence attraction. 

Your ex is going to be wildly curious about how you feel. Don’t just divulge everything in your heart the instant they reach out. Allow some of the uncertainty to build anticipation and curiosity. 

And rather than focusing on the breakup, talk about a super fond memory from the relationship that you’re certain he or she enjoyed. This will make your ex feel more nostalgic and to look at you in a better light. 

Lastly, hang out with your ex and behave as if you’re in the early phase of courtship again. 

In conclusion

I hope by now you have a complete understanding about the no contact rule and how to use it in your life to either move on from an ex or to win them back.

For me, one of the key lessons I took away from doing no contact was that we, as humans, are incredibly resilient creatures who are capable of overcoming life-changing obstacles so long as we continue to have faith and work hard.

It may suck to do no contact, especially at first, but I promise you that it can be greatly enriching and rewarding.

With that being said, please leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

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