If you’ve just been dumped–or really if you’ve been through ANY kind of breakup recently–then you should probably be doing the No Contact method on your ex.
If you want to get over your ex as fast as possible… No Contact works.
If you’re not sure whether you want your ex back or not… No Contact keeps your options open.
And if you want to get a second chance with your ex and get them to take you back. No Contact is almost certain to help you make that happen.
Let’s talk about why No Contact works, how and when it’s most effective, how it affects your ex psychologically, how to tell if it’s working on your ex, how long you should employ No Contact for.
To begin with, I should mention that this is mainly for people who want to get back together with their ex. So if you are trying to get a second chance with your ex, then I’m going to offer you lots of useful advice to make that happen.
But before we do get to that, I want to quickly say that the No Contact method is also extremely useful for getting over your ex. In fact, for most of my coaching clients who simply want to move on from their ex, I still recommend a period of No Contact.
I won’t bother explaining WHY it helps you move on from a breakup and get over your ex here, but if you don’t want your ex back… you should still go No Contact on them for at least a month or so.
Continuing to see and talk with your ex regularly after breaking up almost never helps you get over them, just like it doesn’t usually help you win them back, either, which is what we’re going to focus on today.
What Is the No Contact strategy?
You already know what No Contact is. It’s a period of time — most commonly around a month or so — where you shut down all non-essential communication with your ex after breaking up. It’s really that simple.
You employ a period of radio silence on your ex, avoid reaching out or talking to them as much as possible, and only communicate with them when you absolutely can’t avoid it. We’ll talk a bit more about the times you should break No Contact later on, but for now you just need to know what No Contact is: not contacting your ex.
How Long Should I Go No Contact For If I Want My Ex Back?
A lot of my coaching clients ask me how long they should be ignoring their ex for in order to maximize their odds of getting back together and really, the answer depends on the specific details of your breakup situation, but my default recommendation for most people is about 30 days. This is almost never going to be too long, and it’s also usually long enough for the majority of breakup scenarios to actually have a meaningful positive impact.
There are some situations where I recommend a longer period of No Contact. I’ve even suggested to some of my clients that they stick with No Contact for 3 months. Usually, when I recommend a period of No Contact longer than the default 30 day timeframe, it’s for situations where the relationship that ended was very serious and long-term and when my client had already displayed a lot of needy, clingy, desperate behaviour that caused their ex to withdraw and ask for some time and space.
Some situations call for less than the full 30 days, such as when the relationship with your ex was not at all serious or only lasted a few months or when it’s already been several months since the initial breakup, and you’ve only had limited or very occasional contact with your ex since that time. In these kinds of situations, depending on the details, a No Contact period of only 2-3 weeks might be enough although again, it does depend on the exact scenario you’re facing.
Will My Ex Forget About Me During No Contact?
This is one of the most common questions I’m asked by clients. People are understandably worried that their ex will forget about them during the No Contact phase. I definitely understand this fear, but it’s almost always a non-issue, and there’s very little chance your ex will forget about you or stop caring about you after just a few weeks. But, I’ve actually already made a full video on this topic, so if you’re really concerned that your ex will lose interest or forget about you.
What If My Ex Reaches Out During No Contact?
If your ex is calling, texting, asking you to hang out, etc and you’re still in your period of No Contact, that’s a positive sign. But it’s also sometimes challenging to deal with, because you know you need to limit all communication with your ex during No Contact for it to have maximum affect on your ex. So how do you know what to do when your ex reaches out?
First of all, a lot of your ex’s attempts to contact you can be safely ignored, at least for the first time. For example, if they send you a quick text saying “hey what are you up to this weekend” you can almost always ignore that kind of message entirely. That can be the most powerful way to show your ex you’re not waiting around for them to call or message you, which is one of the keys to No Contact’s effectiveness.
If your ex pesters you repeatedly because you don’t reply to their initial messages or calls, then you may need to give in and respond to avoid being rude or causing your ex to become overly angry or upset. Most of the time, you can just say, “hey sorry for the slow reply, I’ve been really busy lately. Everything is good here, hope you’re doing well too!” or something like that.
Now, some of you are probably in a situation where you simply can’t avoid seeing or talking to your ex regularly… maybe you live together, work together, or share a bunch of close mutual friends. Whatever the reason, there are ways to still use and benefit from the No Contact strategy. You just have to modify it slightly.
I call this Modified No Contact and it’s the best way to handle unavoidable contact or encounters with your ex if you do still live with your ex, work or go to school with them, or have to see them regularly for whatever reason.
When Should You NOT Use No Contact?
Despite how important and effective No Contact is, there actually are a couple of situations where No Contact is not going to be helpful or maybe even be detrimental to your chances of getting back together. These are fairly rare, so they won’t apply to a lot of you, but let’s quickly go over them:
#1 – When you broke up with your ex MORE than six months ago.
In many cases, if it’s been a really long time since the initial breakup, No Contact won’t be necessary unless you’ve been talking to your ex frequently since then.
#2 – When you still live with your ex, work at the same office, or you have children together.
We already talked about this but, as mentioned, situations like this require a Modified No Contact technique.
#3 – When your ex won’t stop talking to you, and/or when they become angry and resentful about your lack of replies.
At first, you want to ignore your ex’s attempts to reach out during No Contact. But very occasionally, an ex might start getting really angry that you keep ignoring their messages, and at that point you may need to break No Contact. This is pretty rare, and also ties in to the final reason you MAY not want to use the No Contact method.
#4 – When your ex says they want to get back together or asks you to take them back.
This definitely DOES happen from time to time — that’s how effective No Contact can often be — but it has to be a very clear sign from your ex that they are 100% ready to get back together. If they simple ask to meet up and “talk about things” or if they send mixed signals and say things like “I miss you”, but don’t clearly state that they’re ready to take you back then you should still use No Contact. However, if they are bluntly stating that they want to get back together, then you’ve basically succeeded and you can stop ignoring them and get back together.
Alright, so that’s a few specific times when you may not want to go No Contact on your ex or at least, where you’ll need to modify it to suit your particular situation.
How Does No Contact Affect Your Ex Psychologically?
There are a ton of reasons why the No Contact strategy is so effective, but I don’t want to bore you by going into the psychology and the science behind it… however, let me just quickly share a few ways No Contact impacts your ex psychologically.
#1: No Contact will catch your ex off guard.
Anything you do that your ex is NOT expecting after a breakup is going to cause them to have some doubts and second thoughts. Now, if your breakup was really ugly… if it ended with your ex telling you never to contact them again. the effect will be less than if your breakup was mutual or very friendly and free of drama. But either way, to some extent, simply by doing the unexpected, your ex WILL be forced to question their decision. They’ll realize that the way they imagined your breakup playing out may not be accurate after all.
#2: No Contact creates mystery and intrigue for your ex.
Since you’re not talking to your ex during No Contact, they’ll have no idea what you’re up to or why you’ve gone quiet all of a sudden. Even if you have to break No Contact for some reason, as long as you don’t get into any meaningful discussions with your ex during the No Contact phase, they’re going to quickly start wondering what’s up with you.
Within a few days of not hearing from you, it’s almost certain they’ll start to wonder what’s going on with you and what you’re up to. Usually by the halfway point of your No Contact period — a couple of weeks after you start — they’ll begin to formulate possible explanations as to what you’re up to in their mind.
They’ll quickly start fearing the worst: is my ex already seeing someone new? Did they not love me as much as I had thought? What if they’ve already moved on, even though I’m still sitting here trying to get over them?
…And most importantly, they’ll start to worry that they’ll soon lose you for good.
This kind of urgency and worry is IDEAL if you want to get them back and in a lot of cases, it can lead your ex to change their mind and ask for you back on its own. The fear of potentially losing you for good — before they’ve had a chance to come to grips with life without you, or before they’re ready to commit to a permanent breakup — is a HUGE factor in getting them to re-think the breakup and take you back.
#3: No contact forces your ex to feel the full repercussions of breaking up.
By quickly and completely shutting down all communication with your ex — especially if you engage in No Contact fairly soon after the breakup — you’re essentially giving your ex the cold turkey shock treatment. They’re forced to experience the full impact of breaking up suddenly and completely, without any time to slowly learn to live without you.
They probably knew that breaking up meant you were going to be around less often and slowly fade out of their day-to-day routine, but most people don’t imagine a breakup being immediate and total.
I can’t understate how big of an impact this can have on your ex’s emotions and overall attitude towards breaking up. By dropping off their radar entirely, by being inaccessible and ensuring you’re not around to slowly fade out of their life as they get used to seeing and talking to you less and less often. You’re hitting them with an emotional bombshell they probably weren’t expecting.
In essence, going No Contact will cause your ex maximum post-breakup heartache. It will be harder for them than if you hang around and continue to be their friend, text them constantly, or allow yourself to remain a big part of their life
#4: No contact makes your ex miss you like nothing else.
NOTHING — and I really mean that, in a literal sense — NOTHING will make your ex miss you more than disappear from their life entirely for a month or so.
Ask yourself “what can I do in 30 days to make my ex miss me and think about me MORE than disappearing?”
Right, there’s nothing that will make your ex miss you more than simply disappearing from their life entirely! And suddenly!
It’s as simple as that because if you want your ex back, you need them to miss you. You need them to want you around in their life. And they won’t want what they already have. This is also why “being friends with your ex” is such a bad idea.
RELATED: Should You Be Friends With Your Ex?
Now let’s move on to another pertinent question…
How Can You Tell If “No Contact” is Working?
here’s a few of the most obvious signs No Contact is working as intended:
1 – Your ex is contacting you regularly or reaching out far more often than they had been prior to starting No Contact.
2 – Your ex is trying to make you jealous.
3 – You learn from mutual friends that your ex is asking about you.
4 – Your ex gives you mixed signals, such as suddenly saying “I really miss you” out of the blue when they’d previously stated clearly that the breakup was final.
5 – You feel better and are more able to think and talk about your ex without getting emotional.
Again, this is just a quick summary of a few signs that indicate ignoring your ex is working the way it should. Don’t be alarmed if you haven’t seen any of these signs yet,though. Sometimes this technique will be working perfectly, but your ex might just be particularly disciplined and not give in to their desire to reach out to you. In those cases, you won’t be able to determine how well it’s working, you’ll just have to have faith and know that you’re using the best possible strategy.
The Verdict on No Contact
No Contact is effective in any situation after a breakup, whether you want your ex back or you just want to get over them and move on. There’s no other technique that works as well, as consistently as No Contact. Try it today if you want your ex back.