By Chris Seiter

Published on September 7th, 2022

Are you afraid that your no contact period isn’t working?

Well, what if I were to tell you that a lot of what you assume about the no contact rule is based on false data.

Today, I’d actually like to have an honest discussion on what the no contact rule looks like when it’s not working versus what it looks like when it is.

In this article I’m going to talk about,

  • The biggest myth associated with no contact
  • What I learned from success stories
  • The dangers of restarting a no contact repeatedly
  • Why outgrowing an ex is essential to your success

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Myth: The No Contact Rule Only Works If Your Ex Is Frantically Calling You

So, many of my peers seem to be under the assumption that the no contact rule only works if your ex is frantically calling or texting you and they usually like to cite the theory of reactance as a reason why.

If you aren’t familiar,

Reactance; A psychological theory stating that human beings have certain behavioral freedoms and when those freedoms get taken away they react to try to get those freedoms back.

Sounds pretty basic, right?

And the no contact rule without a doubt is a perfect candidate for reactance. After all, you are literally taking the opportunity for your ex to communicate with you away.

However, after researching our own client base we found something interesting about no contact.

Most exes won’t actually reach out to you during it.

In fact, according to the poll above 62% of exes did not reach out at all during no contact. Now, this data obviously contradicts another important piece of data.

Over 90% of our success stories say they have utilized a no contact rule.

So, where is this disconnect?

On the one hand success stories clearly swear by the no contact rule but on the other it seems that the no contact rule doesn’t yield the frantic reach outs that you tend to dream about.

Well, I think the answer lies in looking at what our success stories have taught us.

What Success Stories Taught Me About The No Contact Rule

I started Ex Boyfriend Recovery in 2012 and my other site, Ex Girlfriend Recovery in 2013.

From the beginning I have always sworn by the no contact rule and cited the typical reasons for why it’s great.

  • Reactance
  • Information gap theory
  • The playing hard to get component

But as my business began to gain traction and our clients started to see success my opinion about no contact slowly shifted and you can actually see that change reflected in the official definition of the no contact rule. I actually went to “the wayback machine” and took a look at what I was saying about the no contact rule in 2014.

It’s not pretty,

It’s that last bit that makes me cringe,

It’s a psychological tactic for getting your ex back if you want. Think of it this way, by ignoring your ex they are going to begin to wonder why you aren’t begging for them back.

I only viewed the no contact rule as a means to an end.

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The end? Well, it’s to make your ex miss you of course.

But the no contact rule doesn’t really work that way.

Let’s compare that cringeworthy explanation to our official definition now. Something I’m super proud of.

The no contact rule refers to a period of time where you cut off all conceivable communication with an ex after a breakup. The intent of this tactic should NOT be used to make your ex miss you but instead should be used to rebuild your own life so that you outgrow your ex. By doing this, the no contact rule can have the added benefit of making an ex miss you.

Do you see the difference?

There’s a supreme focus on “outgrowing” your ex. Not being as reliant on them.

And that’s really the big thing I learned from studying success stories in our program. More often than not they weren’t obsessing about their ex. In fact, they were doing the opposite. They were obsessing about themselves and by default that made them more desirable to their ex.

They had gotten to this place emotionally where they still wanted their ex back but knew they would be ok if they didn’t get their exes back.

I also noticed something else really interesting.

Outgrowing an ex during no contact meant not as many failures with no contact.

Why Restarting No Contact Over And Over Is Dangerous

So, the general rule of thumb when it comes to the no contact rule is that each time you fail it,

Meaning you start it up and then break it to contact your ex.

You are supposed to start it over from the beginning.

But something interesting happens. If you aren’t able to outgrow your ex during it then that actually makes you more prone to failing it more and more. An inability to outgrow your ex is usually indicative of anxious behavior. You are so afraid of letting your ex go that you simply refuse to.

But the no contact rule is not the type of strategy that can be used over and over again.

In fact, each time you are forced to restart it, it loses a bit of effectiveness.

People seem to gloss over that fact.

So, your fifth attempt at the no contact rule won’t be anywhere near as effective as your first attempt at it. One of the primary reasons that people get upset about a no contact rule not working is the simple fact that they are having to restart it over and over again.

And each time it is becoming less effective.

Those success stories who were able to get the most out of it literally worked on outgrowing their ex so maybe they only failed it one or two times before it took.

I think the correlation is strong enough to say that outgrowing an ex helps you not break no contact.

But let’s dive one layer deeper.

People Who Outgrow Their Ex Do Noteworthy Things That Makes Their Ex Feel Like They Are Missing Out

We only have so much time in a day.

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Assuming you sleep eight hours at night that means you only have 16 hours to dedicate to,

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Relationships

After a breakup your time almost becomes dominated by your ex. Even when you are doing “health” based activities you are thinking about them.

Even when you are doing wealth based activities you are thinking about them.

The no contact rule truly only works if you are able to take control of your life.

To do something noteworthy outside of your ex that literally makes them feel like they are missing out. In fact, one of the ways in which you can determine the no contact rule is working is if people outside of your ex are giving you attention. This creates a kind of social proof aspect.

A kind of rubbernecker effect.

So, here’s my question for you, what have you done of note lately outside of thinking about your ex during the no contact rule?

If your answer to that question is nothing then I think you know what you need to be doing.

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4 thoughts on “Afraid No Contact Isn’t Working (Read This)”

  1. F

    August 2, 2023 at 10:58 am

    An interesting article. I have successfully completed 21 days no contact but wasn’t ready mentally to text so have extended to 30 days as advised. I am slightly worried because I know I won’t be feeling much better at the 30 day mark even though I am taking care to improve my life both physically and mentally which I should have been doing anyway. My question would be, is it ok to text at 30 days even if I am not mentally in a better place and still miserable?!

    1. Coach Shaunna

      August 12, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      Hey F, I can see you’re anxious I am hoping out coaching session has helped you feel better! Keep working on you and focus on feeling better rather than worrying about him for the time being <3

  2. Nicole

    September 7, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    What about an indefinite no contact rule? During this time, if I became that UG and want to rekindle things, should I be the one to reach out first?

    A few weeks ago, my ex boyfriend (I think he’s an avoidant) said he needed to “step away” but that he still and will always love me, and that hopefully I could forgive him and that hopes we can be friends (he told me not to overthink it). So we essentially ended things amicably and that he said he would like to catch up and reach out after some time. He said that it would take a while, and that he wants to take things slow.

    We never had a chance to really talk about our relationship and all the uncertainties that we bothering us. So after I feel like I’ve improved myself during no contact, and I still decide I want to try to rekindle things: Should I wait til he reaches out, or should I break no contact?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      September 8, 2022 at 8:33 pm

      Hey Nicole, so the idea of indefinite No Contact is that you do not reach out to your ex ever again. You work on moving on with your life and getting over them. If you want to rekindle after some time then you need to reach out first as that is what we advise here. The LONGEST no contact you should do is 60 days, but this situation would only warrant if your break up was extremely bad. I would suggest that you follow the 45 day NC and then reach out to your ex.

      He does sound an avoidant, which means that your NC would need to be 45 days anyway to allow him to begin to start feeling the effects of not having you in their life anymore.