By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 8th, 2021

Today we’re going to talk about the No Contact Rule, and specifically what happens if you fail it – can it work a second time? Or a third..?

As a bonus, at the end of this article I’ll give you my three best tips for NOT breaking a No Contact Rule, because successfully completing a period of No Contact is the best way to start the process of getting your ex back.

But first of all, if you’re considering trying to get an ex back and you haven’t already taken my free quiz, check it out! I’ve designed the quiz to tell you what kind of chance you have of getting an ex back. It’s an approximate number, so don’t take it as a guarantee of any sort, but it can be helpful to know what you’re up against. You’ll also receive free advice on the best way for you to move forward.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

If you are implementing a No Contact rule to try to get your ex back, make sure you know exactly how the process works, to give yourself the best chance of success.

Check out my comprehensive guide here: The No Contact Rule: The Definitive Guide

Alright, lets get down to the details.

Will The NC Rule Work The Second Time You Try It?

The short answer is

YES it can – but it will lose some of its impact

We have found through our own independent research that 8 out of 10 people who use the No Contact Rule to get their ex back will fail their period of No Contact.

What does failing the No Contact Rule consist of?

Quite simply, it means that during the No Contact Rule period, you contact your ex, or s/he contacts you, and you reply.

(If contact with your ex is inevitable because, for example, you work together, you should be adapting the No Contact Rule into a Limited No Contact rule – see here for more details on that.)

What does this mean in detail? Here are some examples of common situations we see in my Facebook support group, which has nearly 3,000 members, all at various stages of the Ex Recovery Program.

These are all failures of the No Contact Rule:

  • You text him because it’s his birthday
  • You go somewhere you know he might be and ‘bump into’ him
  • A family member (his or yours) is ill and you want to talk to him about it
  • You check his social media or stalk a potential Other Woman
  • You ‘Like’ one of his posts or a comment on a post
  • He appears unexpectedly and you have a conversation beyond the absolute minimum
  • You think he’s been dating someone else and you want to tell him how upset you are
  • You’ve had a few too many drinks and send him a Snapchat
  • He texts you a positive message like “I wish I could see you” and you reply
  • He texts you a negative message like “Why are you ignoring me? Stop being childish” and you reply
  • He sends you a neutral message like “Hey” and you reply
  • A friend tells you he’s desperate to speak to you, so you message him
  • You talk about him or the breakup with a mutual friend or one of his family members
  • I’ve used ‘he’ here because most of my clients are women, but this all applies to any gender!

For all of these situations you do not contact.

You don’t reply, and you don’t initiate.

If forced to speak to him face to face, reply to him in an upbeat tone, but don’t ask any questions (not even “How are you?”) and cut the conversation off as soon as possible without actually being rude.

You are too busy being the Ungettable Girl and working on yourself. You are also doing what he most likely said he wanted and not bugging him.

This might seem harsh, but hey – he broke up with you, right? (Or if you broke up with him, remember the reasons, however hard that is when you’re dying to get back with him.)

The idea is to get him wondering why you’re not contacting him, so if it’s his birthday and you’d usually message him – radio silence will really make him wonder. This is when the No Contact Rule is working, so don’t sabotage it!

Remember that the No Contact Rule period doesn’t last forever. Don’t make it longer by having to restart.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Genuine reasons to break the No Contact Rule?

A lot more complicated.

If you live/work/go to school together, or have kids together, check out how to work the Limited No Contact Rule.

There is also a list of factors which, when several are combined (e.g. he’s initiating contact, he asks to get back together) might mean you can break No Contact. These are listed in the Ex Boyfriend Recovery Pro book, which gives you the definitive word on how to play this.

Just because eight out of 10 fail their first No Contact Rule does not mean you can be blasé about it. This just shows you how hard it is to get through an extended period of not contacting the person you probably used to speak to every day.

Your best chance of getting your ex back starts with a meticulously planned and executed No Contact Rule

However, we’ll assume you’re reading this because you’ve caved in and broken your No Contact Rule. You’ve contacted your ex, or you’ve responded to him reaching out to you. We have a pretty strict protocol for what happens if you do this.

First things first – yes, you need to restart. Yes, from day 1. Yes, this sucks.

You have to do this for the process to be effective.

And what happens if you break the NC Rule five times, six times…can it still be effective? Think of it like a chart. Let’s say you try a No Contact Rule and get through it successfully. Your period of No Contact is going to be as effective as it possibly could be – let’s call that 100% effective. You’re going to get the most out of it that you possibly can.

But let’s say it’s the second time you’re doing No Contact, because you broke the first one. Then it’s going to lose a little bit of its effectiveness. Not totally, but instead of 100% effective, it’ll be around 90% effective.

The next time you break it, you lose another 10% of effectiveness, and so on all the way down to zero.

Each time you have to restart because you failed, No Contact will lose effectiveness.

And by this, I mean that it will lose some effectiveness both on your ex and on YOU.

Your ex needs time to get over the negative feelings that recent contact with you has involved. Even if the breakup wasn’t a bad one, it’s not a positive thing he will want to dwell on.

Men tend to ‘fight or flight’ – if you contact him before enough time has passed, you’re likely to argue, and more negative feelings will be stirred up (fight). Or he’ll do something like block you, to run away from those feelings (flight).

Staying in No Contact gives him time to calm down, to remember the good things about the relationship, and to miss the closeness you had.

If you break No Contact and restart, you don’t give him this chance to recover.

However, and this is a really important part of the No Contact Rule that people often forget when emotions are running high and they’re just desperate to get their ex back – No Contact also allows you to get over that negativity yourself.

You’re likely to be upset or downright desperate, with your emotions all over the place. This is not a good time to be in contact with your ex. It is, instead, the perfect time to focus on yourself.

Forget what he is, isn’t or might be doing according to social media. Forget texting him and waiting in vain for a reply. Spend time on yourself – your interests, your other relationships, your work, your health. As the No Contact Rule period goes on, you will become stronger and more in control.

Some people even find that they decide they don’t want their ex back at all, because they have (re)discovered what a great person they are and don’t feel they need them in their lives.

So stick to your No Contact Rule 100% for the beneficial effect it will have on your life, with or without your ex in it. Make this your number one priority.

I’m now going to give you my three best tips to do just that (and a bonus one, because I really want you to succeed here!).

Tip Number 1: Change Your Exes Name In Your Phone

It’s best to think of this as your first line of defense. Essentially, if you go into your phone and change your ex’s name to Do No Contact or something similar, every time you’re thinking of reaching out to him or considering responding to him, you’ll have a reminder that you are in No Contact.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Try re-naming your ex to:

  • Do Not Respond
  • Ex-Boyfriend – Do Not Contact
  • Crazy Ex Boyfriend
  • No, Just No!
  • Not Going to Help
  • Forget It!
  • The Dreaded Ex

Whatever works for you!

Now if he reaches out to you by calling or sending a text message, you have a simple reminder to not reply. If you are tempted to reach out to him, this reminder will also make you pause for a second, which just might be enough to stop you breaking your No Contact Rule.

It’s effective, but not as effective as tips two and three.

Tip Number 2: Block Your Exes Phone Number

Tip 2 is the extreme end of the spectrum. Essentially, what you’re doing here is you are blocking your ex’s phone number to remove any temptation to respond to any message that may come in, or to reach out to your ex.

Doing this limits you somewhat, because one of the interesting aspects of the No Contact Rule is being able to know if your ex is reaching out to you. But if you know that you’re the type of person who will definitely respond no matter how much I tell you not to, or anyone else tells you not to, maybe blocking that number is a good idea.

Note that you are not blocking your ex forever, just for the extent of your No Contact Rule period, so either 21, 30 or 45 days. After that, you unblock so you can move on to the next stage of the process.

Tip Number 3: Erase Their Number And Give It To A Trusted Friend

Think of this as the in-between tip.

You are going to give your ex’s number to a trusted friend, and then erase it from all your devices. Instruct that friend to give you the number back when you have ended your No Contact Rule period.

You are still going to have to have some emotional control here – you have to not respond to any numbers not in your phone book. But you also know that you have that trusted friend to hold you accountable.

Those are my three best tips for staying true to the No Contact Period. And here’s a bonus tip:

Bonus Tip: Unfollow Your Ex On Social Media

The No Contact Rule doesn’t, of course, end with direct contact. You are also not allowed to look at your ex’s social media, or that of his family. This includes commenting on his or any of his family’s social media, not even to wish them happy birthday, not even a sorry-for-your-loss message. Radio silence.

The best way to ensure you stick to this is to unfollow your ex on all the social media platforms you share.

How to do this? Various platforms offer various different ways to avoid seeing anything to do with your ex. The main ones are Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

On Instagram, go to your ex’s profile, click the Following button and choose to Mute both stories and posts.

In Snapchat, go to Settings and Mute their story and put Message Notifications on Silent. Avoid, avoid, avoid the Snap Map feature, and if you really can’t stop checking where they last were, you might have to Remove Friend…

On Facebook, go to their profile page, click on the three dots top right and Unfollow. You won’t see their posts in your feed any more, and you can’t watch their Stories.

Why do this? The pain of seeing him (apparently) getting on with his life, not missing you, maybe even hanging out with another girl, is not worth it. This is one of the hardest parts of No Contact to stick to, so make it easier for yourself so that in your moments of weakness, you can’t easily give in to the temptation.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

A major part of the No Contact Rule is working on yourself, distancing yourself from the pain and negative emotions currently associated with your ex, and regaining your emotional stability.

Stick to your No Contact Rule no matter what!

Remember to take the quiz to see what your chances are with your ex, and also subscribe to my YouTube channel for even more help on getting your ex back.

What to Read Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

25 thoughts on “Can The No Contact Rule Work Twice?”

  1. Louise

    November 29, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Will NC work a second time round? For context I reached out to him 2.5 months later, we dated for 6 months and he’s left me again. But I want him to reach out to me

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      January 14, 2023 at 8:47 pm

      Hi Louise yes NC can work again giving that you use this time to work on yourself and look at the relationship and find the reason that it has not worked out twice, this is not going to necessarily going to be on you, but something about you and your ex may not be compatible?

  2. karina

    October 12, 2020 at 8:44 am

    My boyfriend broke up with me because I made a mistake. We dated for approximately three years. It has been three weeks since our break up and he has contacted me twice within that period, the first time he said he wanted to be together but was confused. The second time he needed explanation for my mistakes. Will the no contact work if i stick to it now? The last time we talked we were not at all angry with one another and talked calmly.I really love him and want things the way they were. Also his friends say negative things about me. I don’t know whether things will be okay or not

  3. Uzumaki Naruto

    August 12, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Can NC rule will work at third attempt? My ex contacted me after 2 weeks because of work

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 13, 2020 at 9:39 pm

      Hey Uzumaki, if you only spoke about work and nothing else then you did not break NC

  4. Michelle Wei

    July 19, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    Hi, will no contact work after the second time we break up? We broke up because we were fighting again after 1 month of reconciliation. Is there any hope left?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      July 25, 2020 at 9:09 pm

      Hey Michelle, yes it can work but you need to follow the program and not jump back into the relationship too soon.

  5. Malvi

    July 3, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    My ex broke up with me 3 months ago and I went on no contact as soon as we broke
    up as Chris suggested, but after two months on no contact, my ex texted me to go out and have a drink together. I accepted his invitation and during our meet up I never mentioned the break up. He was pretty interested in my date life and how that was going for me and asked me a lot of questions about how many guys I had been hooking up with etc. So after our first meet up he texted me and since then we continued texting for a while and we were flirting during the whole time. Also he told me he hadn’t been sleeping with anyone since we broke up. We met together for a second date after a while and then we slept together. After sleeping together he told me that, this was a good way for us to finally get closure because I never talked to him after we broke up (I implemented the no contact straight away)… He wished me all the best and told me to find someone who deserves me. We still talked to each other after sleeping together but during the whole time he was really cold to me and kind of put me into a friend zone too… The thing is, even though we slept together I never initiated contact with him, it was he who texted me again. I told him I was going on holidays for a month and a half and as soon as I said that he asked me to go for brunch. We had brunch and during the whole time he was being very friendly and asking me about my dating life again. I asked him if he was seeing anyone and he told me he wasn’t, he needs to work on himself before dating someone. He gave me a warm hug after our brunch and told me to enjoy the rest of my summer while I would be on vacation. I don’t know what to do Chris.. I feel like having sex with him ruined everything and now he really sees me as just a friend.. but not really a friend either because he doesn’t text as often anymore and he doesn;t really flirt, he keeps telling me to go have fun and enjoy my single life… I know he’s an attention seeker and kind of “alpha male”.. Should I go into no contact again? or should I just continue being in a friend zone by “keeping it casual and friendly” although the fact that we’re just friends and we never talk about our break up is eating me up inside.. I would really appreciate your advice because given the fact that I already implemented a no contact i am not sure if that would really work again..

  6. Annie

    June 3, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Would no contact work on an ex who you dated for a year and then broke up 6-7 months ago but had on and off contact with? Especially when you have done no contact before and after that he still didn’t want you because he thought families won’t agree to our relation and didn’t wanna fight while I wanted to fight all along?
    Does he not even think about me/miss or want me this time during no contact because he has lost attachment and doesn’t want to fight for a future?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 3, 2020 at 9:07 pm

      Hi Annie, yes No Contact can work if you have been in touch, be sure to work on the Ungettable information and your Holy Trinity so that you can show your ex that you are doing great and its going to re attract him.

  7. Maria

    January 5, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Hey! In April 2019 me and my boyfriend broke up because he couldn’t commit, felt unsure of our relationship and didn’t know what he wanted. I went straight into NC but two weeks later he showed up at my doorstep so we talked and agreed on taking things slow and got back together. Now almost 9 months later we’re in the exact same situation again and I’ve just started NC. Has the NC lost it’s efficiency now since I failed it before, even though it was quite some time ago? Can it work to do NC again and for how long?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 5, 2020 at 11:06 pm

      Hey Maria, yes it can work as it was such a long time ago, however you may find that you need to be the “Ungettable girl” to your ex so that he realises that you are the best person he is ever going to meet and you are everything and more that he wants in a girlfriend

  8. Dayana

    November 30, 2019 at 5:53 am

    I work with my ex but talking to him isn’t really necessary anyway. I’m just wondering if we happen to walk towards each other, should I completely avoid eye contact or should I smile at him as we walk past each other?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 1, 2019 at 12:53 am

      Hi Dayana because you work in the same place you can do limited no contact where you are able to be professionally polite but no small talk. So you can say hello and carry on walking or what ever comes natural in that sense. But do not engage in conversation unless its a work related issue

  9. Emmy

    October 21, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Hi Chris,
    I failed my first attempt at no contact and it ended up badly that my ex blocked me from WhatsApp and Facebook. He obviously didn’t want to communicate with me. But I waited for a month after the incident of blocking and sent him a non-emotional message on Instagram (we are not friends but he didn’t block me on the site) and although he didn’t reply, he did read the text and did not block me after reading it. I have not reached out to him in any way for almost 40 days after the text I sent on Instagram, but I’m still blocked on WhatsApp and Facebook.
    I’m not sure what should I do now. Should I wait until he contacts me first or should I initiate another text? The fact that I’m still blocked on his WhatsApp and Facebook shows that hes not ready to have any form of contact with me.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 21, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      Yes reach out again but try a hook type of message “Guess what…” and make the conversation about one of his interests

  10. Eileen Kim

    October 9, 2019 at 12:22 am

    Hi EBR team,

    I have begged and pleaded and text gnatted for 3 months now. I’ve attempted no-contact once and went a good week before I broke down & went back into bad habits.

    My ex has told me that I’m only pushing away further, he feels like he can’t breathe or think straight, and that there is no chance for us in the future.

    All my intentions for reaching out was to reconcile and try to convince him let us have a final in-person conversation. He has mentioned that he still cares and wants to be in my life/vice versa but I’ve been making it too frustrating for him to reach out to talk to me. I realize my faults and am learning to back off until he is ready to talk to me. We happened to go back and a forth a lot with each other also because I still have some of his things and he has mines. I’ve texted him to pick up his things and even offered to drop it off because that was going to be the only way I could move on. He always responded with “I’ll come get it” or ignores me completely. He has been putting off getting his things and my gut tells me that no matter how frustrating and how poorly we both handled his break up, he still wants to come back and try again.

    Did I ruin my chances of getting my ex back?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 9, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Eileen, if you want your ex back you need to complete this NC and work on your emotional control work on becoming the Ungettable girl, and work on becoming the best version of yourself and showing some positive changes so that he WANTS to come back and not just your gut telling you things because its what you want to hear / think.

  11. Mary Jane

    October 8, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Boyfriend of 1.5 years broke up with me. We had a general break up. He couldn’t get pass an incident back in April which was just a big blowout fight. He said he didn’t see me the same since and things just didn’t feel “right.” I was calm during the break up. He was very emotional, crying. After that day, I went into No Contact mode. Left him alone. Then exactly one week later he reached to me, wanting to call me. He again was emotional, saying he missed me and wanted to meet up the next week. I agreed. We finally met up 5 days later he seemed to have changed his tune. He said he asked me to meet up with him because he wanted to make sure I was OK. I was confused. Why do all this just to see if I was OK? He then said he made the right decision for himself. Hmm OK? Then he said he wanted me in his life still. I asked as Friends and he said he didn’t want to put labels on it, but wanted me in this life still.

    I told him I couldn’t be his friend for the obvious reason. I still loved him and wanted to be with him. So I politely declined his offer and then told him I needed to go. I said more nice things to him and politely left the bar. Before I left, he told me to keep his number in case I wanted to talk.

    2 days later he blocked me from FB and Instagram. Then, after one of my friends posted a group pic of us at a wedding, he blocked all my friends.

    So confusing. So now is the next step to be back on No Contact? Or should I just move on?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 9, 2019 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Mary Jane go back into NC and think about if you want him back or not during that time. Try not to over thing the social media where he blocks you he’s feeling emotional and then unblocking you he wants to see what going on with you.

  12. Aindabi

    September 23, 2019 at 11:16 am

    My ex bf asked for a break a month ago, because truly I was so into him that he was annoyed and suffocated and despite of our more than 1 yr relationship he asked me to get detached for some days . I started the NC rule then , but he contacted me and started to blame me why don’t I contact him . Once also he behaved so softly and I assumed he wants to come back . But once he called from his friend’s phone and blamed me first that I have opened up the relationship struggles to them and I m acting according to their words . Which was completely wrong, yes his friends suggested me a lots of ways but I did everything according to my decision . I told him that and also told him that I want him back with all of my soul, he also told me he also wants to make things better. But he was behaving some hot and cold and didn’t even ask to meet . I did not initiate contact , I waited for his response . And within a week suddenly he told me that he promised his friends that he will make the things better between us and he blamed me that I am not willing so , so it’s over . And he broke up with me last night finally . I am so numb that I didn’t give any answer to him . He completely misunderstood me . But truly I love him and I want him back.

  13. Shawnee

    September 22, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Hey there. My boyfriend broke up with me now 5 weeks ago after an almost 2 year relationship because he lost feelings for me. I had been doing no contact for almost 4 weeks. Now friday, I broke the no contact rule because I saw him at school the day before and I just couldn’t help myself by leaving him a letter… I asked him if he received and read the letter and he said he did. I then asked him what he thought of it, but he didn’t have anything to say about it other than he thought the letter was pointless. Now my ex has been ignoring me that day when I saw him at school and I asked him why and that he made me feel like he never loved me and that ge also ignored my family members by not wishing my mom a happy birthday (after she was always so nice to him) and not saying hello to my sister. I told him that I felt sorry for him because I’ve changed a lot in these past few weeks and that he would be missing out on someone awesome like me and probably his only soulmate. He reacted kind of cold to all of that saying that he wasn’t ignoring my family members etc. He also said that I could’ve said ‘hey’ too when I saw him that day, but I was still doing no contact then and didn’t want to break it at that moment. He said that he wants to say ‘hey’ to me when he sees me at school but that that is all he will do and nothing more.
    So now I’m going into no contact again, but I’m just starting to think that there is no hope anymore and he’ll never love me again because of what he said now… Any advice how I can make him miss me more or make him attracted again? Is my only option doing no contact again or can I do something more?

    Thank you!
    Lots of love from Belgium!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 23, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      Hi Shawnee, The best thing you can do during your NC is work on you. Become Ungettable (this information can be found on this website) Read as many articles that apply to your situation. Learn what the Holy Trinity is and focus yourself on that for the remainder of your NC

  14. Lindsay

    September 19, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Hey Chris!

    I have a weird situation. My bf broke up with me and he said he never wants me in his life again. I’ve been attempting the NC rule but we own a house together and we still have bills so he has sent me a few messages in regards to dividing payments. He sent me a screenshot the other day and I could see my text at the top of the screen. He still has me saved in his phone under the nickname he calls me surrounded by hearts. He also still has me has his profile picture and pictures together across all social media platforms. This will be week 5 of the breakup. I know I’m grasping at straws here but what could this mean?!?!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 21, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Lindsay, I wish I could give you better advice but I wouldn’t think too much into it at this moment as you’re still in contact for responsibility reasons so you may find it takes him longer to miss you. Just keep going on and try not to speak to him too much.