Today we are going to be talking about a question I get all the time from my coaching clients,

Chris, how long should you wait before you contact your ex?

From a broad perspective it may appear that this is a question with one singular answer but life isn’t just black and white, there are also shades of grey.

Today I’d like to explore how long you should wait to contact your ex after a breakup and also give you a few tips about what you should say to them if you want to position yourself properly to succeed in getting them back.

Let us begin!

An Exact Count Of How Long You Should Wait Before You Contact Your Ex

There are three big concepts I want to discuss with you today.

  1. The Three Time Frames
  2. The Paradigm Shift
  3. Indirectly Prepping Your Contact Strategy

I don’t expect you to become a master at these overnight. However, what I do expect is for you to pay attention and keep an open mind.

Your chances of success with your ex could very well rely on how and when you contact your ex.



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Concept #1: The Three Time Frames

Are you familiar with the no contact rule?

When my coaching clients ask me what it is my response is almost robotic,

The No Contact Rule- Is a period of time where you ignore your ex on purpose with the intent of making them miss you while at the same time giving yourself some time to cultivate your own life.

I think I’ve probably recited that definition on this website hundreds of times.

Here’s what I typically don’t teach the average reader.

I have found that there are three ideal time frames for how long you should be doing the no contact rule for.

And it just so happens that when you contact your ex will rely heavily upon which time frame you choose during your no contact rule.

Oh, and in case you were wondering the no contact rule is an essential part of the overall strategy for getting your ex back.

It has to be done.

If you are skeptical just watch this,

Anyways, there are three time frames upon which I recommend your length of no contact should be.

  1. 21 Days
  2. 30 Days
  3. 45 Days

Some of my peers will sit there are recommend even longer no contact periods but I have found those to be ineffective.


Did you know that it takes a human being 66 days to form a new habit?

Following this line of thinking we can assume that if your ex wanted to it would only take them 66 days to get out of the habit of thinking about you.

This is why I never recommend long time frames for the no contact rule.

The highest I ever go is 45 days which is quite significant in my opinion.

Often when I am coaching someone they will ask,

How do I know which time frame is perfect for me?

It’s a good question which is why I’ve put together this little graphic,

The way I see it I think every person who goes through a breakup should always aim to start with the 30 day no contact rule.

This is the standard time period that most people recommend.

Often when you are starting a no contact rule you have no idea how effective it will be on your ex.

For some, it can be extremely effective and for others the signs might not be visible.

Here’s my point if you use the 30 day rule as your standard you can shift your time period based on how well things go with your ex.

Let’s say that you try the 30 day rule out on your ex and they contact you 15 times around day 7 of your attempt.

All of these messages are generally positive.

In this particular instance you might want to consider shifting the 30 day rule into a 21 day rule.

Of course, this can work the opposite way as well.

If you attempt the 30 day rule and don’t get any contact from your ex and are extremely worried about contacting them first.

You can always shift your no contact rule up to be a 45 day rule.

Concept #2: The Paradigm Shift

What is a paradigm shift?

The dictionary defines it as a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.

I always like to describe it as outside the box thinking to my clients.

A paradigm shift is change.

It’s where one set of individuals expect you to do one thing and you do another thing.

It’s where you find a new way to do something.

Change is always present throughout a paradigm shift.

When I tell someone new about the no contact rule and get them to buy into it the one thing they always hear is the “make your ex miss you” part.

They completely skip over the “cultivate your own life” part.

I understand the temptation.

However, the single biggest mistake I see people making when they contact their exes is not creating a paradigm shift for their ex.

The no contact rule allows you time to create that paradigm shift.

What do I mean by that?

Look at this graphic below,

Perception is a powerful thing.

Right now your ex perceives you a certain way.

What we need to do is get you to create a paradigm shift and have them view you a different way.

When I was in college I had the pleasure of sitting next to a pretty girl. The problem was that she was a bit larger than I preferred for my own personal tastes.

It wasn’t that she was obese.

Far from it.

It was just that she was “big boned” I should say.

Anyways, since we sat next to each other we got to know each other and exchanged numbers.

She asked me on a few dates and I ended up always making an excuse.

She was very pretty but I couldn’t get past the fact that I viewed her as slightly overweight.

We always remained friendly but slowly and surely we kind of drifted apart.

I never did go on a date with her.

A few years later I was walking to my car with my friend and I ran into her.

It took me a while to recognize her because she looked so differently.

She had lost weight to the point that even my friend pulled me aside and said,

Wait, you had a chance to date her and you didn’t? What’s wrong with you?

I then commenced a very fumbled attempt to try to get her to go on a date with me but the tables had turned.

Instead, she stood me up.

That’s karma for you.

But the experience taught me something interesting.

If you can shift someones perception of you the entire game changes.

Concept #3: Indirectly Prep Your Contact Strategy

In case you haven’t read between the lines yet you are supposed to contact your ex after the no contact rule.

But what are you supposed to say?

I’m actually a big believer that you start prepping what you say before you even think of crafting a text message.

What do I mean by that?

One thing we know from research is that the possibility that your ex is paying attention to you after a breakup is high. Studies have suggested that 90% of exes will “Facebook Creep” you.

I say use this as an advantage.

Create the narrative that you want to create.

Shift the paradigm.

Have your ex watch the story of your life from afar only to wish they were there with you.

Social media is a weapon.

Make sure you use it effectively.

I’ll give you an example.

Last year I was doing a coaching call with a client and she was struggling what she was going to say to her ex after the no contact rule.

That was when I described the idea of “priming” to her.

Of slowly drip feeding information to her ex to excite him enough to respond to her messages.

She told me that she couldn’t really think of a way to text her ex but she wanted to find a non threatening way to tell him that she was going to be in his area for work.

They were long distance.

She didn’t want him to think that she was stalking him because she really did have work in his area.

Anyways, I started quizzing her on things that he was interested in throughout their relationship.

It turns out that he was a huge game of thrones fan.

So, we came up with the idea to do something outside the box and take this picture of the dragon queen,

And literally photoshop her face onto it,

Once that was done she was supposed to post it to Facebook with a caption like,

Check out my ride into (area the ex was) for work on Thursday?

She did this a good three days before she was supposed to go to work.

Her ex immediately liked the photo and texted her,

Instant date!

All because she primed her arrival properly.

Here is my point.

You need to be using social media like this.

Don’t copy the dragon queen thing entirely.

But use the idea for your own purposes!

18 thoughts on “How Long Should You Wait Before You Contact Your Ex?”

  1. Vic BB

    December 8, 2018 at 10:14 am

    I’m trying to do the NC rule but the thing is me and my ex have got a child together, but I’m more focused on getting my ex back then my child. And I’ll admit the breakup was pretty bad and I’m still contacting my ex after 3 months since he broke up with me. He says if I leave him alone and focus on our son and myself he’ll come back one day eventually. He’s also been saying that he was thinking that he made a mistake but due to my crazy behaviour at the moment there’s no chance the situation will improve this him coming back and considering dating me again. He also tells me that if he dates anyone else and gets into a relationship with them I need to leave them alone.

    I want to get him back because we were in a relationship for 6 years and engaged. I miss him terribly and I’ll be honest I’ve made some mistakes during our relationship and during the breakup and even now. I believe we have something special.

    I really need your help because I don’t know how long the NC rule would apply for me seeing that the breakup was bad and I’ve done a lot of begging and pleading and generally being pathetic. And did a lot of crazy behaviour.

    Please help me!!

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      December 9, 2018 at 2:20 am

      So 6 years in a relationship is positive as roots get established and allows for things to potentially spring back. Probably 21-30 days would be a good period. Sure, things went down badly, but that is counter reacted by the length of your relationship.

  2. Cherry

    December 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Hey, i am on a NC rule with my ex but the thing is he has his birthday after a few days. So, if I call or text him to wish him will it break the NC rule? Or should I really avoid wishing him (though it’ll be very rude i guess.)?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      December 2, 2018 at 2:31 am

      Hi Cherry!…..Ummmm usually best to stick with your NC unless there have been multiple positive outreaches by your ex and you are far along in your NC period. My eBook, “The No Contact Rule Book” gets into all this and much more!

  3. Curious Nature

    November 26, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Hey guys! I hope this warrants a comment answer because I havent bit the bullet on the book yet for reasons lol.

    My ex had his life fall apart and became noncommittal (stay friends, begging me to stay, never want to lose me, but won’t date me). It went so far that he wanted a 90 day break hoping we would be on the same page after because I was trying to say goodbye since friends was too painful. A week in I texted and said I didnt know if I would ever lose feelings, and hes not committing, so goodbye forever. Blocked his number for 24 hours so I wouldn’t be tempted back. I have no clue what he said in response to that text.

    3 weeks later I texted for car help. He took several hours to answer (a trend he developed at the end), but helped me over text.

    2 weeks later I ran into an old mutual friend who reminded me of ex. Turns out I used your memory text to reach out to ex and also said I would be game for a drink at the end of the original break if he still was. He answered in 10 minutes!! Super upbeat using lol and “:)” which he hadn’t done in months, but he still said he would have to see how he felt in January “if that’s ok”. I responded extremely supportive of that (total switch from my old needy self). We sent 2 more texts, and his response time got shorter with each one as mine got longer. I simply didnt answer his last text, also a change from my old self.

    Then I found you guys! As it turns out, the 45 day NC takes me a few days into Jan, so I’ve decided to follow that. BUT this is my question. We both know we’re on a break for lack of better word, and we both know it ends in January. Assuming he doesn’t reach out to me, should I stick to 45 days, or should i wait longer since he knows we are NC until then? I’m not in a rush and truly believe it could work out, but that doesnt mean I want to hurt my chances! Thank you 🙂

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      November 26, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      Hi there Curious Nature!

      Ahh….the “memory” text. It often works. But of course some guys fade in and out of their ex girlfriend’s lives. So when you pick up my epic 485 page eBook you will learn that a vital part of your ex recovery plan occurs right after the NC period is over. Reaching out on your terms and with the appropriate message and tone is very much part of your strategy.

  4. michelle

    November 25, 2018 at 8:23 am

    But how to build rapport if me and my ex only have 3 or 4 text per day ? he always busy so how the effective way to build rapport with him ?

  5. J

    November 24, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Chris.
    My situation is one of that very complicated because…almost two years have passed since the break-up. BUT during a year and a half we kept in touch, certain times I had to do NC but we always came to me, most of the time (after the first weird months after the break up) he was nice and flirty. We never met in person since before the break up (LDR).Last times we texted each other we told me things like he was thinking about me, that he was happy with us sharing our connection, he proposed to facetime…And before doing it he told me that it would be better to wait. And..we never talked again. I’m not explaining it all because this would be and endless post but for the last conversation, I couldn’t initiate, it has to be him. I kept being the best version of myself, trying to be the best UG… But he never texted again. It has been our months and the worst is that he didn’t text on my bday (even after the break up, our bdays were important and we always tried to do something special for the other, not a cold “happy bday, have fun” text). I can’t understand how he changed his mind so much. I
    And there is that girl who was / is crazy about him since more than a year ago. She tried to get him and she couldn’t, he even ended up blocking her, tired of her constan lies trying to impress him. That happened more than six months ago but lately…that girl is posting certain things in social media, insinuations…Well, she is a liar, my friends always tell me that I don’t have nothing to fear about her but what if she got him? She lives in the same city (ours was a LDR and he moved further a year ago) and I am scared. I have no clues and they’re still “unfriends” in social media, so it has no sense to think that they may be dating but.. I am scared.
    I keep trying to be the best UG but it’s not working and I can’t do anything else without contact, and he had never spent four months without texting me until now…I can’t initiate, I am scared.
    What can I do?
    Thank you a lot

  6. Kay

    November 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    What if BU is almost 4 months and had a good rapport built through text for almost 2, and suddenly he disappears for more than a week? I meant I sent one message last week, and he has not opened it since? What should I do?

  7. Tate

    November 22, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Hi! I was on day 18 of NC rule. My granddad passed away yesterday and my ex sent me his condolences because he know how close I was with my granddad. I replied and thanked for his kind words. Is this breaking no contact? Should I start all over again?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      November 24, 2018 at 2:26 am

      Hi Tate!

      I think its reasonable to acknowledge the good manners of your ex. I don’t think you need to hit the restart button.

  8. Nina

    November 22, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I have the same question as Romy. My ex is not active on social media and doesn’t even have a Facebook account. We live two hours apart, so we would never accidentally run into each other. And we don’t have any friends in common. So he’s completely out of my life now and it’s so frustrating.

    Also, he wasn’t even a proper boyfriend. He had just separated from his wife when we met and wasn’t ready for another relationship right away. So we casually dated for six months and developed feelings for each other. After six months I decided that I needed just a little bit more commitment. E.g. Meeting each other’s friends, calling each other boyfriend & girlfriend. And he said that he loved me and that he definitely wants to have a serious relationship with me at one point, but is just not there yet after being married for such a long time. And that he really wanted to keep things casual just a little longer. So I broke up with him. And he cried and tried to talk me out of it and even gave me a little spark of hope for maybe getting back together (He said that he needs to figure things out for himself and he hopes that I’m still there when he’s ready).

    And now I deeply regret ending things with him. And I’m wondering if the whole ex recovery program and doing NC even works in this scenario, because it’s so different from all the success stories (not a “real” relationship to begin with, long-distance, no social media connections etc.).

  9. michelle

    November 22, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Hi Chris, i have already done with no contact period and in texting phase but after 1 week of texting he took so long to text me back but still initiate to keep the conversation going. Often took 6 hours or more is it because i text him so much , should i ask him why he took so long to reply or should i text him again after 3 hours of my previous text ? i didn’t want to appear needy because before no contact period i beg him back

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      November 24, 2018 at 2:28 am

      Probably want to reconsider how often you text. I wouldn’t be pushing the topic with him as it might upset the balance of the progress you are making

  10. sam

    November 21, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Hey Chris! I had my first contact with my ex yesterday. It was strangely on linkedin to congratulate him for a new job. We had a short conversation, but it was positive overall. I’m unsure of when to initiate my next conversation and in what manner. Any suggestions?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      November 22, 2018 at 3:50 am

      Great job Sam! Just keep thinking small steps, slowly building attraction.

  11. Romy

    November 21, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    what happens when you try the no contact rule but you have been blocked out completely from social media and phone and it was a long distance relationship so there is no way to possibly contact him afterwards?

  12. Halinda Young

    November 20, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    I have a question my so called boyfriend we dated for seven months I stopped talking to him for a long time. He listed his jobs last year because he was being stupid he drove a city bus making good money then he was drinking listed his CDL’s he called wanting to see me well I won’t let him for a while then I started letting him see me well in May he wanted to be in a committee relationship I asked are you ready are you done running around His answer was yes he told me God sented me back to you well he onlyrr text me when he’s in WiFi because he is broke his monthly phone has been off he does plazam trice a week and I believe he has moved in with his parents He has not talked to me in a month I texted him he never responded back I called the number and it’s says call rtejected it’s not like him not to text me I know something is going on with him he say he loves me I surely can’t tell but he download the free app for text now I love him please help me but I’m ok I have cried till I’m done

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