Today, we’re going to talk about how to stay in no contact.
And this is actually going to be one of the most difficult things that you’re going to experience when you actually attempt a no contact rule.
In fact, we estimate that roughly 80% of people who try a no contact rule for the first time will fail it their first time.
Well, that’s what we’re going to discover today.
We’re going to look at why people fail no contact, but most importantly, we’re going to hear from real people who succeeded in getting through no contact without breaking it and understand some of the strategies that they employed.
All right, let’s get after it.
Defining What The No Contact Rule Is
So, what is the no contact rule?
Well, without a doubt, the no contact rule has become one of the most popular strategies out there that breakup experts will recommend to you.
So, generally speaking, the no contact rule is this period of time where you are cutting off all conceivable communication with your ex for a limited period of time. Usually this period of time is 21 to 45 days.
And there’s many different reasons for why we have those constraints.
But ultimately, if you do this successfully, it usually accomplishes a few things.
- It gives you time to reset so that you have outgrown your ex by the next time that you actually try to attempt to contact them.
- But also it triggers the reactants, the psychological reactant component within your ex that actually makes them want to hear from you more.
So there’s kind of a double whammy that gets involved with the no contact rule.
But without a doubt, it is the most difficult implementation that you’re going to experience of a strategy because we find it has the highest fail rate among our clients.
Now, what do I mean by that?
Failing The No Contact Rule
What is failing the no contact rule?
Well, simply put, when you fail the no contact rule, it means you’ve committed to doing a 30 day no contact rule. You decided you’re not going to respond to your ex if they reach out to you, you’re not going to reach out to your ex in a moment of weakness, and after 30 days, you can begin to rebuild rapport with them.
But let’s say, after day seven you find the no contact rule is just becoming too difficult and you break it.
You decide to reach out to your ex to see how they’re doing.
We’re finding that close to 80% of people who actually attempt a no contact rule for the first time will fail it the first time.
So why is it so difficult to actually stay the course in no contact?
Why The No Contact Rule Is So Difficult To Complete
Well, there’s a lot of different psychological reasons.
And then there’s the obvious reason.
So, let’s tackle the psychological reasons first.
A recent study looking at people going through breakups has likened the idea of the breakup period, the period where you go through a breakup and you’re missing your ex, they have found that it is akin to trying to kick an addiction that a cocaine addict would have. So when they looked at the brain of someone who’s going through a breakup, they find that the same part of the brain that actually lights up is the same part of the brain that lights up within a cocaine addict who’s going through withdrawal.
So as you can imagine, when you’re going through some sort of alcohol addiction or drug addiction withdrawal period, it is extremely difficult to kick those habits. Well, the same thing is being applied to here. And yet what we’re asking you to do is almost an impossible task.
We’re asking you to quit your ex cold turkey.
That is incredibly difficult.
And then there’s the obvious reasons for why the no contact rule has been proven to be so difficult for a lot of our clients. And that’s because, when you really think about it, the no contact rule, cutting your ex off cold Turkey, there’s a lot of different fears that the mind will place on you when you try the no contact.
So, for example, let’s say you try no contact rule on your ex, and day one goes by, and day two you start to get worried because, number one, you’re worried about maybe hurting their feelings by them worrying about what’s happening to you.
You’re also worried that they’re going to find someone new. And so all of these fears begin to morph and evolve and you become your own worst enemy. And ultimately you have to break the no contact rule to see how your ex is doing.
And this is actually become even worse with the advent of social media.
So, for example, oftentimes during the no contact rule, what you’re going to experience is this incessant, insatiable hunger to spy on your ex. And oftentimes when you can’t talk to your ex, your way of getting your fix is by going to Facebook or Instagram and seeing what your ex is up to.
And if they post a picture, especially if they post a picture out with friends or out with another girl, you start to freak out because guess what?
This person has maybe potentially replaced me.
And it makes you feel like, well, I need to go in and defend my territory so you end up breaking the no contact rule and end up hurting yourself ultimately. So, what is the best way to stay in no contact?
And what I mean by that is, what’s the best way to not break a no contact rule? Well, generally speaking, when I’m thinking of big guides like this that I want to talk about, I think of unique ways to tackle the question, so to speak.
Asking Real People How They Made It Through No Contact
I’ve talked a lot about the no contact rule on my websites, and on my podcast, and on my YouTube channel, it’s almost always better for you to hear from real people who have gone through a no contact rule, have been in the trenches exactly where you are and see what’s working for them.
And that’s what I’ve done.
If you’re not familiar with the setup we have with our program, basically everything we have revolves around this program that we put together called the Ex Boyfriend Recovery program for females and the Ex Girlfriend Recovery program for males. And basically anyone who gets into those programs gets access or has the opportunity to join our private Facebook support group.
To date over 6,000 people are in the group, 6,100 last I checked, right?
So what’s cool is sometimes when I want actual real life people to give me feedback on the strategies and the experience of what it’s like in the trenches when you’re using those strategies, I’ll go to the Facebook group and I will literally ask them a question.
Well, that’s what I did today in preparation for this particular article, podcast episode, you name it. I basically asked them, word for word, the following question.
For those of you who got through no contact, what was the most important factor for not breaking it? What helped you the most?
What I did is I waited about a couple of hours and got over 100 answers.
Now what’s interesting about this, is each of these answers was unique, but there were some definite patterns that emerged.
So I’ve done all of the research for you and figured out what the six most important strategies or tactics or mindset shifts that you need to implement in order to give yourself the best chance of surviving your no contact period.
- Find A New Purpose Outside Of Your Ex
- Understand That Every Time You Have To Restart No Contact Loses Effectiveness
- Stay So Busy That You Don’t Have Time To Check Your Phone Or Social Media
- Train Your Mind Not To Quit
- Having A Support Group
- Understanding How Avoidants Feel During No Contact
Let’s talk about each of these strategies for a moment.
Strategy #1: Find A New Purpose Outside Of Your Ex
Like I said, trying to quit your ex cold turkey is very difficult and is the similar kind of environment or experience that a drug addict will be going through when they go through withdrawal. It’s just not so easy. So one of the smartest things that you can do is try to find a way to put the focus away from your ex. What maybe you don’t know about our history with the no contact rule is, I started my business in 2012. So it’s been about 10 years now that I’ve been at this, which is kind of wild. But what’s interesting is initially our understanding of the no contact rule has evolved throughout those 10 years. We’ve actually went through three big definition changes, if you will.
So, the first definition of the no contact rule was basically, it’s this period of time you ignore your ex to make them miss you. But after four or five years went by we found out, ah, that’s not exactly what the no contact rule is based on real people’s experience. We updated it to say, “Okay, well, it’s this period of time, usually between 21 to 45 days, where you’re ignoring your ex and you have the opportunity to grow from the experience but you’re also still trying to make your ex miss you. So, we harped a little bit more on the personal growth aspect of no contact.
So after about 6, 7, 8 years goes by, we start to get better at reaching out to our customers who are successful at getting their ex’s back. If you don’t believe me, you can actually just go to our website and look at our success stories tab to see some of the actual hour-long interviews I’ve done with people who’ve gone through our program, successfully gotten the ex’s back. But after interviewing a lot of these people, I start to notice a really interesting pattern, and our latest iteration of the no contact rule varies the most when it comes to our competitors.
So, ultimately our view of the no contact rule now is, it’s this period of time where you’re ignoring your ex, but the intent is not meant to make your ex miss you, it’s to get to this place emotionally where you outgrow your ex. So you’re ignoring your ex, let’s say, for 30 days, but during those 30 days, you need to do everything you possibly can to get over them, get to this place emotionally where you accept, “Hey, I might not get this person back.” Or, “Hey, I’ve outgrown my ex.” And what we found is people who do that, when they actually began to enter into the conversational aspects of trying to get their ex’s back, they have exponentially better success rates.
So, how do you outgrow your ex? Well, ultimately I think the best way to do that is to find a new purpose outside of your ex. We know from basically researching that most of our clients have anxious attachment styles. This means, they’re more prone to be the ones to blow their ex’s phone up. They’re more prone to be the ones to freak out when things don’t go their way. They will be the ones to buy their ex a gift, show up at their ex’s house unannounced, text way too much, not really know when to stop texting. They are the really anxious type of behaviors. People who have anxious tendencies find it incredibly difficult to find a purpose outside of their ex because their ex is their purpose.
So we need to help you shift your mindset during no contact so that you find this Magnum Opus idea. I’ve been talking a lot about Magnum Opus ideas lately. Basically, it’s your life’s work. What do you want to be remembered for? And I can guarantee you, you do not want to be remembered for this breakup, how you acted after the breakup, or even this relationship with your ex. You’re a lot more than just a relationship aspect. So you need to find something that you care just as much about as your ex and start to focus on that. That is the first strategy that you can implement during no contact to lessen the burden.
Strategy #2: Understand That Every Time You Have To Restart No Contact Loses Effectiveness
The second strategy is to understand that every single time you have to restart a no contact, it will lose a little bit of effectiveness. So this is not necessarily anything revolutionary. I’ve talked a lot about this in the past, but here it is again. Basically we find that it is okay if you mess up no contact once, it’s even okay if you mess up twice, but if you mess up like seven, eight, nine times in a row, and if you don’t know the way no contact works is, if you mess it up you have to start over from the beginning, which is kind of a harsh thing but there’s a method to the madness, it’s teaching you discipline so that you understand like, hey, I can’t mess this up.
But what’s interesting is there’s also kind of a time element involved because if you mess it up a bunch of times, you’re not given like 10th, 11th or 12th chances. You’re given a second chance, oftentimes you’re given a third chance, but once you start messing it up more than five times, you’re in trouble. And I always try to explain it to people like this. The best analogy I’ve ever found to explain this concept is, imagine you go to a movie and you see this really amazing movie for the very first time. And it’s all you can think about. In fact, you think about it so much, you decide you’re going to go watch it again. So you watch the same movie again the very next day. It’s still really good, but now that you know everything that’s going to happen those emotional moments don’t touch you as much, but you still are obsessed with it.
So you go and see it again. So you see it this third time, and it’s no longer as good as you remembered. In fact, it’s almost like disappointing because you’ve seen it so many times, you know everything that’s going to happen. You’re still obsessed with it, but it loses its effectiveness. This is the same way no contact works. If you break it the first time, it’s okay. You can still do it again the second time. Same with a third time. But the more you have to do no contact, the more you fail no contact, guess what’s going to happen? It’s going to lose effectiveness on your ex. No longer will you ignoring your ex seem like it’s this big deal. It’s like, “Oh, okay. She’s going on another bout of ignoring me. Cool.” So, understand that every time you have to restart no contact, it kind of puts a check mark against you and the ledger.
Strategy #3: Stay So Busy That You Don’t Have Time To Check Your Phone Or Social Media
Strategy number three. Stay so busy that you don’t have time to check your phone or social media. As you can imagine, temptation is really high during no contact because we allow our minds to take control and rule us through fear. Oh my goodness, is he moving on to someone new? Oh my goodness, what if they forget about me? The issue is this is made worse when you’re constantly checking your phone seeing if they’re going to reach out to you, or you’re constantly going on social media to see if they have a new update or seeing if they respond to any of your updates. I think social media is an incredible tool. In fact, as I’m speaking here, I’m writing a really gigantic article on it, but it’s also our worst enemy.
And the fact is, we waste a lot of time on social media that we could actually be doing something more productive with our time. We could actually be spending that time towards our new purpose outside of our ex’s to outgrowing our ex, to encountering the holy trinity and trying to get the health, wealth and relationships balanced in our lives. Yet, if you’re checking your phone constantly, or you’re checking social media constantly, it robs you of that time.
One of the very first coaching clients I ever had, I think it was actually the very first coaching client that I ever took on with someone who is obsessed about her ex so much so that she became incredibly anxious. And we had the first coaching session. It went really, really well and I gave her this homework. And all of the homework, it was pretty obvious. I wanted her to focus on the holy trinity, which is her health, wealth and relationships, and relationships outside of her ex. And I wanted her to spend more time on outgrowing her ex. Right? So I gave her the correct type of advice and said like, “Hey, if you want to do a follow-up session with me, here’s the link. But I don’t think you’re going to need one for maybe a month or something.”
Well, maybe after a week and a half, she actually signed up for a followup session, which I was extremely grateful for. I was like, “Oh cool. I got my first follow-up.” And then I got on the follow-up call. And I said, okay, “Well, here’s the homework I gave you last time, where are you at? What have you done? And she had not done anything. And I literally asked her and I said like, “Why didn’t you do anything that we talked about?” And she said, “Well, I just don’t have time.” And I said, “Okay. Well, let’s talk about that.” What are you doing with your time? She said, “Well, I work eight hours a day. And then I get home and I watch Netflix. And then I get home and I spend two hours on the night looking at social media posts and looking at Pinterest.”
And so, I was basically saying like, “Okay, so basically you work eight hours a day, which is really strong workday. And then you have like five hours of free time that you just dedicate to Netflix and social media and Pinterest?” And I was asking her this in a question format so she can realize, you’re just being lazy. Which is a hard thing to do. And she basically acknowledged like, yeah, I should try harder. But here’s the thing. No contact is extremely hard if you are not finding a way to stay busy and be productive with your time. And the cool thing about the holy trinity, is if you’re able to successfully interact with the holy trinity, they build off each other and force you to be productive.
So, I’ve actually noticed this. I’m actually in the process right now of training for a marathon, right? I’ve got the whole training schedule down and I want to do really good on this marathon. I’ve never run a marathon before I want to do really good. I used to run cross country and track in high school. I’m in the process of trying to lose weight so that I can have an easier time on the marathon. And I’ve noticed it’s been about two weeks since I started the training program. I’ve run every single day. I’m supposed to run about three miles a day. But I’ve noticed my productivity and all the other areas of my life has improved. And that’s because I’m training my mind to basically work and stay busy when I don’t want to work and stay busy. And this is actually the perfect segue into our next strategy.
Strategy #4: Train Your Mind Not To Quit
Your mind is going to rule you through fear. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, when you go through a breakup, you have lots of different thoughts. Predominantly, my ex is going to replace me with someone new. When you’re in no contact, these thoughts multiply. Not only are you afraid that your ex is going to find someone new, but you’re afraid that you won’t be able to do anything about it if your ex find someone new. You’re also afraid that your ex will forget you. He won’t.
You’re afraid of hurting your ex’s feelings. And this is maybe even triggered more by the fact if, sometimes your ex can have a knee-jerk reaction to no contact. So you are in the middle of no contact, your ex reaches out to you, really angry about the fact that you’re ignoring them and your mind just goes crazy. And sometimes your mind gets the better of you and forces you to break no contact to respond. But your mind is a liar.
See, one thing that people don’t really realize about this, is oftentimes we’ll talk about calming the emotional storm. There’s a huge emotional storm within you after a breakup, and the best way to overcome the breakup and stay in no contact without breaking it, is to find a way to tame the storm and maintain emotional control. But the way to maintain emotional control is to overcome your mind. And you have to go to war with your mind. You have to have an answer for every single thing that your mind will say to you to try to get you to break no contact. And this is challenging because no one knows you better than your mind. It knows your weaknesses and it knows exactly what to say to bring you to your knees. And it takes an incredibly disciplined individual to overcome that kind of stress.
And since we’re talking about running, like I said, training for a marathon right now. What’s interesting about training for a marathon is I started up. And the first thing they wanted me to do is a three mile run. I had not run in a couple of years, so I try running. I make it maybe a mile before I have to walk. The funny thing is I used to think people who walked when they ran were cowards. I no longer think that. What’s interesting though is, the more I stuck to the training program, the more that mile became easier. And then I started getting difficulty at two miles and then I made it past two miles and that two miles became easier. And then I had difficulty at three miles, I made it pass three miles and I’m up about 3.75 miles where I started to hit the wall, so to speak.
But in this marathon training program, what’s interesting about it is, there’s always what they have termed a long run day. And the long run days are when you basically… Like I’m on week two right now. So it wants me to run three miles on Monday, three miles on Tuesday, three miles on Wednesday, three miles on Thursday, it wants me to rest on Friday, but I’m an insane person so I’m just going to run three miles again. And then on Saturday I have my long run. That’s seven miles. Today, I literally just got back from my run before I began recording this. And I was thinking on my run, I don’t know how I’m going to make it seven miles. I really don’t.
It is going to be incredibly hard because what ends up happening at a certain point on the run, you start to max out your endurance. And that’s when your mind asks you the really difficult questions, why am I doing this? This is so dumb. This hurts so bad. It’s not going to be such a big deal if you walk. I mean, we’ve already been three miles. What’s the big deal if we don’t go 3.2 miles or 3.7 miles? Your mind knows exactly what to say to get you to stop. The challenge on surviving the long runs, and I’ve only done one long run so far, I went six miles and then six miles was miserable. And the challenge is to try to either ignore what your mind is trying to get you to do or go to war with it.
Recognize you’re just trying to manipulate me and prevent me from achieving my goals. And this requires incredible self-discipline. And this is something that unfortunately, you’re going to experience not in a physical way, but you’re going to experience the hardship on a mental and emotional level during no contact. Your mind will tell you things that aren’t true. My ex will find someone better than me. That’s a lie. There’s no one better than you for your ex. We know that. And if you don’t believe that, then you have a confidence issue. Your mind is also going to say, well, what if they get upset at me? Who cares? You shouldn’t care if your ex gets upset with you.
Remember, the point of no contact is to outgrow your ex so that you don’t care what they think anymore. Well, what if I ruin my chances? What if they get so upset at me that they never want to talk to me again? I’ve been doing this for 10 years. It’s very rare for that to happen. You need to have an answer for each one of these things your mind does. I would almost treat it like a game. Every time your mind finds a new way to manipulate you during no contact, write it down and find a realistic answer to answer it. And recognize like, this is just my mind trying to play tricks on me again. So that’s strategy number four.
Strategy #5: Have A Support System
Strategy number five is a little bit more obvious, and this is having a support group. One of the smartest things that you can do for yourself when you’re going through the no contact rule is not to do it alone. It is a lonely experience doing no contact. But if you’re able to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are also going through no contact, you’ll find that you can actually talk to this person about the hardship and it becomes easier. It’s almost like a therapy in a way. This is actually how we came up with our concept called the battle buddy program within our private Facebook support group. The very one that I use to get these strategies. So the way that battle buddy program works is, we try to partner you up with someone who is like you or in a situation similar to you, so that you’re right around the same period. And you can relate to each other and help each other through the process.
Now, in some cases it’s blown up in our faces. Sometimes the battle buddy program we don’t like doing because people don’t like their battle buddies and all of our moderators, our volunteers, and they’re just like, “Well, I don’t want to do this anymore because people are just getting angry because I’m not partnering them up with the right person. But here’s the thing. You don’t necessarily need a battle buddy to survive no contact. What you do need is a support group. You don’t even need to go, and I’m not by any means insinuating you should buy our program and get access to our support group, though that would be really helpful. Sometimes it’s just having your own personal support group of supportive people. This is the challenge.
Not everyone wants to help you get your ex back. In fact, I’ve experienced this in my life. Sometimes when I tell people what I do, they’ll look at me and they’ll say, “Well, why would anyone ever want to get back with an ex? And the irony is, I find a lot of times people when they say have never been in a situation where they’ve ever wanted an ex back. So, they can’t really ever relate to the person. So they project their experiences of a breakup onto other people’s experiences on a breakup. They come up with these preconceived notions. You do not want to surround yourself with a support group of friends or family that have these preconceived notions.
Instead, going back to strategy, number four, they will give your mind more ammunition to use against you. They’ll bring up points of like, “Well, it’s just stupid to get your ex back. Why would you want someone back who treated you this way?” Maybe your ex treated you really, really well, but they don’t see that because they love you and they’re supportive of you. They’ll say things that gives your mind ammunition against you. So what you’re going to want to do, is find, not necessarily yes, man. You want to find people who support you, but won’t also be beholden to trying to please you at every single turn if that makes any sense. That’s the right way to form a support group.
Strategy #6: Understand How The Avoidant Feels During No Contact
And finally, strategy number six, which is understanding how avoidance feel during no contact. So, I’ve already stated that we found that most of our clients tend to be anxious during the no contact rule. Why? Because they have what’s called the anxious attachment style. What’s also interesting is we find that most of the anxious attachment style people that we have in our program tend to attract avoidant attachment style exes. Now, an avoidant attachment style is basically an ex who wants emotional intimacy, but also is scared of emotional intimacy because they think it’s going to take over their independence. A good example of this, is I was talking to someone who’s an expert on the subject called Antia Boyd. She’s an expert. She’s got her own YouTube channel. Check her out.
Antia Boyd was telling me the story of one of her clients who was dating this guy. And the guy was going to go on a trip long distance to some other state halfway across the United States. And all this girl wanted was, “Hey, just let me know when you get there. I want to know that you’re safe. And the guy was like, “Okay, sure, sure, sure.” Gets on the plane, goes to wherever he was going. And her client’s just waiting around to get a response from him. Did he make it yet? Did he make it yet? Did he make it yet? And eventually she’s anxious. So, she decides to text him, “Hey, how did you make it? Did you make it there okay?
And then he blew up on her. “Why should I have to tell you if I made it there okay. You just need to let me be me.” This is a prime example of someone who’s an avoidant. What’s interesting is you need to understand how avoidance feel during no contact. The big misconception a lot of people have is that avoidance want to avoid because they don’t want a relationship. And that’s not true. What they like, is they like relationships from afar. They like to romanticize relationships. They like to feel nostalgia with regards to relationships. In fact, when it becomes too suffocated in the relationship this is what often causes them to run away.
But here’s the important point that is often missed. Most of the time, the no contact rule serves a really important purpose. And that is giving your avoidant ex time to begin to miss you. That sounds super obvious, but it makes a little bit more sense when we understand that oftentimes avoidance will not give themselves permission to miss you until they literally feel like you’ve moved on from them and there’s no chance that you will ever take them back. Then they feel safe beginning to miss you, beginning to have nostalgic reverie, beginning to remember those really great times you had together. And when they’re in that state of mind is when you want to reach out to them. That’s when they’re most likely to be responsive. And we have tried to structure our no contact rules in this way so that you’re reaching out when they’re having these extreme bouts of nostalgic reverie.