Most of the time you’ll find that it is not a good idea to break the No Contact Rule – but there are certain situations where you will have to alter it. I want to go through these four specific situations to show you how to deal with these exceptions to the rule.
(Please note that I am not talking about ending your No Contact period early – if you think you might have grounds to do that, please read this first: The Six Ways To Know If You Are Close To Getting Your Ex Back
If you haven’t already, the first step towards getting your ex back (even before No Contact) is to take my free two-minute Ex Recovery quiz. It’ll give you a pretty good idea of your chances of getting your ex back.
So when should you break or alter your No Contact Rule?
Nine times out of ten, you need to stick to your No Contact Rule right until the very end
and then progress your situation with messages, phone calls, and finally meet-ups. The exact process is detailed in Ex Boyfriend Recovery Pro, which you can check out here.
There are four circumstances that I have found that call for alteration of a No Contact Rule.
- You Work Together Or Go To School
- You Actually Live Together
- You Have A Child Together
- Items That You Need To Exchange
Let’s take a moment and dive into what each one of these entails.
Situation No. 1: You Work Together Or Go To School Together
There are quite a few people who misunderstand the point of the No Contact Rule. If you didn’t already know, the No Contact Rule is meant to do two things:
- Number one: make your ex miss you
- Number two: give you a chance to reset your life and get yourself together
If you need more information on how the rule works, here’s a comprehensive guide: The No Contact Rule Version 2.0
I can’t tell you how often people come to my website and read my articles and take everything I say at its word. They are dead set on sticking to that No Contact Rule even in really awkward circumstances.
A few weeks ago I got an email from someone telling me that they were sticking to their No Contact Rule even though they worked with their ex. They were ignoring their ex, and actually being rude to their ex by staying silent. But there was one problem – the manager at work forced the two together, and this woman was panicking because she didn’t know how to handle it.
The second problem is that the idea of the No Contact Rule isn’t to be a jerk to your ex (even though you might really want to and they might really deserve it!). The idea is to make them miss you, and you don’t usually miss someone who is being rude to you.
Sometimes when you’re in an environment where you have to spend time together, like school or work, you have no choice but to communicate with your ex, even during a No Contact Rule period.
This is when we employ a Limited No Contact Rule
So, how do you handle yourself in the midst of a limited no contact rule?
Keep it strictly business
Only talk about what you’re working on. No small talk, no chit-chat, and definitely no “I miss you, where did things go so wrong?” type of talk. If they ask you anything that’s not related to work, be polite but steer away from it. If they ask how you are, say that you’re great, thanks – and move on to business. Don’t ask how they are. Don’t ask how the cat is, or if the air-con got fixed, or anything like that.
Next, remember to:
Keep all your conversations short
Not so short that you’re being rude, but don’t give your ex anything extra.
And you are still not going to be reaching out to your ex once you are away from the work/school situation.
The idea with putting them into a Limited No Contact period is so that they can feel that something is a little off, and they understand this is probably due to the breakup, but you aren’t being rude or bringing more negative feelings into play.
So be polite, keep it short, and be as smiley and positive as you can.
Situation No. 2: You Actually Live Together
Here’s a riddle.
How do you ignore someone when you see them every single day and there’s no way to avoid them? The answer? You can’t. This is why it’s so important to understand that you don’t need to break the No Contact Rule, you simply need to alter it.
With Situation No. 1 we were talking about altering the No Contact Rule into a Limited No Contact period. Something similar needs to happen in a situation where you live with your ex.
Make sure that the conversations you have are about important things, and they’re relatively short. This is the same as for Situation No. 1.
One other thing that you really need to do if you find yourself in this situation: find a way to move out.
Sometimes this is impossible, But we’ve found through independent research and working with a lot of clients, that usually, when you’re living together with an ex, it does not go well. So do all that you can to find a way to remove yourself from that situation.
Situation Number 3: You Have A Child With Your Ex
Let’s say you’re determined to see your No Contact Rule through to the end. You’re not going to respond to your ex no matter what. Except, your ex has the kids today and your child has broken his arm. Your ex reaches out to you telling you your kid is in the hospital. Do you respond, or do you simply ignore your ex?
You respond of course!
What matters more than anything is your children, and that situation takes precedence over the one with your ex.
So how do you handle this? Again, you need to alter the No Contact Rule to allow for the situation. You don’t need to break, it, you just need to remember that with the Limited No Contact rule, you are only allowed to talk about the children. That keeps it strictly business and is what we have found works best.
Sometimes you find that people who have children together live together, and you have to find a way to merge those two situations together.
But the same principles apply. Keep it strictly business; keep it short and to the point.
Situation No. 4: You Have Things That You Need To Exchange With Your Ex
Human beings tend to accumulate stuff. With an ex, sometimes you have gifts that you gave each other and you have left stuff at each other’s houses. What do you do post-breakup, especially if you have something of theirs that they want back?
Are you allowed to stay in No Contact and completely ignore them? Well usually, no. When they are asking you for something back, the breakup protocol dictates that you are allowed to break the No Contact Rule in this one instance, but only to simply exchange items.
Now, how do you act during that exchange? Well, the same principles apply as above. Keep it strictly business and as short as possible.
Keep it short and sweet and look your very best.
You have the chance to be face to face with your ex, so make the most of it.
Don’t be rude, but don’t be overly friendly. Don’t ask about anything else; stick to the exchange.
There’s one extra thing in regards to this situation. Many times you will find your ex will force your hand and ask for something back from you. But sometimes, they won’t have any interest. If you’re wanting communication with them so badly that you want ask for something from their house, here’s the caveat: if the thing you want back isn’t important, don’t even bother breaking the No Contact Rule.
Here’s an example of something that’s important: your ex has tax documents that you need. You’re allowed to break a No Contact Rule and get those things and then go right back into your No Contact Period (with no need to extend or restart). You’re not allowed to break No Contact Rule for something like a toothbrush or something else you can easily replace. Don’t cheat yourself out of the benefits of No Contact!
Because the No Contact Rule is such an important step in getting your ex (and your life) back, I have written an entire ebook on it, which goes into even more detail than this article about when you can break the No Contact Rule.
If you want more advice, leave me a comment below. I do my absolute best to try to respond to all comments, and I love getting feedback. Please check out my YouTube channel too, for more help on getting your ex back.