It’s a question I get asked every single day.
“What is he thinking?”
Or if you want me to be more specific:
“Now that I am in no contact can you explain what is going on in his mind?”
I decided to put this guide together to put a rest to these questions once and for all. I am going to be attempting to explain everything I know about how men react to the no contact rule. If you aren’t familiar with my website then let me give you a quick breakdown of what I am all about.
Every single “guide,” I like to use the word guide to explain my posts/articles because it sounds more authoritative, anyways, every single guide I have ever written is very long and in-depth and this particular guide will be no different. Some of the things I talk about may be hard for you to hear but at it’s core it will come from a place of truth.
In the end, I subscribe to the theory that in order for me to best help you get your ex boyfriend back you need to see the entire picture and that is what I am doing here with this guide, helping you see the parts of the picture you are missing.
Is The No Contact Rule Really That Hard?
The no contact rule without a doubt is the most successful strategy that you can use to get your ex boyfriend back. Don’t believe me?
Well, I recently did my very own independent study where I took a look at what the women who have come to EBR and successfully won their exes back were doing and 72% of them had utilized the no contact rule. So, if that doesn’t tell you how important it is then I don’t know what will.
Here’s the thing though, most people who try the no contact rule end up failing.
That’s why I wrote an entire 72,000 word book on the subject.
My vision was that you could use this book to serve as your safety net as you navigate through the treacherous waters of the no contact rule.
So, check out,
Now, lets get back to your regularly scheduled programming 😉 .
Your Failure Of The No Contact Rule
No contact rule here!
No contact rule there!
No contact rule everywhere!
Every single day I carve out an hour or two to answer comments and questions from the readers of this site. At times I feel like a robot constantly repeating myself…
“Have you done NC?”
“Are you currently in NC?”
Some women will tell me that they tried the NC rule but failed after only 4 days. Others make it deep into uncharted territory, 10 days, before they fail.
I get it. The no contact rule can be an extremely hard thing to complete. After all, I am asking you to essentially cut your ex boyfriend off for a full month. To be more specific, you can’t talk, text or respond to any type of communication from him.
(If you would like a full explanation of the No Contact Rule please visit this page.)
It’s funny to me though that so many women fail at something SO CRUCIAL to get their ex boyfriends back. I mean, if I told you that you would get a 100% success recovery rate if all you had to do was make it through 30 days without contacting your ex there would still be some women who would fail at not contacting their ex.
I liken it to a little kid being told “you cannot have that cookie.” The little kid knows that it is wrong to take a cookie from the jar but decides to do it anyways. Are you seeing the analogy yet?
You= the little kid.
Your ex= the cookie.
Now, lets take a look at WHY you keep reaching your hand in the cookie jar.
Whenever I write one of these guides I tend to do a lot of outlining and research. However, when I asked myself a simple question “why is it that so many women keep breaking NC?” I didn’t have to look very far for the ansewr. In fact, if you are a constant reader of this site then you won’t have to look very far either. A simple viewing of the comments should give you a pretty clear picture.
Oh, I broke NC because I didn’t want him to think less of me…
I didn’t know what he was thinking and it was driving me nuts…
I am afraid he will lose interest in me…
What if he runs off with some other girl…
With all of the concerns listed above what is the one constant?
While I admit there are many constants in the concerns above the correct answer I am looking for lies in a simple truth. Any woman who implements a no contact rule is uncertain about what is going on in her exes mind.
Therein lies the foundation on which this guide was built, helping you to better understand what goes on in your exes mind so YOU can succeed with the no contact rule!
Understanding Men During NC
(Learn more about how you can get your ex boyfriend back by using my guide, The No Contact Rule Book.)
It doesn’t take a genius to tell that men and women are very different creatures.
Men, much more physical, tend to lack when it comes to social situations.
Women, much more social, tend to lack when it comes to physical situations.
This is an interesting view to take when you look at our species as a whole. It explains why men need women and women need men. However, it also explains why we get our wires crossed so often.
I am a man. I understand how they think. I understand why most of my peers do the things they do. This puts YOU in a very unique position because I am spreading all of our dirty little secrets. Every single one I want to give you access to so you can better understand us.
To be more specific, I am going to be talking about how a man can possibly react (and what he will think) when a woman implements a no contact rule on him.
The first thing I need to teach you has to do with the differences in men.
Men Are Different From Men
Above I established that men and women are different creatures. Well, I would like to take that a step further and say that not all men are the same. For example, what I find attractive in a woman another man may not.
One of my best friends springs to mind here. As two young single guys we often talk about one topic, women. I remember a few months ago my friend went on this rant about how he likes a particular “type” of woman. After his rant I chimed in and explained the type of woman I liked. In the end, we agreed to disagree but I think this little anecdote proves an interesting point.
What may be true for a lot of men may not be true for your man.
This is an important concept to understand because what I am about to explain next only exisits because of the “men are different from men” phenomenon.
When it comes to the no contact rule I have found that there are 7 main reactions and thoughts that men will have. Each reaction is different from the other in its own unique way. Now, I will eventually get around to explaining the “reactions” to you but first I need to teach you something else.
Whatever Reaction You Get Depends On Your Relationship
Above I established that each man is different in his own unique way. That concept will certainly have a “tie in” to the 7 different reactions I talk about later in this guide but if I am being completely truthful with you then I would say that what I am about to explain here is the single biggest factor into HOW your ex is going to react during the no contact rule.
I want you to think back to your old relationship.
Now, obviously your old relationship failed for some reason. Right now that doesn’t matter. Right now we are going to be looking at something far more valuable. Something I like to call the aftertaste effect!
What Is The Aftertaste Effect?
Do you have a favorite candy?
I know I certainly do.
Whenever you eat a candy you are left with a certain aftertaste. It is that aftertaste that compels you to come back and keep eating that candy. For me the candy that has the best aftertaste is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. For some reason every time I eat one I end up eating two or three more.
Of course, candy is not good for you. Everyone knows that at a basic level and yet it is the aftertaste that compels us all to keep eating them.
Now, I want to ask you a question.
What kind of emotional “aftertaste” do you think your ex boyfriend was left with after the two of you broke up?
One thing I can tell you for sure is that YOU were left with a good aftertaste. I mean, here you are reading this far down the page because you are hungry for another relationship with your ex. (I will stop with the puns.) But I really want you to think hard and try to put yourself in your exes shoes. What kind of taste do you think he was left with?
Good or bad, whatever his aftertaste is will cause him to react a certain way to the no contact rule.
The 7 Reactions From Men During No Contact
(Learn more about what to do after the no contact rule with my guide, The No Contact Rule Book.)
There are seven ways a man can react to the no contact rule. In this section I am going to outline each of the ways and give an in-depth explanation for what is going on in his head during the reaction. Now, while you are reading about each reaction I want you to keep in mind that I will be referencing the aftertaste effect a lot. So, make sure you have a grasp of it before you read on.
Lets stop talking and start listing.
- Reaction 1- The Frantic Caller
- Reaction 2- The Frantic Caller Turned Into Ignorer
- Reaction 3- The Stubborn Guy
- Reaction 4- The Clueless Guy
- Reaction 5- The Scared Guy
- Reaction 6- The Mid Caller
- Reaction 7- The Angry Guy
Confused? Don’t worry, as always I will explain.
Here’s how this is going to work. You and I are going to play roles in each of these seven reactions.
You are going to play my ex girlfriend (who is using a 30 day no contact rule on me.) Of course, I am going to be playing your ex boyfriend and plan to give you insight on each of my reactions. Lets get started!
The Frantic Caller
This is an amusing reaction from a man. I remember when I first created this site I really thought that women who implemented the no contact rule would see this particular reaction from men but the truth is that not as many men have this reaction as I thought.
What is a “frantic caller?”
Frantic Caller- A man who will call “frantically” a few days after NC has started. He will eventually get the hint and stop calling. However, deep in his mind he will always want to hear from you.
So, here is how this situation would work if you and I were the “actors.”
You would use the no contact rule on me. Of course, I wouldn’t realize it until I sent you a few text messages that you don’t respond to. Now, lets hit the pause button and talk about this. Personally, the more I care about someone the more I care about getting a response to a text message.
For example, if I am texting a friend I really don’t mind if my message is not responded to immediately (or at all.) However, on the flip side if I am texting a girl that I have a major crush on or an ex girlfriend (like you 😉 .) I am going to care about getting a response. So, when I send you a text message and you don’t respond to it I am going to start to get agitated.
This agitation is going to lead to me sending more messages down the road or possibly calling you out on why you are not responding to me with a message like this:
“Oh, so you are just ignoring me now?”
At this point you are going to be tempted to respond to me. In a way, I am testing you to see if you will engage with me. This is a classic “guilt trip.”
Of course, every time I send a message that you don’t respond to I am leaving myself vulnerable. This ties directly into the push/pull method that I described in this guide. Basically, the more you ignore me the more likely I am to show you attention. However, the more you send attention my way the less likely I am to give you that attention back.
Usually, after a certain amount of texts are un-responded to I will start calling you frantically. Of course, since you are in a strict NC rule you will be ignoring all of my calls. While it may take a while I will finally get the hint and stop calling which will lead me to ignore you completely.
This is where I want to hit the pause button again.
It’s this ignoring period (that I am doing to you) that I really want to discuss. What is going on in my head during this time?
Firstly, lets look at the facts. I was basically a text gnat to you after I didn’t get my way (once you started ignoring me.) When I advise people I always tell them to try to look beyond the “words” that their ex says to them and look at the actions that their ex does. My actions here, once NC was done by you was to spam you with text messages and phone calls. That fact alone means that I still have interest in you, that I still care about you.
Now, once I start ignoring you it isn’t because all of a sudden I “hate” you, it’s because I finally got the hint that you don’t want to talk to me. Most women who visit this site get very scared during the “ignoring” period by their ex. They think he will “move on” or that he will “find someone else.”
In my experience that doesn’t happen at all. I may try to convince myself that I “don’t like you anymore.” Heck, I may even mouth off to a few of my friends that I don’t want to be with you anymore but deep down that isn’t true. Deep down I am just insecure about being alone and I want to hear from you badly.
I have actually experienced this phenomenon myself before. I like to call this the fake reality phenomenon.
The Fake Reality Phenomenon
During my first breakup ever I experienced something very strange.
I am the type of guy that can sometimes wear my heart on my sleeve. It can be my biggest advantage but also my biggest downfall.
During my first breakup it was definitely my biggest downfall. This particular breakup stands out in my mind because of how nasty it was. It wasn’t nasty from her end it was nasty from my end and I think it all came down to the insecurity I felt from being alone.
Anyways, I did the “ignoring dance” for a long time with her. In fact, I remember the very first day of the breakup I convinced myself that life was better and for a while it was. I had this feeling of being free but eventually the breakup caught up with me and I had to create this fake reality for myself where I did my best to put on this facade that I was great when deep down all I wanted was to talk to my ex.
This is essentially what the fake reality phenomenon is. It’s this weird reality that an ex will create for himself during the no contact rule to tell himself that life is better without you but deep down all he really wants is to talk to you.
The Frantic Caller Turned Into Ignorer
This reaction is very similar to the one above. Before I really dive in here let me give you a brief explanation of what this actually is.
Frantic Caller Turned Ignorer- A man who will frantically call after NC but will get so angry that you are ignoring him that he won’t call you again.
This can be a pretty depressing reaction to get. Here is how this will break down if you and I were the “actors” in this play ;).
Just like before, you are going to implement the no contact rule on me and just like before I am going to become a text gnat by sending you a lot of different text messages and phone calls. Here is where the main difference will come into play, instead of me ignoring you (but wanting to hear from you) I am going to be ignoring you out of anger.
Let me dive a little deeper into the male thinking here.
Above I talked about how the more I care about a person emotionally the more I care about a text message response. This is an important nugget of knowledge to grasp for this reaction because it really goes down to the core of why an ex may potentially ignore you out of spit.
Look, no one likes to be flat out ignored. That fact alone is why the no contact rule is such an effective method. However, there will always be a certain portion of men that REALLY don’t like being ignored. These are the types of men that will take you ignoring them very personally. So personally in fact, that they will ignore you out of anger and spite just to “get back at you.”
Again though, lets really look at the facts. Anyone who frantically calls you definitely has an interest in you (or at least wants to know what you think.) So, while they may take your ignoring personally you have to wonder if deep down (beyond that anger) they still really want to hear from you.
I am a glass half full kind of guy so I choose to look at it like this: men who take being ignored personally will want to get back at you. However, deep down they just have this really thick “fake reality” wall built up to protect themselves from being hurt.
Remember when I was telling you that story about my very first breakup being really bad?
Well, the “frantic caller turned into ignorer” was the exact reaction that I had to the breakup. You see, my ex didn’t do a no contact rule on me but for a week we didn’t talk and I was definitely a text gnat and call gnat. Of course, after she ignored me I ignored her out of spite and created that “fake reality” to convince myself that everything was ok.
“Psssttt… want to hear a secret?”
Deep down I wanted to talk to her so bad but I was too stubborn to do so.
Speaking of stubborn!
The Stubborn Guy
“He is just so darn stubborn… I can’t get him to do anything I want.”
I can’t tell you how often I hear women say this to me when they talk about their ex. Unfortunately, it is a common problem. But how does that problem manifest itself in no contact? Firstly, I would like to explain exactly what the “stubborn guy” is.
The Stubborn Guy- This is a reaction that a certain man will have during the no contact period. Typically, they have the “she will have to call me first attitude.” In other words, they are too stubborn to even want to reach out during the no contact rule.
I have a feeling that a lot of women are going to be interested in this.
It is your greatest fear after all, having an ex NOT contact you at all during a no contact period. I want to explore this so you can truly understand what your ex is thinking. First though, lets get our two favorite actors to act this scenario out ;).
As always, you are going to initiate the no contact rule. However, this time I am not going to contact you. In other words, what we have here is a no contact rule stand off. Obviously, this is not what you want to have happen but the fact of the matter is that some men will react this way to the no contact rule. There are a complex range of emotions that go on here so I am going to be dividing this overall category into multiple sections. First, I would like to start with one of our favorite terms, the aftertaste effect.
The Aftertaste Effect
What is stubbornness? Perhaps more to the point, what is the definition of a stubborn person?
Stubborn Person- Someone who refuses to change their mind about something.
Why am I going into this? Well, I want to make it clear that just because someone is a stubborn person that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to change their mind. It just means you have to know how to deal with them. Lets turn our attention back to the aftertaste effect.
An ex who has the “stubborn guy” reaction to the no contact rule will have it because of the aftertaste they have of your previous relationship. For example, if I thought back to our (you and I’s) fake relationship and only thought bad things about it I would most likely have this mindset:
“I never want to talk to her again.”
Me having that thought about you is probably your greatest fear when it comes to getting me back. Of course, the thing YOU have to remember is that it is possible to change my mind. This is where your discipline comes in with the no contact rule.
The “Victim” Attitude
I would say that I can be a stubborn person when it comes to breakups. How do I know this? Well, because I lived it!
I think stubborn men as a whole adopt two specific mindsets when they are put in the no contact rule. I want to use this section to describe the first mindset.
There is a certain allure to being the victim. I mean, think about it. You get sympathy from everyone if you are a victim. This is especially true when it comes to relationships. When I read the comments and inquiries I get from readers every day I feel bad for some of the women I communicate with. ME feeling bad for you usually means that I am on your side!
How does this apply to stubborn men you ask?
Stubborn men during no contact want to be adored by their exes. If it was up to them they would have you calling them 20 times a day while they ignore you so they can show you “who’s boss.” Only you aren’t going to do that. You are a strong, independent and disciplined woman who isn’t going to break NC.
This is really NOT what they want. The fact that YOU aren’t begging them like you should be is going to agitate them and make them feel like the victim…
Yes, you read that right THEY are going to feel like the victim even though in the grand scheme of things they aren’t one. It is a really warped way of looking at things, I’ll admit, but you wanted to know about mens minds right?
The “She Has To Call Me First” Attitude
This is an attitude that I have personal experience with.
I remember during a breakup that I was so stubborn that I actually told myself “she has to call me first if she wants to talk to me.” You see, I, like most men, have a very warped way of looking at things. Every time I talk to a woman that I am dating or a woman I am interested in I look at every single interaction as a power struggle. This is especially true when it comes to who texts who first and who calls who first.
(I know, it’s really messed up isn’t it? I think it is just a guy thing.)
Anyways, having an ex call you first, if you are a stubborn guy, is like winning a game. If she calls you first you think to yourself “yup, I have her eating out of the palm of my hand.” Of course, if she doesn’t call you first then you begin to think that you are a “victim.”
In the end it all ties together.
The Clueless Guy
Ah.. the clueless guy! Just a word of warning this section is going to be a bit shorter than the rest of the “reactions” during the no contact rule. That is because the clueless guy reaction is rare. So, what is a clueless guy reaction?
The Clueless Guy- A legitimate reaction where your ex is entirely clueless throughout the no contact rule. Men like this tend to be socially awkward or don’t really sense that anything is wrong.
I understand that you may be a little confused at how this reaction will play out in real life. So, as always, lets let our two professional actors act this situation out ;).
You are going to start the no contact rule on me. Of course, I am clueless about the whole situation so I may contact you or I may not. It will depend on a number of factors. If I don’t it’s not because I am trying to “put you in your place” it’s just that I am clueless about the whole situation.
Part of the reason the no contact rule works so well is the fact that the party it is being done to will sense that something is wrong. This feeling that they get will create a range of emotions and eventually (sometimes subconsciously) show them how much their ex significant other really means to them.
So, this begs the question:
Will the no contact rule even work on someone who has a “clueless” reaction? Before we can answer that we need to study the psychology behind someone with a clueless reaction.
The Psychology Behind A “Clueless” Reaction
Men who tend to be clueless are ones that don’t have a lot of experience in relationships.
You see, one thing I have learned about women throughout my life is they tend to drop these little hints when you talk to them. These hints are a way of testing you to see where you stand on a certain issue. How you react to the hint will dictate how they approach the situation in the future.
A clueless guy is the type of guy who will not pick up any hints at all. He is too clueless or wrapped up in his own world to.
For example, during the NC period a clueless guy will not sense that anything is wrong at all. Here is where things get interesting though. He may actually contact you during the no contact period (but at the same time he may NOT contact you.)
So, there are aspects of being frantic and stubborn in there but as a whole he will not get any of the hints you drop. He will just assume everything is ok. Again, I would like to reiterate that this type of guy is very rare. I would say that there is a 95% chance that your ex boyfriend is NOT going to have this reaction.
Will The No Contact Still Work?
A few sections ago I asked a simple question. Will the no contact rule work on someone who is “clueless” about it?
The answer is YES it still can work but not in the way you think.
The biggest misconception is that the no contact rule is only for your ex boyfriend. In fact, I would say that, that is only half the battle. The half that everyone seems to forget about is the effect that NC has on YOU.
Hmm… how can I best explain this?
Ok, getting an ex boyfriend back requires an interesting balance. You have to be hyper aware of your emotions. You need to know when you have to be logical and you need to know when you have to be emotional. If you can find the perfect combination between the two (remaining logical while using your emotions to tap into your exes emotions) you have a really good chance to get your ex boyfriend back.
Here is the problem though, without the no contact rule you really don’t have any chance to acquire the logical mindset you need. Post-breakup is when you are at your emotional peak and while emotions can be good sometimes in this case you are probably too emotional to talk to your ex. That is why the no contact rule is such a beautiful thing.
If you can get through NC it shows that you have the discipline to remain logical!
The Scared Guy
Have you ever wondered if your ex is too scared to talk to you? In this section we are going to be covering the range of emotions that will be going through an exes head who feels too scared to even make a move. First though, I would like to define “the scared guy.”
The Scared Guy- This is a reaction that is the exact opposite of someone who frantically calls or texts. It’s a reaction that a guy will have when he is too scared to make a move during NC. He isn’t ignoring you out of stubbornness. He is ignoring you out of fear.
Lets not beat around the bush here, women are scary.
I am not afraid to admit it either.. I AM AFRAID OF WOMEN.
Still, to this day, I get the shakes when I am talking to a beautiful woman. It’s not because I am afraid of her. I am more afraid of what she is thinking about me. Here is the ironic part about the whole thing. I bet that the girl that I am talking to is getting the shakes because she is afraid of what I think about her.
The point I am trying to make here is don’t think that just because your ex isn’t contacting you it means he is stubborn. It may be entirely possible that he is too scared to reach out for fear of messing up. You tend to see this a lot with an ex boyfriend who YOU broke up with. So, let me break the “scared guy” reaction down for you.
If YOU broke up with me and implemented a no contact rule then I would definitely be afraid to contact you because of the fear of rejection. This begs an interesting question:
If you know for a fact that your ex boyfriend is afraid to contact you then shouldn’t you just break the NC and reach out to him first?
No… A BIG NO!
Here is what could happen in the mind of an ex boyfriend throughout the entire process:
If you contact him first during no contact he is probably going to revert to the stubborn mindset of “oh ya! I got her to reach out to me first after SHE broke up with me.” After this happens you are basically at his mercy.
Are you starting to understand no contact now? Dealing with exes during it is almost like a game. The game is all about power and usually the person with the power is in the best position.
The Mid Caller
This is a reaction from exes that I see a lot when I communicate with women on this site. I really want to do a good job explaining this so I am just going to cut right to the chase.
The Mid Caller- A common reaction that you will get during the NC rule. Instead of frantically calling at the beginning of the no contact rule an ex who has this reaction will call just a few times during the middle of the no contact rule.
As always, we are going to let our two favorite actors act out this scene for us so we have a better grasp of how this is all going to go down.
You are going to start the scene by implementing the no contact rule on me. I am going to enter into a NC rule duel with you. However, midway through the duel I am going to lose my nerve and reach out to you. Lets hit the pause button and explore this for a minute.
In my mind there are two possible explanations for why an ex boyfriend will call you a few days in (5-8 days) or midway through a no contact rule (14-18 days.)
Explanation #1- He Is Totally Clueless
This explanation ties directly in to what I talked about before with the “clueless guy.” It’s pretty simple really. Your ex is clueless about the whole situation and has no idea that you are doing a no contact rule on him. As a result, he will reach out in the middle of the no contact period.
Of course, when you ignore the text he sends he is going to figure out really quickly that something is up. Once he figures this out just sit back and watch the craziness ensue!
Explanation #2- He Loses The NC Rule Duel
This is much more likely to happen.
Chances are, if you are doing the no contact rule immediately after a breakup your ex boyfriend is going to be thinking about you a lot. He may have a little bit of stubbornness in him in that he won’t want to be the first one to contact you. As a result of that stubbornness he will engage with you in a no contact duel.
Of course, somewhere down the road his curiosity of what you are up to and how you are doing is going to take over and he will just throw caution to the wind by essentially losing the “duel.”
If he does lose this duel it can tell you a few important things. Firstly, he is thinking about you a lot which we can assume means that he still has some deep emotional feelings for you. Secondly, he cares about what you think and finally, YOU have power over him!
The Angry Guy
Lets face the facts here. Getting your ex boyfriend back isn’t meant to be easy. If it was, well, then this site wouldn’t need to exist. This final reaction is what I like to call the “angry guy” reaction. Lets take a moment and define it.
The Angry Guy- The type of reaction you can get when your ex wants nothing to do with you (and means it..) Therefore, during NC he would not reach out to contact you.
The angry guy reaction is really the reaction that is going to tie into the aftertaste effect the most out of any reaction listed throughout this guide. Lets say that during our fake relationship you were not exactly a good girlfriend. You cheated on me or did something that really upset me. If I broke up with you under those pretenses then the chances are high that I left the relationship with a really bad taste in my mouth. If that was the case, then I probably will not want to contact you during the no contact period.
Except there is something different about the angry guy reaction as opposed to the stubborn guy reaction.
You see, with the stubborn guy reaction I won’t contact you during NC but deep down I will still want to hear from you. The angry guy reaction is a step above that. It is when an ex boyfriend is so angry that he wants nothing to do with you. He doesn’t even want to see or hear from.
As I already stated, a lot of the angry guy reaction is going to tie into YOUR choices during your previous relationship (a la the aftertaste effect.) Of course, there are some guys that are just plain jerks that don’t know how to handle a breakup and will exhibit this reaction.
Typically, the tell tale sign of an angry guy reaction is when your ex says some very hurtful things to your face repeatedly. The keyword in that sentence is “repeatedly.” You see, you can almost expect an ex to say mean things to you after a breakup but if he keeps saying them to you over and over again post no contact (and it becomes vicious and cruel) you may have brought out the “angry guy” from within.
So, I suppose the real question here is, is it possible to get someone back if they exhibit this reaction?
Can You Get An “Angry Guy” Back?
It’s possible. In fact, one of my best friends did it.
However, it is not easy.
It is going to take a lot of patience on your part and even then there are no guarantees. In the end, what it all boils down to is if you think your ex is worth it. Really take a good hard look at your previous relationship and ask yourself a simple question:
“do I want to do this again?”