This is the ultimate guide in understanding how to use the No Contact Rule with your ex boyfriend
And I want to be very clear about something:
This isn’t some lame “does the no contact rule work?” post that I just slapped together in fifteen minutes.
With this Guide you’re going to learn everything that I’ve discovered from my 6+ years of working with clients who’ve used the no contact rule to success after a breakup.
So, if you’re looking to utilize no contact to help you through this difficult time then you’re going to love this guide.
Let’s dive right in.
How To Get Your Ex Back With The No Contact Rule
If you want to use the no contact rule to get your ex back then there are really seven things that you need to grasp,
- Understand how this Radio Silence Principle Works!
- Figure out how long you should make use of this strategy of not contacting your ex boyfriend
- Implement this Non Communication Strategy by harnessing a two pronged approach
- Embark on “The Holy Trinity” during this period of avoiding your ex
- Understand the cases where you can break the No Contact Period early
- Know when NOT to use Radio Silence with your boyfriend
- Understand how these important concepts link together and why staying disciplined is important
No, I’m just kidding.
Buckle up because this is going to be one heck of a ride teaching you everything you need to know to be a success.
1. Understand What The No Contact Rule Is All About
If you are familiar with my work on Ex Boyfriend Recovery then you would know that I often like to compare getting an ex back to a puzzle.
It just so happens that the no contact rule is the largest piece of that puzzle.
What do you see?
It’s a puzzle that is divided into two sections.
The top section
The bottom section
Now, let’s pretend that the top section of the puzzle is considered to be “the no contact rule” and the bottom part of the puzzle is considered to be the rest of the “ex recovery” strategy that I teach on this site.
And in order to successfully get your ex back you need to merge the two puzzle pieces.
In other words, you can’t just rely on one side of the puzzle to do the work for you. I have noticed that over the years that people who come to this site always seem to be under the impression that all they need to do to win their ex back is implement the no contact rule.
That’s not true.
Yes, the no contact rule may, without a doubt, be the most important aspect of ex recovery but it isn’t going to get you over the finish line alone.
Why would I tell you this?
I want you to manage your expectations going in to reading this article. I want you to understand that there is still more work after this.
Now, I also don’t want to give off the impression that the no contact rule is easy.
But perhaps I should stop rambling and start explaining.
What Is The No Contact Rule?
The No Contact Rule = The premise behind NC (no contact) is that you basically cut off all communication with your ex for a certain amount of time with the intent of making them miss you while at the same time facilitating a recovery (more on that in a second.)
Now, I said I was going to make this as easy as possible for you to understand so let’s break this definition down piece by piece.
Let’s start with this part,
Cut off all communication
There is nothing too out of the ordinary here.
Cutting off all communication means that you don’t talk to your ex at all in any way shape or form.
Well… this isn’t exactly true all the time (as I will teach you later) but for now just roll with it.
If your ex texts you, you ignore them.
If they call you… Yup, you ignore them.
Ok, the next part of our definition is,
For a certain amount of time
Of course, in order to explain this I think we are actually going to have to move on to concept number two.
2. Figure Out How Long You Should Avoid Not Contacting Your Ex Boyfriend
One of the most popular questions that I get here on Ex Boyfriend Recovery is,
“Chris, how long should my no contact rule last for?”
It’s a good question because it depends wholly on your situation. You see, I used to claim that everyone should stick to a very basic 30 day rule. In other words, if you were going to try the no contact rule you should ignore your ex for a month.
But experience has taught me that this isn’t always the best practice.
For some situations 30 days may be too long and for others it may not be long enough.
That’s why you will see me recommending three different time frames when it comes to the no contact rule,
- The 21 Day Rule
- The 30 Day Rule
- The 45 Day Rule
Now, each of these rules have a different purpose.
So, what I would like to do now is help you determine which of these time frames is ideal for you.
(Side Note: There are pros and cons to each of these rules. So, consider everything before you pick one.)
The 21 Day Rule
The 21 day rule is the shortest rule that I am willing to recommend here on Ex Boyfriend Recovery. It’s perfect for those situations where you think your ex is going to freak out if you ignore them.
Let me give you an example.
Imagine that you were to use the no contact rule on your ex and you got a string of text messages that looked like this,
I have found that it’s counter productive to continue ignoring an ex for too long when you are getting the type of messages you want to be seeing from them.
But that leads us to an interesting question.
What if you aren’t getting the type of responses you want to see from an ex?
What if they freak out but not in a good way?
Well, then the 21 day rule isn’t going to be ideal.
Instead, you may want to look into the 30 or 45 day rule.
Speaking of the 30 day rule…
The 30 Day Rule
The 30 day no contact rule is what I like to call the basic no contact rule.
In other words, it should be your ideal starting point.
Take a look at the graphic I put together for you below,
This graphic is meant to represent what I want every person who does the no contact rule to do.
I want them to start off by doing a 30 day rule and then based on how their ex reacts to the no contact rule I want them to adapt.
So, let’s say that you are doing the no contact rule on your ex and you receive the positive messages that you received above with the 21 day rule,
But this doesn’t just happen once.
No, this is the third time something like this has started to happen.
Well, in that case then you probably want to move your 30 day rule to a 21 day rule,
Of course, the opposite is true if you receive negative text messages.
If that ends up happening then you probably want to turn your 30 day rule into a 45 day rule,
Let’s move on and talk a little more in-depth about the 45 day no contact rule.
The 45 Day Rule
45 days is the longest I am willing to recommend for a no contact rule.
I know that may shock some of you who are familiar with what other experts recommend but there is a reason for why I don’t think a no contact period should ever last longer than 45 days.
On average how long do you think it takes a human being to break a habit?
According to research, 66 days.
So technically speaking it may only take your ex 66 days to get out of the habit of thinking about you. Now, can you imagine if you flat out ignored your ex for 90 days and then all of a sudden out of the blue you texted them.
Wouldn’t that be weird?
They may already be over you and you may not even have a chance at getting them back.
But lets move on from talking about time frames for a second and keep defining the no contact rule,
The No Contact Rule = The premise behind NC (no contact) is that you basically cut off all communication with your ex for a certain amount of time with the intent of making them miss you while at the same time facilitating a recovery,
Hmm… I think this one deserves it’s own section to be honest with you.
3. Implement The No Contact Rule With A Two Pronged Strategy
The way I teach the no contact rule versus the way other experts out there teach it is a little different.
Take a look at the graphic below,
This is how I teach the no contact rule.
You see, the no contact rule gives everyone who uses it an opportunity to implement a two pronged strategy.
- Prong One = Making An Ex Miss You
- Prong Two = Facilitates Recovery
Lets talk about each of the prongs for a bit first.
Prong One (Making An Ex Miss You)
If you were to ask any person what their ideal outcome would be if they were to use the no contact rule it would be that their ex goes so crazy over being ignored that they want to get back together as soon as possible.
In other words, their ex would exhibit the behavior of someone who misses a lover.
And I am not going to lie, the no contact rule does do this.
This is one of the BIGGEST assets of implementing the no contact rule.
However, it’s rare for an ex to ask you to get back together so I wouldn’t really bank on it. What I will say is that the no contact rule can drastically increase the chances of making an ex miss you and their is scientific proof backing this up.
Have you ever heard of psychological reactance?
“Psychological Reactance is defined as a motivational reaction to offers, persons, rules, or regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms. Reactance occurs when a person feels that someone or something is taking away his or her choices or limiting the range of alternatives.”
Now, that may have been a lot to swallow if you weren’t a psychology major so allow me to break it down.
Psychological reactance assumes that there are a set number of freedoms that a person has. However, when one of those freedoms is taken away the person will react to it. Usually in a way where they try to reobtain that freedom.
So, let’s look at what’s happening here.
By ignoring your ex you are denying them certain freedoms (the freedom to talk to you.) So, according to psychological reactance they are going to react in a way to try to try to get that freedom back.
Think of it like this.
Let’s say I offer my daughter a cookie and she accepts it.
A simple premise, right?
Let’s shake things up.
Now let’s say that I offer my daughter a cookie and right when she reaches for it I end up taking it away and placing it on a nearby table.
(I am definitely a horrible parent 🙁 .)
What do you think she is going to do?
Well, she understands on a basic level that her freedom to have that cookie has just been taken away and she is going to do everything in her power to get it.
That’s psychological reactance at work.
Her freedom to have the cookie was just taken away and as a result she behaved in a way to get it back.
Prong Two (Facilitating A Recovery)
I am a little appalled of how little people talk about the second prong of the no contact rule.
Because in my opinion it’s the most powerful aspect of NC.
Think about it, in the end all you can do is influence your ex to feel a certain way. Truthfully, you don’t have any control over what they think or the actions they take.
However, when it comes to prong two you have complete control because prong two focuses heavily on you.
Think of it this way,
By facilitating a recovery you are going to become more confident in yourself. As you grow more confident in yourself you are going to appear more attractive towards the people around you.
That includes your ex.
Such was the case for Natalie, the woman featured in episode of three of the ex boyfriend recovery podcast (https://www.exboyfriendrecovery.com/episode3/). You see, she ended up moving on a facilitated a recovery.
The result = Her ex ended up contacting her and hitting on her.
But this begs an interesting question.
How do you facilitate a recovery?
Well, you want to utilize what I call “The Holy Trinity.”
4. Embark On The Holy Trinity During The No Contact or Radio Silence Period
It’s actually three things.
Health, wealth and relationships.
I’ll tell you what. I am going to go put together a report for you explaining this.
Ok, here you go,
This book will explain the basics of “The Holy Trinity.”
In a nutshell, you can divide the most important aspects of your life into these three categories.
Well, during the no contact rule you want to only be doing things that positively impact these three aspects of your life.
I talk about this briefly in the holy trinity report.
But here’s something I don’t talk about in the report.
The three aspects of the holy trinity are interconnected. What affects one aspect will end up affecting the other aspects.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say that you lose your job. Thus, your “wealth” category is negatively impacted,
Common sense, right?
But as a result of losing your job you become very depressed and your “mental health” becomes impacted,
With your “mental health” compromised you begin to take your frustrations out on your significant other and as a result they break up with you,
All in all, everything gets impacted negatively. It’s like quicksand. One bad thing happens and everything gets pulled down with it. However, if we are going to buy into this theory of everything being connected that also means that when something positive happens to one of the aspects everything else gets impacted as well in a positive way.
For example, let’s say that you start working out and look the best you have ever looked before,
As a result you gain more confidence and end up doing great in a job interview and get a new job,
With more confidence and a great new job word gets around and eventually reaches your ex who looks at you in a whole new light,
What impacts one aspect of the holy trinity will impact the others in some way, shape or form. Remember this as you aim to facilitate your recovery. Now, I am going to talk a lot about the holy trinity when I talk about the “no contact rule” calendar later.
For now, let’s move on and talk about the other aspect of facilitating a recovery.
Facilitating A Recovery Within Your Ex
I have a simple question for you.
Do you think you will have a better chance of getting your ex back if they are angry at you or if they are a little calmer?
Well, the other great thing about facilitating your own recovery from the breakup is that it gives your ex a chance to facilitate their own recovery from the breakup.
Why do you want them to recover from the breakup?
Well, because it’s going to allow them to be more rational for when the time finally comes for you to reach out to them.
But we will talk about that later.
Now that you have a good idea of what the no contact rule entails let’s turn our attention to a very common question that we get here on Ex Boyfriend Recovery,
“Can I ever break the no contact rule?”
5. Understand The Cases Where You Can Break No Contact Early
This is one of those things that I constantly get asked.
Seriously, I must have been asked this at least 500 times.
Originally I was of the mindset that you shouldn’t ever break the no contact rule. In fact, I think if you go to (this article link) you will notice that I say just that. However, lets say you find yourself in a scenario where you are doing the no contact rule and your ex texts you with something like this,
Are you allowed to break the no contact rule?
Well, according to my earlier advice you wouldn’t be able to.
Do you see the flaw with that type of thinking?
I am all about adapting and updating which is why I no longer think it’s necessary to stay in a no contact rule given the right circumstances.
Now, the keyword there is “right circumstances.”
One of the sad facts that I have learned about the people who visit my website is that if I give them a little bit of leeway they will take advantage of that. In other words, if I sit here and tell you that you can break the no contact rule early an idea gets planted in your head where you may potentially look for any reason to break it early.
Which is why I am very strict about the rules you can utilize to break the no contact rule early.
There are seven factors that you need to look at when determining whether or not you can break the no contact rule early.
Those seven factors are,
- How long you were in the relationship with your ex for?
- How many days have passed since you started the no contact rule?
- How many times have you broken up with this person before?
- Where are you in your own personal recovery?
- What was the cause of the break up?
- Who initiated the break up?
- How many positive communications have you received from your ex since starting the no contact rule?
Let’s take each data point and talk a bit about it.
I believe you will be better prepared to make a decision on which “road” to take, if you understand each piece of the puzzle. Only then can you fit them together and see what picture emerges.
You see, there is a synergistic relationship between these 7 data points. They need to be evaluated and considered together as a whole.
Sort like the 3 Musketeers!
(Even though D’Artagnan is never counted.)
You know…one for all and all for one!
Except in this case, we have the 7 Musketeers!
Factor One: How Long Were You In A Relationship With Your Ex For?
This can be a useful data point because if you have been involved with your Ex for a lengthy period of time, then this history between the two of you should give you some valuable insight on how to approach the situation.
If the history reveals a relationship plagued with many conflicts and multiple breakups, then you should take note of this pattern. It is probably telling you something. You may benefit more from staying on course with your No Contact strategy.
Then we have the situation in which the relationship was only weeks or a few months in duration.
Relatively speaking, that is not a very long time to build a solid foundation.
Breaking up after such a short time, suggests that something is not working out for one or both partners. In such a situation, making an exception and ending your No Contact is probably not a good idea.
Maybe things will work out.
But I would think long and hard before breaking off the No Contact.
Factor Two: How many days have passed since you started the no contact rule?
If you hear from your ex on day 5 of your No Contact Period, it may be too early to make an exception.
While not a “deal breaker”, since all of these data points need to be considered as a whole, you should know that your ex reaching out to you so soon may be more to do with their “rebound emotions”.
You both may need more time to sort things out on your own, before you try to do it together.
Now on the other hand, if your ex reaches out to you on day 26 of your 30 day No Contact Period, I would be inclined to recommend you consider ending “No Contact” and exploring what is on their mind.
Unless, of course, your ex was spewing some nasty venom.
Which leads us to the next factor.
Factor Three: What Is Your Track Record With Your Ex?
If you guys have had multiple breakups in the past, then it probably is not in your best interest to make an exception.
The on again, off again relationship cycle is not healthy.
Where on the other hand, if you guys have been pretty solid in the past, that bodes well for your future.
Maybe you can cut short your No Contact Period on the strength of this factor and other data points.
Factor Four: Where Are You In Your Personal Recovery
Are you truly ready to talk to your ex again?
How much time has gone by since you last spoke?
How far along are you in your No Contact Period?
The more time that has gone by, the better, because it takes TIME to heal.
Have you been able to set aside the angry and resentful feelings you may have had following the breakup?
Do you feel you have progressed emotionally in other ways?
Are your drawing closer to becoming the best version of yourself?
Can you honestly say you have learned something meaningful about yourself?
These are the kind of things you need to think about. The last thing you want is to try to re-enter your relationship when your wounds have not healed.
Factor Five: What Caused The Breakup
If your ex cheated on you, then I am not an advocate of ending the No Contact Period early. Not unless all of the other Data Points are strongly and positively in place.
When weighing whether an exception should be made, one really needs to put a lot of weight on what caused the breakup.
Ask yourself, how severe and ugly was the ending of the relationship?
The more severe, the longer one should stay with No Contact. Breakups can be damaging and both parties need to time heal.
All breakups are going to hurt, no matter the degree of severity.
But it is usually easier to spring back from breakups if they did not cause considerable spite, anger, and hate.
Factor Six: Who Initiated The Breakup
The forces of “personal power” play a role during and after the relationship.
If you initiated the breakup, you have more personal power, at least on this matter.
But be careful with power.
It can go straight to your head in a matter of speaking, but you may not be thinking with the right side of your brain.
If you are feeling really cocky and confident about this new development of your ex reaching out to you, you may not be in the right place “emotionally” to properly gauge your situation.
Now, if your ex initiated the breakup and is now reaching out, you still need to weigh things carefully. On its surface, it may appear that the balance of personal power has swayed to your favor. Perhaps, your ex realizes they made a mistake.
Just tread carefully. In other words,
You Initiating The Breakup > Your Ex Initiating The Breakup
Factor Seven: How Many Positive Communications Did You Receive?
I saved the best and most important data point, for last! This is why I call it the Golden Factor.
What you should be looking for are multiple positive messages sent by your ex to you. One attempt to communicate, even if it’s made in the most positive way, is usually not enough, particularly if the other data points are not favorable.
When an ex reaches out to you and tells you something really nice and pleasant, that demonstrates good faith. If it is repeated, that shows the person probably really cares. If you receive a few more communications, that demonstrates a persistence.
As long as those messages sent to you have a positive energy, that bodes well for you.
Now if you get bombarded with negative message after negative message, to a point where it seems like your ex is obsessing….well, that is not a good thing.
If that happens, I would suggest you ignore those many obsessive contacts.
Positive contact can come in multiple forms.
It could be text messages. It could be emails. It could be phone messages. It could be old fashioned letters. It could be a message in a bottle. It could be a bouquet of flowers or a gift with a card.
Hell, it can even be on Facebook or Snapchat.
The main thing is that such messages need to number more than one.
They need to be positive, friendly and respectful. And they need to occur within a brief period of time (e.g. over a few days, perhaps over a week).
What if they show up at your door?
Don’t fall for it the first time around. Be nice and tell them you need more time. If this happens a few times and your ex conducted themselves respectfully, well, an exception may be in order.
Remember, I said it may be in order! You need to look at all of the data points and judge whether you wish to end your No Contact Period.
Is there any magic number of data points which have to be met, before you make an Exception?
Yes, and that leads me to my next point.
The Rule Of Four
Do you remember above when I mentioned that if I give people too much leeway they will take advantage of it and look for any excuse to break the no contact rule.
Well, that’s what the rule of four is meant for.
There are a total of seven factors that you need to look at if you are considering ending the no contact rule early. Well, what if I told you that you only needed four of those factors to break it.
It’s just that one of those factors has to be the “golden factor,”
The Golden Factor = Receiving Multiple Positive Communications From Your Ex
For example, let’s say that you have checked off every other factor except the golden one.
Are you allowed to break the no contact rule?
No, the golden factor is essential for breaking no contact early.
But what if you have the golden factor but you don’t get any of the other factors?
Can you break no contact?
No, obtaining three other factors is just as essential as obtaining the golden factor.
That’s the rule of four.
6. Know When NOT To Use The No Contact Principle
This is where things tend to get a bit more complicated. You see, in addition to understanding the rules for breaking the no contact rule early (which I am just going to tell you upfront is very rare) you will also need to understand that there are going to be certain situations that you may find yourself that will require you to alter the no contact rule.
Now, altering a no contact rule is completely different than breaking it.
What’s the difference?
Altering No Contact = You are still technically under the no contact period you just might be playing with a slightly different set of rules.
Breaking No Contact = You should be advancing to the next phase of the strategy to get your ex back.
Now, there are actually a lot of different situations that may make you alter your no contact rule BUT I don’t have the time to list out each and every one of them.
Instead, I thought that it would be best if I just listed out the most common alterations I see people having to make,
- If Children Are Involved
- If You Work With Them
- If You Live With Them
- If You Go To School With Them
- If You Unexpectedly Run Into Them
- The Item Exchange
Now, since this is Ex Boyfriend Recovery and we are committed to creating the best content in the world relating to exes we are going to go above and beyond for you by teaching you the alterations you are going to have to make for each of these situations.
Let’s start from the top.
The Alterations You Need To Make If Children Are Involved
This is always a difficult situation to alter because more often than not if you and your ex share a child you are going to be living together (which we will talk about next.)
So, rather than addressing what to do about the living situation let’s talk about what to do if you decide to use the no contact rule on your ex and they send you something like this,
Oh, and in case you couldn’t read between the lines “Carter” is your kid.
How do you deal with this?
Ok, here is my rule for when it comes to communicating about kids during no contact.
The Rule: You can break no contact to talk about the kids and that’s it. After you interaction about the kids is over you are going right back into no contact.
Pretty simple, right?
Well, things get a bit more complicated when you take into account that more often than not if you share a child with your ex you are probably living together.
How the hell are you supposed to handle no contact?
The Alterations You Need To Make If You Work With Your Ex
There are two words I want you to get very familiar with.
Now, it’s important to remember that the goal here isn’t to p*ss off your ex and that can definitely happen if you work together and completely ignore him. Instead, I don’t want you to initiate any conversations with him. Let him initiate all the conversations and if he does then keep the conversation short and sweet.
The only fly in the ointment, so to speak, is if your have to communicate due to a work related activity.
In that case make sure the scope of the conversation is STRICTLY BUSINESS!
In other words, if you are talking about something business related that is completely fine but if he veers off and starts talking about something “non business related” then I want you to subtly redirect him to talking about business.
The Alterations You Need To Make If You Live With Your Ex
I am just going to be blunt with you.
The no contact rule is always going to be more effective if you aren’t living with your ex. That’s just the way it is and anyone who tells you anything differently is lying straight to your face.
BUT the no contact rule can still be effective if you live with the person so don’t go into a depression just yet.
It’s just that it isn’t going to be as effective.
So, what’s the rule regarding living with your ex?
The Rule: If it’s possible move out.
Now, the keyword that you want to look at there is “IF IT’S POSSIBLE.”
If moving out isn’t an option then don’t do it. Don’t worry, I have a specific strategy that you should employ but before I let you in on that I want to put my money where my mouth is.
Jessica is someone who I personally worked with on Facebook.
I advised her to enter into a 21 day no contact period and also to move out of the house she was staying at with her ex boyfriend.
She did exactly what I said and when it was all said and done she had her ex chasing her and begging for her back. Oh, and he proposed.
This alteration produces results.
But let’s say that you can’t move out. Let’s say it’s not an option.
What do you do then?
Simple, you are going to act as cordial as possible when you do see your ex so they don’t think you are a d*ck but you NEVER want to start a conversation. Hmm…. perhaps this would work better as an example.
Ok, let’s pretend that you are dating me!
(I’m pretty awesome, I know!)
We are living together and you decide you want to utilize the no contact rule.
One day I come home from work (because in this example I am a high powered business man 😉 ) and I look pretty stressed. Every fiber of your being is going to want to ask me a simple question,
“Are you ok?”
“How was your day?”
But you aren’t allowed to.
Because you are in the midst of a no contact rule.
Now let’s answer one of the most asked questions I get about this situation.
Let’s say that instead of me looking stressed and angry when I come home that particular day I look pretty happy and I even go as far as to ask you how your day was.
What do you do?
Most women make the mistake of thinking that they should ignore their exes at this point.
That’s a mistake because that will just create more animosity between the two of you and that’s the last thing we want. Instead, the best way to handle this situation is to engage me in a conversation but keep it short and sweet.
The idea is not to linger too long.
The Alterations You Need To Make If You Go To School With Your Ex
Out of all the alterations I talk about in this section this is probably the easiest one to grasp.
In fact, the alteration here pretty much boils down to two steps.
Step One: Avoid your ex
Step Two: If it’s impossible to avoid them then keep it short and sweet
So, let’s talk about these steps really quick.
I want you to avoid your ex at school at all costs. Yes, I realize some mumbo jumbo expert out there may disagree with me but believe me when I say that this is for your own good.
Well, because I have often found that people will look for any conceivable excuse to “bump into their exes.”
But let’s assume you are in a situation where “step one” is impossible.
Let’s say that you are in the exact same class as your ex and it’s pretty much impossible to avoid them. Well, in that case I want you to keep everything short and sweet.
What do I mean by that?
Well, for starters I don’t want you to start any conversations with your ex. However, let’s say that your ex starts a conversation with you (like my example above when you live with an ex.)
Well, keep everything short and sweet.
Engage them but don’t engage them fully.
Be nice but not too nice.
Short and sweet.
That’s the name of the game.
The Alterations You Need To Make If You Unexpectedly Run Into Them
Imagine for a moment that you are walking down the street and all of a sudden you see your ex…
You get that deer in the headlights look…
And you pull a “kramer,”
Now, do you think that is the proper way to utilize the no contact rule in this situation?
Instead, the correct move here is to walk up to your ex, say hi and leave it at that.
Less is more…
Now, before we move on to the final alteration I do have one thing to say. DON’T GO LOOKING TO RUN INTO YOUR EX ON PURPOSE! If you do that and they catch on to what you are doing then without a doubt you are going to appear to be desperate and that is going to have the opposite effect of what you are supposed to do.
Alterations You Need To Make For An Item Exchange
Ah, and here it is…
The ultimate no contact question that I get asked on pretty much a daily basis.
“Chris, am I allowed to break the no contact rule if my ex has items that I want back?”
“What about if my ex asks me for their things?”
Ok, let’s tackle the easy one first.
If your ex asks for their things back then you have to give them their stuff back. No if’s, ands or buts about it.Therefore, you are allowed to break the no contact rule but just in this one instance. After the items are exchanged then I want you to go right back into the no contact rule.
How do you handle the interaction when you are exchanging things?
Generally you want it to be short and sweet.
This isn’t a time to linger and relive the worst or best parts of your relationship.
Get in, exchange items and get out.
Now, lets tackle the more difficult question.
What if your ex has something of yours that you want back. How do you handle that?
Well, the first question I would ask you is how important is it to you?
If we are talking “toothbrush level” type stuff then I think you can live without it and should probably stay in the no contact rule.
But what if it’s something of grave importance to you?
Something like your mothers ashes… Well, then you have my permission to break the no contact rule to get them back.
Fun Fact: Did you ever see the Malcolm in The Middle episode where the babysitter is fighting with her ex over her mothers ashes (I did obviously 😉 .)
7. Understand These Important Concepts To Stay Disciplined During The No Contact Rule
Now that you have a pretty good idea of how the no contact rule works I want to move on to the next step.
There is a philosophy that I want you to adopt.
It’s called “Dating Yourself.”
In fact, I did a whole interview with a dating coach named Veronica Grant where she pretty much summed up “dating yourself” better than I ever could,
(In case you don’t have the patience to watch the entire interview here is her summarization of “dating yourself,”)
Dating yourself is kind of what it sounds like. Doing things for yourself that you would either want or expect your significant other to do for you. So, it can be things like buying yourself flowers, writing yourself a love note, taking a hot bubble bath, taking yourself out for a drink or for a nice dinner but really the deeper essence of it is making yourself feel how you want to feel on your relationship.
Now, I am absolutely in love with this idea, especially during the no contact rule.
Well, it kind of serves as a gauntlet for weeding out the people who aren’t serious about getting their exes back and simply want to move on. And that’s a great thing because usually half the battle is finding a way to get on the right path.
So, how does this “gauntlet effect” work?
The Gauntlet Effect
It’s hard to admit (because I was a young buck when I first started Ex Boyfriend Recovery) but I have been doing this for over half a decade. But most of the people who come to this website want one thing and one thing only,
They want to get their exes back.
And I feel I have certainly catered to those people a lot (Ex Boyfriend Recovery PRO anyone?)
But sometimes a person comes to me with a horrifying story that makes me think,
“Hmm… maybe you shouldn’t get back with your ex.”
And being me, I usually verbalize my thoughts without thinking a lot of time.
Now, usually when I tell someone this they are very respectful and often times they agree with me. However, when it comes time for them to take specific actions revolving around getting over their ex they actually do the opposite.
Now, after five years of his happening to me I have finally wised up to what’s going on.
Nothing I say will convince a person otherwise and I have simply decided to let people go through their own process (because sometimes that’s what it takes for them to realize their ex is not the right fit for them.)
Ah, but that’s where “The Gauntlet Effect” comes into play.
By utilizing the “date yourself” philosophy during the no contact rule you are essentially putting yourself in a gauntlet to see if you are still interested in your ex by the end of the no contact rule.
Allow me to explain in more detail.
Let’s pretend that you are doing a 30 day no contact rule and you decide that on top of utilizing the “two prongs” that I talked about above you are going to also utilize the “date yourself” philosophy.
And while you are dating yourself you come to the realization that,
“Hmm… my ex never treated me as good as I am treating myself right now..”
And pretty soon this singular thought evolves into,
“I don’t think I want him back.”
Well, that’s the gauntlet effect in play right there. It essentially helps you determine what you really want going forward. Of course, if you come out the other end of the gauntlet and you still want your ex back then you absolutely positively have my permission to do everything in your power to get him back.
I suggest this is the best place to start
Of course, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves now.
WARNING: Most People Who Try The No Contact Rule End Up Failing It
I think I may have mentioned this before but it never hurts to re-iterate.
The odds aren’t in your favor to successfully make it through the no contact rule. In fact, I would say that the vast majority of people I have met have ultimately ended up failing at the no contact rule.
Now, what does that mean?
Well, usually that means that you decide to do a period of no contact and somewhere during that period you end up contacting your ex.
And it’s easy to understand why.
We live in a digital age where temptation is all around us.
I mean, think about it.
How tempting would it be to check your exes Facebook profile?
What about check and see the last time they logged into WhatsApp?
Of course, it’s my job to ensure that you don’t fail at the no contact rule so here’s what I have decided to do for you. I have put together a list of the very best ways that you can safely remove temptation. In other words, if you do the following things then your chances of successfully completing the no contact rule will drastically increase.
- Getting A Friend To Hold The Number
- Making Yourself So Busy You Don’t Have Time
- Keeping A Journal
- Unfollow On Facebook
Let’s talk a little about each of these initiatives.
Getting A Trusted Friend To Hold Onto Your Exes Number
Now, I am not going to lie to you.
This one is a bit flawed.
But more on that in a second. For now, let’s just grasp what this initiative is.
Essentially the way this works is that you write your exes number down on a piece of paper and then you erase that number from your phone. After that, you take the piece of paper to a trusted friend and tell them not to give it to you until your 21 – 45 days are up.
Now, I know what you are thinking,
“I get it and everything but what’s the flaw?
Well, let’s say that I am the trusted friend who you gave your exes number to. And let’s say that your ex contacts you at some point. It will probably still show up on your phone but just as a number you don’t recognize.
Nevertheless, I have seen this method work for a lot of women who have tried it so it isn’t without it’s merits.
Making Yourself So Busy You Don’t Have Time
I am a big fan of this one.
Well, because IF you do the no contact rule the way that I am recommending you to do it then this is going to happen naturally.
Think about it…
The holy trinity…
These are things that are meant to keep you buys and most importantly keep your mind off of your ex which is a HUGE problem we are facing. So, the idea here is that you keep yourself so busy that you don’t even have time to contact your ex.
Now, I realize that it’s unrealistic of me to say,
“Ok, as long as you just make yourself busy you won’t ever have time to contact your ex.”
That’s not true.
If someone is motivated enough they will always find time.
But here is the point I want to hammer home for you.
As long as you couple this strategy with a few others you should be golden.
Keeping A Journal
I have to admit that I can’t take credit for this one. This is the brain child of my wife.
So, the way this works is that you go out and buy a journal. Now, the thing about this journal is that it’s only meant for the no contact rule. In other words, this is your no contact rule journal 😉 .
Ok, lame joke aside you are going to utilize this journal to write down your feelings during the no contact rule.
It’s a way to exercise how you are feeling and also a way to prevent yourself from contacting your ex.
Now, let’s say you are going along down the no contact rule and all of a sudden you get this urge to contact your ex. It’s overwhelming and your fingers are literally on the phone typing in their name.
Well, instead of doing that you are going to pull out your journal and write down how you are feeling.
Write down what you want to write…
Write down how angry and upset you are…
Get it all out.
Get it all out until you don’t feel the urge to contact them anymore.
Unfollow Your Ex On Facebook
Notice how I said “unfollow” and not “unfriend”
Believe it or not there is a difference between the two.
Basically by unfollowing your ex they won’t show up in your feed anymore. Now, if you want more details on why I recommend not to fully unfriend your ex then I recommend going here.
So, that’s going to do it for my epic guide on the no contact rule?
What do you think?
Are you confused about anything?
Do you need help with anything?
We would love to hear from you in the comments below!