Welcome to the ultimate Guide on understanding how to use the No Contact Rule after a breakup.
The no contact rule refers to a period of time where you cut off all conceivable communication with an ex after a breakup. The intent of this tactic should NOT be used to make your ex miss you but instead should be used to rebuild your own life so that you outgrow your ex. By doing this, the no contact rule can have the added benefit of making an ex miss you
I want to be clear about something. This is NOT going to be your average “why is the no contact rule so important” article.
I’m going to cover some of the biggest trends we’ve seen in our decades worth of research so that you can understand what’s working right now.
I’m also going to tackling some of the biggest new trends we’ve been seeing on why the no contact rule continues to be one of the most effective ways to cause exes to come back.
So, if you’re looking to understand the importance of the no contact rule on a deeper level then you came to right place.
Here’s what we’re going to be covering today.
- The Psychology Of Why The No Contact Rule Works
- Learning What Your Ex Is Thinking During No Contact
- Understanding If Your Ex Will Get Angry If You Use No Contact On Them
- Learning What We Believe Is The Most Important Factor For A Successful No Contact Rule
- How You Should Use Social Media During No Contact
- When The No Contact Rule Will Start To Work
- The Success Rate Of The No Contact Rule
- Our Best Tips On How NOT To Break No Contact
- Determining How Long The No Contact Rule Should Be
- What To Do If Your Ex Excessively Tries To Get You To Respond During No Contact
- Learning What To Do If You Accidentally Break The No Contact Rule Early
- What The Benefits Are For A Successful No Contact Rule
- The Different Types Of No Contact
- What To Do If You Never Hear From An Ex During No Contact
- Special Circumstances With The No Contact Rule
- Looking At Situations Where The No Contact Rule Might Not Work
- Are There Situations Where You Can Break The No Contact Rule Early?
- What To Do After The No Contact Rule
The Psychology Of Why The No Contact Rule Works
There’s a lot to talk about with regards to why the no contact rule works.
In this section we are going to look at the psychological reasons that the no contact rule is so effective but taking things a step further we are also going to consider things from your exes perspective.
It’s my personal belief that you’ll be shocked when you learn some of the things we have to teach you but first things first, why does the no contact rule work.
Psychological Reasons That The No Contact Works
Recently I’ve talked extensively about two of the biggest psychological factors that go into the no contact rule,
1. The Play Hard To Get Factor
2. The Reactance Factor
Let’s look at the “play hard to get factor” first.
Playing Hard To Get
In 2020 the duo of Gurit Birnbaum, a social psychologist and associate professor of psychology at the IDC Herzliya, and Harry Reis, a professor of psychology and Dean’s Professor in Arts, Sciences & Engineering at the University of Rochester, discovered that immediately reciprocating another person’s interest may not be the smartest strategy for attracting mates.
The natural trajectory of a breakup is to stay in touch afterwards. In fact, as you’ll soon learn it can be jarring for an ex when you cut off all contact and taking things a step further it can be jarring for you personally.
However, if we look at things in a cold unbiased manner it’s clear that doing so engages you in the “ultimate play hard to get” tactic and this tactic is rooted firmly in psychology.
Why do you think an ex who breaks up with you and doesn’t want anything to do with you all of a sudden begins paying attention to you?
Because your perceived value raises when you ignore your ex. It’s an implied silence. By not responding to an ex after a breakup or acting the way that they think you should act you imply that they weren’t as important to you as they initially thought.
It’s important to remember that human beings are very self interested.
I’ve long made my thoughts on the theory of psychological egoists known.
Sometimes when you engage in a no contact rule it’s easy to forget the impact it will have on an ex because you’re often thinking about the impact it has on you personally.
Our research has found that silence is among the best strategies that can make an ex miss you and it really boils down to playing hard to get.
When you go silent you are implying that your time is more valuable than your ex initially believed. You imply that you may have found someone else.
As a result, your value raises.
The Reactance Factor
Next we have a much more technical psychological theory and that’s the theory of reactance.
Psychological reactance to be more exact.
How does it work?
Psychological Reactance: Human beings believe they have a set amount of behavioral freedoms. When those freedoms are lost or become threatened their behavior shifts in ways that align with trying to regain that freedom.
It’s a pretty simple concept to understand because we’ve all experienced it at some point.
When was the last time you grew frustrated around Christmas time because you couldn’t find your child or significant other that perfect gift they wanted.
You knew what they asked for but there’s only a limited amount available.
That perceived loss of something that you’ve already believed to have paid for is enough to make you drive halfway across the city in search of a rumor.
An entire movie was made on this concept by Arnold Schwarzneggar with Jingle All The Way.
It sounds ridiculous but I’ve seen this work incredibly well especially with the no contact rule.
So, what perceived behavioral freedom does your ex believe they lose if you implement the no contact rule on them?
Simple, the ability to talk to you.
There’s a sense of ownership of time when it came to dating you. They probably even grew comfortable with the fact that they could talk to you whenever they wanted and get immediate responses.
The no contact rule removes this behavioral freedom and the way it does it is so harsh that it almost highlights it.
The silence shows your ex that you aren’t going to allow them to continue to talk to you and the threat or perceived removal of something that came so easily when you were dating is enough to make them go crazy.
This is why you see some of those no contact rule success stories where an ex grows angry or even blows your phone up trying to get your attention.
They want that behavioral freedom back.
Now, speaking of reactions to the no contact rule let’s talk about another big thing a lot of my clients wonder and that’s understanding what your ex is thinking during no contact.
What Your Ex Is Thinking During The No Contact Rule
This is something I’ve dedicated a lot of my research time to. You’d be surprised at how often people want to know exactly what their ex is thinking during a no contact rule.
Ultimately I determined that there are five main stages that your ex will probably experience during a no contact rule.
1. Calm and assured of their decision
2. Worry after they don’t hear from you
3. Anger when they realize they’re being ignored
4. Confrontation about what they lost
5. Hope of contact
What’s important to remember here is that not only are these stages Indicative of what your ex is thinking but also what they are feeling.
Your ex may skip from one stage to the next and may go through all of the stages only to regress and start over.
Breakups are full of complicated emotions and the no contact rule is no exception.
Let’s take a brief moment to explain what these five stages look like.
Stage One: Calm And Assured Of Their Decision
We find that the majority of our clients are the ones who have been broken up with.
At its core a breakup is essentially one party thinking they can do better than the other so this stage makes complete sense if you really think about it.
If your ex is the one to break up with you then they are likely going to be happy with their decision at first.
Now, this may be heartbreaking to hear since you’re hoping they’re as devastated as you are and they may be but usually not at first.
Devastation takes time.
Great things don’t happen suddenly.
Stage Two: Worry After They Don’t Hear From You
After they go through the traditional calmness after the breakup next up is a bit of worry.
Usually this happens when they realize you haven’t contacted them in some time.
Here the effects of the no contact rule begin to be seen. It’s only after they realize that somethings up that they begin to grow worried.
It isn’t at all like you to not respond or pick up the phone.
Which leads us seamlessly to stage three.
Stage Three: Anger When They Realize They Are Being Ignored
This is without a doubt the stage that causes most of my clients to break the no contact rule prematurely.
Well, let’s just say that too many of my clients show too much respect towards their exes.
This is also a stage that can be perfectly explained with the theory of reactance above.
Here the realization fully occurs that you are purposefully ignoring them.
How dare you…
So your ex throws a tantrum and you get your first true test of the no contact rule.
How do you respond?
Do you fold to the pressure or do you cave to it?
Stage Four: Confrontation About What They Lost
After your ex is done with their initial tantrum it’s time for some introspection.
Again, we can use the “play hard to get” psychology section above to explain the thought process during this stage.
The realization fully dawns that they may lose you forever and this is where you’ll see crazy swings in actions.
Stage three was all about anger while stage four is all about apologizing or in some cases even begging but we’ve personally found it’s extremely rare for an ex to beg for you back during a no contact rule.
I also feel it’s important to mention that the shifts in these stages aren’t stark.
Often they happen so gradually that you don’t even notice you are in the midst of a stage until it’s too late.
And more often than not each person is unique.
Some people will skip stages while others stay a long time in one stage.
There isn’t a perfect template I can give you to outline exactly how your ex will feel or think.
If there was I’d give it to you.
Stage Five: Hope of Contact
Originally when I brainstormed these stages I only thought of four.
I didn’t include “hope of contact” because I thought that the confrontation about what they lost stage would be enough to explain it away.
I was wrong.
Perhaps the strangest thing about this stage is its implied meaning.
Hope of contact means they hope YOU contact them and not the other way around.
A few months ago I polled our private facebook support group to see how often exes actually reached out during a no contact rule and I was shocked to learn that 60% of the time your ex WON’T reach out to you during no contact.
More shocking still was interviewing our success stories proved that exes who didn’t contact you during a no contact rule still badly wanted to hear from you.
So, what’s going on here?
Well, it looks like stubbornness and positioning play a huge role in having an ex not reach out to you. However, that stubbornness doesn’t mean they don’t want you to contact them.
They do, really badly.
Will My Ex Get Angry If I Use The No Contact Rule On Them?
So far we’ve established that the no contact rule is a tactic designed to cut your ex off from all communication with you for a certain period of time.
Now, while there are exceptions to these rules that I’ll be covering later I like to go to extremes to illustrate some of the factors that you may be worried about.
Many of you may not know this but anyone who has access to The Ex Boyfriend Recovery Program gains access to a special private Facebook support group.
Basically it’s a collection of individuals who are all going through breakups and are willing to pay it forward.
But what I love most about the ex recovery program community is that it allows me to better understand the hopes and fears of my clients.
As you can imagine the no contact rule is a HUGE topic on the Facebook support group.
But there usually aren’t any questions about how to use the no contact rule. Instead, most of the concerns or fears revolve around how an ex will feel if you use it on them.
Common questions we get usually go something like this,
Another common one is,
Isn’t it rude to just suddenly cut your ex off? (Again, I wrote an article on that one too.)
But what I’d like to talk about in this section is by far the biggest fear that people have when they implement the no contact rule and that’s if your ex will grow angry at you if you use the no contact rule.
Answering this should be simple but our research has indicated that the truth is a bit more complicated.
So, let’s just take on one of the biggest concerns that people have.
Yes, if you use the no contact rule on your ex they will probably get angry and that’s ok.
In a weird way we want that because it makes the tactic even more effective if you react the right way to that anger.
A few weeks ago I interviewed coach Anna (our head coach on Ex Boyfriend Recovery) on anger and how to handle exes when they get angry at you.
In the video we talked about what to do if your ex gets angry at you during the no contact rule and let me tell you, the information there is gold. If you have an hour on your commute to work I’d highly recommend listening to the entire interview because you are going to learn things.
But here are a few of the things that really stood out to me personally.
Anger and guilt during the no contact rule are all about how you personally perceive it.
For example, the average client we have will use a no contact rule on their ex only to get a super angry text message back when they go through the third stage of no contact feelings that I talked about above.
You immediately read the text and grow sad or even worried. You see, in your mind you perceive this angry text message as a negative and as an indication that your ex doesn’t want you anymore.
When in reality anger and aggressive behavior (like using aggressive language) is a mask to hide the senders true feelings.
They are sad and upset that you aren’t sulking over them anymore so they throw a tantrum to try to get back control.
And unfortunately most of our clients panic and let them have it back because they’re worried they’ll lose their one chance to get their ex back.
The reality is that they are rewarding aggressive behavior.
On the podcast interview I make reference to this test that exes do when they enter tantrum mode.
Essentially they are testing the waters to see if your no contact is legitmate and the second you break it to respond to their angry message it shows them where your breaking point is.
This is why we see so many of our clients fail the no contact rule multiple times.
It’s out of a fear that they’ll lose their ex forever. The irony of the whole situation is that the people who are successful are the people who are willing to let their ex go.
Speaking of which, let’s move on to our next section since we are going to deal exclusively with that concept.
The Most Important Factors For A Successful No Contact Rule
Every two to four years I take the time to update my core program.
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?
Most people think that it’s a cheap money grab. You know, update every few years, rebrand and then re-sell at a more expensive rate.
But I made them eat their words during the last update when I permanently slashed the price by 100%.
The truth is that the dating landscape has changed a lot from when I first started Ex Boyfriend Recovery. Also, I’m a big believer in the socratic method.
Basically I want to continue to test all the strategies and hypothesis that I have revolving around them to ensure I’m giving people the best possible information.
This is why I’ve continued to update our official definition of the no contact rule.
Originally when I first started the no contact rule was all about the playing hard to get angle.
Oh ya, if you use this rule and ignore your ex for a certain amount of time it’ll make them miss you.
Then we learned that people who saw the best success seemed to be ones who put the focus on themselves so we updated the definition to add “cultivate your own personal life AND make your ex miss you.”
But even that was flawed.
Last year I ran an extensive study where I interviewed the success stories that were coming through our program. Basically I wanted to see if I could find the patterns that were making these people successful and highlight them.
Pretty much everything I learned in the study wasn’t that shocking to me.
- Successful people tend to be disciplined and are able to think outside the box.
- They also tend to choose the correct moments to take risks.
I only found one thing that was shocking to me.
In every single success story I noticed this undercurrent of growth to the point that it seemed like they didn’t want their exes back anymore.
They moved on and outgrew their exes during no contact.
Thus, our most current definition of the no contact rule came into existence.
The no contact rule is a period of time where you ignore your ex on purpose. The intent of this tactic should NOT be used to make your ex miss you but instead should be used to rebuild your own life so that you outgrow your ex. By doing this, the no contact rule can have the added benefit of making an ex miss you
But I’m the kind of person that always wants to dissect and understand why.
Why is it that successful no contact rules are always accompanied by growth on this scale?
I didn’t find my answer until I interviewed fellow relationship expert Antia Boyd about attachment styles,
How Attachment Styles Help In Growth
You see, she helped me understand that really what I was seeing as growth during this no contact rule was really an evolution of attachment styles.
But before I explain that I probably need to define what attachment styles are to you.
According to psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby, one’s relationship with their parents during childhood has an overarching influence on their social (and intimate) relationships in the future. In other words, your early relationship with your caregivers sets the stage for how you will build relationships as an adult.
Now, we can get really complicated with this and start listing all the variations that attachment styles have but I like to keep things simple so I usually just teach people the four basic ones.
What Is An Anxious Attachment?
People who are anxious show an excessive worry about the closeness of their relationships.
They always seem to be afraid that the relationship won’t last or their partner will be unfaithful or that they will somehow reject them in one way or another.
Someone with an anxious attachment style will have this strong belief that they care more about the relationship than their partner does.
This creates high levels of anxiety that can be seen on all levels.
Another big calling card for the anxious attachment style is this constant need of approval. They need their relationship to be stable even when it’s not.
This actually makes my life more difficult because an anxious attachment will not see the warning signs associated with trouble.
Oftentimes when I sit down with a client on Ex Boyfriend Recovery or Ex Girlfriend Recovery I’ll ask them,
“So, did you see this breakup coming or was it out of the blue?”
If they reply, “It was out of the blue” I know this person is likely going to be an anxious attachment style.
Another big calling card to the anxious attachment style is a strong fear of abandonment which leads to allowing their own needs in a relationship to never be met.
Oftentimes they’ll acquiesce to their partners’ needs over their own.
Sometimes you’ll see this on an extreme level to the point that the partner is saying something like,
“You need to find more to focus on than us…”
People with anxious attachment style are strong compulsive caretakers at the expense of themselves.
Their greatest fear is a fear of being alone.
What Is An Avoidant Attachment?
The calling card here is a lack of intimacy.
They’ll either avoid it altogether or keep their partners at a distance.
A lot of people think that someone with an avoidant attachment will avoid relationships altogether but this is simply not true.
They do form relationships they simply find ways of staying distant within the confines of the relationship.
You see this a lot when it comes to expressing emotions or dealing with conflict.
They’ll withdraw or simply avoid it.
I’d even go as far as saying that they have a pretty big mistrust in depending on others in relationships.
The avoidant type would often perceive themselves as ‘lone wolves’: strong, independent, and self-sufficient; not necessarily in terms of physical contact, but rather on an emotional level.
Underlying everything with an avoidant attachment style is a deep fear of getting too close.
What Is A Fearful Attachment?
So, I want to preface everything I’m about to say by saying that fearful attachment styles are extremely rare.
Research has shown that only about 7% of the population falls into this category so statistics would say that you or your partner probably don’t fall into this category.
In fact, this attachment style is so rare that many psychologists would label these types of individuals with borderline personality disorder.
They are constantly showing instability or upheaval in their intimate relationships.
They often feel like they don’t have an impact on the world.
They feel ineffective and helpless in life.
I’ve always considered fearful attachment styles as being a mix of both avoidant and anxious behaviors.
They can swing from one attachment style to the next leaving their partners confused as to what is going on.
They have disorganized and spotty work histories.
Fearful people do want intimacy and closeness, but at the same time, experience troubles trusting and depending on others.
They do not regulate their emotions well and avoid strong emotional attachment, due to their fear of getting hurt.
One final note here.
The chances are pretty high that your partner is NOT a fearful attachment style and it is easy to misdiagnose them as such.
What Is A Secure Attachment?
Secure individuals show a healthy balance of healthy attachment behavior on the one hand and healthy exploratory behaviors on the other hand in intimate relationships.
It’s clear that they are comfortable with closeness and mutual dependency.
They actively seek emotional support from their partners and can actively initiate and give emotional support to their partners.
They are also comfortable being alone. There is not undue discomfort if they are alone.
It’s been my experience that when secure attachments go through a breakup they allow themselves time to grieve but have the fortitude and strength to move on in a healthy way.
Essentially the secure attachment is as good as it gets.
The Power Of A Secure Attachment
So, I realize that was a super long winded explanation of what the attachment styles are but I want to be thorough because I personally believe this is the most important concept for you to master if you want to have a successful no contact rule.
Most of the clients that we personally coach on Ex Boyfriend Recovery and even the brother site, Ex Girlfriend Recovery have anxious attachment styles.
The interesting thing about anxious attachment styles is they seem incredibly drawn to avoidant attachment styles.
But no matter who anxious attachment styles end up with the solution should always be the same, evolve so that you are more secure.
The secure attachment is like gravity. All the other attachment styles are drawn to it.
So, without a doubt one of the most important factors during the no contact rule is using that time to evolve your personal attachment style so you are more secure like.
The only question is how?
Well, for that I’d like to introduce you to a concept called the holy trinity.
What Is The Holy Trinity?
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 quick little report 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. Doing so will help you achieve the balance you need to attain that secure attachment style.
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 improve your attachment style.
The Dating Yourself Mentality
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 summation 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 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 Program 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 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 through 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.
Using Social Media During The No Contact Rule
Above I mentioned that one of the big fears I notice my clients having during the no contact rule has to do with a fear that their ex will forget them if the ignore them.
Now, I’ve made a gigantic case above why I think that fear is irrational but one thing I haven’t really dove into yet is why I don’t really consider a no contact rule a full no contact rule.
In order for me to explain this I’m going to have to get a bit technical so bear with me.
Studies have shown that most exes will continue to pay attention to you via social media after a breakup.
In 2012 a graduate student researching the impact Facebook has on breakups found that 89% of exes admitted to Facebook stalking their significant others.
A lot has changed since 2012.
With the advent of Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch and countless others there are numerous ways that an ex can pay attention to what you are up to if you are doing a no contact rule.
So, in this odd roundabout way you can still communicate with your ex in an indirect way via social media during the no contact rule.
Does this mean that you should go dark on social media during a breakup?
Think of social media platforms as opportunities to show your ex the kinds of experiences they are missing out on with you.
A Few Quick Guidelines About Social Media And The No Contact Rule
I don’t want to go too far off into left field here since I’ve dedicated an entire resource to talking about social media rules.
However, there are a few guidelines you will be restricted to with social media and the no contact rule.
Do Not Begin To Post Excessively
When you post on social media one of the first things that you need to realize is that you should not drastically change your posting frequencies.
This means that you should not post a lot more or post a lot less because any significant changes to that frequency can signal anyone who’s looking at your social media that something is going on.
The last thing you want is something that makes anyone looking at your social media think, “Okay, there’s a story here.
Something’s going on.
There’s a purpose behind this increase or decrease.
It makes them trust what you post far less.
We don’t need to have that.
Do Not Try Obvious Attempts To Make Your Ex Jealous
I feel like this shouldn’t be something that I have to say but it is.
There is a definite difference between someone who is authentically having a good time out with friends and someone who is faking it to make an ex jealous.
I’ll give you a real life example.
We once had a client come through here post a picture of her kissing another guy during her no contact rule.
Keep in mind, this girl wanted her ex back desperately and while I will, in just a moment, take on the fear of loss explanation during no contact there is a definite difference between rubbing something in an exes face and just allowing something to happen naturally.
Jealousy can be a dangerous emotion and not all situations should utilize it.
But this brings up an interesting question.
What kind of things should you post?
Stick To The Rule Of Five
The rule of five is not something I can actually take credit for. This is something our Head Coach Anna Gonowon came up with.
She details it in this interview,
Here’s how it works.
In the section above I introduced you to the concept of “The Holy Trinity.”
You are going to want to post things on your social media accounts related to those three areas.
So, one day you’ll post something health related like a picture of you on a run.
The next day you’ll post something related to wealth. Maybe something really cool or funny happened at work.
The third day you’ll post something related to relationships. Maybe Grandma has a birthday and you post a video of it.
Of course, the rule of five won’t make a lot of sense if it only contains three things.
Well, that’s where it gets really fun.
The last two items are things that you want to post. It can be anything you want.
The only prerequisites are that it can’t be about your breakup or your ex in any way.
It also has to be interesting.
Social Media Is The Key To Regret And Fear of Loss During No Contact
This is the final point that I want to make before I continue.
The real power with social media during the no contact rule is that it has the ability to create regret and fear of loss.
Two factors that we have found are essential to getting an ex back.
Think about it.
Let’s say you that you post a picture going to a place your ex always wanted to take you to.
Let’s say they always promised to take you to Hawaii.
Looking back on your relationship this was something that they had promised time and again that they would do with you.
But the stars never aligned. Something always came up that prevented it from happening.
One day, months after the breakup they open up Facebook only to see that you’ve taken a trip to Hawaii with friends. They see you snorkeling and hiking.
Think about the complicated emotions they are going to feel upon seeing that post knowing that they couldn’t make good on their promise.
“She was supposed to do that with me…”
Maybe they’ll get angry.
Maybe they’ll blame you for going without them.
Maybe they’ll reach out to you during no contact trying to get you to break it.
That doesn’t sound like someone whose over you to me, does it?
When Does The No Contact Rule Start To Work?
This is a complicated question to answer because the truth is complicated.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this because I’ve written quite a bit about when the no contact rule will start to work.
But I suppose the best place to start would be our success stories.
Sometimes I’ll interview someone who got their ex back and they will see immediate results with the no contact rule. I mean, we are talking about immediate results here so within three days of ignoring their ex he’s blowing up my clients phone.
Others I’ll interview never get a hint that the no contact rule is working at all. They only hear about it after the fact when they’ve gotten their ex back and he’ll admit that it was killing him but his stubbornness outweighed his ability to reach out.
So, while I’d love to sit here and give you an exact time frame down to the minute of when our clients see success it’s too all over the place to do that.
What I can do is show you the top signs we notice that the no contact rule is working on an ex.
Early last year I had the pleasure of creating a pretty high quality video where I gave the seven biggest signs that the no contact rule is working on an ex.
I’m not going to go too far in-depth on the signs since I wrote a whole article and filmed a whole video on them but if you’re anything like me (and I know you are) you’ll probably skip the video since you don’t have time.
So, for those scanners out there here’s a brief overview of the seven signs you should be keeping an eye out for if you want to determine that the no contact rule is working.
- Your Ex Tries to Get A Hold of You
- You’re Spending More Time on Your Self…And Loving It
- Others Start Finding You More Attractive
- Your Ex Starts Paying Attention to Social Media More
- Your Ex Is More Responsive After No Contact
- Your Ex Begins Sending You Gifts
- Your Ex Asks About You but Not to Your Face
Alright, let’s move on to the fun stuff.
The Success Rate Of The No Contact Rule
I enjoy this section quite a bit because I get to throw out all the cool statistics we’ve been able to locate over the years about the no contact rule.
In addition to showing you the statistics behind the no contact rule I’m also going to show you why I think the no contact rule works so well for our clients by introducing you to some of the coolest success stories we’ve had with the no contact rule.
But first, let’s have a statistics barrage.
Interesting Internal Findings about The No Contact Rule
Last year I wrote that the no contact rule success rate has been close to 75% for our clients.
The important part here has to do with how I chose to define success. Ultimately I settled on the following three things,
- Your emotions have been completely settled down after the breakup
- You’ve spend time away from your ex evolving/outgrowing them
- Your ex begins to miss you
In other words, if you met one of those three criteria I considered you to have a successful no contact rule.
After crunching the numbers we found that 75% of our clients met that criteria.
But that’s hardly new information to you.
Here is some new information.
Just about all of our success stories you some form of no contact.
- Three years ago when I polled our success stories for the year we found that 70% of them used some form of no contact.
- Two years ago when I polled our success stories for the year we found that 90% of them used some form of no contact.
- Last year when I ran the same poll we found that 98% of them used some form of no contact.
So, what’s going on here?
If I’m being honest I believe it’s because The Ex Recovery Coaches and I have gotten much more strict about ensuring our clients see it through to the end.
Hence, our success rate has gone up and we get awesome stories like this client who got her ex back after contacting him first after a no contact rule,
How Long Should Your No Contact Rule Be?
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 Period Can Work For Some Breakup Situations
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.
Some think its the sweet spot.
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 Period Is A Good Balance of Creating the Effect You Want With Most Guys
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 Period Is About As Far You Want To Go
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 talk about how NOT to break the no contact rule.
How To NOT Break The No Contact Rule
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. It’s so easy to just have one bad day and mess up the no contact rule.
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 Whats App?
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.
1. 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.
2. Making Yourself So Busy You Don’t Have Time to Think About Him or Do Something You Will Regret
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.
3. Keeping A Journal Can Make The Breakup Blues Go Away
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.
4. 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.
What If My Ex Is Excessively Trying To Get Me To Respond During A No Contact Period?
So far we’ve talked about a lot of different situations regarding your ex guilting you during the no contact rule.
But one thing we haven’t really talked about is what to do when your ex contacts you during no contact in an excessive way.
So, I’ve lovingly referred to these exes with an acronym called GNAT.
In some cases our clients exes will blow their phone up to the point that they will ask us if they should block them for the entirety of the no contact rule.
Another common tactic we’ve noticed from these exes occurs when they call you during no contact and leave a voicemail.
Later we are going to talk about the rare situations where we will allow you to break the no contact rule but 95% of our clients won’t fall into this category which means they need to continue on with the no contact rule.
Why Can An Ex Go So Crazy During No Contact? What Are They Trying To Accomplish?
I’m aware of the fact that this article is very long and it might be hard for you find references that I made earlier throughout it.
In fact, most people won’t read this article from start to finish. Most likely, they’ll skip to the sections that they think are most interesting.
But in the “Will No Contact Make My Ex Angry” section above I reference a type of behavior that we’ve seen is pretty common for exes.
Basically, without even realizing it an ex can throw a tantrum or contact you excessively to test and see how serious you are about this no contact.
The tantrum will likely be accompanied by a statement like,
- “If you don’t respond forget ever talking to me again.”
- “I never loved you anyways.”
Really hurtful things, right?
Most people who do a no contact rule hear that and feel they need to respond or else they’ll lose the chance of getting back together.
In other words, they break no contact because of their exes tantrum.
Breaking no contact in this circumstance does two things.
- It shows your ex that you have a limit and as long as they push you to that limit you’ll consistently break no contact.
- You reward your ex with a responsive for their aggressive language or behaviors.
Now, this all usually happens on a subconscious level.
Meaning that your ex probably isn’t consciously aware of being rewarded for their aggressive behaviors but at some point when you restart the no contact rule it will come up and they’ll test you again feeling like if they push you to the brink they’ll get your attention again.
So, what’s the moral of the story here?
If your ex is excessively trying to get your attention during the no contact rule DO NOT give it to them.
Of course, there are exceptions to this but I’ll talk about that later.
What Happens If You Accidentally Break The No Contact Rule Early?
Here we come to the most difficult aspect of the no contact rule.
I’ve written extensively over the years about what to do if you fail a no contact rule.
I’ve even written about our findings on if the no contact rule can work twice.
But before I answer those questions in an abbreviated manner I’d like to answer the big question first.
If you accidentally break the no contact rule early what do you do?
You start over from the beginning.
This means that if you were doing a 30 day no contact rule and on day 15 your ex reaches out to you and guilts you into responding to them you have to start over from day one.
Why are we so harsh in our rules?
The Doomsday Clock
Breaking the no contact rule early is indicative of the fact that you’re missing the entire point of no contact.
Remember the whole spiel I gave on “outgrowing” an ex. Changing your anxious attachment style to a more secure one.
Well, getting guilted or not having the discipline to see your no contact rule all the way through to the end means you aren’t really mastering the things you need to master.
It simply means you need more time.
I liken it to a doomsday effect.
Most of our clients who embark on the no contact rule look at the end of the no contact rule as some sort of countdown to when their relationship will officially end.
As if every day that goes forward during no contact is a day that they are closer to losing their ex forever.
Instead, they should be attempting to look at the end of no contact like Christmas morning.
You remember the days from when you were a kid, right?
You’d go to be extremely excited that Santa Claus was coming. You grow so jittery that you wouldn’t be able to sleep.
And when you finally did fall asleep you’d wake up only a few hours later because you’d be so excited to see what was under the tree.
That is how you should look at the no contact rule.
Shift the paradigm so that you don’t look at no contact as this doomsday countdown to the demise of your relationship with your ex but rather a Christmas countdown to the moment you embark on your journey to save your relationship.
What Happens If You Fail The No Contact Rule A Lot?
While I’d love to sit here and lie to you I just can’t do that. There are people out there that will have you believe that you’re entitled to a few mess ups with the no contact rule.
But what they neglect to tell you is the fact that every time you fail the no contact rule it loses a little bit of effectiveness.
This means that if you’ve failed the no contact rule fifteen times the sixteenth time you try it isn’t going to be as effective as the first time you try it.
I always liken it to seeing an amazing movie for the first time. Everything hits so much more effectively. The emotions it wants you to feel, you feel. The shock it wants you to feel, you feel.
At some point you grow so eager to re-experience those emotions you decide to see the movie again.
It’s still great but it’s just not the same.
The moments still work but you’ve already seen them before so they don’t hit as effectively.
The shocks are no longer shocks since you know they are coming.
You still love the movie but it’s not as good as the first time.
The same thing happens each time you try to restart a no contact rule after failing it.
It can still be effective but it won’t ever be as impactful as that first time you tried it.
That’s why it’s in your best interest to NOT break the no contact rule.
The Benefits Of The No Contact Rule
Thus far we’ve been talking a lot about the psychology of the no contact rule and answering very specific questions related to it.
I’d like to interrupt that steady flow to show you some of the biggest benefits we’ve seen our clients have when they use the no contact rule.
So, here are the ten biggest benefits as a result of not talking to your ex anymore.
1. Stop The Bleeding Caused By the Break Up.
It hurts like hell when your ex boyfriend breaks up with you. Heck, it’s painful as heck even if you initiate the break up. However it all went down, chances are you and your boyfriend’s nerves are shot. Your emotions are probably on edge and if there isn’t some relief soon, what is left of the relationship is likely to implode. So Radio Silence is like a circuit breaker. You are kicking off the communications and creating some space so you and your boyfriend can breathe on your own again.
2. Implementing Radio Silence Helps Your Ex Boyfriend Experience Some Healing.
If you want to optimize your chances over the long run, you need to separate from your ex boyfriend in the short run for a lot of reasons, least of which is your ex boyfriend needs to get better. He might be acting like an angry bully or may be undergoing serious emotional difficulties. Depression may be setting in. His inability to cope with these new emotions makes him unapproachable. And if you try to reach out to your ex during this emotional packed time, do so at your own risk! So allow him some time to navigate through his stages of grief.
3. Hey, What About Your Own Healing After a Break Up?
That’s right. You too need to get your emotions centered, so healing is a two way street. Neither of your are going to be of much good to the other during most stages of the post break up period. You might agree to go your separate ways amicably, but later those feelings of rejection, resentment, anger and all the rest are going to descend upon you. Getting through all that will take you some time.
4. The No Contact Rule Allows You To Reset The Relationship After The Breakup
Somewhere along the way, you and your boyfriend blew up the relationship. There can be tons of reasons for that. By using Radio Silence right after the break-up, you are in effect resetting the Breakup Clock. The old relationship is dead. Now you are in the post break up period. The idea though is to work through this period to do a lot of things that will allow you to reset the Relationship and hopefully come at it in a better way, armed with greater knowledge and insights.
5. Ignoring Your Ex Allows You To Create Attraction
When you buy my program, you learn all about how to maximize the No Contact Period such that you are doing things not just for your own self recovery (healing), but also taking many steps to rebuild attraction and plant seeds of arousal.
6. Rolling Out Your NC Strategy Allows You To Create a Self Recovery Plan
There are two sides to the after breakup period. Like two sides of a coin. There is the part where you do things to optimize your chances to win your ex boyfriend back. Then there are things that you do for yourself to get better in all aspects of your life. I refer to this as optimizing your Holy Trinity of improving your health, wealth, and relationships. And the wonderful thing about it is by doing this for yourself, you give yourself protection in the event you never get your ex boyfriend back. You will have so much more balance and perspective about your place in life. And interestingly, this side of the coin (self recovery) helps you with the other side of the coin (creating attraction and interest from your ex boyfriend).
7. Going Silent With Your Ex Boyfriend Gives You Time To Rebuild Your Confidence
There is not much worse than feeling discarded and rejected and disappointed by your ex boyfriend, over and over again. It can take its toll in your personal confidence department. So use this time of Radio Silence wisely, and focus on things that will rebuild your confidence and sense of self value. Remember, it is ultimately your ex boyfriend’s loss if he can’t find his way back to you. That is not on you. You will execute your plan and he will have his opportunities, but whatever happens, you can hold your head up high and walk with confidence.
8. Using the No Contact Rule Helps You With Enhancing Your Value
One of the things I talk about in my program is the importance of striving to become the Ungettable Girl. This is where you focus on not just becoming the best version of yourself, but you seek to be everything your ex boyfriend may have imagined as his dream girlfriend, except he can’t quite have you right now. That is the place you want to arrive and there are many tactics you can draw upon to get there.
9. By Ending Contact With Your Ex Boyfriend It Open Your Eyes To Other Paths and Alternatives
Right now you are probably thinking of your ex boyfriend with great intensity. It might be fair to say your are obsessed with thoughts about him and what he did and why it didn’t work out and how you can get him back just as quickly as possible. But some of my clients, once they have gone through the entire No Contact Rule period, will come out the other side with an entirely different perspective of what they want. And it may not be their ex boyfriend that they want to return to. It may be something new you will want. You may come to appreciate that your ex boyfriend’s spell over you has ended and he is not what you need after all.
10. Once You Access My Program and Start In On Ending Communications With Your Ex, You Will Learn About Psychological Reactance.
Don’t you just love fancy scientific sounding words! Well, this one actually works. Indeed, just the fact that you are shutting down communications with your ex boyfriend plays well with this psychological principle. In short, it goes like this. Your boyfriend is not use to not getting what he wants. The more your deprive him of contact, the greater his desire will be to regain that which he lost.
The Different Types Of No Contact
When I first started Ex Boyfriend Recovery there was only one type of no contact.
That’s the no contact rule that I’ve been writing about for an hour but with more experience and all the special circumstances that crop up in relationships my team and I learned quickly that there isn’t a no contact rule that is a one size fits all.
This is why Ex Boyfriend Recovery sponsors three versions of no contact.
Now, this entire resource is dedicated to showing you all of the ins and outs of a standard no contact rule so I’m not going to sit here and define it for you.
Instead, lets talk about the limited and indefinite versions of no contact.
What Is A Limited No Contact Rule
This is something that I’m going to go into a lot during the special circumstances with the no contact rule section.
However, the limited no contact rule is essentially identical to the traditional no contact but it allows you to have brief interactions with your ex during unavoidable circumstances.
What warrants an unavoidable circumstance?
- It might be hard to “no contact” an ex if you work with them
- The same goes for if you live with them
- What about if you share children with them?
- What if there are important items you need to exchange?
- How about if you share bills with your ex?
A traditional no contact rule is extremely difficult to do in those circumstance because contrary to popular belief the goal with no contact ISN’T to be rude to your ex.
It’s about showing them you are able to move on from them which is something that most exes don’t initially believe.
The rules for a limited no contact rule are simple,
Only use a limited no contact in the place of a no contact when talking to your ex is absolutely necessary. In other words, if you miss taking to him and are looking for an excuse to do so then that is not a reason to break no contact.
I’ll give you a prime example of a good reason to engage in limited no contact.
Let’s say that you share children with your ex and one of your children is injured under your watch. It might be a good idea to break no contact to let your ex know that they are in the emergency room.
The interactions you have with your ex should be strictly business. Meaning you only talk about the matter at hand and then you break off contact and jump back into no contact.
What Is The Indefinite No Contact Rule
Last year I dedicated an entire video to this concept because I felt it was one that was important to get right.
An indefinite no contact rule is essentially a no contact rule where you never get back in touch with your ex. In other words, you never talk to your ex again.
Interestingly we’ve found that most of the “indefinite no contacts” that our clients experience don’t start off that way.
Initially they start off as traditional no contacts but as time goes on and they gain more perspective they determine they don’t want their exes back anymore and just never choose to contact them again.
But there are situations where we absolutely recommend indefinite no contact.
If your relationship had any of the following,
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Your ex is a narcissist
We tend to recommend indefinite no contact in those circumstances since we don’t agree with getting exes back in those type of situations.
What If You Don’t Hear From Your Ex During No Contact?
Generally speaking when I ask my clients what their worst nightmares are during the no contact rule I’ll get two types of responses.
- I’m terrified my ex will find someone new during no contact
- I’m terrified no contact won’t work and they won’t contact me during it
While we definitely have come up with a pretty strong (and a bit controversial) protocol on what to do if your ex moves on to someone new.
I’d like to tackle the second big fear.
What if I were to tell you the big lie most experts perpetuate about the no contact rule is that an ex is likely to contact you during it?
That’d be pretty shocking, right?
Last year I surveyed our private facebook group and asked them a simple question. For those of you who completed the no contact rule how many of you had an ex who contacted you during it.
The results shocked me.
60% of participants admitted that their exes did not contact them during a no contact period.
This flies in the face of everything all the experts out there teach, right?
If An Ex Doesn’t Contact You During No Contact Does It Mean No Contact Didn’t Work?
This is what a lot of people end up believing but the truth is much more complicated.
Most people who try the no contact rule will not have an ex contact them during it.
But I personally believe that has no bearing on its success.
Consider for a moment Jesse, one of our most exciting success stories,
She ended up using no contact and her ex did not contact her during it.
She’s married to him now by the way.
After asking him point blank why he didn’t contact her during no contact he simply said he was waiting for her to contact him first.
This aligns with a lot of our findings in our success stories.
The moral of the story is that success of a no contact rule shouldn’t be measured by if an ex contacts you. Rather, it should be measured by the progress you made during it.
Special Circumstances With The No Contact Rule
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 period 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 6 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.
1. The Alterations You Need To Make If Children Are Involved
(This would be considered part of the Limited No Contact Rule)
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?
2. The Alterations You Need To Make If You Work With Your Ex
(Again, part of the limited no contact rule)
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.
3. The Alterations You Need To Make If You Live With Your Ex
(Once again, part of the limited no contact rule)
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.
4. The Alterations You Need To Make If You Go To School With Your Ex
(Shocking I know… but it’s part of Limited No Contact)
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.
5. The Alterations You Need To Make If You Unexpectedly Run Into Your Ex Boyfriend
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.
6. Alterations You Need To Make For An Item or Possessions Exchange With Your Ex
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 😉 .)
Is There Ever A Situation Where The No Contact Rule Won’t Work?
I’d be lying to you if I told you that the no contact rule works in every single situation during a breakup. In fact, in many cases we find that our clients panic when they think it isn’t working.
This is why I did a gigantic section on alterations you need to make during no contact.
It’s also why I state no contact rule may not work and you’ll have to change your no contact into a limited contact or indefinite no contact.
But what I’d like to talk about are the specific situations where you should NOT use the no contact rule on your ex.
The Situations Where You Should Not Use No Contact
In an article a few years ago I detailed some of the biggest mistakes people make and the three big circumstances but after re-reading the article for this one I actually think it’s only two.
- You find yourself in a situation where no contact is impossible
- Your ex reaches out in the right type of way
We’ve talked to death about the situations where no contact cannot be done and how that relates to the limited no contact rule and indefinite no contact rules so I’m not going to go over that again.
If you skipped over reading that part just scroll back up to read that section.
What I’d like to talk about is what an ex reaching out in the right type of way looks like.
Again, I’m going to touch on this briefly in the next section but I’m going to give you a quick tease right here.
Let’s say that you are in the middle of a traditional no contact rule.
You’re doing the 30 day rule version.
On day 18 your ex begins to send the following texts to you,
- “I want to get back together”
- “We shouldn’t have broken up”
- “It was a mistake for me to leave you.”
- “Being friends is BS”
- “I need you as my girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband”
For most of you one of the primary reasons that you’ll be implementing a no contact rule is so that you can get your ex back and while we’ve noticed that the intent of how you go into the no contact rule matter that doesn’t change the overall goal.
If your ex is asking for you back there’s not a need to continue no contact.
Now, staying inline with this type of thinking I’d like to talk about the factors that allow you to break a no contact rule and I’m not talking about limited contact or indefinite no contact.
The Factors That Allow You To Break The Traditional No Contact Rule?
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?
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 When Dealing With Breaking No Contact
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.
What Do You Do After The No Contact Rule Is Finished?
At Ex Boyfriend Recovery I’ve become famous for how detailed my program is.
If you don’t believe me just look at this article.
In this section I’m going to talk about what to do after you have completed the no contact rule.
Now, while I believe I’ve covered every conceivable angle I can think of with regards to the no contact rule one thing I haven’t really touched on is what to do after the no contact period is over.
What if you reach out and your ex doesn’t reply?
How do you properly start a conversation with your ex?
What mistakes are people making?
Should you wait to contact your ex?
Well, let’s talk about that.
The No Contact Rule And The Value Ladder
Do me a favor and take a look at this graphic,
This is the general program we teach on how to get your ex back in a nutshell.
There are two aspects to it.
- The Value Ladder- The step by step methods we advise our clients to use to get their exes back.
- The Value Chain- The types of conversations you should have to make this happen.
We are just going to focus on the value ladder for now since technically speaking the no contact rule fits into it.
So, the first step of the value ladder is always a form of no contact.
This entire article just covered all the aspects I could think of related to no contact.
But what happens next?
How do you handle the first type of conversation after the no contact rule with an ex?
Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
First things first, I’d like to explain our philosophy on the value ladder.
Each rung of the ladder is theoretically supposed to increase your value to your ex as you climb.
- The no contact rule creates your foundation. You gain a sense of self worth and your ex realizes that you have outgrown them.
- The texting phase breaks down the boundary and you begin to rebuild rapport.
- The phone call/video chat phase is meant to kick things up a notch further. Everything is building towards the swell of seeing each other in person.
- The dating phase is where a lot of the big work gets done. You rebuild so much value that by the time you have gone on three dates your ex is ready to try again.
Now, that’s if everything works out in a perfect world.
It usually doesn’t which is why so many people need one on one help.
But my best piece of advice to you at this point is to not get bogged down with the complexity of everything.
Just take everything one step at a time and your next step should revolve around rebuilding rapport with your ex through texting.