Today we’re going to do something a little bit different.

Traditionally this podcast has had two formats. The first format is pretty straight forward, I take listener questions from people going through breakups and give them advice about what they should be doing in their exact situation.

And the second format is just straight one on one interviews with either people who are going through breakups themselves to help them so that you can see a live coaching session or talking to experts in other fields, or relevant fields that I think will help you.

But I think it’s important to be able to also have educational episodes and while maybe that’s not something that you were interested in hearing for a long time, like 20 minutes or 30 minutes, I’m going to try to keep these relatively short to the point and simple.

And we’re going to be covering some of the most asked questions that I’m seeing from people who are a little bit afraid to call in because they’re afraid of being featured or they’re afraid of their ex picking up on their voice, which is a relevant fear that I can completely understand.

But when I only feature people here on the podcast who have called in, one of the biggest issues is the fact that we’re only getting a small subset of the overall questions that the collective whole have. That’s not necessarily a problem that we see in the comments section of our website, in our private Facebook support groups, and sometimes even on one on one coaching sessions. So I think it’s really going to be helpful for a lot of people listening to this podcast who have always wondered how to answer some of the more relevant questions.

How Long Should You Be Doing The No Contact Rule For? 

One of the biggest questions that I get asked so many times is,

“Chris, how long should I be doing my no contact rule for?”

And it’s a really interesting question, I think, and there’s … it used to be a simple answer.

In fact, when I first started my website, Ex-boyfriend Recovery, I would just recommend a 30 day no contact rule but as we’ve learned more advanced and improved our techniques, we’ve complicated our answer.

And to make matters worse, oftentimes we find that most of the people who come into our space and are interested in either getting over an ex or getting an ex back will also go and seek other expert’s opinions to compare them to our opinions.

And every single expert has an idea of what they think the standard no contact period rule should be or how long it should be done for. I certainly have my own thoughts and when you add in my thoughts, other expert’s thoughts, oftentimes you’re left in this crazy situation where you’re trying to determine what’s best for you in your particular unique situation and you have four different timeframes that you should be following.

Now let me tell you a little bit about how I try to approach questions like these.

I try be very scientific.

See my use of the socratic method,

You see, I feel like the one big advantage that I have over my peers is data.

I have so many people that we’ve done one on one coaching sessions with, I communicate with my coaches all of the time, I’ve done many different one-on-one coaching sessions. We have so many people talking to us, telling us about their experiences with the no contact rule in our website comment section, in our simple contact form, but most importantly in our private Facebook support group with over 3,000 members.

We’re able to see what works, what doesn’t work, and report those data … report those data points back to you essentially.

Now I also like to look at the advice that we give as a living and breathing entity. Oftentimes you’ll hear … I’ll hear from someone who’s maybe gone through our program a couple of years ago. Maybe they didn’t get their ex back or maybe they did but they went through a breakup again and then two years later they come back, and say, “Chris, why has the advice changed?

This is different from what you said.” Well it’s because, like I said, it’s a living, breathing thing.

So if we find something that we think works better than what we previously advised people to do, we will absolutely update our website and training materials to reflect to those changes.

And one of the things that we have noticed have changed a lot over the years, especially when you’re looking at effectiveness, is the length of time you should be using a no contact rule for. Now I thought I had written a post on the website about this but I haven’t.

This is one of the reasons why I wanted to record it in podcast form because I feel like I can better communicate some of the changes and why they’ve occurred.

The Three No Contact Timelines

So the one thing that we are known for at Ex-boyfriend Recovery is this idea or this concept of the three different timelines.

Most people you’re going to run into will tell you to do the no contact rule for a month. Now some people will say 90 days, some people will say 60 days.

I’ve certainly got an opinion on those timeframes but in my opinion there are three timeframes that we have experienced the best results with.

  1. A 21 day no contact rule
  2. A 30 day no contact rule
  3. And finally a 45 day no contact rule.

Now the rules for how they should be applied have changed, especially from when I first introduced this concept of the three different timelines, but before we get into how they should be applied I think it’s important to understand why we don’t recommend very, very long periods of no contact.

Now for some of you you may hear that 45 day period and think, “Wow, Chris, that is extremely long.

Do I need to be in a no contact rule for that long amount of time?”

Well, believe it or not, when you compare it to some of our peers that’s actually short. I can tell you for a fact, many of our peers will recommend going into a no contact rule, dead silence, for something like 60 days or 90 days.

That’s the equivalent of two or three months of not even contacting or acknowledging your ex in any way, shape or form.

The Habit Rule

Now, why is that a bad idea?

Well one thing that we’ve learned over the years is there such a thing called the habit rule. I don’t know if that’s a scientific or technological phrase but it’s something that I often talk about and have coined that phrase.

So Google is often pretty funny.

Sometimes when you can type in to Google they come up with these things called featured snippets.

Essentially it’s their way of trying to give you a quick answer. So when you type in, “How long does it take to make a habit or break a habit?”

What used to come up was 21 days but what was happening was if you actually clicked on the featured snippet and went into the article, the article was explaining that most people believe it only takes 21 days to break or make a habit but research has found that it’s actually much longer.

In order to make or break a habit it takes 66 days.


Now why is this an important thing to remember?

Well the important thing to remember here is that if you look at our three timeframes, you’ll notice that none of our three timeframes even come up or close to exceeding that 66 day time limit. See, our thinking is that if you ignore your ex you’re essentially forcing a habit onto him or her, right?

And so if you understand the habit rule and the fact that it will take actually 66 days to get out of the habit of talking to you and so on and so forth, you can understand why a long no contact period can actually be detrimental to your success. It won’t help you in the long run.

That’s why the longest no contact period we recommend is 45 days.

And we have certain rules and regulations about when that 45 day rule should be applied.

Now I’m going to go into those in detail in this podcast but I think the first thing we need to understand is how all of the three timelines should be applied. Now everyone has a unique different situation, in fact, that’s the number one thing I hear all the time.

Oftentimes it’s, “Hey, how long should I be doing the no contact rule?” or, “Hey, Chris, do you think I have a chance?” \But usually I’ll also hear this phrase, “Chris, my situation is unique. You’ve never heard anything like this before.”

Well let me put this in perspective for you. Over the course since we’ve been in business, I think back in 2012, 30 million men and women have visited our website, Ex-boyfriend Recovery. Roughly around 150,000 of those people have left comments on our website and every … pretty much every situation we’ve seen. There are very, very unique situations and I mean extremely unique situations that we haven’t heard.

And let me give you an example of an extreme situation.

Extreme situation is something that we could never even guess would happen. We once had a woman who came to us in a coaching session who literally told us that her ex broke up with her because his mom or someone close to him convinced him that being with her would be like being with the devil. Very religious people, I’m guessing there.

So we’ve seen situations like that. So even though you think your situation is unique, we’ve had 30 million … technically 30 million.

I mean, I guess we haven’t communicated with 30 million people but we’ve communicated with over 150,000 people and that’s quite a bit if you really think about it.

Your situation is not unique as you think, but I’m getting off topic and went into the weeds. Let’s circle this back around so that we can actually talk about the three timelines.

So we have three ideal timelines in which you should be using the no contact rule, the 21 day rule, the 30 day rule and the 45 day rule.

Now like I’ve already said, how we have recommended our clients to actually implement these no contact rule periods have changed over time. So generally speaking you’re always going to … Well I think probably the best way to do this is to tell you a little bit about each one of these no contact rules.

Who Should Be Doing The 21 Day Rule

So who is the best candidate for a 21 day rule?

Well the 21 day rule is perfect for people who have not been together for a very long time.

Now when I say that, not together for a very long time, is usually a month or less, right? And the 21 day no contact rule is also perfect for people who are in a situation where the no contact rule is working too well.

Now I’m going to get into that in a moment but let’s … now that we understand the 21 day rule, let’s jump over to the 30 day rule.

Who Should Be Doing The 30 Day Rule?

Now the 30 day rule is pretty much going to be the standard no contact rule that 90% of our clients and probably 90% of the listeners of this podcast who are interested in getting an ex back are going to fall into.

It is pretty much the standard breakup no contact rule but what you need to learn to do is you need to learn to call audibles when you’re in the middle of a no contact rule that is 30 days long.

And again I’m going to get into the audible thing because that also hooks into what I was saying with the no contact working too well in that 21 day rule that we were just talking about.

Who Should Be Doing The 45 Day Rule? 

Now let’s jump forward and talk about the 45 day rule.

Who is a perfect candidate for a 45 day rule?

Well the perfect candidate we’ve found … there are two for a 45 day rule no contact, is if your ex has moved on to someone new.

Now, why?

Why do you think that is?

What we found that … We use to recommend a 21 day rule in those particular circumstances, our thinking was probably much … very much in line with the public’s thinking which is, “Hey, if your ex has moved on to someone new, you don’t want to give them a lot of time together because if you give them a lot of time together they’re going to forget you.”

But we found the opposite is actually true. If you move in too fast when your ex has moved on to someone new it can actually harm your overall chances because they look at you as a threat and it actually bonds the two of them together.

And if you really think about it, it can make sense because during a 45 day rule you’re giving your ex and his new girlfriend some time to fight a little bit, to come down off that honeymoon period of a new relationship. And remember in one of the last videos that I did on our YouTube channel, we found that the average rebound relationship length is 5.2 months.

So you need to mentally prepare yourself for … that’s going to be at least how long it takes probably for their relationship to last before a breakup occurs.

But there’s also one other circumstance in which we recommend a 45 day no contact rule.

That’s a situation where you’ve GNATTED your ex.

Now GNAT is an acronym we came up with that is basically G going, N nuts, A at, T texting.

If you went nuts at texting, and you know who you are, you’ve blown up his phone after the breakup, you cannot bear to imagine him with someone new. So you’ve blown up his phone, you’re worried, you’re freaking out. You’re having one of those moments, you’re GNATTING him like those annoying gnats that fly around your head that you can’t ever get rid of.

Even when you sprint, they seem to follow you. He just wants to get away from you.

We find in these particular circumstances, the 45 day rule is ideal.

But the new little wrinkle I’m going to add in here is this idea of calling audibles.

Don’t Be Afraid To Call An Audible During No Contact

Now what is an audible?

Well I realize I’m talking to an audience full of women who aren’t probably football savvy but in America there’s a sport called football, because I know we have a lot of audience members from Canada or from the UK or Australia where football is not very popular.

But in America it’s the most popular sport. A

nd so you get basically two teams, they line up on the line of scrimmage and then the quarterback at the last minute is allowed to call an audible. If he can look at the defense and determine, “Hey, the play we were going to run to try to advance the ball up the field isn’t going to work.

Let’s change the play at the last minute.

Maybe that will work.” So they change it at the last moment. So it’s an in the moment decision that a great leader needs to make in order to help his team win.

We found that people who tend to call audibles during the no contact rule, especially when it relates to the length of the no contact rule, tend to have better success after they come out of their no contact rule.

So what do I mean by that?

Well if you really think about it, what you really want to do is determine if you should be … The average person who’s starting a breakup should always … almost always start in a 30 day no contact rule. But you need to learn to call audibles along the way.

So how do you do that?

Well the one question that you need to ask … and think of it like one of those decision tree charts where you’re asking yes or no and you go on a different path based on if you answered yes or no. So think of it like that.

You’re starting your standard 30 day no contact rule, right? But let’s say you’re a little worried that it’s too long. Is there a way that you can shorten your no contact rule?

Well actually yes there is.

So the first question you needed to asked during the midst of the 30 day no contact rule … And remember let’s say you’re on day seven or day eight of the no contact rule, this is about when you need to start asking yourself, “Is my ex excessively reaching out to me?”

If he isn’t then you basically stay in that 30 day no contact rule. If he is you have another question that you need to answer and that is, have they contacted you with at least seven positive reach-outs?

Now this is an important thing and an important distinction to make, not all attempts to contact you are created equally.

There’s a difference between him saying, “Well, you know what? I never wanted to talk to you anyway” in the midst of a no contact rule, he’s throwing a tantrum, versus him saying, “I miss you so much. I want you back so badly,” right?

That’s a different thing. So if you’re having seven positive reach-outs and the fact that they’re saying things like, “I miss you,” or, “I want to talk to you so badly,” and you’ve had at least seven in one day alone, then you may call an audible, and shift your 30 day rule into a 21 day rule because it just shows us that the no contact rule is working too well. The 30 day rule is going to probably be a little excessive, right?

I’m a big believer in momentum, especially when it comes to the no contact rule and getting an ex back. Oftentimes if you ride that momentum you’ll find that your opportunities to get back together are much grander.

But I also like to have very strong constraints so that people aren’t abusing this audible rule because next thing I know everyone who’s doing a 30 day no contact rule will change or shift their no contact rule into 21 day no contact rule when they have no business doing it. That’s why understanding the seven positive reach-outs part of this is an important thing.

Now here’s what I’m going to do for you. Now I realized that was a lot to swallow, especially if you’re on the go, you’re listening to this on a bus, you’re listening to this on the treadmill while you’re working out or you’re doing dishes. If you’re anything like me you’re probably listening to podcasts all the time in those places. Or maybe you’re in the midst of school and just blowing it off, and listening to this.

In that case, “Hey, good for you.” But what I’m going to do for you is I realize that was a lot to take in so I’m actually going to put this little decision tree chart in the podcast show notes on our website.

So all you’ll have to do is basically go to our website, go to the podcast section on our website and find this podcast, which is basically going to be titled or sound something along the lines of, “Hey, how long should you be doing the no contact rule for?”

And then you’ll be able to actually see that decision tree chart. And then you can actually take a screenshot on your phone so that you can actually always go back and look and make a decision if you need to call an audible or not.

But I’m just going to warn you, 90% of the people who are doing a 30 day no contact rule are not going to be in a situation where they should be calling an audible. But for those of you who are, Hey that just probably means that this process will work for you a little bit better than the average person. Good job.

12 thoughts on “This Is How Long You Should Be Doing No Contact For”

  1. Avatar


    November 19, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I was engaged for 4 years. Had a mutual breakup last year of November. We used to see each other a lot in the beginning. But that was when I reached out to him. He once told me that he was soul searching, now he doesn’t know if he wants to commit but offered to see me once a week he did that once then he stopped now I haven’t heard from him in 2 weeks. We always have a great time together. Then he disappears and won’t hear from him for a week-month or if I see him out cause we have mutual friends. I think he’s stalling me now cause he thinks he has me cause I was always available. I don’t know what I should do? Its been a little over a year now that I’ve been wanting to get back with him.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 19, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      Hi Suzi, so as its been some time since your break up, I need to ask have you gone a whole month of not speaking with him? 30 whole days without conversation. If not you need to do that, and then you also need to start living your life, not where you can push away your mutual friends but try to spend less time around him so he can have that chance to miss you and also worry that you have possibly met someone else. You can also consider dating other people enough so that he feels there is a pressure to get you back if he doesn’t want to lose you. 12 months is a long time to put your life on hold while someone makes their mind about if they want you or not. So now you need to do some self work where you become Ungettable girl!

  2. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

    EBR Team Member: Shaunna

    November 18, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Lynn its called Limited NC

  3. Avatar


    November 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Hello, my boyfriend broke up with me four days ago, and I am feeling extremely sad and down in the dumps. He left because he said he did not know what he wanted anymore, and it was not fair to keep stringing me along. He broke up with me last Monday, November 4, and I reached out on the fifth only to find out his decision was not rash and he meant it. I have been doing NC since the 5th, but I am afraid it won’t work and ill get rejected and heartbroken all over again.

  4. Avatar


    November 5, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    My ex and I were together for seven years and lived together for 6.5. In September she got a new job opportunity and used it to move out since we have been on the rocks for a while. From late Sept to mid October I barraged her with texts trying to get her back. She responded to them all. Some positive and some negative. Then in Mid Oct after she finally got back to my apartment, and moved her stuff out into her new apartment, I started NC with no “reset” message. Then for about two weeks there was nothing. I then had to text her her about the rent payment she owes me and she was cordial and got back to me and sent the rent. She asked if everything else was okay and I gave her two texts explaining my new job. Then I ended with a “reset” message telling her I was sorry I reacted badly to the breakup and respected her decision and wished her the best, and then went back into NC. She responded fast with “Why the sudden about face?” And then after no response after twenty minutes said: “That’s not important, I wish you the best too.” And I have still been in NC since then. I’m desperate to know how long I should be in NC for this second time since I broke it to contact her about the rent. And then ended with a reset message.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 9, 2019 at 1:53 am

      NC for 30 days without responding to him at all, even if he reaches out to you

  5. Avatar


    November 2, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Hi everyone. My ex recently broke up with me about 10 days ago. We were supposed to be moving into this beautiful apartment together and he basically told me he didn’t know what he wanted and broke up with me and left and took his stuff. I had to talk to him today about the electrical in our old apartment and I asked him how he was feeling and he said he doesn’t know what he wants and he wants me to “move on” and not wait for him. We have been together for almost 4 years and I’m trying to understand where all this is coming from. He said he isn’t seeing anyone else and I believe him. I’m trying to do NC but it’s very hard. I deleted his number so I’m not tempted but I’m afraid he isn’t going to reach out to me during the NC period.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 2, 2019 at 10:19 pm

      Hey Shannon it doesn;t matter if he reaches out to you during the NC – a lot of exes dont. But you need to work on getting yourself on your feet again. You reach out after 30 days NC to him as a friend and build up the attraction again

  6. Avatar


    October 30, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Hi EBR team! First off thank you for all you do, you all have made me feel more empowered through my recent breakup. It was a rough one and I really do appreciate it.

    My long distance ex broke up with me about 2 months ago citing the distance/lack of physical time together being too much on him. For reference we saw each other at least once a month and both had the time/money to fly back and forth to each other. He previously had a rocky and unsuccessful long distance relationship, I think it contributed a lot to him ending things with me.

    After the breakup I immediately went into NC and I didn’t break it. After about 3 weeks he reached out and we slowly began texting, calling, FaceTiming etc. At this point we’re in contact one way or another daily.

    My question: I am flying out to see him and do a road trip together in 9 days. This is all on his dime, I’ve paid for nothing so far. I am looking for some insight on how I should handle this trip. What I can do to encourage him to solidify things/commit to me? Do you think I have a shot? Thank you so, so much. Sending lots of love from the other side of the country!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 31, 2019 at 10:21 pm

      Hey there so really well done on your hard work and it is paying off! I think staying UG and letting him take the lead is most important but the investment on his part is huge! Have an amazing trip but definitely don’t give him boyfriend privileges without the commitment. Good Luck, form Wales 😉

  7. Avatar


    October 29, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    Hello! My boyfriend broke up with me about two weeks ago and I did begged him, tried to talk things out between us and asked a lot of questions the first four days after the breakup. He is currently working in a place five hours away from our city and agreed to meet me on the second day after the breakup cause he said he wanted me to be in this presentation that was important for him. I went to that and all the time he kept looking at me for reassurance but later left for drinks with his friends (one of the reasons we argued a lot in the last couple of months was because I kept feeling neglected or as a second choice next to drinking and his friends when it wasn’t like that for the first 6-7 months of our relationship).

    After the breakup, I started going to therapy since I believe I lost myself somewhere along the line about 8 months ago and I acknowledge the person he fell for just wasn’t there anymore. He knows I’m getting help with that and agreed to meet after a month or two when I’m in a better place cause he stated he loves me and deeply cares for me but believes I should work in myself again and both of us need time to organize our thoughts, feelings and cool down a little bit and if it’s meant to be, we will be together regardless of the situation.

    I started NC 9 days ago and I broke it once cause I had this very weird feeling that he wasn’t doing ok (had that feeling before when we were dating and I would be right about 95% of the time) so I asked him. He did reply after 10 minutes telling me that he was ok and a “Why are you texting me all of a sudden?” (I know it sounds rude but in our native language it sounds better), I replied after a couple of hours and after getting a reply from him I stopped texting him since I got my reply but I’m going nuts waiting for him to reach out. I’m desperate to know if he thinks of me at times and I’m just too scared he will forget about me.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 30, 2019 at 12:58 pm

      Hi AS he wont forget you and he will possibly think of you now and again. Your exes reply is because you ignored him for 9 days. But you need to get to 30 and not break it for any reason, it doesnt matter what “feeling” you get if you want NC to work you have to stick with it and read up on the types of texts you are supposed to send after NC too

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