By Chris Seiter

Updated on April 9th, 2021

Today I’m going to show you the three most prevalent thoughts that your ex is thinking about if they don’t contact you.

It’s probably also relevant to mention that each of these three things that I’m going to talk about today are based on my experience as a coach and founded on award winning research (more on that in a minute.)

So, if you’ve ever wondered what is going on in your exes mind when they don’t contact you look no further.

Your answers are below!

What The Heck Is Your Ex Thinking About When They Don’t Contact You? 

In all there are three thoughts or overlying concepts that are going to be very prevalent in your exes mind if they don’t contact you,

  1. The Pendulum Swing
  2. They Have To Contact Me First
  3. The Peak End Rule

Now, I don’t expect you to understand any of these concepts. In fact, I’d be shocked if you did because exactly one third of the answers are from my own findings and I haven’t really talked about it that much.

But I’m rambling.

The rest of this article is going to be very straight forward.

I’m going to define each of these concepts for you.

Let’s begin with my personal favorite.

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1. What Is “The Pendulum Swing?”

Before I start getting philosophical I’d like to ask you if you know what a pendulum is?


Well, rather than have me sit here and explain it for you it’s probably better if I show it to you,

Essentially it’s something that swings from left to right.

Generally you’ll see a lot of physics professors using it to explain one of newtons laws but I actually think it’s the perfect analogy to describe what goes on inside of someone when they go through a breakup.

Pretend for a moment that the pendulum actually was an indicator for how you were feeling internally after a breakup,

On one side of the spectrum (the left side) you have all of the bad feelings you could be feeling,

  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Depression

And on the other side of the spectrum (the right side) you have all the good feelings that you could be feeling,

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  • Missing your ex
  • Loving your ex
  • Wanting to get back together

Most of my clients would kill to have their exes feel this way about them.

Speaking of clients, one common complaint I hear from them about their exes is that they wish they didn’t get all of these mixed signals.

One moment their ex is asking them something like,

Do you ever think about getting back together?

Almost implying that they do want to get back together and then the next minute they can’t get a response from them. They are left in that awful limbo land.

The pendulum explains what is going on in this instance.

Over the years I’ve witnessed an interesting pattern taking place.

Exes tend to go through a pendulum of emotions after a breakup.

Where one moment they start feeling good,

And the next moment they start feeling bad,

It’s during these “bad moments” that you’ll find that your ex doesn’t want to talk to you.

Interesting to think that there is this internal battle going on within your ex, isn’t it?

But if you doubt this concept exists I’d like to turn your attention to your own experience with breakups. You’ve probably experienced this pendulum of emotions, haven’t you?

So, that is the first thing going on in your exes head after a breakup that would cause them to not contact you.

Let’s move on to another common thought I see a lot of the time.

2. They Have To Contact Me First

I want to show you something.

Hold on for a moment while I look it up…

Ah, there it is,

This is a picture of me taken about ten years ago a few weeks after I had been through a breakup.

Look how awful I look.

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I’m kidding!

Anyways, I posted this picture because every single time I look at it I think of that break up.

I remember very clearly I had a mantra,

There is no way I’m contacting her first, she is going to contact me

I’m pretty stubborn.

I am a taurus after all.

Anyways, my ex was pretty stubborn too which meant that we were in the midst of an epic stand off,

Perhaps the most interesting thing was the reasoning for why I wouldn’t contact her first.

Ten years ago I was 18 years old.

Which meant that I wasn’t exactly the most experienced with relationships. It also meant I still bought into this idea that after every break up there is a winner and a loser.

And in my mind I’d start to “lose the breakup” if I reached out to my ex.

Therefore, she was going to have to talk to me first if she wanted to talk to me.

You’re dying to know who contacted who first, aren’t you?

It was her.

She was actually very clever in how she approached it to.

You see, in 2008 Hurricane Ike hit my hometown,

I grew up in a little place called Friendswood, Texas which is very close to where the video above was taken.

Anyways, the Hurricane went over our house and she reached out to check on me and make sure I was ok.

To this day I have always regretted how mean I was to her when she reached out. You see, upon seeing that I was “winning the breakup” I got very arrogant and said something like this to her,

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I regret it because I think she was just trying to be nice but “winning the breakup” was more important to me at the time.

Anyways, I am telling you this story because I want you to see how seriously some people take this concept of making you reach out first.

And it could be going through your exes mind if they don’t talk to you.

3. The Peak End Rule

The peak-end rule has been revolutionary for my book readers who have really embraced it.


Because it gives you insight into how human beings think and act when they remember experiences.

So, what is “the peak-end rule?”

Put simply, human beings remember experiences based on how they felt at the peak of the experience (it’s most intense part) and the end of the experience.

In other words, when we think back to experiences we don’t account for the sum of it’s parts we account for mostly those two parts.

It looks a little like this,

Those two snapshots of time make up the bulk of our memory when we think back to the experience.

So, what does this have to do with your ex not contacting you.

Well, it’s actually an extension of what I talked about above with the pendulum.

If you recall, the pendulum moves from left to right, from bad to good.

The peak-end rule describes the motivation for why the pendulum moves.

Consider for a moment that your ex is remembering your time together and they start thinking about the peak,

The peak of your experience together is arguably the strongest and most exciting part to think about.

Most likely it’s going to cause the pendulum to swing to the right,

A few days later your ex starts to remember the end of your relationship,

This of course causes the pendulum to swing to the left as they remember how bad they felt at the end of your time together,

Do you see how these to concepts work together in tandem?

Do you see some of the motivation behind why your ex may not want to talk to you?

It’s pretty crazy, right?

Let’s do a quick recap because I dropped some advanced stuff onto your plate that I usually only save for my clients.


What we talked about today is pretty advanced so I’m sure there will be a lot of questions in the comments. If you didn’t already know I answer all of my comments personally.

Sometimes I’m a little slow about getting back to people but they do get answered eventually.

So, don’t hesitate to ask a question if something confuses you.

Let’s do a quick recap,

  • The are three prevalent thoughts that your ex is likely to think about if they don’t contact you
  • The pendulum
  • I’m not going to contact them first, they’ll have to contact me first
  • The peak end rule
  • The pendulum is simply an analogy for the trajectory your emotions take after a break up
  • Adopting a mindset of “they’ll have to contact me first” is an example of stubbornness
  • The peak end rule describes the motivation for why your exes emotions chance trajectory after a break up

Again, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them below.

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151 thoughts on “What Is Your Ex Thinking If They Don’t Contact You”

  1. Sandy

    December 29, 2023 at 6:33 pm

    Well my ex boyfriend reached out to me,but it was sort of him guiltripping me making the whole thing about him.I responded thus breaking the NC we got back together but unfortunately we had fight again.We are not talking again and I feel so stupid.So if I’m already in NC with him for the second time…If I stick to it will he reach out or this time he’s gone for good? And why would he reach out knowing very well he no longer loves me?

    1. Coach Shaunna

      December 31, 2023 at 4:17 am

      Hey Sandy, there is a chance that your ex may reach out to you again, however, remember the point of NC is that you complete it spend some time working on yourself and identifying when your relationship didn’t work the first time around. When you complete your NC you reach out to your ex to re establish your communication.

  2. M

    November 5, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    My GF broke things off over 2.5 months. We were together for a little over 4 years. Things were fantastic, I had almost no idea she was going to breakup with me. I contacted her after 35 days and she said she stands by her decision, it’s what’s best for her right now, and that she really isn’t ready to say goodbye to me and that she loves me so much. I sent her a letter over a month ago and no response. How should I go about getting her back? Ideally I’d want her to reach out to me, but at what point do I bite the bullet and reach out again?

    1. Coach Shaunna

      November 12, 2023 at 7:18 am

      Hi M, with ERP you will be the one to reach out to her again but not until 45 days NC is completed. It is difficult to follow as you want to move forward but it is best to allow your ex to feel that she has “lost” you and that you are moving on with your life as this installs the fear of loss to get her to make decisions.

  3. Sam

    October 8, 2023 at 2:51 am

    Can I break no contact after 4 months of no contact (total time of breakup 5.5months ) and the break up was initiated from her side but we had a lot of fights in the last month of relationship (it was a 6 year long relationship) idk what to do , I’m just scared I’ll not get a reply or if she’ll be cold , I want her back .help me please

    1. Coach Shaunna

      October 9, 2023 at 12:28 pm

      Hi Sam, yes you can start reaching out to your ex now, I would suggest that you spend some time reading the texting articles or watching the videos to give you an idea on how to break the ice.

  4. Taylor Roman

    November 16, 2022 at 5:01 am

    Wow this was completely legit about myself. Realized stuff I didn’t even know. Thank you!

  5. William. Hudson

    September 11, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    I have a question I’ve been dating a woman / girlfriend for about 7 months it was kinda Rocky from the start because she’s never had kids and was married when she was younger but left him .she said she wanted a family of her own I wasn’t against this I was just scared because she was so insured and jealous of the relationship I have with me kids. And I told her I love her and would never make her feel second but she kept saying she couldn’t help feeling the way she did and needs to find a man that can give her what she needs to be happy and if she doesn’t it is what it is . My question to you how can I get through to her that I love her and that my relationship with my children should not make her feel any less . She’s 43 and I’m 56 and I’ve tried everything to make her feel secure but failed .

  6. Kelly

    September 10, 2022 at 4:53 pm

    Hey, we broke up recently. He is the one who broke up with me because he doesn’t want to do this anymore and that hes tired of everything. I was just explaining how i feel and before i used to chase him everytimes he brought it up. But it wasn’t official words, “let’s break up”. He said it this times and I really wanted fight for us but I didn’t. I just let it be. I been fighting all this times so i’m done. We still followed each other on social media. (I’m going to unfollowed him and move on when i go to school because i gave myself a limit of how long i can miss him and cry) He contacted me after 4 days of no contact. Like your ex, he was clever as well. He contacted me if i’m okay because there’s a fire goin on where i live. But on the same day, I have the urge to look at his following list and i found that he followed his ex from 2 years ago back. But she didn’t even followed him back. We texted and I didn’t reply back instantly and take my times but my answer to him was neutral and polite. (Thanks, everything is okay and etc) He told me to take care and i told him he as well. And since then we haven’t been talking. he told my friends that we broke up for good so lol

  7. Derek Block

    July 19, 2022 at 11:20 am

    What happens if no contact for a month and after that month your ex says she wants to be friends and can’t predict the future? Is it still possible to get ex back if wants to be friends first. If you say ok does that show more respect they have for them which will get ex to see you are a different person and start to love you or want to try again?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      July 24, 2022 at 8:54 pm

      Hey Derek, so the only time we suggest that you enter a friendship with an ex is if they are actively dating someone else or in a new relationship. If she is still single then you explain that right now you do not think that is a good idea, go into another NC and read through the materials to prepare yourself for the texting phase of the program

  8. Nicola

    June 2, 2022 at 5:17 am

    Hi, does this still apply when an ex has blocked you everywhere. The “what he’s thinking when he doesn’t contact you” or would you say they are at a different mindset, (with being blocked) we were together 5 months, had a fight we’re I acted pretty stupid, and now he’s blocked me everywhere and told me not to contact him……. I just want him to miss me a teeny tiny bit. Selfish I know. ‍♀️

  9. Georgia

    May 31, 2022 at 3:52 am

    Just wondering if the man I was seeing for 2 months will make contact or if he has returned to his wife that I won’t hear anything. Have so many questions to ask but so confused and also now don’t know what to believe from him. We seemed to have a connection and deep emotional conversations and care towards one another. I feel completely blindsided.
    We were having a few days together that we spoke about and planned for 3 weeks between last time and he turns up and ends things when the night before he says there is no turning back as we are falling in love. Is it just all a game and ego for him.

  10. Abby

    March 11, 2022 at 1:38 pm

    Hi, I ended a 2 and a half year relationship because he didn’t communicate and he wouldn’t talk about problems in our relationship when ever I tried to bring them up. My mental health suffered and after trying for over a year I got tonthe point where I couldn’t take it anymore and ended it. It was a very nasty breakup, terrible things were said.
    It’s now been 3 months and whether rightly or wronged, I am regretting my descion to end it and I miss him a lot, I still love him. We haven’t been in contact since the last email argument months ago and I am so scared to get in touch with him. Is there a chance he will contact me do you think?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 21, 2022 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Abby if you’re looking to use this program then you’d need to reach out to him. Plan ahead and be prepared for all possible responses, even negative ones.

  11. Jakki

    March 4, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    Hello my name is jakki. I’m struggling with a recent break up and idk what to do. We dated for 3 months and everything was amazing. We saw each other almost all the time. He just moved to the city and recently got out of the marines and a marriage all at the same time. We met a couple months right before he started full time in college and right before him and his brother had to pack up all their stuff and move to a new house. He also had to sell his car so he could earn enough money to buy a house with his brother. He seems super stressed with everything going on in his life and to top it all off he is depressed because he has no friends out here. Just me. So he broke up with me and said he just needs time to himself to figure out his life and that he can’t give me the relationship l deserve rn but then said that once he figures out his life more and is moved into his new house, he will start to feel much better. And that he will want to for sure get back together because he knows that he wants to be in an relationship with me down the road. But then 2 days later he downloaded tinder again (we met on tinder) and l caught him and confronted him about it. He said that he’s looking for friends only because he has none out here and wants to expand his circle. I asked him what are his intentions with these women and he said he just wants to make friends but if something more happens then it happens. Idk what to do or think or feel.

  12. Bill

    December 10, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    I think the pendulum is stuck on my ex- wife’s left side. She still has me blocked which makes it easier for me not to try to contact her. I can’t believe after all this time she still blames me and has me blocked. Life must be grand for her (maybe) who knows. This is one woman that I can’t figure out. So, what you are saying here if her pendulum does swing somewhere in her mind, she has good thoughts of me once in a while? They must be so miniscule that she doesn’t even realize she had a thought pass through her brain. I guess I’m blocked forever. O’well my life has to go on.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 10, 2022 at 5:04 pm

      Hey Bill, so even if you do not see your wife having those moments it does not meant that they do not happen. Even if they happen when she is alone it does not mean that she is going to tell you or make you aware that those feelings have surfaced. You have not mentioned how long the break up has been or what reasons there was. Part of moving on is part of this program for your wife to see that you are doing better in yourself and your life.

  13. Rob

    September 8, 2021 at 7:13 am

    Well.. So I’ve been dating her
    for almost 4 years now, but recently, she told me she wanted to stop dating, which while saddens me,i accepted it. Can’t force someone to be with someone after all. But it also kind of was a sudden bomb because I was still in the process of grieving ny dog and grandma who both died like a week before that so it fucked me up. Lol. It’s why that shit happened and Everyone in the community was worried. Anyway.. her behaviour since is conflicting with her wishes and it confuses me as well as Hurts me. Mind you this isn’t the first time she asked to break up, she did firstly this February but decided to just try again later which we did and were fine until last month, when she suddenly started ghosting me. No phone calls, no asking how I am, hiding things,. avoiding telling me things… obviously that was very sus so I confronted her about her behaviour and just told me that she no longer has feelings for me and was just avoiding confronting that. (Which is harmful in itself mind you)

    Either way, we broke off.. but here’s where things are going in weird and that’s where I want your opinion.

    I haven’t spoken to her in ten days minimum. essentially a few days after my suicide attempt..frankly speaking…I am not comfortable doing so even if I miss her. I thought it’s best for her too. BUT. She hasn’t unfriended me. She hasn’t even removed pictures, romantic or otherwise or the relationship status on Facebook. She even kept asking me how I am before I decided to simply stop communication.

    What is going on in her head? I’m thinking she doesn’t know what she really wants and probably regrets things lol.

    Oh and this was a long distance relationship but I kept meeting her in North Carolina five times a year for few weeks prior to the whole covid thing, Which tbh I feel like was the beginning of the end. Either way…i.. don’t know what to do anymore besides not talking to her but her mixed signals just confuse the shit out of me. Honestly, distance didn’t feel like such an issue until traveling was restricted. Then I haven’t seen her much since and now that I think on it, gradually over the last two years, i kept having less and less videocalls with her when we used to have regular calls EVERY week. Obviously, I tried. I really did. But at this point I no longer know what to think or do, and led me to this article.

  14. Legend

    August 13, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    My 7 months girlfriend broke up with me 3 days ago ,however this happened so fast one time we were okay the next thing it was bad ,She said she can’t pretend anymore ,my question is what does that mean .I really love her & i hope to fix things between us but i do respect her decision

  15. Roxana

    August 12, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Hello and thank you for the informative article
    The thing is me and my boyfriend have been together for almost 3 years
    We loved each other and the relationship was mostly romantic
    We were always texting each other and knew every useless detail about the other one’s routine life.
    We didn’t fight much. I can say that we had 5-6 major fights during the 3 years we have been together.
    But recently we had some issues. He had financial problem (we’re from iran and the economy is a mess) and he was unwilling to ask his parents for financial help whilst in this economical situation of my country it is absoloutley impossible for one to get on his own feet without any help.
    On the other hand, I expected that he takes an action to make our relationship move forward; like a proposal and getting engaged. But in our last fight, he declared that he has no intension to marry me altough he told me otherwise before.
    In our culture, boyfriends and girlfriends usually doesn’t have sex before marriage. We didn’t have sex either.
    He told me that our relationship is nothing because we didn’t have sex. And i told him that i’m tierd of constantly listening to him nagging about financial situation and not proposing or making our relationship a serious thing. And then i broke up with him.
    After 3 hours he texted me that he has talked to his father and wants our families to meet each other as a beginnig of making things serious. But i was so mad. I told him that it’s over and got offline and didn’t even open his other texts that night.
    Now it has been 9 days. And he hasn’t contacted with me since. And i’m feeling terrible because we used to text and call each other all the time and it’s shocking that he easily moved on during these pasy 9 days.
    Now i wanna know, in your opinion as an expert, will he come back to me?
    I miss him and the idea of him moving on so fast is driving me crazy.
    Btw i’m 26 and he is 28.
    Thank you for your time

  16. Shelby

    July 29, 2021 at 1:44 am

    I liked a woman and we really connected. At the time I was married and I just got caught up in the enjoyment of her company. I lied multiple times to keep seeing her. I know it was wrong she said I hurt and one text said addressing me she said I don’t think you understand how this affected me. I miss and care about her so much I know she may not feel the same. Will I ever hear from her again.

  17. Mk

    July 27, 2021 at 1:15 am

    So I stopped seeing this guy 3 weeks ago after being needy and clingy and he ended the argument putting the phone down. We haven’t spoken since. He’s not removed me from socials but stopped watching my stories and hasn’t attempted to contact me… it’s day 26 no contact and he is a womaniser is it likely he’s wallowing in his ego currently and just being stubborn?

  18. Laurie

    May 13, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    My ex and I just broke up 3 weeks ago after a 4 year relationship. The only problem was that they told me that I kept putting them on the back burner. This is the second time this has happened. The first time we got right back together. This time they said they fell out of love with me. ( however will still say they love me if I say it first!). They told me to work on doing things for myself. Plus they want to see consistency from me before we can even talk about US again. Do you think that I still have a chance with my ex? I love this person so very much and want to spend the rest of my life with them.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 13, 2021 at 8:28 pm

      Hi Laurie, I would say so, but you need to learn how to show that you care without making them feel that they’re not a priority in your life. While a relationship should never be number 1 in your life, you need to show that you can balance all going on in your life. Meanwhile, I would work on the Ungettable information while you stick with NC and then reach out after 21 days as you do not want them feeling that you do not care.

  19. Edward

    April 14, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    Ex has been using subliminal messages and third party members to tell me all kinds of different scenarios regarding if she wants me to be apart of her life or if she doesnt. Either way is fine with me and ill respect whatever terms she requests I just want her to know that finally realizing our relationship wasn’t what I was tricked into believing it was and even though im very hurt, I can forgive and let go. I do care for this individual and would like her view point on eventually talking and putting the past behind us.

  20. Bill

    April 9, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    My ex-wife left me for her boss over 2 yrs ago. She has me blocked on everything. she told me 2 or 3 times that she was coming back but always changed her mind. I haven’t seen her or any contact for over a year. The weirdest thing is she kept my last name. If you want to forget some one I would think you would change your last name. On 12/27/19 she called me crying and wanted me to come and get her. I thought thank God she’s finally back. 9 hrs. later she broke my heart again and after to talking on the phone to someone told me she has to leave. Yes, she went back to her boss. After all this time I guess I need a miracle for her to ever be back in my life or even a phone call from her.

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