By Chris Seiter

Updated on June 9th, 2021

The no contact rule is among one of the most important strategies that you will need to employ if you want to have success getting your ex back.

It’s also among the most difficult strategies to complete.

According to my own internal research I estimate that about 80% of men and women who attempt the no contact rule will end up failing it.

Therefore, you’ll have a lot of individuals who attempt the no contact rule a second time around.

But will it work?

Can it still be as effective?

Well, that’s what we are here to find out.

Failing A No Contact Rule And Trying It A Second Time

Having me sit here and write an article about what to do if you fail the no contact rule is counter productive.

The answer is simple,

You try again and do your best not to mess up

The more interesting question has to do with if the no contact rule will still work the second time around.

There’s a lot of debate out there with this and I thought you’d be interested to hear an actual experts take.

So, here’s everything we are going to be talking about in this article,

  • What The No Contact Rule Is
  • What Failing It Looks Like
  • If It Is Still Effective If You Have To Do It A Second Time
  • Some Tips On How To Not Fail It The Second Time Around

Let’s begin!

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

What Is The No Contact Rule? 

In case you’re new I thought this would be a good section to include.

If you’re already an EBR veteran than you can probably just skip this and move on to the next section.

What is the no contact rule?

Well, quite simply it’s a period of time where you ignore your ex on purpose.

For those of us who are visual learners,

We’ve found success with three different time frames,

  1. The 21 Day Rule
  2. The 30 Day Rule
  3. The 45 Day Rule

If you want the full low down of which “time frame” you should be employing for your situation I highly recommend you pick up the no contact rule book that I wrote.

The only rule with the no contact rule is that you can’t break it.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

(There are actually a few circumstances where you have to alter this but for the most part you can’t.)

So, that means that if your ex asks you something like,

You can’t respond.

If they call you and leave a voice mail.

You can’t respond.

If they threaten to “never talk to you again” if you don’t respond.

You can’t respond.

That is the no contact rule in a nutshell.

 Here’s What “Failing” The No Contact Rule Looks Like

At the beginning of this article I made a pretty bold statement.

Do you remember what that statement was?

I estimate that around 80% of individuals who attempt the no contact rule will end up failing it at least one time.

Now, what do I mean by that?

Simply put, they will break that one rule of not responding to their ex.

Here’s how it usually goes down.

You get really excited to try the no contact rule out on your ex. You come to our website, read our stuff. Heck, maybe you even buy my best selling book and read about it there.

The point is that you are sold on it.

Things seem to be going pretty well until fear starts to grip you.

What if my ex forget about me while I’m ignoring them?

This fear only becomes compounded more by the fact that contrary to what you thought would happen your ex hasn’t made an attempt to reach out to you at all.

In fact, by the time they do reach out you have worked yourself up so much that you just throw caution to the wind and decide to respond to them.

I’ve seen about a dozen variations of this exact situation over the last six and a half years and it never ceases to amaze me the internal dialogue going on in my clients head that prevents them from completing the no contact rule.

Now I know, from afar the no contact rule seems like an easy thing to complete.

You’re sitting there thinking,

Wait, all I have to do is ignore my ex for 30 days? That’s it?

But this is a naive statement to make.

Completing the no contact rule is extremely difficult because the odds aren’t in your favor. In fact, according to my research there is only a 20% chance that you’ll be perfect you’re first time around.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Now, this leads us to the inevitable question of,

What happens when you fail the no contact rule and have to attempt it a second time? Will it still work?

Let’s find out!

Can The No Contact Rule Work If You Have To Attempt It A Second Time?

I get asked this question a lot when I do Facebook Lives in our private facebook group.

And I always answer it the same exact way,

Each time you have to “restart” the no contact rule it loses a bit of effectiveness.

Think of it this way,

This graph is probably the best representation of what failing the no contact rule looks like.

Notice how the very first time you attempt the no contact rule you are going to get what I call “maximum effectiveness.” In other words, the no contact rule is going to work best on your ex the first time you try it.

But let’s say you fail at staying consistent throughout your whole time frame.

What then?

Well, the second time you try the no contact rule it’s going to still be effective but not quite as effective as the very first time you tried it.

It loses a little bit of the magic that made it so powerful the first time around.

But why?

Well, quite frankly human beings are wired to notice patterns.

One can certainly make the argument that our whole lives are patterns.

Your ex isn’t dumb and they will eventually catch on to the fact that every once in a while you seem to be flat out ignoring them.

The most naive statement I’ve ever heard in my time here on EBR is that it’s ok to fail the no contact rule.

I’d argue very heavily against that because of the fact that you are “watering down” arguably the best strategy for getting your ex back.

Take a look at the graphic I created above.

In this particular case you have a person who has failed the no contact rule 3 times.

Look how ineffective the no contact rule can become by that fourth time they attempt it.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

It’s lost almost half of it’s effectiveness.

So, the question now shifts to how you can stay in the no contact rule.

My Best Tip On Staying Strong During The No Contact Rule

I’m not going to sit here and give you what you are expecting me to give you.

Most people expect for me to make a list of tips to “keep them strong.”

Truthfully, making a list and journaling to keep your thoughts focus don’t work for staying strong during the no contact rule.

Shocking, right?

In fact, in all the years I’ve been doing this I’ve only seen one thing make an impact on “staying in no contact.”

  1. Finding a way to hold yourself accountable

In case you didn’t know, whenever you coach with me or one of the Ex Recovery Coaches you’ll gain access to all of our products including our private Facebook support group.

Now, I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is.

You see, on our Facebook Group we institute something called,

“Battle Buddies.”

For any who want it.

Essentially we partner you up with someone else who is going through a breakup and allow you to support each other through each of your situations.

It’s especially great at keeping you strong during the no contact rule.


Because any time you have a desire to contact your ex you’ll end up contacting your battle buddy instead and they can keep you strong.

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201 thoughts on “What To Do If You Fail Your No Contact Rule (Will It Work A Second Time?)”

  1. The mom

    December 7, 2023 at 10:04 pm

    Left a previous marriage and was together around a year. Been broke up a week today finally started no contact after him telling me there was to much damage done and he doesn’t think no amount of time or communication will help this. He said maybe if time heals us we may have a second chance but that time is not right now. I recently found out I was pregnant and I think he is emotionally blocking and trying to run to freedom right now. I came off very needy the last week basically begging him to stay for days . Will NC really help recover from that

    1. Coach Shaunna

      December 8, 2023 at 5:38 pm

      Hey there, yes it can help you need to allow some space between you both! Focus on your health and mental wellbeing during this time! Focus on being happy and enjoy our pregnancy the best you can!

  2. Elle

    November 9, 2023 at 11:08 pm

    I really need advice as I don’t know what to do. I was really good at completing the “no contact” rule, made it to 31days no contact and then sent a text, but then completely panicked and deleted it about a minute after. I’m not sure if my ex read it, although I suspect he did as he’d been online at that moment. How should I handle this? Any advice would really be appreciated as I worked so hard at “no contact”, I really want to seek advice to avoid making any other mistakes having come so far. Thank you so much,

    1. Coach Shaunna

      November 12, 2023 at 7:10 am

      Hi Elle, if you want to make progress you need to reach out to your ex and allow them 72 hours to reply – this is a scary step to take and many of my coaching clients feel the same as you, it is just about trusting the process and being sure that you are busy once the message has sent so that you stop yourself from becoming anxious and overthinking things.

  3. Me :)

    September 8, 2023 at 6:18 am

    Posting here because you guys seem to respond! Thank you!

    My ex is emotionally broken. We broke up because he cannot bear the loss of his daughter and seeing me cry over the strain it caused him. He claims “he couldn’t bear to see me in so much pain” – so he ended it. He says it “isn’t fair for me to wait for him” – and I won’t. I’ll move on. I suspect he will come back orbiting around in a year or so, missing me. I realise you will say he is emotionally broken, I shouldn’t bother, but I love him 🙂 I broke NC so very many times this first time. This will be my second no contact and I expect it will take much longer this time. He started reaching out after three months the first NC. This time I think about six months for him to circle around again. Thoughts?

    1. Coach Shaunna

      October 1, 2023 at 6:52 pm

      Hey there, so you should not be allow passed the 60 day Nc mark without reaching out to him, but again your reaching out to rebuild a connection withy our ex that is not focused on your emotions, past relationship, while your past is 100% going to be a part of both of your lives forever, which I am so sorry to hear about, you need to be able to build your relationship on a foundation where it is strong enough to deal with your trauma apart and as a couple.

  4. Audrey

    March 8, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    My boyfriend of 8+ months told me a month ago he needed a break not a break up and assured me we will still talk and text and attend various events. After a few days he stopped responding. I texted 2x during 11 days and we agreed to talk on the phone. We talked on the phone for one hr and he agreed the concert that Friday was still on but when that Friday came, he cancelled last minute. We exchanged items and again he said we will stay in contact. He kissed and held me and promised to stay in touch. Things were still ok and even talked on the phone and he told me loved me and missed me then a week later he again stopped responding. Now a month out I went into no contact. It seems like a slow break up so not sure if I lowered my chances of reconciling if I just started NC about month after it all began.

  5. Heart

    November 6, 2022 at 12:37 am

    Hi, I have broken up with my ex 2 months ago. We had been together for 8 months, then he broke up with me and he wanted to reconnect and I agreed. We continued the relationship for 1.5 months and he ended it again. There was so much love but there was so much trauma and full of complications. Both of us are in the process of divorcing our current partners. However his mum wants him to stay with his current partner and object our relationship. His mum threatens to disown him if he continues with the divorce. We also had lots of stress at work (we work same company but at different locations). In the end he ended our relationship. After 2 weeks of our NC, he sent a whatsApp message but deleted it. I didnt replly. 2 weeks later he posted a pic of him and family happily at IG. They went for a family vacation. He looks really happy. I was very depressed and cried everyday. Yesterday, I broke the NC after 2 weeks (altogether 4 weeks). Sent him long text on what had happened on my end before the break up and what I was setting and why I didnt inform him. I also asked if there is any chance for us to amend and rebuild the love together. He replied hours later without any endearment nicks which he used to and it was “Im sorry, Heart”. So i guessed he doesn’t want to amend and decided to stay on with his current partner and family. Should I restart the NC? Will it work to get him back?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      November 13, 2022 at 1:15 pm

      He has chosen to stay with his wife, you need to walk away. You need to walk away, spend some time by yourself getting over the divorce and the relationship with this ex. Spend some time healing. You mention that the relationship was full of trauma and complications for less that 12 months that not a foundation to base a healthy relationship on.

  6. Luis

    September 15, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    I messed up the second time I literally brought up the fact she cheated and how little I meant to her , she told me to not message her unless it’s about the kids . I messed up is it pretty much done?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      September 24, 2022 at 4:38 pm

      Hey Luis, this is just her guilt that can’t cope with the actions, and she has no way of playing the victim. She is angry that you haven’t let the past go – which is fair to know why. I would say that if you want to get back with her though, you are going to have to learn how to move on from the cheating and the hurt you have gone through as there is a good chance, she is not going to want to speak with you about it, why it happened, and want to pretend it didn’t happen. It can work but only if you are willing to move passed the issues from the past, based on the fact that she is going to be able to not speak or be involved with that person again.

  7. S

    July 18, 2022 at 8:59 am

    My ex and I broke up 2 months back. We were in a serious relationship for about 1 & half years. We were even thinking of getting married. But there was a lot of trauma in most of our relationship. There was love but also instability. Loss of my father, him starting his new business, me trying to find new meaning in life. During this, he emotionally connected to his core team member and this was a strong reason for him to breakup with me. I have tried no contact but i have also responded when he reached out. Now, I’M at a point where he doesnt reach out at all, and If I do, he responds but politely. Last time, I reached out, he said he didn’t want to complicate things. What should I do? Try NC again?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      July 24, 2022 at 8:55 pm

      Hi S yes you need to complete a 45 day no contact

  8. Ian Genesis Baga

    July 12, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    Hi there, we’d just broke up around 10 days ago. I started NC rule but i messed up on 7th day. I just cant resist on replying to her messages. we had a little bit discussion of how the relationship ended. and how i am willing to make a change if ever she will come back. I started on acting like im still not over her and i did told her that this time around is different. but she told me to grow up instead. what does it mean ? can i start NC rule over again ?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      August 6, 2022 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Ian, so without knowing the actual reason for the break up and her telling you to grow up and that things would be different this time around – you have only been broken up a week, so in reality neither of you have had time to deal with your emotions, the break up or make any positive changes to yourself to make a relationship work a second time around you nee to start the NC again from day one and this time stick with it for at least 30 days.

  9. Red apple

    March 30, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    I have a kid with my ex we’ve been together for 3 years and we broke up almost a month a go. I tried to keep our conversation cold and also only about our child. I never begged on him and did the NC. On the 3rd week he went to our house unexpectedly and went straight on our bedroom i was shocked to see him im not expecting it so I dont know what to do. I let him in and prepare a bed away and I start to close my eyes
    I was suprised that he lay beside me. I told him to go to the bed I fixed but he did not listen. He eventually hugged me then force me to stay clode to him then force me to hug him. He kissed me I did not respond but he keep doing it. I tried to stop.him from time to time but its been a while since his like that. I thought that’s the sign that he want to get back. Then we had sex. After that he hugged me then we did it again. eventually he starts a convo I felt like he is not going back through our convo. I just yold him that the break up was a good idea too. I just go with a flow and I did not make him feel that it was a big deal. I did not contact him after that exept regarding to our child. I don’t know if I messed up or what. Should I do a no contact again? by the way every time I respond I make.sure i.dont reply immediately.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 21, 2022 at 6:08 pm

      Hey there, so ideally you would have told him that you did not want to have sex with him unless it meant that you were back together. I would start your NC again and this time if he turns up and tries to repeat the actions above you tell him no. You do not want a friends with benefits situation when you share a child that is going to affect your child more than you two.

  10. Brittany

    March 23, 2022 at 7:14 pm


    My ex broke up with me 32 days ago! I believe we are meant to be together and I want him to come back, I stayed off my social media accounts (other then messenger to keep in touch with other friends) and attempted “no contact.” At exactly one month from the break up – he gave me a letter of apologies and we sat in my car and talked for 3 hours.
    2 days later we talked again and he admitted he still loves me and how hard it is to let go, but that after he takes some time to grow and heal and work on himself, he wants to date other people again.
    I was his first serious relationship so this makes sense because he has nothing to compare our relationship to, and maybe seeing someone else will show him exactly how right for each other we are.

    My question for you, is how do I avoid him forgetting about me completely? and how do I get him back when he decides to “date” again, but tries with someone else?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 21, 2022 at 12:37 pm

      Hey Brittany, so he is not going to forget about you that is not possible… you are going to need to follow the steps of the program starting with your NC and the Ungettable girl that Chris has provided

  11. Courtney

    December 11, 2021 at 2:31 am

    I dated my ex for two years. I messaged him after 48 days and he messaged back fast saying he was surprised to hear from me we had small talk then he said he kept all my things and that he misses being with me and if there was any chance for us to be together again and I told him that I just wanted to see how things went first and but that I miss him too. we FaceTimed couple times and talked for a week and a half. The third time we FaceTimed it was going well for a long time and then I ended up bringing up the relationship again of what we should do and he asked me if I was ready now I said I think so and then I got emotional and started sounding a bit crazy and then he gave me a weird look and said he could believe what he was hearing and said he doesn’t think we’re ready and that we should put a pin in our conversation and I pushed him a bit. We eventually changed the subject and we talked a little bit more eventually he said he had to go to bed. The next day he didn’t say barely anything all day but I’m tired and today he hasn’t said anything and read reply and left it on read. what should I do now I told him I was sorry and that I didn’t say the right words the other night and he still hasn’t answered should I do no contact again or did I already lose my chances

  12. H

    November 27, 2021 at 2:58 am

    Hi! I completed my 30 days no contact period successfully after that I messaged him and got a positive response I was so happy but things went downhill after that as after one day I messaged him again to which he didn’t reply I waited 1 day for his reply got angry and started calling him like crazy he didn’t answer any of my calls or messages. Please HELP what should I do now? Should I start another no contact period if yes then for how many days should I do it this time. Regards

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 29, 2021 at 8:24 pm

      Hi H, yes re do your NC for 45 days and read and learn how to control your emotional reactions.

  13. Cissy

    November 13, 2021 at 4:58 am

    Hey,I broke up with my boyfriend 1 month a ago.we had dated 7 months ,most things were done when we were together, only one thing,thing, felt he had angry issues, I told him many times, and he didn’t think so, so this was the only argument we always had in our relationship. there was really nothing serious happened when he said break up,just a very little argument as always.but at that day we got a serious talk,then I kinda pushed him to see if he really wanted to be with me ,I said he was wasting my time .then he said we shouldn’t stay together if we were not enjoying each other .I knew he didn’t want to break up,because he even cried when he said break up.after the break up,he contacted me ,and I got angry, I told him he shouldn’t behave like nothing happened after he said break up, so he stopped, but he contacted me again after 2 days we broke up and asked how I was ,I asked if he wanted to go back together, he said no,so I really got angry, I told him he should not give me hope and then let me be disappointed. He said he would not bother me again.but then I couldn’t wait anymore, I texted to him.he still said he needed more time .During those 3 weeks ,I didn’t follow the no contact rule at all,always texted to him to ask what his decision,and told him I felt very sad ,one time I even last control telling him to fuck himself, and I hate him forever. Until he told me he felt so annoyed.he didn’t want to contact me anymore. Our last talk was one week ago.i texted to him again ,he said why I kept doing this,what I was doing really pushing him more faraway, please stop doing that,and he hated the dramatic things .if I really gave him time ,I would really consider to go back together, but now ,I push him too faraway, i was so desperate.if I want the final answer, he gave me the final answer, he said he wanted to break up,now ,and forever. He could not handle my personality, and neither could I.I didn’t know if it was his angry words, but I was heartbroken, so I said okay,I will never contact you again,I already deleted all your contact info and history, just the Instagram, please block me ,then I would never be able to reach out to you again. And he did ,he blocked me on Instagram.I am sure he doesn’t block me on whataspp ,but I really don’t know if it’s too late to follow the no contact rule after all the crazy dramatic stuff while we were stepping back.

  14. Curious Guy

    November 9, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    My ex broke up with me in June after a year together. Afterward she seemed to depend on me to some extent (calling me to pick her up after she got out of detox, saying she wanted to be friends, asking me to help her on her thesis project) but when I asked if she wanted to get back together she said it was bad timing and she meant the relationship was over. She reached out to me the next day saying she still valued me as a person and wanted to be friends. I said I’d be a fool to cut her out but that I needed space to deal with things, which she agreed to. That was a month ago: she reached out to me 2 weeks ago and the conversation was brief, and I reached out yesterday and it was likewise brief. I want to get her back but it’s tough doing no contact but breaking it also sucks. Should I just give up and move on?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 10, 2022 at 8:09 pm

      Hey there, so your NC needs to be successful before you can move onto the next stage and each time you break it, it loses its effectiveness. I would suggest that you complete a full 30 days and DO NOT reply to her if she does reach out she needs to believe that she is losing you. As hard as that may be it is part of this program. You also need to be sure that you do not fall into the friendzone so far that there is no way out for you. I would not allow yourself to be her support for the time being she is going to have to find that else where while you focus on yourself and “move on” as such.

  15. Annie_K

    September 26, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    My boyfriend and I broke up 3 weeks ago after just 8months talking every day (4 months officially together) but it was an on and off break up with each time me reaching back out. Finally he said it’s over. I accepted that and wished him the best. The following day I sent him an email saying how great the good times were and how much I’m sad but I accept it. Then noticing I had been blocked from everything I sent one final email (in the hope he hadn’t blocked that) a very emotional one asking why he blocked me and did we mean anything. I’m now starting NC, but is this my first NC or my third? Also does it work if he blocked me?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 22, 2021 at 11:35 pm

      Hey Annie, yes it can work but you do need to be sure that you work on yourself during this NC and be sure that you complete it for at least 45 days or until you have a way of reaching out to him again.

  16. Anna

    September 22, 2021 at 9:11 am

    I’m so angry at myself. I was 18 days into no contact and doing well. I no longer think we will be together. He has moved on to someone new and while it definitely hurts to be replaced he made his choice. But he has been definitely angry about me not reaching out (I think he expected me to plead to stay in his life). We share workspace together and have friends group chat. He was acting out, made strange comments, talked multiple times about the new girl, send kisses to another friend and did everything which seemed to ask me for reaction. In the end I decided he is hurt and reached out to him. Said I think he is hurting and I haven’t forgotten about him but we are over. He said he wasn’t (sure!) but thank you and that he wasn’t jealous (sure!). He said he isn’t in a relationship with the new girl (I didn’t ask at all just stated i guess he didn’t want to be alone. I guess they are casual) I thought this was ok as I wasn’t pleading on begging. But now I’m so angry. Now he has all the recognition and satisfaction. He stopped acting out, which I assumed would be good but actually now regret. When he was angry at least people (and her) were not impressed. Now that he is satisfied and his ego is repaired he will be acting better for her :(. I’m happy to continue no contact as I don’t want to talk to him but now feel I lost all cards

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 23, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      Hey Anna, many of our clients exes move on, if its dating or in a new relationship. The most important part is that you follow a 45 day no contact and then follow the being there method. You may find this article helpful…

  17. Mellisah

    September 17, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Add me to the Battle Buddies group please….I need someone to remind me to keep it strong

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 17, 2021 at 10:13 pm

      Hey Mellisah, sorry the group is only available to those who have purchased the books

  18. Samantha

    August 29, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Hi my name is Samantha. The first time I did the no contact rule it worked but then I messed up I am now starting again. It’s been a week and he text me saying if I am keeping him away from his kids . I decided not to reply in which he will see then this Tuesday but I notice he uses the kids to know what I am doing is there any advice on how to go about this.

  19. Mary

    June 9, 2021 at 7:47 am

    Good evening,
    Today was my 10th day of NCR and I got inbox messeges from my ex asking me about my job, new city etc..I answered shortly ” nothing new” and after that he send 3 more messages on which I answered “I am not in a mood for conversation(i know i made mistake), he wrote that he ll call me in a few days…

    Last time we spoke we had a nice conversation, crazines is over since it has been a 5 months since we broke up but he still thinks he made a good decision..

    Is it better to answer that call and to tell him i have been ok and find a nice job and start NCR again or I should not answer and continue with no communication for 3 more weeks? Is it bad timing for NCR? Should i just talk to him nicely since i alredy worked on myself and changed in a positive way?
    Thank you 🙂

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 18, 2021 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Mary, when you are in NC you are not supposed to be replying to any messages, or phone calls. Read the articles to understand what it is you are meant to be doing.

  20. Maria

    June 8, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    Good evening,
    Today was my 10th day of NCR and I got inbox messeges from my ex asking me about my job, new city etc( first time he started)..I answered shortly ” nothing new” and after that he send 3 more messages on which I answered “I am not in a mood for conversation..he wrote that he ll call me in a few days. I know i made a mistake !!

    Last time we spoke we had a nice conversation, crazines is over since it has been a 5 months since we broke up but he still thinks he made a good decision.

    Is it clever to do NCR in this period? Is it better to answer that call and to tell him i have been ok and find a nice job and start NCR again or I should not answer and continue with no communication for 3 more weeks?

    Thank you 🙂

    P.s. I am so sorry that i didnt find this page could help me to prevent damage i made in the beggining

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