By Chris Seiter

Published on June 9th, 2022

Today we’re going to talk about what you should say to your ex before you implement a no contact rule. Well, technically we’re going to talk about if you should say anything or not before you start no contact.

In my opinion, the no contact rule is more effective if you do it without any kind of warning.

And in this guide I’m going to show you why by talking about the following things,

  • Why I Believe The No Contact Rule Is Stronger Without Any Type Of Warning
  • Breaking Down The Psychological Components Of No Contact
  • How Avoidant Exes Play Into This
  • How You Can Actually Talk To Your Ex Indirectly Through No Contact

Let’s begin!

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I Believe The No Contact Rule Is Stronger Without Any Type Of Warning

I’m going to be operating under the assumption that you are utilizing the no contact rule as a means to win your ex back.

After all, if you are using the no contact rule to get over your ex my recommendation would be to simply do it indefinitely.

Meaning you are leaving your ex forever and won’t be talking to them again. So, assuming you are trying to get your ex back let’s just cut right to the chase.

I believe the no contact rule is stronger without any type of warning before you begin ignoring.


Well, I actually think looking at the success rates of a basic no contact rule and the success rates of a limited no contact can be illuminating.

For reference, the differences between the two are easy to understand.

  1. The No Contact Rule: You completely ignoring your ex from anywhere between 21-45 days. Again, you are supposed to use this time to outgrow your ex but unfortunately that always seems to get lost in the shuffle.
  2. The Limited No Contact Rule: You doing the best to ignore your ex for 21-45 days in a situation where it’s technically impossible to completely ignore them. You share kids together. You work together. You live together. You get the idea

Now, I bring up the limited no contact rule because I want to have an honest discussion on why it’s not as effective as the traditional no contact rule.

Out of all the success stories featured here,

You’ll find that only a handful of our success stories actually used the limited no contact rule. It’s not that you can’t successfully win your ex back with it but it can lose its effectiveness if you are constantly having to talk to your ex during it.

It’s the same reason this chart exists,

Now, I say all of this because warning your ex that you are going to be ignoring them lets them know there is an end in sight when you don’t really want them to know that there is an end in sight.

Is it the mature thing to do? Absolutely.

Is it the most effective thing to do? Absolutely not.

And I think this is because of the main psychological component that makes the no contact rule so effective.

Breaking Down The Psychological Components Of What Make No Contact So Effective

The no contact rule revolves around a concept called “reactance.”

According to our lord and savior, Wikipedia,

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Reactance is an unpleasant motivational reaction to offers, persons, rules, or regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms. Reactance occurs when a person feels that someone or something is taking away their choices or limiting the range of alternatives.

The very reason the no contact rule is effective is that it limits your exes freedom to talk to you.

Now, I suppose an argument can be made that if you warn your ex that you are going to do this beforehand it can improve the effectiveness but I haven’t found that to be the case.

Usually when you warn an ex they know what to expect and they actually are given a light at the end of the tunnel.


“You know, I’m going to take 30 days for myself. See you then.” 

It doesn’t really work the way you think it does.

Being a dismissive avoidant myself I would read that as,

Cool, I’ll see you in 30 days.

In an odd way you give an ex exactly what they want. A break from the breakup.

It’s way more effective to do it without warning. Without the knowledge that there is an end in sight. That’s what elicits those famous reactions you see everyone talking about with no contact.

Now, I mentioned I’m a dismissive avoidant. Believe it or not that factors into this greatly.

How Avoidant Attachment Style Factors In

Ok, this is super relevant for a lot of reasons. Firstly, because most of the clients we help have avoidant exes,

We have a lot of experience studying what an actual no contact will do to an avoidant. It’s actually not as basic as you would think but more on that in a second.

The other thing I’d like to point out is that a lot of times your ex won’t be reaching out to you during this period of no contact,

This is precisely because most exes that come through our program are avoidant. So, in a way they want the space no contact can give them.

Weird, right?

Well, it actually revolves around a concept called avoidant nostalgia that I talk about in depth in this video,

To quote from the video,

Avoidants are free to long for an ex once that person is unavailable out of the relationship, and typically out of contact so they are untouched by actual engagement and their deactivation systems aren’t triggered, revealing their long-suppressed attachment and switching their operating attachment wound from the fear of engulfment to fear of abandonment.

So, the key factor to take from this is that it’s only when the threat of a reconciliation has been removed that the avoidant will have this nostalgia and longing for an ex can occur.

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By warning an ex that the no contact will not be permanent it can actually make things worse as they know that on date “X” you’ll be reaching out again and they’ll have to have their guard up.

Besides, it’s not like you won’t be communicating with them during a no contact rule. You will, it’ll just be indirectly which is far more effective we’ve found.

How You Can Actually Talk To Your Ex Indirectly Through No Contact

Yesterday I wrote an article about if it’s healthy to keep in touch with an ex.

My argument is that it’s only healthy to get back in touch with an ex if you have gotten to a place emotionally where you have outgrown them.

That’s the big “A Ha” moment we’ve had in our coaching practice. Really what you are doing with your time during the no contact rule is super important. Every fiber of your being should be committed to outgrowing your ex and sharing that journey on social media.


Well, statistics have consistently shown that over 80% of exes will facebook stalk. It’s natural to want to see what your ex is up to after a breakup.

We all harbor in our hearts a hope that the person is devastated and broken without us.

This hope is doubled when you consider the fact that you are using a no contact rule on your ex so there has been no direct communication for weeks.

The only window into your life your ex should have should be from afar, indirectly.

And the only thing your ex should be seeing you is you making meaningful progress without them. Which harkens back to what we know about avoidants.

Remember, they only feel “safe” missing you when they feel like you’ve moved on from them. If all they are seeing from afar is you outgrowing them they may give themselves permission to start missing you sooner.

All in all, this is all a fancy way of saying that I don’t think it’s a good idea to warn your ex that you are going to go into a no contact rule.

You can undo progress before it even happens.

I’m going to leave you with one final piece of advice that editors will often give to their writers.

Don’t tell me the story, show it to me.

When in doubt show your ex that you are in a no contact, don’t tell them.

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