Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the no contact rule.
Mostly this one,
When does the no contact rule actually start to work?
To date, I’ve written over 400 articles for this website and I’ve talked about the no contact rule a lot. So, my immediate response to someone asking me this question yesterday was, “Hey, I think I’ve written an article on that let me get you a link to it.”
The problem was that I hadn’t written an article on it.
So, that’s what I’m going to be doing today.
I intend to make this article the most comprehensive article you could possibly find on understanding when the no contact rule starts to work.
When Does The No Contact Rule Begin To Work?
There are two big questions that we have to answer to ensure that you see the whole picture.
I know that you probably came here wanting me to give you an exact time frame of when it will work but it doesn’t work that way. Think of it like this, you’ve probably had more than one romantic relationship throughout your life.
Were each of those relationships identical?
No, each was unique and presented different challenges.
With that logic it would make sense that the no contact working is going to be different for every person and every situation they find themselves in.
But with the two big questions I am going to unpack for you today you should be able to diagnose and get an idea of how long it will take in your situation.
So, what are the two questions?
- What does the no contact rule “working” actually look like?
- How long will it take for it to work?
I’m going to spend quite a bit of time unpacking these two questions.
So, let’s get started.
Question #1: What Does The No Contact Rule “Working” Actually Look Like?
The no contact rule “working” is actually quite difficult to measure.
Pretend for a moment that you are going to use the no contact rule on me.
But I’m stubborn.
You decide you are going to do a basic 30 day no contact rule but I don’t reach out or let you know that I’m annoyed you are ignoring me at all.
I’m sitting there thinking,
I’m not going to contact them until they contact me.
(Fun Fact: I’ve literally done this after a breakup before so you know I’m not just blowing sunshine out my a$$.)
However, while I’m being stubborn deep down I’m actually very bothered by the fact that you haven’t reached out to me after the breakup.
I start to worry that somethings happened to you.
You’ve found someone else.
I know I have to keep my “stubborn front” up to look like the big strong man that I am but deep down inside your no contact rule is making me recognize just how much I miss you.
(Fun Fact: I’ve actually done this before as well after a breakup.)
Here’s my ultimate point.
How would you tell if the no contact rule is working if I don’t let on that it’s bothering me inside?
Half of the success stories that I’ve gotten have admitted to me that they had no idea if the no contact rule was working on their exes.
So, you can’t always rely on what your ex actually does with this.
Instead, I’d recommend you look at two data points.
- Your ex reaches out to you during the no contact rule with text messages, phone calls or even tries to show up in person
- Your ex is very responsive after the no contact rule when you talk
Let me spend a minute unpacking these two things for a minute.
Data Point #1: Your Ex Reaches Out To You During No Contact
You are typically looking a couple of things here.
- Annoyance that you are ignoring them
- Begging of some form
Now, I can tell some of you are reading this and probably wondering why we would be looking for annoyance.
Isn’t that a bad thing.
In this case, no.
Think for a moment about an ex who is annoyed that you are ignoring them.
They are annoyed because they recognize that they have had a certain behavioral freedom removed, the ability to talk to you.
The “Theory of Reactance” teaches us that when human beings have behavioral freedoms removed we will fight and claw to get that behavioral freedom back.
That kind of means that the no contact rule is doing it’s job, right?
If it makes our exes chase us?
Data Point #2: Your Ex Is Responsive After The No Contact Rule
I’m a bit of an outlier when it comes to my clients.
Most coaches recommend to use the no contact rule and wait for their exes to contact them during it.
I don’t believe in that nonsense.
Half of the exes I’ve dealt with don’t contact during the no contact rule.
So, are we supposed to just wait on the sidelines forever and play on our exes schedule?
No thank you.
Besides, what about the situation I outlined above where an ex stays quiet during the no contact rule even though it’s killing them because they want nothing more than to talk to you.
So, here’s where I’m an outlier.
I actually recommend texting an ex after the no contact rule.
That way you get to control when you talk to your ex and it allows you to do a litmus test and check to see how responsive your ex is.
Here’s a general rule of thumb to live by,
The more responsive your ex is after the no contact rule the more effective that no contact rule usually was.
Question #2: How Long Will It Take For The No Contact Rule To Work
Quite frankly this is a complicated question to answer because there are so many layers of complexity.
- How long it takes to work is a function of the no contact time frame you chose
- You need to learn about the wave chart on the no contact emotions
By peeling back these layers of complexity we can get a better idea of how long it’s going to take for your situation.
So, let’s start peeling.
How Long It Will Take To Work Is A Function Of The No Contact Time Frame You Chose
In my book, Ex Boyfriend Recovery PRO I talk about how there are really three time frames to use with the no contact rule.
- The 21 Day Rule
- The 30 Day Rule
- The 45 Day Rule
Now, I don’t want to get so bogged down by the details of which one you should be using.
You can get my book to answer that question.
What I want to talk about is the fact that your the length of success with the no contact rule is going to depend on which time frame you chose.
Obviously, someone who determines that the 21 day rule is perfect for their situation is going to see it working for them a lot quicker than someone who is using a 45 day rule.
Again, this only assumes that you correctly paired yourself with the right time frame.
I have designed the time frames of the no contact rules to work perfectly assuming you are honest and pair yourself with the right time frame.
Again, pick up my book to learn which time frame you be implementing.
The time frames were made using something called a wave chart.
What Is The Wave Chart?
If you’ve ever had the no contact rule implemented on you then you probably understand what I’m about to teach you than someone who has never been on the receiving end.
When someone who you really want to talk to ignores you on purpose your emotions go through a trajectory like this,
Immediately upon recognizing that you’ve been ignored you want nothing more than to talk to the person ignoring you.
Of course, when they don’t respond or when you can’t go through you go through a bit of a pouting stage where you grow angry or annoyed with the person “playing games,”
After pouting they kind of live in a new reality without you and try to be ok with it,
Of course, trying to not think about you causes them to think about you which causes them to want to talk to you again,
This is where things become important.
This is the point where you want to re-establish contact.
This is also why I have three different no contact time frames.
Not all situations are created equally.
If you use my book to properly diagnose your situation I have done all the work for you so that by the time you re-establish contact after the no contact rule you should be doing it right at the point above.
Doing this will create the maximum circumstances of success.
You see, you started this article trying to answer the question on when the no contact rule works.
The answer is complicated because technically it works right when you implement it.
But let’s say that instead of ending it where I recommended you end it prematurely right here,
The issue here is that you are ending it and trying to get back in touch with your ex when they don’t want to talk to you.
Timing really matters here.
Luckily, I already did the work for you based on my extensive experience working with people and seeing what works and what doesn’t work.
If you diagnose your situation as needing a 45 day rule then I’ve designed the 45 day rule to end right at this point,
If you diagnose your situation as needing a 21 day rule then again, it’s going to end right at the point you want it to end.
Timing is the most important thing to consider here.
Oh, also diagnosing your situation which you can do with my book.