I’m sure you’ve heard about giving your ex the silent treatment or about how absence makes the heart grow fonder, but how exactly does this work?
Today I’m going to take you through the psychology of why ignoring your ex is the perfect foundation for getting them back or for getting over them.
I’m also going to unravel the biggest misconception people have when it comes to ignoring their exes.
Why Is Ignoring Your Ex So Powerful?
If you’re trying to win your ex back or get over your breakup, you’ve probably stumbled across some version of the no contact rule.
It is the single most recommended technique after a breakup.
So what exactly is a no contact rule?
The no contact rule is basically this period of time (generally 21 – 45 days) where you’re going to ignore your ex to make them miss you while working on hitting the reset button for yourself by improving your life.
Of course, a full no contact rule is limited in situations where you work with your ex, have a child with them, or still live with them, etc.
In those special circumstances I recommend a limited no contact rule, but today isn’t about what kind of no contact rule you need, it’s about understanding what makes the no contact rule so successful.
The Psychology Behind The No Contact Rule – The Theory Of Reactance
The theory of reactance is a psychological concept that dictates how humans behave when their behavioral freedoms are taken away.
In general, when you take away a certain behavioral freedoms from someone, they will do whatever they can to get it back.
For our purposes, the no contact rule is basically taking away your ex’s behavioral freedom of talking to you and their reaction would be to try to regain that freedom back.
That sounds perfect… in theory.
But it doesn’t exactly work out that way in real life.
So, you decide you’re going to ignore your ex which would obviously take away their behavioral freedom of having a conversation with you.
Theoretically, they would react in a way to try to get that behavioral freedom back. But when we actually looked at how often exes would reach out to you during a no contact rule we saw some alarming trends…
I want to preface these findings by saying that I am a huge proponent of trends, as opposed to one-off strategies or examples. I believe in finding tangible patterns in this process that work for multiple people in a predictable way so I can help others using that information.
Now the best way to define or find patterns is by surveying an audience full of people who are trying the same things out.
Luckily, we have a dedicated private Facebook support group for everyone who purchases our flagship ex-boyfriend recovery program.
Everyone on that group is either going through a breakup and wanting to get their ex back (or get over them) or they’ve already gone through the process.
This means that we have a community of about 4500 individuals who share their experiences and get extra guidance via Facebook live sessions from me and other coaches.
I got the idea one day to survey this audience of people who have used the no contact rule and asked them one singular question:
For those of you who use the no contact rule how often did your ex actually reach out to you during the no contact rule? Shockingly, about 63 percent of people who responded to the poll said that their ex did not reach out to them during the no contact rule.
So what gives here?
Does that mean ignoring your ex with the no contact rule is not an effective strategy?
It means you’re focusing on the wrong thing…
The Biggest Misconception People Have About Ignoring Their Ex
When people first come into my practice they expect instant gratification and think that the no contact rule is all about ignoring their ex because that makes their ex miss them.
We have found the opposite to be true.
What matters more than anything when it comes to ignoring your ex is what you do with that time.
I started noticing this pattern in almost all of the success stories – the people who actually went through our program and got their exes back.
The biggest common thread between all the success stories was how they used their time during the no contact rule.
They didn’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves, not that there’s anything wrong with that for a little bit.
They actually pulled themselves up, dusted themselves off from the negativity and depression of their breakup, and they took matters into their own hands by improving their lives in all sorts of ways.
Now I know what you’re thinking… duh, ignoring your ex and working on yourself is the most cliché answer ever.
Well, it’s a cliché because it works.
When you improve yourself and show your ex a new side of you, they’re intrigued.
As long as you’re focusing on yourself and not your ex, you’re going towards the right mindset of becoming an “ungettable girl“. So yeah, working on yourself IS a big reason why ignoring your ex is so powerful, but it is not the only reason.
Another reason why ignoring your ex is so powerful is because of the stable nature it portrays to them.
You see, a breakup is a very unstable and emotionally charged environment.
A lot of things are said in the heat of the moment and it’s just a big mess of chaos. And what do people do when they see a situation full of chaos?
No one wants to deal with all the drama of a breakup so your ex will probably make a run for it. Now, if your ex ran after breaking up with you, your solution was probably to overreact and overcompensate by begging for them back.
You’ll do anything from blowing up their phone and social media to maybe even showing up at their house so they take you back. All these insecurities just exaggerate the chaos and push your ex further away.
Your ex wants nothing to do with you because it seems like you’re extremely insecure. But then you implement a no contact rule and start ignoring them. This huge difference will surprise your ex and make them wonder what happened.
They’ll start asking questions like what’s going on? How are you suddenly so secure and stable? Are you over them?
This will especially drive them mad if they were thinking about having a friends with benefits situation with you or keeping you as a backup because they never expected you to just totally ignore them.
Having that element of intrigue and shock is a really underutilized aspect.
Whether we realize it or not, the more stable we are, we begin to re-attract our ex. But that’s not the only thing that happens while you are acting stable and secure by ignoring your ex.
You Also Tap Into Their Grass Is Greener Syndrome
Whether you like it or not, the truth is that when your ex breaks up with you it is an admission that they think they can do better than you.
Sometimes they can and sometimes they cant.
But here’s the thing – they need to try dating new people to realize how good they had it with you.
Now, this doesn’t happen right off the bat. A lot of people think the grass is greener syndrome is this instant thing that immediately makes their ex want to come back to them, but that’s not how the grass is greener syndrome works.
Here’s what a real grass is greener syndrome looks like.
Your ex breaks up with you and they give you some lie about why they did it when they actually just want to explore their options. So they go out on dates and find someone they think is better than you.
They get into this new lovey-dovey relationship – he’s kissing the new girl, taking down your pictures off his social media, and putting up pictures with her. All of this can be really depressing and overwhelming for you.
You gotta remember though that this is just their honeymoon period. This over the top honeymoon phase will eventually level off and when they both regress into how they truly are in relationships, that’s when the comparisons start.
Your ex will start comparing his everyday life with his new girl and with you, as opposed to the highlights he was having with her in the honeymoon period. Ideally, he’ll think to himself, “I had it really good with her” when looking back at your relationship.
That’s when he starts to romanticize your relationship and you start to see exes reaching out to you constantly. He’ll probably try to just be friends but he will actually start looking to you for the kind of emotional support that he should seek from his partner.
So sometimes ignoring your ex and just letting them work things out on their own is enough to tap into that grass is greener syndrome where regret comes into play.
Ignoring your ex after your breakup with a no contact rule is the best thing you could do and here’s a quick rundown of why it works so well:
- It allows you more time to focus on yourself and lead an improved life
- It showcases a stable and secure side of you
- It lets your ex naturally stumble into the grass is greener syndrome