No contact is an important part of getting back together with an ex. However, it’s not always possible to avoid interaction with your ex. In this article, I will be going over two main concerns people have about no contact.

How do I apply no contact if my ex and I work together?


What if I meet my ex at an event/party/gathering during no contact?

A Little About No Contact

Before we go over these specific situations, let’s talk a little bit about no contact. No contact isn’t really as strict as some people make it out to be. Just because you interact with your ex in some situations, doesn’t necessarily mean you are breaking no contact.

no contact nazi

Soup Nazi doesn’t understand no contact.

You first need to understand the main objective of no contact.

1. For you to regain composure after the breakup. You need some time to stop being the mess you were after the breakup.

2. For your ex to realize that you are no longer needy and desperate.

3. For you to learn to be happy without your ex and figure out whether or not getting back together is a good idea.

Now as long as your interactions with your ex don’t mess with these objectives, you are not really breaking no contact. The reason I recommend no contact is because it’s an extremely easy and effective way (okay, maybe not so easy, but still effective) to achieve all these goals. But if you are in a situation where you can’t avoid interacting with your ex, you are still following no contact as long as you are in line with these main objectives.

To make it simple, I’ve come up with a few rules for both the situation that I mentioned above. I’ll also explain why I suggest these rules and how they make sure you are not hurting your main objectives of no contact.

No Contact When You and Your Ex Work Together

OK, this can be an extremely difficult situation. However, it can be handled effectively if you make it clear to yourself what you want and how you want to achieve it.

Your goal of no contact is to minimize contact with your ex so you can regain composure, stop being needy and you can concentrate on your own happiness. This might seem difficult if you are running into your ex every time you are going to get a cup of coffee or if you have to interact with them constantly because you are working on the same project.

Here are a few ground rules you should follow during no contact if you and your ex work together.

1. Don’t talk about anything personal.

Whatever happens, don’t talk about your personal life. What you are doing after work. What time you are heading home. What are your plans for the weekend. Which friends you’ll be spending the evening with. It’s none of their business. And while we are at it, their personal life is none of your business either. While you are doing no contact, you are not your ex’s friend. You are an acquaintance. So treat them like an acquaintance. And in this case, a colleague.

Why It’s Important?

If you talk to your ex about your personal life, you run the risk of letting your ex know that you are not doing so well after the breakup. On the flip side, f you are doing well and you keep on talking to them about how well you are doing, you run the risk of looking like you are showing off. Which again makes you look kind of needy. Not to mention, if you try to ask them about their personal life, you are probably going to annoy them and make them think that you are still looking to get back together.

How To Avoid It?

What if your ex insist on talking about your personal life? Well, use this simple line.

“Well, I think I need some space and time right now and I don’t think I’m ready to talk about my personal life with you yet. Since we both have to be in the same office every day, let’s just keep things professional between us and keep our personal lives separate.”

Define your boundaries. This will make them realize you are in control of your life. And it will instantly put you in the “not needy” category.

2. Don’t Talk About Your Ex To Your Colleagues

When you work with an ex, you are probably going to come across people gossiping about you two. It’s almost inevitable. And the most important thing for you to do is not participate.

Why It’s Important?

office gossip

The best way to stop a gossip is to not participate in it.

If you do participate in the gossip, you are going to look weak, immature and you are probably going to piss your ex off. It might also make it look like you are trying to get a reaction out of your ex or trying to use your colleagues to get him/her back. And that again, makes you look needy.

Another reason why it’s important is because as long as you are participating in these gossips, you are not really concentrating on yourself. Which is one of the main objectives of no contact.

How To Avoid It?

Don’t talk about your relationship and your ex to anyone. If someone asks, tell them that you two had differences and you split up. Don’t go into details. Let them know that it’s personal and you’d rather not share it.

If you find your ex (or a particular colleague) spreading rumors about you or talking about intimate details of the relationship with your colleagues, you should confront him/her. Just go to them and tell them calmly what you think they are doing and you’d appreciate it if they stop it. If they don’t listen, leave it alone and don’t pursue it any further. Rumors and gossip will die eventually and the office will have something new to gossip about after a while. If you react to it, you will only be giving them more things to gossip about.

What To Do When You Meet Your Ex At a Party/Event/Gathering During No Contact

A lot of times, you have to see your ex at an event/gathering or maybe you just run into them at a party. It’s not really a difficult situation as you’ll be seeing your ex only for a short while. And you can use this time to not only be in line with the main objectives of no contact, but also to help you achieve one of that objective.

Your main motive here should be to like a movie trailer. Give them a short preview of the new Version 2.0 of yourself (read about version 2.0 in the 4th step of the 5 step plan or the 5 stage guide), and leave them for wanting more.

Here are a few ground rules to achieve that.

1. Don’t Have Any Conversations Longer Than Five Minutes

When you meet your ex, greet them, tell them how nice it is to see them again. Be cordial and friendly. And most importantly, be happy. And then leave.

Why It’s Important?

The more you talk to them, the more you run into the risk of showing them your needy side. If you are in the NC period, then chances are, you have not fully recovered from your “neediness and desperation after the breakup”. And long conversations with your ex is probably going to give you away. Your ex knew you well, and they’ll easily pickup subtle clues and might figure out that you want them back.

How To Avoid It?

Have a group of friends that you can hang out with. Let your ex know that you need to get back to your friends and bail. If you don’t have anyone to hang out with at the party/event/gathering, other than your ex and common friends, then start a conversation with a common friend in the same group. Slowly, steer away from your ex and start concentrating more on your friends.

2. Don’t Get Drunk

It’s quite obvious. But somehow, people seem to screw it up. I understand how it can be hard. You are in an awkward situation, you have a few drinks just to relax. And before you know it, BOOM. You’ve told your ex how much you love them and yelled at their date for being a complete slut.

Why It’s Important?

Isn’t it obvious? You will probably do stupid shit if you get drunk. Don’t get drunk.

drunk rockstar

Party like a RockStar, but don’t get drunk.

How To Avoid It?

Let a friend know beforehand to make sure that you don’t get drunk. And just pray to God that your friend doesn’t get drunk and forgets about his/her responsibility. An easier and a safer way is to become the designated driver.

3. Don’t Freak Out If They Bring A Date

If your ex brings a date to a party, then you are in for a treat. All kind of emotions are going to take over your mind and body and every inch of your fiber will feel like making every possible mistake you can to screw up your chances of getting him/her back. And this will be the true test of your determination. Because in this situation, not only will you have to maintain your cool, you will also have to be cordial to your ex’s date.

Why It’s Important?

Because any reaction that comes out of you at this moment is going to come from a place of neediness and desperation. And every action that comes out of desperation is going push your ex further away and will bring you back to square one. If you want to save all the progress you’ve made during no contact so far, it’s imperative that you maintain your cool.

How To Avoid It?

First of all, understand that every emotion you are feeling right now is because your mind and heart are panicking. They are panicking because they are afraid you are going to lose your ex forever. Remind yourself that just because they are on a date doesn’t mean you are going to lose them forever. In fact, even if they are in a relationship with this date, it’s probably a rebound and it’ll end soon. Tell yourself that it’s okay that they are on a date. Stay away from those tequila shots. They are not going to make the pain go away. And if you have to interact with your ex and their date, be cordial to both of them. It’s going to be extremely hard to look happy and if you try to fake happiness, your ex is probably going to pick up on it. So, don’t worry about that part. It doesn’t make you look too much needy if you are upset about seeing your ex with someone new. It’s extremely normal. But do your best to not do anything irrational (like telling the date her makeup makes her look like a prostitute).

About Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson is a breakup expert and coach with more than 11 years of experience of helping people recover from a breakup and get back in a healthy relationship.

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33 comments ...add one
  • Ash T

    I would like to get some advice from you. Is it ok to write that over here or do I have to send you a personal email

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      We offer personal coaching email services, which you can find out more about on this page.

  • Brad McCutcheon

    Hi, So my Ex and I were together for about two years, we also work together. The relationship came to an end because of my alcoholism which. Caused me to neglect her ie sleeping on the couch just not being emotionally available to her. She confided in another male at work and well I don’t need to explain the rest of that story. The break up was not overly messy but hard on both of us. I initiated no contact, I quit drinking, I am going to the gym, lost about 35lbs feel great and look much better. Within 2 weeks she was crying at her desk for an entire day we spoke and set up a time to meet and talk, we have two cats together that she could not take with her to her new place that she wanted to see. We decided to “try again” things went well for about a week and a half. She went to her hometown in NY for a friends wedding. Evidently she spoke with multiple people (parents included) that told her to take a step back, don’t rush into anything. Even after she returned things were fine for about 3 days then the texts went from a boyfriend/ girlfriend to more friends tone. I finally confronted her about it to which she said “I thought were doing our own thing and we’re gonna see where things went and I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to hurt you.” I still love her and want to be with her, I have started no contact again but am unsure where to go from here. I can’t do the limbo thing again. One other thing she said was that “my mind changes rapidly from week to week”. I understand the skepticism of me quitting drinking for an extended period or for good but I never told her I’d quit before and have come through on nearly everything I’ve ever said to her. Please help with any advice, it’s greatly appreciated.

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      Instead of taking a complete step back and going into NC all over again, how about going at her pace and taking baby steps forward. Don't rush into things or try to simply continue the relationship from where it left off last time, but actually treat this as a fresh start and that you're trying to win someone's heart over.

  • Adam Beck

    I tried the no contact rule with my ex but we share same mutual friends in college and she finds it very rude if I don't talk to her at all or stay silent when iam with them . she says she could leave if i don't want her to be there and this also spoils her mood .she says she wants to remain friend with me . What should I do because I want her back in my life.

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      For the starting part, it would be better not to meet up at all even as a group. You could simply be honest with her and let her know that you still need time to process and get over the breakup and she needs to respect that.

  • Liza

    Ok my question is this - I'm on day 26 of NC. My ex has sent text messages to which I have not responded. The last one was a week ago. None of the messages were urgent so I stuck to the no contact - the first two were in week two of NC, the next four were in week three of NC. I'm concerned that since i have not heard from him in a week that he has given up. Do i just stay the course?

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      Complete your remaining days of NC before reaching out to him since you’re nearly at the end of it.

  • Ms. J

    I'm currently doing the no contact rule, for my benefit but today was first time I saw the guy. I was wearing my earphones you to block him out as I came in but he physical stop me and motion for me to remove my earphones. He asked about my recent haircut and gave me comment about it. At first he made a nice comment about it then added stupid one after trying to make me laugh. I did say thank you with the first one but to the next I left. He then came up to me again and asked me why I cut my hair and so forth. Then he asked if I'm still mad at him. He thinks I'm mad at him. Is this a sign that no contact rule is working?

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      Typically it can be considered, especially when your ex is putting in effort to maintain a conversation with you.

  • Beatrix

    hello, my ex have been just feel sorry for me because I am easy to get sick if stressed. we just broke up and i'm entering at nc stage. day 3 nc, my ex and i accidentally met. I avoided eye contact, even when he looked like he wanted to make eye contact with me. I know he just want to make sure if i was not sick. we were in the same room, sat close enough but no contact at all. when he will leave the place, he called me several times, even touch my back to call me, but I did not answer or respond, or even look at him. I look like the one who thinks he's a stranger and ignorant of him in front of our friends and i knew my friends see that was a weird behavior of me. have i made a mistake by not responding at all? I just was not ready to contact him. but I feel excessive for not responding. and that night, he did not send any more short messages like the day before. I want to know what he thinks after the incident? What could happend if i continue nc period? Thankyou.

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      No contact is often used as a period to allow both parties to reflect back on the relationship and give enough space that sometimes the other person begins to think of you and how you're doing or even misses you. You could refer to our other articles regarding what no contact can do and what happens after.

  • Anastasia


    There is a guy at my church that I was casually talking to for two years however he is immature childish and gives mixed messages.

    I have decided to used the no contact method with him that has worked in the past. Ultimately we are "friends" and I do have to see him about once a week at church.

    We made plans to go jet packing together in about 3 weeks. We made these plans when I was not executing the no contact method and when we were on better terms.

    Should I cancel this jet packing outing or just go through with it and not flake since we are " friends".

    P.S we have never been in a relationship and we have never been intimate in anyway.

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      Perhaps instead of no contact, you should try being honest about your feelings and asking him about how he feels towards you. This way, at least you're able to establish how you should proceed and not end up playing a random hot/cold game with someone you aren't sure would reciprocate the feelings you have.

  • Villy

    Hi Kevin,

    I was wondering if you could help with any suggestions about my situation. My ex and I work together and first broke up back in Aug (his decision), back 3 weeks later he came back asking to be together again. I was and I still am in love with him so I instantly said yes. But we started fighiting a lot and 3 months later he asked for some space so we can recover. It was extremely hard for me to give that space as I see him every day at work and after a month and a half we finally broke up. It’s been a month since then and I haven’t managed to distance myself from him. I find a reason and a excuse each time to go talk to him. This week his was supposed to be on leave and I booked some holiday the week after so we get some space. However he cancelled his holiday and I revealed to him that I am also going away. Perhaps I shouldn’t as he now knows what my plans are. I asked him if he can work from home because I need this space the reason why I booked holiday right after his. I guess I start the no contact period right now and I keep it even after I come back from holiday. But it’s already been 3 months we are not together and seeing each other at work it feels we will very soon gett used to this situation and one day all will be over. What are your thoughts?

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      It's as the article suggests, even if you have to face him daily at work, you should keep things strictly professional during the NC period and avoid small talk or anything not related to work. If you have to see him at work all the time, perhaps show him how well you're doing and how happy you are, which often incites feelings of regret from the other person to contact you again.

  • Rsj

    I have a doubt that before applying no contact rule I used to talk to my ex and I told her that I am not going to talk to her for a few days as I have to get over all this... Will this make no contact ineffective?

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      No it wouldn't, certain cases where people's ex continuously message them through no contact have also been advised to let the other party know that they need some space to work on their issues and get over everything.

  • Jordan

    Hi Kevin,
    New reader here. I was wondering how you would handle my situation? My ex ended our three and a half year long relationship with me about a month and a half ago. I was devastated, but was able to slowly pick up the pieces until I was recently told by a mutual friend that my ex was going on a date with someone sometime soon. It all came crashing down again. Last night, I stumbled upon "Ex Back Permanently" and am just starting the No Contact today. To be honest, I am afraid that my ex will move on during this period with the soon-to-be date(s), but I guess I'm taking the leap of faith here that it will just be a rebound relationship(s). I am wondering if I should notify my ex that I just need time and space right now to handle our break up so my ex doesn't think I moved on OR should I just stop contacting my ex to leave them wondering about me? Another issue with no contact is that we are both apart of the same group of friends. I have yet to read an article about no contact with an ex who is in the same group of friends; however, this article does give me some ideas. My ex, our friends, and I have been studying and hanging out together since the breakup, but I didn't attend their study session today due to no contact. I guess I am wondering what to do in this situation: I want to achieve no contact with my ex but I also want to hangout with our group of friends too. I do have other friends who are not in this group (and so does my ex), and I do plan on spending time with my other friends as well, but I don't want to extend the no contact rule to the group of friends my ex and I share.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      Hey Jordan,

      For starters, if you're part of the same group as her, it doesn't mean you should stop all contact with that group - but for the time being, it would be better to give yourself some space so you're not overly affected by seeing her constantly. You could hang out with other friends for now or meet that group when she isn't around (during the NC period). On to the second point, if your ex is capable of moving on that fast after a 3 and a half year relationship with you, then it would only be fair to yourself to do the same. If she still harbors feelings towards you and is indeed going out with other guys as a rebound, then you definitely still have a chance. Regardless, take this time to give yourself space and work on improving yourself as a person so if you do decide to go back to her, you'll be a different person she remembers from the time you guys broke up.

  • Emma


    I want to clear a few things up for the no contact rule, Ive moved most of my things out our house and into a friends spare room, but its just the big stuff like bed wardrobe that I still need to get, he has said I can leave it there until im sorted - Whilst doing no contact can we talk to discuss me going to get the furniture when its time?

    Also, he follows me on snapchat and I can see he has viewed my snapchat story, should I change the settings so he cant see it?

    It is his birthday soon can I wish him happy birthday?

    Thank you

  • Apple

    My ex broke it off with me about 2 weeks now after almost a year relationship that had so many positive moments. We both sing in the same choir and see each other every Wednesday for rehearsals and Sunday for services. I haven't texted her like crazy at all I did however send a long email regarding the reasoning for my actions and also said I respected her decision. She has been chasing me for her belongings and I have since given them back to her. So far every time I have interacted with her, I've remained calm, cool, collected and happy. Every time she tries to interact with me I end the conversation and say that I'm busy as I have to be somewhere with friends, etc. We have previously broken up early on in our relationship due to my insecurities about her telling me all her past relationships/hook ups and I told her that it would be good to remove the people she mentioned off Facebook. Some of these issues crept up again and I when we had an argument about something completely different I accused her off adding an ex on Facebook which was I got wrong and was a guy friend instead (stalking behaviour).

    Since then she has blocked me on Facebook and removed all my friends and all my family members she met along the way. I actually deleted her from Facebook and all the ties I had too when I felt mad for her breaking it up with me. I try to be my happy self when she first fell in love with me and try to be flirt when I can.

    I would like to go on holidays so I can really utilize the NC rule. Do I just keep on doing what I'm doing in the hope that she will come around and ask me out?

    • Kevin

      Hey Apple,

      If you are sure that you want her back, then you should reach out to her and start rebuilding attraction, connection and trust. Follow the 5 step plan.

  • Dynamite

    Hi kevin,I dated a guy for one year and suddenly he said he needed space although we've been having issues concerning household chores and all petty issues. I had to move out of the house to give him space after much begging and crying. Then at a work party I kissed a guy cos I was drunk and he really got angry and said its over. Do I still have chance so f him coming back to me cos I really love him and we work together. So I'm stuck with seeing him everyday

  • Victoria

    Hey Kevin,

    I'm on your email list and have talked to you about rebound relationships. I ran into my ex at a bar a couple months ago. This was before I found out he was seeing someone else, and he was at the time. I found that out the day after. I completely ignored him. I definately played it off that I was fine. I was with a guy friend. My guy friends were always a threat to him, that was an issue we had when we were together. His bff, which is a mutual friend and he was the reason we met approached me, which was awkward, cuz I have been avoiding him since the break up. He told me my ex left the bar cuz he didn't want me be uncomfortable. also, i didn't see him with his new gf either. He was alone with friends. I question whether he didn't want me to feel uncomfortable or he felt uncomfortable. I just basically said, do I look uncomfortable?

    We ended on bad terms on my end. The way he ended it was immature. He ended thru his bff. Then 2 weeks later he contacts me, claiming I just him, when our reasons were things were over exaggerated and miscommunication. He never said anything about reconciling, but he wanted to see me and I said no. I was too upset, hurt and angry and felt he was playing mind games. Leaving thank yougoodbye cards on my car. I got upset about it. It was like a slap in the face. I went to his house to once and for all ask him if it was over or not, and he said yes, and I tried to leave but he didn't want me too. He knew I was drinking and didn't want me to drive, but I left anyway cuz I didn't want him to see me cry, but he did and followed me to my car, but I ran and took off. I couldn't stand the head games, so I blocked him on fb and told him to leave me alone cuz it hurt too much. Haven't spoken since. Then I saw him at the bar. I just wanted to give you the feel of how it ended.

    its been almost 4 months since we broke up, and he started seeing someone 2 weeks after we broke. We both love the 80s and I go to almost every event, I know I'm gonna end up running into him and her, and I know I'm gonna fall apart. I'm not one to embarrass myself or lash out. My question is, should I avoid these events which I so look forward going to, or should I go and just keep ignoring him and do my best to be strong?

    • Kevin

      I think you should go, but only if you are sure that you will be able to keep yourself together and not act needy or desperate.

  • Jake

    Hey Jake,

    I've been in a relationship for about 8 months, and we've broke up once before but got back together a couple days after. It's now happened again and I feel that your no contact philosophy is the way to go. It's now been a couple days since the break up, and she sent a message over tonight to ask if I was still up. My inclination is to respond, but I'm sticking with your plan. We also work together so knowing that I'll see her tomorrow makes me want to respond tonight. We don't talk about personal things at work so I'm not concerned about the relationship there. But seeing her each day at work and having no contact on my part outside of work will be tough, especially her thinking that I'm purposely ignoring her text messages.

    What would you recommend in this situation?

    Many thanks.

    • Kevin

      Next time she contacts you, just tell her you need some space and time and you'll not be contacting her for a while and you'll appreciate it if she understands.

  • Kevin G

    Hello Kevin,
    Ive read your article and I am shocked on how I managed to screw up and do pretty much every mistake , some repeatedly. I wish I had seen this article a few months back before I pushed her even more away now than before. Even before coming across this article , I actually purchased a nice gift for my ex girlfriend that I know she would love , but maybe not so much that its coming from me but Im trying. I was thinking of doing the No Contact for 30 days and then having flowers and my gift delivered to her house. We actually just became recent co-workers as well which I love since Im with her but Im screwing it up and things have gotten worse because im making all those mistakes! So im going to try to follow your advice and I hope it works. For some reason, Ive had this mentality that I have to chase her and conquer her once again by being very persistent but its only been hurting me and our chances more so. Heres the weird situation , her main thing is that I broke up with her a few times and so she just cant trust me nor risk putting herself through that again. Granted I did break up with her because I felt we would fight and no one would want to budge therefore I didnt really appreaciate her at the time and would just tell myself I dont need this and ill leave her , making her resentful and coming for more ( for awhile ). I realized that was my biggest mistake, and I now know I am more mature and wiser in handling a situation and NOT running away but facing the situation because this person is important to me. Also I believe now that subconsciously I was scared of being vulnerable because I was in love already and therefore I would run . Fast forward a few months and Im trying to get her back and never let her go again and she wants no part of it and it really doesnt help that I break all the rules all the time ( Ive never done this before for a girl ). She even said that she hated me ( today ) because now this is affecting a friendship of hers and I called her a whore out of being drunk and having my feelings hurt the previous weekend. Is their any possiblilty ?

  • P

    hey kevin ,
    you have been doing a great job. i am really thankfull to you for all your posts. me and my bf were together for more than 2 years and the relationship was too serious, we did hav fights but at the end of the day love kept us together. but now things are worse n its been eight months, we fight and argue on things and at times we talk nice to each other. it is all on his mood because i am always dying to talk to him. this is my first love and life without him is not something i am used to, i want to get him back.and so i decided to follow your 5 step plan. i have done all the mistakes you told not to

    and now i wish i have read your posts a lil before,but as you said its not late i will follow the 2nd step.i want not to contact him for 30 days(i swear it is way too difficult for me).
    now the problem is we have been talking regularly and less fights and more of normal talks, i did ask him about us few times but all he says is "i dont have that in me, i cant love you" but he talks as if he still is close to me and this kinda tempts me when he talks nicely i just want him to get back to him.but after reading your posts i feel no contact is neccesary
    my question is how to start this step (No-Contact), i have no clue what to do, what to say, for how long i should do it, what i should say if someday he desperately calls or texts me up saying he needs me or needs to talk to me

    • Kevin

      Just stop calling him or texting him. If he calls you or texts you, don't answer. If he continues calling you (more than 2 times), pick up the phone and tell him that you need some space and time to deal with the breakup and you can't talk to him for a while.

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