The No Contact Rule is one of the most effective way to get your ex back, to move on from a bad breakup or to cut a toxic person from your life (it could be a family or a friend.)

Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion about the no contact rule on the internet.

In this article, we will explain the no contact rule, understand how to make it work in your favor, and explain the different situations you may encounter while doing it.

What is the No Contact Rule?

When you apply the no contact rule, you intentionally stop all contact with your ex after a breakup. You don’t call, text, interact with them on social media or keep tabs on them through mutual friends. This can last from 3 weeks to six months. In some cases, such as when you want to move on from an ex or a toxic person, the no contact rule can continue indefinitely.

If done correctly, the no contact rule helps you heal from the breakup, stop panicking and grow as a person. Most importantly, when you stop contacting your ex, you break the unhealthy patterns that stop you from thinking clearly and getting perspective about the breakup.

If you want to get your ex back, you end no contact when you feel you are confident and are ready to start speaking to your ex again.

If you want to move on from a breakup (or cut a toxic person from your life), you continue no contact indefinitely.

Part 1: The Basics of No Contact Rule To Get An Ex Back

In this section, we are going to discuss who needs to do the no contact rule, why you need to do it, and how to do it.

Who Needs To Implement The No Contact Rule After a Breakup?

The no contact rule can feel like an extreme measure. It’s natural to be hesitant towards it. But in most situations it’s important to implement it after a breakup.

In my experience, most people who want to get an ex boyfriend or an ex girlfriend back should do no contact to help them become stronger after the breakup.

But the people who need to implement it the most are the ones who are most resilient towards the idea of it.

If you feel a strong urge to stay in contact with your ex, if you have been trying desperately to remain friends with your ex, if the thought of losing your ex fills you with anxiety; then it’s very important that you apply no contact after the breakup.

If you are the one trying to hold on to your ex, while it seems like your ex doesn’t really care about staying in touch with you, then you need to do no contact more than your ex does.

If every time you speak to your ex, you feel overwhelmed and consumed by fantasies of getting them back, or self-critical thoughts about how the breakup happened; then applying no contact rule will be a wise choice for you.

If you and your ex find yourself constantly arguing about what happened; if there is a lot of regret, anger, and grudges between the both of you; then you both need to stop contacting each other, implement no contact and give each other space.

Why should you apply the no contact rule with an ex?

Researcher, Helen Fisher and her colleagues, used MRI scans to find out that romantic rejection or a breakup has similar effects on the brain as that of a drug addict suffering from a withdrawal.

If your ex is a drug you are addicted to, then by doing no contact you are going cold turkey on your ex. For a lot of people, they need this approach to stop this addiction. When you go no contact, it means

  • No Text Messages
  • No phone calls
  • No going over to their house
  • No accidentally bumping into them
  • No Facebook messages or IM of any kind
  • No contacting them via your mutual friends
  • No status messages on Facebook (or any other social media) which are obviously meant for them
no contact to get your ex back
Contacting your ex in any way is going to keep you addicted.

It’s exactly like going cold turkey on something you are addicted to. You don’t let even a small dose of your ex into your life. Because even a small dose can get you addicted to your ex again.

By breaking your addiction of your ex, you will learn to live without him or her. And no contact is the best way to do it.

This immediately makes sense if you want to move on from the breakup or if you can see that interacting with your ex is unhealthy for you.

But for people who want to get back together, it doesn’t make sense to stop contact with an ex. And if that’s you, I want you to take a step back and shift your goal from just getting your ex back to getting back together in a healthy relationship.

If you think about it, your relationship ended because at a fundamental level, it was broken. And you don’t want to get back to that relationship. If you stay in touch with your ex, you are probably gonna keep repeating the same relationship patterns and may even develop an unhealthy on/off relationship cycle. Studies have shown that on/off cyclical relationships are a source of distress for both partners and this stress increases with time.

But by doing no contact, you are breaking the unhealthy pattern and creating an opportunity for change and growth. For both of you. If you both find your way back to each other (and you can facilitate that when you have healed), your new relationship will be better and stronger.


If you are not sure about the whole picture of getting an ex back, you should definitely read one of the following resources [They’re Free].

How To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back Permanently – 5 Step Plan

How To Get Your Ex Girlfriend Back By Leveling Up – 5 Stages You Will Go Through

Or Take This Quiz To Assess Your Chances Of Getting Your Ex Back [Recommended]

How To Start No Contact?

Depending on your situation you can start no contact using one of these two methods

  • Just stop initiating contact with your ex without informing them. Cut them off from social media if needed. They may get confused why you stopped contacting them and try to reach out. If they initiate contact, either ignore them or let them know that you need some space and time. This method is useful if you have been needy and desperate after the breakup.
  • Let your ex know that you need some space and time before starting no contact. You can do this by sending them a short text or an email. This is the most respectable way to start no contact. It doesn’t leave space for doubt between you and your ex and it also keeps the door open for future communication.

What To Say To Your Ex When Starting No Contact?

Hey, I know we said we will still be in each other’s lives and be friends. But speaking to you is not helping me heal from the breakup. I need some space and time for myself so I can get some perspective and heal. I don’t wish to speak to you for a few weeks. Maybe we can start speaking again when I am feeling better. I hope you understand.

Does The No Contact Rule Work To Get Your Ex Back?

The No Contact Rule helps in getting an ex back because it creates a much needed space between the both of you, that helps both you and your ex to get some perspective and heal. When you heal and you stop the push/pull dynamics between you and your ex, you allow the love you had for each other to resurface.

It works in the following ways.

1. Preventing Further Damage: If you have been contacting your ex regularly or in a desperate/needy manner, then doing no contact will stop you from damaging your chances further. It will help them realize what it’s like living a life without you. And in some cases, this is enough for them to miss you and want you back. Although, it’s important to note that this does not necessarily fix the issues that lead to the breakup. And couples who get back together without addressing the issues often break up again.

2. Creating Breathing Room: It’s effective because it creates a much needed space between you and your ex. This space helps both you and your ex to get some perspective and heal. And that helps the love you had for each other to resurface.

3. Building Confidence: It gives you time and space to heal and become a more confident person. This confidence is attractive to your ex when you both reconnect after no contact.

4. Encouraging Reflection: It gives both of you time to reflect on what went wrong and how to fix it. This helps in getting back together because it removes the resistance you or your ex may have about repeating the same mistakes again.

5. Facilitating Emotional Processing: It allows you both to process everything that happened, grieve and let go of any negativity you may have regarding the breakup.

How No Contact Affects You and Your Ex After a Bad Breakup?

After a breakup, a lot of people tend to have this push/pull dynamics with their ex partner. This involves one of you reaching out more often than the other. And a subtle unspoken tension between the both of you whenever you communicate. Because there is so much being left unsaid and so many thoughts going through both your minds.

Human psychology (for both males and females) does not allow us to think clearly and miss our loved ones as long as we are trapped in this push/pull dynamics with an ex. Our minds do not allow love to resurface as long as insecurity, neediness, or desperation is clouding our judgement.

But when you start no contact, you allow that negativity, the insecurity, the desperation, and the unnecessary push/pull dynamics to fade away. And in that space a vacuum is created. And that vacuum allows you and your ex start remembering the good things about the past relationship and miss each other.

Yes, a lot of times when you start no contact with an ex, they will eventually let go of the hatred, the ugliness and the negativity of the breakup and start remembering the love you two shared at one point of time.

As more time passes by, both you and your ex will miss each other less and less. Your thoughts about the breakup and your previous relationship will become clearer. You will be able to see both the good and the bad side of your ex partner in a non-judgemental way.

For a lot of people, self-reflection and self-improvement becomes a crucial part of their post breakup journey. As they continue no contact, they not only understand their previous relationship, they start understanding and accepting themselves.

At this stage, a lot of couples realize that what they had with their ex partner was special and that the issues can be fixed. And eventually, a lot of them find their way back to each other.

A lot of people can also realize that their ex partners are not worth the effort and they decide to focus their energy on moving on. Some of them decide to continue no contact indefinitely and a few decide to stay in touch with their ex as friends.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Back Together With Your Ex Using Communication, Honesty and Respect

It’s very important to understand that no contact rule alone cannot help you get your ex back in a healthy relationship. If your relationship was broken, if you and your ex had serious issues, no contact rule will not fix your relationship on its own.

There’s a very important link between no contact rule and getting back together in a healthy relationship. It’s self-improvement.

No Contact is most effective when it’s combined with real and effective self-improvement. (I teach the most effective self-improvement in my Advanced Program. Check it out here.)

Unless you stop being needy, unless you grow as a person, unless you figure out how to fix the issues that lead to the breakup; you and your ex won’t get back in a long lasting relationship…… even if they start missing you during no contact.

In fact, I have solid evidence that no contact alone will not help you get your ex back and keep them. We conducted a study of more than 3k people and we found that people who got their ex back in a healthy and long lasting relationship think that the no contact rule is the third most important thing that helped them get their ex back.

The above chart shows that most important thing that helps people get their ex back in a healthy relationship is self-improvement.

In contrast, we also surveyed people who got their ex back and broke up again shortly after. The results were not surprising. We found that lack of self-improvement was the main reason that couples break up again after getting back together. See the chart below.

If you want to read the entire study, click here. (it has a lot of other interesting insights).

This is why starting no contact is usually not enough to get your ex back and keep them. You must take some action during the no contact period to become a better version of yourself.

No contact may help you get your ex back, but if your aim is to keep your ex back permanently, your focus should be mainly on self-improvement.

What to do during no contact?

Live your life. Do everything you can to make yourself feel better. Be your own best friend and take care of yourself because no one else will do it for you. No contact is the time to make yourself a happy and confident person. But remember, you should not be doing it just because you want your ex back. You should be doing it because you want to be a better version of yourself.

You have to learn that you don’t need your ex to be happy. In fact, you don’t need your ex at all. You may want them, but you don’t need them. There is a big difference between wanting something and needing something.

Of course, this change in perspective doesn’t come on its own. If you just sit around all day watching TV and eating ice cream, you are not going to feel better about yourself. That is why there are four categories of things that are mandatory during the definite no contact rule.

Physical Activity

The no. 1 most important thing you must do during the no contact period is some physical activity. There are many reasons for this. It releases endorphins that make you feel better. It will get you in shape, which will again make you feel better. And it will show if you want to meet your ex after the no contact period is over.

I recommend some sort of physical activity at least every alternate day. You can do tons of things including

  • Yoga
  • Gym
  • Any type of Sports that you enjoy
  • CrossFit
  • Jogging

Social Activities

Even though every cell in your body wants to stay home alone and feel miserable for yourself, you have to force yourself to go out and have a good time with your friends and loved ones. Your friends will make you realize that you are still loved and wanted by them. No matter what happens, you have your friends and family with you and that is something you should definitely appreciate.

You are also encouraged to go out on a date during the no contact period. You don’t really have to jump into a relationship right away, but a few dates will give you an ego boost that will definitely help in the long run. But going on dates is not for everyone. It often backfires if you are obsessing over your ex constantly. You find yourself comparing your date to your ex and it makes you miss your ex even more.

So, if you are obsessing over your ex a lot, don’t go on dates. Only spend time with your loved ones. Go on dates when you are feeling better and are not obsessed with getting your ex back.

Self-Care and Relaxing Activities

The third important category of things you must do during this time is something relaxing. You are going through a hard time in your life and you are trying your best to cope with it. Why don’t you reward yourself with some relaxation? You can do a lot of things to relax; some examples are

  • Yoga (serves Dual Purpose)
  • Meditation
  • Spa
  • Massage
  • A Relaxing Bath

Self-Improvement Activities

Apart from everything else mentioned above, it’s also very important to work on yourself to become a better person. As we saw in the study before, self-improvement is the key to keeping your ex after you get them back.

It’s especially important if you and your ex broke up because of insecurity, neediness, jealousy, trust issues or communication issues. If you don’t take care of these issues during no contact period, you will never be able to get your ex back in a healthy relationship.


Understanding what went wrong and how it got there is a crucial process. Self-reflection and soul searching can help you uncover the reasons you and your ex broke up in the first place. For a lot of people, this is a crucial step during no contact because it helps them understand the unhealthy patterns that lead to the breakup.

For example, some people have an anxious attachment style. They become needy or insecure when they fall deeply in love with someone. As a result, their actions become annoying to their partners and over time they end up building a grudge against them.

When some of my clients realized why they were acting needy or desperate and how their attachment style causes them to push their loved ones away; they actively worked on this particular issue. They understood and accepted themselves. They learned strategies to manage their anxiety and started communicating in a healthy way. When they got back in touch with their ex, it was a pleasant surprise for them to see how they were much calmer and more confident.

Recommended Reading: My Girlfriend Broke Up With Me and I Will Become a Better Man

Get Help If Needed

Getting therapy or speaking to a mental health professional can be game changer for a lot of people. Just speaking to someone who is knowledgeable and is an expert in navigating difficult emotions can help tremendously after a breakup. A lot of my clients get therapy along with breakup coaching to help them heal, gain self-acceptance and become more confident.

Getting therapy is especially helpful if you find it very difficult to cope with the breakup and the overwhelming emotions.

What to Avoid During the No Contact Period?

There are few things that you need to avoid during the no contact period. This section is here as a warning sign because it is very easy to fall in this trap and just spend the entire no contact period without making any progress in your life.

Don’t Obsess Over Your Ex

You are not helping yourself if you are watching your ex’s every movement.

It’s one thing to think about your ex every once in a while, it’s another to check your ex’s Instagram page the first thing in the morning and then keep on checking it every half hour throughout the day. If you find yourself obsessing over her/him, then you need to take a step back and realize why you are doing this. A lot of people think the MAIN OBJECTIVE of no contact is that it will make their ex miss them and want them back.

You have to understand that even if your ex starts to miss you during the no contact and they contact you, they will easily pick up on your neediness and the fact that you are obsessed about them. And when they do, they will again lose their attraction.

You have to use the no contact period to stop the addiction of your ex. And as mentioned before, the only way to do it is going cold turkey. If you are checking your ex’s Facebook every day, then you must remove the source that is giving you a little dose of your ex. In this case, it’s Facebook. Delete your ex from your Facebook or deactivate your account for a month.

Recommended Reading: I Can’t Stop Thinking About My Ex? – Why and How To Stop

Don’t Indulge in addictive behavior.

It’s easy to cover up your pain with alcohol or drugs. But it doesn’t heal anything, and it will not make you feel better in the long run. It’s like putting bandage over a broken bone. It’s OK to drink once in a while, but if you are making it a habit, you are just decreasing your chances of getting back together. You are just replacing one addiction (your ex) with another. No ex will take you back once you become an addict.

Also, if you ever go out drinking with your friends, make sure you give the phone to your friends so as not to drunk dial your ex and make a fool of yourself.

Don’t Suppress your thoughts or Try To Avoid pain

A lot of people try to keep themselves busy in an attempt to avoid any painful memories of the breakup. While it does help to some extent, you will eventually have to process the breakup and understand what happened.

A study done by the late Daniel M. Wegner, who was a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, suggests that suppressing your thoughts about a relationship that you still desire will only lead to those thoughts coming back at a later time with even more intensity.

It’s better to process your thoughts and try to understand what happened rather than just suppress the thoughts and keep your busy all the time. If you are unsure how to process your thoughts, consider getting therapy, learn meditation, or hiring a coach who can guide you.

Focusing Too Much On Getting Your Ex Back

While a lot of people start no contact because they think it will help them get their ex back, it’s not really healthy to keep focusing on that. If you are trying to become a better version of yourself during no contact, you should do it for yourself and not just for your ex.

You should choose the self-improvement activities that you truly believe will help you become a better person and have healthier relationships. Your end goal should be to heal from the breakup and become a person who is capable of having a healthy, loving and long lasting relationship. That relationship may or may not be with your ex.

Once you start no contact with your ex, it helps to remind yourself occasionally that even though it is hard, it will be worth it because you are doing it for your own well-being and happiness.

If you find yourself thinking a lot about getting your ex back or if you find yourself spending hours watching YouTube Videos about getting an ex back; remind yourself that your end goal is to have a healthy and happy relationship with or without your ex. Remind yourself that you are doing no contact and working on becoming a better version of yourself for your own sake, not for your ex.

Part 2: FAQs about the No Contact Rule

In this section, we will explore some of the most frequently asked question about the No Contact Rule.

How Long Should The No Contact Rule Last?

It really depends on the type of breakup you had and how much desperate and needy you have been since the breakup. But I recommend a minimum of at least 21 days. However, if you think your breakup was exceptionally bad then you can go to 60 days or even 90 days.

Remember, time heals. One study, done by David A. Sbarra, PhD, who is a professor in the department of psychology in University of Arizona, suggests that there is a linear correlation between time and how much you heal from a breakup. The study explored how sadness and anger decreases over time after a breakup.

This also correlates to the study done by Ex Back Permanently in which participants were asked what helped them most in healing from the breakup. The top answer was time.

Time helps you heal from the breakup. And as I explained earlier, the main objective of doing no contact is to heal from the breakup, regain your confidence, and regain your self-identity. Even if you want your ex back, you should continue no contact until you feel you have healed from the breakup. If you are still feeling the pain, continue no contact and let time do it’s magic.

Should I block my ex on Social Media? What To Do If My Ex Blocks me on social media?

The purpose of social media is to enrich our lives and help us connect with our loved ones. At least, that’s why social media was invented in the first place. It may have grown into something else now. But for the purpose of this article, and for the purpose of you healing from the breakup and getting your ex back, let’s assume that social media is meant to enrich your life and make it better.

Whatever social media you are using during breakup, ask yourself, is it enriching your life? Is it helping you heal from the breakup?

Remember, no contact is not meant to manipulate your ex or play mind games by posting pics on Facebook, Instagram etc.

No contact is meant to help you heal and grow as a person so you can get your ex back in a healthy and long lasting relationship.

Playing games on social media is not going to help you do that.

If staying connected with your ex on social media is making you obsess over them (according to this study, it probably will), stay away from social media or block your ex.

If your ex blocks you on social media, don’t worry about it and don’t overthink it. They are most likely doing it to get a reaction out of you. Continue focusing on yourself and healing from the breakup.

What Breaks the No Contact Rule?

I get a lot of people asking me if they broke the no contact rule by speaking to their ex. In most cases, it’s best to not take any risks and just keep doing no contact. But in some cases, you may need to speak to your ex because of an event or incident. If you do end up contacting them, ask yourself the following questions to figure out if it counts as breaking no contact.

To figure out if a particular action breaks the no contact rule, you need to ask yourself these questions:

Did I just make it harder for myself to heal from the breakup?

Did my action cause me to obsess over my ex?

Did I act needy/desperate in any way?

For example,

Suppose your ex contacts you on your birthday and you reply just saying thanks. You didn’t really act needy/desperate in any way and it most likely didn’t affect the progress you have made till now.

In this case, you are not really breaking no contact.

But if in the same situation, you try to use this opportunity to speak to your ex and try to convince him or her to get back with you, you are acting desperate and needy and you just broke no contact.

What If You Break the No Contact Rule?

If you break the no contact rule, it’s best to just restart from day 1.

How To Do No Contact if You Must Interact With Your Ex (Due to children or logistics?)

It may not be possible to apply a strict no contact with your ex in a lot of situation. Situations such as

  1. When you live with your ex.
  2. You have a child with your ex.
  3. You work with your ex.

If this is the case, then you can still apply the no contact rule if you follow the following guidelines.

1. You only speak to your ex about important issues. You don’t initiate contact unless it’s important.

If you are living with your ex, you can speak to your ex about the living arrangement or anything house related.

If you work with your ex, you can speak to them about anything that is work related.

If you have a child together, you can speak to your ex about anything related to your children.

2. When they initiate contact, you should be polite and reply to them.

But only reply to them about the topic at hand. Don’t let the conversation continue more than necessary.

3. If your ex tries to talk about something personal, try to end the conversation immediately.

But don’t be rude about it. Be honest and tell them you need space and time. Say something like,

“I appreciate you asking but I am still healing from this breakup and I would rather not talk about it. I hope you understand and respect my boundary. Can we please keep all our conversations only about our child/work/living arrangements?”

4. If there is a conflict, figure out a way to solve it amicably.

Make sure you are calm before you start talking about it and go in only with the intention of coming to a solution. Before you go into the conversation, be clear about

  1. What the issue is
  2. Why is it an issue
  3. How it affects you, and
  4. What your ex can do to resolve it.

If you feel angry, get away from the conversation by saying something like,

“I am feeling upset about this and I would like to end the conversation here. Maybe we can talk about it later and come to a solution together.”

For example, suppose your ex is in a rebound and they introduce your child to their new girlfriend/boyfriend. It’s an issue related to your child and there is a good chance it will result in a conflict.

Before you go into the conversation, figure out exactly when and how your child was introduced to rebound, why it’s an issue (because it’s not wise to introduce someone to the child unless it’s a serious relationship), how it affects you and the child (because if the child gets hurt after getting attached to the rebound, you get hurt as well), what can your ex do to resolve it (to wait and make sure that he is serious about his/her new partner before introducing them to your child).

If the discussion gets heated, don’t get angry and don’t yell at your ex. Instead, just acknowledge that the discussion is getting heated and tell your ex that you want to stop this conversation and pick it up later when both of you have had time to think about it.

5. Don’t be scared to take serious action if your ex is being unreasonable.

A lot of times, an ex likes to play games or do things to get a reaction out of you when you are doing no contact. Sometimes they post stuff on social media or say things to mutual friend. If you are doing mild no contact, they may try to do something that affects something important to you, i.e, your house, your child or your career.

For example, if your ex is doing something that is making it hard for you to work. You should first try to speak to them and resolve the conflict. Tell them exactly what they are doing, how it makes you feel and what they can do to stop it.

If they still don’t listen, don’t be afraid to go to your boss or your ex’s boss for conflict resolution.

Part 3: What to Expect When You Start No Contact?

Think of the no contact rule as a detox for your mind and soul. In the starting, it will be extremely difficult. In fact, the moment you decide to stop contact with your ex, you will have a sudden unbearable urge to call them immediately. That’s completely normal. Just remember, that urge is not because of the love you have for your ex, it’s because you mind and your soul are addicted to your ex, and you are just going through the withdrawal symptoms.

During the no contact period, your mind will try to play tricks on you. It will come in strong urges to call them or text them, to manipulative thoughts like “Just one text is not going to do any harm”, or “Maybe I’ll just check their Facebook page and say what’s up” or “What if my ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend moves on to someone else.” That’s a slippery slope. Remember, your mind will try anything to get a dose of your ex, simply because it’s addicted to it. And it is a master of manipulation. It knows all your weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and it’s going to use them against you.

But you have to stay strong. You have to understand that you are not your mind. You have to become more powerful than those urges that you feel to contact your ex. Remember, your mind is hurt and it’s going through withdrawal, you have to treat it gently but not give in to the temptations. Do everything in your power to make yourself feel better, just remember that contacting your ex is not going to do it. If you contact your ex before no contact is over, you are just going to make yourself feel worse and hurt your chances of getting back together.

What If My Ex Contacts Me During the No Contact Rule?

If you suddenly stop contacting your ex, they are going to start missing you soon enough. And in a lot of cases, your ex will contact you when they miss you. What is the best strategy if they contact you?

It usually depends on the following factors. Note that these factors are sequenced according to their importance. That means factor 1 is the most important reason and factor 5 is the least important of them all.

  1. How much have you healed and if you are feeling confident in yourself?
  2. What is the reason they are contacting you?
  3. Whether or not you are sure about reconciling with your ex.
  4. Do you have the right skills and tools to solve whatever was broken in your relationship?
  5. How long have you been doing no contact?

Remember, your aim here is to heal from the breakup so you can reach a place where you can speak to your ex without obsessing over the idea of getting your ex back. It’s to get you to a place where you are no longer needy. A place where you are the best version of yourself. Where you have the skills and tools to fix what was broken in the relationship. Where you are You version 2.0.

Here’s an example,

Suppose your ex is contacting you with the intention to talk. They miss you and they just want to chat and see how you are doing. You feel you are ready, and you have already done enough no contact. You’ve decided that you want to try getting him back or getting her back at least once. You feel like you know what was broken in the relationship and you are sure you know how to fix it.

In this situation, you can choose to end no contact and just speak to your ex. You are probably ready to re-attract them and rebuild the connection without acting needy/desperate.

But if you are not really ready to speak to them, you can choose to do one of two things.

  1. Ignore them.
  2. Tell them that you need some space and time to heal from this breakup and you will appreciate it if they don’t contact you for a while.

If you are somewhere in between the two extremes, you can choose to do the No Initiate Rule that I talk about in Part 4 of this article.

Suppose your ex is only contacting you to talk about a legal matter or to just wish you luck for an important event in your life. In this case, you can’t really be sure if they are using this as an excuse to talk or they really just need to talk about the topic. So, you decide what to do based on how you feel. Are you confident enough to start re-attracting them? If you are not 100% sure, then just speak about the topic at hand and end the conversation. Continue no contact.

I know it can be a bit confusing at times. So, if you are not sure how to react when your ex contacts you, you may want to get one of our email coaching packages.

Expect Your Ex To Do Things To Hurt You (Or Get Your Attention)

Here’s The Deal:

When you start no contact with an ex, they will feel a vacuum in their lives. Especially if you have been contacting them regularly since the breakup.

Your ex expects you to be needy and desperate. Your ex expects you to be waiting for them if they change their mind and want you back. They expect you to be there backup option, to be there security blanket.

And when you start no contact, you are taking away that security they feel. If your ex feels like you are going to move on from them, they may do things to pull you back in.

They may do things just to hurt you or to get a reaction out of you.

To get you to do something needy or desperate.

They do this so they can feel secure in knowing that they can still have you back whenever they want.

So they know that they still have you as their backup option.

A lot of exes do this unknowingly, out of panic/fear of losing you. Some exes do it knowingly to manipulate you.

They may do things like,

  • Posting pics on social media with the opposite sex.
  • Posting status messages that are clearly pointed at you.
  • Calling you randomly just to talk to you.
  • Talking to you in a way that makes you feel like they want you back and when you start giving them attention, they pull away.
  • Giving you false hope about getting back together only to become cold once you start talking to them again.

You get the point.

They want you around so they don’t have to feel the breakup grief.

If your ex does this and you fall in their trap, then you must start no contact again. You must stop contacting them. You must learn from your mistakes and not fall for their trap the next time they pull crap like this.

Remember, that this whole no contact thing is not for your ex. It’s mainly for you. It’s for you heal form this breakup and become stronger. And if your ex is trying their best to stop you from becoming stronger, it’s only because they want to keep you weak and be their backup. And we both know that you deserve better than that.

The only exception to this is if your ex genuinely regrets the breakup, is going through extreme grief and they are thinking about getting back together. If you feel that your ex genuinely wants to try to fix the breakup but they don’t know how to, read on to the next section where I talk about doing no contact in a certain way to quickly get an ex back.

How To Know If Your Ex Still Loves You During No Contact?

A lot of my clients want to understand if their ex still loves them while they are doing no contact. There is no surefire way to know and obsessing over whether or not your ex loves you can be distraction from focusing on yourself.

But I have noticed that signs from an ex that show they love you can help calm down the nerves in moment of weaknesses. Some of the signs that mean your ex loves you are

  • They have extreme emotions towards you.
  • They are hot and cold towards you.
  • They try to make you jealous on social media.
  • They try to get a reaction out of you.
  • They respond positively when you reach out.
  • They slowly start talking to you more and more after you’ve ended no contact.

Recommended Reading: Signs Your Ex Still Loves You

Should I Expect My Ex To Call Me After 3/4/5 Weeks of No Contact?

No, you should not expect nor wait for your ex to reach out to you. Because expecting and waiting for your ex to do something is a distraction from the true goal of no contact – you healing from the breakup.

Don’t get me wrong, they might reach out to you while you are doing no contact. In fact, a lot of exes come back when you are doing no contact, focusing on yourself and are just being yourself.

But it’s the expectation and the waiting for an ex that makes this an issue. A lot of people keep hoping and waiting for an ex to reach out and that stops them from moving on.

Recommended Reading: Should I Wait For My Ex? Absolutely Not

Recommended Reading: Signs Your Ex Will Come Back

Recommended Reading: Will He Come Back? It Depends On Why He Left In The First Place

Should I Reach Out To My Ex After No Contact to Get My Ex Back?

If after about 4-5 weeks of no contact (or more in some cases), you still feel your relationship with your ex is worth saving, then you should reach out to your ex after no contact. It’s important to check if you have the right mindset before reaching out, to know you are doing it for the right reasons and you know that the issues that lead to the breakup can be fixed.

When you reach out, do so with confidence and speak with clarity. Don’t try to send cryptic messages to your ex and try to be sneaky. Be as honest and vulnerable as you can.

Recommended Reading: What To Do After The No Contact Rule – 5 Essential Steps

Recommended Reading: How To Text Your Ex To Get Them Back – The Ultimate Guide

Part 4: Different Variations of The No Contact Rule

The no contact rule can be applied with some variations and leeway in certain situations. In this section we will discuss the two most common variations for the no contact rule.

1. The No Initiate Rule

The no initiate rule simply means that you don’t initiate contact with your ex. You let them contact you. If they do, you reply to them, speak to them casually and you can even try to rebuild attraction when they reach out. You can do so by flirting or using methods described in this article on texting.

You should only use this rule if you are not extremely needy or desperate and if you think speaking with your ex doesn’t affect your emotional health in a negative way.

In a few cases, the no initiate rule can be the perfect way to rebuild attraction and connection with your ex without cutting them off completely.

Beware though, this rule is not for everyone. In fact, this rule only applies to a very small percentage of people who want to get an ex back. The key here is your emotional state. If you are emotionally healthy and speaking to your ex doesn’t affect you, you can apply this rule.

Here are a few scenarios where this rule can apply.

  1. You and your ex were only together for a short time and you didn’t have a bad breakup.
  2. You didn’t act needy or desperate after the breakup. You don’t even feel needy or desperate.
  3. You and your ex want to remain friendly and you are not too much invested in the idea of getting them back.
  4. You are dating someone else and you see your ex as just another option.

While you are doing the no initiate rule, you should still do everything else that you are supposed to do during the definite no contact rule. That includes physical activities, social activities, relaxing activities and self-improvement activities.

When you are doing the no initiate rule, you don’t really have a hard deadline if your ex contacts you regularly. You can choose to end it and contact your ex whenever you feel like the moment is right.

How do you know the moment is right to end the no initiate rule?

When you are sure that you want to give it another shot with your ex. And you are not just saying that because you miss your ex. But because you have thought about it and you realize that you and your ex can have a great relationship.

Read: Should I Try To Get My Ex Back – 6 Steps To Find Out

You can also choose to end it when you realize that you don’t want to get back with your ex and you only want to stay with them as a friend. When you choose to end it this way, you should only get back in touch with them as a friend and treat them as a friend. If you are not ready to treat them as a friend, take some more time or consider doing definite no contact rule.

You can also choose to turn the no initiate rule to definite no contact rule if you think speaking to your ex is messing up your emotional health or is preventing you from healing and is affecting your self-improvement.

2. A Brief No Contact Rule To Quickly Get an Ex Back (For Special Situations)

In some situation, you can do no contact with an ex to quickly figure out the reason for the breakup, work on your self-improvement and ask your ex to either meetup or to give it another chance.

The brief no contact rule only lasts for 1-2 weeks. It goes something like this,

Breakup -> Brief No Contact Rule —-> Reach out and see where your ex stands —> If they refuse, start another no contact rule.

The Brief No Contact Rule Can Work in the following situations.

  1. You never acted needy/desperate after the breakup. You accepted the breakup gracefully and stopped contacting them almost immediately after.
  2. You never told your ex that you don’t want the breakup. You never expressed your desire to reconcile with your ex. For some reason, you hid your true feelings from your ex after the breakup.
  3. You broke up because of something that you can fix immediately or the process of fixing it can begin immediately. For example, suppose you broke up because of a toxic person in your life. May it be an ex-wife or an ex-husband. If you can remove that person completely from your life within this period, you can reach out to your ex and ask them to try again.
  4. Your ex has been contacting you constantly and they show strong signs of wanting to get back together. Signs that show that your ex regrets breaking up.

Here are a few guidelines for the brief no contact rule.

1. The purpose of the brief no contact rule is to figure out where your ex stands.

A lot of times, an ex is not sure about the breakup and giving them a slight push in the right direction may help in getting back together.

2. It’s very important to figure out the root cause of the breakup and figure out a solution for it before asking your ex to meetup or get back together.

In most cases, working on your communication skills help a lot. I highly recommend this book on communication. In some cases, you may just start tackling the big issues such as insecurity, fear of commitment, or trust issues. A good way to start is by getting therapy or a relationship coach.

3. It’s important to make progress.

You can’t make major changes during the brief no contact rule. But you can make progress. And a little bit of progress can be enough to show your ex things will be different now. Such progress includes, reading books on relationship, communication and self-esteem, starting therapy, finalizing divorce or cutting off people toxic people from your life (like a toxic ex-husband or ex-wife).

4. When you reach out after brief no contact rule, you should be honest and straightforward about your intentions to try reconciling.

But you shouldn’t ask your ex to get back together or a commitment. You should only ask them to meetup and take things slow. Instead, acknowledge that the relationship was broken and neither one of you should go back to that. Ask them to start something new and take things slowly. Emphasize that there is no pressure on them to commit and if things don’t work out, you can both move on knowing that it isn’t going to work.

5. Remember that the brief no contact rule has a very small chance of working.

So, if your ex refuses your proposal to try to get back together, don’t be surprised. Just accept his/her decision gracefully and start the 5 step plan to get your ex back or the 5 stage plan to get your ex-girlfriend back.

How To Know If My Ex Wants To Get Back Together?

If you and your ex have been speaking to each other a lot, then you can gauge their interest in getting back together by looking at the signs. These signs include

  • They talk about having a future with you.
  • They talk about the issues that lead to the breakup.
  • They talk about the things that both of you could do to fix the issues.
  • Their interest in talking to you increases with time.
  • Their body language is open when both of you meet up.

Recommended Reading: Signs Your Ex Wants You Back But Is Afraid

Part 5: Use No Contact To Move on From an Ex or A Toxic Person.

No contact isn’t just about getting an ex back. It can be very very effective in helping you move on from a breakup or to remove a toxic person from your life. Here’s how to do that.

1. When you want to move on from a bad romantic relationship.

If you were in a serious relationship and it ended badly, it makes sense if you decide to move on from it. And the best way to move on from a relationship is to completely cut off your ex from your life. It’s like cutting off a drug you are addicted to. Instead of trying to wane off your addiction, you go cold turkey on it. You just cut it off, go through the withdrawal symptoms and eventually realize that the drug was bad for you.

When you cut off your ex, you will go through these withdrawal symptoms aka breakup grief. You will go through anger, bargaining, denial, depression and acceptance. But eventually, you will come out the other end stronger than ever when you have moved on.

The idea of getting an ex back can be tempting. If you feel that you and your ex had a great relationship, you may want to try to get your ex back once you are feeling better. But if you get back in touch with them you risk getting hooked on the drug again.

But isn’t this website about getting your ex back?

Yes, it is. In fact, I recommend people get back in touch with their ex after they have healed from the breakup and are feeling more confident in themselves. I don’t recommend indefinite no contact in most cases of breakups.

But it makes sense in some cases. Cases like…

  • When you were in a toxic relationship and it took a toll on your self-esteem.
  • When you tried to get them back using my methods and it didn’t work.
  • When you applied definite no contact and realized that you are better off without your ex in life.

In all the cases I mentioned above, there is once common factor. Your ex was not right for you. In few cases, it makes sense to keep your ex as a friend. But in majority of the cases, it’s better to just cut them off and move on.

2. When you want to remove a toxic person from your life. It could be a relative or a friend.

A toxic person is someone who just brings you down and doesn’t contribute anything positive in your life. It could be a toxic sibling, a parent or even a friend. In most cases, such a person is in your life because they entered your life when you were young, and they have been with you for most of your adult life.

To figure out if such a person is worth applying indefinite no contact to, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. If you could go back in time and replace this person with someone else, someone who is emotionally healthy, would you do it?
  2. Have they shown any signs of wanting to learn and grow? Do they recognize that they can be toxic?
  3. Are you just keeping them in your life because you feel guilty for leaving them?
  4. Are you in a situation where they have the power to affect your life in a negative way?

The answers to these questions should help you figure out if removing that person from your life is the right decision for you.

How to apply the indefinite no contact rule?

In most cases, it’s best to let that person know that you are going to cut them off from your life completely and ask them to never contact you again. If you do this, you should expect a backlash. For most toxic people, everything is a game, and everyone is manipulative. So, they might think you are doing it just to hurt them and they might do something to hurt you back.

But whatever they do, stick to your words and don’t let them contact you again. If things get difficult, don’t be afraid to get help or involve authorities. Remember, it’s best to remove this toxic person from your life so that you, your loved ones and the people who are dependent on you can lead a healthy life. So you don’t continue this chain of toxic behavior that is passed on from parents to children, from lovers to lovers and from friends to friends.


The no contact rule is an excellent tool that can help a lot in getting an ex back, getting over a breakup or removing a toxic person from your life.

It’s quite straightforward if you want to move on from a breakup or remove a toxic person from your life. It gets a little bit complicated when it comes to getting an ex back. This article was meant to help you understand the complexities of the no contact rule and how to successfully apply it in your situation.

In essence, no contact works best if you use it to focus on yourself rather than your ex. It works best if you use the time away from your ex to heal from the breakup and improve as a person.

Moving forward, here are a few articles that will help you in the journey of getting your ex back.

9 Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back

What To Do If You Miss Your Ex Terribly

How To Get Your Ex Back Permanently – 5 Step Plan

Recommended Quiz: What Are Your Chances Of Getting Your Ex Back? [Recommended Quiz]


Fisher HE, Brown LL, Aron A, Strong G, Mashek D. Reward, addiction, and emotion regulation systems associated with rejection in love. J Neurophysiol. 2010 Jul;104(1):51-60. doi: 10.1152/jn.00784.2009. Epub 2010 May 5. PMID: 20445032.

Wegner DM, Gold DB. Fanning old flames: Emotional and cognitive effects of suppressing thoughts of a past relationship. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1995;68 :782-792.

Veronika Lukacs & Anabel Quan-Haase (2015) Romantic breakups on Facebook: new scales for studying post-breakup behaviors, digital distress, and surveillance, Information, Communication & Society, 18:5, 492-508,

Monk, J.K., Ogolsky, B.G. and Oswald, R.F. (2018), Coming Out and Getting Back In: Relationship Cycling and Distress in Same- and Different-Sex Relationships. Fam Relat, 67: 523-538.

Monk, J.K., Kanter, J.B. and Ogan, M.A. (2022), Prior On–Off Relationship Instability and Distress in the Separation and Divorce Transition. Fam. Proc., 61: 246-258.

Sbarra, D. A., & Emery, R. E. (2005). The emotional sequelae of nonmarital relationship dissolution: Analysis of change and intraindividual variability over time. Personal Relationships, 12(2), 213–232.

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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10 reader experiences ...add one
  • darlie

    Hey I just read your article. I dated this guy early last year for 2 months. I became pushy and needy. He decided to end it. I was miserable and begging for him for the next few months. Till one day I decided to stop. We didn't contact each other for 3 months. Then I contacted him back late last year. Well we started to be friends again. The attraction came back. Sadly it didn't last for long. I became pushy and needy again. This because he doesn't share much things with me. I became insecure.

    Again he decided we will never ever be together. And he put up religion as another issue for us. I managed to talk to him about us being just friends. Sadly that's not what I wanted. How can I get him back. He said there's no way he will ever be together with me again or open up his heart for me again.

    • Kevin


      Did you stop contact with him this time? You did it once by not contacting him for 3 months. Do it again. Only this time, don't get back with him unless you are sure he is the right person for you.

      The fact is, his behavior triggers your insecurity and you probably need someone who is open about his feelings to feel secure in a relationship. Someone who knows how to communicate and who can understand you. If he is not that person, or if he doesn't want to do the work to become that person, then he is not the right person for you.

  • michaelle

    I can see the point of no contact rule. After the breakup, I did not contact my ex and had no intention of doing that. I just thought it was over. However, a few days after he contacted me. He said he was sorry and asked whether I was well and sent me a picture of us, taken the day before the break. I did not feel like responding, but I did respond after about 4 days.

    I simply said: "thank you for the photo, it is nice. Sorry I didn't reply earlier. I am ok thank you and you?". He replied rightaway "You don't need to apologise :) I am ok........" and then wrote something about him buying a new suit for a wedding he is going to next weekend, a wedding of his best friend, a wedding he told me a great deal about.

    I didn't feel like replying, and only replied the next day, saying "Well done on the suit, I bet it's blue"; because I can't imagine him wearing another colour. Then he sent another brief message and I didn't reply any more.

    I am not sure I can now really start the no contact rule and whether it'd make sense. I would have made a lot of sense after his 1st message, but I didn't think about it...I actually thought of asking him next week if he wants to go for a walk where he can tell me about the wedding and I can tell him other things, because he is shy and I think an offer of this kind will take the weight of his shoulders.

    However, I am in two minds because I can see the point of the 30 days no contact, and yet it seems that it's a bit too late to implement seems that now the contacts have taken seems that now that can seem a bit out of place. He knows anyway I have a busy life and I am not sitting crying for him, that's something he already knows...what do you advise?

    • Kevin

      Hey Michaelle,

      Considering the dynamics of your text messages (him initiating, you replying after a few days, and the fact that his replies come immediately), I'd say you don't need the no contact rule for him to think of you as "not needy". As of now, he seems to be the one who is chasing you, so if you want to meet him, then I think you are good to go. However, you still might need some time to think things through and realize whether or not it's a good idea to get back together. So, 30 days no contact might be beneficial in that aspect.

  • June

    What is your ex has already asked you not to contact them again? Does the no rule process still work?

    • Kevin

      Yes it does.

  • haryl

    My ex was keep calling me when I start the no's already 11 days since I never contact him and 11 days he keep calling me.I receive many calls from him and he either use other mobile number but still I didn't recieve any call from him.and he send me 1 message(he said:just pick up my call please)but I didn't response to his message.and this Feb 1 I receive 29 misscalls from him.I didn't answer any of those calls.

    I love him so much and I know he is my soul mate..but I did try this 30 days no contact because when that time comes I want to be a better person.

    We don't have a formal break up but I already assume it.

    I know he loves me a lot too.but I am a very jealous person and I control his life. Thats why I understand he become cold to me:(

    I already start this no contact rule so I will finish this!!!

    • Kevin

      All the best Haryl. In cases like this, I usually recommend to just send an email to the ex explaining that you'll contact them after some time and you need some space and time, before starting NC. This way, hopefully they will leave you alone for some time. But it's totally your call. I hope everything works out for you. Try to work on your jealousy issues during this time. There are a lot of resources on the internet that can help you with this.

  • mia

    Very informative. Well written.
    I am on day 2 of no contact, and everything that was mentioned, I can relate to. My ex has called me 4 times and sent 2 long, extremely long, text messages. I must admit I was tempted to respond but didn't. I started back the gym and I'm feeling good. When I get home I am usually so exhausted, my nights are made up of snores and not tears.

    Hurts like hell, but I know that I have to follow through in order to heal.

    Thanks again for your article...

    • Kevin

      Thanks for your comment Mia. I am glad the article helped.

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