5 Alternatives To The No Contact Rule

Negative reinforcement to get ex back

Successful alternatives to the No Contact Rule are constantly requested in emails to me and comments on my YouTube Channel.

People usually don’t like the no contact rule because it doesn’t feel nearly as powerful as it actually is in getting an ex back.

And it can be very powerful.

It’s important to remember that people aren’t math problems.

There is no formula that works every single time, but the no contact rule works an awful lot.

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There are a few other things that can work in certain situations.

I refer to them in the video above that I recommend you watch all the way through before reading this article completely.

So here are some alternatives that can work but don’t have as good of a chance of getting your ex back after a breakup as no contact.

1. Provide Proof of Change of Negative Behavior

show your ex positive changes in behavior

In cases of breakups that happened as the result of ongoing negative or dysfunctional behavior, true change rarely happens overnight.

As I say in a lot of my videos, the vast majority of breakups occur because of a drop in attraction.

That drop in attraction can be because of ongoing negative behaviors such as substance abuse, lack of ambition, dependence on parents, hording, poor hygiene, obsession-level investment in things such as video gaming, TV shows, and other pursuits in unhealthy isolation or singular focus that detract from the relationship.

In those types of cases, evidence of change can reignite enough attraction to cause your ex to want to give the relationship another chance or try.

Often in that type of case, though attraction remains anemic, a demonstration of change or step in the right direction can encourage your ex to believe that their emotional attraction for you could return after enough time has passed where the changes have held strong.

Such a demonstration of change or step in the right direction could be:

-Starting a job if that was an issue (some couples are satisfied with one bread winner and that is great if both are pleased).

-Moving out of your parent’s house if that was an issue. Maybe they got too involved in your life or in the relationship.

-Selling your video game console. Though this isn’t completely necessary long term because there is certainly nothing wrong with playing video games, it might be necessary for the short term.

It’s when the pursuit of such is at obsessive levels that it can harm your relationship.

Getting rid of your console would be a demonstration of your seriousness and dedication to improvement and change.

At a later date, perhaps buying that system again if you want to with self-imposed restrictions on the amount of time spent playing makes sense.

-Starting rehab for substance abuse. Though it’s most impactful when you reach out to your ex after completing rehab or at least a significant portion or level.

-Counseling for personal challenges and disorders.

-Massive removal of horded possessions. If you don’t need it, throw it out. You might even get a close friend to help you since people can often form emotional attachments to physical things.

2. Strategic Contact

It can also be called, “Intelligent Contact,” “Limited Contact,” or “Hybrid No Contact.”

This modified version of no contact is where you only interact with your ex partner or straying partner when necessary.

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In the case of the two of you having children together for example, you would speak to your partner or spouse about matters related to the children that required a mutual decision or discussion.

The same can be said if you work together, own a home, or have a shared pet.

When you do speak, you shouldn’t bring up the relationship or ask them how they are feeling about you or the relationship.

Stick to the topic.

Be polite.

Don’t be cold.

3. Short No Contact

The name of this one is self-explanatory to some degree.

Though people’s emotions and realizations don’t have expiration dates, 3-10 days of no contact can be enough if the breakup was primarily the result of an emotional disagreement, fight, or argument.

Letting the smoke clear and anger to cool can be quite helpful in cases of breakups that weren’t caused by a long term and growing drop in attraction.

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This is where a heart-felt apology and request for forgiveness can work wonders.

If you watched the video above entitled, “Alternative to the No Contact Rule,” you might remember how I suggest you go about your wording when you reach out after 3-10 days of no contact in this situation.

Don’t latch onto this as a loophole to the no contact rule.

Do your best to think of your situation objectively without letting your desire to reach out to your ex to influence your decision.

Did your ex break up with you because of what is hopefully a temporary situation such as a disagreement or hurtful words?

Or did your ex calmly sit you down and tell you that he/she doesn’t see a future with you and no longer feels the spark?

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If the latter was true, short no contact is not for you.

You should stick to the no contact that I normally talk about which is 45-60 days at least.

4. Continue A Tradition

Some people are convinced that they can’t do no contact.

The breakup has impacted them to such a degree that attempting to stay away in no contact is too traumatic in their minds and they just know that they are going to break.

I encourage you to fight this and insist that you stay strong.

Be stronger than your anxiety and stronger than the desire to be in contact with your ex.

Trust the process.

That being said, I’ve been coaching for nearly two decades at this point and I know that a certain number of you will give in and break no contact.

If you are going to do that, and I’m just going to say again that your chances of getting your ex back are better if you don’t, but if you simply feel you must break no contact, this would be a better way of doing it than most of the stories I’ve heard.

In this case, you would continue a tradition with your ex.

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For example, one instance where this worked out well was the case of a couple who had the tradition of her bringing him coffee at a certain time each week when he was busy in a certain aspect of his job.

She would hand him the coffee with a warm smile and ask how his day was going.

She told me that she did it so that he would know that she was thinking of him.

She did this after the breakup because she was convinced that she couldn’t do no contact any longer than the 3 days she already had.

They ended up having a conversation, meeting for dinner, and ultimately getting back together.

It can work.

That doesn’t mean that it always will.

5. RISKY: Introduce Them As Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend

This alternative to the no contact rule is not for the faint of heart and includes significant risk.

Translation: this could backfire!

It is another example of a “least worse” way of breaking the no contact rule.

For those of you who do give in, this gives you a shot at not completely shooting yourself in the foot.

And I’ve seen it work.

This is when you know that you will see your ex at a get-together or event.

Normally I just say to be casual and polite.

This is more than that and, again, I don’t suggest you try this at home.

But if you must…

You do some pre-planning with a friend who doesn’t know your ex.

Just tell him/her (someone who is not seen as a potential romantic partner) that you are going to introduce him to someone and that after that he/she can just say “Nice to meet you,” and excuse himself/herself.

So you walk over and introduce your ex as your boyfriend or girlfriend.

You say, “This is my boyfriend Dan.”

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Or, “This is my girlfriend Julie.”

I talk about the specifics of this in the video above entitled, “Alternatives to the No Contact Rule.”

Your ex will likely give you an odd look.

Treat this as though you are playing around mostly but also allow a pinch of seriousness in the recipe.

You could stop there and walk away with your friend.

Your odds are somewhat better if you stay to talk to your ex.

After your friend walks away, your ex will probably say, “What do you mean, boyfriend?”

Or, “What do you mean, girlfriend?”

Or they could say, “Girlfriend huh?”

It’s important to be playful.

Smile like you are having fun.

Say, “Duh!”

Or your ex might be a little playful themselves and say, “So I’m your girlfriend/boyfriend huh?”

emergency breakup kit

You can be playful and say, “Yep!”

They could say, “Why did you introduce me as your bf/gf when I’m not?”

You could playfully say, “Because I know better.”

Again, it’s important you are playful and not confrontational or awkward.

Think about it before hand and even practice out loud.

Lean strongly toward playfulness knowing that it is also potentially constructive.

As I warned though, it’s not without risk and should only be seen as a less likely strategy to the no contact rule.

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That’s true of all the alternatives that I’ve mentioned in this post.

Get my Emergency Breakup Kit or my Emergency Marriage Kit to guide you to getting your ex back based on my two decades in the relationship-recovery service.

Coach Lee
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About Coach Lee

Coach Lee, Master of Marriage & Family Counseling, helps people save relationships. He developed the Emergency Breakup Kit, a powerful guide to winning back an ex. Get information on the Kit by Clicking Here! If your MARRIAGE is struggling, get his free mini-course on saving a marriage.

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