A common question asked by clients on a coaching call with me to get their ex back is, “Am I doing no contact correctly?” “Am I doing no contact right?”
For some, no contact seems like a simple concept where you do not make any contact with your ex boyfriend or girlfriend whatsoever. Using it is a highly effective way to get an ex to come back to you after they broke up with you. It is also a way to treat your own self with respect and dignity by refusing to chase after someone who says they don’t want to be with you.
To others, and maybe the majority, it is extremely difficult to keep yourself from reaching out to the person you love and with whom you desperately want to reconnect. The hours and days tick by at a painfully slow pace while you wonder if you even cross the mind of your ex (you do, read “What Is My Ex Thinking During No Contact”).
It often feels like, if you could simply talk to your ex that an understanding could be reached and everything could go back to how it was with the two of you being together again. That is almost certainly not the case and a helpful way to think about this is to remind yourself that your ex knows you love them. Your ex isn’t needing a “good talking to.”
It’s childish behavior, and will come across that way if you do it, for you to try to talk your ex into taking back the breakup so to speak. You are basically saying to your ex, “I know you want this, but I don’t, so you should do it my way.”
Don’t get me wrong:
I’m not saying that you don’t tell them what you want when they are breaking up with you. If you are literally in the process of being dumped, say something like, “Okay, I understand you feel that way. I think we’re great together and if you change your mind, let me know.” Then leave. Get up and walk away, get off the phone, stop texting (it should be a strike against your ex if they dumped you by text – you can do better), or whatever the case might be.
What I’m saying is that you should not try to keep them from leaving. If your ex feels like you are trying to reel them back in, it will seem like they are on some kind of controlling leash. They won’t feel free.
That will have the opposite effect of what you want in that they will want to be free of you and away from you even more because you are keeping them from what they want. It’s not easy to hear, but if they don’t want you right now, you’re best bet is to remove yourself from their lives for now.
That is a main reason you go into no contact mode. You give them your absence and their freedom. You give them what they think they want. You hold them accountable to their words.
You are doing no contact right and correctly when you let them experience what it is like not to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. It is only then that they have the opportunity to see that they don’t like being without you.
Doing No Contact Correctly Doesn’t Mean Ignoring Your Ex
The no contact rule that I teach does not mean that you ignore your ex if they reach out to you. If your ex texts you during no contact, you should respond politely and casually.
If your ex calls during no contact, it’s somewhat different from a text because you won’t have as much time to carefully think about and craft your response. I usually tell my coaching clients to decide beforehand if they want to answer or not when/if the call comes. It’s okay to let it go to voicemail and then decide if you want to return their call with a call or a text (whether they leave a voicemail or not).
Your ex reaching out to you is likely a very good sign that no contact is working and that they have decided they don’t want to be without you. So ignoring them doesn’t make sense if you want them back. Some people move on faster than others and if they think that you have moved on, it’s possible they could start that process as well.
In a reversal of positions, if they feel you have rejected them, then they might even go into no contact themselves just to try to start their own healing process.
Though you should do your best not to be anxious, there is no need in playing games like ignoring your ex unless you have decided that you no longer want to get back together. This often backfires completely.
There is a difference in not reaching out to them and ignoring them. Not reaching out to them, as you should do while following the No Contact Rule, means you don’t initiate contact with your ex. Ignoring them means that you don’t respond when your ex attempts to initiate contact.
Don’t ignore your ex if they contact you during no contact if you want them back.
Am I Doing No Contact The Right Way?
If you are concerned, that’s probably a good indicator that you are doing no contact right. You likely understand the importance of not contacting your ex and you are wanting to make sure you do it correctly.
In order to do no contact the right way, do not initiate communication with your ex in anyway whatsoever (also see, Should You Break No Contact?).
That means no texts, no calls, no online messages, no likes, no retweets, no asking their friends about them, no sending them gifts, no smoke signals, no telegrams, no Morse code, no communicating at all. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
You allow your ex to experience what they think they want. That way, they base their decision on getting back with you based on what the relationship itself was like instead of you whining, crying, begging, pleading, yelling, and the other emotional tantrums people often do in a very misguided effort to get their ex back but that actually repeals them faster than anything else. Which do you think is more attractive?
Leave them with the relationship itself as your resume instead of your reaction to the breakup.
If you are doing that and you aren’t showing any communicative actions toward them at all (seriously, don’t even like a post or refer to them publicly), then you are doing no contact the right way.
Anything that can even be perceived as reaching out to them relieves their curiosity and allows them to believe that you are just waiting on them to come back. They’ll see you as a backup plan and will feel free to take their time, see other people, and whatever else because they’ll feel there’s no time limit. They’ll feel you’re just waiting around, pathetically hoping they come back. That will cause them to lose attraction for you and the odds of them ever coming back become much less.
If you are doing no contact correctly, keep it up! If you are just getting information on The No Contact Rule, then let me encourage you to stay strong. Each day more is being accomplished in the mind of your ex. Don’t ruin it by giving into your desire to reach out. Just because you want to do something doesn’t mean it’s the right or productive thing to do.
To get my help with your specific situation and a tailored map to getting your ex back, click here to schedule a coaching session with me.