A lot of people want to know what their ex is thinking during the no contact period (a period of time where the person who has been broken up with does not contact the ex in any way whatsoever). For more information, read The No Contact Rule. They will ask if no contact makes their ex miss them or want to get back together.
Many people who call me for coaching to get their ex back feel that when their ex broke up with them that a switch was flicked in their ex’s mind so that now their ex is cold and no longer feels anything for them. Unless your ex is truly dealing with mental problems or genuine/clinical character flaws, that is not the case.
It is most likely that your ex still cares about you and thinks about you during no contact. That does not mean you should reach out to them. You should not. If you’ve just been broken up with, read “What Do I Do If I Was Just Dumped?” for a detailed explanation of why this is the case and why it should encourage you.
Just because they’re thinking about you or even if your ex is missing you during no contact, that doesn’t mean you should text, call, or go see them. In fact, the opposite is true if you want to get them back. I discuss that in the articles linked to above but that’s not what this article is about.
Yes, your ex probably doesn’t have bad thoughts about you unless you two broke up due to shared anger at each other. But even then, if you are giving your ex space and not pestering them with texts and calls, they are likely using your greatest ally – their mind – to separate the anger at the end from the rest of your relationship. That’s right, your ex’s mind is your greatest ally in your fight to get them back.
Your ex probably doesn’t feel the effects of no contact at the same trajectory you do. Usually the person who has been broken up with feels the pain of no contact immediately and then begins to develop strength over time. The person who did the dumping usually feels strength (and maybe relief) at the very first, but with the days and weeks of no contact your ex likely begins to develop feelings of doubt in their decision, missing you, fear that you have moved on, and confusion that you have not chased, begged, and pleaded as most others do after being dumped. You want them thinking along those lines!
These thoughts and feelings build and compound. Your ex begins to wonder what you’re doing, who you’re doing it with, and if you are thinking about them. Sound familiar? Like slowly stepping on a gas peddle of a car, the engine, in this case, is their mind, and it begins to move faster and heat up as the days pass. They remember things you did together, the way you smell (your perfume/cologne), and great times you shared together. But just because they are feeling those things and even struggling, doesn’t mean the intensity is enough for them to want to reach out to you and get back together just yet or else they would have.
What If You Break No Contact?
I hope that you are encouraged, as most people are, to learn what your ex is thinking during no contact and that your ex is most likely having feelings of separation anxiety, doubting their decision to break up with you, and that by not contacting them that you have likely been able to get your ex to miss you. But many people do the wrong thing upon learning this. They (the person who has been dumped) think that reaching out to their ex while they are feeling those things will result in reconciliation, so they break no contact with a text or a call.
Unfortunately, this actually does flick a switch in the mind of your ex, but not the one you want. It usually resets nearly everything that not contacting your ex had accomplished. Your ex no longer wonders what you’re doing anymore because now they think that you have just been sadly waiting around, hoping they’ll text or call you. They don’t see you as strong anymore, because even though you waited a little while, you still reached out to them – you still chased instead of having the confidence to let them come to you.
What you have done is tell your ex that they don’t have to worry, they don’t have to make a move toward you because you are just waiting on them. They now feel that they have all the time in the world to make a decision and date around without the risk of losing you forever. That’s the opposite of what you want your ex to think and feel!
If you stay strong with no contact, the odds are in your favor that your ex will reach out in time. It might take 45 days. It might take 90. It might even take a a year or a couple of years in very extreme cases. I’m just being honest with you. But I can tell you that allowing your ex to come to you will usually work much better to get them to come back and will give greater odds to a long term relationship working than if you contact them.
There is always time. Unless your ex gets married or, God forbid, passes away, there is always the possibility of the two of you getting back together – as long as you don’t become a needy, crazed stalker who they want nothing to do with. Show some class, some maturity, and some patience by allowing time to work on your ex’s mind during no contact.
What If My Ex Starts Dating Someone Else During No Contact?
Strong relationships and even friendships aren’t low-hanging fruit. They’re not easy to find. Even if your ex does start dating someone else, the odds of that relationship lasting are slim, especially if you were a good lover/girlfriend/boyfriend. Your ex will compare that person to you. They will be under your shadow. This will prevent your ex from getting close to that person and will often send your ex running back to you if you haven’t been chasing.
Even without the comparison, your ex likely won’t be ready to open their heart up and love someone else anytime soon (even if they try to and appear to be). It’s true what they say, rebound relationships don’t work. And when your ex breaks up with this person, the odds are that this person will not do the right things. This person will beg, plead, text, call, show up like a stalker and all of the things that I coach you not to do. Your ex will again compare you to this other person – even in the breakup – and you will have the advantage (you’re welcome).
So relax, know that time is on your side, and let it work on your ex. Time away can actually make the two of you and your relationship stronger on the other side.
You ask, “Does my ex think about me?” Just know that this breakup is not easy for your ex either, even if it seems that way right now. Trust no contact to make your ex miss you and think about you. It’s slowly working its magic on them. Trust in the process and live your life in the meantime.
To get my help with your specific situation and a tailored map to getting your ex back, schedule a coaching session with me!