The no contact rule is not so much a technique as it is an appropriate response to being dumped or broken up with. It’s responding with dignity, maturity, and strength which are all very attractive qualities. Using the “no contact rule” to get your ex back is both a side effect and a strategy. I’ll explain.
Note: If you are the person who did the breaking up and you want your ex back, your path is different and the no contact rule does NOT apply to you. You need to call or text your ex, apologize, tell them that you still love them and that you’d like to try again if they’ll have you back. This article is for someone who has been broken up with. See my article, “Want Your Ex Back After Breaking Up With Them?”
So the one you loved, maybe even thought was, “the One,” has broken up with you. Most of the time, most people will respond with panic. The “fight or flight,” response within us will explode and we will act in desperation to get our ex back even if our actions make no sense. We will beg, plead, cry, yell, and maybe even buy gifts to try to win them back. The problem is that none of these things address the reason for the break up and, therefore, don’t work except in rare cases where an ex feels sorry for you or is tired of the whining and takes you back temporarily until he/she can work up the nerve to break up with you again using a method where escape from you is easier. Sounds pretty pitiful, right?
It is child-like behavior to pitch fits and beg when we don’t get our way. When children don’t get their way they beg, plead, cry, yell, pester, etc. until their parents buy them the toy or whatever it is they are wanting. In what other area of life would behaving like that be appropriate for an adult? Sure, you will hurt and should hurt if this relationship was a good one (or great one), but that doesn’t justify responding with bad, immature, irrational behavior. It’s a form of manipulation that mature adults don’t appreciate.
Do you think your ex is going to say, “Gee, I thought I wanted to break up with him but now that he’s pitching a fit and yelling I think I might have been too hasty”? No way. Or do you think your ex is going to say, “Gee, I thought I wanted to break up with her but now that she is calling me 10 times a day and texting me messages begging me to take her back, I think I was too rash in my decision.” No. These things just show your ex that they have made the RIGHT decision and you certainly don’t want them thinking that!
The response of begging, pleading and the like shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what is taking place. Your ex wants you out of their life. You want them to keep you in their life. You wanting the opposite does not change what your boyfriend/girlfriend wants.
But the no contact rule provides the best hope if you can focus more long term to get what you want instead of on a hopeless effort to force something right now. It’s the mirage of instant gratification versus the reality of delayed gratification.
The no contact rule does several positive things on your behalf. It is by far your strongest and best weapon to defeat the breakup and cause your ex to want to get back together with you.
Here’s how the No Contact Rule works:
1. It stops the damage. If you respond with calm and poise when your ex breaks up with you, you let the relationship stand on its own instead of giving the response to the break up a featured status. And your odds of an ex coming back to you with the relationship itself being what is judged is much higher than the final experience with you being your fit.
Any objection at this point only causes problems. Trust me, you will not TALK your ex into staying with you or coming back. That’s not how it works. You can’t talk someone into feeling something differently. That’s not how it works and by using the no contact rule you go into damage control. You limit the damage and keep yourself in “the game” so to speak rather than risking the appearance of going psycho immature and ending any future chances to get back together with your ex. If you’ve already gone “psycho immature,” your best bet is still, by far, to go no contact because it gives your ex time to remember you when you weren’t behaving that way.
2. It forces your ex to face their decision. Awkwardly sticking around, trying to use blunt force emotion and fit pitching, even if you think you are “calmly discussing things,” only makes your ex want out of the relationship more AND doesn’t allow him/her to truly face the consequences of what they think they want. You simply put them on the defensive as they continue to have you present instead of absent. When you are dumped you have overstayed your welcome and need to back off. The reaction your ex will likely have to this is key to getting them back so take heart and keep reading.
3. No contact makes your ex miss you. Jackpot! Seduce them with silence! When following the no contact rule becomes difficult (and it will), this needs to be your anthem and motivation. Assuming your relationship was a good one – that is, you didn’t fight all the time, get caught cheating, or call their mother a witch to her face, then the good from the relationship will begin to resurface in your ex’s mind. You obviously did a lot of things right and were more than enough inside and out to attract your ex initially. By giving your ex space and by disappearing – which is what they requested – you give them something to compare the relationship to and that is not having it. Let’s see which one they really like better.
If you back off and show strength, dignity, and force them to experience their decision, the odds are very good that they will miss you and miss their relationship with you. Don’t interrupt this process. It’s like fine wine which takes time. No contact is active. It seems like you’re doing nothing but you’re actually doing a great deal. It’s sneaky like that. You’re pulling your ex toward you instead of pushing them away even though it feels like the opposite. You’re backing away and, like a rubber band, when one side is pulled the other side follows due to the spring effect. With no contact, time is truly on your side.
4. It separates you from the others. There are people out there who don’t take break ups very well. And those people are you and me. No one likes being broken up with if you wanted the relationship to continue. But the response that the majority of people have is terrible. I once broke up with a girl whose eyes got wide and she said, “No!” It was as though she thought she had a say in my decision. As though she thought she could control me. Trust me, that pushed me even further away when I was actually only barely able to go through with it because there was good in our relationship. She pushed me further away.
But if you respond calmly by saying something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way. If this is what you want, I understand. I wish you the best. Reach out if you change your mind,” you show that you are different than most of the other people that your ex has dealt with or heard of. You aren’t that “psycho ex.” You aren’t one of those exes that gets made fun of as pathetic and called a “stalker” or “creepy.” You contrast yourself with everyone else by being the one who showed strength, self respect, and respect for your ex.
Separating yourself from the others almost always makes your ex question their decision – if you stay strong and stay away until your ex comes to you. Make yourself a stark contrast to the others out there by using the no contact rule and the odds go way up that your ex will want you back and will come back to you.
5. It shows you’re a good listener. You can demonstrate to your ex that you possess the qualities they are looking for in a partner in that you are a good listener. Instead of acting selfishly by awkwardly hanging around being annoying and badgering your ex to take you back, you listened to what they had to say and responded by giving them what they said they wanted. We constantly hear how important communication is in a relationship and here is your chance to show your natural skills. The one you love is telling you that they need/want you to leave for the moment. If you give them the space they requested and don’t contact them, it will probably only be for a “moment” rather than permanently as will likely happen if you show them that you don’t care what they want by pitching a fit, begging, and/or refusing to go away. Show them you’re a good listener.
What is the no contact rule? Don’t call your ex. Don’t text your ex. Don’t message your ex on any form of social media, app, or email. Don’t like their posts or pictures. No contact really speaks for itself. None. Nada. You should disappear! And I’m not done there. Don’t go posting pictures online of you out on dates. It will make you look pathetic because they’ll know you’re trying to make them feel jealous. Be authentic.
The first few weeks disappear as much as you can. If your ex hasn’t come back, continue no contact but you can start posting pictures of yourself out with friends (not dates). Making it look like you’re on a date too soon actually makes you look shallow and tacky. And it’s obvious to your ex that you’re trying to make them jealous which undoes what the no contact rule had accomplished inside of your ex so far.
How Long Should I Do ‘No Contact’ To Get My Ex Back?
There are dating coaches out there who say you should not contact your ex for 30 days and then to start communicating with them and trying to get them back that way. That is not the no-contact rule I’m telling you to do and that is not the most effective way at all.
What I’m telling you is more effective. I’m telling you to wait as long as it takes until your ex contacts you. That’s right, it’s going to feel like you’re doing nothing, but remember, as I told you, the no contact rule is doing something – it just doesn’t feel or seem like it to you because you are not your ex or able to read your ex’s mind to know if they are missing you or worried they’ve lost you for good.
If you contact them at all, you lose what you had accomplished by not contacting them in the fist place! You remove their curiosity and comfort them if they were worried that they had lost you because they broke up with you. It has got to be their idea to contact you and they have to be the one reaching out to you.
If you follow what I’m telling you in this article, your ex will probably contact you and that is how it has to be to work. You have to have that person chasing you and if you contact them, even if you wait 30 days, then you are causing similar feelings in them as the person who begs and pleads. Waiting 30 days is not as bad, but if you really love and want your ex back – and want a long term future – do you want to use the “not as bad,” strategy or the best way?
You can’t afford to give them the idea that you are trying to get them back. It puts them on a pedestal which in their mind subconsciously puts you down lower than them. This happens without them being able to really state or understand why that is. It just becomes this feeling below their surface that they have toward you and it will push them away – AGAIN.
You need your ex to feel they need to earn you back. It would be a huge mistake to make them think that they can dump you and you’ll just come crawling back, begging them to take you back. They won’t feel attracted to you. They’ll likely just feel sorry for you. Do you want pity or do you want love? Do you want them to feel neutral about taking you back because the recipe of them missing you, being curious, thinking they’ve made a mistake, and worrying it’s too late to get you back hasn’t fully baked yet? Or do you want them to feel desperate and anxious, hoping you’ll graciously give them another chance?
I thought so.
It usually takes longer than 30 days but sometimes can only be a couple of weeks. It can take months for no contact to make your ex miss you enough and doubt their decision enough to reach out to you. You must allow them to walk their path without you for a tangible amount of time. They need to get to that moment where they feel that they have lost you – that it might be too late to get you back and that they have blown it! This is what creates desperation on their end (surely it gives you some satisfaction to think about that since you’ve probably been the one feeling desperate for them lately). This desperation is a result of you being different than the others, them being curious about you, missing you, thinking they messed up, and fearing that it might be too late to get you back. After only 30 days they likely aren’t yet experiencing those things enough and to strong enough levels.
Remember, it’s not flicking a switch. It’s more like backing a cake. These feelings need to not only build inside of them, but they need to percolate day after day, week after week, month after month. Their feelings need to pile and compound with you being the only relief in their mind so that they have to reach out.
I know you want them back now and even 30 days sounds like too much time to wait. But remember this principle of life: Just because you don’t get what you want right now, doesn’t mean you won’t get it. And, for this purpose, just because it seems like nothing is happening with your ex right now doesn’t mean that nothing is happening inside of them. It almost certainly is.
I’ve already mentioned a few things, but what happens is that you create a vacuum by not being there. It’s not something that is easily overlooked or unnoticed. Your ex’s phone is no longer vibrating with your texts or phone calls. There is no looking forward to the weekends when they would normally be going out with you. No conversations with you. No shared hobbies, TV shows, hand holding, kisses, or walks.
You want your ex to miss you, right? Well the only way they can do that is if you are not there! And missing you leads to wanting you back. The more they remember things you said, things you did together, notice your absence, and question their decision, the more these things collide and compound in their minds. This is why you should see no contact as something you are actively doing. It’s not passive. It’s aggressive! It’s shocking to your ex and that is what you need. Make them go “cold turkey,” as far as the break up instead of allowing them to still have you in their life in parts. It needs to be extreme in order for them to truly see and experience what breaking up with you really means.
Plenty is being communicated during “no contact.” You are sending the message to your ex that you are strong and have high value as a person. You are showing them what life is like without you. You are showing them that you’re different and that you can live and thrive without them. And if you do it correctly – that means that you don’t cheat and “accidentally” show up where they are or stalk their Facebook – then if you had a good relationship, your ex will most likely reach out to you by text or another way.
Know that the no contact rule is working and will work on your ex far better than pleading, arguing, gift giving, crying, and pestering. It’s not even in the same universe. No contact is James Bond and the other route is Patrick Star (if you don’t know who he is, trust me, you want to have the results of James Bond instead).
Stay strong. Trust the process, it works! Day by day of no contact your ex feels more and more of your absence and you look better and better in their heart’s eye. Stay strong. This is the best way to get your ex back.
To get my help on your specific situation and a tailored map to getting your ex back, schedule a coaching call with me.