I’m going to answer the question, “What is my ex feeling during no contact?”
I talk about these feelings extensively in the video above and suggest you watch it in addition to reading this post all the way through.
Your significant other just broke up with you or did so recently.
In some ways it feels like yesterday, in other ways it feels like years ago.
You are left feeling shocked, hopeless, and unsure about your future; especially about whether or not there even is a future with you and your ex.
This isn’t how you were expecting things to go in the relationship, and even though s/he broke up with you, you still have feelings for them and ultimately want them back in your life.
You may be asking yourself how to even go about getting your ex back.
And you might also be questioning what they are currently thinking and feeling in regards to you and how things ended.
Greg, a client, is in a similar situation with his ex, Megan, who broke up with him a few months ago.
He came to me for coaching and I advised him to immediately begin using the no contact rule.
While there definitely was some resistance, Greg listened to me and cut off all means of communication with Megan.
That meant no calling, no texting, no drive-bys, and no contact via social media or through Megan’s friends or family.
Read my previous article, The No Contact Rule, where I describe ‘no contact’ more in depth.
This was an uncomfortable moment for Greg because he desperately wanted to know what Megan was thinking about him and what she was feeling about the breakup and situation.
As much as he wanted to contact her, I advised Greg:
- not to beg or crawl back to Megan
- to take control back from Megan
- to resist contacting her in any form
- to withhold from posting jealousy-inducing pictures on social media in effort to gain a reaction
- to keep a bit of wonder and mystery going on
- to continue other healthy relationships and heal
What Your Ex Feels During No Contact
- Your ex feels relief that the breakup is over with and that they are in control
- Your ex feels curiosity about you and why you aren’t contacting them
- Your ex feels concerned that the breakup could have been a mistake
- Your ex feels panicked that they might not be able to get you back if they wanted you since you are showing no effort to get them back
- Your ex feels that he or she must contact you about getting back together
I’m going to discuss each of those feeling phases/stages in the list above.
Remember, not every ex gets all the way to the point of contacting the person they dumped about getting back together.
I wish it was that way, but it’s not.
However, a lot of exes do and if they do, these are the feelings they will go through.
Feelings Phase #1: Relief That They Got The Breakup Over With And Control
First of all, Megan might be hurting and frustrated just like Greg because she is aware that she hurt him and it is usually frustrating when a relationship fails—but more than likely she is feeling relief, in charge, and in control of the situation, and possibly like the more attractive one out of the two individuals.
She can feel a mixture of those things.
That’s typically how “the dumper” feels during no contact initially.
This is one main reason why Greg shouldn’t go begging for Megan to come back to him.
Sure, Greg doesn’t want to sit around for months and wait for something to happen, but he also doesn’t want to do something that will jeopardize his chances of getting her back.
Again—Megan was feeling IN CONTROL at the initial phase of the breakup.
If you were the one who left your significant other, you’d also feel in control. It’s only natural.
To learn more or refresh your memory on the stages someone goes through during no contact and what your ex may be thinking, watch these videos (and read the posts):
Greg made a good decision with staying away from Megan and allowing her to think.
He didn’t push her away even more by being clingy or needy and he created space for her to stop, think, and wonder, “Hmmm…what’s Greg up to? Why is he not begging for me back? I thought that’s what he would do…”
Do NOT Allow Your Ex To Be A Dictator of Your Life.
They do not have to be solely in control of the breakup.
They might think they have control of the situation and can get you back whenever they want at first.
Initially, Megan thinks she has “won,” for lack of a better word, but little does she know, Greg is strategically planning his next steps to attract her back (if that is what he still wants when the time comes).
It sounds sort of sounds like a game, right?
I get that it feels that way, but it’s actually not.
What it is, is a strategic way to logically work through a situation instead of rashly reacting with emotion and desperation that will not help you get what you want.
I have been coaching individuals through this for over 20 years and can tell you that it works a lot.
At this point, Megan is feeling all of the control and Greg is feeling none of it.
And if you’re in a similar situation, you probably are feeling just like Greg.
As human beings, we are all motivated to some degree by control.
You have lost control in this breakup situation and do not like that feeling, but you don’t have to feel this way or can at least feel a lot better.
You want to beg for your ex back, express yourself, and get it all over with.
But don’t try it!
Don’t give all of the power to your ex, who is like a dictator in this scenario.
A lot of people beg but you shouldn’t.
It simply doesn’t work.
This is a natural response when you feel as if you don’t have the power in the situation and at this phase of what your ex feels, you two feel quite the opposite.
Feelings Phase #2: Your Ex Feels Curiosity That You Aren’t Contacting Them and Wonders About You
You may feel as if this is the last straw and your only choice is to beg and ask for mercy to end your suffering…but it’s not.
There ARE ways to get the attention of your ex again and to get them back and it starts with the second phase of what your ex feels during no contact.
The no contact rule is NOT the same as giving up.
It’s far from it!
I have over 20 years experience as a relationship coach and I am fully convinced that it DOES work an awful lot of the time.
By giving your ex space and staying away from him or he, you are causing wonder and mystery among other things.
Your ex’s phone vibrates.
Their heart jumps and they look, but it’s not you.
Strangely, they wished it were you.
You might be wondering how that is possible since your ex is the one who broke up with you and doesn’t seem to have any interest in getting back together.
Whereas there is more than one reason that your ex could be disappointed when their phone vibrates but it’s not a text from you, one main reason that your ex can be disappointed that it’s not you is because:
The human mind really, really likes to be right.
When we are correct in what we think will happen, it gives us a sense of security and control.
It’s safer to be right and we perceive that we are better off when we know what is coming.
Because of that, there is an innate desire inside of each of us to be correct when assessing matters and to be frustrated or even worried when we aren’t.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Well it gets more complex.
Your ex like thinking they have you pegged.
He or she likes to think that they could always get you back if they wanted and that you are always interested in getting back together with them.
So when you aren’t chasing and pursuing like they expected, it causes a big smack of doubt in their mind.
Maybe they are wrong about you.
And that is what helps them to truly and actually experience the breakup.
It is at this point that your ex reaches the next phase.
Feelings Phase #3: Doubting The Decision To Break Up With You
In this phase your ex is likely to reach some level of realization that they were wrong about a few things involving you.
As I’ve already explained, that happens if you don’t do what your ex expects you to do.
After all, if your ex was the more attractive one and since you didn’t want the breakup, you should be pursuing and trying to get your ex back.
It doesn’t compute in the mind of your ex and this uncertainty and doubt puts the magnifying glass on another area for your ex – the breakup itself.
In this phase, your ex is already aware that things aren’t as crystal clear as thought and now the breakup itself is up for debate.
If they were wrong about you, maybe they were wrong about the breakup as well.
Was it really what they wanted?
Was it really best for them?
Your ex isn’t necessarily ready to get back together with you, but they are likely to be less certain about the situation than they were.
This is often when the walls start to crumble.
Feelings Phase #4: Your Ex Feels Panicked That They Might Not Be Able To Get You Back If They Wanted You
It’s not really a breakup if your ex knows that they could get you back whenever they wanted.
During the previous phase, your ex started doubting whether the breakup was the best decision or not.
If the breakup wasn’t what they really wanted, the obvious question now is if you could be gotten back if your ex concludes that the breakup wasn’t what they really wanted.
If you are following the no contact rule, you are not acting like someone who is easily gotten back.
That’s not to say that you have ruled it out.
I am not recommending that you should tell your ex that you won’t take him/her back.
That could cause your ex to simply give up.
Mystery is so much more powerful and nothing is more mysterious than no contact.
When your ex realizes that you could be lost and that they could actually want you back but not be able to get you back, then they have to actually see the breakup for what it is.
Your ex sees you on a social media post where you are out with friends for a birthday party and maybe they feel a twinge of jealousy and longing (though that is certainly not something that you should try to make happen – no contact causes it on its own).
Megan, for example, was left wondering what Greg was doing with all of his other time without her.
Did he miss her? Was he dating other people? He sure looked like he was having a great time and had moved on from her.
The point is…defy your ex’s expectations. Allow them to wonder, which is the power of mystery.
You are showing that you are strong enough to stay away.
Since your ex is doubting the breakup, that now becomes a problem.
It didn’t matter much to your ex the day that he/she broke up with you, but now that the breakup is in doubt and your ex isn’t seeing evidence of your interest, panic grips the heart of your ex as they realize that the breakup could be a mistake and that, on top of that, you could be lost.
Mystery is more powerful than the answer.
When you have the answer, you stop seeking it or being preoccupied with it.
That’s why it’s actually better not to tell or to say, “I’m dating someone” in an effort to make your ex jealous.
It usually just blows up in your face.
And I certainly don’t suggest that you date someone just to try to evoke jealousy in your ex.
That would be an awful thing to do to that person and could actually push your ex away.
Again, mystery is more powerful.
Let them wonder if you are dating someone new.
That’s typically what your ex will wonder about in this phase.
Don’t give them the answer.
Once they realize that you might have moved right along with life and are living it the best way possible, you are giving your ex the opportunity to miss you—and that’s what needs to happen.
THAT is the purpose of the no contact rule.
Your ex needs to FEEL reality…they need to FEEL THE BREAKUP without you there. They need to miss you and wonder what you are thinking and feeling.
Sometimes the most powerful thing to do is to do NOTHING.
Allow your ex to FEEL THE LOSS, which in turn will give you a higher value in their mind, which will enhance their attraction to you.
Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, right?
Feelings Phase #5: Your Ex Contacts You About Getting Back Together
At some point, just like with Megan and Greg, the odds are good that the no contact rule will work out like it was designed to and your ex will show openness to getting together to talk things out.
This may take a few weeks or even a few months.
Patience is very important during this process.
When your ex does talk to you again—do not rush back into things; only show or express that you are considering it.
Don’t make it seem like they won you back too easily.
It shouldn’t be easy to get you back; your ex needs to earn and work for it. Dangle the carrot, so they say.
You should have some reservation about taking this person back because they broke up with you.
I’m not saying to delay for a long time.
But your ex should know that what they did isn’t something that you take lightly because you are so into them.
In the meantime…
Keep moving forward with your life and other important relationships; continue on with everything: go out, be social, go to events, etc. This will show your ex that they are missing out as a big part of your life.
Gain some of that control back while you are in the middle of no contact with your ex. Heal from the breakup and discover your worth while you reflect on the relationship and the breakup.
In Greg’s situation, he followed the steps, my advice, and was dedicated to getting Megan back in his life.
Slowly but surely, Megan came around and asked if Greg would meet her for coffee.
She asked if he would take her back.
They have met a few times so far to discuss the relationship and are learning how to grow together as a couple once more.
If you or someone you know is in a similar situation, please understand that the No Contact Rule really does work; the separation causes the ex’s mind to wander and feelings to stir, which more often than not causes the ex to want to rekindle the relationship.
Following the no contact rule is not magic—it takes hard work and dedication.
It takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you vulnerable in order to get something you really want—your ex back.
Each situation and relationship is different and there are obviously complexities and nuances to your specific breakup.
I HIGHLY recommend my Emergency Breakup Kit. With it you can gain from my two decades in the relationship-recovery service.
It is a powerful resource to help you get your ex back!