What is “no contact”?

In this article, I talk about the no contact rule of breakups with the five Ws of what, who, when, where, and why.

The no contact rule is a period of time where you do not reach out or contact your ex who dumped you. This comprises both direct and indirect forms of communication.

Direct forms include:
* texting your ex
* social media messages to your ex
* commenting on your ex’s social media
* calling your ex on the phone

Indirect forms include:
* contacting family and friends of your ex
* viewing your ex’s social media stories
* “liking” your ex’s social media posts
* following your ex on social media

No contact should be used by the dumpee when they want to:
1. Get over their ex, or
2. Get their ex back

No contact can be used by the dumper if they intend to move on from the dumpee, especially if the relationship was more harmful than good, or the dumpee did some toxic things during the relationship. For example, manipulation, lying, and cheating.

No contact should NOT be used by the dumper if they want to get their dumpee back. In this case, the dumper should reach out to the dumpee and express regret in ending the relationship, apologise, and ask for the dumpee to take them back.

No contact should be started as soon as possible after the breakup has occurred. In an ideal situation when your ex breaks up with you, you will want to have done a couple of thing

First, you need to be reasonable and not make the breakup difficult for your ex. Avoid begging, pleading, and being overly emotional. These reactions only serve to push your ex away by making them feel guilty. You become associated with negative emotions, and become the source of their desire to escape from you. These responses can cement your ex’s decision to break up with you.

Second, you should tell your ex that you disagree with the breakup. Your ex has likely been thinking about the breakup for weeks or months before actioning it, thus they have already had this conversation with you in their own head numerous times. They know you will be hurt and they know they will feel guilty about it. If you fight back or disagree excessively, it creates an adversarial situation where they feel like you’re the enemy standing between them and their freedom. Just giving a little “push back” lets them know that you don’t want the breakup and are willing to accept their decision without setting you up as their opposition.

Realistically speaking, it is likely that you have done several things at the breakup or after the breakup that might push your ex away such as intense emotions, fighting, or constantly contacting them asking to reconsider. Regardless of your actions, it is NEVER too late to start no contact because it is the most appropriate response a person can have to a breakup. It is fitting to cease contact with somebody who has essentially told you that they no longer want you in their life the way that you do. Even if you have made these common breakup “mistakes”, you can redeem yourself by starting no contact right now – today.

The last factor to consider with “when” to do no contact is for how long to do no contact. You’ve probably heard of the “30 day no contact rule” or the “60 day no contact rule” but which one works if you want to get your ex back?

If you want to get your ex back and you want to reach out and contact them at some point, you should wait appoximately 2.5 to 3 months. This varies depending on the length of the relationship. However, as a general rule 2.5 months is enough time for your ex to have made it through the relief stage after the breakup. This means that if and when you do reach out, they will feel less bothered or threatened by you. This is particularly important if you begged or pleaded because your ex needs to feel that they are safe and free to be contacted by you.

If you want your ex back and you would rather wait for them to reach out, you will have to do no contact indefinitely until your ex contacts you. This is the preferred outcome because it means your ex is moving back toward you by their own choice and desire.

No contact applies to any medium of communication that your ex can be reached through. This includes texts, calls, social media (Facebook, Instagram), family, and friends,

If you have to see your ex’s family and friends on a regular basis for whatever reason such as work, school, or college it is acceptable to be casual and polite when talking to them. Keep the conversation steered away from your ex. If they bring up your ex, respond casually and change the topic to something else.

You want to avoid talking about your ex to anyone who might relay information about you to your ex. A lot of the time, this can include your friends and family.

There are a plethora of reasons why you should do no contact.

1. It is the most suitable response to a breakup.
When someone tells you that they no longer want you in their life on the same terms and conditions that you want them, the mature thing to do is to respect their decision and allow it.

2. It shows strength which is attractive.
No contact shows that you can call upon your own strength and willpower to not speak to somebody who rejected you. The typical response to a breakup is to contact your ex, beg, plead, and try to convince them to take you back. If you were accused of being too needy or clingy during the relationship, the effect of going no contact is exacerbated because your ex will expect you to be contacting them. The void of silence that is created by your absence serves to heighten their curiosity and encourages your ex to turn toward you.

3. It raises your perceived value.
When your ex dumps you, the dynamic changes in a way that your ex feels they have higher value than you do because they are the one rejecting you. As the dumpee, you will feel like you have lower value because you are the one being rejected by your ex. We feel like our value changes when we are rejected because it represents to others that perhaps there is something about us that is unlovable, disgusting, or defective. Likewise with your ex they get an ego boost from being the one to reject you because they feel in control and have the power in that moment.

During no contact, the imbalance of perceived value starts to change as your ex becomes curious about you the longer they haven’t heard from you. If you used to talk everyday, your silence has caused a “pattern interruption” and you have become scarce. They expected you to be reaching out and contacting them, but instead you have respected their decision and given them the gift of your absence. As you become “scarce” to your ex, they begin to perceive you as the higher value person. Once this occurs they may feel uncertain about their decision to dump you and question things.

4. It allows you to process the breakup more effectively.
When you do no contact, you are giving yourself time and space to reflect on the relationship and work through the intense emotions immediately after the breakup, which I call breakup inertia. The first 2 weeks – 2 months after a breakup can be emotionally challenging. You may be so crushed that your work, social life, and self-care suffers as a result. It will be even harder to process the breakup if you are contacting your ex and doing things that jeopardise your chances of your ex coming back (begging, pleading, arguing). Doing these things keep you from acknowledging the loss and prevent you from moving through the pain effectively. And when we are stuck in a painful state majority of the time, we aren’t reflecting our true selves (our most attractive selves).

Furthermore, the breakup causes a sudden change in neurochemicals in the brain that were associated with love and attachment to your ex. This means that breakup inertia is characterised by an “emotional fog” whereby all our decisions and actions come from a highly charged emotional space. Those decisions and actions could potentially push your ex away.

Thus, doing no contact allows your mind and body to process through the physical and psychological changes associated with the breakup. It allows you to process the negative emotions and experiences and be able to approach the reconciliation process with a sense of stability and clarity.

5. It allows you time to find and develop your relationship to self.
Whether you want to get back your ex or get over your ex, no contact allows you to find and develop your sense of self. If your relationship had elements of enmeshment or codependency, then you may have had issues in the relationship with needs and boundaries.

When you are single and doing no contact, it provides ample time to:
* revisit old hobbies and interests (or find new ones!)
* catch up with family and friends that you haven’t seen in a while
* reflect on what you learnt from your relationship
* consider what you will do differently in future relationships, and
* work through limiting beliefs and fears.

If you feel like you or your ex had an anxious attachment style or an avoidant attachment style, no contact is the right time for you to work on becoming secure. If you want to get back with your ex, then it’s vital to work through the attachment challenges and patterns that lead to the breakup. Not only will you realise your own value, but you will be able to get back with your ex in a secure state of mind.

If you would like help getting your ex back or becoming secure during no contact, click here to visit my booking page and select an option that suits you.