Having your heart broken by an ex-boyfriend is something practically every woman and man has gone through at least once. It’s a brutal, heart-wrenching process that will leave you wishing you had the neuralyzer from the ‘Men in Black’ saga. At this point, your self-confidence and worth are at an all-time low.
And since mental pain is hard to get under control, your brains will trick you into thinking that relief and self-worth are hinged on the other person. So, it's understandable if you want to reach out and grovel at some point. Will it help though? Hell no, you may end up making things a lot harder on yourself. So, whether the plan is to get your ex back or simply move on with your life, your best bet is the no contact rule.
Similar to many naysayers before me, I once asked the question ‘does no contact work?’ But a combination of my experiences and those of others has revealed that the best way to get things moving, regardless of whether you still desire to have your ex back is by applying the no contact rule.
This means you need them to be out of sight and eventually, they’ll be out of your mind. This is one of those cases where quitting cold turkey is the healthy route to take. So, if you are in the middle of a breakup, then you really should be familiarizing yourself with the no contact rule.
- 1 What Does No Contact Really Mean?
- 2 Does No Contact Work?
- 3 How Do You Know The No Contact Rule Is Working?
- 4 FAQs
- 5 To Conclude…
What Does No Contact Really Mean?
As an ex-girlfriend, the power of silence after break up should not be underestimated. Whether or not you're still in love with your ex-boyfriend, silence is golden. Although some people attempt this and reckon that a little bit of contact won't really hurt. You may not hear this, but I’m making a buzzer sound right now. No contact simply means, no contact… so, no texts, no calls, no snaps and no driving past their house in the middle of the night.
More importantly, if he reaches out to you during the no contact period, do not respond. It's only when you completely sever all ties that the no contact rule works. If you can manage all this for a total of 4 weeks, then you’ve officially pushed the reset button.
Does No Contact Work?
If it’s not already obvious now, what I’m about to uncover should bring it all to light. Here are some of the reasons you should not be quick to dismiss the magic of the no contact rule.
1. It keeps you sane
Coming out of a relationship is a lot like kicking an addiction to the curb. You learned to love someone, they were part and parcel of your life, then all of a sudden they're gone. At that moment, all you desire is to feel better and your mind tells you that you have to get your ex back for that to happen. In this scenario, your ex-boyfriend is your addiction, and no addiction is healthy.
We have all been there, the pain is borderline excruciating. Then some stranger tells you in some random article online that you need to cut off all contact. Sounds like a fresh pile of horse dung, but guess what? It'll ultimately make you feel better. What if you call this individual or you check out some of their recent posts on Facebook and find out they've moved on? In the first few weeks of a breakup, when you're still fragile, this could really break you.
What you don't know can't hurt you, so try as much as possible to see no evil, hear no evil. During this period, you're already creating scenarios in your head. So, don't let reality tip the balance and send you completely off the rails. The great thing is that with every passing day, you get better.
2. It gives your ex time to figure himself out
Research shows that silence is vital for a healthy brain. So, as much as the no contact period is for you, it’s also for your ex-boyfriend to help him think clearer. For the most part of it, if you want to get your ex back, you need to give him space. There's a ton of issues that lead to breakups and depending on how messy it was, your ex may need the time apart. He needs to take this time to really get some perspective as well as to miss you.
Even couples in long term relationships sometimes need time away from each other. It's just one of those things that helps you appreciate the other person a whole lot more. The sign of a healthy relationship isn't necessarily the fact that you’re joined at the hip. And if you truly want them to miss you after the breakup then you better not be all up in their face. So, try not to go to mutual hang out spots or to like recent posts on social media.
More so, just steer clear of them so they can come to terms with whether they want to make a move again. During that time, try your very best not to be sitting in your pajamas feeling sorry for yourself. Look for activities that take your mind off the whole situation and dive right in. No one is saying this is easy, of course, coming out of a relationship is hard work.
So, if you ever want to feel like yourself again, and perhaps get your ex back in the process, give the no contact rule a chance.
3. You know where you stand
As I hinted earlier, the end of a relationship is a hard and unpleasant thing to experience for any ex-girlfriend. More so, totally cutting off the other party is a lot easier said than done. But, it keeps you from inviting more messiness into an already messy situation; furthermore, the other person deserves to have their rights reserved after the breakup.
Let’s say you contact him a little too soon, you could end up getting stuck in something called the relationship ‘no man’s land'. In that situation, you don’t know exactly where you stand and guess what? You’re too scared to ask because you don’t want to rock the boat. Even worse, you end up asking and receive a vague answer like ‘let’s see how things go’.
Don’t get stuck with the mindset that having just a little bit of them is better than having nothing at all. Both of you deserve a lot more than that. So, if in some way, you want to give your relationship a fighting chance to abide by this rule.
But that’s beside the point, it's not all about getting your ex back. It's about both of you truly knowing where you stand. If they do come back to you and you work it out, that’s a cherry on top. Otherwise, embrace your new path with as much enthusiasm as you can muster.
4. You come out a lot more confident
Like I mentioned earlier, do not underestimate the power of silence after a breakup. Best believe that when you come out at the other end, you’ll feel great. It may not be a giddy kind of ‘great’, but you will be proud of yourself. Have you ever gone out with friends, had a little too much to drink and acted a fool? Go on to think about the way you felt the next day, like a fool right? Well, imagine that the period immediately after your relationship tanks is as volatile as the night out with your friends.
If you reach out to your ex, that’s basically you acting a fool. Best believe that you’ll come out of that feeling a lot worse than if you were drunk. So, avoid this situation like a plague and you’ll be glad you did it. And I know you might be tempted to reach out to your ex during the no contact period because at that point your morale is low; nevertheless, try your best not to give in because that’s just a quick fix.
If you brave it out, you will ultimately avoid that ‘oh shit’ moment when you’re finally over it, but you’ve already acted a fool. Even more, you might end up getting back together and your partner will have a whole new level of respect for you.
5. The haze will be cleared
By now, it should be obvious that the no contact rule is not just about getting your ex back. It’s more about getting yourself into a new and improved state of mind again. After a breakup, it's easy to feel a little drained and low on fuel. It’s even easier to idealize the relationship and practically yearn to get back with your ex. That’s understandable, you may have been with this person for quite some time.
Unfortunately, there’s no switch you can flip to make it all better and time is the only remedy. Nevertheless, do not live in the haze of the past, sure you had a bunch of good times, but you broke up for a reason. Truly healthy relationships don’t just come to an end out of the blues and you need to realize that. So, stop watching that mental picture reel of your relationship’s best moments. It will only make you feel that everything was your fault.
If you make it through the no contact period, everything will be put into perspective. You will equally come to terms with the fact that you may not be good for each other. What’s more, the outcome of these things is not definite, but one thing is for sure, you’ll feel a lot better if you can see the full picture.
How Do You Know The No Contact Rule Is Working?
So, you’ve stuck it out for a minimum of 4 weeks, how do you know if it has done you any good? Even more, how do you know if it has had any effect on your former beau? There’s a handful of signs to look out for. Some you’ll see coming and others you’ll wake up one morning to discover.
1. You start feeling like yourself again
Let’s face it, after the breakup, you’ll probably feel like a shadow of yourself. While the sun rises in the East and sets in the West for everyone else, your sun simply never rises. At that moment, all you want to do is somehow skip to the part where you start feeling better.
But unfortunately, there are no shortcuts in life and you have to brave the storm. Cutting off all communication, even if you really want your ex back, is the ultimate route to feeling better. Sure, you will feel bad at the initial stage, but with everyday waking day, it’ll get easier.
Luckily, one way to really power through is to find other things to occupy yourself with. Dig up old hobbies and make new friends, after all, life will go on and before you know what’s happening, the sun will start rising for you too. You may still feel some atom of gloom, but you’ll notice that it’s a lot less over time. All in all, once you start feeling like yourself again, then no contact rule has begun to work its magic.
2. Your ex is a lot more responsive
Now, note that this is only a plus and should not be the ultimate reason you adhere to the no contact rule. Nevertheless, if you keep your distance for some time a number of things will go on in your ex’s mind. For one, he will have an ample amount of time to miss you.
Do you know the saying ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder?’ Well, this is one of those cases where it's applicable. Perhaps, he expected you to reach out at some point, even if it wasn’t to beg or grovel. It’ll take a really insensitive person not to miss your presence altogether. As a result of this, he will become a lot more responsive once you decide to open the communication lines again.
He will not only miss you but also respect you a whole lot more. There’s something that resets in a person’s brain when they realize that you can survive without them. They tend to take you a lot more seriously after realizing that they are ultimately expendable. So, try your best to make it through this period so you can prove to your ex, as well as yourself, that your happiness and sanity is in your hands.
No one should wield enough power over you to make you feel like half a person. If they do, then you probably need some time on your own to learn to love yourself. All in all, if you make it, your ex will treat you a lot better regardless of whether you desire to be in touch or not.
3. Let things balance out
Don’t you just hate it when you care about someone and they begin to take that for granted? That has been the downfall of many relationships and it’s still wreaking havoc to date. This is why it's a gamble to open up to anyone. Some people may not mean to, but they end up feeding off your love without reciprocating.
Pro-tip; if you haven't broken up but this sounds similar to your relationship, a little silence here and some distance here can go a long way.
Now, here’s an incentive to make it through the no contact period; it’ll push a reset button on your relationship. In the case that your relationship has not come to the end of the road, that period of silence will really help put things in perspective. For the most part, your ex will see you in a new light and in turn, will value you more.
If you do end up patching things up, he will put in the same energy they did in the beginning (if not more). You see, people tend to give less respect to anyone they consider codependent. They may still care about you, but it's human nature to take a person for granted when they overextend for you. So, in the case that you manage to make it through the no contact period, he will realize that they need to step up or step away.
4. Your thoughts and feelings are a lot kinder to you
The thing about breakups is that they tend to make you internalize your negative thoughts and feelings. For some people, it’s quite easy to go down the road of feeling that they’re not good enough. They find themselves wondering what they did wrong, how they could have been better and so much more. That’s because we tend to be our worst critics and all those feelings really rise to the surface during breakups.
The good news is that with a little bit of time and the right information, all that will pass. You’ll also notice that all those thoughts flowing from your inner saboteur will melt away as each day passes by. That’s not all though, it’ll equally be easier to talk to your ex without playing the blame game or arguing. For the most part, the slate has been wiped clean and you can have a new beginning as partners, friends or acquaintances.
Either way, it's great to be purged of all that negativity, then you won’t be able to carry it around with you. All in all, if you get back together, your relationship will be a healthy one. In the case that you don’t, your future relationships will be better. In the end, this all points to the fact that you should never underestimate the power of silence.
For the most part of it, experts recommend a minimum of 4 weeks for it to really kick in. Why? Well, it’s not just ample time for your ex to get their thoughts together. Within 4 weeks you should also feel a lot better, you’ll begin to think straight and your decision-making skills will be better.
First of all, you’ll notice that you’re beginning to feel a lot better about yourself. The nights are no longer excruciatingly long and the days are a lot more bearable. Even more, your ex will start reaching out hoping to get back together. So, be patient and you’re bound to see results.
There’s a 40% chance of getting your ex back according to research. Based on that alone, it's evident that's not really a given. But try to keep in mind that getting your ex-boyfriend back is only part of the motivation behind the no contact rule.
I'd like to say that this depends on your motive. If you're all about getting back with your ex, then the chances of it working are slimmer. You can't force someone who doesn't want you to stay no matter what tactics you use. But, it does give the other party enough space to miss you and realize he wants you back if there's still a spark.
First of all, note that the success of this rule isn't hinged on whether you get your ex back or not. But, for the most part, he will get in contact with you. Measuring that, the no contact rule has a solid 90% success rate. So, he may or may not come back to you, but the no contact rule will work its magic.
Breakups are, for lack of better words, the worst. So, it’s understandable if you are having a hard time. Nevertheless, the no contact rule is a tried and tested way to get your groove back. In some cases, it may even help you get your ex back.
Altogether, I hope this article offered some encouragement and a little bit of comfort where it was needed. If you found it helpful, feel free to share the love with someone who really needs to hear this. Also, if you have some insight, share it in the comment section below.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.