Does no contact work after a breakup?
Let’s face it, having absolutely zero contact with your ex whilst you’re going through heartache is tough.
In fact, it can feel like torture. You’re checking your phone every 5 minutes wondering if you should just send them a text message. So you want to know that it’ll be worth it in the end.
If you’re trying to stick to the no contact rule, and are looking for guaranteed results — in this article you’ll learn exactly why the no contact rule works.
Does no contact work? Yes, for these 11 reasons
1) It gives you time to clear your head
There’s no denying that after a breakup emotions are high. Be honest, right now, you’re probably feeling a bit all over the place, right?
No Contact is a technique that is effective because it helps people to stop thinking about each other and allows them to focus on themselves. It might feel challenging, but it’s a constructive way of dealing with a painful situation.
After a breakup, you tend to experience a really wide range of confusing and sometimes conflicting emotions.
That’s a lot to deal with for anyone. The reality is that you need some time and space to get your head straight again. No matter what happens afterward, you’ll be in a far better position to handle it.
Talking to, texting, checking up on, or meeting up with an ex might seem like it gives you some short-term relief from the pain you’re going through. But it will only mess with your head.
In the long run, finding the discipline to stay away will offer you rewards to reap that set you up for success in the future.
No contact is all about choosing long-term solutions over short-term fixes. The big problem with short-term fixes is that you’ll only wind up back where you started sooner or later.
2) It gives you time to focus on yourself
I totally get it. Right now, you probably can’t stop thinking about your ex. It’s normal.
But the reality is that you need to be thinking more about yourself. And no contact can really help you to do that.
Think of this time during no contact as a time out. You can’t see or talk to your ex, so you may as well place your full energy on yourself.
Showing yourself some love and attention is exactly what you need. Rather than obsessing about your ex, try to think about your goals, ambitions, and desires in life.
It’s not only the perfect distraction, but it’s also going to speed up the healing process and boost your self-esteem.
Time focusing on yourself can be anything from having a pamper day, to binge-watching your favorite show, to spending time on your hobbies or hanging out with friends.
You’re probably so used to thinking as part of a pair, that you might even find it pretty nice to be totally selfish and think only of yourself for a change.
3) They’ll see that you are no longer available
When you decide to have no contact, they can’t reach out to you or start texting. This means they won’t be able to talk to you, ask questions, or even tell you how they’re doing.
They also don’t get to see if you’ve changed or how you’re dealing with everything since you broke up.
If you hold secret hopes of being able to fix your relationship at some point, then this is one of the main benefits of no contact: It makes you less available to them.
The sad truth is that we tend to want what we can’t have. When we know someone will come running back to us whenever we want, it’s easy to be more confident about letting them go.
If your ex believes that they can have you back at the click of their fingers, it gives them all the power. No healthy relationship can function like that.
Nobody respects a doormat.
It’s important to remember that when you cut off communication completely, you’re not giving them permission to keep coming back whenever it suits them.
So, by making yourself unavailable, you are sending a message that you won’t be the one doing the chasing.
This can be very frustrating to your ex. Don’t forget, they too are likely to be experiencing the same difficult withdrawal pangs.
No contact doesn’t always make an ex want you back. But if you are hoping it will, then seeing you aren’t available to them is one of the things that can help.
If no contact doesn’t guarantee their return then how can you get your ex back?
In this situation, there’s only one thing to do – re-spark their romantic interest in you.
I learned about this from Brad Browning, who has helped thousands of men and women get their exes back. He goes by the moniker of “the relationship geek”, for good reason.
In this free video, he’ll show you exactly what you can do to make your ex want you again.
No matter what your situation is — or how badly you’ve messed up since the two of you broke up — he’ll give you a number of useful tips that you can apply immediately.
Here’s a link to his free video again. If you really want your ex back, this video will help you do this.
4) It gives your ex a chance to miss you
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder for a reason. Because sometimes it is true that we don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone.
Even after you break up, if you’re still talking to your ex or seeing them, they’re not going to have a chance to truly feel your absence.
That’s where no contact comes in.
In the early days when you were together, did you ever notice that your partner would start missing you before you’d actually leave?
They’d say something like “Oh my god, I’m gonna miss you!” or “I wish we could spend more time together.”
Well, guess what? Your ex is feeling the exact same way now. Unless you had a totally toxic relationship, the reality is that we all miss our ex when we break up.
If nothing more, we’re so used to having them around that we’re bound to feel their absence.
Chances are, they’ll feel sad at first because they know they can’t see you anymore. Then they’ll start missing you.
Then they’ll start wondering why you haven’t contacted them. And finally, they’ll start missing you even more.
This is when having no contact can actually help reconciliation in the long run. Of course, it doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes even though we miss an ex we know that the split was probably for the best in the end.
The sad truth is that missing someone is natural, but it certainly doesn’t always mean we should get back together.
You might be wondering does the no contact rule work if you were dumped? The answer is still yes. Because the no contact rule offers many advantages.
The good thing about it is that whether you’re going to get back together or not, no contact is still your best way of healing from the relationship anyway and being able to move on.
5) It gives you time for healing
They say that time is a healer, and it really is. Nobody ever willingly welcomes pain into their life. But the truth is that most people who go through a breakup end up being better for it.
I know that’s difficult to believe in the midst of heartbreak, but here’s why:
Breakups, like all forms of suffering, have hidden within them the potential for growth.
Breaking up forces us to look at ourselves and face our own flaws. We learn life lessons. We realize how much we rely on our partners and how much we take them for granted. We learn to appreciate ourselves and become stronger individuals.
And that’s exactly what you need right now. You need to heal. It may not happen overnight, but as you do, day by day, you will start to feel so much stronger.
This time apart allows you to process your emotions. It is a chance to give yourself time to grieve and mourn, and eventually turn a corner.
You can even use this healing time to reflect on your past relationships and figure out what went wrong.
Think about what you learned from each one of those relationships and apply it to your next ones. Because chances are, you’ll make fewer mistakes next time around.
6) It’s a chance to evaluate what you actually want
We’ve already established that the time after a breakup is a total rollercoaster of emotions. That’s never the best state to make any kind of important decision from.
In the aftermath, it’s common to have knee-jerk reactions. When we lose something our initial reaction can be to want it back.
This is grief talking. It’s such a painful emotion that we want it to stop at all costs.
Regardless of whether the relationship was good for us and made us happy. The panic and sadness create a cloud that descends, and we just want it gone.
After a decent amount of time, you are in a better position to think clearly. You can evaluate your relationship without being blinded by intense emotion.
That’s going to help you to understand what you actually want.
Do you want your ex back? Or would you rather find someone new?
You may think you already know the answer to these questions, but the truth is that perspective is something we only usually gain with distance. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you follow the no contact rule.
It’s going to help you look at things from the bigger picture.
7) It protects you from being continuously triggered
Just after a breakup, heartbreak triggers are everywhere.
They can be a song on the radio, seeing an old photo of your ex, or simply hearing his name. Plenty of these triggers can sneak up on you.
But what’s also the case is that we have a tendency to seek them out too. It’s almost like picking a scab, we know we shouldn’t, but it’s too tempting.
This is the time to be concentrating on your feelings and thoughts. Not watching their Instagram stories, and stalking everyone they’ve been hanging out with. That is only going to lead to more pain.
You may think you want to know what he’s doing, where he’s going, and who he’s with. But you really don’t.
Deciding to cut contact is going to offer you far more protection from discovering those really hurtful details that you don’t need to know.
- If they’ve been seeing anyone else
- If they’re going out and “having fun” without you
Staying in contact means you are exposed to far more information about their life. Please trust me when I say you are far better off knowing as little about their life right now as possible.
8) It opens you up to meeting someone else
It may not feel like it right now, but the time after a breakup is the perfect opportunity to meet other people.
After enough time to heal, breakups can actually be very expansive times in our lives, where we welcome in the new.
Even if you believe the breakup was for the best, you’re maybe not ready to date again right now. But when you are, having your ex out of the way is going to make it all a lot easier.
Without them clouding your view, you can start to look around and see other opportunities for romance and love in your life.
You know what they say, as one door closes, another one opens.
Even when you don’t see it coming, you can meet someone else at any time. And it’s going to be a lot more likely when you’re not spending your time and energy staying in touch with your ex.
Believe me, I know from experience.
I have always followed the no-contact rule after breakups. It’s really helped me to heal. But with my last ex, I didn’t.
He wanted to be in touch and I felt too guilty not to. So at the expense of my own healing, I kept talking to him and seeing him for months. We’d even message most days.
Until one day, I found out that he’d actually had another girlfriend for a couple of months. As soon as I discovered this I cut contact. It gave me permission to do what I should have done from the start — put myself first.
And as soon as I did, guess what happened? After months of being totally single and not so much as looking at anyone else, I met someone new later that week.
The reality was staying in touch with my ex held me back from contemplating letting anyone else in. But as soon as I cut ties it made room for someone else to enter my life.
9) It puts a stop to the on and off again cycles
There’s no drug quite as strong as love. It has us acting all kinds of crazy.
No wonder then that we get some serious withdrawals when we break up with someone. We’ll often do just about anything to get our hands on another dose.
That may mean totally forgetting the reasons why we broke up in the first place. Ignoring all the fights. The pain we experienced. Or all the bad times when we were convinced that they weren’t right for us.
Those rose-tinted glasses make us think fondly of the good times, and we end up wanting it back.
So to numb the pain and push away the grief we decide to give it one more try. Only to remember at some point exactly all the problems that we had. Problems that haven’t magically fixed themselves.
And so the cycle begins again. The next time the heartbreak is just as bad. But we keep doing it to ourselves until we’ve finally had enough.
More wasted tears and more heartache.
A lot of couples who end up in on and off again relationships tend to be co-dependent. It’s not a healthy love that they are experiencing, it’s a fear of being alone.
Giving yourself the time and space now might just save you from a mistake that will only lead to more pain down the road.
10) It gives you a dignified breakup
If you’re feeling like you need to tell your ex exactly what you think of them, give them a piece of your mind, or beg them to come back, then by all means do it. But ask yourself if you’ll only regret it later.
Shall we be totally and brutally honest?
Texting them every day telling them that you still love them is needy. Them knowing that you’re checking up on them and stalking their every move is pretty humiliating. Calling them drunk at 3 am crying is only going to make you look desperate.
Deciding to break contact for a set period of time is usually your best chance of a dignified breakup. It allows you both to cool off and to reflect on how things went wrong.
You can also use the time to figure out whether you two are meant to be together. If you don’t feel ready to let go yet, then take comfort in knowing that it’s not forever. It’s just until you’ve moved on a little from where you are right now.
Nobody escapes a breakup unscathed. Sometimes the best we can hope for is to have our self-respect intact, even if our heart feels like it’s in pieces.
11) It proves to you there is life after your ex
Seeing is believing. It’s often hard to picture our world without our ex in it. But the reality is that there is life after them.
Giving yourself time to shape your life without them around will offer you proof. You won’t have to hope this is the case, because you’ll see that it is.
It’s easy to forget that they’re not the only person in the world.
There are plenty of other people out there. People who care about you. People who help to make you feel happy. And yes, there are even plenty more fish in the sea.
It’s important to remember that you’re not defined by your relationship with your ex. You’re a whole person with your own identity and personality.
Sometimes we forget this for a bit when we’re in a couple. But some time and distance will help you remember who you were before the relationship and who you can be after it.
No contact offers you the first step towards moving forward into a new chapter of your life.
How long does no contact take to work?
Most experts agree that no contact takes a minimum of 30 days to have a real impact.
You need to move past the stage where you’re just waiting it out, looking forward to the day when you can finally speak again. That’s because part of the idea is that it helps you move on from this phase.
That’s also why for most people a minimum of 60 days is a better idea. But if you want to wait until you have truly healed, then you might need to wait even longer.
With my ex, it was over 6 months before I was ready to even speak over text again. Everybody’s healing journey is different.
It also depends on what you’re hoping to get out of no contact. If it’s to help you move on, then the amount of time might be indefinite and it all depends on how you feel.
If you are hoping it will make your ex come to their senses, miss you and eventually reach out — then again, how long this takes will depend on your situation.
It’s important to remember that if that is your goal, there is no guarantee that your ex will want to reconcile. So it’s always a good idea to use your time apart wisely, rather than pinning your hopes on this.
Instead, focus on yourself and if it’s meant to be, it will be.
What is the success rate of the no contact rule?
The success rate of no contact rule not only varies depending on the type of relationship you had but also the outcome you’re looking for.
If you’re using no contact because you want your ex to be the first one to reach out rather than you, there are no guarantees.
Some dating sites claim that it can be effective in up to 90% of cases. And that eventually, the dumper will reach out to the dumped if they don’t hear from them.
But even if that figure is close to being accurate, them reaching out and contacting you doesn’t mean that they will necessarily want to get back together.
The motivation for them reaching out can be anything from missing you, to their ego being dented that you haven’t come chasing after them.
Research does show that around 40-50% of people have reunited with an ex to try and start again.
Unfortunately though, research also showed those types of on and off again relationships reported: lower satisfaction, lower sexual satisfaction, less felt validation, less love, and less need fulfillment.
But the success of the no contact rule shouldn’t be judged solely on getting back your ex (even if that’s your main aim when you start it).
The real reason why no contact after a break-up is super important is that it’s still the best way to get over someone.
It’s a way of handling your grief, giving yourself time to heal, and eventually feeling better enough to move on.
In these instances, no contact is very successful. Without the discipline to cut ties for a while, you leave yourself open to being strung along and only prolong the heartache.
To conclude: Will the no contact rule work?
If you’re going through a break up I hope I’ve convinced you why the no contact rule is a great way to go.
Of course, there are pros and cons of no contact. The biggest con is how much it sucks to do, and how challenging it can feel whilst you’re going through it.
But when you start to wobble, look back over the powerful reasons listed in this article to remind you why you should stay strong.
If you decide to go down this route, make sure you do it right. Don’t expect it to magically fix everything overnight. You’ll need to stick to it for at least 1 month to give it time for the dust to settle and give yourself time to recover emotionally.
And once you’ve done that, you should be well placed to start building something new. Whether that is with or without your ex.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.