No contact is hard for everyone involved.
When you cut a guy off and take a break, it’s difficult to stick to it.
It’s something I know well, because my ex-boyfriend and I recently got back together after I broke up with him and did three weeks of no contact.
The time apart with no responses from me hurt him, and I do know that, however I also know that without taking that time apart I would still be trapped in the toxic relationship dynamics we used to have.
It’s important to understand why no contact can be so effective and change the way a man sees you. However, most articles only talk about what no contact does to a guy.
Here’s a look at what happens to a guy after no contact. The key to its impact is embedded deep in male psychology and biology.
The male mind after no contact: 11 things to know
1) He won’t like being ignored
The vast majority of men don’t respond well to being ignored.
It’s like chasing a ghost you never find, and if you’ve done no contact on a guy then he’s likely feeling rather frustrated and lost.
My ex-boyfriend messaged me repeatedly during no contact, and by that, I mean like ten times a day.
When the texts fell on deaf ears he started voice messaging.
Dear Lord, he was desperate as hell.
I pressed delete before even opening that sh*t. I didn’t need his begging for me to talk to him. I was on a no contact period and I stuck to it.
Like relationship expert Chris Seiter says of a college friend of his:
“The more she ignored him the angrier he got and the angrier he got, the more he called her a bit*h.
Here is the funniest part though, despite calling her all those names behind her back he was very persistent in trying to win her and eventually he did.”
That’s what my ex did. He went wild trying to get my attention. And when that no contact time was over, he was a lot different.
2) He’ll be very curious about why you ignored him
The main way in which my ex changed after no contact is that he was very curious about why I had ignored him and what it meant.
He’d come to assume that it meant I was done with him for good, and after about a week his messages and cries for attention slowed down.
When I first got back in touch with him after no contact, the main emotion he expressed was happiness (which I’ll discuss below), as well as intense curiosity.
He wanted to know why I’d cut off contact after dumping him.
I didn’t really particularly want to get into that minefield, but since he asked I granted him that favor…
I reminded him that he’d gone months of treating me like sh*t prior to the breakup. I’d needed some emotional space to recoup my thoughts and think whether I wanted to try again with him.
I’m not saying I was the perfect girlfriend, but I was always respectful to him. I can’t say the same in reverse.
But his behavior to me after no contact showed a lot of promising signs.
3) An expert can help you out
The male mind after no contact can be a fragile and volatile thing. Sometimes no matter how happy he is, a man can respond unpredictably after no contact and play games.
He may lash out at you, or even ghost you himself to see what you will do in response.
A friend of mine held out no contact for two weeks with her ex-husband when they had time apart and he ghosted her after that for six months to get revenge.
That’s why it’s crucial to realize that every situation is different.
Want advice specific to your situation?
While this article explores the most important ways a man responds following a no contact period, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like how to act around your ex after no contact.
They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.
How do I know?
Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was in the no contact period with my ex.
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.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
4) He’ll be ultra euphoric you got back in touch
If you want to understand the male mind after no contact, you need to go down to the roots of male psychology and male biology.
From the earliest days of human society, men have been hunters and gatherers. They protected and provided for children and women, warring with other tribes.
The male mind prizes scarcity. It sizes up newcomers as potential threats, mates or neutral immediately on a subconscious level.
Early males would hunt bison and large animals for weeks sometimes in order to score one big kill. Then when they caught it they would gorge on its meat, bringing some back to the cave as well.
That’s part of how our cravings for sugar and fat developed and our endocrine system: as a survival trait. It could be months until the cavemen found another large source of fat, protein and calories.
In romance, men also work on a system of scarcity. If someone is too readily available, they assume it’s because the value is quite moderate or low.
No contact reminds a man at his deepest core that you are not easy to get and that you are high value.
When you get back in touch he’ll be over the moon, because he’s had time to reflect on your value and rarity.
5) He’s scared to mess things up again…
After no contact, a man is a bit like a tamed wild horse. Sorry if that sounds sexist.
I like the fact that my boyfriend is a masculine guy and assertive, but having no contact with me was also about clearly showing him my boundaries as his partner.
I’m not willing to be pushed around or treated as some accessory by him.
When you’ve shown loud and clear that you can go weeks with no contact with him whatsoever, he knows that he’d better be careful or he’ll get burned.
He’s going to be watching his words much more carefully and paying close attention to what you say and do.
He doesn’t want a repeat of no contact that’s permanent this time around.
There’s a good side to this, of course, which is that he’s going to be less of a reckless jerk around you and hopefully avoid the same mistakes as last time.
The downside is basically that he might play it so safe that he presents a fake nice side to you and then throws you under the bus again once you start dating again.
6) …But he has repressed anger and frustration
At the same time as this guy is going to be treading carefully so as not to repeat the same mistakes, he’s also going to have a lot of repressed frustration.
Like I was saying at the start here, men don’t like being ignored, even if it’s for a very good reason.
In fact, if it’s for a very good reason is all the more chance he’ll respond poorly, because men also tend to lash out when they feel guilty about their own actions.
Feeling ashamed of how you behave is not something that many people are able to process well.
My boyfriend felt bad about ignoring and disparaging me for months before our breakup, which is part of why no contact made him so desperate.
As he told me after we worked on restarting our relationship after no contact, it wasn’t only that he missed me, it was that he genuinely felt bad for behaving so awfully to me.
I would say it was just a line, but his behavior in the several months since then has shown me that he meant it.
7) He’s more likely to be sneaky with you
Because of this hesitancy you’ve created with no contact, a guy is likely to be a bit more sneaky around you.
He will put his best foot forward and try his best to make sure you see him in the nicest way possible.
If he is flirting with other girls, he’s going to do so very sneakily.
If he is playing the field and just kind of stringing you along (“benching”) then you won’t always know it.
To be totally honest I’m still not absolutely sure where my boyfriend’s mind is at after no contact.
I know that I got him to take me more seriously, but I also know that I hurt him and there’s a competitive side of him which might still be playing me.
Just be careful, is all I’m saying. If your guy is really into you following no contact that doesn’t mean he has no tricks up his sleeve.
The trust needs to be really solid, and it’s something you have to talk over together.
8) He may not know what he wants
Another important thing to know about the male mind after no contact is that not every guy knows what he wants.
He may realize he hurt you and that he wants another chance, but he might not be quite sure how, or quite how serious he is.
Why all this confusion anyway? He either likes you or he doesn’t…right?
Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard?
Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…
When you’re dealing with getting back together with a guy after no contact it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless.
You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.
I want to suggest doing something different.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.
As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel horrible about things like pursuing a guy who keeps letting us down.
We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.
We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.
We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution dealing with someone who keeps disappointing you and using no contact on them.
If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
9) He’s going to proceed slowly
Remember this, the male mind after no contact is very happy that you’re back but also very cautious that you’ll burn him again.
For this reason, there’s a lot of tension built up.
You may feel like he’s choosing his words very carefully or picking apart what you say and discussing it with his friends before answering.
Honestly, he probably is.
My ex (current boyfriend again, I suppose) admitted to me that when I first broke no contact he was happy but also freaked out.
He talked over with his close friend about what to do, and his buddy said to move slowly.
I could tell he’d put a lot of thought into what he was texting back to me.
And when we first met up for coffee he was jittery like a jitterbug. I honestly asked him if coffee was the best idea right then.
He got decaf.
10) He’ll take awhile to decide if he wants you back
My boyfriend was super happy when I contacted him again, but I could also see the tension under the surface.
He moved slowly, and he was nervous.
His friend had also told him not to just jump at the chance to start seeing me again.
No contact gave me the power dynamic in the relationship once again, but it didn’t completely lead to owning my boyfriend.
After his first couple of weeks of desperation he had calmed down a bit and he was a little hesitant once we were together again.
11) The male heart after no contact
In addition to the male mind after no contact, it’s important to consider the male heart after no contact.
I’ll tell you the truth:
My heart after no contact was in sh*tty condition.
I was worried my boyfriend would be pissed at me.
I was worried that I had gained weight.
I was worried about being worried.
Damn, it was a stressful time…
As for him, he was clearly in a nerve-wracked condition and not sure at all what to expect.
Slowly we rebuilt what we’d had and began our relationship’s second chapter.
It’s going better than I expected, but there’s still plenty of insecurities under the surface on both of our parts.
I don’t regret doing no contact. I just hope I can continue to communicate to my partner about why I needed that space and what I want us to be in the future.
Pushing the male reset button
The closest you can get to pushing the male reset button is no contact.
This is a time period in which you can decide if you want something further with this guy.
You can also see what he does once you withdraw attention and affection from him.
My ex didn’t respond great, like I said.
Honestly, if I didn’t still have feelings for him I probably would have dropped him at that point.
But regardless of how your guy acts during no contact, keep in mind that after no contact he’s going to be a bit different.
This is your chance to see him at his best and decide if you want to give him another chance.
I did, and I’m not regretting it.