So you want your ex back and you decided to give the No Contact Method a try.
But now it’s been a few days or weeks, and it feels like you made a huge mistake.
You probably feel the need to talk to your ex right now, no matter what happens.
But before you give up on No Contact just give me a few minutes of your time and let’s talk about it.
I’m Brad Browning. I’m a relationship and breakup coach with over ten years under my belt… and I’ve helped tens of thousands of people get a second chance with their ex and that’s how I know that No Contact really is the most effective method for getting your ex back. It’s what I recommend in almost all situations.
But I’m sure words don’t really mean much to you right now.
You feel like you’re at the end of your rope here. You HAVE to contact your ex or you might not make it. I understand that feeling very well… But before you go any further, let’s take a step back and look at this logically.
I’m going to go over the reasons you probably want to give up No Contact, and I’ll tell you whether or not they’re valid. Because it turns out there ARE a few reasons to break No Contact, but you need to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons or you’re going to regret this decision. Let’s get into it…
1. It’s not working
I get emails every single day from people who feel like their situation is so unique that they can’t do No Contact. Most of the time I’m able to make them understand why sticking with No Contact is the right choice. These are the people who usually do get their exes back.
Here’s what I tell them that stops them from giving up…
It often feels like No Contact is doing nothing at all… It feels like it’s actually making you and your ex drift further apart. But the truth is it’s affecting your ex more than you think. The reason that it feels this way is the exact same reason that No Contact works.
There are two possible scenarios here:
One, your ex has gone silent and isn’t reaching out to you at all. It can feel like they don’t care about you…like they’re moving on. But this is almost never the case. In reality, your ex is thinking about you a lot…even more than they would if you two had stayed in contact. They’re actually missing you like crazy. Of course, they don’t want to make this obvious to you for so many reasons. They don’t want to look desperate. They don’t want you to know that they care. And they don’t want to lose face. And because you two aren’t in contact, it’s pretty easy for them to keep you from finding out how they feel.
In the second scenario, your ex IS reaching out to you. Maybe they’re telling you how upset they are, how mad they are at you, or that they’re totally over you. The truth is, this isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t mean that they are actually truly upset at you because you went no contact.
This is a sign that they’re actually still extremely invested in the relationship and by going No Contact you’ve driven them crazy.
In fact, whether your ex contacts you to tell you how much they miss you, to ask you how your day was, or tell you that they hate you… the takeaway here is the same: No Contact is working. Any kind of message after No Contact means that they’re thinking about you and that’s a great sign for your chances.
So don’t throw it all away because your ex is or isn’t having a reaction to No Contact. This matters very little at this stage. The truth is that if you have any hope at all with your ex, then No Contact is going to help set you up in a much better position to reconnect with them when the time comes. Breaking No Contact now is only going to hurt your chances…trust me.
2. It’s too hard
I know you thought that it would get easier after a few days, but No Contact doesn’t always let up. It can be a very painful process depending on how close you were to your ex. It makes you realize how intertwined your lives were and how much you relied on them to get through your day.
Every time you see something you want to show them, or think of a question to ask, you feel that pang of sadness in your heart. Well I’m here to tell you that–while it’s extremely painful–this is actually a sign that No Contact is going to work.
Think about it. The more you want to break No Contact, the more your ex is being affected by it. Because that desire to reconnect with your ex is driven by how close the relationship was.
The more dependent you two were on each other for your emotional health and wellbeing, the more you’re going to want to reach out…and if you’re on the edge of ending No Contact purely because of the discomfort you feel because you can’t text them, that means that they probably feel just as bad if not worse than you do.
Yes, the harder that No Contact is for you, the harder it is for your ex and this is what will drive them to come back to you. Remember, you weren’t the only person in this relationship. You two built this together. You care about them and they care about you. It’s that simple.
So before you break No Contact because you feel like you can’t bear it any longer, remember that your ex is going through the same thing. Do you really want to be the one to break first? Because this is one situation where holding out is going to be worth it.
3. They’re in the hospital with something serious
If you get a text from your ex, or even a mutual friend that your ex or someone close to them is VERY sick in the hospital and they want you by their side, this is actually a situation where you should usually break No Contact.
Some things are more important than No Contact, and life and death situations are one of them. If there’s a chance your ex might not make it then you’re going to regret ignoring that text, believe me.
So if this is your situation, put No Contact on hold and reach out to your ex to see how they’re doing. If they want you by their side then go to them and support them however they need.
I know this goes against No Contact in a big way but not only is it the right thing to do, it’s actually going to help your chances. You’re showing your ex that you’re willing to put things aside and help them when they need you most.
You’re showing them that you can be relied upon and that you’re–essentially–their family. So don’t miss out on this if you want them back.
Because supporting someone in a time of extreme difficulty can create a bond that is stronger than almost anything. And at the same time, an illness or injury like this can make your ex really reevaluate their priorities and their wants and needs so it could make No Contact irrelevant before you know it.
I will caution you… Do NOT bring up the relationship in any way if you do see your ex in this position. You don’t want to use this situation to your advantage in any way. It won’t be effective in the long run.
4. You feel hopeless
Feeling hopeless is pretty normal during a difficult time like this. If you do feel this way, know that breaking No Contact isn’t the answer. Because, trust me, your ex isn’t going to make you feel better. At least…not for long. Let’s say that you and your ex still had a good relationship after the breakup. You feel like you could even be friends.
So you decide that you can’t take it anymore…you break No Contact. You call them up and just hearing their voice it feels like a weight has been lifted. They’re happy to hear from you too. But no matter how long you talk on the phone… No matter how good it feels to connect with them again… sooner or later, you’re going to have to hang up.
Then you’ll truly be all alone. You’ll feel worse than ever. Because not only have you broken No Contact and potentially ruined your shot at a REAL second chance with your ex…you also no longer have that conversation to look forward to.
Now you’re not working towards anything. You’re back to hoping and praying that maybe if you just keep bugging them, eventually they’ll realize that you are the right person for them after all. And I think we both know that that’s not an effective strategy.
And despite how good it felt to talk to your ex–actually BECAUSE of how good it felt–you feel more alone than ever.
And that’s just one possible scenario. There’s a good chance that your ex doesn’t even answer the phone. They might be upset to hear from you and they might totally blow you off. And that might even be better for you because it won’t get your hopes up all over again.
So do you see why sticking to No Contact is so important right now? It’s about a lot more than just not talking to your ex. It’s about hope…it’s about your mental health…and, of course, it’s about getting your ex back.
Instead of giving up, you need to change your tactics…because if you feel this way then you’re probably not doing No Contact the right way. You need to make a change and find hope somewhere else.
This is why I recommend you make changes in your life during No Contact. It not only helps the time pass…it helps to change your mindset and gives you things to look forward to in your life. For example, if you’re staying home all day and waiting for that 30 day mark, no wonder you feel hopeless right now.
If instead, you said “to hell with my ex…I’m going to take action” and went out and signed up for a half marathon, think of how different things would be. Now you’ve got a hobby to take your mind off your ex. You have something to work towards that you know will feel AMAZING when you reach it–you have a reason to keep going.
Now you don’t have to do a half marathon to regain hope but you do need to do SOMETHING if you want things to change for you because whatever you’re doing isn’t working. So don’t spend another day on the couch thinking about your ex. Make a plan right now and begin working towards your goal.
5. It’s their birthday or another important day
I get this question daily, and to be perfectly honest… the answer is that you don’t need to break No Contact to wish your ex a happy birthday or congratulate them on graduating or whatever the occasion is.
Frankly, it’s not going to make a big impact either way. If this special occasion is something minor, like your ex setting a personal best at a rowing regatta or their sister’s birthday…. Then you definitely don’t need to reach out at all. It simply isn’t worth the chance that your ex will try to use the message to draw you into a longer conversation, which will often damage the effectiveness of No Contact.
If it IS something that you KNOW will be important to your ex… if they’re the type of person that makes birthdays a big deal, or they’re finally graduating from law school after years of hard work… then you can usually safely send a quick text to wish them a happy birthday or a quick congratulations.
It’s CRITICAL that you not make this message into a big deal, or try to use it as a bigger conversation starter… just send a quick one-line text that makes it clear to your ex that a reply isn’t necessary.
RELATED: Why You Can’t Forget Your Ex
To be blunt, I think the real question in this kind of situation is… will your ex notice and/or be offended if you DON’T reach out to acknowledge their special day? If so — if you’re confident that NOT sending them a message WILL make them upset or offended — then you probably want to take the chance and shoot them a quick text like I mentioned.
If the occasion isn’t a big deal, if they’re the type of person that won’t care less who wishes them a happy birthday… then you’re usually safer just to stay quiet and stick to No Contact. Don’t overthink it, and be sure to keep your message brief, friendly, and not requiring a reply from your ex.
6. You’re over them
If getting some distance from the relationship has shown you that you really don’t want to be with this person anymore, you’re going to be tempted to break No Contact, since it no longer matters.
I’d still advise against this. First, this is a very volatile time for you, emotionally. Today you feel like you’re totally over them. Tomorrow you may hate them. Then the next day you could feel like you can’t live without them.
This is a normal part of mourning a breakup. All the negatives and positives of this other person are swirling around in your head with nowhere to go. So I’d advise you to wait on this for the full term of No Contact.
And the fact that you still feel the need to reach out to them suggests that you may not be as over them as you think you are at this moment.
Now you may be right…maybe you really are determined not to get back together with this person in a million years. Well in that case, No Contact is still a great way to cement these feelings for yourself and move on.
Yes, No Contact can help you get over your ex if that’s what you want. You may think you want closure from your ex but really, separation and healing is going to be more effective.
Of course, once it’s been thirty days or so, then there’s no harm in reaching out to your ex again to talk if that’s really what you want to do. Just don’t be surprised if it doesn’t give you what you’re looking for.
7. They’re upset or angry that you’re not talking to them
This one is pretty common… sometimes, your ex may start to become irritated that they’re not hearing from you, or that you’re not responding to their messages. Again, as I mentioned earlier, this is actually generally a good sign: it indicates your ex is still heavily emotionally invested in you, thinking about you regularly, and struggling to adjust to life without you around. These are the kinds of feelings you want your ex to experience during No Contact, because it’s these feelings that will push them to cave in and give your relationship another chance.
However, if your ex does seem to be getting outright angry at your silence… if they’re calling you out for never replying or repeatedly asking why you’ve been so quiet, at that point you usually do want to respond with a quick message to let them know you’re not doing it to intentionally hurt them nor do you harbour any lingering anger for their decision to break up.
Something like, “Hey, sorry for not replying sooner, I’ve been super super busy lately… just trying to get back on my feet and move on. Nothing personal – hope you’re doing well too!”
8. They need their stuff back.
If your ex reaches out to you to get their stuff back, or pay a bill, or really anything that only YOU can do because it involves you and the relationship, then you do need to break No Contact, TEMPORARILY.
Don’t use this as an excuse to throw the whole thing away. This kind of violation of the rule isn’t harmful and is, unfortunately, necessary.
If you can, use this opportunity to get every little bit of business figured out. Swap your possessions, pay all the bills, get your name off the lease…whatever. You don’t want another disruption like this to pop up week after week or it will start to impact the effectiveness of No Contact.
Now this doesn’t mean driving your ex to the airport or helping them move. It also doesn’t mean spending the whole day with them or really having any conversation outside of when and where to meet up. Don’t get sucked into drama, don’t ask them about how they’re doing and do NOT sleep with them no matter how much you may want to.
Be polite and courteous towards your ex but remain distant. Get the job done and return to No Contact as quickly as you possibly can. This is also an important rule to follow if you still live with your ex.
So now you know when you should and shouldn’t break No Contact. But what are you supposed to do if you’re still struggling to keep No Contact, even though you know it’s the right choice?
Recommit To No Contact
Yes, while you may not have broken No Contact, you have wavered in your commitment to yourself and this disruption is going to prevent you from fully engaging with the process. So I want you to make a decision in this moment.
Ask yourself one question: Am I going to complete at least 30 days of No Contact with my ex?
If you say yes to this then you need to make the decision to stick it out to the end. No more second-guessing your decision. Stick to the plan and see it through if you want to have results.