The term “no contact rule” comes from those “get your ex back” programs found on the Internet. It basically says that you should cut-off contact with someone who has broken-up with you for a set amount of time. The typical amount of days instructed is 30 days. I’ve also heard some coaches suggest 45 days, 60 days and even 90 days. You don’t initiate contact, nor do you respond to your ex reaching out to you. This will help both parties get their emotions under control but, also to make your ex miss you. After this set number of days, it’s recommended that you send a handwritten letter taking responsibility for your faults in the relationship. You also apologize for any bad behavior after the breakup, and share a few fond memories with your ex in an effort for them to begin having positive thoughts about you. Supposedly, your ex will have an epiphany after this and realize that they can’t live without you.
Does it work? It certainly could, but do you really want to have to manipulate your ex-girlfriend in order for them to want to be with you?
Most Apply The No Contact Rule Wrong
What I mentioned above is not the correct way to apply the no contact rule. I’ve actually written about this before when I coached a client on whether or not he should use it on his current girlfriend. Simply put, you should never have to use a technique to convince or manipulate someone to be with you. You want someone who is excited to be with you, someone who is dying to see you, and someone who will make time for you without you having to ask. Most people use the no contact rule as a revenge or manipulation tactic. They believe it’s some sort of magic trick that will bring their ex back to them without having to do anything more, besides not contacting them.
The truth is, there is no set amount of days before someone magically changes their mind. Either they will change their mind, or they won’t; and they will do it at their own pace. It’s true you shouldn’t initiate contact with anyone who has made it clear they don’t want to see you or speak with you. However, you shouldn’t ignore them when they reach out, unless you want them out of your life for good. Ignoring someone will communicate to them that you’re not interested. The no contact rule is for you to heal and move-on. It shouldn’t be used as a tactic to get your ex back. Though, getting your ex back can be a positive side effect, if that is what you want.
The Correct Way to Use the No Contact Rule
If your girl has unilaterally changed the terms of your relationship, you should never chase, beg or plead. It doesn’t matter if she’s ghosted you, asked for space, wants to breakup, has stepped outside of the relationship, cheated, etc. This just pushes them away further and communicates your weakness.
First, tell her what YOU want and how you feel, but don’t get mushy. You might tell her something like, “I love you and I want to work this out”. If she’s not down, then you want to politely accept her decision, leave the door open in case she has a change of heart, then walk away for good. In your own words, say something like, “Okay. Get in touch if you change your mind”. Assume that you’ll never hear from her again and don’t reach out to her for any reason. This means that you don’t contact her to wish her a happy birthday, happy holidays, or anything similar. She’s made it clear that she doesn’t want you to be a part of her life any longer. There’s no reason to try to stay in it.
There’s nothing you can do from here. No amount of logic or reason is going to change how she feels. You’re dealing with emotions here, not logic. Only giving her space and time to sort through her emotions will you have a chance at her coming back. It must be her idea.
“Don’ts” During the No Contact Period
Do not agree to friendship. These seems like it would be a logical thing to do but, the reality is that it’ll just make it easier for her to get over the pain slowly, while you continue to pine for her. Again, it’s weak and needy behavior, which is a turn-off for women.
Do not do any grand romantic gestures. It’s cute in the movies, or if she’s committed and in love with you. Right now she’s not romantically engaged with you and she will see it as a desperate and pathetic attempt to win her back. It will also make her feel very uncomfortable and unsafe. This is borderline stalker behavior.
Do not send her a handwritten letter. Writing a letter puts you in a weak position, as it’s still a form of chasing her. Women are not attracted to emotional weakness in a man. If she wants to talk or see you, she’ll reach out.
“Dos” During the No Contact Period
Use this as an opportunity for growth. As Abraham Hicks once said, ”You now have two choices. You can be unhappy without her in your life, or you can be happy without her in your life, because she’s not at that place right now”. You want to turn your focus to the things that make you happy. These are the things that give you a sense of accomplishment. This keeps your mind off of her and will help rebuild your confidence. It’s also a good idea to get back out there and begin dating other women. You don’t have to get into a serious relationship with any of them. It’s just a way to stay social and to keep your game tight.
When or if she does reach out to you, you’re going to respond because it’s usually a sign that she’s missing you or wants to see you. Assume she wants to see you, be direct and to the point. Keep the conversation short, light, positive and playful. Ask her when she’s free to get together. Do not ask her to get together more than twice. If she doesn’t agree to a date after you asking her twice, it’s then up to her to bring it up. This is another reason to keep your conversations short. If she wants to talk to you, it should be in person. If you do make a date, just focus on having fun and making her smile, and gently leading things into the bedroom. Do NOT talk about the relationship, or the topic of “us”. She will bring that up when and if she’s ready.
No Contact Rule with a Wife or Live-in Girlfriend
This is a LOT tougher, as it’s harder to mask your pain, but you must be strong. You want to be indifferent about the breakup. By “indifferent” I mean, you want her and would love to work things out, but you’ll still be happy and content if she decides to move-on. Don’t get involved in deep conversations with her, unless she brings up the relationship; depending on the topic of course. If she wants to talk about what a horrible person you are, obviously you want to change the subject ASAP. For any conversation, you want to try to have her do most of the talking. Any communication on your part, you should do your best to keep things light, playful and to a minimum. It’s best to focus any conversation on living arrangements, bills, etc. The idea is to avoid any unnecessary conversation.
No Contact Rule When You Share Children
Follow what I’ve already mentioned above, but try to keep your communication specifically about the kids and nothing more. She will bring it up if she wants to talk about more. If it’s case where you’re sharing custody, it’s best to setup pickup/drop-off times ahead of time. If it’s possible, it’s best to have a trusted relative where you can pickup/drop off the kids, so you don’t have to see each other face to face.
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