Giving your loved one time and space to process the breakup can afford you both a renewed perspective.
Perhaps this is why you took a break from your ex, or are considering it?
Still, at some point, you will need to get in touch. And then what?
If you are wondering what to do after no contact has finished, I will talk about that in this article.
First, a warning:
The no contact phase is just one part of the relationship recovery process.
Time apart — in itself — is unlikely to change your ex’s mind. And even if it did, and you get back together afterward? You risk repeating history with a relationship destined to fail. Again!
Breaking up is bad enough. Breaking up again is worse.
You have been warned.
Here’s what we’re covering on this page:
- 1. Quick recap of NC
- 2. What to do after no contact
- 2.1 Send a text
- 2.2 What to text
- 3. Build a connection
- 4. Your NC retreat prepared you, right?
- 5. Don’t repeat mistakes
- 6. Problems become the solution
- 7. Parting words
It is easy to over-think this. So let’s make sure we are on the same page.
Quick Recap: What You’re Doing and Why
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s quickly recap what NC is and why it’s done because I see some confusion about that (hint: you want to pick your WHY carefully because the wrong why can weaken your chances.)
After that, we will look at what you should be thinking about after completing no contact.
Going NC is all about taking a strategic timeout from your loved one. And doing so for long enough to let the dust settle.
It’s simple enough to understand, but not easy to do.
The key with this comes down to how you use the time apart, which determines what kind of advantages you may have after no contact ends.
In any case —
While some couples never make-up, those that do almost certainly go through a regrouping phase to make it so. The importance of allowing both to clear their heads and prepare their hearts cannot be overstated!
For an overview of all the main phases involved, both pre- and post- where you are now, click here →
Moving on, now let’s look at why to do it.
Why You Went NC?
- You are smart. You know you can not compose yourself and heal if your energy and focus is consumed with fighting and arguing with your ex (who almost certainly wants to be left alone.)
- You give what your ex wants — life without you. Ouch, I know. But you should give them a full taste of their decision. This is important!
- It is damage control; initiating the no contact rule (whether for 30 day’s or however long you do it) means no more misunderstandings or bad words, and no more reminders of negative things your ex can use against you.
- Frees up your calendar to focus on the most important relationship you have: the one with yourself. Here, you have the opportunity to erase bad habits, form a good plan, and get your life in order.
- Demonstrates you are in control because YOU chose to step back and give your ex what they wanted.
- Taking a complete break from a loved one can trigger them to change their mind about you. For one, they may see their decisions differently from the new perspective afforded to them by this break (not the best reason by far, but worth a mention.)
While we could dig deeper into the above, I would pay particular attention to #4: “to get organized, to correct bad habits, and to find and action an effective plan.”
What to Do After Your No Contact Period Ends?
When you have completed your strategic break, it will be time to reach out again.
Here’s the thing.
What you say, and how you say it, is crucial. No doubt about it.
Yet? How you are is just as important, maybe more. So if you have not used the time apart wisely to work on yourself, which sadly many don’t, then you can not expect lasting results.
With that said, when it’s time to reconnect again?
You first want to assess the health of the connection you have with your ex.
How hot or cold are they with you? How responsive?
To do this you kind of have to “stick a fork in it” and find out by finding out (just like you might do to find out how hot or cold a pie is.)
Start By Sending a Text
I recommend sending a text message for this. Text is less intrusive than a phone call (which in turn is less invasive than face-to-face.)
When I say “less intrusive,” what I mean by that is if your ex is not ready to hear from you, it is less stressful for them to ignore a text message than it is a phone call.
There is less pressure involved with a text conversation.
Also? A text gives them space to consider their response (if any.) And you want to give them space.
What to Text After No Contact?
This is not complicated.
The first text you send should be something that is easy to reply to if they want to respond, and easy to ignore if they don’t want to answer.
Give them a choice and make it easy.
I don’t recommend trying any tricks to “force” a reply. Nothing clever here. Because the whole point here is to gauge how they really feel about you. Not to trick them into a reply.
As such, the message you send is actually not terribly important, so long as it is natural (authentic) and fits the context of your situation.
Your goal is to get an idea of how hot or cold your ex is. Nothing more.
What to Say to Your Ex Boyfriend?
Guys want to be admired. Therefore you could pick something true that you admire about him, and let him know with a simple message.
“I always admired your achievements, you know?”
What to Say to Your Ex Girlfriend?
Girls love to be appreciated, so speaking to that would be smart (what did you genuinely appreciate about this women?)
That said, a simple compliment about her appearance can be enough.
“You have a beautiful smile, you know?”
What About Email?
Text is probably the right tool to use, but email could work as well. Email is generally non-confrontational and relaxed. And that is what you want as the first contact after NC.
Sending a letter is different. A letter is better when you have something important or meaningful to say. Like an apology perhaps.
Building The Connection
When you contact your ex, you will soon find out how willing they are to communicate with you.
If they do not reply, you know they are not ready to talk. And need to wait longer.
If you have anything to explain or apologize for, then consider doing so with a letter.
If you get a reply, then you have a basis of connection which you can build upon.
It is vital that you build up this connection slowly. You do not want to trigger a negative reaction!
Less is more.
At the start, we just want to take a “reading” of the situation. And do so with minimal contact (always looking to reduce the risk of fallout.)
This means taking tiny steps rather than bold ones!
You need to “test the water” and proceed according to the temperature.
What You Do After No Contact Relies On What You Did During No Contact!
Ultimately your success is tied to how well you got YOURSELF back during the time apart.
Few talk about this.
Put it this way:
If your ex believes you are only trying to get them back after no contact because you are miserable without them, and that you only see your ex as some kind of pain killer for your heartache, then your odds of success are slim.
You must create enough happiness and contentedness in life outside your ex (or indeed any other one person) if you are to be desirable.
Pick the History You Want to Repeat After You’re Talking Again!
Let’s say you save your relationship. Can you picture that?
Now imagine doing so while bringing with you the original problems and behaviors that contributed to the breakup in the first place?
Yikes. But it is easily done!
Be careful which parts of history you want to repeat.
If you are not careful, you may get back together only to re-live the pain of conflict again. If you do not correct the mistakes and behaviors that contributed to your separation, then you can expect only more pain in your future.
To put it simply, you broke up for a reason. And while you could do everything right, if you do not identify and manage enough of the WRONG while doing so?
You will be back where you started.
Take your time with this. It is not worth rushing a make-up if it means you will break-up soon after.
It upsets me when I hear from a client who having successfully won their partner back, quickly falls back into the bad habits that made them my client in the first place! The second (and third…) breakup is not any less traumatic, I assure you.
Remove The Garbage
Every relationship has garbage cluttering up a corner or two. Some caused by you. Some by them. Some by both!
You can not do much about the untidy mess across the street (your ex,) but you can clean your own garbage just fine.
If you are not sure exactly why the breakup happened? Just focus on removing your garbage. Often, a personal “clean up” is a practical step (or three) toward saving a relationship.
Nobody is immune to acting out-of-character when going through a breakup. Being un-normal is normal. And chaos inside the storm is right where you expect to find it.
My point? Be compassionate with yourself!
Get back on your feet. After all, you need to stand before you can walk. And then you can walk at your own pace and build yourself up slowly. Soon, before you know it, you will be strong enough to do enough to make a positive impression on your ex… which will be some time after no contact ends.
Just remember that the progress you will make after no contact depends on what you did during it. In short, what you do next is built on that foundation.