They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.
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 afterwards? You risk re-entering a relationship that is doomed to fail all over again.
And what’s worse than breaking up? Breaking up twice.
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
- 2.2.1 What to Text Your Ex-Boyfriend?
- 2.2.2 What to Text Your Ex-Girlfriend?
- 2.2.3 What About Email?
- 2.2.4 What About a Letter?
- 2.3 Build a Connection
- 3. Your NC Retreat Prepared You, Right?
- 4. Don’t Repeat Mistakes
- 5. Problems Become the Solution
- 6. 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 we look at what you should be thinking about after completing no contact.
NC is taking a strategic break from your ex for a calculated period of time. That’s the short version.
It’s a very simple process. It isn’t magic. There’s no mystery about what is happening when you do it. Yet it is effective.
Whether YOU will have success or not after going no-contact depends on you, your situation, and on what happened. And so what you do during it (and after) is key.
In any case —
While some relationships may never be repaired (nor should be,) the ones that can be? A strategic pause is almost certainly the recommended first step.
Now let’s look at why to do it..
Why You Went NC? 6 Good Reasons:
- It allows you to heal, to cool down, and to compose yourself. This is super important. Easily one of the best reasons.
- It creates a void for your ex to miss you, to wonder what you’re up to, and for curiosity to play-out as it often does. This isn’t the most important reason (by far) though undeniably a nice side benefit.
- It is damage control; initiating the no contact rule (whether for 30 day’s or however long you do it) means no bad words spoken, no arguments, and no planting “reasons to hate you” seeds in your ex’s head. This reason alone makes it a no-brainer to give your ex space.
- It gives you space to get organised, to correct bad habits, and to find and action an effective plan. Mega important! What you DO and SAY after no contact ends will directly affect your chances of saving your relationship. And WHO YOU ARE (how you changed through this away time) is what can seal the deal or put an end to things for good.
- It puts some of the power back in your hands, which you invariably lost at the break-up point. How? Because choosing to retreat and take a break is a demonstration of power.
- It just might COMPEL your ex to make contact with you first. This isn’t a big reason to go NC, but just like reason #2.. it’s a nice benefit if it happens.
There’s a lot we can discuss, at length I’d imagine.. just from the 6 points above. But for now, I feel it especially relevant that you heed point number 4: that is, “to get organised, to correct bad habits, and to find and action an effective plan.”
In fact, reasons #1, #3, #4 are the most important reasons by far.
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. A text is less intrusive than a phone call (which in turn is less intrusive 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 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 reply, and easy to ignore if they don’t want to reply.
Give them the 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 complement 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 a 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 apologise 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 important that you build up this connection slowly and make effort to not provoke a swirl of bad emotions in your ex.
Because it’s easy to over do this.
The first time you reach out, you want to just get a feel of things. After that, you want to warm them up…
This is an iterative process.
You want to gauge feedback, and move accordingly to that feedback.
What wouldn’t be a good idea is to bring up heavy subject matters that will make your ex cold. For example, I wouldn’t recommend you discuss the breakup or the relationship issues in your first few messages.
Keeping things light and easy is key.
Just remember that what you say and do must depend on what signals you get back.
Be gentle with your approach.
Going from radio silence to jumping straight back to where you were is a bad idea for sure. Right?
You must treat this process with respect.
Don’t push your ex into “talking about things.”
Don’t ask to discuss “it.”
You should get a conversation going without mentioning the break up or the possibility of making up.. WAY before you go there.
That’s the smart way.
Yes, this means you got to have patience. And not have an “all or nothing” mindset which invariably leads to more disappointment.
It is a fragile process. So proceed accordingly.
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 thinks that the only reason you want them back is because you won’t be happy until that happens then you won’t succeed. They will run a mile. Any hint of that is a big turn off.
Working on yourself done right is awakening to the knowledge that while you may PREFER to save your relationship.. you don’t NEED your ex in order to be happy.
That is a powerful state to reach.
Pick the History You Want to Repeat After You’re Talking Again!
Imagine you get back with your ex. Perhaps for no other reason than because couples reunite “all the time.”
Now imagine doing so while bringing with you the original problems and behaviours that contributed to the breakup in the first place?
It is easily done!
Be careful which parts of history you want to repeat.
If you do not put in the necessary effort, you risk repeating easy-to-avoid mistakes. The kind that lost you your ex in the first place. And after all the pain you’ve been through, how disheartening would that be?
To put it simply, you broke up for a reason. And you see, no matter what steps you take to get your ex back, if the original reason for your break-up remains unresolved?..
Your relationship is toast.
Maybe not right away. Who knows? But it’s fair to say it’ll only be a matter of time. That I’m sure you’ll agree with.
So please don’t take any short cuts here. The mistake I see all too often is the heartbroken guy or girl, so obsessed with the heartbreaker, they become BLIND to all the reasons they were dumped in the first place.
The pain you’re experiencing right now is bad enough. Imagine what it might be like to go through all the effort to win back your ex after this break, only to lose them all over again because you both failed to resolve the bottom-line cause.
Fix the Problem to Repair the Breakup
Sometimes, resolving the original cause of the breakup IS the route to saving your relationship. So if it’s not obvious to you now, go spend some time to figure out why you both broke up in the first place. Then, once you isolate the problem, or problems, you must ask yourself honestly:
- “Can I resolve this problem?” — sometimes it may not be possible, in which case you may have to agree to disagree, or accept “what is” and move on. This isn’t easy. You will be biased toward fixing things and may not see things clearly. Watch out for that.
- “Am I prepared to resolve this problem?” — if you can resolve the problem, that does not mean you’re willing to. So you must be honest with yourself. Some problems are simple, for example it might be a silly habit you need to lose, or even a new habit you need to form. But if it isn’t simple.. what then?
All of the above hinges on 2 things: that you can correctly determine why you were “dumped” in the first place. And that the reason is something within your power to resolve (and that you want to.)
When we lose the one we love, we are thrown into chaos. The emotional pain of losing your partner, those dark thoughts that you may never be with them again, or that someone else will take your place.. they’re relentless.
Sadly, it is right at this most difficult time in your life that you need most to gather strength and be in control. Every little word you say, and every action you take, can make the difference between a blissful “make up,” or losing your love for good.
I strongly advise you to take full advantage of this period to get clear in your head, to improve yourself in the areas that matter most, and to make those changes you identified earlier.
Everything leading up to now has really been about giving yourself the opportunity to regroup, and make peace with the way things are. This is the time you need to adjust and prepare for the next phase of your life.
If your ex is someone who is very special in your life, someone who gave your life meaning and direction, then I’m sure you will be more than willing to dig deep and do all that is within your power to be together again.
It’s amazing what we can do when there’s so much at stake. We just need to ensure we don’t let our emotions take us off track. And they will do that if you’re not on the ball.
Don’t follow your emotions blindly. They’re not a good guide when you are hurt, and can lead you down a path of regret.
It really is better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing, so if you are not ready, hold fire.
It pays to “wait and see” rather than rush in and risk making matters worse. You’ll need willpower to follow the advice here. Following logic over emotion is hard because you have to fight your natural urges. But the reward for demonstrating that willpower is a much greater probability of being a couple again, and staying that way.
Never forget though…
The progress you will make after no contact depends on what you did during it. What you do next is built on that foundation.