They say “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Which is certainly one of the more popular reasons to not contact your ex for a while.
If you’ve ever wondered if you can get your ex back after no contact, wonder no more: NC is a useful — and often crucial — part of the relationship recovery process.
There’s a caveat.
In this article, we will look at what that caveat is, recap what we’re doing here, and talk about what to do after no contact to get back with your lover.
Let’s begin with a recap of what NC is and why it’s done (hint: pick your WHY carefully, the wrong why can kill your chances for good.)
What is the No Contact Rule?
The “no contact rule” refers to the act of taking a strategic break from your ex for a calculated duration of time. That’s the short version.
On the surface, it is a simple rule to follow.
You literally hold back from contacting your ex via any medium (belly-to-belly, text, social media, email, etc.)
Life is complex though. And it may not be possible to commit to 100% radio-silence (e.g., you might live, work, or study together.)
You also risk making matters worse if your ex believes you are doing this as some kind of game or tactic you read online.
No one wants to be manipulated.
Psst: Could NC ruin your chances? Yes. It is possible. If you want to learn more then click here →
In general, though, taking a step back after breaking up is the smart thing to do.
Sure, it isn’t magic. And there’s certainly no mystery about what is happening when you do it (though perhaps there is more to it than many realize.)
But it is effective.
Whether YOU will have success or not with your ex after no-contact depends on your situation, and on what happened between you both.
But to a more significant degree?
Your chances hinge on the choices you’re about to make, and the steps you take next.
Now, while there is a slew of factors to consider in this post-breakup stage, and it is impractical to prepare for them all:
A period of no contact is almost certainly the recommended first step.
So while some relationships can never be repaired (nor should be,) the ones that are will almost always be followed by a retreat of some kind.
Now let’s look at why.
6 Reasons to Go No Contact
There are many upsides to a strategic retreat.
Here are 6:
- It allows you to heal, to cool down, and to compose yourself. Do not overlook this one. It is 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. Which isn’t the most important reason (by far) though undeniably a nice side benefit.
- It is damage control; no contact 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 organized, to correct bad habits, and to find and action an effective plan. Mega important! What you DO and SAY after your no contact duration ends will directly affect your chances of saving your relationship. And WHO YOU ARE (how you changed through this time away) is what can seal the deal or put an end to things for good.
- It puts the power back in your hands, which you invariably lost at the breakup point. When you choose to retreat and take a time out to consider your options, you show control. When you do no contact correctly, it is a demonstration of power.
- It just might COMPEL your ex to make contact with you first. Which 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 number 4: that is, “to get organized, to correct bad habits, and to find and action an effective plan.”
In fact, reasons #1, #3, and #4 are the top three in my experience.
Let me now give you a caveat to all of this…
Caution: History Repeats Itself
Imagine you figure out how to get your ex back and you succeed. Perhaps for no other reason than because couples reunite “all the time.”
Sure, but only if you put in the necessary effort to edit or remove the habits and tendencies that caused the breakup in the first place.
And sadly, many don’t do this.
If you are not careful, you risk repeating easy-to-avoid mistakes that will turn your relationship sour.
Just as with all areas of life, if you do not learn from the past, then it is probably going to repeat on you.
That means the exact kind of mistakes that lost you your ex in the first place will happen again!
And after all the pain you’ve been through, plus the effort to get back together, can you imagine how disheartening that would be?
This is why at the beginning of this article I said that no contact was “part of the relationship recovery process…” because — and this is my caution to you today — by itself, it is unlikely to be enough to get them back and keep you together.
If your ex comes back to you and you are not prepared, you will be at risk of re-entering a relationship that is doomed to fail all over again.
What’s worse than breaking up? Doing it twice.
To put it simply, you broke up for a reason. And no matter what steps you take next with your ex, if the original cause of the breakup 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.
And that, I’m sure you’ll agree, would be awful.
So please don’t take any shortcuts here.
The mistake I see all too often is the heartbroken guy or girl turning BLIND to all the reasons they were dumped in the first place.
Don’t let that be you.
The pain you’re experiencing right now is hard enough. You don’t want to go through all this effort to get back together after NC, only to lose them all over again because you both failed to resolve the bottom-line cause.
OK. That’s enough “squeezing lemons.”
Fix the Problem to Repair the Breakup
Sometimes addressing the original cause of the breakup is the best route to getting your ex back.
If it’s not apparent to you now, go spend some time to figure out why you both broke up in the first place.
Hint: the first thing that comes to mind may not be “it” but write it down on paper nonetheless. Then see what else comes to mind. And write those down as well. Once you have a few ideas, dig deeper into each one, and you might find a root cause that explains a few of the surface issues you identified.
Now, once you isolate the problem — or problems — you must ask yourself honestly:
- “Can I solve this problem?” — Sometimes it may not be possible, in which case you may have to agree to disagree (learn to live with the problem,) or accept “what is” and move on. Which isn’t easy. You will be biased toward fixing things and may not see things clearly. Watch out for that.
- “Am I prepared to fix this problem?” — If you can mend the problem, that does not mean you’re willing to. So you must be honest with yourself. Sometimes the fix is 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? You need to be honest about this.
All of the above hinges on two 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.)
Be Compassionate with Yourself
When we lose the one we love, we are thrown into chaos.
The emotional pain from losing our lover, combined with the dark thoughts that we may never be happy again are relentless.
Then there is the fear that our ex will replace us with someone else.
Yes, our own thoughts can hurt us the most.
If the above has been your experience, it is quite normal and not a sign that there is anything wrong with you.
Annoyingly though, it is right at this most challenging time that having strength and control is needed.
When every little word you say, and every action you take, can make the difference between a blissful “make up,” or losing your ex for good, keeping your cool is critical.
This is why I strongly advise you to take full advantage of your “no contact” period to get your head clear emotions under control.
Doing so, along with making improvements to yourself in the areas that matter most, helps to stack the odds of success for you.
Remember: going no contact after a breakup is really about giving yourself the opportunity to regroup and make peace with the way things are.
Accepting the way things already are frees up your mind to then adjust and prepare for the next phase of your life.
Don’t rush this.
Don’t Follow Rash Emotions
Your ex is someone very special to you. Someone who gave your life meaning and direction. As such, you will be more than willing to dig deep and do all that is within your power to be together with them again.
While it is incredible what you can do when so much is at stakes, please ensure you don’t let your rash emotions guide you. If you are not careful, they will quickly take you off track.
When in doubt, don’t follow your emotions! Certainly not blindly. They’re not a good guide and can lead you down a path of regret.
I like how Morty Lefkoe of the Lefkoe Institute puts it:
Here’s the thing about reason and emotion. What makes sense rationally will continue to make sense forever. The logical answer doesn’t change from day to day.
On the other hand, what you feel today you are unlikely to continue to feel forever, no matter what the feeling is. Feelings come and go. What makes rational sense does not.
It is better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing. In this high-emotion time, you are more likely than ever before to put your foot in it.
It pays to “wait and see” rather than rush in and risk making matters worse.
You’ll need to summon much willpower to follow the advice here. I get that.
Following logic over emotion is one of the hardest battles we humans have!
You literally have to fight your natural urges.
But the reward for demonstrating that willpower is a much higher probability of being a couple again and staying that way.
Keep that in mind.
Now let’s look at:
What to Do After the No Contact Period Ends?
Clearly, after a period of no contact has passed, it will be time to reach out again.
Study this image for “big picture” clues of the work ahead:
When I coach my clients through this process, whether they are dealing with an ex in a rebound relationship or even a long distance relationship?
The image above shows the way!
(Yes, the devil is in the details, but still.)
So when it’s time to reconnect again?
You want to build up the connection you have slowly and take care not to provoke a swirl of bad emotions in your ex.
You need to approach this like a breakup expert. Subtle at times, treading lightly. Then bold at other times. But always carefully raising the good-feelings.
Because it’s easy to overdo this.
The first time you reach out, your goal is to get a feel of things.
Once you have your starting point, you… start right there. No jumping ahead.
It’s an iterative process.
You need to gauge the feedback and move accordingly.
It wouldn’t be a good idea to bring up the heavy subject matters. So I wouldn’t recommend you mention the breakup or the relationship in your first half-dozen conversations.
Keeping things light and easy is key.
Just remember that what you say and do must depend on what signals you get back.
If your ex does not want to talk, take the hint. They might need more time, so the smart thing to do is give it without resistance.
Always be gentle and level-headed with your approach.
Going from no contact to jumping straight back to where you were is a bad idea for sure. Right?
Therefore you must treat this process with respect.
Don’t push your ex into “talking about things.”
Don’t ask them to discuss “it.”
Just remember though:
While what you say, and how you say it, is crucial?
As you will now appreciate, you are more likely to say the right thing, and do the right thing after you put in the proper work on yourself beforehand.
Most people ignore this. And that’s a huge mistake.
You have to get YOURSELF back first to have the best chance of getting your ex back.
Nobody talks about that. Or not nearly enough.
Put it this way?
If your ex thinks the only reason you want them back is that you won’t be happy until that happens then you won’t succeed. They will run a mile. Because 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 to be happy.
That is a compelling state to reach.
With that said and out the way (again?) —
You should strive to get a conversation going without mentioning the breakup or the possibility of making up WAY before you go there.
That’s the smart way.
Yes, this means you need to have patience. And not have an “all or nothing” mindset, because that invariably leads to more disappointment.
If you pressure yourself to make quick headway with your ex, then you will also pressure them in turn. And no one wants pressure.
It is a fragile process. So proceed accordingly…
Think baby steps.
It is likely that your ex will be just as uncertain and apprehensive about being contacted, as you are about making contact!
Think of it like this:
After no contact, there is a gap that stands between your ex and you.
And your goal is to close that gap.
Keep in mind that this gap is not just physical. It is emotional and mental as well.
You want to consider the gap at every step you take if you are to get your ex back after the breakup.
Slow progress is still progress, after all.
Psst: Could NC ruin your chances? Yes. It is possible. If you want to learn more then click here →