Friday April 18th 2014

6 Psychological Reasons People Use No Contact

This post  is inspired by a comment on my post “What Do You Do When Your Ex Is Playing Mind Games?”

HowToGetOverYourEx wrote:

I’ve said it and will say it again no contact is a mind game. Many say they’re using it to heal but secretly they’re hoping it’ll make an ex want to come back. I’ve confronted some of them directly and after denying for some time they admit that they want their ex back and hope that no contact will make their ex miss them and want them back. I think they deny because they know it’s wrong but are desperate enough to resort to manipulation.”

There are many reasons someone would use “No Contact” after a break-up. If one has to use “No Contact” (not everybody wants to, or needs to), there are “healthy” reasons to do it. For example: to heal from the break up, space to reflect on one’s shortcomings in the relationship, do some changing and growing; and sometimes one just wants to “forget everything” and move on with his or her life.

But not everybody understands that “No Contact” is about THEM. Some people, even those who might say they’re using “No Contact”  for “personal reasons” make it about the other person. They try to use “No Contact” as a strategy for gauging their ex’s feelings and interest. Many feel even more hurt when they find out that they’re not as “valuable” to an ex as they thought they were. Some people have gone as far as using “No Contact” to try to “hurt” their ex. Their reasoning is that if their ex feels ignored, that’ll make him or her feel rejected and unwanted.

Over the years working with men and women, young and old, from all backgrounds, I have identified some much deeper reasons why most people feel that they have no other option but use “No Contact” to resolve relationship problems, deal with a relationship conflict or get an ex back.

1. Feeling helpless

“No Contact” especially appeals to people who fear that any kind of contact could increase or intensify the problems in the relationship. Because they feel helpless to change anything, they choose instead to “hide” and hope that the problems will go away on their own — and when they reappear from “No Contact” everything will be fine.

2.  Things ended badly

Most likely the break-up was nasty, things that should have not been said were said, or an ex is angry and hostile, so the person thinks that “No Contact” is a good way to avoid further “messing things up” and that it’ll allow any bad feelings to go away. Most are unaware that this very act of “trying not to further mess things up” may actually create new problems.

3. Lack of self-confidence

Someone who is not psychologically prepared to deal with the emotions involved with trying to get back a loved one, or lacks confidence in the process because he/she has no plan strategy might see “No Contact” as an attractive strategy for getting an ex back because he or she doesn’t have to do anything that involves working to improve the relationship dynamics. All he or she has to do is try so hard not to contact an ex — and wait!

4. Issues with being needy and/or controlling

If one was clingy, needy, dependant or had less “power” and control over what happened in the relationship, “No Contact” may make him or her feel like he or she is finally in control of his/her emotions and of the situation. Because of their past behaviours, they’re so afraid, that any kind of gesture may be interpreted as a sign of weakness and their ex may conclude that they’re still desperately in love. For as long as they’re not contacting an ex, they can hide their feelings (and undesired behaviours). It’s an illusion. Once contact is re-established (it eventually has to if one wants to get back his or her ex), the clinging, neediness etc, begins all over again.

5. Hesitation/reservations about the relationship

An ex who is not sure if he or she wants to give the relationship another chance, one who thinks there is someone else out there or one who is already seeing someone new might opt for “No Contact” to avoid making a decision one way or the other. “No Contact” or minimal calculated contact buys them time to have it both ways until they can make a decision or be forced to make one.

6. Way of dealing with a great loss

For some people completely disconnecting with an ex is their way of dealing with loss. For others “No Contact” stops them from having any false hope of getting back together. Theirs is “if you don’t hope then you won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t happen.”

On the other side, an ex who does not want to say or do anything that will give the other person false hope might see “No Contact” as a polite way of sending someone off – gently.

To many, these reasons for using  “No Contact” make a lot of sense and even seem rational. Unfortunately, they also are not the “healthiest” ways of dealing with relationship problems, resolving relationship conflict or inspiring a loved one to return to a relationship. More often than not, problems are left unresolved, the conflict gets worse, or things simply backfire.

Even for those who some how manage to “get back together” after “No Contact”, the reunion often doesn’t last very long if the relationship dynamics have not changed for the better. Some so-called “Got back together after No Contact” relationships are nothing beyond “re-establishing temporary contact”. Hurray! My ex contacted me… Damn It! Gone Again.

Also see my article: Does No Contact Get Back Your Ex?

Reader Feedback

163 Responses to “6 Psychological Reasons People Use No Contact”

  1. boy n' tha hood says:

    Very insightful. It’s not really love if it’s obtained in underhanded ways. This is why it does not last.

  2. hailey says:

    totally agree boy n’tha hood..its just silly and childish,i had this myself in the past with an ex i cared for dearly and i gotta say it only drove me further away ‘running for the hills:), as its just such an unloving act to play mind games with someone who cares for you

  3. Danni says:

    I disagree, My ex of 4 years broke up with me a year ago, and would not leave me alone, he actually emotionally played with my head whilst in contact with him. I told him to leave me alone, and he would not. If only I could explain how he made me feel, whilst in contact with him he kept me there until someone new came along. I decided to go into no contact with him because I needed to heal emotionally as it was having an effect on my work, studies and every day life. My intensions of No contact was not to get him back because I did not want him back, but was for me to heal without him. And you know what, it worked, I became happier, confident, people said I was glowing. A few weeks later I saw my ex, and he said ‘wow you’ve changed, you look happy’, this was because I was no longer the needy, unhappy woman I was whilst we was still in contact. But yeah, he did say he misses me but Ive realised I do not need him, back then I just ‘wanted him’. I did not give myself a number of days of no contact, I just let it natually happen. I did not go out of my way to talk to him, he knew where he could find me…and he did, he called my parents to see ‘how’ I was.
    Please take my advise, I remained friends with my ex for 1 and a half years after the break up, it did not get me anyware at all, just caused me pain and misery, i changed into a unhappy person because of him. Its hard but you have to take that step and let them go, and get on with your life. Do not beg an ex, because they subconsiously love it, they know you will always be there when they need you, you have to show them that they ‘was’ part of your life but aint ‘your’ life. x

  4. I hear you and I’m sorry you had such a negative experience with your ex. However, that’s just your experience. It does not apply for everyone. I know many people who remained friends with their ex, the attraction came back and they are still together. Others remained friends with an ex, realized they did not want their ex back but the friendship continued quite well on both sides. And then there are those relationships which are just so damaged that nothing, absolutely nothing not even a friendship with an ex will work.

    You yourself say your ex played you until someone else came along. He probably didn’t want you back to begin with. Not all exes are like that. That’s why when we give advice we should not base it on our own “negative” experiences but instead keep in mind that each relationship is different and each ex is different. It’d be a tragedy for anyone to give advice based on their own negative experience and deprive others the opportunity to experience love with their ex. Just not fair!

    Besides, nothing in the post says “beg” your ex to come back. That’s the type of mistake that can cause you so much pain and misery.

    Yes, NC is just ONE of the strategies for healing and moving on, not a strategy for getting an ex back. And not everybody needs No Contact to heal from a bad breakup. Some people can heal perfectly well even in constant contact with ex. Each relationship is different, each experience is different, each person is different.

    You may also want to check this post and the many comments on experience with No Contact: My Ex Came Back With No Contact – I’m sticking to NC.

  5. Steve says:

    I understand that no contact is not always the answer to fixing a relationship but in my case its the only option i have. after having my gf want to break up 2x now within 3 weeks i need to use this technique to help her realize how much different life would be without me in her life and that i was never the cause of all the stress and unhappiness in her life. that its her 2nd shift job and the fact that she is not able to live her life how she wants due to that job. i know the root of all the problems is that job because prior to her switching to 2nd shift she was actually happy and was able to do all the things she wanted to do. i slowly saw things changing in her since the change in hours. she wasnt able to see her friends as often, me and her worked completely opposing shifts so we would only see each other friday night to sunday night which in of itself was to much of each other so this break is good for both of us. its good for me to get my life back on track and for her to realize what she would lose if i wasnt in her life.

  6. 1. You contradict yourself. You begin with “I understand that no contact is not always the answer to fixing a relationship” then end with “…its good for… her to realize what she would lose if i wasn’t in her life”.

    You either believe no contact is the answer or it is not… you can’t have it both ways.

    2. You’re assuming that not being in her life will make her realize what she would lose if you weren’t in her life. That kind of confidence is admirable and I don’t want to make you feel any less of yourself. But the reality of life is that it could also make her realize how good her life is without you. Break ups do that… she changes, her life changes, she meets new friends and suddenly you’re not “good enough” anymore. It happens… but this is the risk you take with NC.

  7. Steve says:

    i have no intention of using full no contact, unfortunately i’ve come to find out theres more going on with me that i previously thought which explains why things got so smothering towards her. i was misdiagnosed 20 years ago with add and now realize i may actually have mild/moderate bpd and mild ocd. i’m waiting at least 5 days before making any contact i have to wait till the meds finally really kick in so i’m not acting like i normally would.

  8. I’m sorry about your condition and hope that now that you have the right diagnosis, things will get better. It’s not easy, but you deal with what you’ve been dealt and make the best of it.

    From many years of working reuniting couples, the number of days one waits to contact an ex don’t make much difference either way. I’ve worked with situations where I’ve told the person to contact an ex the same day after the break-up and they email me back hours later to say they’re back together. I’ve also had experiences where I’ve told someone to do the same and an ex still says no. I’ve had experiences where someone has waited days, weeks even months to contact an ex and after contacting the ex, the ex responds with a “no” or finds out the ex has moved on.

    Based on these experiences, I’ve concluded that contact for the sake of contact, and “no contact” as a strategy for getting back an ex DOES NOT WORK. A lot depends on if there are still love feelings to build on, the type of relationship prior to the break up, what damage has been done post break-up, how ready you are to get back your ex, how much work you are willing to put in, effectiveness of communication with an ex, and an ex’s receptivity, etc. These are the things I work with my clients on. The number of days before contacting an ex (whatever the reason or excuse) play a very small tiny part or no part at all in the success of getting an ex back.

  9. ShyBrown says:

    Steve says “I have no intention of using full no contact”

    I’ve never really understood what people say is full no contact and what is partial no contact. You are in contact or you are not. There is no such thing as partial contact. It simply doesn’t make sense.

  10. It doesn’t make sense to me either… but it’s one of those mind games people play with themselves and all by themselves and doing it all to themselves.

    Whenever someone talks about full no contact vs. partial no contact (doesn’t even make sense writing it…lol), I understand that they are trying to convince themselves they are doing something productive/constructive in a situation where they feel helpless and sometimes hopeless…

    It’s sad when someone gets to a point where they are trying to trick their own mind, but people do it!

  11. Steve says:

    it depends on the reasons for the split, if the split was due to smothering/needy/clingy behavior then yes no contact should be used especially if you’re trying to show that you can and will change. plus in my case it gives me time to allow the meds to kick in so i have more control over my emotional and impulsive problems. its allowing me to get to a more stable state and to get back to how i was when we were doing fine before my attachment issue almost ruined the relationship.

  12. Steve, until you are back together, you really have no proof that no contact is working for you. I’ve worked with people in the very same circumstances as yourself… broken up because of smothering/needy/clingy behaviour and on meds… same mindset, same reasoning…

    “No contact” does not cure smothering/needy/clingy behavior. All that has to happen is for you to get back into contact (which you eventually have to if you want your ex back) and the behaviour will show up again. That I guarantee you. Smothering/needy/clingy people are that way for a reason and until they deal with why they are that way, NOTHING… absolutely nothing, not even NC will help. If you think NC will fix smothering/needy/clingy behavior and get your ex back, you’re in for a rude reality check….

    I’m not going to labour this anymore… the proof is in the results! Please come back and post your success story here. I’ll really appreciate it because it’ll help others… but until then, what you think no contact will do are just theories in your head… something to hang on to. If it’s helping you think that you’re doing something to get her back, that’s a good thing… as long as you’re realistic about it.

  13. George says:

    I’m doing no contact because my ex is angry with me. I wasn’t the best boyfriend and hurt her so much. I think the best strategy for me is to avoid her for sometime and give her time and space to cool down.

  14. I understand your reasons although it doesn’t change anything. At some point you’ll have to contact her anyway, and what if you find that she’s still angry, do you go NC again? Until when? Your strategy will be put to test when you contact her, otherwise for now all you’re doing is running away from something that needs to be addressed. This just postpones the inevitable and keeps you stuck in the same painful situation.

  15. Moshe says:

    No contact is unproductive if it’s used as mechanisms to resist the present moment.

  16. Moshe… THANK YOU!!!
    Makes me want to be your friend… (:

  17. CharmingP says:

    She pisses me off, and I cut all contact. After a month or so of her calling me all the time, I’ll give in, and bang her for a few weeks till she pisses me off again. Works everytime!

  18. I appreciate your candidness… Usually we’d not approve this kind of comment because it’d be like giving someone else “ideas”. But I’m sure there are already a few more guys (and women) doing this and it might help someone who thinks an ex acting in a similar manner wants them back to realize what’s really happening.

  19. Mark says:

    Okay, I read all you say about no contact BUT NO CONTACT WORKED for me the last time. I didn’t contact her for 3 weeks and week 4 she sent me a text, “hello, what’s up?”. I have been in no contact for 2 weeks now and she hasn’t contacted me yet. I plan on not contacting her for another 2 – 3 weeks and see what happens. What do you think?

  20. I have a strong feeling here that what I think doesn’t really matter. You’re convinced no contact works otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it.

    Whether no contact worked before or not depends on what your goal was. If your goal was to get her to contact you, then I agree, it worked. You got her to contact you by holding out on her. The power-play game worked. You won!

    But if your goal was to get her back into your life/as your girlfriend, then NO CONTACT DIDN’T WORK. She’s not your girlfriend… she’s still your ex. You’re back to where you started.

    You can play a power-game, break her down — and get her to contact you (only to break up again) OR you can win her over by making her fall in love with you all over again. Win the game OR win her over…. you choose.

  21. taintted says:

    I’m using no contact to give my ex space and to give myself time to work on myself and my life. but if my ex contacts me thats perfectly fine, i just dont go into full blown conversations with her via text we chat for a bit and then i try to end the conversation or i let her say the last thing and dont respond. i just can’t initiate contact with her and if she does contact me I act like i am happy. this isnt a permanent thing i’m only doing this for a couple weeks. absence makes the heart grow fonder and if your always up someones *** you’re gonna get on their nerves especially in terms of an ex because right after the break up your vulnernable and needy and she’ll read that like a book. plus if your dating a psychologist shes trained to read **** like that.
    i tried no contact before and it may not have worked then with that ex it made me realize alot about her and why it would have never worked out. this one is a lot different and based on her history what i’m doing is the right course of action. not one of her ex’s just let her be and gave her space, they continually hounded her to the point were she go fed up and told them off. games may not be what everyone likes but sometimes you have to play them to keep the relationship alive or it gets boring and stale very quickly.

  22. I had to “clean up” your comment to approve it. Some readers find curse words vulgar and unacceptable. I hope you understand.

    Absence makes a “fond” heart grow fonder… The keyword is “fond”… like in dotting, warm, affectionate, caring etc. An ex who breaks up with you or isn’t begging you to take them back isn’t exactly “fond” of you. So the “grow fonder” may just be a fantasy…

    Good luck with your games… but if that’s the only way you know how to keep the relationship from getting boring and stale very quickly, man! you have OTHER problems other than just getting her back! I wouln’t be surprised if one of the reasons you’re broken up (and will make her not want to come back) is inability to keep the relationship fresh, exciting and hot!

  23. taintted says:

    Why are you so against anything that gives your ex space from you? would you rather me call and bug her 20x a day or back off and let her come back to me? tell me which would work better

  24. I’m not against giving someone space, I’m against MIND GAMES because they seperate people from true love. Something has to be terribley emotionally off with anyone who wants to call and bug another 20X a day… One has to be needy/clingy/obsessed to do it. In my opinion, The needines/clinginess/obsession is what needs to be worked on… Learning healthy attachement not only works BETTER, it ALWAYS WORKS!

    Backing off does not cure neediness/clinginess/obsession… it’s a temporary fix and often times a ploy to lure someone back into an unhealthy attachement. I advice people with an ex who has a tendency to call and bug them 20X a day and when rejected uses no contact, to run and not look back! It’s a clear sign someone is NOT willing to CHANGE and it’s stupid to go back to the same exact person and relationship one left.

    No contact as a strategy to get someone back is emotionally unhealthy, it’s not even love…

  25. taintted says:

    i think you’re way off in terms of no contact. its not a head game, its not a ploy to trick anyone. its backing off and letting the other person get space. most people dont know how to do that and they need to use no contact to regain control of themselves and to unlearn the old behaviors that plagued the relationship to begin with. people can and do unlearn old behaviors, most times within a short period of time depending on the person in question. having a strong circle of friends and the will and desire to do it also helps.

    i’m using no contact to back off and give my ex space and to slow things down between us, not to trick her into coming back. its helping me relax and just go with the flow of things and since we are still talking and she is taking me out for my birthday i’d say this is working just fine. using no contact i was able to pull back quickly enough were i didnt push her away like most people do after a break up. i’m not ignoring her or doing anything to hurt her so dont ever say what i’m doing is wrong. no contact isnt just about not bugging the person with calls and texts its also about not acting needy and clingy when they do actually contact you.

  26. No contact as a strategy to draw someone closer is a head game. You said it yourself “games may not be what everyone likes but sometimes you have to play them…” Those are your words.

    No matter how anyone tries to explain it, no contact like it’s counterparts, “silent treatment” and “cold shoulder” is emotionally immature and unhealthy!

    If you are not ignoring her, are talking to her and going out… you are IN CONTACT! That’s different from your earlier comment… “I’m using no contact”. No contact means NO CONTACT!

    You might want to read my article “Win Your Ex Back With No Pressure Contact” and “Ex Came Back With No Contact – NC Works [Not!]” and also read others’ experiences with NC. It’s quite an eye opener!!!

    Despite what you want to believe, it takes years to learn behaviour and it takes time to unlearn it. Neediness can be like any other addiction… the triggers will always be there. Knowing this will help you keep vigilant and not think the old behaviour is gone for good…

    I wish you all the best!!!

  27. Denise says:

    When we broke up both my ex and I decided it was best we didn’t contact each other for a period of time. After 2 months of no contact he contacted me. We both still had feelings for each other and agreed to take it slow, but after only four weeks, I saw that he had not changed at all. He was still the same person I broke up with. I told him I did not think we would work out.

    My conclusion is that no contact can make someone miss you but it will not make someone want to be in a relationship with you. All we did in no contact was go through the emotions but changed nothing. We were still the dysfunctional couple. I’ve since worked to make myself a better person and to be honest there is no way I could go back to my ex now. I still have strong feelings for him, but I want more and I know he can’t give me what I want.

  28. Good for you for recognizing that if two people have to have distance between each other, it has to be meaningful, not just to try to make someone “grow fonder.”

    I’m always for “do not walk away from a relationship just because it’s hard” but in your case, you made the right decision. The distance between you helped you see he just wasn’t right for you.

    Hold your head up high… the right one will meet you at your level of emotional growth!

  29. Ricky says:

    Yangki, I see you struggling here to explain the uselessness of no contact as a strategy. Trust me, you can’t convince someone who believes in no contact that it’s unhealthy. Most people are either emotionally immature or emotionally messed up from childhood. This is the reality of our Western culture.

  30. Thought I’d try…

    I strongly believe that if people can see that manipulation/power-and control strategies — as much as it’s proven successful in the world of economic success — works in the exact opposite way in intimate relationships, they’ll finally be able to have the truly loving and fulfilling relationships that most of us want and seek.

    But may be I’m just hopelessly optimistic… (:

  31. Rusty says:

    Dear Dr. Yangki,
    Thank you for doing what you do to help people.
    I can only speak for myself, but I think no contact is the healthy choice when one ex partner has had a lot of emotional investment in the relationship and contact after the breakup stimulates memories and feelings of loss and grief. In fact, having contact seems to me, unless one is in denial, hanging on to something, or if they legitimately must (work at the same place or have kids).
    It is a great shame to completely throw away the most precious relationship of a lifetime, but unfortunately I think it is usually the healthy thing to do to move on, unless both parties are in the 99% emotional development fraction, and so few of us are.

  32. I hear you…. hopefully you realize that this post is for people who want their ex back but are using no contact hoping that it’ll get them their ex back. Emphasis is on “want ex back”. From your comment, it does appear that you do not want anything more to do with your ex. You’ll find that your situation is better addressed in my article My Ex Came Back With No Contact — NC Works [Not!]

  33. R. B. says:

    I don’t get it… “no contact” means “it’s over” with an EX, right? And usually people don’t become exes unless every other option has been exhausted, unless one of them is used to playing mind games too.

    Why end it if it’s not over?

  34. Hooks says:

    I understand that NC is not the best strategy for getting your ex back. In my case, we had a bad breakup and I acted needy and clingy and really annoyed her. One of the reasons she broke up with me is because she said I was too needy and I showed that in the worst possible way after the breakup. For my case, I think that I shouldn’t communicate with her at all until I have reason to think those angry feelings have changed. Also NC will help me learn not to be needy and clingy.

  35. And how do you think those hateful feelings will change? By not communicating with him at all? I don’t think so! You really do need to do research on human emotions. Unlike what most of us want to believe, time does not always “erase” angry feelings.

    Needy and clingy behaviour ruins relationship and by all means one must do everything possible to stop the behaviours. But is NC the best way to do it? I don’t think so. If you get anxiety attacks when you go in front of a crowd to speak, sing etc. you don’t “learn not to be anxious” by avoiding crowds. You learn by getting in front of a crowd and talk, sing etc. Same thing, you don’t learn not to be clingy and needy by avoiding contact, you learn it by being in contact and training yourself not to over do it. Self-awareness is one way of doing it. But the best way to stop needy and clingy behaviour is heal why you are that way in the first place. Not everyone is needy and clingy… you are that way for a reason!

  36. Alexia says:

    ….By The way My ex and I were together for 5 years. We have split before and He would always come back no contact or not. It doesnt matter…If your ex wants you they’ll find a way. for me NC is for me, to help me make a clean break and move on.

  37. Holly says:

    Hmm! It seems very naive to assume that a relationship will magically become a good relationship because one implemented no contact. In my opinion I think no contact is showing someone that you don’t care about them and don’t care about the relationship. This is why I appreciate my ex for keeping in contact even when I did not feel like he deserved my time He hurt me very badly. But he is slowly winning me over by showing me just how sorry he is and how much he wants things to be different. This is what I wanted from him, to prove that he cared about me and cared about the relationship just as much as I did.

  38. Lucas says:

    No matter what a breakup will always hurt. Contacting your ex when you’re hurting won’t make you feel better. But not contacting them won’t make you feel better either. What will make you feel better is to wait out the pain and move on with your life.

  39. I so agree! breakups will always hurt no matter what. I also agree with you that waiting out the pain is the best way to deal with painful emotions. But here is the catch… waiting out itself is painful. So there you go!

    My experience is that people who are better at dealing with emotional pain have an upper hand on breakups — and even getting back an ex.

  40. Ahmed says:

    I’m originally from India but live in the USA. I have read a lot about this no contact with your ex. I know this can never work with an Indian girl or woman. I think the reason many people think it works is because people here are afraid of feeling bad. When they face a situation they can’t emotionally deal with they distance themselves from it. I was raised not be afraid of my emotions and deal with them head on. When my fiancée broke up with me, I was heartbroken and when she called I did not pick up the phone. I was living with my elder sister at the time and she told me if you avoid dealing with this, she’ll never look at you like a man again. That woke me up. Although I was still heartbroken I called my ex and she said she was feeling heartbroken too and I was the only person in the whole world who can understand. We talked and agreed to work on our issues and then see if we can at some point try the relationship again. I can tell you, breaking up was probably the best thing that happened to both of us. We communicate better and are open with each other the way we never were before. Whatever happens from here, whether we get back together or not, is all good.

    Btw, your blog and site are helping me work on my issues. Thank you for the best advice on the internet.

  41. You touched on something… many of us have a fear of emotions in general. When faced with a breakup situation we either try to 1) restore that “feel good” feeling (excessive contacting an ex because contact with him/her makes us feel they still love us) or 2) run away and hide (cut off all contact because we can’t deal with the fact that someone does not want us they way we want them to). Most don’t know how to work through feelings of rejection, pain or anger, or even what it means to work through it.

    But there is also the “I lost” mentality. In a society that sees the world in either win or lose lenses, being dumped is never a good thing because it means one lost. No contact is one way that men and women try to get back on the “win” side of things. It’s not the way loving relationships work!

    I’m happy that the two of you see your breakup in a completely different way… If you ever get back together (which I think you WILL), your relationship will not only be fulfilling, but will most likely last a long time…

  42. Ahmed says:

    Thank you Yangki for your words of encouragement. I also feel optimistic that we’ll get back together. I just need to work hard on becoming the type of man she wants to be with. She is a good person and is worth it.

  43. Jason says:

    I chanced on this blog looking for an explanation to my ex’s behavior. I’ve text her but no reply, also emailed her but she will not call me back. She always did this when we were in the relationship. When I tell her I need some space to myself because she was always calling me and complaining that I do not care about her, she’d refuse to answer my texts or phone calls until I beg her to please text me back. Her neediness is the reason I told her we needed some time apart but if not responding to my texts for over a week and expects me to beg her again then I don’t want her back. After reading this I definitely don’t want her back. Thank you for opening my eyes. Someone needs to push back on this no contact silliness. I can do better. Moving on.

  44. Lisa says:

    I think that it’s unfair to group all people doing NC together. I know some people are doing it as a mind game but I for one I’m using no contact because it helps me not to be clingy and needy. I think that if my ex sees that I’m no longer clingy and needy he will want me back. He has said he loves me but just can’t give me what I want. I’m staying away so he can see I can control myself from over contacting him. May be you should put a caveat somewhere saying sometimes no contact is helpful in atracting back your ex.

  45. I know I’m going to sound just as defensive… all I’m doing here is pointing out that “no contact” is not a healthy way of having a relationship — any kind of relationship.

    1) No contact doesn’t say you can control yourself, it actually proves you CAN’T control yourself. It’s like someone who is sitting on their hands to stop themselves from picking a cookie. What that says is that they lack the mental toughness required to not pick up the cookie.

    2) You can’t learn not to be clingy/needy by staying away. You’re just swinging from one extreme to the other. To learn healthy contact you have to be able to be IN contact without overdoing it. And the only way you can do that is by actually being IN contact.

    I’m not trying to stop anyone from doing what they already want to do. I believe people should do what they think works for them. But don’t ask me to change my views and position on no contact to make you feel good about why you’re doing it. I’ve been doing what I do for years and have worked with hundreds of men and women, I know what I’m talking about. You on the other hand are just trying to figure out how to get your ex back. Until you have your ex back in your life for at least a period of 2 – 3 months… because that’s roughly how long it takes before the on-off starts allover again… all you think you know about getting your ex back are just theories of what you think will get your ex back. Come back here in three months and tell me how no contact worked for you. If you continue on the path you’re on… I think I already know how that story will go… I’ve heard it so many times.

  46. Walker says:

    My ex says she still loves me but isn’t ready to be with me and doesn’t know when she will be ready. I’ve decided to give her space because I’m scared that contacting her is only annoying her. I feel that if I don’t talk to her she might see she is missing out on someone who cares for her by giving her the space she needs.

  47. “Isn’t ready to be with me and doesn’t know when” isn’t the same thing as “I want my space”. If that’s all she said, I don’t know where you came up with “…. giving her space… contacting her is only annoying her”.

    If you want to go no contact, that’s your choice, but it has nothing to do with what she said. I highly doubt she’ll see it as “cares for her by giving her the space she needs” because she never said she wanted her space. It’s more like “If you’re not ready to take me back when I expect you to be ready, I’ll just go away and sulk in my little corner of the world. I hope that hurts you because I’m hurt that you won’t give me what I want when I want.” BIG difference!

  48. SteveO says:

    I’m in the same situation as Walker and have been torn between continuing contact and just walking away from it all. Your reply to Walker has cleared things up for me. I was on other blogs and everyone is basically saying I should cut off all contact. It makes a big difference to get a woman’s point of view.

  49. Torren2tate says:

    With all due respect, I think SteveO means well with a “woman’s point of view” comment. I’m a guy and even I see that no contact when all fails advice from guys, and I’m sorry to say women too is destructive to relationships. When my ex broke up with me, I was devastated and went online to look for advice on getting her back. No contact never really made sense to me. Those who advocate for it speak like it’s the gospel but the logic behind is way too uncomfortable for a man my age. I’m 47. It never made sense and still doesn’t.

  50. You’re right, it’s not just a woman’s point of view. Like you allude to, age may have something to do with it. I think that one’s experience of love counts too. All the reasons people give for using no contact are more about self-preservation. And I’m sorry to say in North America, this is not only the energy driving our dating culture but also dominant in our relationships. If you have a few minutes, read Ahmed’s comment. I found it to be one of the most interesting comments about “no contact”.

    Funny, I’ve never considered my views on anything as just a “woman’s point of view.” No offence towards women. In fact I consider my views more as eclectic… a little bit of everything — the family I was raised in, the culture I grew up in, tomboy disposition, psychology training, years of experience in my field, and experiences in many different cultures. I find that I tend to see things somewhat from an “outsider looking in” point of view. In some ways the “outsider” place feels like I never fully fit any where ( I don’t even fit in my parent culture anymore… lol). But in terms of my work, an “outsider looking in” helps a lot in understanding human behaviour and dynamic.

  51. Walker says:

    Yangki, just so you know. I don’t want to go no contact. I don’t want her to think I don’t care or moved on. I’m only doing it because I have no other choice. I love my ex very much and want her back in my life but she doesn’t want me. In the beginning I bagged her a lot with texts, emails and phone calls. Then I stopped. I contacted her after 2 weeks and she replied right away. She asked me why I disappeared for 2 weeks and I told her I didn’t want to bother her. She said not to do it again but when I asked her if she wants to get back together she said she still loves me but isn’t ready to be with me and doesn’t know when she will be ready. We had issues in the relationship and she felt that I was controlling. I just don’t have a choice.

  52. I hear you. You do have a choice. The reason you feel like you have no choice is because you’re focusing on the wrong solution.

    Your ex loves you, she probably even misses you. But she does not want to be with you because you are controlling. Cutting off all contact is not the solution. The last thing you want to do is confirm to her just how controlling you really are by cutting her off all contact because she won’t give you what you want when you want. Remember, she said “don’t do it again”.

  53. arcarter says:

    I am using the NC rule as I believe that she knows I want her back and contacting her isn’t going to help. She’s changed her FB to “in a relationship”. I need to get my power back… let her think she lost me, not I lost her!!!

  54. How does that change the fact that you’ve lost her? She’s in a relationship! Do you even know if she even cares about you or whatever you’re doing? Why go through all the trouble trying to make her think something which is not real… why not just move on?

  55. Torre2tate says:

    Lol Yangki. I know the outsider looking inside feeling too well. You and I should swap stories, that’s if you are open to it.

    As for no contact, I believe it is for high school romances and those who want to play games. Not my thing.

  56. I’d love to hear your experiences. Send me email instead… I’m private like that… (:

  57. Brock says:

    I came here looking for the best way to get my ex who is in no contact for 4 weeks to talk to me. I ended the relationship last September because we fought a lot. After 2 weeks I messaged her to see how she was doing and she messaged back saying she missed me. I missed her too and we started messaging and calling back and forth several times a day but we spend a good amount of time arguing and rehashing problems. I told her we could not go on like this and she instated no contact. Running away and avoiding dealing with problems was her thing when we were together. That she’s still doing it means she’s not going to change. I still have feelings for her but moving on is best for me. Today I sent out my final text message, I’m done for good. Thank you for opening my eyes.

  58. Stacy says:

    Brock, I understand the pain of being in a relationship with an emotionally spineless person who runs to avoid dealing with problems. I tried to talk to my ex after the break-up and he wouldn’t see me or talk to me. Instead he sent me some silly email about it being best not to have contact for sometime. No explanation just that he didn’t want contact. At first I was shocked because I never saw it coming but then I remembered that is his MO. After about 10 weeks he contacted me with another silly email about something important he wanted to share with me and if I could call him. I never did. He contacted me a couple more times and gave up.

    My advice for you is hold yourself in as much dignity as possible. It is as much your fault as it is hers if you let her think she can come in and out of your life as she wishes.

  59. Powerful advice, Stacy!

    They say “you teach people how they treat you”, I think that if more people held themselves with some degree of dignity and refuse to encourage this “no contact” silliness, many people will think twice before doing it.

  60. Jeremy says:

    I don’t like using no contact but I’m forced to. My ex admits that she made a mistake breaking up with me but feels like she needs to learn to live with her mistake. We love each other and it’s killing me that she’s completely given up on us. We’ve had breakups before and usually after a few weeks we get back together. There have been just so many opportunities for her to come back but she says she has moved on and I should to. I feel so let down.

  61. Feeling let down is natural. That sometimes relationships work out and sometimes they don’t is also natural. As I’ve repeated myself here over and over, “no contact” is never a healthy way to have a relationship with anyone. Relationships are all about “connection.” For there to be a connection there has to be some form of contact.

    If you feel you do not want a “connection” with her and no contact will help you severe the connection you once had and move on, then that’s what you have to do for you to move on. But if you think it’ll make her change her mind, it’s very unlikely that it will… at least not for the right reasons.

    You cut off contact, you cut off the “connection”. From my experience, and from a common sense point of view, it’s much harder to re-connect after a connection has been severed for some time, and close to impossible for relationships that were already emotionally disconnected even before the break-up. “No contact” just makes it easier for one or both people to move on.

  62. Chris says:

    The only reason I’m even doing NC is that when she broke up with me, she cut me off for 2 months. We got back together but the whole time she was seeing someone else. She promised to stop seeing him but I found out they had gone to Las Vegas together while she told me she went to see her sick Dad. When I told her I was over with her she begged me saying the other guy did not mean anything. By doing NC I want her to decide if she wants to be with me or him.

  63. I hear you… when someone deeply hurts us the urge to respond in kind can be very strong.

    So even if she chose you over him, how is that going to fix the underlying problem in your relationship… that she lied to you (and probably has done it many times and will do it again?). This is the problem with manipulation, it may temporary give you what you want but in the long term, you are only courting more pain or prolonging it.

    If this is the woman you want to be with despite all, what the two of you need to be doing is have a deep heart-to-heart talk about the lying and why she feels she needs to have someone else on the side. She may have a problem with lying… but it could also be that there is something she wants and needs that she’s not getting from you… No contact isn’t going to fix that!

  64. John says:

    This was a very helpful article. I do realize the reason that my girlfriend of 2 years left and it was me. And after reading this article, I realize that I have so far done everything wrong to try to get her back. I did the crazy desperation and that didn’t work. I’ve been on no contact break for 3 months. I haven’t heard from her and was planning on doing another 3 months. Now I’m not sure if I haven’t ruined my chances of getting her back.

  65. If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone.

    If she hasn’t contacted you in three months, I highly doubt another three months will do the trick. My best advice is… contact her and find out if you still have a chance. It’s scary, the thought of her not wanting to talk to you or not wanting you back, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Avoiding it by hiding behind “no contact” is only postponing the inevitable.

  66. John says:

    But do you think I’ve completely blown this? I’m worried that because I’ve behaved badly there is no chance for us. What if I just wait and see if she comes back. After all if it’s meant to be, it’ll be, right?

  67. keeppositive says:

    Christine, I think that No Contact works if you wait long enough for both you and your ex to remember the good times at the beginning of your relationship, more easily than you remember the bad times at the end. Like John, I acted very needy and desperate at the end and she threatened to report me to the authorities if I didn’t stop contacting her and trying to get her to talk to me. I’m using no contact to create distance between us and the bad memories she had of me, and at the same time make her feel like I don’t miss her.

    It’s called Reverse Psychology. It’s like when someone tells you that you can’t have a piece of cake, what do you immediately want? A piece of cake. If she thinks I’ve moved on, she’ll miss me and will start wondering what I’m up to and why she hasn’t heard from me.

  68. I was meant to be a movie star… it’s been 40 years and I’m still waiting…

    John, like you, I’m a believer of “if it’s meant to be, it’ll be“. But I don’t believe that whoever came up with that phrase meant for us to be passive observers of our experiences. I think it was meant to say we do what’s within our power to do, and what’s not, we let it be. But that’s just what I think, it’s not “gospel truth”, just my opinion.

    If you want to wait for her to come back, that’s your choice. At the end of the day, it’s best to do what you feel sits well with you. One thing I know for sure, though, worrying about losing your ex isn’t going to bring your ex back.

  69. Keeppositive: you raised an interesting topic, one of reverse psychology. Since I’ve not addressed reverse psychology in any of my posts, I’ll respond to your comment in a separate post: Can Reverse Psychology Get Your Ex Back?

  70. Haritha says:

    Yangki, I’m from Sri Lanka and I read many dating and relationship articles on the internet. This is the first blog that really speaks to my heart. All the other blogs and websites say to trick women, lie to them, and make them jealous so they love you and my heart says “No, No, No. That’s wrong. Don’t Do It. It’s not love”. What you write is truly about organic love from the heart and soul. I just wanted to say thank you for giving advice for people like me who want true love not tricks and lies. God Bless you very much.

  71. Haritha, I completely understand what you mean by your heart says, “No, No, No. That’s wrong. Don’t Do It. It’s not love”. That’s EXACTLY what my own heart says (exact same words…:)) every time I read advice telling people to lie, play mind games etc.

    Mine is one small lonesome voice in the BIG wilderness… but I’ll do whatever I can. Sometimes it feels so hopeless, like I’m doing nothing worthwhile to help give love a chance and the forces of fear, deception, and distrust are winning… and then I read words like yours. It makes it so worthwhile. Thank you more than you will ever know.

  72. Rob says:

    Me and my ex talk everyday but every time I ask her about us she says she doesn’t have that feeling for me that she used to have. I’m going no contact because I don’t see the point of talking to someone who doesn’t love me anymore. My mistake was moving too fast and I think that scared her away.

  73. It’s healthy to want to distance yourself from your ex in order to move on. Just as long as you are honest with yourself that moving on is what you want — and what you are doing.

  74. Linda says:

    Beginning of November my ex broke up with me. I did all the things one is not supposed to do and finally went “no contact”. I emailed my ex telling him it’s best we don’t contact each other. I received this email in response.

    “I completely agree. This relationship was so toxic that any kind of contact now or ever will pull us back to what we both don’t want. I’ll work on myself as you continue to work on yourself. We will both attract better people as a result. I wish you all the best in life”.

    You can imagine to my great shock today finding this on your website.

    I’ve since seen the falsie of no contact and trying to win him back using your advice. Do you think I can undo the damage already done?

  75. It’s my turn to be shocked… (:

    I do recognize the script. It’s an email I wrote about that my client received from her ex. I’m sorry it ended up in your inbox. But at the same time, I’m delighted (excuse my insensitivity to your situation) that more people now know about “no contact” and recognize it as a mind game. I have a lot more stories of people writing to me saying their ex referred them to my website/blog…

    The internet has a lot to do with it. Most people don’t realize even their ex is reading up on “no contact”… and knows exactly what they’re up to!

    To answer your question. YES, the damage can be undone… but it’s going to take a lot more effort. Mind games erode “trust” making your ex suspicious of your motives and question your suitability as a potential life partner. Rebuilding “trust” takes more effort than is even required in re-igniting feelings of love. But it CAN be done.

  76. Vince says:

    I’m a bit confused. I’m in NC but my intention is not to make my ex miss me or make her think I don’t care about her anymore so that she pursues me. I’m doing it to work on myself and to become a better man for her. Is this also wrong? I don’t want to play games but just feel confused about it all.

  77. Excellent question. No, if you’ve done your best to explain to her why you believe you need some distance between the two of you and the two of you have somehow reached an agreement on what happens when you are taking “time off”.

    Yes, if you are just cutting her off and she doesn’t know why you are doing NC or has asked that you stay in touch but you insist on cutting her off anyway. When you’re done with your NC and contact her, how she’ll react is unpredictable. That’s the catch with NC. You never know how the other person will react to being cut off ruthlessly.

    In my eBook: Dating Your Ex, I recommend telling your ex about your intentions (if you must absolutely create a little distance because you need it). I also list a few likely scenarios on how things might play out and how to handle it.

  78. Pristiq says:

    I just want to say that I got some great advice that has helped tremendously. That’s why what I’m about to say may seem contradictory. I do think that there is an argument for playing the emotional game so as not to be controlled by someone.

  79. It depends on whether you believe a love relationship is about control. If somewhere in your life experiences you came to define relationships as “control or be controlled”, then may be playing an emotional game helps you feel like the controller instead of the controlled.

    “No Contact” somehow proves that you’re in control. And in a way you’re “in control” because indifference sets us free, as it were, from the vulnerable emotions of love, and from the pain of rejection or abandonment.

    But quite often, the pursuit of control does exactly the opposite of what the person seeking control actually hopes for… it distances you from love itself!

  80. Jess says:

    The thing about no contact is that you have no way of knowing what the other person is thinking and feeling. This is great if you don’t care about what they think or feel because you don’t want them back anyway. But if you still want them back and have hope things can work again, no contact is harmful because if the other person does not contact you, you start to believe they don’t miss you or think about you or care about you.

    That’s what happened with my and my ex. When I contacted him months later he said he was hurt that I just cut him off and moved on like the 5 years we were together never meant anything to me. He has been very cold towards me and says he can’t really see how the relationship could ever work. I know doing no contact was a huge mistake and trying to move on.

  81. I’m sorry you learned the consequences of no contact after doing it. The important thing is that you learned from your mistake.

    I still think that you are probably giving up too soon. 5 years is a long time to be in a hurry to move on. It’s different if you were dating for a relatively short time, and there’s very little to hold you together. He’s probably still hurting from how you reacted to the break-up but if he hasn’t said he no longer has feelings for you and is open to some form of contact, anything is possible. I suggest that you reach out to him once in a while, connecting to him on things that you know matter to him. Give yourself a timeframe, and if things don’t warm up, then you move on. Don’t make the same mistake you made using no contact.

  82. Dae says:

    My ex used his ex as an excuse to break up with me. He told me he’s not over his ex and apologized for using me. We were together 1 month but I’ve known him for over a year. He came to be after he broke up with his ex and said he did not want her because she was not a good person. I was very upset that he used me and told him I never want to speak to him again. I’m using No Contact because I don’t want anything to do with him. I’m hurting so badly.

  83. I can only imagine your pain. Hopefully, you’ve learned that getting into a relationship with someone who just got out of one isn’t always a good idea. As long as you are using NC to get over him, you are not deceiving yourself. But if you start thinking it’ll make him miss you and want you back 1) you are making a lot of assumptions and 2) he probably will “miss” you and contact you, not because he loves you but rather because he can’t stand someone walking away without so much as contact (ego thing!).

  84. Evan says:

    It’s true that with NC you never know how the other person will react. Within a week of no contact my ex contacted me saying she thought I was doing no contact and told me not to do it. I replied denying it, then sent another email saying I needed to deal with my issues and hoped she’ll understand. She said she will give me time and space and not bother me. I replied “Thank you”. But just this weekend I found out she’s dating a new guy. I immediately contacted her asking her why she said she’s giving me time and space then go ahead and date a new guy. Her reply “You are so naive lol.” I replied “We had so much together. Why are you doing this?” She replied “This is my life now. Get used to it.” I sent her a couple more texts, she didn’t reply. I sent her two more today and she replied “Stay out of my life.” I’ve been in tears since I got her text and don’t what to do. She was always a sweet person. This new mean attitude of hers is not like her.

  85. Ronny says:

    My ex gets interested when I don’t contact her, but after reading this blog, I think that by using no contact to get her to want me, I am hurting the relationship more than I am helping. I just don’t know how to get her be interested without using no contact.

  86. Reply to Evan

    It’s sad you had to find that with NC you never know how the other person will react the hard way. If she’s always been a sweet person then she’s just hurt and reacting to you going ahead with no contact after she asked you not to. I suggest that you give it time and try contacting her a couple more times. It may take a while for her to get over it, if she ever does, but that’s the price you pay for the decision you made.

  87. Reply to Ronny

    You are very honest. If this is the only way you know how to get your ex interested, your problem is bigger than just getting your ex back. I’ll do you better. Please reply to the email I sent you, with your tel. and best time to call you — and let’s talk on phone.

  88. Rossi says:

    If you had asked me a few months ago about whether or not no contact is the right way to win back your ex, I would have emphatically said YES. Plus I would have given you so many psychological reasons for doing it. Fast forward, and I will tell you emphatically that no contact is not only a bad idea but dangerous. I was in a relationship with a wonderful amazing woman who I still love very much. I did no contact for 5 weeks and when I texted her, she texted back, “You decided to move on, and I have too. It’s the best decision anyone has ever made for me. Your Ex.” I have not moved on, I still love her and want her back. I just wanted a little distance to sort myself out. Is there still hope for us?

  89. Elvisfan says:

    I love your advice largely because it is so raw and honest on complicated and complex issues. I admit I have used “no contact” and she contacted me briefly after 3 weeks. I replied and never heard from her again. I have since been obsessed with all things “no contact”. I have read books and spent thousands of hours on various sites.

    Here is my conclusion about the so called “no contact” rule. For some of us, “no contact” will get a reaction from our ex. For the rest, “no contact” is and will continue to be what you’ll get and receive.

  90. drake says:

    I’ve been reading your blog and I can clearly see that your motive is to discourage people from using no contact. I’m a strong advocate of no contact and currently using it because it will help me get my ex back. She broke up with me because she doesn’t know what she wants and I’m giving her space to figure it out and also to realize that I’m not always going to be there for her. She has taken me for granted and cheated with other men and I always took her back. Although I still love her very much, I want her to know not this time.

    I obviously need to work on my self esteem whoch she has destroyed and no contact is helping me take time to work on myself and get back to the confidence I had when she was first attracted to me.

    I think as someone who calls herself a love doctor it is wrong to discourage people from love. No contact helps people get back their ex, you should be advocating for it because that’s your job, or at least you say is your job but your motives say otherwise.

  91. This is the thing about someone else’s motives… you do not know, you can only assume. So let me tell you my motive…

    It is NOT to convince anyone not to use No Contact, and here is why:

    1) People who 1) are hard-wired to use avoidance/aversion approach to uncomfortable, unwanted or difficult to deal with situations, 2) believe that it is okay to manipulate others (play mind games) to achieve a desired outcome and 3) don’t know any other way to make themselves wanted/desired will use No Contact no matter who tells them not to. That’s why I don’t waste my time trying to convince anyone NOT to use No Contact.

    2) 90% (or more) of the time, when someone believes No Contact is the best (and only) choice they have, that relationship is already damaged beyond repair. The relationship had too many problems or was dysfunctional, the break-up was nasty or the situation was made worse post-break-up by overly needy desperation, angry reactions etc. The other person has made it clear that he/she just wants to move on — and nothing will convince him/her to want to come back.

    My motive IS to provide an alternative clear path for men and women who do not want to use No Contact because 1) they believe/know that No Contact is unhealthy for a relationship, 2) they already have cordial/respectful contact with an ex they want back and 3) need time to work on themselves while taking full advantage of the open line of communication. This is who I set up this blog for.

    Those who are using No Contact, want to use No Contact or argue for it have so many other like-minded websites and Blogs they can go to for advice and support — and argue their case for No Contact. That’s what’s so amazing about the internet!

    As for what I believe my job is and my overall motive as a Love Doctor, I’ll let my body of work speak for itself… (:

  92. Visionary says:

    No Contact is a far better option than staying in contact. When you cut off your ex, it makes them feel that you don’t care and don’t miss them. But when you stay in contact, you will continue to hurt while your ex is healing. If they dumped you, it’s only fair that they experience the same amount of pain they cause you.

  93. Why did you break-up… never mind… with that attitude, it doesnt’ even matter.

    This is the thing with no contact… people latch on it as if it were a magic wand, even people who really have no chance of getting their ex back — and those that shouldn’t really be trying to get back together.

    I’ve said it over and over on other posts, and will say it again here…by the time people choose to use no contact, 90% of the time that relationship is so damaged that chances of two people getting back together is very low. No contact often reduces the chances even further.

  94. Jerry says:

    No contact is hard that’s why people fail. I’m in week 5 and it’s much easier now. When I start missing my ex and desperate to contact her, I think about the painful words she said when she was breaking up with me. It stops me from contacting her. When I feel strong and more confident again, I’ll be able to show her I’m the man she was first attracted to.

  95. If I were you, I wouldn’t be so quick to count myself “successful” where others have failed.

    1. You don’t know if she even cares that you become the man she was first attracted to. If you are doing it for yourself, good for you. But if you are doing it to “show” her, you might be very disappointed.

    2. All you’re doing now is administering “shock therapy” to yourself…
    Thinking about the whole relationships as it really was– the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly — might actually help you come out on the other side of your no contact with a better understanding and more realistic view of the situation.

  96. Pat says:

    I agree with you that by the time one chooses to do no contact the relationship is already damaged probably beyond repair. I made so many mistakes post break-up and only did no contact because I felt I had no other option. After reading your articles, I realize that I probably had many choices since she contacted me a couple of times in no contact and I didn’t respond because that’s what I was adviced. I think that may be I’ve really messed this up even the little chance I had before doing no contact. I just wish I had read your articles much earlier.

  97. I can’t say for sure if in your case things are damaged beyond repair. I need to hear your story… I sent you an email (hopefully you used a real email address on here…). Let me know when we can talk (no charge). I don’t promise that I’ll be able to help you get your ex back, but let’s what we can do together.

  98. Bob says:

    What if she is the one that chose to have no contact. We broke up in December because we were fighting all the time. She told me she didn’t want any contact, I respected it for a week and contacted her. I kept contacting her until finally she responded. We texted and talked on phone for about a month. She asked if we should get back together and I said I wasn’t sure because of the problems we had in the past. I didn’t hear from her for 3 days, so I texted her. She replied saying we needed no contact to figure out what we both want. I have not contacted her according to her wish but you say no contact is a mind game. I don’t want to play games. So what do I do? Respect her wish not to contact her or disregard it and contact her? I’d really appreciate your advice on what to do.

  99. I have two posts that I think will help you understand what both of you are doing to yourselves and to the relationship, and what’s the emotionally healthy and mature thing for you to do.

    1. How To Stop Your Ex’s “No Contact Rule”
    2. What To Do When Your Ex Is Playing Mind Games

  100. HeartbrokenX2 says:

    Contacted my ex after 3 weeks of no contact. I got a reply back that she still loves me but cannot be with me anymore. I know I blew it with no contact. May be some day we will be friends, but for now, the only thing for me to do is move on.

  101. Enate says:

    No contact is simply a way to avoid certain issues that will still be there waiting for you when you get back. But if you still talk to your ex but don’t imitate contact, is that the same as no contact?

  102. No. No contact is NO contact.

    At some point, you’ll have to start initiating contact as well because one-way communication has it’s limits.

  103. Alli says:

    I used no contact with my ex of 7 years. He left our relationship, although I cannot say things were perfect we had a fairly good relationship. He was going through personal problems and I added onto the pressure. I listened to the no contact crowd and cut him off completely. He went through major depression.That was almost a year ago. Now he has got his life back together, has a great job, and looks very happy, and he has a new girlfriend who he met when he was down and she stayed with him throughout his difficult time. I still love him very much but he says when he needed me most I wasn’t there for him. There are a lot of “what-ifs” still going through my mind. I am glad someone is trying to get out the message that no contact hurts the person who is using it as much as their ex.

  104. Bob says:

    I’m in no contact with my ex simply because I want nothing to do with her. In the beginning I tried to maintain some civil contact out of respect for her but she took it for interest in getting back together. I’ve told her it’s not happening but she just will not believe me. By ignoring her, I’m hoping that she might get the hint and leave me alone.

  105. Renegade says:

    I can’t be in contact with my ex because it hurts too much to be in contact with her. I love her so much but she only wants to stay in contact with me as friends. She knows how I feel, I want more than friendship.

  106. And you seriously think no contact is going to make her change her mind?

    My opinion — not that you asked for it– is that it’s NOT. If you don’t have the emotional toughness to use whatever she’s calling “just friends” as space and opportunity to change the dynamic between the two of you, and if you don’t feel confident to be able to do it, then it’s best to move on instead of deluding yourself that no contact will turn this relationship is something more. It won’t!

  107. Pey_ton says:

    I believe no contact is good for the dumpee. If they dumped you it’s their role to contact you not just to check on you or to tell you they missed you but to try to work things out. If they don’t contact you, it’s their loss.

  108. This is the problem with today’s relationships…. self-centredness bordering narcissism. I don’t think a response will even make a difference, so I’m just going to leave it alone.

  109. Max says:

    Yangki, I’m in damage control mode and using NC to curb my obsessive behavior. I have anxiety disorder and it caused problems in our relationship when I did not hear from her for sometime. My mind would always think the worst and I’d contact her up to 20 times or until she responded. She finally couldn’t take it and ended the relationship. I’m hoping that by not contacting her she can see that I can control myself.

  110. I’m really sorry to hear about your anxiety disorder. I can’t even imagine what life is like for you.

    NC is just a band-aid solution. It may look like NC is working but all that has to happen is for you to re-establish contact and you’re back to obsessing.

    What you need is help with your obsessive behaviour. Obsessing about contacting someone or hearing from someone is a symptom of something deeper. This is just one way it’s manifesting…

  111. Shorouk says:

    Yangki, I’m from Egypt and this is the only advice that make sense to me. No contact is strange. If you love someone, it’s not good to cut off contact. Why you punishing them for saying they are not happy? They have that right. Also you can’t love them one day and hate them the next day. How is it possible? I think many people who cut their ex off are not acting like lovers. I thank you for another view. My friends here they love your advice. We proud of you for showing true love methods to many people.

  112. I hear you! When I first started reading about “no contact rule” as a way to make someone love you, (as an African) it was strange to me too… it still is strange.

    I’ll try my best not to disappoint, but if I do, please be quick to forgive…(:

  113. Y-Suff says:

    I’m 32 years old from UAE. Last year I met a woman from the UK and we fell deeply in love. But after only 3 months we were always having misunderstandings and she broke up with me. She does not want me to contact her and I have not tried to contact her. I have accepted that our differences even though we love each other will always be a problem. We have not had cntact for more than a year so I’m not trying to get her back but I feel sad that we had great times andnow can’t even check to see how the other is doing. I would never punish someone or want to hurt them because I can’t be with them. Do you think this is a cultural difference?

  114. It is sad. There is no other way to say it. Part of love though is loving someone enough to let them go.

    Is it possible there is a cultural difference component to the use of “No Contact” as a strategy to get one’s ex back?

    I personally believe so. I do not have any scientific research to back it up but there is plenty of scientific research that indicates that culture plays a huge role in how we relate and how we resolve conflicts. Over the years working with men and women from different cultures, there is definitely a cultural gap between those who think “No Contact” is a good idea and those who find it “strange” (to use Shorouk’s term). Even the comments here reflect some of that gap.

    When I read that you are from UAE, it struck me that people who find “No Contact” unthinkable tend to annouce where they are from. I don’t know whether it’s intentional or subconscious but I do know it’s one’s way of wanting to be understood within the context of one’s culture. And believe me, I DO! I also believe personality, family dynamics, emotional health/maturity, how we view and react to change or rejection play an even bigger role when it comes to the use of no contact. Often times these other factors eclipse cultural differences.

  115. Mandy says:

    I just came across this site yesterday and it has been very enlightening. I wish I had come across it three months ago. I let a wonderful man go because of my own fear and insecurities and initiated NC as recommended by several sites as the best way to move on. Two weeks after I walked I knew it was a mistake but felt like there was no going back. He called a couple of weeks ago to say that he was leaving town to move in with his new girlfriend and wanted to see me before he left. I felt and still feel the most incredible pain. Like many of your other commentors I learned too late that NC with someone you care about is never a good idea. I did see him, violating the rules I’d seen on most every other website about being instantly available whenever a man calls. I changed my plans for the evening to meet him at an event he was attending and we talked. He was genuinely glad to see (actually positively giddy) and we hugged each other most of the evening like we were clinging to life vests in an ocean. But he still left town, not that I expected he wouldn’t. In any event, I’m really trying to move on deal with my insecurities and fears as I had started doing over a month ago. NC seems to be the most prevalent advice offered by dating site and so-called experts but it’s no good if you still genuinely care about the person.

  116. Ejercito says:

    NC wasn’t for me at all. I tried to follow the rules but I failed. I casually contacted my ex after 2 weeks and we’ve been in contact since. We both still love each other but she says she needs time. She is scared of getting hurt again which is understandable.

  117. Elfados says:

    I don’t know what is worse than doing no contact then contact her only to beg and be walked all over. This is the mistake I made. I thought was in a good place after 3 weeks of no contact. Now I am back to constantly apologizing because she gets angry at me all the time. I”m thinking of doing no contact for another 3 weeks then contact her. What do you think, Love Doctor?

  118. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different a result is the definition of insanity.

    There is a tendency that makes some people more drawn to “no contact” and others repulsed by it. Unless what drives that “tendency” is dealt with, telling someone who wants to do “no contact’ not to, isn’t going to change their mind.

  119. EXhale says:

    Yangki, my ex and I were together for 7 years. We broke up Jan of 2012. I broke it off because I didn’t love him as much as he loved me. I don’t text or call him because I want him to be move on. I don’t think that is immature or selfish.

  120. No, I don’t think so too. The “immature and selfish” refers to people who use no contact as a strategy to manipulate their ex into coming back. You obviously don’t want your ex back, that’s a different story!

  121. chris says:

    My ex and i broke up last week. She broke it off with me a few days after we made our relationship official, we were seeing each other for over 3 months. The other evening she told one of our mates that she didn’t seem fully sure about her decision and she was annoyed at one stage. My gut feeling is telling me to contact her, but my pride is getting in the way. Both of us is as stubborn as the other. I feel the longer we’re not in contact, the more awkward our situation might get!!

  122. RodCA says:

    Despite the promises, no contact is really no fun at all. I for one used no contact not as a mind game but because I didn’t want to come across as clingy or needy. After 6 weeks,r during which she didn’t contact me either, I contacted her. Her response what that she does not want to be with someone who gets scared when things get tough because it shows that he is not able/willing to work things through in the long run. I tried to explain to her why I needed time apart but she’s made up her mind she wants to move on. My question is, is there anything I can possibly do to undo the damage caused by no contact?

  123. Sounds like she initially thought there was a chance things would work out, but that changed in the 6 weeks you were in “no contact”. If she’s made up her mind to move on, there is really not much you can do without coming across as needy and clingy (which was what you didn’t want to do in the first place).

    You either accept that it’s over or try to contact her once in a while just to keep yourself relevant — and just in case she changes her mind again. There are no guarantees here.

  124. Bria says:

    I don’t think it’s immature or selfish to employ NC after a break-up; why would you want to be contacted when your ex is obviously not fairing well? What should I have done? Told him about my day, ask him about his, pretend that I wasn’t extremely hurt on the inside?

  125. The fact that you are asking these questions (and how you are asking them) just goes to show that people who think “no contact” is a way to show their ex that they want them back are only thinking about themselves (selfish), are emotionally immature and/or lack skills dealing with conflict in a healthy way.

    This is why I stopped responding to questions from “no contact” believers. It’s proven to be a waste of time.

    Advice is only as good as the person who receives it.

  126. Mr.Green says:

    No contact makes me laugh. I know some people cannot laugh this stuff off, but being that upset by someone who is intentionally trying to make you upset gives them a certain satisfaction.

    That being said, I don’t think that all people who use no contact as a manipulation tool are necessary bad or evil. They are just doing what they know and know no other way.

  127. I happen to agree with you. The majority of the people who use “No Contact” aren’t “bad’ or “evil”. Some don’t even know they are manipulative, as you say, they are just doing what they’ve always known.

    But that’s exactly the problem. Because they are doing what they’ve always known, they always get the relationships they have. They want better relationships — more connection, more appreciation, love, romance intimacy and all that stuff — but their own actions get them relationships that don’t offer these things. Which then makes them try to dishonestly get them through manipulation. It’s a vicious cricle.

    When someone is emotionally manipulative, it’s hard to connect with them or trust them because they are saying one thing and you are emotionally picking up something else. It feels like a tall wide wall between the two of you. That’s what mind games, tricks, manipulations etc. do to a relationship in the long term. They create more emotional distance!

  128. Dana says:

    I think you are wrong on why people use mind games. They are trying to protect their hearts. Would you rather be hurt by someone when you can prevent it?

  129. Protecting your heart is good, but mind games do not protect your from getting hurt. More often than not, they lead to you getting hurt.

    As long as you open your hurt to love and to a relationship with another human being, there is ALWAYS a chance that you will get hurt. That’s a fact. But wouldn’t you rather get hurt loving someone than get hurt playing a mind game?

    I’m sure you have heard the saying “Its better to have loved, than not loved at all.” I’ll add to that, “It’s better to have been loved for being you, than be rejected for trying to be who you are not.”

  130. Wisdad says:

    Finally advice for growups!

    I’ve been on so many blogs and forums and it’s hard to be the only adult in the room.

    People don’t want to accept it, but the reason most people do no contact is because they fear rejection. They would rather hear no news at all and live on false hopes and desires than face a “No, thanks.”

  131. So unfortunately true, and so many “experts” knowingly perpetuate this fear of rejection by encouraging the “no contact” rule.

    All you have to do it read the comments in the blogs and forums! People who already have fear of rejection get even more afraid of reaching out, those who are already suspicious of the opposite sex become even more paranoid, and those who have had bad experiences with relationships become increasingly negative.

  132. Wisedad says:

    Fearful, angry and chronically negative people are easier to make money off… just keep them that way. Don’t show them that they don’t have to be afraid, angry or pessimistic. This is why I come to your site and pay attention to your well thought out, practical advice. You just don’t tell people what they want to hear and what makes them feel good. You tell them what they NEED to hear!

  133. daviee says:

    I can’t speak for others, but for me, I’m just scared of finding out she has moved on before I reach a point where it won’t be so acutely painful. But you are right, it is causing me more anxiety trying not to find out. Let alone that I have limited the number of people I talk to and places I go because I don’t want to bump into her. My quality of life is all tied to maintaining this no contact rule. I’m literary exhausted with being on my guard.

  134. poodlelove says:

    Shouldn’t the natural consequence of a breakup be “no contact?”

    I think it’s insensitive for the dumper to expect to continue some lesser form of a relationship. The dumper wanted to go, so go!

  135. Every time someone says “Shouldn’t this be this or that”, it reveals a limiting believe that person has, and like most limiting dating/relationship/love beliefs, the holder of the belief is limited in his/her thinking.

    Break-ups are a natural part of life, but there is nothing “natural” about “no contact”. Some people want no contact with their ex, and some people do. If the person being dumped is open to contact with his/her ex, who are you (or me for that matter) to tell them they should want no contact?

    Contacting someone is only “insensitive” when they’ve emphatically or repeatedly told you not to contact them, and you continue doing so.

    As for “lesser form of a relationship”… I’m not even going to go there. It’s just so unhealthy… where this kind of thinking comes from.

  136. Brandy says:

    This article is absolutely absurd. strong people go into NC mode because they have to or want to. It’s not manipulating anything or anyone. If the result is a reconciliation, then so be it.

  137. “strong people”!!!???….hmmmm. Whatever story you tell yourself and whatever makes you sleep at night…. is none of my damn business.

    But I don’t think it’s too much to ask that you ACTUALLY READ something before you react from insecurity/defensiveness and emotion rather than fact or logic. It clearly states in the beginning of the article:

    “There are many reasons someone would use “No Contact” after a break-up. If one has to use “No Contact” (not everybody wants to, or needs to), these are “healthy” reasons to do it. For example: to heal from the break up, space to reflect on one’s shortcomings in the relationship, do some changing and growing; and sometimes one just wants to “forget everything” and move on with his or her life. …But not everybody understands that “No Contact” is about THEM…”

    What’s absurd about that?

  138. Mike says:

    Its nice to see a refreshing view on NC. I don’t believe in NC. Never have and never will. Although my friends and lot of articles I have come across online swear by it. I like open end communication to sort out problems. My ex broke up with me 2 weeks ago and we still talk to each other on a daily basis and meet more than twice a week. Although our story is more complicated, I definitely feel NC is not the best way to deal with our situation. Talk, Talk and then Talk some more. That’s the best way to go. I still wish for my ex to come back to me but all in due time I guess.

  139. PoppyLove says:

    Interesting posts. I was in contact for a couple of months after the break up but found it too painful and couldn’t move forward. No contact is making me feel stronger. I now feel I can be open to new friendships/relationships without feeling I’m being disloyal. He left me after all.

  140. Your contact were probably ineffective (emotionally) that’s why you could not move forward with getting him back or with moving on. You were stuck and feeling stuck is too painful. You feel better because at some point you realized that you were just wasting your time. He was never coming back and no amount of “contact” was going to change his mind. It made sense to move on.

    It might have been a different ending (I said “might” because I don’t know the circumstances of your break-up) if you had focused less on “contact” (for contact’s sake) and more on building a stronger emotional connection.

  141. Noah says:

    I had the misfortune of following NCR. Keeping myself from contacting her was the hardest thing I have ever done. I was broken, could not eat or sleep. Slowly I was able to take my wounded ego out of the equation and see the situation from a neutral perspective. I’m equally at fault for not being present in the relationship. She gave me several opportunities to change but I had no desire to try. What else could she have done but end it?

    I apologized to her and we are trying to work on the relationship individually and together.

  142. Chris says:

    I’m a 33 year old make who has been in a few breakups but this was the first time in my life that I experienced the no-contact thing. I was very hurt and confused and didn’t know what to do or how to feel. I begged and pleaded with her to talk to me with no success. After 3 weeks I decided I was going to move on and that’s when she contacted me saying she needed time to heal. Well, why didn’t she just tell me that needed time to heal and would contact me in 3 weeks?

    She says she still loves me very much but one wonders how you can say you still ‘love” someone and put them through such emotional pain?

  143. You are right. A heads-up could have made all the difference. But not everyone handles their own pain too well. Some people react by trying to inflict pain on the person they think has hurt them. It’s a sign of some level of emotional immaturity and poor communication skills.

    The question is, can you move past this experience or has it raised red flags for you moving forward?

    My advice is to look at the overall relationship. If the relationship wasn’t that great to begin with, this experience only adds onto the already existing problems. But if you had a good relationship, communicate to her ASSERTIVELY that this was wrong and should NOT happen again. It’s important that you honestly communicate how you feel about this — if the relationship has to have any chance.

  144. Hannah says:

    Yangki, what if no contact is not meant as a way to manipulate someone but as a response to an ex who keeps on texting and calling begging you to take him back? My ex has ignored all my requests to stop calling and texting me. He wants to apologize for cheating but I do not want o hear his apology, I’m still very hurt by his betrayal.

  145. That is a whole different situation. You are not using “no contact” to try to get your ex back. You are using it to send a message that right now you do not want anything to do with him. Soon or later, he will get the message.

  146. Wes says:

    No contact is good advice, but fundamentally, it’s about helping people move on, not helping them get back together. For somebody who I suppose wants their ex back, may be a cooling off period to do some self reflection may be more practical. Do you agree?

  147. If it is something you both agree on, the issues to discuss later are laid out, and a time frame in which to regroup is determined, a cooling off period can be of great help later on when you want to try to work things out again.

    The problem with “No Contact” the way it’s advocated, packaged and sold as a strategy for getting back together is that it’s acting on emotions and not on what is practical. Most people are in so much pain from the break-up that all they want is for the pain to stop. Later on when they feel better, they have no idea what to do to try to make the relationship work because they did not think about the practicability of getting in touch with an ex after a prolonged period of no contact.

    But then again, based on my experience, by the time most people do “No Contact”, the relationship is usually beyond redemption. It’s their last attempt to try to “save” a relationship that’s either dead or on it’s dying bed. And like you said, “No Contact” is just what they need to help them move on. Of course no one tells these people that “No Contact” is to help them move on, because most of them want their ex back and would not do “No Contact” if they knew the intention behind it is to help them move on.

  148. Chelsea says:

    I told him I needed no contact because I thought that the time apart would help him realize how much I mean to him and he would come crawling back. I felt it was the right thing to do and was confident he would fight for us. Instead he is seeing someone else. I’m not so sure no contact is the right strategy anymore.

  149. Nortizen says:

    The truth of the matter is, the reason I haven’t contacted my ex in over 7 weeks is because I’m afraid of finding out the truth that she has moved on or is with a new guy. It’s easier to think she misses me and wants me back than deal with the alternative.

  150. Enoch says:

    Yangki, I love your website and especially love everything you say about No Contact. As a recovering alcoholic with codependency issues, what is well understood is the AA circles is that enmeshment and total cut-off are two sides of the same coin. For people with codependency issues, there seems to be no middle ground. It’s either total enmeshment or complete cut-off.

    I just thought this might add some insight into the background drama behind No Contact.

  151. Thank you so much for this additional information, and thank you for sharing your personal struggles. I just wish more people were as honest about the “the background drama behind No Contact” as you are, they’d have better chances at getting back with the one they love.

    I wish you continued success staying sober… (:

  152. Monroe says:

    Yangki, my ex broke it off with me because he said he didn’t see a future for us. I tried to convince him we can work things out but he just wanted to move on. I told him, I agree with his decision but now how do I show him that I have moved on?

  153. Why do you feel you need to show your ex that you have moved on?

    If you have moved on, you have moved on. You don’t need to prove to anyone, let alone your ex that you have moved on. Unless of course, you haven’t really moved on… then you need to be really honest with yourself, (and with me… for me to be able to give you the best advice).

  154. Jayjay says:

    I’ve tried and I don’t know how to stop over contacting my ex except by cutting off all contact. I just have to go cold turkey.

  155. Compulsive contacting your ex is almost like an addiction. While there are some people who can stop it cold turkey, most people can’t. Most addiction experts will tell you that the most effective way to get over an addiction is not by trying to force yourself to stop using. You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use.

  156. joan says:

    I see many here arguing for no contact, but any time you do something that serves to advance your interests or agenda at the expense of someone else, that is manipulation.

  157. You make a great point. I think the confusion comes from the blurred lines between what serves our interest (“m doing this for ME) and what advances our interests at the expense of the other (I’m doing this to get what I want from you).

    The sad part is that a good number men and women who use No Contact Rule don’t know the difference.

  158. Karina says:

    I reunited with my ex after 4 months of N/C but broke up again last week. It seems that neither of us had changed. Now he wants N/C and I’m fine with it. I don’t regret doing N/C though as it helped me reflect on the relationship and heal.

  159. Liisaa says:

    My ex told me he needed time to think about what he wants and where his life was headed. I thought he meant a few days or weeks. Well that has turned into 5 months. I haven’t contacted him and he hasn’t contacted me. I guess it’s over for us.

  160. That’s what happens when neither person contacts the other… days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years.

    In my experience in these kind of situations, it’s usually how you react to someone needing time to do what he said he is going to do that turns “I need space and/or time” to a breakup. If you reacted as if he was breaking up with you, he may have decided it is what is best to do to get himself the needed time or space. I’ve also experienced both and men when asked for space and time decide to do “no contact”. Sometimes what the other person needs is understanding and support, and when you cut them off, it send the message that all yo care is about a relationship, and not their well being.

    I don’t know for sure in your situation what happened, if it’s any of the above, and you still want him back, you have to take the initiative. Is 5 months too late? In my experience yes. But there is only one way to know for sure. Contact your him… and see what happens. Sometimes you find that they are open to re-establishing contact.

  161. Avoces says:

    You obviously don’t understand no contact. No contact is an act of self preservation. It is not selfish at all, in fact, it is all about being selfless by taking care of you instead of depending on someone else for your happiness. When you have taken care of you, you can then try to recover the relationship, but you will be in a better position because of no contact.

  162. I know it’s about self-preservation… and I’m saying, it’s close to impossible to have a healthy fulfilling relationship using your “primitive mind” to make important decisions for you.

    The “primitive mind” is only concerned about self preservation (me, I and myself), the more “enlightened” mind cares about self preservation, but it also cares about love, belonging, intimacy (or simply relationships or “we” and “us”).

    In other words, for an “enlightened mind”, taking care of Self and taking care of the relationship are not mutually exclusive. But I perfectly understand that in our me-me-me world, this is a foreign concept! So if you want to go into self-preservation mode… please go ahead, knock yourself out. Hopefully when you emerge from your act of self preservation, your ex will be waiting for you, and you’ll still have a “relationship” to “recover”.

  163. Chelli says:

    I guess I’m doing no contact because I don’t want to contact him and find out he has moved on and does not want anything to do with me. I keep hoping that he will miss me and contact me. It’s been 3.5 weeks.

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