Sunday October 26th 2014

How To Respond To Your Ex’s “No Contact” Rule

You decided to end a relationship that was not meeting your needs, was emotionally suffocating, deeply troubled (too many arguments and fights) or simply moving too fast in terms of the level of closeness or commitment you are comfortable with, and the next thing you know – your ex has completely cut you off. They unfriended you, blocked you, won’t respond to your texts and will not pick up the phone. It’s like he/she disappeared off the face of the earth. No reason. No explanation. Nothing.

Should you fall for the “no contact” ploy and pursue someone who is acting like a sulking child who doesn’t know how to take “no” or “not now” for an answer?

It depends on whether you believe emotional abuse has a place in a healthy relationship. Look, it doesn’t matter how you slice this cake, someone suddenly cutting off all contact in an attempt to get you anxious, fearful, feel rejected, doubt your own desirability, confused and depressed is not acting with love – and you need to recognize it for what it is. Emotional abuse.

When someone uses “silent treatment”, the “cold shoulder treatment” or “no contact” to get you to comply and do what they want, or give them what they want, it’s a behaviour learned from childhood with a parent or key caregiver. A parent or caregiver denies a child attention, affection or love as a way of punishing, hurting, manipulating or controlling him or her; young, innocent and vulnerable, a child gives in or does as told to regain the parent or caregiver’s attention, affection or love.

A child repeatedly exposed to this kind of emotional abuse grows up thinking it’s the only way to get others to do what you want and give you what you want. But the effect of this form of emotional abuse cuts deeper and creates scars that are far more lasting than most people realize. Most people exposed to this kind of emotional abuse live with separation anxiety, are needy and clingy, have low self-esteem, don’t trust themselves, have problems telling whether someone is interested in them or not, never ask for what they want, are passive aggressive etc.

But most of all, they repeat this pattern of parent-child relationship in their adult relationships because it feels familiar and even comfortable to them. Most don’t think there is anything wrong with with-holding attention, affection or love to force someone to give in to what they would not give in to if they were not emotionally manipulated into giving in.

Some grown-up men and women even believe that with-holding attention, affection or love is how you prove that someone really loves you. The more threatened, anxious, rejected, jealous, clingy or desperate he/she feels, the more proof of their love. That’s how sick this is!

A person using “no contact” to make you feel anxious, jealous, clingy or desperate is not doing it out of love. He/she is doing it because he/she needs to emotionally break you to feel in control – just like in the parent-child dynamic they’re so familiar with. The sad part is, many people using this unhealthy and dysfunctional relating pattern are not necessarily bitter or vengeful people out to hurt the person they love. They honestly believe that because it was done to them and it worked, it will work with you too.

It sucks! Doesn’t it?

If withholding attention, affection or love (silent treatment or cold shoulder), or trying to make you feel anxious, jealous, clingy or desperate is something your ex has a habit of doing or has done in the past, “no contact” is just more of the same.

You know what they say: “You teach people how they treat you.” If you take back someone who thinks it’s okay to punish you for ending a relationship that was not meeting your needs, was deeply troubled (too many arguments and fights) or that was simply moving too fast for the level of intimacy you were comfortable with, you are only re-confirming to him/her that withholding attention, affection or love works.

If you still have feelings for your ex and want to give him/her a chance to break the pattern of dysfunctional relating, send your ex a text or email telling him/her that if he/she doesn’t want anything to do with you ever again, then you understand that he/she needs a clean break to move on. But if he/she hopes to get back together with you someday, “No Contact” is not the way to do it. It’s immature, manipulative and undermines any efforts to have a healthy relationship. If he/she doesn’t see what’s wrong with this approach to resolving conflict, then it’s best that you both move on.

Don’t just say it as another mind game to try to satisfy your own need to regain control. It’s almost guaranteed that at some point, your ex will come up with his/her own mind game to satisfy his/her own need to regain control… The cycle just doesn’t end.

If your ex sees that you are not falling for his/her “cold shoulder” treatment and are really serious about moving on, he/she will be all over the Internet looking for advice on “what to do when my ex contacts me saying he/she is moving on!” Misery does love company, no doubt much of the advice will be, “don’t give in. stick to No Contact” .

If refusing to repeat your ex’s dysfunctional parent-child dynamic does not force your ex to face his/her childhood issues, then nothing will.

You can’t change someone else. The only person you can change is you. Saying “NO!” to emotional manipulation and/or abuse is taking care of your own emotional health, and cleaning up your emotional energy so that you will be ready for a relationship in which you will be treated with the respect, affection and love you deserve.

Keep in mind that not everyone who suddenly cuts off all contact is doing so to break you. Some people use “No Contact” because they believe it’s the best way for them to heal from the pain and move on. You may not like that this is how they choose to move on, but respect their wish. Some day you’ll want someone else to respect yours too.

It is sometimes hard to tell whether someone is cutting off all contact to get their way with you or doing so to heal and move on, especially if they don’t let you know. In this case it is best to assume that they are moving on and start the process of moving on yourself.

Fair? Probably not. Heartbreaking? Yes. Healthy? YES!

Readers' Questions and The Love Doctor's Answers...

269 Responses to “How To Respond To Your Ex’s “No Contact” Rule”

  1. enlightened says:

    This explains why I’ve never understood the “No Contact” Rule or seen it as a viable way to win back someone you love. When I broke up with my ex, she sent me a “no contact” notice. At first I was shocked because we are both in our 40s, been married before and single parents of teenagers, I did not expect high school behavior from her. I have pleaded with her not to simply cut me off but she will not respond to any of my texts. Now I understand that she has a faulty relating programming and looking back see how I missed some of it during the 4 months we were together. You are right, this is not something I can personally fix and will continue even if we get back together. It’s best to move on.

  2. I’m glad the article helped you see some things more clearly. However, I suggest that you let your ex know why you’ve decided to move on. Like I said in the article, some people are not even aware that “no contact” is not a healthy way of relating. It is so much part of their emotional programming that they think it’s the way all people react to not getting what they want or loss of sense of control.

    If you are really intent on creating a more healthy relationship, your own reactions should reflect a healthy attitude and response.

  3. Bella says:

    Well, I somehow see your point. I know sometimes couples stay in touch after a break-up. However, I am wondering why they call it a break up then? Actually, my ex left me and said he wants us to go different ways and we can not be together anymore. I had been planning to move to his country. After that he sent me a couple of remorseful e-mails. I replied to them, tried to get some more information than the vague break up lines. I just feel it took me longer to get closure since nothing lead to him opening up. He made up his mind when he broke up with me and the post-break up mails seemed more like a friendly aftermath. i do not feel that anything has become clearer after the break up talk. What was the point in sending back and forth e-mails that were just confusing to me? For that reason, I advocate NO CONTACT. This man made his decision. I accepted and respected his decision and stayed as casual as possible.

  4. Bella says:

    I d not understand this article. Breaking up, in my books, is a way of telling the other person you want to move on and
    you want them to move on with somebody else too. If you can not accept thaz the other person will accept your decision and leave you alone and close the door for good afterwards – you should not have broken up.

  5. You see my point, then you do not understand the article??

    Nonetheless, I respect your books…(: To say “you should not have broken up” is stretching it to the irrational. Sometimes a relationship can go through a rough period. It doesn’t always mean it’s over, it may just mean that the relationship is not working the way it is.

    In my books…see I got books too…(:, a break-up can even be a good thing for some relationships in that it gives two people the opportunity to really consider if the relationship is what they want — and fix those things that are not working.

    In your case (as per your other comment), your ex didn’t seem interested in coming back and you decided that it was best to cut off all contact with him and move on. That’s your choice. May be there was nothing to go back to there. May be it indeed was over for you. But just because it didn’t work out for you, it doesn’t mean it will not work out for everyone else. There are some relationships where after a break-up, one or both people feel that they have something very special that neither wants to lose. I believe it’s up to them to try and make it work.

    In short, what the article is saying is that “No contact” is not a healthy way to make things work. No contact is for moving on. In your situation, based on what has happened, moving on is what you have chosen to do, then be happy with your decision.

    The reason I’m totally against NO CONTACT is that it is mostly advocated by people who are into mind games, people who are hurting (and don’t know what to do) and people who have failed to get their ex back. Why would any sensible person who wants to SUCCEED take advice from someone who has failed to get their ex back or is angry because they failed? Beats me!

  6. MIKE says:

    I have ABSOLUTELY no intentions of stopping my ex’s “no contact” rule. It’s been 2 months since I last heard from her. I’m SO RELIEVED she stopped texting and calling me. That woman is plain CRAZY.

  7. Madeleine says:

    Yangki, I understand what you are saying about relationships sometimes having bumps. That I get. My ex abruptly ended the relationship 2 months ago. No hints or warnings that something was wrong he just dropped the “I love you but not in love with you” bomb one evening before we went to bed. I was stunned since I thought we had a good relationship. We ended up staying up the whole night with me trying to understand and then begging him to change his mind. That evening he packed his belongings and left the apartment we shared for 3 years. The next day he called to see if I was alright, knowing too well that I wasn’t. If he cared so much for me why did he leave? if he had told me he wasn’t happy in the relationship, we would have talked about it and worked things out, but he chose to leave!

  8. I see what you mean. It’s hard when you thought everything was going great and then from what it seems like no where, it’s over. That’s hard to deal with.

    You’ve probably read on my blog and elsewhere that people don’t just wake up one day and walk out of a valued relationship. Most of the time, we feel the relationship is working for us and think it must be working for the other person as well. I’ve worked with many people who walked out of relationships so abruptly and most say they tried to communicate (or complained) but their concerns were ignored. Of course it’s also possible that they just didn’t say it in a way that they were heard or didn’t say anything at all.

    I’m not so much interested in assigning blame or “demonizing” one or the other party. It doesn’t help anyone. All it does is feed into negativity and dense energy. I try as much as possible to discourage it here on my blog. It’s not good for your mental, emotional or physical health. My advice to you is try (not easy!) to accept that this is his decision, his way of doing what he felt at the time that he needed to do. Let go the need to see things as “they should have been” and start seeing them as they ARE. He wasn’t happy. He left. You are upset and hurt. That’s what is real. Anything else your mind is going on and on and over and over about is self-torture!

  9. Madeleine says:

    You are right. I’m allowing how I feel about his actions to negatively affect me. I had a fight with my therapist this morning and feel very badly about it. She was just trying to help.

  10. Don’t worry about your therapist. People in our line of work understand that we sometimes get beat up for something we didn’t do. Take care of yourself. That’s who you should be focused on right now.

  11. Shinjitsu says:

    Cutting someone out of your life isn’t sulking. It is protecting yourself.

    What if the person you cut out of your life was an NDP, a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder? You shouldn’t cut them out, but instead take their abuse?

  12. You seem to have only read that part about sulking and reacted…

    If you had read to paragraph 12 you would have read…”You can’t change someone else, the only person you can change is you. Saying “NO!” to emotional abuse is taking care of your own emotional health, and cleaning up your emotional energy so that you will be ready for a relationship in which you will be treated with the respect, affection and love you deserve.”

    And paragraph 13…”Keep in mind that not everyone who suddenly cuts off all contact is doing so to break you. Some people use “No Contact” because they believe it’s the best way for them to heal from the pain and move on.”

  13. Spankyme says:

    I’m using no contact right now with my ex. We broke up last year in June, I broke it off with him. For weeks I kept texting him and calling him and he ignored me. I could not take it anymore and stopped. He contacted me after 3 months, we got back together officially in November. Things were good until end of January, he broke up with me. No contact worked for him, so why is it bad for me to do the same?

  14. No one said there is anything bad with you doing what you want to do…

    I can however guarantee you that if this is the pattern in your relationship, you will get back together and you will break-up AGAIN. I know, that sounds cruel and negative… but it’s the truth! Something is fundamentally wrong with a relationship where people intentionally ignore each other to create attraction — only to break-up again soon after!

    It hurts to see people suffer needilessly but all I can do is say “if you go there, this is what will happen. I’ve seen it happent to others so many times”. People can choose to listen or not listen…

  15. Tina says:

    In Budhism, it’s taught that people tend to create their own suffering by allowing their anxieties and fears to rule their actions. When you can’t control a person’s behavior, you panic and resort to mind games to manipulate them into doing what you want. To me NO CONTACT when used in this context is totally a mind game. If you do get any success from it, it’s only temporary. If you use that tactic regularly in your relationship, it will breed resentment and get you labeled as passive-aggressive. I know, I’ve done this same thing to a former love and guess what? It didn’t bring him any closer to me. If anything it created more distance between us. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed reading Christine’s book “Dating Your Ex” so much. She’s one of the few relationship experts who called this tactic out for the destructive ploy that it is. Do you want your ex to come back because they want to be with you….or because you tricked him into a temporary reconciliation?

  16. Tina says:

    Oh and one more thing, for the person who said that NO CONTACT isn’t sulking but a form of self protection. I beg to differ. Self-protection is important when you’re in an abusive relationship. It’s your ego’s way of protecting you from getting hurt. But if you’re always self-protecting you will build up walls that won’t allow love to ever penetrate.

  17. Thank you Tina for saying it probably better than I have been able to. You said it very well, ” Do you want your ex to come back because they want to be with you….or because you tricked him into a temporary reconciliation?”

    Sadly, many people don’t mind a temporary fix, that’s why No Contact is so popular among a certain group of people. It’s something to do with our Western culture in general. We’ve forgotten (or never learned) to be honest with our relationships with others — or even in our relationships with ourselves. And we wonder why we have the unhappiest relationships and highest divorce rate.

  18. i-still-love-my-ex says:

    NC advice is not to break NC at whatever cost but after months of doing NC, if you go back for advice on what to do, the same people who said “NC will make your ex wonder about you and miss you” will try to convince you that your ex is no good and you should just move on. They will go into your story and start pointing out all the reasons why your ex is not worth getting back. Unfortunately I was gullible and allowed myself to be talked into moving on. 2 years since I “moved on”, and my love for my ex is just as strong. I had the chance to talk to one of his friends who said he was heartbroken when we broke up but everyone talked him into moving on since I was not responding to his texts and calls. He tried to get me back, but I was listening to other people instead of listening to my own heart. I cry when I think of what could have happened, if I had not done NC.

  19. Tina says:

    I Still Love My Ex – I did NC for 6 months with my exboyfriend who I was madly in love with but left because a couple of friends and alleged relationship coaches advised that he was a”commitment phobe” who needed a dose tough love in the form of NO CONTACT to get him to commit to me. They said he’d come crawling back to me if I left him cold turkey because he’d miss me. Guess what happened instead? He ended up meeting another woman because he didn’t think I cared about him anymore…so he moved on. Now I DID need that NC time to work out some of my intimacy and communication issues which were part of the reason we broke up. But I could have at least given him a heads up that I needed some time to work on stuff and not just disappear like I did. Lesson learned the hard way. Friends are well meaning, but often they are projecting their own fears onto you and can’t be objective. If I had to do it again I would have done it differently.

  20. Tina says:

    Yangki – You’re very welcome! I’ve been doing alot of soul searching about my own relationship patterns and realized that I was not being very emotionally honest with the men I dated and that it was time to change that pattern, unless I wanted to spend the rest of my life alone. It wasn’t all their fault but I played a big role in the failure of those relationships to thrive as well. When I stumbled upon your website and bought your “How To Date Your Ex” ebook, I expected another book with useless tips on how to trick your ex with No Contact and games. I was pleasantly surprised at how much you concentrated on the importance to rebuild communication with your ex in a healthy non-game playing way which I found very refreshing. I’ve been reading and re-reading the book for the past month and I love it! Most importantly, I’ve also been making real progress with reconnecting with my ex too. Thank you for writing something “real”.

  21. Response to i-still-love-my-ex and Tina,

    I’m very sorry to hear both of your exes moved on while you were in No Contact.

    My advice is always to give someone a heads up, no mature man or woman would begrudge another for wanting to be a better person. If trying to make yourself a better person makes your ex uncomfortable, unhappy or angry, then you have to think twice about the person you want back. Also giving your ex a heads up (how you do it can make a HUGE difference), makes it easier to later show your ex that you are indeed different. Disappearing and reappearing with “Look! I’m different!” is suspicious. Most exes don’t buy it, that’s why even after doing so much work on yourself in NC, your ex doesn’t want you back.

    You both sound like grounded women who take life lessons to heart. Life tends to reward people like that. Keep your heads up, your minds free of fear, your hearts open and your lives loving, it’ll all work out good.

    My belief is that sometimes we go through life experiences that make us stronger, but even more so, so we can be of help to others going through what we’ve been through. I hope you just don’t tell your story to be heard (compare experiences), but that you can use it to help someone else still struggling. There are so many people in so many blogs and forums out there that need your experiences to learn. Your pain doesn’t have to be for nothing. All the very best.

  22. Tina, I stand to be corrected. I responded before reading your next comment. Based on your earlier comment “If I had to do it again I would have done it differently”, I assumed your ex had moved on and you were moving on too.

    I’m happy that you are making real progress with reconnecting with your ex. Very happy in fact… (: As I said in the book, it’s not easy and it’ll require you to call on your patience and persistence like never before. Again, best wishes… sending you lots and lots of positive energy!!!

  23. Saraa says:

    I was also in an abusive relationship and after we broke up he was mad at me telling him it’s best if we have no contact, he cut me off. I had no choice but not contact him. It’s probably the best thing he ever did for me because when I look back, the majority of the relationship was carried by me. I lived in a fantasy world in my mind. Even after he broke up with me, I continued begging him to take me back and when that failed I begged him to give me closure. It’d been 8 months since we had contact and I finally feel that I’m completely healing. Reading many of your articles has helped.

  24. Abuse is not easy on anyone, and I’m sorry you had to experience it the way you did. Your situation underscores something I’ve said here over and over… 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.

    It’s almost impossible for people who have had a fairly good relationship and where the bond is strong, to suddenly want no contact with each other… I’ve had many people tell me “I just could not do it. It felt wrong!”

    I’m glad you are healing, and hopefully this experience will lead you to a better relationship — and to think twice before going no contact, if things ever hit the rocks.

  25. Charliez says:

    I have been NC for over 2 years but I still can feel pain over his hurtful words and actions. I allowed him to treat me the way he did because I was expecting him to change for me. When I begged him for closure he invited me to his place and after sex he asked me if I had closure. I feel so stupid and hate myself for allowing myself to be so used by him.

  26. Doclarry says:

    My ex has been in no contact for 5 weeks now, said she “wants to find herself” and wanted to ”be on her own”. I told her ” I’m glad you’re doing this. I’ll always be here for you.:). When I wrote this I wanted her back, but after 5 weeks of no contact, I have a different perspective on things. I still care for her but I’m not sure she’s what I want anymore. My family and friends say I’m less anxious, more positive and generally happier since this woman removed herself out of my life. Is this normal? Should I text her and tell her I’m moving on?

  27. To Charliez:

    How is hating yourself, and calling yourself “stupid” (and probably many other things) different from his hurtful words and actions? The abuser is gone… and now you are your own abuser.

    You made some unhealthy choices… you can’t go back and undo what’s already happened. Forgive yourself. Give yourself some relief from abuse. It’s obvious (from your comment) that it wasn’t a good relationship to begin with. You are better off although it may not feel that way because of what you are doing to yourself.

  28. To Doclarry:

    Yes. It is normal when you remove yourself from a situation to see it a little differently. That’s probably the best thing about no contact. You should be happy that your ex (albeit unintentionally) handed you a “gift of new lenses” with which to see the relationship.

    No. Contacting her to tell her you are moving on after she told you she did not want contact will make you come across as “desperate” or eating ‘soar grapes”. Just move on with your life. When she’s done her “no contact” and contacts you, then you can talk about why the two of you can’t get back together. Be nice about it… (:

  29. Nelturt001 says:

    I didn’t try to stop my ex’s no contact and never contacted her the whole 6 weeks she was in no contact. Now she’s mad that I didn’t try to get her back and texting me telling me she’s so over me but obviously she’s not. Why else is she mad that I didn’t try to get her back? She made it clear she wanted nothing to do with me when she initiated no contact, all I did was follow her lead.

  30. She’s mad because you didn’t try to “stop her no contact”. She had expected you to contact her to validate her reasons for doing no contact (make you miss her) but since you didn’t contact her she’s upset that you didn’t miss her (which is the same as… she didn’t mean to you what she hoped she did).

    You getting all upset isn’t worth it. If you don’t want her back, then just let it go. If you want her back, then try to work things out instead of playing “who is more mad.”

  31. Terri says:

    Thank you, this blog solved my problem. I have been struggling over whether or not to try and contact my ex. It has been 5 weeks since he started no contact and I have not contacted him because it would probably only make me feel worse in the end. Reading this has made me realize there has been a pattern in our relationship of avoiding dealing with issues by distancing. Both of us have done it, I’m ashamed to say. We feed off each other’s worst characteristics, it’s not healthy. I’m going to work on myself and attract someone who is healthy for me. Once again, thank you.

  32. Maverick@40 says:

    My ex told me she didn’t want contact with me, I agreed and we said our final goodbyes. She was gone only 2 weeks. First text said hi, next one said she missed me and the third said she loved me very much, the fourth begged me to understand why she used no contact. She wanted to find out whether I really cared or not, because if I did, I would try to contact her. I never replied to any of her texts. I’m at a point in my life where I really have no patience for those games. I’m looking for a woman who is capable of acting mature and if she wants to know if I care, ask me directly.

  33. Fitze says:

    My Ex gf said she needed space to think about what she wants but in about a month and a half she has not tried to contact me. So I think you are probably right that I should perceive no contact from her as a sign that she is moving on and move on myself.

  34. Letting go of someone you love is tough. If she’s asked for a specific amount of time, let her have it. You may need that time yourself to work on becoming the best lover/partner you can possibly. After a month if both of you use that time wisely, you may find that you can slowly begin dating again. She may also come back and say she doesn’t want to get back together or you may find that your feelings for her have changed. A lot can happen in a month.

  35. Christina says:

    To the person who said “you should never have broken up”, the reason you did not get your ex back is because you are angry about the breakup. Like the Love Dr. said, a breakup is not always bad. My ex and I were broken up for 3 months after dating for only 4 months. The breakup gave me enough time to see he was consistent and his feelings for me were really deep. We both have been in relationships were things ended with no contact. Keeping contact throughout the breakup helped us build strong friendship that neither of us has ever had with any one else. It took us a while to get back on track but we’ve been dating about 3 months now. Instead of saying we dated for 4 months and were broken up for 3 months and have been back for 3 months, we say we’ve been dating for a total of 10 months, and going strong.

  36. Once in a while someone leaves a comment that blows my mind away and brings tears to my eyes. This is one of them. I don’t want to add anything on to it because it takes away from just POWERFUL the message is. Love is indeed alive and at work!!! THANK YOU for confirming it.

    If at some point you need my help on anything, anything, email me and I’ll gladly help — no charge! All the best of life and love.

  37. James says:

    I’m a sulker what can I say? Ha ha ha.

    If something doesn’t go my way, I generally pout and mope until I get my way. It usually works. My ex is the same way. So now we are both in no contact. Not helping at all. One of us has to be the adult and from your article it looks like it’s going to be me. Sucks! Why do I have to be the adult?

    All joking aside. Point taken and appreciated. Thank you for the gentle ass-kick.

  38. Let me guess… before you go into your little corner of the world to sulk, you first kiss up and play sweet (beg, plead, apologize etc), and when that fails, you throw a tantrum (blame, guilt-trip, threaten etc) and when that fails…

    Sorry that you now have to grow up! Love your energy… but not so much the emotional age… );

  39. Brim607 says:

    I’m a bit confused. My ex was very upset when she dumped me and I did no contact to step back and leave her alone to deal with what is upsetting her. And you are saying that’s emotionally immature? I think emotionally immature is not giving her space and time on her own.

  40. It’s confusing because of the “all or nothing” mindset. Stepping back doesn’t have to be “no contact”, it just means easing up a bit on the pressure/speed you’re on. It’s about finding the right balance for the current situation. Balance is what sets emotionally mature people apart from the immature.

    Also if what is upsetting her was caused by you, leaving her to deal with it alone doesn’t inspire confidence in you as a partner. Sometimes people just want to know that you know when you’ve done something to hurt them and own up to it without making it look like it’s their fault that they are upset.

    It comes back to emotional maturity… do you run away from difficult situations or do you face them head on???

  41. Alex says:

    My ex and I have broken up 3 times before and we always kept in contact and eventually got back together. This time she has decided she does not want any contact because she does not want to repeat the pattern of the past. It’s been 3 weeks since we’ve had no contact and I badly want to contact her but need to respect her wishes. My question is, will she move on now that we are in no contact or will the space and time help us begin afresh?

  42. My experience as coach is that most relationships, and specifically ones with a history of on-and-off again, are not that strong to begin with. NC really is nothing more than a first step to moving on.

    I do agree with her on one thing: the pattern of on-and-off-again has to be broken. If she productively uses the time in NC to work on herself, her wants, needs and desires will most likely change and she’ll see herself, the relationship and you differently. If her feelings for you are still strong, she may come back just to see if things can be different, and if she finds you are the very same person, she’ll leave — for good.

  43. J.R says:

    Yangki, what about when no contact is mutually agreed upon by both parties, does that also jeorpadize chances of getting back together? My ex and I have very strong feelings for each other but we always fight because of his 22 year-old son who still lives with him. His ex-wife uses their son to get to my ex and when I try to explain to him how she is manipulating him, he gets upset with me. His son is going to college this Fall, and we both agreed to have no contact until then. I’m just worried that this may be his way of letting me go?

  44. A mutually agreed “time out” in my opinion is the emotionally mature approach. It is one I recommend in my eBook and one I find tends to work well in terms of re-establishing contact later on.

    I don’t know much about your relationship other than about his son. If this is a solid relationship that otherwise has a lot of good things going for both of you, and you both have been open and honest with each other, then I see no reason for you to worry that he is not being honest with you and just doing it to let you go.

    It’s hard these days to find someone who cares enough and is mature enough to be willing to work through a relationship crisis. Consider it a relationship test. If you can come through this together, your relationship will be able to handle just about anything. Some things are worth the wait…(:

  45. J.R says:

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I was afraid that you were going to tell me to move on. He is worth it, Yangki. That’s why his ex can’t let go. He called me on my birthday which was a pleasant surprise since we are in no contact. I also intend on calling him on his birthday. I’m in contact with his mother, she calls me for advice or just to talk. She has told me several times to be patient. Btw, I’m a nurse.

    I will get your ebook and will follow the advice and see where this goes. Thank you!

  46. Demst says:

    Wow! I spent days on this blog and just wish I had found it a breakup ago. My ex called no contact 4 weeks ago after I broke it with her. It was a tumultuous relationship where I had little say and felt controlled and micro-managed. I was just out of a divorce and met this very beautiful woman who seemed everything my ex-wife was not. Things were great for only a couple of months and then I started to see her for who she really is. The first time I broke it off, she called no contact and being the fool I was, I begged her to take me back. Big mistake! I know she’s hoping for me to contact her and beg her to take me, but I won’t this time. I’m moving on. Although I still have feelings for her, she’s very beautiful…hahaha! I’m not in love with her.

  47. I hear you! I’m the first one to say “giving up easily is simply not an option”, but sometimes, walking away is the only option.

    Over 80% of the guys I’ve worked with in the past year have been guys who just got out of a divorce — not much experience dating in today’s world, bling-blinged by the dazzle of a very attractive woman, and either got their hearts broken or found themselves in relationships just as bad as the marriage they left. Go figure!… (:

  48. JayBee says:

    My ex broke up with me last Tuesday and told me that she will be doing NC. It’s only been a week since we last communicated and after reading this article, I’m beginning to think her doing NC will make it easier for both of us to move on and may be we have a chance of becoming friends someday down the road.

  49. I’m glad the article gave some insight into your situation. I personally think you are making a rush decision to move on — it’s only been a week of no contact. If this is a (reasonably) good relationship, see if you can get her to see the inherent dysfunction in no contact before you write off the whole thing. Like I said, some people have no idea how much more damage they are doing to the relationship they want to save by using no contact. May be she’s one of those people. If she insists on her no contact, then you know for sure that there is nothing you can do to save the relationship — and can begin to move on.

    Just a suggestion… ultimately, you should decide what is good for you…(:

  50. Aiximan says:

    Best advice ever! It’s been 2 months since my ex put me on the no contact rule. In the beginning I was hurt that she cut me off as if the relationship meant nothing to her. Two weeks into no contact I determined that I was going to stop trying to make her want me and instead work on myself. It turns out I needed that time and space probably more than she did. I love the new me and my new life! The freedom is wonderful, and a long time overdo. I’m on to new friends, new adventures. Not looking back.

  51. Ibrahim says:

    This was a great piece of advice. I used no contact to move on but did not have the courage to tell my ex. Looking back, I should have made it clear to her there was never going to be us again. She kept contacting me for 6 months. I was still in pain and did not respond. She says I hurt her more by not telling her. I think that if you are moving on, it’s best to tell the other person so as you say, she can start to mover on too.

  52. The fact that you are able to look back and see your own mistakes is admirable… We all are going to make mistakes, even I, the Love Doctor have to keep learning everyday. That’s the beauty of relationships, it’s a journey, not a destination!

    I’m with you on telling the other person you are moving on. It’s not only “good manners”, it’s also a mature thing to do. But not all of us are grown up enough to do it. Our collective consciousness hasn’t yet learned to accept that sometimes relationships, like everything in life, do end. And just because a relationship ended and you are hurt or angry, you don’t have to treat the other like an enemy. You can let someone know that you do not want to be in his/her life, without being hurtful.

  53. Ibrahim says:

    That’s why some of us need a relationship site like this one. It’s very different than all the others in that it is about love and not mind games or immature behavior. I’ve learned a lot reading your articles. You have taught me to always be open and honest, to act from love, and let things happen naturally. My next relationship will be very different than all the others. Thank you.

  54. I appreciate your kind words. I’m aware that my approach to relationships is not for everyone. Those who get it, get it. Those who don’t, don’t. I’m sure you know what I mean…(:

  55. K_blue says:

    Yangki, my ex cheated and when I confronted him he broke it off and told me not to contact him. Does telling him no contact undermines a healthy relationship and he needs to stop also apply here? Please help.

  56. He cheated, broke it off and now doing “No Contact”, do you really need any more “proof” something is so wrong with this relationship?

    If someone can’t stay and clean up the mess he made and instead runs away into hiding, he’s not worth much. They say “we teach people how they treat us”, what does trying to get him back teach him about how to treat you?

  57. Je-Esse says:

    I used NC for 2 weeks the first time we broke up. She emailed me and we eventually got back together. This time I was the one who broke it off, she was going to breakup with me if I had not broken up with her first. She told me she wants nothing more to do with me, not ever. I have tried to contact her five times with no response. It’s been almost 3 montns of no contact, I think it’s best for me to wait and let her initiate contact.

  58. That’s what happens when you use “no contact” to get your ex back. You will break up again shortly after. Why? Because the demand and supply principle doesn’t work well in relationships. Once you supply that “missing you” feeling (which getting back together does), things go back to “I want out”.

    She said “not ever”, has not responded to 5 of your attempts to contact her, and it’s been 3 months… just let it go. I’m not saying give up because with love anything is possible. I’ve seen situations where people reconnect after years. But for now it’ s best to focus your energies elsewhere. You may find that by the time she starts contacting you, you have moved on, may be even met someone else.

  59. Billnash says:

    Yangki, all of my past breakups ended with both of us agreeing to maintain contact knowing that our relationship had changed. My ex who broke up with me in January wants no contact. As I reflect on the relationship I can see the difference between this ex and all the others. She was needy and controlling and got very upset when things didn’t go the way she wanted. At first, this was exciting because our makeups were very passionate. As time went on, it became clear to me she was not very good at respecting boundaries, and I didn’t do a good job maintaining them. She’d call me in the middle of the night asking me why i said this or that and several occassions yelled at me in front of my buddies and family. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her and still do. I even sent her an email after the breakup telling her I love her but respect her wishes. She flipped out calling me cruel for breaking up with her and then saying i still loved and cared about her. I’ve decided to leave her alone. It’s probably for the best.

  60. You make a very good point. People who have poor boundaries often are not good at respecting other people’s boundaries. That’s why they act needy and contact someone 20X a day. They don’t see anything wrong with that because they have no concept of healthy boundaries. When a relationship ends, they go overboard over contacting and then withdraw into no contact. It’s one extreme or the other. They don’t know “balance” at all.

    It’s not clear what you mean by “leave her alone” but whatever it is, it’s your decision — and like you said, it’s probably for the best.

  61. Billnash says:

    By “leave her alone” I mean stop trying to contact her because it’s pointless. I honestly believe she got off me begging her to take me back. Her texts have this “superior” tone to it and that pisses me off. To be honest with you, I reached a point where I was trying to make her think I want her back and then breakup with her. May be I’m just angry that I let this go on for longer than it should have. After spending two days on your blog, I realize that revenge is a waste of my time. She’s a beautiful woman who has a lot going for her but she’s also not the best relationship material.

  62. No contact is a power trip for some. The tables have been turned and that kind of “power” can make one feel “superior” and even “irresistible” I’ve met many men and women who say it makes them feel good/validated when someone is begging them to take them back… but one has to wonder just what kind of person feels good seeing someone they say they love on their knees — broken. Power-plays don’t create a loving relationship down the road.

    Anger, bitterness, and resentment can get you lots of friends on the internet, but it also weighs down your energy, and if you are not careful, distorts your perception of love and relationships. I’m glad my blog was able to talk you out of going down that path…(:

  63. Austin says:

    We have had no contact since January as per her request. The hard part for me is to accept that someone I shared 3 years with doesn’t want anything to do with me. How can she forget everything we went through just like that? I suppose there is no hope of us getting back together and I need to move on.

  64. Drascus says:

    My ex said she wants no contact but periodically sends me a text. I’ve noticed a pattern. The only time she contacts me is when she wants emotional support. She has problems with her mom and says I’m the only person she can talk to. She does this then disappears for weeks. When I contact her she does not respond.

  65. Response to Austin:

    Accepting that it may be really over is hard for most people, even when the facts show it is over. I don’t think people easily forget a 3 year relationship, they just make a conscious decision to move on from it. Without much detail I can say whether it is indeed over or not. (Note: this is not a request for you to write me your story, I do not have the time to read stories on my blog),

    As the article says, when you are not sure, it’s best to assume they are moving on and start moving on yourself.

  66. Response to Drascus:

    She is using you for emotional support because you are allowing it. If you really want this to stop then you need to speak up. Tell her you’ve noticed that the only time she contacts you is when she wants emotional support. You care about her and want her to feel that she can share her problems with you, but not in the way she’s doing it. You have feelings too and if she can not see that, then this is not a kind of arrangement you want to be in.

    Shine the mirror on her behaviour and if she does not see what’s wrong with it, you are better off without her.

  67. jay says:

    Hiya. just want to applaude u for everything u do and all of the positivity u put out there which is hard to find nowadays. keep up the amazing work, im sure im not the only one who appreciates it lots lots!

  68. Thanks Jay. Trying to do the best I can. Your appreciation is much appreciated…(:

  69. Glenn says:

    My ex decided she wanted no contact but each time we run into each other she acts angry and even yells at me at times. This has gone on for almost 2 months now. We have no contact other than the occasional run-ins which are unavoidable since we live near each other. If this no contact thing is supposed to help someone to gain control of his or her own emotions, why is my ex still angry at me?

  70. You already answered your own question. She still has not gained control of her own emotions. Most people who use no contact stay angry because they dwell on negative thoughts about their ex with little or no effort (or intent) to work on their emotions.

  71. Glenn says:

    She’s definitely the type that holds grudges. She still gets upset when she hears anything positive about her other two exes, one she dated over 7 years ago. I guess it’s no use holding hope that things can ever work between us or even just be friends.

  72. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. That she gets upset over news of someone she dated 7 years ago should have been a clue that there are much more deeper seated issues with her that need lots of serious emotional work. When things don’t seem to get better long after the break-up, it is also an indication that this relationship does not stand much of a chance even if you do get back together. Holding grudges for a very long time slowly eats at the very pillars — self-responsibility, respect, trust, emotional safety, etc. — that hold relationships together.

  73. Mrchin says:

    I followed your advice and sent my ex the email and immediately got a reply back. She wants to talk. This is the first time since she decided she wanted no contact 5 weeks ago that she has responded to my attempts to contact her. My question is 1) what do you think she wants to talk about and 2) how do I respond?

  74. I don’t know what she wants to talk about… it could be anything. It’s best to go and find out what she wants to talk about and respond accordingly. The attitude that you take to the encounter will set the tone for the interaction. If you are too worried/over analytical, you will hear what you want to hear. If you are confrontational, you will have a fight on your hands. Easy, spontaneous, direct and honest aways leaves a good feeling.

    Good luck!

  75. Genevieve says:

    Thank you for this article. I read so many books on how to win a man, they all said to not contact him more than he contacts you, and so on. My ex would barely communicate at all, hes not a big talker…and though it broke my heart and telling him so would of brought us closer, I used the advice in the books. It worked at first. He would call more, text more, the less I talked to him. But over time Taking the no contact advice destroyed my relationship. It no longer felt good to be with him, I never knew what to say. He broke up with me. He started seeing someone else, he cut me off after a painful episode, and now I have to try to get him back. Hopefully by being the real me, instead of using advice from a book, will bring him back again. Wish me luck! Thanks again for the article, and the new and improved perspective…which is oddly enough something I knew all along.

  76. Aracher says:

    Thank you for writing this article. My ex broke up with me 2 weeks ago and has been trying to get in touch. I know not returning her calls is not a good way to treat someone you spent 11 years with but I’ve been so wrapped up in my selfishness. She was good to me and I didn’t treat her well. I think I know what I need to do.

  77. Good for you… (:

    It takes a real man to 1) admit when he’s wrong and 2) step up to the plate. Go get your woman!

  78. ECKTAC says:

    I broke up with my ex I didn’t see us working out long term. She’s still really angry with me for breaking up with her and wants no contact. I still care about her and want to know she’s ok but I don’t know if I should email or call her.

  79. If she’s still angry there is no point asking if she’s okay… she’s not. You obviously don’t want her back, so let her grieve her own way without doing something that might raise false hope. May be months from now you can email or call, right now it’ll seem like rubbing it in — when that’s not your intention.

  80. Alfonz says:

    Thanks for writing this article. My ex and I have been trying to reconcile for the last 6 months. When we broke up she went no contact for 8 weeks. I didn’t contact her either. She called me and we spoke for 3 hours in which she asked me to get back together. When I said “no” she went back to no contact for another 4 weeks and called me again to get back together. She’s done no contact 3 times in the last 6 months. I love her so much but I’m not ready to take back somene who is too immature to work on the problems in the relationship. We’re stuck in a cycle of mind games and drama and it doesn’t matter what I do, she will keep playing immature games which have made it impossible to have a relationship with her. It seems my only option is to remove myself from the situation and completely let go of her. No one will say I didn’t try. I just wish things could’ve ended on a positive note.

  81. I hear you… it gets old. If she’s not willing to stay and work things out, let her go. It’ll be hard for a while but you’ll be better off.

  82. Alfonz says:

    I don’t want to let go but I really am so tired and exhausted from all the mind games. It’s no contact for weeks then she comes back saying she loves me and misses me and doesn’t want me to let go. It would take a miracle to change things.

  83. Stan says:

    I’m in the same boat, she has instituted no contact 2 times in less than 2 months. I am so tired of it all, trying to understand her and making efforts to show her I really love and care deeply for her. I don’t know what to say or do anymore. It’s been over 4 weeks since we last had contact and I am not sure if I should even bother trying to contact her at this point. No contact is as confusing as hell.

  84. jade says:

    My recent ex does this, and is doing it. If we have a spat, I usually try ring or reach out, I get stonewalled and ignored. So utterly hurtful. This recent time, I said I wanted to work things out, if we could. He said he wanted to also. But when I rang him (we had not spoken on phone in a week and felt we should instead of texting) I was ignored. Again and again.

    It is his way of punishing me, yet he was the one who moved out, I needed bit of time from this because I was reeling and had alot on in my personal life (teenage son just landed on my doorstep to live with me the same day my ex moved in with me) Happy yet needed to readjust and maybe my ex wobbled (understandable) But then it just went worse because of this No Contact.

    The mind game that NC is, has made me feel I dont want my ex back now…hes just carved a new life out (suddenly getting new job and househunting) All of this could have been avoided by talking. Its drove me crazy, Ive acted crazy and even though Ive told him how much it hurts me, he still does it.

    On forums, Ive heard it all, the hardcore NCers…tried saying it was mind games a while back, got shot down, given excuses etc. When its coupled with other games like trying to get their ex jealous, i actually feel sad for the ‘evil dumper’ and glad that they are free from such manipulative vengeful people.

    Oh and the grief people get should they “break NC” …peeps are made to feel weak or a failure or even called codependent just because they “gave in” and contacted.

    Such a shame. Rules and games do not belong in loving relationships.

  85. Alfonz, Stan and Jade, I can only imagine your frustration.

    They say the test of someone’s character is not in how they are when things are going great but how they handle themselves when things aren’t going their way…

    As much as it hurts, I personally believe your exess are actually doing you a favour with no contact. By using “No Contact” to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do, punish you or get revenge, they are showing you who they really are, what they think of you and the value they place on a relationship with you.

    That said, I’m a strong believer in “there’s two sides to every story”. There’s your side… and there’s your ex’s side. The truth lies in between.

    This is why we don’t allow rants on this blog and why I restrain from giving “relationship advice” to people who seem angry. People who post “look what a jerk/b**ch my ex is” or “see how I have been wronged” stories and comments aren’t looking for “relationship advice”. They are looking for “moral support” from others who think the same way. That kind of “energy” can quickly turn a love-positive environment toxic — attracting more toxicity.

  86. jade says:

    thanks yanki :) there are indeed 3 sides to every story, and this is why im trying to see things from my ex’s point of view/perspective. this is also, as it happens, something that is lacking with the NC crowd – they dont see things from the other side, which leads to them only further making it about THEM, and anything else is projection of their own issues and reactions. So much more is resolved by communication, than hardcore NC (unless youre dealing with an abuser) I hope people look at this blog and reconsider and relect on no contact :)

  87. Prius says:

    Well, I sent an email like you said almost word by word and got a text back from her saying she didn’t want it to be over. I replied saying I didn’t want it to be over either but we can’t work on things if she wants no contact. I immediately got a call back from her and we talked for 45 minutes. I don’t know how to proceed from here. I think I may need coaching.

  88. Good for you for having the courage to take the bull by the horns…

    I’ll need to hear the full details of your relationship to see if it’s possible that the dynamic that now exists will lead to changed behavior and a better relationship or if it’s impossible to change things, in which case you may both be better off in another relationship.

    You’ll agree with me that writing all the details down will cover pages– and since I do not have the time to read long background stories, telephone coaching is best — that’s if you want my help.

  89. Paahama says:

    My ex wants no contact and it hurts like hell that after 6 years she cut me off with not so much as “how are you?” Reading this it makes sense that this is how I was treated by my parents for years and years. They’d ignore me for weeks until I gave in to whatever they wanted me to do. I moved out at 17 to escape the abuse. At 19, I married a woman 68 years older who treated me like a child but I stayed coz she was all I had. She finally met someone and left me. I met my ex (10 older) and were together for 6 years, 11 break-ups and no contact mostly from her. She’s in no contact right now and I’ve been begging her to reconsider but she says I should only contact her when I’m ready to get back with her. I feel like I have no option since I love her very much.

  90. You do have an option — that’s what the article is about.

    Going back to someone you know is ignoring you with the sole purpose of making you give in is repeating the pattern from your childhood, first marriage and the 11 break-ups. If you want to stop being a victim, you have to take responsibility for yor own happiness– and mental health.

    Wawarenss is the first step. The next step is actually doing something about it.

  91. Jess says:

    To the person who said “you should not have broken up”. You are assuming that a breakup is easier on the person who initiated it. I’m here to tell you it is not. I was the one who initiated the breakup because we were both miserable. My ex is passive aggressive, I know she would have never had the strength to end it. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about him. Unfortunately, he has decided that no contact is what is best for him. Knowing him, he does not think he needs to change. For me that means we’ll not be getting back together as a couple. I’m open to a friendship, but again knowing him that’s just never happening. So don’t assume that there is no sadness in making the decision to end the misery for both of you.

  92. Walking away from a relationship that is frustrating or unhappy is not always about choosing the “easy way out”, especially if the other person doesn’t see the need to change. It’s having the courage to be honest about it.

    I really wish things were different in your situation, but it is what it is. Hopefully, this experience will lead to you working on yourself and with time, have the relationship you deserve.

  93. It’s possible that she’s still hurting after 6 months but it doesn’t necessarily mean she still has feelings for you. Her hurting and having feelings for you are two different things. If you’ve contacted her at least 3 times and she’s still not responding, it may just mean that she wants nothing to do with you. 6 months is a long time, people move on.

    If you are really serious about not wanting to hurt her anymore, then let her heal and get past the hurt her way. When she feels like it, she’ll contact you. But don’t put your life on hold waiting… she may or may not.

  94. Austin says:

    I’ve used no contact on two of my exs and now that I’m on the receiving end of it I can see why no contact is cruel and selfish. It is a revealing indication of why the relationship didn’t work. My story in short. She broke up with me after a big fight. A week later she came back saying she was sorry she overreacted. I told her we both needed time to really think about what we both wanted. This is because during the fight she said I wasn’t good enough for her and many other hurtful things. She said fine and I never heard from her again despite me sending her a couple of “hi, how are you” texts. Her refusing contact just confirms to me I made the right decision not to take her back. I should have seen the signs and recognized what they meant.

  95. Sad that it has come to this when it didn’t have to.

    I’m not sure what signs you are referring to. If it’s that she said you weren’t good enough for her and the other hurtful things, cut her some slack. Sometimes during a heated verbal fight people say very hurtful things they don’t really mean.

    If it’s that when she doesn’t get what she wants, she runs and hides because it strokes her ego when you go looking for her — that’s not a good sign for any relationship.

    Whatever you decide to do, it’s YOUR decision!

  96. Badger999 says:

    Anyone who has a pattern of just walking away completely and severing all ties with someone with whom they shared some very intimate and special moments with, is a red flag all by itself. You’ll be next on the receiving end of their anger.

  97. Bob says:

    My ex asked for no contact after we broke up. I respected her wish and told her when she was ready to talk, she’d let me know. Yesterday I found that she has been dating this guy she met less than a week after we broke up. Her no contact was just an excuse not to deal with the problems we had in the relationship and instead her solution was to date someone else. I have decided what is best for me ia to move on. Your article is a great reminder for me to think of myself and not allow someone else to keep my life on hold.

  98. Anthony says:

    Can’t agree with badger999 enough. Very insitefull comment. Christine refers to this as emotional abuse. Serous red flag that goes beyond ” needing time and space” Hard to believe some one you loved for a long time would walk away and start the pattern all over with another person with whom they can get a fresh start and hope to keep there secrets under cover.

  99. Viennachic says:

    I’ll never understand why some people think that no contact is the best course of action. It could save a lot of hurt for the other involved if there was open communication.

    Actions speak louder than words. No contact on their part, can act as all the closure you need. If they disappear and reappear, one must be strong and not let the person back in again to prevent the pattern from repeating.

  100. Dan says:

    This article has valid points, but No Contact is equally as controversial as keeping in contact. Many use No Contact for no other reason that it’s advised by others. It doesn’t always mean the person using NC doesn’t love their ex or is ‘parent-child’ troubled – many individuals are simply searching for the best advice to improve their situation and to find the right path.

  101. Fibeo says:

    My ex declared no contact when we broke up 3 years ago. We’re still in no contact but I’m now happily married to a woman I met 2 months after my ex and I broke up.

  102. Dan, I hear you… but like many “no Contact” defenders, you seem to have read only part of the article and the defenses went up, probably blocking the rest of the content. If you read the article to the end, it says…

    “Keep in mind that not everyone who suddenly cuts off all contact is doing so to break you. Some people use “No Contact” because they believe it’s the best way for them to heal from the pain and move on. You may not like that this is how they choose to move on, but respect their wish. Some day you’ll want someone else to respect yours too”.

  103. Dan says:

    I did read that area – my comment is about the part saying ‘a person using NC is not doing it because he/she loves you. They are doing it because he/she needs to break you to feel in control’ – I was pointing out this isn’t always the case, especially in a dumpee situation. One thing love means is sacrifice, meaning that even at the cost of our pain, sometimes letting go means we are loving their ex the best way they know we can. It doesn’t mean that NC makes them troubled or power hungry.

  104. Dan says:

    Correction on last comment: was meant to say sometimes letting go means we are loving our ex’s the best way we know that we can – and if this involves No Contact, it doesn’t mean our intentions are for power, instead it’s for peace.

  105. I think the problem here is that you’re making an argument for “no contact” on the wrong blog. I’ve seen this same argument on so many “no contact” support forums. I have no problem with people having their own views and expressing them.

    If you are talking about “letting go”, then essentially you are saying what I already said in the quote. And that is, the person using “no contact” is doing so to heal and move on (let go of the relationship), that is different from using “no contact” to get one’s ex back.

    I do agree with you that loving enough to let go is putting someone else’s wants before your own needs. But it’s only love if you actually LET GO! If you are trying to give the impression of letting go hoping that it’ll make the other person hold on, then that’s not love. That is psychological manipulation.

    I have a lot more respect for someone who says “I still want my ex back, I’m not ready to let go yet” than someone who is lying to him/herself (and to their ex) about their true feelings, intentions or wants.

  106. Seal says:

    Hi Yangki, I don’t think no contact is the way to go and don’t like using it, but my ex believes it’s the only way to save the relationship. When we’re together we fight all the time but after a few weeks of “no contact”, our connection is great. This has been going on the for the last two years. Any advice how to make this right?

  107. Ana says:

    Hi, I am a little confused about one part in your article. In one of the paragraphs you say that people who use ‘no contact’ are not using it because they love you… Yet in the same paragraph you also say that these people are not out to hurt the person they love, which implies that this would be done to a person they love… So then, if this is true would the ‘no contact’ be a manifestation of their love (healthy or not), which would contradict the the former statement, since they only do this to the people they love?

  108. Response to Seal…

    I’m sorry that’s how things are… unfortunately it’s very common for two people to feel “more connected” after a period of being apart. This is why some people keep breaking up… just to recreate that feeling of “great connection”. Problem with that is that you can’t sustain a relationship on on-off connection. You can only do this to a point, after a while it becomes obvious that you are better off apart than together. It’s sad, especially if you love someone.

    Unless you can convince your ex that this is not healthy, I don’t see how you can fix it all by yourself.

    You have two options… 1) you can go on with the on-off connection and just let things find their natural course (improve or die) or 2) end this now and find someone you can have a sustained connection with. The choice is YOURS.

  109. Response to Ana,

    I normally would not respond to things I never said because it’s a waste of valuable time I should be using for more relevant things… but it’s this kind of misquoting that keeps relationship dysfunction alive. For this reason alone, I’ll bite the bait, this one time. Please see my response here…

  110. Dreamer says:

    It’s sometimes hard to be emotionally honest about wanting my ex back. My friends make me feel like I’m weak because I want her back. I was part of the problem and didn’t treat her the way she wanted to be treated, unfortunately I realized it when it was too late.

  111. Your friends mean well, they don’t want to see you hurt if it doesn’t work out the way you hope. But you know your relationship better. At the end of the day, it’s your heart, your life. If this is something you strongly feel that you need to do, follow your heart and see where it takes you! It might just mean that you get to make things right with her, have your peace of mind and move on to the next relationship with no baggage, or it may lead to more… who knows!?

  112. Nickie says:

    I read your response to Ana and want to say, I’m glad someone is finally shinning the light on the “dark secret” of “No Contact Rule”. Make no mistake about it, the light is on and it’s fun to watch people try to pull all kinds of covers to hide the truth.

    SHINE the light Sister. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

  113. Mabel says:

    Oh for heaven’s sake. No contact is not abuse. Maybe someone you just broke up with doesn’t want to hear about what you’re doing because it’s painful for THEM. Staying in touch with an ex you’re still in love with HURTS. And repeatedly calling, texting, etc. just drags it out.

  114. Oh, for heaven’s sake, you didn’t even read the article…did you?… (:

    No one said “No Contact is abuse”. It’s exactly this kind of knee-jerk reaction that makes you repeatedly call, text, etc. If I’m the ex of someone who lacks self-control and operates on autopilot… I’d not want to hear about what they’re doing either… not because it’s painful, but because SOMEONE WHO LACKS SELF-CONTROL IS A PAIN!

    Staying in contact with your ex may be painful for you, but that doesn’t mean it is for everyone. There are many more people whose exs still want to hear from them. It says there are still men and women out there capable of building relationships that can remain loving and amicable even during a break-up.

    One can’t do much about those who can’t… only they can do something about it. We each have to take our own journeys towards love, no else can take the journey for another.

  115. Wil1875 says:

    Yangki, I don’t think it’s worth getting hung up on what no contact believers say. There is nothing you can say to these people that’ll change their minds. Believe me I’ve tried, and given up.

  116. You’re right…. sadly!…):

    Thanks for reminding me that my target audience is those that want their ex back but do not want to use “no contact”. I’ll remember to IGNORE the distraction…(:

  117. Nickie says:

    When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things – 1 Corinthians 13

  118. Uh-oh! Somebody is preaching on my pulpit. Looks like we’ll have to get you your own…(:

    I hear you, Sister Nickie… much appreciated.

  119. Pat40 says:

    I find it absolutely appalling that so many think the disappearing act is an acceptable thing to do to someone they once cared about. I know first hand that it is by far the worst possible, most hurtful, and most cowardly way to end a relationship. I know that as the dumpee I hurt her but it wasn’t like we both didn’t see it coming. We fought almost every day and she has walked out on me several times before. But whenever she needed me I was always there for her. Since we broke up 3 months ago, I’ve been in hospital for an illness she knows can be fatal and in addition lost one of my best friends, but not a word from her, not even a simple text message. How is that love?

  120. “How is that love?”… good question.

    I think that you already got your answer. Don’t stay too long in that place where you are questioning her motives, intentions and actions. It just isn’t healthy for you.

  121. sassygirl says:

    If he loves you and cares about you, he won’t break up with you in the first place.

  122. You might want to re-examine that belief… it’s not supported by reality.

  123. Str8up_Guy says:

    No contact would not work on me. It didn’t with my last ex. I can see right through the effort for what it is: emotional manipulation. I strongly believe that the older you get the less tolerance childsih stunts.

  124. If you mean the older you get “emotionally”, I agree with you. Unfortunately, emotional age does not always correlate with chronological age.

  125. Anicia says:

    I just read your article and I love it. My ex broke up with me 3 months ago, after that we used to talk… it was pretty normal. But now, it’s been a month since we talked. He’s ignoring my calls and I don’t even know if he’s moving on or using the NC. It’s really sad for me since I still love him.

  126. Drimer says:

    2 months ago, my ex told me she’s not in love with me and moving on. I’ve texted her a few times with no response from her. I now believe she really meant she was moving on and I just didn’t want to believe it. I still love her, but it’s time for me to move on too.

  127. KellyJ says:

    I made the mistake of talking my ex back after 2 months of no contact and believe me when I say I made a mistake that will remain with me for the rest of my life. 10 days after we got back together, I caught him in bed with another woman. He just laughed at me and said “what did you expect?” It turns out he got back with me to hurt me as much as I had hurt him. Needless to say, we will never be friends.

  128. Al says:

    I don’t think the author understands the NC rule. NC is not a mind game or a trick. NC is a strategy to steal the power from your ex and give it back to you.

  129. And what is “stealing power… to give back to you”?
    Answer: MIND GAME.

  130. Al says:

    I was needy and clingy in the relationship and bothered her too much with texts because I was heartbroken. She was angry with me and told me she never wants to hear from me again. I went NC and I didn’t have contact for six weeks when all of the sudden I get a text from her when I least expected. We texted a couple of times, but now she is not responding again. I never actually contact her myself, she initiated all the contacts. If I had not done NC, she would never have contacted me since I bothered her too much with texts.

  131. Maia says:

    This article has clarified things for me. My ex family used to threaten to cut him off if he does not do what they ask of him. At first I was sympathetic towards him but then he started doing the same to me. He would cut me off and not talk to me for days at a time. I told him it was not healthy for the relationship but he didn’t seem to see it. It’s been 5 weeks since we last had contact and I didn’t understand why someone who said he loved me suddenly didn’t want any form of contact with me.

  132. Kara says:

    Sometimes the worst thing turns out to be the best thing. My ex refused to respond to my texts and calls and took me off his FB. I met someone special who treats me better than my ex ever did, and now my ex is begging me to take him back. He wanted to hurt me, it turned out for the best for me. It is a win-win for me.

  133. MetroGent says:

    Truthful, insightful article. Our inner-child has too much of a say in determining a path of action most notably when we are hurt, rejected or feel abandoned. It does things with the idea that the other person will feel as much hurt as we do.

  134. Kimb says:

    I don’t think NC is emotional abuse at all. It is self-preservation, a most basic human/animal trait.

  135. My (post’s) point exactly. We don’t have to operate on a basic animal level. We can do better!

  136. Kelee says:

    My of 4 years and I broke up October. For 3 months I could not get him to respond to any of my attempts to get my things I left at his place. I showed up unexpectedly and he was like “why are you doing this to me?” and made me think I was the one with the problem. We had sex and got back together. A week later we broke up again. He says he wants no contact until I figure out what I want. I have had time to really think about the relationship and can see a trend of emotional abuse with him.

  137. Good for you for seeing it for what it really is. Emotional abuse unlike physical abuse is so subtle that it can be difficult to see how you are being manipulated into doing what the abuser wants you to do.

  138. Robin says:

    I have only recently discovered your site. It has opened me up to the fact that every relationship is different and that some exes, indeed, do get back together. You have shown me that ultimately, I should be attuned to what I want and to make decisions that are in fact good for me and any relationships that I have over the course of my life. Even if others don’t always agree with that decision.

    Thank you very much!

  139. Robin, if you learned all that just reading my humble articles, then I’m really GOOD at what I do…(:

    I’d love to take all the credit, but we both know you arrived at these deep insights because you were ready to look inside yourself and take responsibility for your own happiness. As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear….

    Keep on your journey… there IS a bright light at the end of the tunnel. I know because I’ve been where you are now.

    All the very BEST!!!

  140. TJ says:

    Ex decided he wanted no contact for 3 months. After weeks of crying and begging, I found your site and took your break-up recovery course. I’m in week 6 now and realizing that I no longer want to be in a relationship with a man who always treated me with disrespect, made me feel small, and cared only about himself. I have made so much progress changing myself that I don’t feel like he’s good enough for me anymore.

  141. Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, what you are experiencing is a side effect of changing your relationship with yourself; of getting healthier.

  142. TJ says:

    Given your experience, do you think that it would be a good idea for me to contact him and tell him that I now see our relationship from a different perspective?

  143. If you are sure you do not want him back, I don’t think it’ll hurt, but I don’t think it’ll help anything either.

    If on the other hand you want him back, how you communicate your new insights will make or break the relationship.

    In my experience, if the other person has made no efforts to “change”, you either won’t get back together or if you do, you’ll break-up again. If both of you have done your inner work, can see a new vision for how you relate to each other and are equally committed to making it work, you might actually have the relationship of your dreams.

    What you do from here onwards is entirely your decision.

  144. Diego says:

    This is the stupidest article I’ve ever read. NC is not emotional abuse, it’s self preservation, to protect your heart from getting hurt again. The dumped at least has that right. You don’t get to dump me and then accuse me of emotionally abusing you. If an ex sent me an email telling me not to emotionally abuse them, I’d laugh in their face.

  145. I’ll take “stupidest”… it’s not the worst I’ve been accused of…);

    I understand that in our me-first-me-now culture where adults throw childish tantrums when they don’t get what they want when they want it, punishing someone for not giving you what you want is acceptable, encouraged and celebrated.The longer the hold out and the more pain one can inflict, the better.

    But that doesn’t make it healthy, especially if you still want a relationship with that person. Just as the dumped has the right to do NC if he/she so wants to, the dumper also has the right to end a relationship that isn’t working.

    If the dumped decides to move on with his or her life, that’s his/her right. But if the dumped makes it very clear that he/she still wants the dumper back — crying, begging, pleading and all that other stuff, using NC to get the dumper to give in is emotional blackmail. I don’t know that many people who like being blackmailed.

    It is immature (and passive-aggressive) to constantly ignore someone who is trying to talk to you. The least you can say is “Look, I don’t want to talk to you. Go away!” But ignoring them, then a few weeks or months later come back acting like everything is lovey-dovey says a lot about you the dumped than it says about the dumper.

    Being dumped is hurtful, but it shouldn’t make you cold, petty and bitter. Very bad combination.

  146. Tina says:

    This is such a powerful piece- filled with honesty and love. My ex was passive aggressive. When we had any misunderstandings, he’d wall me out, not talk to me and ignore me until I begged him to stop it. It’s only after our breakup when I sought therapy that I found out that I had been emotionally abused for 4 years. The good thing that’s come out of all this is that I can now recognize emotional abuse when I see it.

  147. BrianC7 says:

    Is no contact a bad thing if it is the last thing to do and that we both mutually agreed on it and that we would tell each other if things have changed with our thoughts and feelings towards one another? we agreed to speak in a month with no expectations going into it. Is this something that I should look forward to?

  148. The mutual arrangement you describe is not what “No Contact” Rule is about. Agreeing that time apart is something you BOTH want/need and setting a time limit on how long each of you needs to evaluate your feelings about the relationship is healthy — and sometimes necessary in some situations.

    The trap you have set up for yourself is that you agreed that you will go into it with no expectations, but the truth is you HAVE expectations. The mere fact that you are asking me whether this is something you should look forward to says that you HAVE expectations that things will go the way you hope they will. That is not the same as going into it with no expectations.

    NO expectations means it could go either way — and it does not matter what way it goes.

  149. Phoebe says:

    Our relationships had so many problems that I needed time on my own to think about what I wanted and work on myself. My ex didn’t see it that way and decided it’s best we not contact each other. Initially, I was shocked by his reaction and begged-n-pleaded. This only made him mean to me. But it also made me realize that I didn’t want time apart, I wanted out. I am so glad I removed myself from him and a toxic relationship because now I’m with the most thoughtful man ever. We’ve been together for 6 months and I’ve never been happier.

    To all of you with your ex in n/c, remember being put in n/c may not be a bad thing after all. It can be an opportunity to be clear on what you really want.

  150. Some of the best things in life come out of the worst experiences…(:

    I’m happy for you that things turned out for the best. I hope you will do everything within your power to make this relationship as “problem-free” as possible. You deserve to be happy!

  151. Ella says:

    He took the breakup very badly, told me I should not contact him until he was ready to talk to me. We haven’t had any contact for over 6 months. I’m respecting his wish, but at this point I think it’s really over for us. I am saddened that he didn’t want to try to work out our problems.

    My conclusion based on experience with 3 exes is that people who are too eager to use no contact as an option do not want to make the effort to fix what troubles the relationship. Good luck to those who have exs that are mature enough to want to try to work things out. Hold onto that person and cherish them.

  152. Brooke says:

    I appreciate this site for taking into account that every story has 2 sides. It’s wrong to always assume that the one who was dumped is the victim in the situation which is the premise of NC . My ex of 6 years and I are both overachievers and very successful in our careers, but because we transferred what works at work to our relationship, it was constant power plays which ultimately doomed the relationship. He broke up with me, but I wasn’t completely blameless. Realizing this made me immediately stop NC and start working on buidling a better relationship instead.

  153. Jedi-44 says:

    I heard it from my therapist that silent treatment for days or weeks is emotional abuse. The person doing it wants a reaction from you to make themselves feel powerful and in control. By ignoring you they want you to feel not important. And if they know that you have issues with abandonment, they will use it to make you feel devalued as a person. Don’t allow it. Move on and find yourself someone who respects you and values you.

  154. I agree with your therapist.

    It’s funny how people will scream blue about physical abuse but when it comes to emotional abuse, they somehow “rationalize” why it’s not abuse.

    Don’t allow it is the right response. If you do, you only have yourself to blame.

  155. Jedi-44 says:

    Thanks. I’m passionate about bringing awareness to emotional forms of abuse. They are just as real as physical forms.

    My ex grew up with the behavior modeled to him. He does not talk to him parents or siblings and his siblings do not talk to their parents either. I hope that he seeks help because he is a very sad lonely man who struggles with depression and isolation.

  156. I too hope that he gets help.

    You did love him at some point… he must have some positive traits about him, otherwise you would not have fallen for him.

    It helps with your healing to try as much as possible to keep an objective perspective, take responsibility for what happened and focus on your own well-being. You are less likely to repeat bad experiences when your focus is on YOU rather than on the other person.

  157. The Whistler says:

    My ex is angry about something she thinks I did, but didn’t. It’s something someone I thought was my friend told her which was a complete lie. We haven’t contacted each other for 8 weeks. What hurts most is not the fact that she broke up with me but that she believed the lie and broke up with me without giving me a chance to tell my side of the story.

  158. Being upset over not being listened to when you haven’t made any effort to communicate does not make sense. Why don’t you contact her and give her your side of the story?

  159. Eliay says:

    Yangki, I signed up for coaching with you but after explaining to you my situation you said you did not want to help me. You said you were not telling me what to do with my life but choosing not to be an “enabler” in an unhealthy relationship. I was hurt and angry, and want to apologize for the way I reacted. I didn’t understand why you didn’t want to help me, but after spending weeks thinking about what you said, you were right. The relationship was abusive and wasn’t healthy for me. I still love her very much but until she changes, there is nothing I can do. I need to work on my own issues, why I allowed myself to be treated the way she treated me and be in a healthier relationship next time. You helped me more than you will ever know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  160. Apology accepted! I’m very sorry that I had to terminate our session. I understood that you were so in love and wanted your ex back, but I just couldn’t go along with helping you get back into a situation I felt was unhealthy and dysfunctional.

    Like I said to you (and many others), it is not my place to tell you to have “hope” or move on. It’s your life and you are the only one who has to live with the consequences of your decision. In other words, the decision to not “help” was more for me. Doing something that goes against everything I stand for keeps me awake at night. I love my sleep…(:

    You didn’t react well (I will keep rubbing that one in), but I had/have a lot of respect for you for being completely honest and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. In my line of work, that’s a very rare quality. Some clients hide the fact that there was/is emotional/physical abuse or substance abuse (by an ex) in an attempt to manipulate the outcome of the session. Others just find another coach/therapist who will “enable’ their co-dependency instead of helping them challenge it.

    Next time you need a coach, send me an email, I’ll coach you for 1 hour at no charge — just for being you!

  161. Anna says:

    I stopped contacting my ex after realizing he wasn’t going to talk to me. He hasn’t returned a single text, email or call for over three months. I guess it’s safe to assume he has moved on and move on myself.

  162. Three months of no contact of any kind is a long time. He may or may not have moved on. I think it’d be foolish of you to keep waiting endlessly. If he does contact you and wants a relationship, decide on whether or not to give him a chance based on how you feel at the time (or if you are still single and not serious with someone new). If you do decide to give him a chance, 1) make sure you let him know how you felt about him “ignoring” you for three months and 2) take it very slow.

  163. Megyn says:

    My ex takes 4 days to a week to respond. We used to talk daily and he’d respond to my texts immediately. Now he takes his time and does not even apologize for making me wait. I’ve been thinking that he has moved on and does not want me contacting him. I sent him an email and told him no contact is bad for relationships, it’s better to communicate and talk things over. He did not respond. What is your advice for this situation?

  164. First of all, your ex is not doing “No Contact”. Secondly, you should be happy that he even responds at all. Most people would do anything just to get a response from their ex. Third, you are not in a relationship anymore, it makes no sense to be talking daily as if you are still a couple. For an ex, 4 days to a week to respond is reasonable.

    My advice is, if you want your relationship to even have a chance, adjust your attitude to reflect reality. That reality is 1) you are not a couple anymore, 2) you are the one who wants your ex back, that means you are the one who has to initiate and maintain most of the contact for some time, and 3) your ex has every right to respond when he wants to. If you can’t accept your reality, then may be it’s best to move on.

  165. Megyn says:

    I understand that we are not a couple, but isn’t it polite to respond at least within a day when someone texts you? I think that him not responding like he used to is his way of telling me he no longer wants me in his life. May be he needs his space and I’m bothering him by contacting him.

  166. I agree with you, it’d be “polite”. There are so many things that would make our lives easier if people were that “polite”. But part of being a mature adult is recognizing and accepting that people don’t always behave the way we want them to.

    If you’re contacting him as frequently as you used to when you were together, that can certainly come across as “bothering” him. He may want contact with you and taking time to respond may be his way of getting his “space”, if he feels you are “over-contacting” him.

    But like I said earlier, 4 – 7 days, is a reasonable time frame. If I were you. I’d be more concerned about the few contacts you have being meaningful and effective. Contacting him just for contact’s sake isn’t going to make any difference. After while, he’ll stop responding altogether. Think “quality” rather than “quantity”.

  167. Megyn says:

    You may be right. He did say he wanted us to stay in contact and ends his texts with TTYL (talk to you later). He is a straightforward guy and if he didn’t want me contacting him, he’d tell me not to contact him. I’m going to stop listening to people telling me he is not interested and I deserve to be treated better. It’s making me think the worst of him. He is not like that.

  168. What most people know about your ex (especially people on the internet) is what you tell them. If you paint him as a bad or evil person, they are going to think of him that way, and give you advice based on the picture you painted. They mean no ill, they think they are honestly trying to make you feel better by telling you what they think you want to hear.

  169. Sherry says:

    My ex won’t talk to me. He hasn’t returned a single email, call or text message for over two months. The last text I got from him, he said he will only talk to me if we are getting back together, otherwise, no contact.

  170. That’s a red flag you should not ignore. Men and women with your ex’s mentality only see things their way and only care about what they want. I bet you anything, he’s not doing anything to work on himself, probably doesn’t think he needs and thinks that the break-up is all your fault. If you give in to his emotional blackmail, you are not only telling him it’s okay for him to treat you that way, you are also going back to the same relationship you walked away from. Is he really worth it?

  171. Audry says:

    Thanks for this post though it has come a bit late for me. I cut off all contact with my when I should have had an adult conversation about why I needed time to get myself and my emotions right. He told me repeatedly that if I ever used N/C, I should be ready to move on. I’m still feeling sadness with how things ended without any closure as he now will not respond to my texts or answer my calls. He is one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met and wish things could have been different.

  172. Heather says:

    My ex just vanished- changed phone numbers deleted his Facebook, blocked all emails. I can’t get in contact with him.

  173. If he broke up with you and you went on a desperation trip — begging, pleading, bombarding him with texts, emails, phone calls etc., he must have felt it necessary for his own sake to vanish.

  174. Nat says:

    My ex of 3.5 years gave me the silent treatment for 2 weeks before dumping me via text. I wrote back asking him to meet over a cup of coffee to discuss things, and he responded that I should move on because he wasn’t the person from me. I texted him back saying I needed some answers to have closure and he blocked me from everything. That was 2 months ago and I haven’t heard from him since.

  175. He has showed you what kind of man he is, count yourself “lucky”.

    As for closure, you’ll have to find it for yourself. Trying to get him to talk to you is a waste of time and just prolongs the grief period.

  176. William says:

    Yangki, I broke up with a woman because she was more in love with me than I was with her. 2 months into the relationship, she told me she loved me, I told her I liked spending time with her but I was not looking for anything serious. She said that was okay, we had only been together a short time. By the 4 month, she was already acting like we were a couple, calling my mother and inviting my friends over. I told I did not feel that I was in love with her, her response was that I was emotionally unavailable and needed to seek help. After 5 months of dating, I had no choice but breakup with her. I didn’t want to lead her on. She was a fun person to have around and all, but I didn’t love her. She refuses to have any contact. I have reached out to her a couple of times, she will not respond to any of my texts or calls.

  177. She’s probably too hurt, angry, or even embarrassed. Based on your comment, I take it that you do not plan on trying to get her back, then let her process things her own way and in her own time. At least you owe her that.

    That said, she has to take some responsibility for her role in what happened. She should have slowed down and let you fall in love with her instead of trying to run the relationship at her pace. At least you were upfront and honest with her, and if she doesn’t understand, accept or appreciate your honesty, there is nothing you can do about it. It is what it is.

    Personally, I don’t think anyone should be committing to anyone after only 5 months of dating. Rushed relationship in general do not last. That’s just my opinion — based on many years of experience in the field.

  178. William says:

    Thank you for responding. I thought I should at least try to make it easier for her by letting her know she meant something to me even if I was not in love. But you are right, she’s probably too hurt, and it’s best o leave her alone.

    Your comment about committing only after 5 months makes me feel better. I don’t think that by 5 months you know someone enough to take things to the next level.

  179. Joyce D. says:

    Yangki, I completely agree with your psychological assessment. Our reactions are reflections of our egos and most of us have constructed an ego out of childhood defense mechanisms. We don’t mature unless we’re able to expose ourselves to a better environment and challenge ourselves to be completely honest with ourselves.

    Btw, we met in person at the International PTSD Conference 2010. I love your body of work.

  180. I remember you. I signed up for one of your after hours sessions and you were great. Hopefully we’ll see each other again later in the year.

    Thanks for your kind words about my work.

  181. Laile says:

    Yangki, I’m convinced that people who want no contact are people who are not really good at building strong connections. My ex is 31, never been married and never been in a committed relationship. She has ex boyfriends none of whom she has any contact with. We’ve been broken up 3 times. It’s usually 1 -2 weeks of no contact, then she starts reaching out again, we get back together, things are great, we get very close, she breaks up with me, then she’s calling me and leaving messages. She has shared with me that she thinks she has commitment issues.

  182. It’s my experience too that a good number of those who use “No Contact” don’t just have difficulty building strong connections, they also almost always have problems with relationship communication, have a history of being needy or passive aggressive.

    As for your ex, it’s very possible that there may be commitment issues there, given her relationship history (the way you told it). But it’s also possible that there are other things going on with her psychologically.

    That said, you have to admit that you are partly responsible for the toxic dynamic in your relationship. Human beings are funny, if they see that they can get away with something, they’ll do it again and again. It’s up to you to change the dynamics — or walk away.

  183. Laile says:

    You’re right, Yangki. She’s an amazing woman but there is too much drama with her. The 3 breakups is just a tip of the iceberg. I always feel like I’m walking on needles around her because anything can set her off. She also told me she’s difficult to love and she doesn’t know why I put up with her. I told her it’s because I love her and all I want is for us to be happy together. I don’t think that she believes anyone can love her and intentionally sabotages relationships when things get close.

  184. Becky says:

    No contact causes a rift in the relationship and both people put up their defense mechanisms which turns into protective behavior and shuts off love.

  185. No-more-good-girl says:

    Cutting off all contact in order to protect and to take care of yourself is not bad. I haven’t contacted my ex for 7 weeks and I feel great about myself. He is acting all hurt and upset because I have cut all contact with him and finally looking after myself. I’m very proud of the progress I have made. Sometimes it’s okay and normal to be selfish. You can’t love and care about someone else if you don’t love and care about yourself first.

  186. I agree with you that you can’t love and care about someone else if you don’t love and care about yourself first. But there is a healthy and unhealthy way to love yourself.

    The unhealthy way is when you put yourself first and only care about what you want or you think is good for you. Nothing else matters.

    The healthy way is balancing “what’s good for me” and “what’s good for us” (the relationship).

    If you don’t care about “what’s good for us” (the relationship), then by all means be selfish! (you might want to look up the meaning of “selfish”).

    But if you still want a relationship with your ex, don’t neglect “what’s good for us”. Later on (after taking care of “what’s good for me”), you come back and there is no “us”.

    “What’s good for me” and “what’s good for us” can be taken care of at the same.

  187. No-more-good-girl says:

    He lied to me and every time I caught one of his lies he’d turn it around and blamed me. My self-esteem was very much affected and I wasn’t the happy care-free me anymore.

  188. You don’t have to explain your decision to me. All that matters is that you sincerely believe it’s the right decision and are at peace with it.

    My advice is for people who don’t want to do the “No Contact Rule” because they still want a relationship with their ex.

  189. No-more-good-girl says:

    It sounds horrible but I care the world for him. If there was a scenario where we could get back together, that would be great.

    Our situation was made worse by the fact that there was a lack of communication which led to misunderstandings and resentment that could have been avoided or worked out.

  190. If this guy is as abusive as you say he is, why do you want him back? At some point, you’ll have to make up your mind as to what is what. You can’t move forward in any one direction when you are taking a few steps this direction, retract and take a few steps the other direction.

    In my experience, when someone is doing this, it’s usually the case that someone still has strong feelings for his/her ex and wants his/her ex back, but doesn’t think the other person will take him/her back. He/she convinces him/herself that NC is best but deep inside is scared that by doing NC they might lose their ex for good.

    The “he/she’s this and that. I’m better off without him/her” is like an addict wearing a rubber band and snapping it every time he/she feels the urge to drink or smoke. The rubber band is to stop oneself from wanting what one wants, but feels that it’s wrong to want it. If you do it long enough you will actually convince yourself that your ex was such a bad person that you are better off without him.

  191. Bhakon says:

    She told me if we broke up, she’d want no contact of any kind. At the time it seemed weird that she would say that when we were still together. We broke up last month and neither of us has contacted the other. I don’t look back with any longing at all. I like the way things turned out.

  192. Mattie D. says:

    I totally disagree with your viewpoint. My ex and I have had NO contact in about 4 months and I’m fine with that. Not everybody is meant to be together. Articles like this make us to be the bad guys because we were not “mature” enough to maintain contact with our ex. Ridiculous.

  193. You are right, not everybody is meant to be together — and not everyone can maintain contact after a break-up. I cannot argue with your experience, it’s yours and you have every right to it. This particular article/viewpoint is for people who are not fine with NO contact with their ex, still care about their ex and are looking for ways to get back with their ex. That doesn’t seem to be the case for you. Your decision may be what’s best for you – and for your ex.

  194. Cindy says:

    My ex says that he loves me and still wants to be in my life but for now he needs to be alone. He does not want contact and insists he just needs time by himself. Not sure what to do and how to feel.

  195. I don’t think you can “do” much when someone needs time to himself. Give him the time he needs. I know it’s hard but it isn’t as bad as it looks. He says he loves you and still wants to be in your life, that is something to hold on to.

    Take this time to work on becoming a better version of yourself so that when he’s ready to start contact again, you have something to show him that things can be different and better.

  196. Cindy says:

    I understand that no one can tell what the future will be, but at least I needed to know what my chances looked like. I’ll sign up for your stop being needy course and take things on a day by day basis. Thank you so much.

  197. Hubba says:

    I’m going through this with my ex of 2 years. I ended the relationship because of him not communicating his emotions to me. He would just shut down for days with me doing everything to keep the relationship alive. I finally had enough and told him that while I loved him deeply, I couldn’t continue to live in an emotional prison. He said “okay” and cut me off. But you know what, instead of making me realize what I’ve lost, I’m thankful that I can finally walk away without any regrets. I had second thoughts immediately after the breakup, and wondered if may be I was a little hard on him, but now I have none.

  198. Heartbroken_guy says:

    I wish my ex wanted me back but she’s made it crystal clear she wants to move on. All my attempts to reach out to her have been ignored. Makes me wonder if she ever loved me at all.

  199. I hear your pain… being ignored makes you doubt if someone ever loved you.

    I don’t know anything about your relationship, but just because someone is ignoring you doesn’t always mean they never loved you to begin with – or have stopped loving and caring about you. You could have harassed her with texts/calls and she does not want to encourage you to text/call her, there could be nothing in your contacts that make her want to respond OR she could be over you and wants you to leave her alone.

    If you’ve made at least 3 attempts and nothing from her, not even an explanation as to why she won’t respond, stop trying to contact someone who will not respond. She wants no contact, accept it and move on. They say, you teach people how they treat you!

  200. Jedi-Joe says:

    If they aren’t contacting you, they are moving on and so should you.

  201. Chip says:

    Yangki, I have learned so much reading your blog. I just wish I had come across it much earlier. I was one of those who listened to the “no contact” advice and 8 months later still wondering what could have happened if I had just kept in contact as she asked. She didn’t want us to “become strangers” and that’s what we’ve become. It hurts so much because I still love her.

  202. I hear you… there is no guarantee that if you had not done “no contact” things would have worked out. But knowing that you didn’t give it your best shot does create regret.

    The best thing you can do for yourself is give you a break. Yes, it may have been a mistake, but all you can do now is learn from it.

    As for still loving her after 8 months, nothing wrong with that. If you genuinely loved someone, you can’t just switch feelings of love off when you want to, and sometimes it takes longer than we planned to finally be able to move on. As long as you are slowly adjusting to your “new normal”, you’ll be okay.

  203. Jamie says:

    Yangki, despite my repeated efforts to stay in contact, my ex has decided that he wants zero contact. This is so abrupt because for the last 3 months we have had random contact, me initiating it. I guess it’s pointless to keep trying to contact him.

  204. If he says he wants “No Contact” there is nothing you can do but respect his wish. Think of it as him giving you back total control over your own actions. Instead of trying to keep in contact with someone who clearly does not want you to, you can now focus your time and energy taking care of you. When he decides that he wants contact, it will be up to you to decide whether you want it or not. More power to you!

  205. Ranjit says:

    Yangki, I see that you are being impartial, but I think that if someone decides that he/she wants no contact and later comes back wanting contact, the person who was left in no contact should respond with no contact. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  206. Ranjit, I agree with you that what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. However, there are some men and women who do the “No Contact” thing for no other reason than that they just didn’t know what else to do. They kind of followed the “crowd” and found themselves in a ditch. I think it’d be unfortunate to put them in the same category as those who are using “No Contact” to play mind games, or to make an ex miss them.

    My advice to my clients “left in No Contact” is to look at the person’s behaviour while still in the relationship. If they have a history of playing mind games, punishing when they don’t get their way, using silent treatment, distancing to avoid solving problems, are just plain emotionally immature or were abusive, them using “No Contact” is a clear sign that they have no intention of changing — just more of the same. You take back someone like that at your own risk.

  207. Matty says:

    I’m a 51 year old man, 3 years out of divorce from a 25 year relationship. This is the first time I’m experiencing the “no contact rule”. I think between two adults, it’s childish never reply to a text or email just because you are following a rule made by who knows who. “No contact rule” is why I’m going back to dating women in their 40s. I never had to deal with such childishness before and don’t want to ever again.

  208. I hear you. It makes sense never to reply to a text, email, call etc, if you want NOTHING to do with that person. It’s a message to them that you want them to GO AWAY. It doesn’t make sense if you still want that person in your life.

    Hopefully you don’t fall for in-their-40s-adults who still haven’t emotionally grown up. At the end of the day, it’s not so much how “old” the person is, but rather how emotionally mature someone is. All the very best!

  209. Abel says:

    My ex texted me after 4 months of no contact and said let’s get together. I texted back “not interested”. Two days later she again texted “may be we can be friends”, I texted back “not interested”. When I wanted to stay in contact and be friends, she told me she wanted no contact. Now she wants contact and be friends, but I’ve moved on.

  210. Brice says:

    My ex texted me after 3 months of no contact. I asked her why she was contacting me after so long and her response was that she wanted to be friends. We texted for 2 weeks before we met up for a drink. She seemed happy and relaxed but later got drunk and started crying and saying she still loves me and wants to get back together eventually but not right away. I did not want to make a scene so I told her we’d talk about it. The next day I told her I think it was best if we do not contact each other. I was not pleased that she had not been honest with me about her true motives. I think that in this situation, I had no choice but cut off all contact. Was that wrong to do?

  211. You’re right to be upset, but whether that necessitates cutting off all contact depends on whether she is someone you want in your life even as a friend — or not.

  212. Tomas says:

    Yangki, I am grateful for your take on this subject. My ex who is currently in no contact is a habitual silent treatment abuser who derives a sense of self importance and pleasure seeing the negative emotional affects of her immature behavior. I swear, a few times I’ve caught her smiling to herself in satisfaction seeing how miserable being ignored made me. The last time she did the no contact thing, I pleaded and begged her to reply to my texts. It is only after I wrote her a 6 page hand written letter that she eventually called me on the phone. Spending time on your website has helped me see that I have encourage and even rewarded this immature behavior by giving in to the manipulation and feeding her sadistic tendencies. I now have understanding of her mode of operation and a strategy for dealing with it.

  213. Glad to have given you some food for thought… (:

  214. Franco says:

    I’m doing NC to deal with my own pain. It does not mean that I don’t want contact from her, it just means that I will not contact her and if she contacts me, It’s up to me to decide what to do, without any need to explain.

  215. You are not doing “no contact”. The way the “no contact” rule is meant to work is…. No contact means NO contact. If she contacts you, no deciding what to do, because the only option is ignore or delete it. No exceptions. No thinking for yourself. Just follow the “rules”.

    It’s like a religion. Perhaps that’s why it appeals to some people more than it does to others….(:

  216. Irina says:

    This is my first time posting on this blog and really need some direction. My ex of 7 years has asked for no contact so we can both work on ourselves separately since we tried it as a couple and failed. We have a daughter together and he comes weekends to pick her up. It’s been over a month since the no contact but I already feel like I don’t know him, like he’s already becoming a stranger to me. I’m afraid that if things continue as they are, we are never getting back together. I’ve thought of writing him a letter telling him how I feel but don’t know if this is a good idea since he wants no contact. Yangki, can you please help.

  217. I understand your fears, and you have reason to be concerned. You may get back together or you may not. At this point in time however, there is not much you can do if he asked for no contact and you agreed to it. All you can do is respect his wishes.

    Instead of worrying too much about a future you do not have control over, use this time to work on you, so that when (and if) both of you try to give the relationship another chance, it’ll be a better relationship.

  218. Anthony says:

    Great post. My ex played this silly game, fortunately for me, I’d heard all about no contact. When she contacted me again, I let her do all the texting and calling until she was through playing with me. She’s not contacted me again in 2 months, and I’m perfectly okay with that. I had lost all respect for her anyway.

  219. Marc says:

    Thanks so much for your encouraging advice. I recently ended the “imbalanced” relationship you describe, but I can’t get rid of the constant feeling that I made a mistake, that may be things could have worked out between us if I had approached it differently. A part of me thinks it was really bad timing on my part and I should have given her a chance to try and change. I realize that may be these are just left over feelings of sadness/hurt of a failed relationship, but I can’t help but wonder. Anyways, she does not want any contact with me, and I can’t make her.

  220. I hear you. Give it sometime and try to contact her at some point. She may still be hurting and needs time to heal (and change). You may also need some time to work through why you were in an ‘imbalanced’ relationship to begin with. It takes two people to create a balanced relationship, and two people to create an imbalanced one.

    If she still does not want any contact with you in a month or so, then learn from your experience. Next time, try everything possible to make a relationship work before you end it. It’s the feeling that you could have done more that creates the anguish of regret that you are experiencing.

  221. Mika says:

    My boyfriend of 3.5 years broke up with saying he wanted to be on my own for sometime. We were fighting a lot. I left him alone because he needed space and I needed time to heal. But just after 2 months he has a new woman. I still love him and want him back but he said not to contact him because he wants to focus on his new relationship. I don’t understand how he could say he wants to be alone but it took him just 2 months to be in a relationship again. What’s so special about her?

  222. What’s so special about her? I don’t know. I also don’t know for sure what was going on his mind. My guess is that because of the fights you guys had, he felt that he just needed to be on his own, but he started to feel differently after the break-up. May be he was lonely and needed someone to be with or, he realized that it was you he didn’t want to be in a relationship with.

    He says not to contact him, best to walk away with some dignity.

  223. Eric says:

    I love this authors take on all things relationships. It seems that in our culture you are expected to be “in love” 24×7, and 365 days a year. Falling in love happens, so does falling out of love. There is nothing unnatural about it. People should learn to accept reality without grudges or trying to punish the other for falling out of love.

  224. It’s truly sad, but everything you said is so true.

    I think the “live happily ever after” stories most people grow up with have something to do with it. Some adults just have a hard time reconciling these fantasies with the reality of relationships. When the relationship ends, the child in them screams “where is my happily ever after?” They get so angry at the person who took away the fantasy and want to punish him/her.

    Grown up adults (like yourself) have a different reaction… “it hurts, but these things happen!”

  225. Gerry says:

    If it comes down to my peace of mind, versus anyone else’s perception of whether or not I’m being “immature”, my peace of mind wins, hands down every time.

  226. I completely agree. Unfortunately in the real world, if you STILL WANT a relationship with anyone, their perception of you MATTERS. We all wish it didn’t, but it does.

    The general perception of most people who think like you is that to heal from a break-up you have to distance yourself from your ex (who is supposed to be the cause of your pain). More emotionally aware people know that while a break-up can be devastating, emotional suffering is something WE inflict on ourselves.

    I could go into much detail, but it’d be a long read. My point is, healing or peace of mind, and preserving a relationship are not mutually exclusive. They don’t have to be. You can still get your peace of mind while preserving a relationship. At least you have something to come back to, other than acting like the relationship doesn’t matter, then later acting like the relationship matters when you want your ex back. That’s where it starts to look like a mind game.

    Either you care about the relationship and want to preserve it — or you don’t. If you don’t, then go ahead and care only about YOU. But if you do want a relationship, the “me-first, me-last” mentality will come back to haunt you.

  227. Clarice says:

    Thank you for this article. I hate it when someone sometimes act as though they want to be with me but sometimes its the complete opposite. It’s a mind game.

  228. Owen says:

    If she gets angry with you for putting NC into place, fine that’s sort of good – it shows she is reacting to you.

  229. That’s sad… when you have to work so hard for any kind of reaction from your ex, even a negative one.

    In my experience it’s usually a sign:

    1) of a one-way love relationship, where you love her more than she loves you
    2) that you were needy and clingy in the relationship and did passive aggressive things to get her attention, and NC is just a continuation of your passive aggressive behaviours
    3) of a toxic relationship where both of you do hurtful things to get the other emotionally worked up so that you can make up.

    It never ends well…

  230. Kaitlin says:

    I broke off with my ex 4 weeks ago. He continued leaving snide remarks on my FB so I unfriended him so he wouldn’t see my updates. I don’t think that was a mind game, immature or unreasonable. I believe he was getting an ego boost saying mean things about me to provoke me. When I took that away he lost all the power he had. Had I not done that, I would have continued feeding his ego.

  231. It would be a completely mature thing to do, if the only reason you unfriended him was to stop him from causing you more pain with his comments. But the fact that you seem so much more concerned about your ex’s ego says a lot about you than it says about him.

    Do what you need to do for YOU. If your ex gets an ego boost from it, that’s his/her problem. I believe that’s what self-respect is.

  232. Casper says:

    I tried to contact her but she keeps blocking me and saying she broke up with me and wants no contact.

  233. If you’ve tried more than twice to contact her, and she insists she does not want contact, respect her wish and stop trying to force contact.

    1) It’s not helping your course and 2) it may not be a mind game on her part. She may really want nothing to do with you and wants to move on with her life — without you!

  234. Gwen says:

    It’s been about a month since we broke up and we have had no contact of any kind. I tried several times to contact him but he doe snot reply. He doesn’t answer to my texts or calls and last night I went by his house to drop off his stuff. I know he was in the house because one of his friends said they had been texting and he was home but he did not come to the door. I don’t know why he is hiding because all I want to do is give him back his things.

  235. It’s understandable if he does not want contact. You can’t force someone to talk to you if he/she does not want to. But to not answer the door… that’s a whole other level of immaturity. At least you now know the kind of person you are dealing with. Consider yourself “lucky” that you found out how immature he is before… say, you married him.

    How someone treats you when things are not good between the two of you is a good indicator of how they will treat when you are married, and the honeymoon is over… the only difference is, it’ll be 10 times worse.

  236. Flakes says:

    After 3 months of no contact my ex contacted me. He wants to meet up because he has something interesting he wants to share with me. At first I was happy that he contacted me, but then I started to think of all the times I reached out to him and no response. I realized that I no longer feel for him the same way I did before. I seem not to be able to get over the fact that he didn’t even bother to contact me when my dad passed away. He knew my dad was terminally ill and we have mutual friends who came to the funeral and said he knew my dad had passed away. We were together for 4 years.

  237. Maya Angelou said “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”.

    If you look back at your relationship, chances are this is not the first time he’s acted selfishly and/or insensitively. You probably just ignored it or gave excuses for his actions. He’s gotten away with it before and thinks he can do it again.

  238. Marsha says:

    My ex is suddenly ignoring me after telling me he misses me. I sent him a text after 2 weeks of no contact and he responded 2 days later but was very neutral. I left him for another week and then texted him. He replied after 3 days and wanted to talk on Skype. We talked for 3 hours. I ended the conversation telling him to keep in touch. I didn’t hear from him for a week so I texted him and after 2 hours he replied saying he missed me and will contact me soon. It’s 2 weeks since and I haven’t heard from him. What should I do, contact him again or start NC all over again?

  239. That’s what happens when both of you play mind games with each other’s feelings.

    Whether you contact him again or start NC all over again, it won’t make a difference. The two of you will keep playing these games until one quits.

    I hope that at some point you’ll see how you are contributing to your own experience.

  240. Yousefi says:

    Yangki, I agree that by the time most people initiate NC, things are already so far gone there’s no going back. If anything, NC adds additional wedge between the two, or expedites the process of moving on unintentionally. At least that’s what happened to me and my ex. NC or no NC nothing would have made it work.

  241. Brian L says:

    My ex is using No Contact on me. I’m sure she misses me but she doesn’t seem to know what she wants. I tried to remind her that she said I was the best thing that happened to her and that I made her feel special, but she said she wants to find herself and be happy on her own. She does not want me to contact her.

  242. “I’m sure she misses me”… I admire your “confidence”.

    If you truly believe that it’s all because she doesn’t know what she wants, then give her time to figure it out. Keep in mind that she may figure out it’s you she wants, or she may figure out she does not want to be with you.

    You didn’t initiate “no contact” but you might as well take advantage of it and use that time to focus on your own healing and growth. You may find that after sometime you feel differently about her.

  243. Anatel says:

    I find this article very disturbing. NC is supposed to empower the dumpee and not the dumper. If the dumper wants the dumpee back he or she must work for it.

  244. I wish breaking up and getting back together were that black and white simple. You might want to read my article: Who Should Initiate Contact – Dumper Or Dumpee?

  245. LORI says:

    I have abandonment issues and it impacts my actions and my relationships. Hard when your brain is hardwired to shut people out to avoid getting hurt.

  246. Nadim says:

    In some of these comments you can feel the vindictive anger of the people using no contact for selfish and manipulation reasons. No contact is for you to let it go, to honor your well being and ability to heal, get on with your life and be happy again.

  247. Justin says:

    My ex of 4 years cheated on me. I tried to forgive her but in the end broke it off. She was angry with me because she said I could not get over the past, and cut off all contact. I tried to contact her after 2 weeks to let her know I was working on getting over the past but no response. Three months later she contacted me saying she wants to be friends, but only when I’m ready, have moved on from the past and will no longer bring it up. Keep in mind that this is not the first time she’s cheated. The first time, we had the same argument over her cheating, she broke up with me saying she was giving me space and when I was ready, we can try the relationship again.

    I still love her, she’s the love of my life but I don’t think we can be a couple anymore because of the cheating and her turning it around to look like I’m the one with a problem. I haven’t responded. Is it okay to do no contact in this situation?

  248. I respect whatever you decide is best for you. However, I think you should respond and ask to talk face-to-face. Be straight and tell her exactly what you think of the way she’s handled things. You’ll be surprised, some people don’t see what exactly they have done wrong until someone else spells it out to them. I get a lot of this in my practice. When they realize what they have done wrong, you feel the pain of regret and sadness. Most people do everything to try to make amends.

    I’m not saying you should “forgive” her, or even give her another chance. I’m just saying, don’t treat her the way she’s treated you. You’ll most likely carry that over to your next relationship.

  249. Jacquey says:

    Not speaking to someone for months means you don’t have much to begin with. Those that don’t respect and care about each other are automatically interested in what concerns their own interests. That’s a very bad sign.

  250. Baene says:

    My ex and I dated for a year and have been broken up for over 4 months. After the break up, which I initiated, there was some drama and got mad at me and told me not to text or message him. How will his opinion of me change when he will not even talk to me? How can I get him to want to talk to me again?

  251. He may still be mad at you, but it may also be that he’s just not interested in keeping in touch. The best you can do for yourself is accept that you possibly won’t maintain any sort of contact with him. Not every ex wants to stay in contact, especially if he has a not so good impression of you.

  252. Baene says:

    When we were in the drama I told him he had a bad opinion of me and I only acted that way because he said he never loved me. He said his opinion of me was formed before the break up and that is why he could not love me. But I know that he loved me because he said so at some point. I admit I behaved badly after the break up and i have apologized many times, but surely there is something we can do to make things work.

  253. It’s highly possible that he did love you at some point. But if he doesn’t want anything to do with you now, you can’t force your way into his heart. Give it some time, may be he will soften towards you. In the meantime, try to let this go… not give up but let go. It does you no good banging your head against a wall.

  254. John L. says:

    My ex sent me a very long email after 4 months no contact. Said she needed the time to get over the breakup and be herself again. She apologized for her role in the breakup and said she forgave me for everything. Also said she still loved me and missed me very much. She asked if I was open to trying the relationship again, starting afresh and slowly.

    I told her I was happy for her. She needed to take care of herself and wished her all the best. Never heard from her again.

  255. Jesbac says:

    Me and my ex broke up but agreed to stay friends. Things were good for a couple of months, then she said she still had feelings for me and didn’t think we should stay in contact. I told her I understood and respected what she wanted. I didn’t hear from her for another 2 months, then these weird texts started coming in. “loving my single life”, “sex without emotional attachment is amazing” and stuff like that. Some texts don’t make sense at all like. Like last week she sent a text “rubbing warm feet”.
    I’m not responding. I’m sure it’s some kind of game she’s playing. But so weird!

  256. Lonestar says:

    I’ve been trying to get my ex respond for 3 weeks. We had what seemed an amicable breakup. We greed we needed time apart but would stay in touch. Next day, I sent her a text, no response. Sent her 4 more, still no response. I read this article and sent her “If this is that no contact game, it’s not going to work. Since you will not respond, I’ll assume you want me gone out of your life and will respect your wish.” Less than an hour later, she sent me “Not playing games. I just need time to heal and get over the pain.” I sent her a text back “I understand. Contact me when you are ready.” Why didn’t she just tell me she needed time to heal in the first place? What does this mean for our relationship?

  257. I agree that it’d have made things less awkward if she had just been honest with you in the first place. But it’s also possible that after she agreed to stay in touch, she either realized she wasn’t emotionally equipped for it OR like most people she read about the “no contact rule” and just didn’t respond like they are told to.

    Good for you for taking the initiative to get a response, and I think “I understand. Contact me when you are ready” was a mature response.

    What this means for your relationship is that you can’t do anything to try to get her back until she’s ready to start communicating with you again. Not a very helpful strategy for building a relationship, but those are the cards you’ve been dealt with. It however, doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold. She may decide never to contact you again or decide it’s best to move on. Keep the door open, but live your life… and when she comes back, you get to decide whether you want her back or whether it’s too late… you’ve moved on (or met someone else).

  258. Kaylee says:

    My ex and I broke up a little over a month ago. The breakup came as a shock to me. We never fought or had an argument where either of us raised their voice. I thought everything was going well. But he said things were going too fast and that he needs time. I asked him how much time and he said he doesn’t know but would contact me when he was ready. We both cried and hugged each other for 2 hours. I have never felt pain like this before. What hurts most is that it’s so easy for him to cut me off completely.

    I’ve thought of contacting him but decided not to because he said he didn’t want contact. How can someone say he loves you and cut you off like you never existed?

  259. I’m sorry you have to feel this kind of hurt. There are so many reasons why people decide to just vanish from your life. Sometimes it’s self-preservation and other times it’s to inflict on you as much pain as they are feeling.

    Given the kind of relationship you had and how things ended, it’s hard for me to believe that he’s not hurting in some way himself; that he just walked away and has forgotten about you. I think that he’s doing what he thinks is best for him at this time.

    May be you pushed too hard and it scared him off, or may be he just hasn’t figured his life out and a relationship is not something on the top of his list of priorities. Whatever it is, you need to focus on you. If your relationship was as good as you describe it, and if his feelings for you are still strong, he will contact you at some point. And even if he doesn’t, learn from this experience and use what you learned to do better next time.

    You don’t sound like one of “those bitter people”. Don’t let this experience make you one.

  260. Ricki says:

    Yangki, I’ve read many of your articles and you seem to advocate not giving your ex space. Why is that? Almost all experts say giving someone space is healthy for all relationships. I just wonder what you base your advice on?

  261. I think that there is some misunderstanding with regards to what I actually advice. For that reason, I’ve written a longer response. Please read my response in Why The Experts Are Wrong About Giving Your Ex Space“.

  262. Melanie says:

    I stopped contacting my ex because he said he needed space to figure out what he wanted. I had no choice but to respect his wish. My question is, is there still hope for us to get back together?

  263. It depends on what he has to figure out, and if he figures out it’s you he wants to be with. Until then, like you said, you have no choice but to respect his wish.

  264. Karen says:

    My ex broke up with me and I deleted him on Facebook. He texted me and asked me why I deleted him. I told him I wanted no contact and he said he’ll respect my wishes. After 2 days of no contact I felt really bad and reached out to him. I told him I still loved him and he said he loved me too but we should not rush back into a relationship. This was our 3rd breakup. For over a month things were great and we were getting very close again. Then we got into a stupid little fight and he said that he needs space for sometime. I haven’t heard from him since. I don’t know if he’s ever going to contact me.

  265. If he still feels strongly for you, he may contact you again. But just because someone contacts you doesn’t mean they want to get back together, right away — or ever. Just keep that in mind.

  266. Xarna says:

    Now I understand the pain of rejection my previous ex felt when he texted me and I ignored him. Everyone kept telling me dont reply, dont give in, and I listened. By the time I contacted him he was so mad that he told me to leave him alone. Now the tables are turned and my current ex is ignoring me. It hurts a lot especially when you have memories of when he was nice and showed that he cared about me. Its like hes a different person.

  267. Iggy says:

    I couldn’t care less what my ex thinks of me, I want him to get the message that he wanted it over, and it’s over. What he thinks of me adds no value to my life.

  268. I hear you. You obviously are hurt and upset.

    You don’t have to keep in contact with your ex if you don’t want to.

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