Question: I’ve read many of your articles and answers and I think n/c if used properly is way more powerful than you give it credit for. When I broke up with my girlfriend April 09 I went straight n/c for 4 months. No texts, no email, no letters, no phone calls, no asking friends how she was doing, no checking her Facebook page, no information, no anything. It was very difficult for a while but it got easier with the passing of time.

Then out of nowhere she texted me! She wanted to talk and see if we can work things out. This week she again decided she needs to figure out if I am the one for her. I’m letting her do what she wants but I’m going back to n/c.  I’m confident that she’ll contact me again. No Contact is hard but I believe it works well. I’m sticking to n/c.

Yangki’s Answer: I understand where you are coming from, and that my advice on “no contact” goes against the advice out there.

The difference is that while most encourage emotional distancing and defensive detachment, I encourage emotional connection, communication and healthy attachment. At the end of the day, it’s not how well you do “no contact’ that persuades your ex to come back. What will persuade your ex to give things another try is how well you connect, communicate and emotionally bond.

“N0 contact” does the very opposite of connecting, communicating and emotionally bonding.

1. “No contact” communicates the wrong message about what you want

I tell my clients: Before you do anything ask yourself: “Why am I doing this?” “Why am I behaving this way?” “How will my actions right now help/hurt me later on?”

If your actions are the opposite of what you want, chances are they will hurt you later on.

  • If you want your ex back and behaving like you do not want him/her back, you are hurting your chances.
  • If what you want is closeness but behaving like what you want is distance, you are hurting your chances.
  • If what you want is to show your ex that you still love and care about him/her but behaving like you wouldn’t give a rat’s ass, you are hurting your chances.
  • If you want to show your ex that you have changed, but acting like the same old passive aggressive, manipulative, cold hearted, angry and vindictive you, you are hurting your chances.

2. “No contact” takes away your control of the situation

Who has more control of a situation: someone who reacts from emotion or one who responds rationally?

Someone calmly tries to resolve it or the one who walks away from it?

Someone who is trying to repair a broken bridge or one who burns it down completely?

When you cut off all contact you are reacting to rejection in a very unhealthy way; burning down the bridge you may later on need.

It’s like shutting all the doors, windows, vents, chimneys (all access your ex would use to get to you), and expecting your ex to burst open the door and come begging you to take him/her back. Good luck with that.

3. “No contact” damages the very foundation of a relationship; trust

No contact as a strategy to get back your ex is designed to trigger the fear of rejection and/or abandonment in someone who already has these fears and likely to act on them. How would you feel if someone uses your insecurities against you? Would you feel it as “love”?

Once you use someone’s fears against them it will be very hard for that person to trust that you will always have his or her back no matter what.

The fear that you will use their fears and insecurities against them will make your ex cautious and unable to fully open up emotionally. Even when your ex comes back because he/she felt rejected and abandoned, he/she will leave again because the reason he/she returned was not because of you.

So before you do “no contact” ask yourself: “Why am I doing this?” “Why am I behaving this way?” “How will my actions right now help/hurt me later on?”

My experience over the years is that when someone says “I had to do no contact”, they are telling me their situation is most likely hopeless. By the time “no contact” is the only option, the relationship is most likely too damaged to try and get back together.

People in relationships that were generally good and healthy, and people who had a no “too much” drama break-ups see no need to cut off their ex. Almost all of them maintain some level of contact, even those that don’t intend to get back together. There is just no need for abruptly ceasing all communication with someone who was good to you, and whom you probably still care about – or even love. If contact ceases, it does so organically and not by a forced “no contact rule”.

Don’t just take my word for it. Do a Google search and see how many people actually heard from their ex, how many of those got their ex back, and how many of those sustained the reunion beyond a few weeks/months.

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  • I have a question, I apply NC for a while my ex girlfriend contacts me and then I act like I did not care, later on I just contacted her and she was glad to heard from me. We even go out together even when I know she is with someone else, she just wrote me emails like two times and calls me once, all the other times I was the one making the calling and sending emails, she always is glad to heard from me but never calls me or send email. I think she is doing mind games but I’m still wants her back, how do I know if this are mind games. I send an email to her from time to time to know how she is and try to get more involved with her life with questios and be really happy for whatever response she give me, I mean honestly happy.

    Any thoughts on this?

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  • There are several reasons why No Contact has been appropriated by narcissists. For one, it’s easier using No Contact if you never attached in the first place. If you were never emotionally invested in the relationship, it’s easier to walk away. Narcissists also have a desire to punish those who fail them, criticize them, trigger their shame. On the surface, No Contact may appear to be warranted and people support narcissist’s convincing claims; but beneath their pretense of self-protection is hostility, aggression, and varying degrees of sadism.

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  • Unless someone is in an abusive relationship, please throw the no contact rule out the window. It’s the biggest bunch of horseshit in the dating and relationship game EVER!!!!

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    • I agree with you 200%, on everything…

      What most people don’t realize is that the “No Contact Rule” is mostly a North American thing. I talk to people all over the world, and some people are really confused as to why an adult who wants a relationship with their ex cuts that same person off for 21, 30, 60 or 90 days.

      I think it has a lot to do with how we each learned to respond or react when we do not get what we want, or are told “not now”.

      Some people can easily take it in stride but others find it really hard to emotionally deal with rejection, perceived or real.

      And many “experts” instead of helping people deal with rejection in a healthy and positive way, encourage them to react in a very unhealthy way. Truly sad!

      All you have to do to see the damage of such advice is look at the quality of relationships in different parts of the world. Our North American relationships are really messed up…. it’s all about manipulation, power-struggles and me, I and myself. Very little focus, if any on “US” (you AND I).

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