7 Things To Do When Your Ex Cuts Off All Contact And Won’t Respond

Your ex cuts off all contact, unfriends you, blocks you, and won’t respond to texts or take your calls. It’s like they’ve suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth. No warning. No explanation. What do you do?

Granted, different people deal with break-ups differently. But this is someone who said they loved you, and even promised to love you forever. Someone who, called you “babe”, introduced you to friends and family as “my…” and had you in their future. Your person.

What do you do when you ex cuts off all contact, unfriends you and/or blocks you?

1. Ask yourself why your ex cut you off 

It’s possible that you were being overly emotional, unreasonable, needy or threatening, and your ex (rightfully) feels that cutting off all contact is the only way to get you to stop; and for your ex to protect themselves from you. You can’t fault someone for trying to protect themselves from drama, unreasonable behaviour or being harassed with texts and calls.

RELATED: Dismissive Avoidant Ex: You Want Me But Maybe I Don’t Want You

2.  Assume they want nothing to do with you

If you go to the house of a friend you had a falling out with. They see you coming and lock all the doors, windows and drew down the blinds. It is reasonable to conclude that they don’t want you there. They want you to leave. Similarly, when your ex cuts off all contact and blocks all access for you to contact them, assume they want you gone. The only self-respecting thing to do is leave them alone. Don’t keep trying to contact someone who is sending you a clear message. You lose their respect.

RELATED: 3 Ways ‘No Contact’ Hurts Your Chances (Attachment Styles)

3. See it for what it is, manipulation

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 didn’t meet your needs, was deeply troubled (too many arguments and fights) or that was simply moving too fast for the level of commitment you were ready for; you are only re-confirming to them that withholding attention, affection or love works.

If refusing to continue a dysfunctional dynamic does not make your ex want to change; you know that the behaviour will continue if you get back together.  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. You will be more ready for a relationship where you will be treated with the respect, affection and love you deserve.

RELATED: 5 Game-Changing Things To Do When Your Ex Is Playing Mind Games

4. Give your ex a chance to change their mind about cutting you off

If you still have feelings for your ex and can find a way to somehow reach out to your ex even if they cut you off.

My advice is reach out at least 3 times depending how you feel. The first time you reach out, tell them that you understand if they need space or a clean break to move on. But if there’s any hope of any kind of relationship in the future, cutting you off is not helping. The message it sends is that they do not want anything to do with you. If that is the message they’re sending, you get it. Sometimes no response is a response in itself. But if that’s not the message they’re trying to send, you want to hear directly from them.

If your ex doesn’t respond, take it for that it is. No response is a response. It’s best that you both move on.

5. Let your ex be the one to reach out first

Many people doing ‘no contact’ actually want contact, they just want you to contact them first. This makes them feel that you miss them and still want them. If you want your ex to know you miss them and want them back, reach out first. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who reached out first. What matters is that you have a secure, healthy, and lasting relationship.

But if you try to reach out more than 2 times and your ex completely ignores you, and doesn’t even respond to tell you they want space, or don’t want you to contact them, avoidant or not, that’s downright disrespectful.
Stop contacting them. Leave them to contact you first. The more you keep contacting them, the more they feel ignoring you is what makes you want them. If they want you back, let them reach out first. You’ve done your part, the ball is now in their court.

RELATED: 7 Reasons Why Fearful Avoidants Do ‘No Contact’

6. Respect your ex’s request not to contact them

If your ex directly and clearly says they do not want you to contact them; respect their request and don’t keep contacting them. If they say they want ‘space or time”, ask them if that means they do not want you to contact them. If they say yes. Respect their boundary, and not contact them.

Not everyone ex who cuts you off all contact is doing it to get you to miss them or manipulate your feelings. Some people believe “no contact” is 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.

REATED: Is It ‘No Contact’ If My Ex Asked Me Not To Contact Them?

7. Move on

Your ex cutting you off and ignoring you may actually be a good thing in that it allows you to move on.

It is time to start the process of moving on yourself.

Fair? Probably not. Heartbreaking? Yes. Healthy? YES! This is what someone with a secure attachment style would do. They try what is within their power to change, but if they’ve done their best and an ex is still won’t respond; they move on.

Availability and responsiveness are key to a secure relationship. If someone can’t even do that, the relationship is unsafe.

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  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Salissa

    I broke NC after more than 4 months and reached out to my ex. He responded with no emotion and didn’t seem to have missed me or care at all. It felt like I was taking to an ultimate stranger. After catching up I asked where we go from here and he said he is in a relationship and is not good for us in have contact. He wants to respect her and work on their relationship. I feel worse than the breakup, crushed and alone. He did say he wanted us to maintain contact after the breakup and I went NC. Do you think if we had remained in contact we would still have a chance?

    1. Love Doctor Yangki AkitengLove Doctor Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor Yangki Akiteng

      No contact for 4 months did not help for sure, but there is no way of telling for sure if you had remained in contact you would still have a chance. A lot depends on why you broke up in the first place.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Patra

    Unlike most others asking questions here I don’t want to get back together with my ex. He cheated two times and things like that aren’t forgotten easily. I don’t feel guilty at all about ignoring him and at this point I don’t think we can be friends either.

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Diego

    Yangki, thank you I needed to read this. My ex and I went from talking every day to not talking. Today will be 42 days. I never acted needy or angry after the breakup and we both agreed we played a part in the breakup. I don’t know why she initiated no contact and it really hurts mainly because I never thought of her as someone who wouldn’t care. She was always a kind soul and we both cared for each other and even when we had our couple’s fights we were always kind to each other. I miss her so much but is she’s fine without contact, I should be fine with it too. I just don’t know if and when she reaches out I will want to talk to her. I don’t know if I can accept this side of her.

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Radhruin

    It’s strange that you framed the no-contact rule as emotional abuse.
    Did it occur to you that a man resorting to not contacting his ex may sometimes not be doing it to abuse anyone, but simply protecing himself from the unavoidable pitfalls of maintaining contact with a person you were in love with in the first stages after they dump you?

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      You are late to the party, Radhruin

      That point has been argued on this site 1000 times. Read the discussion on this article and others about ‘no contact’. Warning: You won’t like it very much. This site is not for “NC” users, or advocates.

      I think you’ll find this interesting: Does Someone Doing “No Contact” Love You?

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Austin

    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.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Accepting that it may be really over is hard for most people, even when it’s clear it is over.

      That said, I don’t think people easily forget a 3 year relationship. They just make a conscious decision to move on from it. Without contact, it’s hard to tell whether there is hope or not. You are left in a vacuum. Personally I don’t think that’s fair, but again, a lot of things about break-ups aren’t always fair.

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Marina

    I stopped contact with my ex because I was very hurt and didn’t want to keep arguing, but when I contacted him again and tried to speak to him he was very upset and everything became even worse. I know it wasn’t mature, but I didn’t know what to do. Now we talked again and things are still weird between us, but agreed to talk in a month again to see how things go. At least I feel more relaxed now.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki C. AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki C. Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki C. Akiteng

      I understand feeling relaxed. But the reality is things will be even more weird in a month’s time. The longer you are disconnected from each other, the more you become like strangers.

      I have mentioned it over and over; people change (believe it or not). Your ex is having new experiences, meeting new people, doing new things etc, which you are not part of. Trying to fit back into his “new life” is harder than most people realize.

      The way I see it, you are both buying time to move on, or he is at least.

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Luisha

    My ex contacted me saying he still loves me after ignoring my several texts for 10 weeks. When I didn’t respond he sent me texts saying he wanted know how I am and whats going on in my personal life. I never answered his texts to make him feel better for what he did. After a month of trying to get me to answer the texts stopped. he will probably text me again after 10 weeks but I still won’t answer. Life is too short to waste on immature games and it was an unhealthy relationship.

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Zelia

    My ex sent me this article, now I see why. She has a point. Thanks you for making me realize what I was doing with NC was destroying our relationship.

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Knick

    When people break up for a good reason, it is usually forever. Attempts at contact are generally self serving and pointless. You can’t remain “friends” with someone who gave up on you and decided they were better off without you in their life.

    1. I am sure you are speaking about YOU. I can’t argue with that. You may be right that in your case it’s pointless to stay in contact… may be your breakup is forever.

      However, if you read stories on this blog, you’ll see that others have a whole different experience. Staying in contact made a huge difference, and for some, staying in contact is the main reason they got back their ex.

      Different folks, different stories.

  10. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Nelturt001

    I didn’t try to stop my ex’s no contact and never contacted her in the 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.

    1. 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.

      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.”

  11. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Cods

    I was abandoned by my mother when was 3, I am 38 years old but it still has effect on me. I will give you space if you ask for it but when you cease all contact after only one attempt to reach them to see if they are okay, I don’t contact them again even if they later contact me.

  12. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jamie

    Secure people will understand, and support your need for space, once you communicate that your space is necessary to your self-care and well being. After a certain amount of time has passed, they will check to see if you want to resume communication. BUT if you continuously ignore and not communicate at all, eventually after a couple of attempts, the secure person assumes you’re just not interested and they’ll go about their own thing. Why would I continue to contact someone who’s not interested?

  13. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Alan08

    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.

    1. 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.

  14. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Joe

    Hi, i went out for a 10 days yoga training course. When I came back, my ex GF , 5 years relationship, cheated and dumped me. This was 1 month ago. Part of me wants to go back with her, but i cann’ t forget the way i was dumped. Is nc the best way to heal ? Its really hard to continúe in touchbwith hervafter her behaviour. Thank you

  15. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Carla

    Any help would be appreciated… 6 years together, he raised my youngest son, I’m 13 years older than him. We were on different pages and arguing a lot. He was lazy and selfish and I was needy. But I love him dearly. His drinking got too much I asked him to stop, he got worse so I asked him to leave. 2 days later I caved in but for once he didn’t. I reassured him he could come back. He asked for space. On and off texting a few days then he came over and we slept together (I know). He then promised to visit son and me, cancelled twice and I sent him an accusatory rant text. That was 3 weeks ago and he gasnt replied to 6 texts. I haven’t text him for a week either. Why after 6 years can’t he just say “leave me alone”. I’m moving on, slowly. And I wouldn’t ignore him if he texted. We live near to each other so highly likely we will bump into each other…. Please help.

  16. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Emery

    For me the problem is that it’s hard to set boundaries and draw a line in the sand. I fear that this will drive her farther away.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Your fear is real… it might drive her away. But it’ll not be because you set boundaries, but because you didn’t have her in the first place.

      Sadly, some exes know you have these fears and use your own fears against you.

      At the end of the day you only have two options…1) have no boundaries and be kept on a leash or 2) set boundaries and be treated with some respect.

      If you choose #1… don’t complain about it. It’s your choice.

  17. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: William Daiuley

    I agree with this post. How do you handle the dumper telling you they will have to stop reaching out to you because you need to go on and if the dumper continues to reach out it only blurs the lines more. That is what was sent to me recently. It sounds like the dumper is the one that is trying to move on but projecting that on to the dumpee and not hold any accountability. How is this type of communication handled?

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      We spoke on phone about this. Your situation is more complicated than you state here. But for the sake of others in similar situations, if your ex is not bipolar or playing mind games (e.g wants you to give her the ring and using breaking up but keeping you on the hook as a hint), don’t let this behaviour go on. Ask them what it is they really want, and if they tell you they want you to move on, tell them if that’s what they want, that’s what you’ll do. After that conversation, don’t continue acting like you are in a relationship, you continue to blur the lines if you do. Only respond to contacts that are important or relevant, cut out the chit-chat, and daily “just called to say hi/I love you” that couples in a relationship do. You don’t have to cut them off, just send the message things are different now.

      This is about healthy personal boundaries. You’ve got to have strong personal boundaries otherwise, people walk in and out of your life however they like. It’s like a house without doors… anyone can walk in and take what they want and leave… it’s not their fault that they can, it’s your fault for having no doors.

      1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: William Daiuley

        Thanks Yangki, and i appreciate you posting for the sake of others. that’s what makes you great!!!! I will have to be strong…..i continue to read your book over and over thinking i am missing something…..i know you can help. Sent you an email… 🙂

        1. Love Doctor, Yangki AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Akitengsays: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

          Thanks Bill for the kind words. Unfortunately, I can only help so far… as they say, good advice is only as good as the person using it… 🙂

  18. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Deb

    I think no contact is the best thing in that it allows both of you to heal and move past the pain. Once a safe period of time has passed, I recommend 3 – 6 months, and you both feel free from the emotions that come with a breakup, it will be okay to reopen the lines of communication and perhaps re-establish a friendship.

    1. It’s a nice thought to think that you will “both feel free from the emotions that come with a breakup” at the same time. But we all know that in reality, some people bounce back faster than others. And if you haven’t been in contact, neither of you will know where the other is at.

      Experience has shown that in 3 – 6 months, most people will have either moved on or are in another relationship. To think your ex will be waiting for you to be ready so you both can reopen the lines of communication is expecting “too much”.

      That’s not to say you absolutely can’t reopen the lines of communication or re-establish a friendship after periods of no contact. You can. But it’ll take a lot longer (if ever) to get to that place where you both feel emotionally safe with each other again.

      The more time you spend apart, the more you become “like strangers”, that’s a fact.

  19. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Tigerbabe

    Who cares whether someone thinks that no contact is rude and immature? They dumped you, let them suffer the consequences.

    1. You do if you WANT your ex back. You can’t get someone back if they think you are rude and immature.

      If you DON’T WANT your ex back… well, the grown up thing to do is move on.

      Trying to make someone suffer the consequences of breaking up with you is immature. It says more about you than it says about your ex. I’m not saying your ex is “good” and you’re “bad”, I’m just saying revenge looks bad on the perpetrator than the receiver. And if you think it’s going to make you feel any better… it won’t, not long term.

  20. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Clifford

    I like that the author does not assume that the person who is left behind is always the victim. Sometimes the person leaving is the “victim” or the one trying to save himself or herself. In my case I was the dumper after trying so many times to work on our communication. I wanted to talk things out but she wanted to give it time and let things settle. Needless to say we never resolved anything. I still love my ex but if we can’t communicate and resolve our issues then it’s best to go our separate ways.

    1. I’m a little uneasy using the word “victim” in break-up situations, but I get what you mean. Every break-up has THREE stories… the dumper’s, the dumpee’s and the truth!

      It’s sad that you have to give up on a relationship with enough love to make it work just because you can’t communicate.

  21. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Sporty

    For me no contact is the only way to communicate to my ex I do not want him back. Any contact with him will be taken to mean I want him back. I am not only doing this for me, but also doing it for him so he stops being in denial and moves on. This may sound cruel, but it is what is best.

  22. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Clare

    I came across this blog because I didn’t know what to do. My ex has been ignoring me but posts indirectly on FB saying I guess you don’t know what you got til it’s gone. After reading this I honestly don’t know if I want him back. I still love him and think about him but I am not into wanting what I can’t have. Thank you so much for reminding me I deserve someone that truly loves me and does not try to exploit my fear of loss and abandonment (I lost both my parents when I was 15).

    1. I’m so sorry about your parents. I can’t even imagine the impact it must have on you. But it seems to have made you self-aware and self-assured. Very few people understand that wanting what you can’t have is courting unhappiness. You can never know what’s like to be content if you always want what you can’t have.

      As for your ex, I can’t say with certainty that he is exploiting your fear of abandonment. But if your gut tells you that’s what is happening, trust your gut.

  23. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: taha

    I completely disagree with this article.
    Silent treatment and No Contact both are not the same thing.

    –Silent treatment is emotional abuse. silent treatment is to ill treat some one and get what an abusive partner want.

    –No Contact is a get over strategy..No contact mean, a full stop to farther mental and emotional damage and let go.
    No Contact helps people to move on with life, from an abusive partner.

    1. I completely AGREE with you…

      “No Contact is a get over (an ex) strategy”. But used to “get what THE abusing/manipulative partner wants (i.e. get an ex back, get an ex to miss you, get revenge, etc)”, it IS emotional abuse.

      … See what happens when you actually read the article, instead of reacting to what you think is being said.

  24. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Paulxki

    I understand what the author is saying but if your ex is willing to throw away a relationship without thinking about how important you were or what you meant to her, then why would you want to stay in contact with her? She made a decision that she didn’t want to be with you, you should respect her decision and respect yourself.

    1. @Dia and Paulxki, both of you are not interested in getting back with your ex, so this article does not apply to you. This article would only apply if you wanted to try to make things work again.

      There is no law (God’s or man’s) that says you must maintain contact with your ex, if you don’t want to.

  25. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Dia

    I’m using NC to heal and move on. It’s not playing games or trying to punish him. He and I have tried to make it work several times and it didn’t work. I don’t want to be dragged back into something I don’t want.

  26. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Cataliya

    My ex wants me back but still refuses to hold himself accountable for his part in what became a toxic relationship. He’s now decided he wants no contact so he can deal with his emotions and I’m perfectly fine with it because I don’t want him back.

  27. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Dominic

    Thank you for writing this Yangki. I agree with all of it 100%. Even the part about moving on if its too painful for your ex to stay in touch. I would have preferred gentle, low contact but sadly my ex preferred a hard break. I think its a shame that anyone has to use “no contact” and forget someone who had their back and truly loved and cared about them. But i agree this has to be a skill learned from early childhood so it just feels right to some people. My partner was my best friend and i know i need to protect my heart from this kind of behavior. Its shattering to go through.

    1. Everything…

      1) When you’ve been ignored and taken for granted it hurts, I get that. No one should have to feel that they are not worth of attention. No one.

      What makes me sad is that someone who knows exactly how it feels to be ignored, turns around and does the very same thing. It doesn’t help a relationship. It only creates a cycle of toxicity.

      2) She talks about a good kick in the butt. How do you kick the butt of someone who dumped you and is gone?

      This kind of thinking comes from a place of powerlessness, and unfortunately as a result, some people remain powerless to change things.

      3) She also talks about the “gift of missing you”… A gift is ONLY a gift if the person for whom it’s intended for takes it. If the other person does not take it, that “gift” belongs to no one.

      The whole thing about an ex missing you because you are not contacting them or are out of their lives is misleading. It keeps many people in a state of delusion and causes even more pain to some.

      Can you imagine what it does to one’s sense of worth if your ex ignored you while in the relationship and doesn’t even miss you when you are gone?

      But if thinking that your ex is missing you makes the pain of the break-up a little bit more bearable… I guess it’s a good thing.

  28. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Dr. Viv

    Btw…your response to me was very condescending and not nice. I thought you had blocked me since my comment wasn’t going through but now it did. I still find you to be disrespectful to people who even bother to comment if they don’t kiss up to you. Take care. Get a real education before you call yourself the love doctor

  29. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Dr. Viv

    I don’t think that NC with someone you love and want back is a bad idea at all. It’s not manipulation if you’re doing it with the hope that the person will value you more and change behaviors that are destructive to the relationship. You can only tell a person so many times what you need, what isn’t working and so on, while being ignored and taken for granted. A good kick in the butt is what some people need and the gift of missing you!

  30. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Craig

    I agree with this article. If someone is not happy and wants to leave, why punish them for wanting to leave? Would you rather they stayed and pretend they care?

    My ex left me 3 weeks ago because she was not happy, at first I was very hurt, but after much reflection, I can see why she was not happy. I was not communicating with her well. I kept my feelings to myself and would withdraw rather than solve our problems. In the end, she felt we were growing apart. Everyone is telling me to apply no contact but I feel that if I want her back I need to show her that I’m working on my communication skills and not withdrawing to myself as I always did.

  31. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Hank

    I texted my ex and told her it was cruel of me to cut her off and not respond to her texts. She said she understands Im hurting but does no want me to contact her. Shes happy without me and wishes me the best. Do you think I ruined my chances by applying no contact?

    1. I don’t know. It’s possible that she realized she missed you (and wanted you back) but after trying to reach out to you and getting no response, she decided to move on.

      It’s also possible that she’s just angry that you ignored her texts.

      But it’s also possible that it was really over even before you applied “no contact”. She may have been trying to reach out to you because she missed you, not because she wanted to get back together.

      This is one major problem with “no contact”… you might never know for sure.

  32. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Torey

    Yangki, my ex has been trying to contact me and says things like I don’t want you out of my life, but because of the circumstances of our breakup and how he treated me, I’m not ready to talk to him yet. I want him back but need time to heal and work on myself.

    1. I hope he wasn’t abusive or anything like that. That should be a deal breaker to any right-thinking person.

      If you’re hoping to at sometime reconnect, don’t just ignore his attempts to reach out to you, he might think you’ve moved on and move on himself.

      Be honest with him and tell him you are still hurt by what happened during the breakup and how he treated you, and need time. When you’re ready, you’ll contact him.

  33. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Debra

    I think that no contact for 3 – 6 months gives both sides time to ponder what it was that they loved about the other person and when they get back they will be much stronger together.

    1. I’m not one to tell you to do, or not do “no contact”. It’s not my relationship.

      But I think that people who do “no contact” are mostly in denial and as a result assume too much. Here you are assuming that your ex is also spending as much time as you are “pondering” about what was good about you. This is a HUGE mistake many people make after a breakup. Because they’re obsessing about their ex, they assume their ex is doing the same. The reality is, everyone has their own way of handling a breakup. Some people actually manage NOT to think of their ex at all. They fill their lives with so many “new” activities that they have no time to “ponder” about an ex. Out of sight… out of mind!

      And if the relationship wasn’t that great, there will be so little good stuff to “ponder” about. In my opinion, it’s best to try to replace the bad memories with good ones before the bad memories become “irrefutable fact” in your ex’s mind.

  34. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Chettan

    The problem I have with NC is that it presumes that your ex will still be there for you when you’re ready to start contact again. You take them for granted.

  35. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Rosa

    If your ex told you not to contact him because you texted/called him too many times days after the breakup, is it still considered no contact if you don’t contact him?

  36. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ellie

    After my ex broke my heart, I ended the relationship and requested that he not contact me again. I proceeded to use the No Contact Rule knowing full well that the relationship (at least from my perspective) was over. Of course, a part of me still hopes that he “comes to his senses” and contacts me again. But I know that it is foolish… even though he wanted to continue the relationship, he let me know that I was no more than a single chapter in his life– when what I wanted was to be a part of the entire book.

  37. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: April68

    Yangki, my ex initiated no contact. Two days ago, I got a text “Hi, I hope it’s okay for me to send you a text?” with a smiley. I am surprised she actually contacted me. We have not had contact beginning of August. I am interpreting it as an open invitation to start contact again. What do you think? Should I respond?

  38. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Susanp

    I am reading all the comments here and realised I was definitely doing all the wrong things. I had basically cut all contact with him and ignored all his texts. So I contacted him and basically said I was sorry for not responding and would like us to stay in each other’s lives. He responded immediately, saying he needed time to heal but that I should contact him again in a month and may be we can go for drinks. Is it still no contact if it’s the other person requesting it?

  39. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Iggy

    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.

  40. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Xarna

    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.

  41. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Karen

    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.

  42. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Melanie

    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?

  43. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ricki

    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?

  44. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jesbac

    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!

  45. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: John L.

    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.

  46. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Baene

    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.

    1. 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.

  47. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Baene

    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?

    1. 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.

  48. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jacquey

    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.

  49. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Nadim

    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.

  50. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: LORI

    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.

  51. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Anatel

    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.

  52. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Brian L

    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.

    1. “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.

  53. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Yousefi

    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.

  54. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Marsha

    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?

    1. 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.

  55. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Flakes

    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.

    1. 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.

  56. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Gwen

    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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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!

  57. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Kaitlin

    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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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…

  58. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Clarice

    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.

  59. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Gerry

    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.

    1. 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.

  60. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Eric

    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.

    1. 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!”

  61. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mika

    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?

    1. 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.

  62. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Marc

    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.

    1. 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.

  63. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Anthony

    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.

  64. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Irina

    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.

    1. 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.

  65. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Franco

    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.

    1. 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….(:

  66. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Tomas

    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.

  67. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Brice

    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?

  68. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Abel

    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.

  69. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Matty

    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.

    1. 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!

  70. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ranjit

    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.

    1. 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.

  71. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jamie

    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.

    1. 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!

  72. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Chip

    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.

    1. 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.

  73. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Heartbroken_guy

    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.

    1. 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!

  74. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Hubba

    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.

  75. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Cindy

    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.

  76. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Cindy

    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.

    1. 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.

  77. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mattie D.

    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.

    1. 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.

  78. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Bhakon

    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.

  79. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: No-more-good-girl

    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.

    1. 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.

  80. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: No-more-good-girl

    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.

    1. 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.

  81. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Becky

    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.

  82. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Laile

    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.

  83. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Laile

    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.

    1. 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.

  84. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Joyce D.

    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.

  85. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: William

    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.

  86. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Nat

    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.

  87. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Heather

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

  88. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Audry

    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.

  89. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Sherry

    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.

    1. 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?

  90. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Megyn

    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.

    1. 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.

  91. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Megyn

    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.

    1. 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”.

  92. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Megyn

    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?

    1. 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.

  93. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Anna

    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.

    1. 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.

  94. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: The Whistler

    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.

  95. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jedi-44

    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.

    1. 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.

  96. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Jedi-44

    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.

  97. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Brooke

    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.

  98. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ella

    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.

  99. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Phoebe

    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.

  100. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: BrianC7

    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?

    1. 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.

  101. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Tina

    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.

  102. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: TJ

    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?

    1. 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.

  103. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: TJ

    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.

  104. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Robin

    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!

    1. 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!!!

  105. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Kelee

    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.

  106. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: MetroGent

    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.

  107. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Kara

    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.

  108. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Maia

    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.

  109. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Al

    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.

  110. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: KellyJ

    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.

  111. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Drimer

    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.

  112. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Anicia

    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.

  113. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Str8up_Guy

    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.

  114. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Pat40

    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?

  115. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Nickie

    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

  116. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Wil1875

    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.

  117. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Mabel

    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.

    1. Love Doctor, Yangki Christine AkitengLove Doctor, Yangki Christine Akitengsa