7 Things You Can Do When Your Ex Will Not Respond And Blocks You

Your ex has completely cut you off. They unfriended you, blocked you, won’t respond to your texts and will not pick up the phone. It’s like they suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth. No warning. No explanation. Nothing. It sucks! Doesn’t it?

What do you do?

1. Ask yourself why they suddenly cut you off

It’s possible that you were being overly emotional, unreasonable, needy or threatening, and your ex (rightfully) feels that ‘no contact” is the only way to get you back to rational behaviour, or out of their life. You can’t fault someone for trying to protect themselves from drama, unreasonable behaviour or being harassed with texts and calls.

2.  Assume they want nothing to do with you

If you went to someone’s house and when they see you coming they lock all the doors, windows and draw the blinds, it is reasonable to conclude that they don’t want you there, that they want you to leave. Same thing if someone intentionally cuts you off and blocks all access for you to contact them, you have to 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.

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.

4. Give your ex a chance to break the pattern of dysfunctional relating

If you still have feelings for your ex and and can find a way to somehow reach them, tell them that you understand if they need space or a clean break to move on. You will leave them alone. But if they hope to get back together with you someday, “No Contact” is not the way to do it. It’s immature, manipulative and undermines any efforts to have a healthy relationship. If they doesn’t see what’s wrong with this approach to resolving conflict, then it’s best that you both move on.

Don’t just say it as another mind game to try to satisfy your own need to regain control, mean it. If you doing this as a way to get them to respond, you are playing mind games too. The cycle just doesn’t end.

If refusing to continue a dysfunctional dynamic does not make your ex want to change, then 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 so that you will be ready for a relationship in which you will be treated with the respect, affection and love you deserve.

5. Leave them to contact you

Most people doing ‘no contact’ as a strategy to get you to miss them and/or want them back are fearful-avoidants. Fearful- avoidants have low-self esteem and doubt that the person they love wants to be with them. Most of the time they want you to contact them first because it makes them feel wanted. But if they still doubt that you really love them and want them, they will keep going back and forth – getting close then pulling away. In this case, to make them feel wanted (secure), initiate contact to show them you are not going anywhere anytime soon.

But when they unfriend you, block you and won’t respond to your texts for an extended period of time, it means something is making them feel unsafe and they need to get away (attachment avoidance) to regain a sense of safety. Sometimes it has nothing to do with what you said or did, it’s just their attachment avoidance has been triggered and they need to pull away. In this case, leave them to contact you first. The more you keep contacting them, they more they feel unsafe.

6. Respect your ex’s wishes

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

7. Move on

Since it is sometimes hard to tell whether someone is cutting off all contact to manipulate your feelings and get you to miss them or doing so to heal and move on, especially if they don’t tell you know why, it’s always best to assume that they are moving on and start the process of moving on yourself.

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

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307 Comments

  • 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.

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    • 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.

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  • 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.

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    • 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.

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  • 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?

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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