The No Contact Rule After Break up: (The Ultimate A-Z Guide!)

What’s with all the hype around the no contact rule? 

A relatively new concept in the relationship world, the no-contact rule has numerous fans already. 

It’s so popular because it actually works on more than one level. It may help you get your ex back or move on with rather grace at the same time.


Below, I’ll share everything you need to know about the no contact rule, why it’s effective, and how to successfully implement it in your life.

Let’s get started!

What is the No Contact Rule?

Simply put, no contact rule is a relational strategy meant to be implemented in certain situations, such as a breakup or separation, with the purpose of attracting an ex-partner back or moving on.

How does it work?

You simply cut off all communication with your ex from anywhere between 60 to 90 days and avoid running into them in person for a determined or undetermined period of time, depending on your purpose.

This rule is different from other relationship-mending strategies or techniques to let go of an ex and/or focus on personal development. Different how?

First of all, it’s based on science. When you cut off all contact with an ex, you trigger many chemical responses in their brain, as well as yours. 

Second of all, it gives you more opportunities for self care and heal your wounded heart than any other option. 

Scientific Reasons Why No Contact Rule Works to Get an Ex Back:

As a result of cutting off all the contact with your ex, they’ll go through a series of emotions and think various thoughts that will make them realize what they’ve lost which may help you to get your ex back.

A. The scarcity effect

According to a Reddit breakup support group, the scarcity effect comes into play when you ignore an ex. 

In other words, when you completely disappear from their life, you give them the opportunity to miss you. It doesn’t matter how many other boys or girls they can talk to if they can’t talk to you.

In this situation, your presence is considered scarce. And, if what you want is to make your ex run back to you, that’s how you do it. 

You see, people feel a more intense desire for things that are scarce compared to things that are plenty. This is actually a well-known sales strategy that applies to relationships.

B. Hormonal imbalance

When we’re in love, our brains produce many so-called feel-good chemicals among which are dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and so on. 

These chemicals make us feel good both emotionally and physically and they promote closeness. 

But, when they’re taken from us, our brains don’t react nicely. On the contrary, they act up and produce other chemicals, which are not so good for us.

Stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline will flood your ex’s brain during the no-contact. They’ll also experience high blood pressure and increased heart rate. And, this way this can help you get your ex back.

C. Cognitive clarity

To understand this point better, let me give you an example. Let’s say you are electricity, something that your ex needs on a daily basis to meet their needs.

Your former partner is so used to electricity, that they take it for granted. They don’t really appreciate that it’s there, powering all those gadgets they use.

However, when the power cuts off, they realize just how much they need electricity and how important it is in their life.

In other words, they gain mental clarity as a result of not interacting with you at all. 

In a way, this could help you, too. If you’ve been putting your ex on a pedestal, spending some time apart from them will help you see things clearly.

Scientific Reasons Why No Contact Rules Helps Move on From an Ex:

Spending time apart from a former partner and not talking to them at all gives you the chance to move on a lot easier than otherwise. 

1. Attachment system reset

If you don’t talk to or see your ex, your brain will have no other choice than to adapt to your new circumstances. 

In other words, indefinite no contact rule will help you break the cycle of dependency. You’ll no longer rely on him or her for any kind of support.

On top of that, a period of total silence between you and them will encourage you to think and act like an independent person. 

In turn, this will reset your attachment system. You’ll only have yourself to count on. You’ll be your source of happiness, not your ex.

2. Neural rewiring

Neural rewiring can be achieved when you completely remove your former partner from your life and your mind. 

Rewiring your brain is totally possible and it has everything to do with mindfulness and breaking habits. 

Being mindful refers to a state that allows you to observe yourself and the world around you in a non-judgmental way. 

For example, if you catch yourself longing for your ex’s presence, you shouldn’t beat yourself up. Instead, you should consciously try to think about something else or do something else that makes you feel better.

What’s more, no contact period gives you the opportunity to create positive and healthy habits to replace the old ones.

What Are The The Benefits of Implementing No Contact Rule?

In short, here are some of the main benefits:

  • It makes you feel empowered because you’re the one making the call to disappear from their life
  • It prevents you from embarrassing yourself by doing impulsive things out of despair or saying inappropriate things as well
  • It allows you to grieve the end of the toxic relationship in any way you want and feel like it without knowing what your ex does or thinks
  • It gives both you and your ex the chance to gain more mental clarity and put things into perspective
  • It gives you the opportunity to free yourself from codependency and become more self-reliant
  • It encourages healing process, self-reflection, personal growth, and so on
  • It could be what your ex needs to reconsider their decision to break up with you and realize how important you really are to them.
  • It could also be the wake-up call your former partner needs to clean up his or her act and regain your affection once more.
  • The newfound strength from no contact rule will open you up to a healthy relationship with yourself.

When to Apply No Contact Rule?

As you may expect, no-contact can be successfully implemented in numerous situations, as follows:

  • After a breakup or separation. Take time apart to heal yourself and give the other person the chance to realize they made a mistake to break up with you.
  • During periods of conflict or intense disagreements. An indefinite no contact period can help you and your partner gain clarity over the situation you’re in.
  • When dealing with abusive or toxic relationships. Sometimes, the only way out of toxic or abusive relationships is to remove yourself from them without looking back. 
  • After experiencing emotional or psychological harm. For example, if they cheated, going silent on them is a good choice. It allows you to process your emotions.

When NOT to Implement the No Contact Rule?

  • At work. In case you work with them, try to keep it professional. You don’t want to jeopardize your job as well.
  • If you have children together. Don’t let your relationship problems affect your kids. No contact is not recommended for the sake of your children.

How Long Does the No Contact Rule Last?

  • If you’ve broken up amicably, then it should take you about one month to move on or to get a chance to re-spark your romance.
  • If you’ve been together for at least 6 months in a committed, serious relationship, then expect 2 months of recovery.
  • If there was a lot of drama and chaos at the end of your relationship, then experts advise implementing no contact rule for 90 days.
  • If you have no intention whatsoever to work things out with your former partner, then no contact should last indefinitely. 

How to Implement the No Contact Rule?

Now that you know what does no-contact rule means, why it works, and when to use it, it’s time to learn how to implement it.

1. Start by establishing boundaries

As soon as you decide to implement the no contact rule, you should communicate your decision to the other person. 

This step might not make too much sense to you. Why not ignore them without letting them know?

If you really want to do this right, you have to tell them about your intentions or at least try. If you’ve been dumped, your ex probably expects you to beg them for a second chance.

Instead, by communicating your decision to cut off all contact, you’ll not only surprise them in a negative way, but you’ll also trigger other feelings inside them. 

Next, what you should do is make sure they can’t contact you and you don’t have access to information about them either.

To do this:

  • No phone calls
  • No text messages
  • blocking them on social media
  • even avoid checking their social media posts
  • not engaging with mutual friends about the past relationship

Do your best to remove temptations across various channels.

If you’re part of the same guild in an MMORPG, just leave that guild. You’ll find another one. Seeing when they play and when they don’t won’t do you any good.

Last but not least, make sure you have a support system in place. By this, I mean to rely on the help of friends and family members to distract you from thinking about them.

2. Deal with your triggers and handle temptations

Just because no contact rule is an effective technique, it doesn’t mean it will be easy to implement. No, you’ll feel the urge to reach out to your ex for sure. 

That’s a certainty, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. So, the best choice would be to prepare yourself beforehand.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Instead of texting them, write whatever you were going to tell them on paper and keep it for yourself.
  • Start thinking about all the things your ex partner did to hurt you or write them down.
  • Call/text a friend, family member, or breakup buddy (someone who is going through a similar situation as yours).

What else? Avoiding stalking their every move on social media or monitoring their activity. If you haven’t already, make sure their posts are no longer visible to you or easy to access by you.

Next, focus on finding healthy distractions and coping mechanisms, such as:

  • Take a break from social media
  • Spend time with your family and/or friends
  • Explore your hobbies or discover new ones
  • Improve your physical condition
  • Avoid stressful situations
  • Avoid going to places that remind you of them

3. Focus on your healing and take care of yourself

Unfortunately, your heart won’t heal itself just because you’re no longer in contact with this person. You’ll have to take conscious action in this regard as well.

Don’t know where to start? Engaging in self-reflection and personal growth activities is the way to go!

Im sharing the suggestions below that will help you stop missing your ex.

  • Try journaling. Write about the positive experiences you have every day
  • Write down things about yourself that you love and things you’d like to change
  • Be kind to others and try to help them with anything you can
  • Meditate, be mindful, and try grounding techniques
  • Read about things that interest you or take a class to learn something new
  • Set fitness goals and work on achieving them

If you’re open to the idea of seeing a therapist or looking for professional support, by all means, do it! They can guide you and make your journey a lot easier. 

Especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed and you don’t think you can go through this situation alone, there’s no shame in asking for help. 

Also, don’t forget there are numerous support groups online full of people who are going through something similar.

Whatever you do, practice self-compassion and forgiveness! Stop being too hard on yourself even if you made mistakes.

Accept and deal with your negative emotions. It will get easier in time, I promise!

What Are The Most Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them?

1. Persistent thoughts and memories

Here’s the thing: No matter how hard you try not to, you’ll still think about your former partner all the time. You’ll constantly remember things about them that will affect you emotionally. 

The solution?

Try some of the following techniques to manage intrusive thoughts:

  • Don’t ignore your thoughts. Try to accept them and move on from them.
  • Realize that not everything that crosses your mind is true or will happen
  • Try to determine what triggers those thoughts and remove the source
  • Spend time in nature or with a pet to boost your endorphin levels

Do you know what else will help?

Doing exercises to process your emotions and memories.

Journaling exercises are considered some of the most effective ones because they allow you to distance yourself from your emotions and challenge you to describe them fully.

Of course, there are other mindful and meditation practices that might help you deal with intrusive thoughts about your ex.

The trick is to find the right one for you. Don’t hesitate to try the simplest form of meditation first. All you have to do is to sit someplace quietly, focus on your breathing and recite a simple mantra.

You can write your own mantra, depending on your needs. For example, if you keep remembering the good times and you don’t want that anymore, your mantra could be “They’re memories, they’re in the past.”

2. Relapses and breaking no contact rule

If we agree that love is a drug, then we can also agree on the fact that relapses are common. Of course, your goal is to avoid them by all means. 

However, if you do break no-contact, it’s important to understand what exactly made you do it. Yes, self-reflection will be once more required of you. 

  • Did you feel lonely? 
  • Has something happened that disappointed you? 
  • Did you have a bad dream?

Very random happenings can determine you to mess up the no-contact rule. If it happens, your job is to figure out why. 

Why was your mind so clouded at that time?

As soon as you figure that out, you have even more work to do. Now, you’ll have to develop strategies to stay committed to the rule. 

It goes without saying that you should avoid:

  • Reading old conversations with them
  • Looking at photos with them
  • Going to places where you went with them

Once again, if the situation is too much for you to handle alone, I encourage you to seek support from friends, support groups, or therapists. 

Your friends may have their own lives, but I am sure that they’ll be happy to support you in times of need if you ask for their help. They’re most definitely worried about you and want the best for you.

Also, a great deal of people are going through no contact right now and they are curious to know how others are handling it. Connect with them to make your journey easier.

3. Handling contact initiations from the other person

What if… your ex contacts you? What will you do?

This is also a situation that you must think through before it happens. Otherwise, you might break no contact rule uselessly.

Don’t worry though, here are some guidelines for you:

3.1. Assess the intention behind the contact

This point is about figuring out the whys. Why is he or she contacting you? How does their message sound? What are they talking about?

If you already let them know that you don’t want to talk anymore and that they should only contact you if they want to get back together, then maybe that’s what they want.

Or, perhaps they’re texting because they’re simply worried about your well-being or want something from you. 

Because this could be a turning point in your journey, I advise you not to take it lightly. Don’t break the rule unless you’re sure their intention matches your goal.

3.2. Set boundaries and reply appropriately

If you didn’t tell them that you’re going to implement the no contact rule after the breakup, you can reply with a short message in which you express just that. 

At this point, it could be useful to reevaluate the need for continued no contact with them. If they’re texting to ask for a second chance and that’s what you’ve been waiting for, then you can at least give them the opportunity to talk to you. 

Don’t fall for messages that read: “I miss you” or “I’ve been thinking about you.” Wait until they clearly say something like “I want you back” or “I’m miserable without you.


By now you should know the definition of the no contact rule, why it works, and what are some of its main benefits. 

As you’ve probably noticed, it requires a lot of determination from your side. However, its results are definitely promising. 

If what you want is to get your ex back, you have all the reasons to believe that no contact will bring them back to you, begging for another chance. 

Especially if you’ve been together for a while and you had a major role in their life, your former partner will have a very hard time staying away from you.

They’ll feel compelled to reach out to you and be a part of your life once again. Zero contact will be like a wake-up call for them.

Conversely, if you want to move on and detach yourself completely from this person, then the no contact rule will help you do just that.

Should I Get Back With My Ex


Find out your chances of getting your ex back in 2 minutes.

Daniela Duca Damian
About Daniela Duca Damian

A journalist by profession, Daniela has been sharing her knowledge and personal experience in the psychology of love and relationships for the past 5 years. Her work is based on facts, practical advice and is meant to help everyone achieve their romantic goals. When she isn’t writing, she challenges her friends with meaningful questions about life.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment