What’s The ‘No Contact’ Rule And Why You Need It After A Breakup

Your instinct after a breakup is going to be longing to find a way to talk to your ex. Since love is like an addiction, your mind will play tricks on you, trying to convince you that you absolutely need to talk to them. You’ll want to beg and plead to work on things knowing full well that you’ll eventually fall back into the same toxic cycles anyway.

That is, unless you apply the no contact rule.

What Is The No Contact Rule?

scrolling through pictures on phone
Photo Credit: Plann / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Plann / Unsplash

The no contact rule means that once you break up, you take whatever measures you need so you don’t call, text, or message an ex in any way.

This includes not talking to their friends or family about them or the breakup itself. Block them if you need to.

How It Works

woman reading in bed with feet up
Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

The time that you take apart from your ex gives you space from each other so that you can stop freaking out over the fact that you’re broken up and grow as a person.

It gives you time to see that you can be fine on your own in order to re-evaluate whether your ex was truly a good match for you. It helps you either move on or determine if it’s in your best interest to speak to them again.

Set A Deadline

woman holding calendar with month
Photo Credit: Brooke Lark / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Brooke Lark / Unsplash

The no contact rule is often more effective if you set an end date to it. That way you give yourself hope that you’ll be able to speak to them again if that’s your initial want, while still motivating yourself to do the work to get there.

It is recommended to set at least 21 days, the same amount that it would take to break a habit; however, dating experts advise to go the full month before resuming contact.

Designate A No Contact Buddy

two women sitting in back of car laughing
Photo Credit: Jorge Saavedra / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Jorge Saavedra / Unsplash

It may seem hard to resist temptation, especially if your ex is the one to reach out first. For that reason, it helps to choose a no contact buddy.

This is someone you can call with no judgment every time you’re tempted to reach out or reply to your ex. All it takes is a five-minute conversation to distract yourself and feel okay again.

You’ll Get Your Power Back

woman wearing boxing gloves and sitting on old-school car
Photo Credit: Sarah Cervantes / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Sarah Cervantes / Unsplash

You’ll get many benefits out of the no contact period, but one of the most important is that you’ll find your independence again. You’ll realize that whether you are or aren’t with your ex, that you’ll be okay.

Plus, it shows you that you’re not bound or limited by another person or relationship and that you’re capable of doing whatever you want.

You’ll Take Off Your Rose-Tinted Glasses

woman wearing pink shades with pink background
Photo Credit: Ayo Ogunseinde / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Ayo Ogunseinde / Unsplash

The first moments after a breakup, you might miss your ex so much that you’ll completely ignore how toxic they were and focus on the void they’ve left.

Taking time away will allow you to reflect on all the ways they’ve hurt you and see the relationship from an outside perspective.

You’ll Put An End To The Push-And-Pull Dynamic

woman pushing railings and looking up
Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash

Somewhere along the relationship, the dynamics lost balance and one of you was giving more than they were receiving.

Time apart puts an end to the push-and-pull dynamic between you and your ex, and instead lets the love you once shared resurface.

It’s Like Waving A White Flag To All The Red Ones

man laying on ice with white flag
Photo credit: Jackson Simmer / Unsplash
Photo credit: Jackson Simmer / Unsplash

Think of it like this: This time is only for you. It’s your acceptance that your ex wasn’t giving you what you wanted or deserved.

You’re not “giving up.” You’re choosing peace for your mind and body by waving a white flag after having to fight for so long to make something work that was broken.

You’ll Learn That Emotions Pass Quickly

woman with tears in her eyes
Photo Credit: Luis Galvez / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Luis Galvez / Unsplash

The thing with emotions is that you may not think you can control how they make you feel, but you’re in complete control of how you react to them.

They don’t have to stay lingering forever if you make the active decision to get past them. Don’t deny yourself the grieving because that’s how you’ll stop feeling it.

You Won’t Resort To Doing What’s Comfortable

woman covering her face with her hands in bed
Photo Credit: Anthony Tran / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Anthony Tran / Unsplash

Many couples get back together simply because their lives got so intertwined that it seems like the most convenient thing to do. Don’t be like them.

Going back to what’s comfortable will simply lead you back to the same outcome you’re in now. You need to do the work to fix what was broken first.

You’ll Realign Your Priorities

woman with rose in her mouth lying down
Photo Credit: Vlada Karpovich / Pexels
Photo Credit: Vlada Karpovich / Pexels

You don’t realize how much a relationship takes its toll on you until you’re out of it. Especially when it’s not going well, it ends up negatively impacting all aspects of your life.

Without that added stress, you’ll find solace in yourself. You might not even want your ex to be a part of the new you, simply because they’re not a priority anymore.

It Can Seem Like Playing Hard To Get

men and woman at the door with drinks
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

So far all the benefits we’ve mentioned when you engage in no contact impact you personally, but we have to mention that they will affect your ex too.

This can be one of the best strategies in making your ex miss you. Although the purpose isn’t to play hard to get, it shows your ex that your time is valuable and even makes them wonder if you’ve found somebody else.

It Shows Your Ex That They Have To Earn Your Love

man holding flowers behind his back with woman on train tracks
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels
Photo Credit: Pixabay / Pexels

It’s possible that up to this point, your ex assumed that they can just have you whenever, no matter how many boundaries they push.

Taking this initiative shows them that you’re worthy of so much more effort and that you’re not going to settle. If they want you, they’re going to have to work for it.

You Release All Hope

woman letting go with one hand motion
Photo Credit: Hannah Busing / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Hannah Busing / Unsplash

A breakup goes through all of the same stages as grief including anger and denial, but it eventually reaches acceptance.

Acceptance is when you’ve made peace that there’s no hope for you and your ex. Only then can you truly assess the relationship without bias.

You Get A Glimpse Of What Else Is Out There

Tinder swiping with hand
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels
Photo Credit: cottonbro / Pexels

Not everyone can simply get back into the dating field the second they’re single again.

However, even if you don’t fully start seeing anyone else, knowing and seeing that there are other options out there will show you that your ex isn’t the only person that could make you happy.

Don’t Just Pretend To Live Your Life, Live It

woman showing peace signs with silly face
Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash

The biggest mistake people make during the no contact period is pretending to be living their best life in a revenge scheme to make their ex feel bad, when in reality they feel miserable.

So don’t just pretend. Go and have fun. Go be with your friends. Go do what makes you happy. Then you won’t have to prove anything because it’ll show for itself.