No Contact Rule: How Long Should You Do It For? (2023)

Let’s cut to the chase: you’re here because you want to know how long after a breakup you should wait before contacting your ex. This is known as the No Contact Rule.

Maybe you really want him back and want to set yourself up for the best chance possible to get him back.

Maybe your broke up with him and are looking for a way of getting over the relationship and moving on.

Or maybe the truth is somewhere between wanting to rekindle an old flame and wanting to spark a new one.

more: The No Contact Rule: Everything You Need To Know

Whatever the reason is, you’re here because you want to know how to execute the no contact rule, how long to do it for, and how to do it well.

And that’s why I’m here — to give you the details on exactly what the no contact rule is, and exactly how long no contact should last so that you’ll have the best possible chance of getting the outcome you want.

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What Is The No Contact Rule?

Before we dive into specifics, let’s clarify what we’re talking about. The no contact rule is a set of guidelines to follow after you break up with someone.

In essence, it’s designed to give you the time and space needed to heal your heartbreak, get perspective on the relationship, and (if you want and are ready) give you the best chance of getting your ex back.

more: How To Get Your Ex Back In 5 Steps Guaranteed


So let’s take a look at what the no contact rule exactly means:

(Video) How Long Should The No Contact Be

No contact means that under no circumstances are you to talk to him or attempt contacting him.

Which we can define as:

  • No emailing him
  • No calling him
  • No “bumping into him on accident”
  • No meeting up with him to “catch up”
  • No talking to him
  • No texting him
  • No letters
  • No responding to or initiating of texts/calls/emails

All in all, the no contact rule is exactly what it sounds like: having absolutely zero contact with your ex after a breakup.

My article on the no contact rule goes really in depth on the nitty-gritty details – if you have questions about what to do in specific situations, that’s the first place you should go.

But if you’re only here to answer the question of how long before he misses me with no contact?
Well, it goes much further beyond that. The no contact rule is also about trying to do your best to not think about him and take space for yourself.

No Contact Rule: How Long Should You Do It For? (2)

more: How To Make Your Ex Miss You After A Breakup

That is not to say that each situation is the same — what if you work with him, have a child together, or circumstantially just can’t avoid him? If there are reasons out of your control that mean you have to be in contact with him, there are still ways of following the no contact rule.

In those situations, the best thing to do is limit any communication you have with him to a bare minimum.

Keep your exchanges about exactly what you need to coordinate with him and nothing more. I repeat: nothing more. Do not talk about your personal lives, plans for the weekend, or even the weather. If you stick to being strictly professional and deal with whatever circumstances keeps you in the same environment, you will be fine.

more: What To Do About The No Contact Rule

Now that we’ve gotten the logistics out of the way, we still have the big question to answer:

How Long Should You Wait After a Break Up To Do the No Contact Rule For?

Or more specifically, how long does it take for an ex to miss you with no contact?
Some people disagree on the exact timeframe of how long to do no contact for. So let’s ask some different questions: how long does it take a man to miss you? Or how long does it take a guy to realize he misses you? And even deeper: how long after a breakup is it really over?

When I think about the answers to all of these questions, it’s generally from 3 to 8 weeks. Personally, when I’m giving advice to friends, I like to give a minimum of 4 weeks as the best possible length for the no contact rule to work. Giving yourself a solid month of no contact gives you the space you naturally need to decompress and gain perspective on the relationship. And with that, it gives you the time to start healing a little bit.

(Video) How Long Should No Contact Last?

No Contact Rule: How Long Should You Do It For? (3)

So, how long should you wait before contacting your ex? Anything shorter than 4 weeks is generally too short to really see any benefits of the no contact rule. It should be noted that if you want him back and start going longer than 4 weeks, you run the risk of him also moving on and finding someone new. But that being said, you also run the risk of you moving on and meeting someone new too.

more: How Do I Reconnect With Him After Cutting Off Contact

But how long does it take for no contact to work if you were in a really serious, long-term relationship (think more than 2 years)? In those cases, a longer contact rule is probably better for your mental health and wellbeing than a shorter one. How long no contact takes to work after the breakup depends on the amount of time you two were together. And if you were together for a really long time, consider going longer than 4 weeks.

Think about the following: how long does it take for someone to miss you, that someone being a friend, relative or casual fling? There has to be enough time so that the other person can live their life without you. When they have a taste of what their life is without you, then they can compare and contrast what it was like when you two were together.

And you might be wondering: does the no contact rule work in long distance relationships? Absolutely. In fact, it might be even more effective in relationships that lead more to the imagination. The whole point is to drive him to curiosity about what you are doing, and make him miss you.

But all that being said, you should be doing more than just not talking to him during those 4 weeks.

more: Exactly How To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back

To sum up: how long is the no contact rule and what is it for? 4 weeks is a good starting point to go without contact. It’s important to remember that those 4 weeks are primarily for you to heal and start feeling better. Throwing yourself into hobbies, exercise, self-care, hanging out with friends, and doing things that you like doing should be your number one priority.

Sometimes in relationships, the activities you used to do and enjoy doing fallen by the wayside. This is normal, and do not beat yourself up about it. Now is the perfect opportunity to pick up on whatever it is you have fallen behind on. Focusing on self-care and pleasure is a great way to get yourself feeling better and establish a much healthier mindset after a breakup.

Along those lines, working on yourself i.e. channeling your sadness and pain into self-improvement is a path anyone would advise to follow.

more: When No Contact Works And When It Doesn’t

Going to the gym, taking up running, or really doing anything that gets you active, out of the house, and feeling good are the best ways to fill your time during the no contact period.

No Contact Rule: How Long Should You Do It For? (4)

(Video) How Long to Do No Contact to Get Your Ex Back

Not to say that this is only a journey for healing. Not only will physical exercise make you feel physically better, but it will also make you look better and feel mentally better about yourself. What is the success rate of the no contact rule? You get as much as you put in: if you’re productive, looking good and feeling good, you’ll have a much better chance of moving on from him more quickly, or getting him back if that’s what you are looking for.

more: No Contact And The Blow Off

Remember: during no contact you shouldn’t be sending him any messages, or keeping any kind of contact with him in any way. If he messages or calls you, you should not respond. Obviously if it’s an emergency you can break the no contact rule, but only to deal with the emergency specifically. Once it’s dealt with, contact should be put off immediately.

So, to sum up: how long does it take for a guy to miss you?

If you follow these rules (and again, if you have any questions, check out my in-depth article on the topic), you will give yourself the best chance to feel better, move on, and heal from heartbreak. And in doing so, you give yourself the best chance of getting him back eventually — if you decide that’s something you want.

more: Why The No Contact Rule Is Important

5 signs the no contact rule is working?

Given that you should not be contacting him or keeping tabs on him, it’s hard to point to specific signs that it’s working on his end. But I will break down the general psychology of how it works in 5 stages.

1. Relief

Your ex will feel initial relief from the breakup in the first few days of no contact for usually about 1-2 weeks.

2. Curiosity

Then they start to wonder why you haven’t reached out to them, or what you might be doing instead. His curiosity will increase each day that you go without speaking to him.

3. Anger

This is not always the case and depends on the person specifically. But this is the stage where, if curiosity has built up in your ex’s head, he’ll start to wonder if you might be with another person. Jealousy may come up. This is usually where rebound relationships occur in the stage of a breakup.

4. Preoccupation

(Video) No Contact – How Long?

Your ex has let his imagination run wild about what you could be doing to the point where he is totally preoccupied with you. Even if he’s in a rebound relationship, this is where the bubble might burst for him and he sees this new person as something that’s unrealistic – and potentially a nuisance.

5. Fear

This is the final stage that determines any course of action. Your ex is afraid that he has lost you forever. Between breaking up with someone and being broken up with, this is the stage that the initiator starts to feel the way that you felt in the beginning.

60 day no contact rule?

Usually, it’s best to go 4 weeks with no contact, but this depends on how long you were in a relationship to begin with. If you were in one for anything under 2 years, you might run the risk of both parties moving on going longer than 30 days with no contact. How long does no contact last for a serious, long-term relationship over 2 years? 60 days might be best.

Is it safe to say the no contact rule works every time?

The answer to this question is tricky. Do exes come back after no contact? Not necessarily. But that does not mean the no contact rule is not and has not been working. The no contact rule is designed to establish a healthy mentality for you, which also happens to be the best way of getting an ex back. If you were broken up with, the chances of him realizing he made a mistake are dependent on whether or not you show him what he’s missing. And even then, you might wonder, “How long before he misses me?” Even if you don’t hear from him, the no contact rule is a sure-fire way of making your ex curious about you. And curiosity almost always leads to longing.

Why is the no contact rule so effective?

The no contact rule is so effective in that it gives both parties enough space to be objective without losing sentimental value on the relationship. What would the point be of breaking up, only to be inundated with a barrage of calls and texts asking to get back together? As hard as it is, try to think back on the time when you and your ex first started dating. So much magic and excitement came from what was unknown about each other. And also, it’s important to remember that the no contact rule isn’t about how long before he calls after a break up — it’s about what you do with yourself in those 4 weeks, about taking space to improve yourself and give much needed clarity and perspective.

Is there a no contact rule success rate?

Something crucial for you to take away from this article is that the no contact rule can be working without you being aware. Your ex could be thinking about you nonstop, but they haven’t reached out to you yet. How long will it take him to miss me? He could regret his decision to end the relationship in the first place, wondering what you are doing, and thinking about reaching out. That would mean that the no contact rule is strongly working. But how would you have a way of measuring its success?

When does no contact not work?

If your ex doesn’t contact you, it’s usually because of the 5th stage I talked about earlier — fear. During no contact, it’s common for an ex — no matter how strong his feelings might be about wanting you back — to fear rejection. It sounds counterintuitive, but maybe he realized he made a mistake and feels ashamed about it. Worst-case scenario, let’s say he blocks you or refuses to talk to you. Even then, that’s still a sign that the no contact rule has worked because your silence has driven him towards extreme action. Hate isn’t the opposite of love, but indifference is. Besides, if spend the no contact period just wondering how long before he comes back, you won’t be using the time effectively.

No contact rule male in psychology?

Men, as a general rule, have strong egos. We all pride ourselves on being the best friends, lovers, boyfriends, husbands, etc. Whether we like to admit it or not, we thrive on validation.

So, what happens when your throw silence into the equation of male validation? A blow to his ego. So, how long does it take for a man to miss a woman after a break up? Not long, so long as you give him space to miss you in the first place. In the case of no contact, it’s really about how silence works towards your advantage in spinning his imagination. And in keeping your silence, how long does it take for him to miss you? As stated earlier, the standard course is anywhere from 3-8 weeks. Which brings me to my next point below…

What to do after the 30-day-no-contact rule?

If you have stood by the 30 needed days of no contact, this is the stage where, for some people and in many cases, he will reach out to “check in” or see how you’re doing. If you haven’t heard from him in this time period, I would recommend waiting at least 3 months before taking initiative to reach out on your own. Obviously it would be best-case scenario if he reached out himself, but if you are certain that you want to get back together with him after 3 months, reaching out would make the most sense.

Whatever you do, just remember — 4 weeks minimum is the best of time for the no contact rule to work. Good luck out there!

Want to find out if you can get your ex back? Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Can You Get Your Ex Back” Quiz right now and find out if you can ever get him back or if he’s gone for good…

Take The Quiz: Can You Get Your Ex Back Or Is He Gone Forever?

(Video) The Psychology Of A Man During The No Contact Rule

FAQs

How long should you follow the no contact rule? ›

No contact should last for a minimum of 60 days, and it includes no texting, no calling, and no interacting on social media. It can feel like an extreme move when you're still working to get over a breakup, but the truth is that cutting off contact with an ex is the fastest, most effective way to truly move on.

How long should no contact last if you want to get back together? ›

Plan how long you want the no contact period to last.

4 weeks is generally considered to be enough time for your ex to change their mind about the breakup if they're going to do it. That being said, follow it for as long or short as you feel is right. Whether you want to set an exact date to end on is up to you.

Is 30 days long enough for no contact? ›

Whether it's 60 days or no contact for another 30 days. If 30 days have passed and your ex has not reached out to you, then you should give him or her their space. Every break up is different and no written rule says that it's a 30-day cap. Some people can go for 3 months with no-contact.

How do you do the no contact rule successfully? ›

Steps
  1. Block your ex's number. ...
  2. Unfollow them on social media. ...
  3. Delete old messages and DMs. ...
  4. Ignore any messages that your ex sends. ...
  5. Ask your friends not to tell you about your ex. ...
  6. Set a timeline for the no contact rule. ...
  7. Write down why you're doing this. ...
  8. Remember the bad times, not just the good ones.

How long does it take a guy to realize he wants you back? ›

According to the experts, it will take between two to four months before he starts feeling lonely. He'll be doing everything possible to block out his emotions during this time. But once he surrenders to them, he'll start missing you.

How long is too long no contact? ›

Section 1 of 8:

While 30 days is a good rule of thumb, everybody is different. Some people move on really fast after a breakup, while other people take a long time. If 30 days pass and you still aren't ready, it's totally okay to extend your period of no contact.

What is he thinking after two weeks of no contact? ›

He is curious about your post-breakup life

He starts to sense that maybe you might be gone forever. The No Rule Contact will help you see if the strings are attached in your relationship. If he doesn't hear anything from you, no calls or texts in two weeks' time he will start to worry.

What is the success rate of no contact? ›

According to our own internal research 75% of our personal coaching clients hear from an ex at some point during the no contact rule.

Will no contact work if I begged? ›

No Contact Works EVEN After You BEGGED Your Ex! - YouTube

Will he come back after 30 days no contact? ›

There is no exact time of No Contact that will make your ex come back. One thing that you should know is that the 30 days of No Contact rule or longer one is not designed to just get your ex back. It is a healing process for the dumpee and a reflective process for the dumper.

How long before ex reaches out? ›

Without any prompting, expect to hear from your ex any time between 8 and 75 days. There is almost always the intent and desire to reach out to your ex.

How do you tell if no contact is not working? ›

Finally, the ultimate sign that the no contact rule is working is when your ex brings up getting back together. The time apart has made them realize that the breakup was a mistake. They miss you. They'll tell you that they really want to make it work.

Will no contact work if he lost feelings? ›

If you wonder if he will move on during no contact, chances of this are high if he no longer loves you or if you are dealing with a case of unrequited feelings. A simple answer to the central question guiding this section of the article is “no.” No contact will not work if he has lost feelings for you.

Should I respond to my ex during no contact? ›

Doing No Contact Correctly Doesn't Mean Ignoring Your Ex

If your ex texts you during no contact, you should text back politely and casually. If your ex calls during no contact, it's somewhat different from a text because you won't have as much time to carefully think about and craft your response.

How do men respond to no contact? ›

Regardless of who broke up with who, a guy will generally start feeling you're just being downright rude or cruel after more than a few days of no contact. He will usually feel emotions like uneasiness or even anger, and begin checking his phone more often to see if you've read his messages.

Should I break no contact after 3 months? ›

Usually the answer is that you should not break no contact and you need to wait longer so that no contact can work on your ex more. If you've been dating more than three months, waiting a month and a half before even considering contact is ideal.

What is the success rate of no contact? ›

According to our own internal research 75% of our personal coaching clients hear from an ex at some point during the no contact rule.

How long does it take the dumper to move on? ›

For some dumpers, it can take a month to grasp their mistakes while for others it can take more than 3 or 4 months. Not every relationship ends because of a huge problem or a mistake. Sometimes couples have trivial issues between them and they blow it out of proportion.

Will no contact work if I begged? ›

No Contact Works EVEN After You BEGGED Your Ex! - YouTube

Videos

1. Do Dismissive Avoidants really care if you apply the no contact rule?
(Coach Court)
2. Will The No Contact Rule Work On My Ex?
(Black Book Basics)
3. How Long to Stay In No Contact
(Ashley Kay)
4. No Contact Rule: How long do you wait?
(Coach Mac McCarthy)
5. No Contact Rule and the Power of Time On Your Ex
(Coach Lee)
6. When Does No Contact Start Working?
(Coach Lee)
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