Why Cutting Off All Contact With An Ex Is The Only Way To Move On (2023)



Updated on October 18, 2022

By Monica Parikh

mbg Contributor

Monica Parikh is a former attorney turned dating coach. She is the founder of School of Love NYC, where she teaches classes on breakup recovery, social-emotional skills, and relationship psychology. She has been featured on Bustle, Man Repeller, Marie Claire, and others.

Last updated on October 18, 2022

(Video) What To Do When Your Ex Cuts Off All Contact And Ignores You

The no-contact rule refers to cutting off all contact with an ex following a breakup, and it's the best method for moving on from an ex.

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.

Here's everything you need to know about how no contact after a breakup works:


Some people try to use the no-contact rule as a form of manipulation (i.e., a way to get your ex to miss you so much, they want you back). But despite what some people will tell you on the internet, no contact is not particularly effective for getting an ex back.

Just because some people have exes who reached out to them after a period of no contact doesn't mean this will be the case for everyone.

Moreover, trying to reduce your former partner to a formula or trying to control their behavior to meet your own needs is not very empathetic. Attempting to use the no-contact rule this way may be a sign that you have your own inner work to do that's a barrier to your relationship working.

This strategy can also be unhealthy for you because it keeps you psychologically attached to apastrelationship, slowing down yourhealing process.

Instead, the no-contact rule should be aboutyouand helping yourself move on from your ex.

(Video) Cut Contact with Your Ex to Get Over a Breakup (No Contact)

It's an integral tool of self-empowerment. You want to get to the place where you're able to say, "With or without you, my life is going to be amazing."


The vast majority of people use love as a drug. They get "high" from an external source—another person's presence and approval.

The withdrawal from that feeling that comes withheartbreakafter arelationship ends(and the fear that they may not know how to be happy on their own) can be terrifying.

Have faith. You will feel sad. You will grieve. But by using the no-contact rule, you will also regain strength,self-esteem, confidence, and empowerment. You also differentiate "wanting" a partner from "needing" one.

Practice a lot ofself-careafter your breakup, and make an effort to avoid even seeing your ex onsocial media, which will make thehealing processeven harder. (Blocking your ex completely onsocial mediamay be necessary for making no contact really work.)

Share this journey with someone who "gets" it. This might not necessarily be yourbest friend, mind you.

A strong teammate will fortify your flagging spirits when the struggle is real. A bad teammate will add to your headaches and problems.

RELATED: How To Finally Let Go Of Your Ex (And Why It's So Hard)


Ending a long-term relationship is the worst, especially if your partner breaks up with you by text or another hurtful way.

In such cases, your ex likely knows they have behaved badly. They may even be waiting for you to scream or beg or demonstrate a meltdown onsocial media, so they can label you "dramatic." If you do so, you'll confirm that their decision was the right choice.

No contact changes the game. It's unpredictable. Without you telling your ex that they're wrong, they actually have to sit in their own discomfort...and think...and then lament.

Meanwhile, you demonstrate that you're a class act, allowing your ex to realize that they've lost someone pretty great.


(Video) The Most Powerful Method to Get Over Your Ex! | No One Will Tell You | 3 Step Cord Cutting Method

The loss of a relationship often results in more free time. Use this time wisely to develop emotional intelligence so you have a greater chance of success (with or without your ex) down the road.

In my work coaching women and men, 99% of the problems I see result from a lack of boundaries. "No" is a short word that doesn't get uttered often enough. If your choice is between being liked or being respected, always choose the latter.

No contact is a good time to develop better boundaries, increase yourself-esteem, and abandon dysfunctional behaviors you learned in childhood.

When you assess where you made mistakes and correct those behaviors, you have a much better probability of success in yournextrelationship.

RELATED: How Long It Should Really Take To Get Over A Breakup


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Single people often have amazingly vibrant lives—they go out dancing, write poetry, and go on road trips with their friends.

In a relationship, many people dive into a black hole headfirst. They get comfortable. They stop flirting and start fighting. They abandon their old friends—and an essential part of themselves.

No contact gives you the time and energy to pursue your goals, big and small. Get the MBA. Plan a trip to Morocco. Flirt with the cute guy in Muay Thai class.

You'll soon realize that although your life without a partner is different, it's just as sweet. As you start smiling and laughing again, you radiate positive vibrations. In no time, you'll have a host of new suitors because the world is abundant, after all.

The vast majority of people look for a relationship the wrong way. They chase after attractiveness, money, or physique. If you want lasting love—the kind that gets better with time—you have to think differently. What are your values? What are your must-haves?

Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • "I date partners who say 'I'm sorry' and own up to their mistakes."
  • "I date partners who believe in mutuality—where there is equal give and take."
  • "I date partners who believe in commitment and communication."

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(Video) When You Do Not Contact Your Ex THIS Happens!

If a recent breakup has left you reeling, think about what values you and your partner were missing.

Make those values nonnegotiable in your next relationship.

RELATED: 9 Signs It's Time To End Your Relationship, From A Therapist


In a relationship, sex loads your body with oxytocin and dopamine—the body's "feel-good" chemicals. Euphoria often has you mired in fantasy.

The no-contact rule is a detox that brings you back to reality after yourrelationship ends. You see your ex not for what you wish them to be but for who they are. Are they selfish? Cowardly? A liar? An emotionally immature narcissist?

As your eyes open to reality, you can make a better decision about when a partner is really a good bet for the long haul. Long-term commitment is no joke, so you want a healthy and stable partner for the ride.


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When you stop pinning your happiness on your partner, you realize it's just you in the world. No one will save you from your demons.

It's your job to figure out why you were born and how to make your life rich with meaning.

This work is hard. It's often painful. But it's the place where life begins and starts getting really rich, rewarding, and fun.

You feel younger and wake up excited for the tasks that lie ahead.

If you've been bawling your eyes out or hanging in limbo, it's time for radical change. It may feel like a bold move at first, but cutting off contact with an ex through the no-contact rule is the fastest way for you to move on and reclaim your power.

RELATED: Is Your Ex Pretending To Be Over You? 12 Signs + What To Do

(Video) Why You Should NOT Block Your Ex (According a Breakup Coach)


Is it best to cut off all contact with an ex? ›

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.

Why you should cut off contact with an ex? ›

Staying friends makes the split more difficult

There's a reason that couples aim for a clean break — it's easier on your heart if you have some space away from your ex and your former relationship. It helps you to take the time to heal and get on without your ex's presence in your life.

How no contact affects your ex? ›

Some people may be asking, “Does No Contact work?”. While everyone's ex is different, the No Contact Rule does increase the likelihood of your ex missing you and wanting to come back. In essence, it will show them that you are not available for them whenever they want you and that you have your own life to live.

Why is the no contact rule so effective? ›

The “no contact rule” is so effective because it means a person has accepted the fact the relationship is over. Putting away mementos, blocking phone numbers, email addresses, and unfriending an ex on social media are catharsis actions.

Why silence is powerful after breakup? ›

Remember, silence is a key after you've just broken up. It helps re-establish your bond while allowing both you and your partner to think. So, instead of texting and making phone calls, be absolutely silent. Do not reach out to him, and if he tries to do so, simply ignore him.

Is ignoring your ex the best revenge? ›

Some people may think that ignoring your ex is the best revenge. This allows them to wonder about you since they don't see you checking up on them, and you may be fine without them. In general terms, having no contact at all for at least 30 days after a breakup can give ignoring your ex the best chance at working.

What no contact does to a man? ›

The male mind during no contact

The no-contact rule male psychology forces him to recognize his loneliness. After a breakup, if you stop contacting him, he will feel free and enjoy this phase as much as he can. But, with time, the loneliness and guilt pang will start to kick in.

Will no contact make him miss me? ›

Does no contact make him miss you? Yes! One of the best ways to use silence after a breakup is to cut off all means of communication. That includes going silent on social media after a breakup.

Does no contact work on stubborn man? ›

In fact, most say that their ex is uniquely stubborn – more so than other exes or other people. While I'm not suggesting that you are wrong in thinking that your ex boyfriend, ex girlfriend, or spouse is stubborn, this trait would not negate the impact of The No Contact Rule in the vast majority of cases.

How long no contact is enough? ›

At the very least, the no contact rule requires that you keep radio silence for 30 days after the breakup. Depending on your situation, that void might have to extent for a few more weeks or months. The goal of no contact is to give you the power of silence after break up.

How long is no contact too much? ›

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 no contact does to a woman? ›

Going 'no-contact' with someone you spent a lot of time with and planned a future with can be painful. A woman experiencing the stages of no contact is likely to feel angry, sad, and lonely. While a woman is likely to feel sadness in the early stages of no contact, she will quickly get over her ex as time goes on.

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

As a general rule of thumb, I recommend that you do active no contact for about 30 days, about one month. This is by no means a strict rule that everyone must follow. But generally 30 days of no contact is a good starting point.

How do I stop thinking about my ex during no contact? ›

  1. Distract yourself so you're literally too busy to even think about them. ...
  2. Establish some boundaries with yourself. ...
  3. Give yourself some time to feel sad, or mad, or angry, or literally whatever. ...
  4. Understand that you may still have lingering feelings for this person, and that's okay. ...
  5. Indulge in alllll the self care.
23 Mar 2021

Why silence is the best revenge to an ex? ›

Silence speaks volumes

Believe it, the silence and zero reaction really bothers your ex, and they consider it as the best served revenge. Nothing creates more curiosity than silence. Your ex would expect a vent or an angry rant from you, but don't give in. If you do, you are meeting their expectations.

Does silence hurt an ex? ›

There is no easy way to deal with a breakup, but remaining silent actually speaks volumes to your ex. After all, actions speak louder than words! By staying silent, you're telling your ex that you're strong, resilient, and independent. You're relying on yourself — and no one else — for your own happiness.

Can silence heal a relationship? ›

Research indicates that both men and women use the silent treatment in relationships. However, clear and direct communication is essential for healthy relationships. Using the silent treatment prevents people from resolving their conflicts in a helpful way.

What does silent treatment do to an ex? ›

With complete silence, your ex will have the time to think as well. This will make your ex feel confused, lost, and at times, your ex might even start missing you.

How do you know if your ex still cares? ›

Signs Your Ex Still Has Feelings For You
  1. They keep texting or calling you. ...
  2. They follow you on social media. ...
  3. They don't return your stuff. ...
  4. They contact your friends, or their friends contact you. ...
  5. They cross your path. ...
  6. They get jealous or want to make you feel jealous. ...
  7. They are not moving on.
6 days ago

How do I make my ex want me back badly? ›

Steps You Can Take & Things To Say To Get Your Ex Back
  1. Give Them Space. ...
  2. Apply the No Contact Rule (Yes, Even on Social Media) ...
  3. Become a Person You Can Be Proud Of. ...
  4. Make Some Positive Changes in Your Appearance. ...
  5. Make Some Positive Changes in Your Mentality. ...
  6. Allow Yourself to Grieve for a While. ...
  7. Write a Journal.
2 Dec 2021

Do men think about you during no contact? ›

For most guys, a “no contact” period will make them realize how much they care about you or make them jealous, confused, or remorseful. It's a time full of emotions, and we've put together a thorough list of what he might feel while you're giving him the silent treatment.

How long does it take for a man to realize he messed up? ›

Men often go through an emotional state called “Dumpers Remorse” after the woman finally goes away. This state hits after one month to six weeks after the man passes through the initial happy phase after a breakup. He starts to give away signs he knows he messed up the whole thing from that time.

Do guys miss you when you're gone? ›

With the majority of men, he will miss you if you leave him alone. That might sound ridiculous but there are some very good reasons behind it. 'Distance makes the heart grow fonder' is an expression that is very true.

How do you make him regret for ignoring you? ›

15 tips to make him regret ignoring you
  1. Express your feelings (to him) One of the most direct ways to learn how to make him regret ignoring you is by being upfront about it. ...
  2. Get your story straight. ...
  3. Be less available. ...
  4. Spend time with friends (especially mutual friends) ...
  5. Block him. ...
  6. Pursue other options. ...
  7. Conclusion.
21 Mar 2022

How can I make him miss me desperately? ›

Tips to make your man miss you
  1. 01/6Tips to make your man miss you. ...
  2. 02/6Be mysterious enough. ...
  3. 03/6Have a fun time without him. ...
  4. 04/6Make him feel a little bit jealous. ...
  5. 05/6Don't reply to his calls or texts immediately. ...
  6. 06/6Don an addictive smell.
11 Mar 2021

Does an ex ever think about you? ›

If you two have been out of the relationship you had for a long period of time, the odds that they think about you often, other than a passing moment here or there, is slim. But if it's been days, weeks, or less than 6 months from the breakup, the odds are that your ex thinks about you quite a bit.

Do stubborn ex come back? ›

Just remember, most guys tend to come back to their ex girlfriends as soon as they have started moving on. So if you can create the illusion that you are moving on and moving forward, it may cause him to return to you sooner. But keep in mind that is he thinks he has you, he's not going to be afraid of losing you.

What does 30 day no contact do? ›

What Do You Mean 30 Day No Contact Rule? Exactly what it says, no contact, cut off all communication for an amount of time determined by certain factors. However, it's less of a rule and more of a technique or strategy to either move on with your life or reconcile.

What happens during no contact? ›

What is the No Contact Rule? The no contact rule is defined as a period of time during which you don't contact your ex (or a toxic person) so that both of you can get some space and time apart from each other. If done correctly, the no contact rule helps you heal from the breakup, stop panicking and grow as a person.

Will an ex ever contact you again? ›

An ex will likely come back if they're in a rebound relationship, if the breakup was an impulsive decision, or if the breakup was mutual. Your ex might return if they unblock your number and keep an eye on you with social media. They may also try to contact you again.

How many times does no contact work? ›

Not totally, but instead of 100% effective, it'll be around 90% effective. The next time you break it, you lose another 10% of effectiveness, and so on all the way down to zero. Each time you have to restart because you failed, No Contact will lose effectiveness.

How do I know if my breakup is temporary? ›

Here are some signs your breakup is temporary:
  1. You haven't moved on. ...
  2. You still hang out together. ...
  3. They've been sending you mixed messages. ...
  4. You're learning how to communicate with your ex. ...
  5. They reminisce with you. ...
  6. They reach out during trials. ...
  7. They ask about you through friends. ...
  8. You have both been working on your issues.
28 Jul 2022

What should you not do in no contact? ›

“The No Contact rule is where you don't call, text, or message an ex in any way after the breakup. It includes not talking to their friends or family about them or the breakup itself,” says dating and breakup coach Lee Wilson.

What makes a dumper change their mind? ›

~In reality, what makes a dumper change their mind is seeing you move on. Knowing that they can't have you after they started to value you, hurts them. This makes them regret their decision because they start to value you differently.

How long on average before an ex comes back? ›

How Long Does it Take After a Breakup to Get Back Together Your Ex? In most cases, couples get back together within 1-6 months of the breakup. This statistics only includes couples who stayed together in a long term relationship after getting back together. Here's a chart with more details on this.

How long should you wait for an ex to come back? ›

"If it was over something really trivial, for example, you may be able to patch things up in a day or two. If it was over something more serious, it's a good idea to take a month apart so that you have time to get your emotions in check and get clarity about the situation.

How do you know your ex moved on? ›

Signs Your Ex Is Over You
  1. Communication Dwindles. Relationships are built on interactions, and if you're not in touch in one way or another — in person, on the phone, or elsewhere — there's not really a relationship. ...
  2. Interactions Become Less Fun. ...
  3. Interactions Become Less Awkward. ...
  4. They Get Serious With Someone Else.
16 Jan 2020

How long does it take for the dumper to miss you in no contact? ›

In fact, based on our research you can expect the average ex to begin missing you anywhere between 2.5 to 5.2 months after a breakup assuming you put forth signals that you are “moving on from them.”

How long should you stop talking to your ex? ›

According to the famous no contact rule, 30 days is enough time for both of you to get in a better headspace and healthily process your feelings. Plus, when you draw boundaries and give her space to miss you, your ex will start remembering the good times you had together.

Is it healthy to stay close to your ex? ›

A friendship with an ex can be highly rewarding, but it's more than OK not to have a relationship or be in contact with them. Accepting the transience of connection and moving forward on your own path will give you much more peace than holding onto a past flame when there is no longer alignment.

Is closure from ex necessary? ›

Closure is important after a breakup because:

Your brain needs an authentic narrative to make sense of what happened. Without closure you might keep going back to a relationship that wasn't working. You could be doomed to repeat the same relationship patterns the next time around without closure.

How long does ex usually last? ›

"It can take anywhere from six weeks to three months to forever, depending on how intense the relationship was, how invested you were in each other, and how heartbroken you are," says Jane Greer, PhD, New York-based marriage and family therapist and author of What About Me? (Those three factors all sort of piggyback on ...

How do you know when your ex is truly done with you? ›

30 Signs Your Ex Is Over You and Not Pretending!
  • They don't call you anymore. ...
  • They are seeing someone new. ...
  • They don't want to hang out. ...
  • They can be in the same room with you without feeling sad. ...
  • They stop flirting. ...
  • They try to set you up with someone else. ...
  • They return your stuff. ...
  • They ask for their stuff back.
5 days ago

Can you be friends with an ex if you still have feelings for them? ›

If you genuinely love spending time together and have a bunch of shared hobbies, interests, and mutual friends, that's totally valid. Just make sure you're not trying to substitute a platonic relationship for your romantic relationship just because it's easier to still have them in your life that way.

Do most exes stay friends? ›

Among people who say they have at least one living ex-romantic partner, 17% say they are friends with all of their exes, and 37% are friends with one but not all of their previous partners. The largest share of people – 44% – say they aren't friends with any of their exes.

Why would someone refuse to give you closure? ›

Some people even have a desire to avoid closure at all cost. This could be because they don't want to end up feeling guilty, rejected or criticised by others. Vagueness has its advantages, as soon as you have established exactly what happened, you are also subject to criticism – from yourself and others.

What does lack of closure do? ›

Lack of. The lack of closure leaves a situation in ambiguity. People high in need for closure seek to avoid this ambiguity at all costs where people high in need to avoid closure strive to make situations more ambiguous.

What do you do when closure is not possible? ›

Below you'll find six strategies for letting go without closure.
  1. Give Yourself Permission. The days, weeks, and even months following a breakup are a time of mixed emotions. ...
  2. Create a Ritual. ...
  3. Write a Letter. ...
  4. Commit to a New Interest. ...
  5. Recognize that Closure Comes from Within. ...
  6. Seek the Help You Need.
26 Jul 2016


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