Updated date:

7 Dumb Mistakes People Make After No Contact and How to Avoid Them

Author:

CL Grant has authored many relationship books, including "30 Day No Contact Rule," "The Reality of Being the Other Woman," and "Ex Addict."

Don't make these common mistakes after no contact has ended.

Don't make these common mistakes after no contact has ended.

What Is the No-Contact Rule?

If you are reading this article, then it is a safe bet that you already know about the principles of the No-Contact Rule (NCR). If not, then you should first check out The 7 Powerful Benefits of the No-Contact Rule. To briefly recap, no contact revolves around the premise of taking a break from your partner for a set period of time: typically 30 days. In principle, the process is extremely simple but, in practice, it requires a great deal of willpower and self-control to see it through. This means no drunk texting, calling, or stalking your ex on social media.

When used correctly, it can help ease the pain of a breakup and be a positive tool for salvaging your self-esteem. It can also be used to facilitate a reunion with your former partner, although this should not be your primary focus.

The results of no contact are largely dependent on you and the choices you make. It also depends upon how you plan to measure your success. Initially, you may think this means reuniting with your loved one. Nonetheless, you should remember that getting through your breakup as painlessly as possible is also a significant achievement.

Finally, it is important to acknowledge that some relationships cannot and should not be repaired. This is especially true of controlling and abusive relationships.

7 No-Contact Rule Mistakes

The seven most common mistakes after no contact are:

  1. Panicking
  2. Putting your life on hold
  3. Thinking there are no more rules
  4. Setting a deadline
  5. Demanding answers
  6. Having a rebound relationship
  7. Becoming friends

Each of these mistakes is described fully below. They may seem a little contradictory, since they emphasize the idea of reuniting with your partner rather than focusing on your own healing and growth, even though the focus should be on self-recovery. However, a reconciliation undoubtedly remains atop of the wish list for many. Hence, the advice is intended to cover all eventualities.

after-no-contact

Mistake #1: Panicking

It’s Day 31. You wake up feeling totally elated. You've done it! You have managed to go a whole 30 days without contacting your former partner. Now you start staring at your phone, wondering when your ex is going to text or call. After all, you’ve waited patiently for 30 days, you deserve this. Then, when the phone call doesn’t come, you start to panic.

What went wrong?

Was it something you did?

Has your ex found someone else?

Do they think that you’ve found someone else?

Should you contact them instead?

If this bears any resemblance to the thoughts presently rushing through your mind, then you need to stop. Did you not learn anything during your period of abstinence? Have you really gone back to Day 1?

Whatever you do at this point, do not start drunk dialing or texting your ex. If you truthfully believe that you can contact your ex in a rational manner, and think it would be productive to do so, then there are ways that you can go about this. Conversely, if you are in an emotional and highly charged state of mind, then contacting your ex should not be on your agenda, since experiencing rejection will have an adverse effect on your recovery.

You must remember that you took this journey to help you to recover from your breakup. It was an exercise in damage limitation, a journey of self-healing and self-improvement, not a means of reconciling with your ex. Ideally at this point, you should be looking forward and not dwelling on your past. You should be so busy that you hardly ever have time to think about your old relationship. You need to be totally honest with yourself. If you are anxiously waiting for that call, then you need to consider embarking upon another 30 days of no contact.

Before making contact, you also need to consider what your ex may be thinking about your silence. There is some adverse publicity surrounding no contact, which they may have read. If they believe for one minute that you have done this to punish or manipulate them, then they are likely to feel hostile towards you. For this reason, it is far better to let them reach out to you. If you are inclined to contact them instead, then please don’t be so obvious as to do it on Day 31. Wait another week or so at the very least.

Mistake #2: Putting Your Life on Hold

The 30 days of no contact are designed to help you get your life back on track. You've had 30 days to create a new normal and establish a new healthy routine for yourself. Instead of thinking of those 30 days as an interruption of your life, you need to view them as an opportunity to remember what your life looks and feels like without that person. Don't get confused and start to think that the period of no contact is an interruption of your life when the opposite is true: Your individual life is what you put on hold during your relationship, and after those 30 days are over, you get to decide if your life is truly improved by that relationship.

No-contact mistake #2: Don't put your life on hold.

No-contact mistake #2: Don't put your life on hold.

Mistake #3: Thinking There Are No More Rules

After spending a few days wallowing in self-pity, you were encouraged to fill up your schedule and keep yourself as busy as possible. Upon finishing the first period of no contact, people suddenly think that they can forget about the rules that they have been sticking to. It’s a bit like dieting for 30 days, successfully losing 20 pounds, and then starting to binge eat the following day. What do you think will happen? Will you maintain your weight loss? I doubt it very much. You will end up exactly where you started and possibly a little bit heavier. The same is true for no contact. Just like yo-yo dieting, you will end up in a far worse place, emotionally speaking, if you drop the new habits that you have been forming.

After completing 30 days, you should try not regress into the person you were 30 days ago. All of the new hobbies you began, the fitness regime you started, and the friends that you went out with should be maintained. Your schedule should remain as full as it did the week before. Continuing to live your life as you have been doing gives you less time to fret about your ex and more time to concentrate on the present. The only thing that has changed is your ability to contact your former partner, if you still want to. If you do, it must be done in a controlled manner and be prepared for a knock-back if they're not happy to hear from you.

You can never make the same mistake twice because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, it's a choice.

— Steven Denn

Mistake #4: Setting a Deadline

Setting a deadline rarely works. Firstly, you must be prepared to follow through with your stated action and secondly, you need to have a justifiable reason for imposing a deadline in the first place. Furthermore, your behavior may also be considered as emotional abuse. You are issuing an ultimatum in order to manipulate your ex-partner into doing what you want, when you want.

So let’s work through this using a hypothetical example. Assume that you have completed 30 days of no contact and decide to reach out to your former partner. You ponder how best to do this and decide to leave it for a few days. You then send your ex a casual text message to ask how they are.

Now answer the following question as honestly as you possibly can.

Doesn’t the answer seem blindingly obvious when it’s written down in black and white and not directly about you?

Communication is like a game of tennis. Player 1 hits the ball and Player 2 returns it. Player 1 hits the ball again and Player 2 hits it back. You get the picture. The same pattern should apply to communicating with your ex. What you must not do is:

a) Bombard your ex with a flurry of messages.

b) Get really angry and issue an ultimatum.

After a week has passed, it's fine to send a second message just to check if they received the first one. If you don't hear back after the second contact, then you need to move on and forget about it.

No-contact mistake #4: Don't set a deadline.

No-contact mistake #4: Don't set a deadline.

Mistake #5: Demanding Answers

When couples break up, it is human nature to want closure. Typically, you will want to know:

  • Why did it happen?
  • Did you do anything wrong?
  • Was anyone else involved?
  • Have they been dating since you broke up?

Nonetheless, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make, especially in the early stages, is to demand explanations about the whys and wherefores of the breakdown of your relationship. Now is not the time to start interrogating your ex about why they split up with you. If you start coming across as clingy, desperate, or demanding, your ex is going to run a mile. Any conversation you have with them should be undertaken in a light-hearted and positive tone. Your former partner should not feel under attack. You need to demonstrate that you are more than capable of living without them.

Mistake #6: Having a Rebound Relationship

Rebound relationships are never a good idea. You may believe that you are showing your ex that you have moved on but, in reality, you are simply exhibiting signs of desperation and insecurity. You are demonstrating that you are not strong enough to survive on your own and that you need someone to cling onto.

Initially, being in another relationship may boost your self-esteem. However, this is likely to be short-lived. When such a short period of time has passed following your breakup, it is more than likely that you will constantly be comparing your new date to the perfect illusion that you carry of your ex. Rather than admire the qualities that the new person has, you will be focusing on what they don’t have. Not only will this make you feel sad and disappointed, but it is unfair on the individual that you are dating.

This is why rebound relationships rarely work. You need to give yourself time to work through your pain and open your heart to the possibility of finding love again. Substituting your ex for someone you consider as second best will never work.

If your presence doesn't make an impact, your absence won't make a difference.

— Trey Smith

Mistake #7: Becoming Friends

Remaining friends with your ex may seem like a step in the right direction. However, if you still have feelings for them, then it is probably best avoided. Do you really want to become their confidante and hear all about their latest conquests and relationships? Furthermore, being labelled as a friend means that you are highly unlikely to ever become anything more than that.

A different type of friend also exists, and that is a ‘friend with benefits.’ Whatever you do, please don’t go there! Men and women generally perceive sexual intimacy differently. For men, it can be merely a physical act that can be undertaken without any emotional attachment. For most women, being intimate triggers emotional feelings. The two goals are simply not compatible.

Just because you broke up doesn’t mean that your ex-partner doesn’t still find you sexually attractive. Nonetheless, they do not want to be in a permanent relationship with you. Consequently, to avoid any injured feelings, deciding whether or not you want to pursue a friendship should only be undertaken once you have permanently reconciled and gotten past your romantic feelings.

It makes a nice fantasy, but trying to be friends with your ex after a breakup rarely works.

It makes a nice fantasy, but trying to be friends with your ex after a breakup rarely works.

Why the No-Contact Rule Does Not Work

It's fair to say that a lot of people struggle to maintain 30 days—let alone 60 days—of no contact with their ex. Even if your willpower is strong, it is not uncommon to go weak at the knees upon receiving a text or phone call from your ex-partner. You brim with false hope and mistakenly believe that the nightmare is finally over, you are going to get back together and live happily ever after.

Sadly, this is rarely the case. In your fragile state of mind, it is easy to read too much into the significance of the call and to start obsessing about getting back together. Your ex may simply be testing to see if you will come running. Alternatively, it may simply be that they have not managed to find something else to fill the void that you have left and they are bored. This is hardly the foundation for building a lasting relationship.

On the other hand, you may well have broken no contact by reaching out to your ex, albeit with mixed results. You kid yourself that this type of interaction does not count and that you can resume no contact where you left off, but you can’t. Sporadically breaking no contact is probably the worst thing that you can do. If you don't say true to yourself and follow through on your initial plan, no contact probably won't work for you.

As touched upon earlier, you may mistakenly start no contact with the wrong attitude. Instead of viewing it as a healthy way of recovering from your breakup and helping yourself become stronger, you may be obsessed with getting back together with your ex. Some who are feeling bitter or scorned may see it as a means of punishing their ex. These types of mindsets are wrong on so many levels and will only lead to further heartache.

The rules exist to serve a purpose. They are there to help you rebuild yourself. Sitting at home for 30 days, wallowing in self-pity, is not going to cut it. You must take positive steps to reinvigorate yourself and your life.

Why Does No Contact Work?

The reason why putting a relationship on ice and unplugging all forms of contact for a specified period of time works is because sometimes, when you're too close to a person, you can't see them clearly anymore, and it's difficult to appraise a relationship when the emotions are clouding your eyes. Not only does no contact allow you to take the space and time to really see what the relationship is, but it gives you the time to remember who you are as an individual. Your new insight into both yourself and your partner will allow you to make more clearheaded decisions about the future of your relationship.

While no contact is extremely effective, it is not a miracle. It won’t repair a dysfunctional or loveless relationship. The problems that existed before will still be there afterwards. They cannot be resolved unless you are both committed to finding solutions. Furthermore, while your partner will undoubtedly miss you during the no contact period, they won’t fall back in love with you unless they still have some underlying feelings for you. You cannot create something out of nothing. Moreover, even if no contact worked for a friend, you should not look at someone else’s relationship and expect yours to turn out the same way. Your relationship is unique and comprises many differing factors.

What Should I Do If I Break No Contact?

The rules of the no contact plan are right there in its name: No contact means no contact. Although breaking it is permissible in extreme circumstances (for example, something dire happens with your shared child), it does not extend to contacting your ex because you left your favourite sweater at their place. If you break no contact, then you really need to start again from the very beginning.

Is No Contact the Same Thing as Breaking Up?

Just as a separation is not a divorce, no contact is not quite the same thing as breaking up entirely. Sometimes, it follows a tentative breakup, but sometimes, it's not completely clear if you have broken up or not. However, both parties of the relationship need to understand what "no contact" means if it is going to work. That means the terms should be carefully spelled out and discussed before you break contact with your partner. Tell them why you're doing it, how long it will last, and fully outline the rules and expectations. If you expect both partners to remain faithful during that time, then say so.

How Long Should No Contact Last?

For most couples, 30 days is enough to gain perspective. However, if you've been in a relationship for quite some time, it might take longer to detox and clear your mind. Some people need 60 days to gain the clarity they need.

What to Do After the No-Contact Period?

You may feel that reaching the end of the no-contact period comes as something of an anti-climax. You’ve worked so hard towards this goal, but what now? What comes next?

Hopefully, you will have used your time wisely and find yourself in a much better place, emotionally and physically. You may have realized that ending your relationship was actually for the best. Alternatively, you may not be prepared to give up on it and may still be yearning for a reconciliation. Neither is right or wrong. Whatever decision you come to, you must feel confident and relaxed about it. You must approach it in a calm and pragmatic manner.

If you decide to contact your ex, then you need to do it in a lighthearted, no-strings-attached way. You must also consider how to cope with possibility of rejection. Remember, this time apart has given your ex space to reflect upon your relationship, also. If they do not respond as you had hoped, then you must be ready to move on. The world is full of amazing people and wonderful opportunities. You have to be prepared to take control of your life and your own destiny.

What Do I Text or Say to My Ex After No Contact?

You'd think 30 (or 60) days would be long enough to come up with something great to say, but sadly, this is usually not the case. During that time it is likely that your emotions have fluctuated wildly and your decision to stay or leave have, too. If at the end of no contact you've finally decided to pursue the relationship, then you'll probably want to take some time to carefully consider your approach. And even if you've decided not to pursue the relationship, you may want to reach out to let them know your decision. Sit down and carefully craft a short line or two. Be direct and honest: Keep it short and sweet. Don't just rush to call them and then sit there stammering, trying to figure out what to say.

Will My Ex Come Back to Me After No Contact?

Of course, the answer to this question depends on you, your ex, and your particular situation. The break will likely give your partner an opportunity for perspective. But, as mentioned earlier, the main point of no contact is to gain clarity and strengthen yourself. The break may either give you the insight you need to repair the relationship or the strength to end it for good.

After the no-contact period is over, you can decide if you want to reach out (or not).

After the no-contact period is over, you can decide if you want to reach out (or not).

Sources

  1. Perilloux, Carin, Buss, David M. Breaking up Romantic Relationships: Costs Experienced and Coping Strategies Deployed. Evolutionary Psychology. 2008:6(1):164-18. [24 July 2017]
  2. Rodriguez, L. M., Øverup, C. S., Wickham, R. E., Knee, C. R., & Amspoker, A. B. (2016). Communication with former romantic partners and current relationship outcomes among college students. Personal Relationships, 23: 409-424. [24 July 2017]
  3. Marshall, T. C. (2012). Facebook surveillance of former romantic partners: associations with postbreakup recovery and personal growth. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 15(10): 521-526. [24 July 2017]

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: Me and my ex were together for over 3 years. She broke up with me because she felt under my thumb and at the end wasn't happy. We've been apart now for just under a month, but I keep messaging her. She said she's completely done. If I give her space do we have a chance?

Answer: Yes, you will have a far better chance if you stop messaging her. Give her some space and allow her to breathe. In the meantime, you should also do some soul-searching and ask yourself what you did to make your ex feel like she did.

Question: It's day 31 of no contact, and out of the blue, my ex texted me on WhatsApp. The message said my name and something else. I didn't open it until later on. However, when I did, I discovered that he had deleted the message. What should I do? Why did he delete the message? Should I text him or ignore it?

Answer: What do you want to do? Would you like to get back with your ex or not?

How you proceed depends entirely upon what outcome you wish to achieve. If your ex has reached out once, then he will probably do so again. You did the right thing by not opening the message straight away. He now realizes that you haven't put your life on hold waiting for him. This may well be the reason he deleted the message.

If you do want to investigate the possibility of getting back together, then I would wait a week before messaging him. He has provided you with the perfect opening as you can now casually refer to his message and ask him if he had tried to contact you.

Question: We broke up 8 days ago and yesterday I got a pocket dial. Never ever received one in the whole relationship. Never even heard that he's done it to anyone else. He initiated the break-up, mainly because he's not sure if he wants his quiet life, not so quiet anymore. I've done the no contact since the break. Do you think he's just trying to get me to contact him. What should I do from here?

Answer: It does sound as if you are reading far too much into your ex accidentally phoning you. This is perfectly natural, as you are unlikely to be thinking rationally and probably prone to over-analysing even the smallest of detail.

Continue with no contact. If your ex wants to speak to you, he needs to make the call, not you.

Question: I have completed 30 days of no contact but haven’t received any message or call from my ex. Her birthday is coming up in a few days. Should I contact my ex to wish her happy birthday? If so, then how should I go about it?

Answer: Personally, I would not contact her. However, if you do feel compelled to reach out to her, then a short, simple text message should suffice e.g. 'Happy birthday!'

However, you need to ask yourself what are you hoping this message will achieve, and how you will feel if she doesn't reply.

Question: Should I contact my ex on his birthday, during the no-contact period? He did reach out to me, two weeks ago, by sending one message to ask how I was doing. However, he has been silent ever since.

Answer: You don't say who ended the relationship or if you responded to his earlier message. Nonetheless, the answer is no. No contact means exactly that. The only exception is when a modified form of no contact is adopted, due to instances such as the couple having children or shared financial interests etc.

Question: My ex contacted me after three weeks. He said he missed and loved me. I haven’t heard from him in two days. Should I message him, or wait to hear from him again?

Answer: You should wait. Just because he called, doesn't mean you should go running. If he truly loves you, he will get in contact with you again.

You don't say how the breakup occurred. Nonetheless, you do need to assess if you are feeling emotionally strong enough to cope with any potential rejection from him.

In the meantime, you should consider the reasons for the breakup, why you want to get back with your ex and going forward, what changes need to occur.

Question: After 4 months of no contact, my ex-girlfriend texted me to see how I am doing. She gave me a little insight into what’s going on with her. I told her I was glad to hear everything was going well with her, but she never replied. I feel so confused. Was she testing the waters? Will she message me again?

Answer: I'm assuming that your ex initiated the breakup, which is why you implemented no-contact?

Yes, she was testing the water and will no doubt contact you again, when it suits her. While such follow-up texts are fairly common, you need to be mindful about how quickly you respond, if you decide to respond at all. Quite often, these texts don't warrant a response. Also, don't fall into the trap of believing that she must be looking to get back together. Sometimes, it's simply a case of curiosity and other times, it's because your ex wants reassurance that she can still 'reel you in' whenever she wants to.

Question: I have not contacted my ex for five years, but some times I miss her a lot. What should I do?

Answer: You need to stop looking at the past through rose-tinted glasses. Five years is an extremely long time to still be thinking about your ex. Keep yourself busy, socialize more and meet new people. In short, don't give yourself time to think about her.

Question: If he's the one who initiates the no contact rule, what should I do?

Answer: Respect his decision and give him the space he needs.

You should also use the time wisely to focus on yourself and evaluate what it is you want from life, as well as your relationships.

Question: What if my ex reaches out to me after a few days? Should I wait or respond?

Answer: Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer as each breakup is unique. Nonetheless, communication is a vital aspect of any relationship and should always be explored in the first instance. Couples break up and make up all of the time. Remember, the no contact rule should only be used as a last resort.

You need to evaluate what your expectations would be, should your ex contact you. For example, consider how you would react if your ex only wanted you as a friend or told you that they were dating someone else. Also, why did you break up? Have these problems been resolved? If not, they will resurface at some point in the future. Furthermore, if one of you was unfaithful, can you really rebuild the trust?

If you ex does reach out to you, consider the request with caution. If you decide to stick with no contact, remember to work on improving yourself and your emotional stability.

Question: I broke up with my ex as he wasn’t committed to the relationship. He would go for days and sometimes weeks, without contacting me. However, whenever I got in touch with him, he always answered. I broke up with him, and now I regret it. Does the no contact rule work if you were the one who caused the breakup?

Answer: Yes, this is one instance where the person who initiated the breakup can use the no contact rule. Deep down, you know that his behavior was unacceptable and disrespectful. So why do you regret breaking up with him?

You deserve to be treated better. Don't think for one moment that you should accept second best. You weren't happy and now is the time to move on with your life.

Question: My ex broke up with me because her parents don’t like me. What do I do?

Answer: You need to respect her decision. Clearly, her parents have a strong influence over her. This is not unusual. Most of us take heed of the opinions of family and friends, especially when we believe that they have our best interests at heart.

Sadly, you need to move on and implementing no contact may help you with this.

Question: My boyfriend told me to delete his number. Should I move on?

Answer: Yes. Delete his number and any other contact information you have. It's time to look forward and not back.

Question: My ex-boyfriend broke up with me 2 weeks ago. We’ve been together for 7 months. He hasn't explained why he broke up with me but says he still loves me and wants to be part of my life. He said we need some time apart. I want to know if I can text him to ask him to explain why he broke up with me because I want to know the truth. I will feel better knowing the answers, and of course, I love him so much. What should I do?

Answer: Have you ever heard the expression that; actions speak louder than words? Well, your ex's actions do not match his words. Also, just because he wants to be part of your life, doesn't mean that he still wants to date you. He may well play the, 'let's be friends' card.

While it's natural to assume that you need to know the truth, in order to gain closure, often, it just causes more pain. Give him space to breathe and don't hound him for answers. If you do reconcile, at some point in the future, then you should push for an explanation.

Question: My ex has not reached out to me after I followed the no-contact rule for 30 days. I miss him so much. Should I contact him?

Answer: No. 30 days is the minimum amount of time you should maintain no contact. Like many others, you have approached the no-contact rule with the wrong mindset. It is not about getting your ex back. It is about making you stronger and helping you through the breakup.

As you are still missing your ex, it appears that you need a longer period of time. If you contacted him now, any rejection would be a huge set-back. Start with another 30 days of no contact and see if you feel emotionally stronger then.

Question: My ex dumped me, and I vented to my sister. They don't like each other, so my sister texted my ex and told her all the things that I had said. Now my ex hates me. We have been together for 6 years, and have 2 kids. She feels betrayed, saying that I have been talking about her behind her back. But I just vented to my sister who was my best friend. Should I just move on?

Answer: Firstly, your sister is in the wrong as she betrayed your confidence. While I don't doubt that you are close to her, you should not have involved her in this. You were fully aware that your ex and your sister didn't like each other, so what you did was extremely foolish. Also, you cannot justify what you did purely because your sister is your best friend. Your ex has every right to feel aggrieved.

You don't say how long you and your ex have been apart or what caused the split. However, you do have 2 children. For this reason alone, you should be making every effort to save the relationship.

Your ex will need time to come to terms with your betrayal. You need to give her space while keeping the lines of communication open. If and when she feels ready, you may wish to suggest joint relationship counseling sessions. You owe it to your children to explore any possibility of saving your relationship, providing that it is in their best interests.

Question: I pushed my ex away and he’s in a relationship do I contact him?

Answer: No. It's best to leave sleeping dogs lie. He's moved on and you need to respect that. Contacting him will only confuse matters. If and when he becomes single again, then you can contact him. However, you need to question your motives. Do you really want him or is it a case of not wanting anyone else to have him?

Question: We fell in love, but she says her conscience won't let her hurt him. What do I say to this?

Answer: Are you saying that your partner is in a relationship with someone else? If so, you deserve more. Have some respect for yourself and walk away.

Question: I am in the same class as the person I initiated the No Contact rule with. Whenever I see her, I pretend as if I haven't and walk away. Should I continue?

Answer: You are in a difficult situation as you see this girl most days. To make you both feel comfortable, try forcing a smile when you see her. You don't need to engage in conversation, but are simply implying that there are no hard feelings on your part. Your education is important and you need to be able to focus on this.

Question: My husband wants a divorce, but I don't. I have not talked to him since the 27th, and now he's texting me saying he's proud of me and that he hopes I have a good day. What do I do?

Answer: The simple answer is absolutely nothing! His text does not require you to reply and you should not feel compelled to do so.

Question: I have been in a long distant relationship for a year and a half. There has been a lot of arguing and making up. Just over a week ago, he broke up with me because I’m not ready to move in with him, and I don't believe our relationship is strong enough either. I haven’t seen him for over three weeks. He broke it off in a text. Should I contact him to see if he will even talk to me?

Answer: Seriously? He dumped you by text, and you're the one worrying if he will talk to you!

Your relationship sounds rather volatile, and you obviously have reservations about committing yourself to this guy. It is important that you take heed of your sixth sense. I'm assuming that you're the one who will be giving up everything and moving away to be with him.

If he doesn't respect you enough to have a mature conversation about the future of your relationship, then I would be running in the opposite direction. Listen to your gut and don't allow yourself to be pressured into doing something you may later regret. If he's right for you, then he'll wait for you. Alternatively, look for a guy closer to home.

Question: I had been dating a guy for four months (long distance). We met once and had a great time, but I realized he was still on the Facebook dating site that we met on. I asked him about it and he said that he had just forgotten. When I asked if he was still looking for someone, he ghosted me for a week. After this, he wrote back breaking up with me. When I called him, he didn't answer his phone, but sent a text saying he was in a meeting. He never called afterwards. What should I do now?

Answer: Follow the no-contact rule and move on with your life. In reality, you have not been dating this guy for four months. He visited you once. You appear to have attached a greater degree of importance to this friendship, than the guy did. When you called him out about his dating profile, he ended any relationship with you. Accept this. Perhaps the distance was more of an obstacle to him, than it was you. Also, you have never met his family or friends, so only know what he wants you know about his life. Chalk this one up to experience and next time, don't invest so much of your time and emotions on a virtual relationship.

Question: My ex and I had been together for nine years. We have been split up for about a month. Since we broke up, I made a fake social media account that he found out about. This lead to a girl that he liked blocking him. Now he says he wants nothing to do with me, but wants to be friends via text for now. What should I do?

Answer: Firstly, you need to acknowledge that your behavior since the split was unacceptable and emotionally unhealthy. Catfishing your ex will only serve to destroy any element of trust that existed between you.

Nonetheless, your ex appears to be sending mixed messages. On the one hand, he says he wants nothing to do with you, yet on the other, he says he wants to stay friends by text. He can't have it all ways.

You need time to heal and take stock of the situation. If your ex contacts you again, let him know that you want some space. Then follow the no contact rule for 30 days. Remember that this is about making yourself emotionally stronger, as well as not contacting your ex. Hopefully, this will help you to begin thinking in a more rational manner.

Question: My ex broke up with me because he can't forgive me for a mistake I made, yet he tells me he still loves me. What do I do?

Answer: It sounds as if your ex is being totally honest with you. Just because you love someone doesn't mean that you like them, or what they did to you.

You say you made a mistake but don't elaborate on that. Clearly, it was serious enough to make him break up with you. You should respect his decision and give him some space to breathe and work out what he really wants. It is also important for you to give yourself some time to reflect upon why you made this mistake, if you knew it would hurt your ex.

Even if you were to get back together, it does not mean that your relationship will be the same again. There may always be trust issues. You may need to chalk this one up to experience and move on with your life. In this respect, applying the no contact rules will help ease the pain and enable you to move on with your life.

© 2017 C L Grant

Comments

Lucy from Leeds, UK on April 12, 2020:

Great advice. As a neuroscientist, I find it fascinating how acting in an overly-needy way can crush attraction and leave our partner viewing us through a lens of contempt. It's a shame that most people do not realise this, but it's understandable - it's human nature and a deeply-ingrained survival tactic to try and cling onto what we feel is slipping away from us.

The irony is that us humans respond to intermittent reward like nothing else, finding anything (affection, attention, texts..) attractive when it is offered rarely and less predictably.

Shweta98 on March 08, 2020:

Hi,

I am in a same sex relationship. My ex and i had a huge fall out on 12th feb regarding some support that i wanted. She also did not bother to check on me the whole day. This is not the first time, it has happened. The pattern has been the same whenever, i have reached out to her regarding any emotional support that i need. It is also important to know that her mother is suffering from cancer. However, that is a very recent development. I tried reaching out to her the same day and the day after, called her couple of times. She only responded when it was something else other than our relationship. She sent me a package of things with a letter stating that the past few days have been difficult for her and that she was missing me and also asked for an apology. I called her back, messaged her and even sent an email to her saying that i will give her space and time and that i will wait for her. It has been two weeks since then and there has been no email that i know of. I am very confused about the fact whether she wants me to leave her alone or pursue her. Please advice what i should be doing.

Lily on January 15, 2020:

My ex and i were together for more than 6 years. He broke up with me 3 wks ago. He said he is unsure on what he wants in life. He said he loves me and he knows what i need but he cannot give me that long term commitment yet until he is able to figure out what he really wants. I broke the no contact after 1.5wks of not talking. Now, we havent talked for almost a week. Is there still a chance of us getting back? I want to move on but i am also sure that i love him more than anything and would really love him back

Mikey on January 30, 2019:

I was to one to finish the relationship by dumping her as she hurt me a lot and insulting me (by text messages and by not responding to my phonecalls). We exchanged letters afterwards each one expressing how we feel. After 3 weeks following the no-contact rule, I felt guilty as I did not discuss in person giving us the opportunity to sort things out. I sent her a text message to arrange a call but she did not respond. I want to have another chance to this relationship. Should I follow no-contact for 30 more days and try to reach her?

dashingscorpio from Chicago on July 28, 2017:

I meant to say the following:

I suspect one of the reasons why it's so difficult for people to get over a relationship is because deep down they (don't) want to.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on July 28, 2017:

Great advice! & Well written.

"You must remember that you started this journey to help you to {recover from your breakup}. It was an exercise in damage limitation, a journey of self-healing and self-improvement: not a means of reconciling with your ex. " - Very true!

These days so much is written about how to get your ex back. Clearly there are lots of people who refuse to accept it's over.

One has to "let go" in order to "move on".

I suspect one of the reasons why it's so difficult for people to get over a relationship is because deep down they want to. They're hoping for a reconciliation.

The "no contact rule" should not be viewed as a "tactic" but rather a part of the moving on process.

I also agree with the (no friends) concept.

Your ex is the last person who can help you get over them! It's also unrealistic to go from being "red hot lovers" to (instant platonic friends) behaving like siblings.

When the person ending the relationship offers friendship as a "consolation prize" it's because they don't want to feel like the "bad guy". Unfortunately the person who was dumped oftentimes jumps at the opportunity to be (friends) because they believe it will give them another shot at winning the ex over.

The biggest threat is a former couple might end up having sex. While the person who was dumped believes they're getting back together their (ex) sees it as an "one-off" one night stand, "booty call" or "friends with benefits" scenario setting one up for another heartbreak. No contact means not looking backwards.

In order for your (ex) to have been "the one" they would have had to see (you) as being "the one". At the very least a "soulmate" is someone who actually wants to be with you!

Your future lies ahead of you and not behind you.

Every ending is a new beginning!