What Are the Rules and Benefits of the No Contact Rule After a Breakup

Updated on June 18, 2019
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This is my purpose in life: to better myself through knowledge and help others do the same. I hope you enjoy my writing.

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The "No Contact" rule is a popular subject for people who are going through breakups. Some writers, however, have gone overboard in trying to show its effectiveness, especially with how to use the NC rule to get your ex back.

Consequently, you shouldn't believe everything you read. You should read several perspectives on the subject and then figure out what to do. This article will look at what constitutes No Contact, how it should be done, its benefits, and what you should and should not do if you decide to exercise it.

The advice here can be effective for people who were dumped, or for those who initiated the breakup.

What Is the No Contact Rule?

No Contact means you do not initiate any form of communication with your ex nor respond to their communications. This applies in all circumstances except for when there's no way to avoid seeing or interacting with them.

If you are forced to communicate with your ex, your conversations should be as casual as possible—no flirting, talking about the failed relationship, or talking about getting back together.

Remember that NC is not a way to get your ex back or to make them miss you. Though there is a chance these things could happen, No Contact is really something you should be doing for yourself and for your own healing.

Rules of No Contact After a Breakup

  1. You do not call them (either on the telephone or through any Internet applications).
  2. You do not text them or message them (either through SMS or any social media application).
  3. You do not answer your ex's calls or reply to their texts (except in the case of an emergency).
  4. You do not stalk your ex, either in-person or on social media sites.
  5. You block them from all social media sites.
  6. You do not go places where you're likely to run into your ex in order to "accidentally" bump into them.
  7. You do not use your mutual friends in order to be updated about your ex's current status, asking if they're seeing someone else or if there's any indication they want to get back together.

As mentioned above, if there is an emergency, you might need to respond to your ex's communications or send them communications of your own. Make sure, however, that the conversation between you two doesn't drift from the issue at hand.

How Long Should No Contact Last?

There are no set guidelines for how long No Contact should last. In general, it needs to be longer than a period of two weeks in order for it to be effective. Depending on the length of your relationship and how intense it was, a period of four weeks might be enough, but it might also need to last several months or even several years.

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Does the No Contact Rule Work?

That depends on what you mean. In general, No Contact is a useful tool for getting over a breakup. It helps individuals realize that the past is over and that they need to move on and learn how to live life without their exes.

In some cases, after a period of No Contact, the exes do get back together again. In this example, the period of separation would have helped them understand more about themselves and what they wanted, and with clear reflection, they could both come to the conclusion that they wanted to be together again.

However, even though there have been many articles and books written about this topic, few admit that No Contact does not work all the time. It will not help you get over the breakup immediately, and it doesn't guarantee that you will get back together with your ex. It is simply a rule, and like other rules, it can work in your favor or not. It simply acts as a guide.

What Are the Benefits and Power of the No Contact Rule?

1. It Gives You Time to Heal

According to psychologist Jill Weber, staying out of contact with your ex is one of the most important things you can do when recovering from a breakup or from a divorce.

When a break up happens, a person feels hurt. In fact, it has been proven that the brain treats physical and psychological pain similarly. In essence, as a result of the breakup, the brain detects a wound. In order for the wound to be healed, it needs to be treated.

Think of No Contact as initiating the healing process, acting as the white blood cells and platelets found in a human's immune system. The white blood cells fight off negative emotions, while the platelets will clot the wound. Similar to a physical wound, the healing will take time. You have to be patient.

In addition, you should know that if you want to heal from the hurt created as a result of the breakup, you need to admit that you have a wound that needs to be treated. If you live in denial, your heart will continue to ache, which may lead to physical illness.

When you are no longer in contact with your ex, the images of them will begin fading day by day. Thoughts of them will begin dwindling, and you will stop missing them so much. In contrast, contact with your ex would keep you from healing and will keep reminding you of the failed relationship, and that you are no longer together.

When you’re not in contact with them, you’ll be in a good place to think clearly and know what is required of you in order to ease the pain. Eventually, you won't feel pain from the breakup anymore, and you'll be able to see your ex without falling apart. This also applies to your ex, who also needs time away from you in order to heal, no matter who broke up with who.

During the No Contact period, you will learn the importance of forgiveness and of dealing with negative emotions without your ex. It is very important that you heal from the hurt before you think of trying to get back together with your ex. If you're still feeling pain, then it signifies you'll continue to feel pain in the relationship.

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2. It Gives You Time to Reflect

Given that you are not in contact with your ex, it will be easier to think clearly about the failed relationship and the direction you want to head in. You cannot think clearly to evaluate or analyze the failed relationship if you’re still feeling the pain at its maximum level and if you're still holding on to some chance of being with your ex. Until the pain has subsided, it is impossible to think about the failed relationship, about your ex, about what you want, and about what to do next.

You don’t want to run back to your ex blindly, and neither do you want to make hasty decisions. You want to make decisions that you will not regret later. You don’t want negative emotions to guide your thinking and decision making.

If you remain in contact with your ex, you will get confused. In addition, hurtful emotions will make it hard to think clearly and make you carry out hasty decisions.

3. It Helps You Regain Control and Power Over Your Life

No one wants to be controlled—being controlled psychologically or physically by someone else is not a pleasing thought. If your ex ended the relationship, it probably felt like they had total control over it and that you were just luggage in the back seat of the car with no power over the steering wheel and no say in the relationship.

Or perhaps you were the one who ended the relationship because your partner wouldn't let go of the steering wheel. You had been hurt too many times and couldn't endure it any longer, so you decided to end the relationship.

When you apply No Contact, you regain control of your life. If you developed low self-worth as a result of the breakup or during the relationship, NC will help you learn to appreciate yourself again. It will help you be focused and put you in a position to think clearly now that you are in control of your mind. And as long as you're in control of your mind, no one can take advantage of you or treat you any way that they want to.

No Contact is not a way to get revenge. Rather, it is a win-win strategy. You can both get distance from each other to reflect on the relationship, and you can feel good about yourself, knowing that you are in control.

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Other Benefits of No Contact and Reasons Why It's Effective

  1. It helps keep excess negative emotions from affecting your life physically, psychologically, and spiritually. When you’re still in contact with your ex, it’s hard to get rid of the negative emotions that you associate with them.
  2. It helps you relax. Though it will be difficult (especially at the beginning), the determination to keep No Contact will help you become calm. You will have peace of mind and heart.
  3. It will keep you from seeming desperate. It's not good to seem desperate or needy since your ex may try to take advantage of you or manipulate you. You could also lose the chance of getting back together with them if you annoy them. It will seem as if you don’t have a life of your own and that you need someone else to be happy.
  4. It helps you focus. You don’t want to be thinking about your ex and your previous relationship all of the time. You have a life. Be aware of your goals, ambitions, and dreams. Stop living in your ex's world.
  5. It will re-energize you. After a breakup, some people feel emotionally crippled or drained, which can affect the physical body. The distance will make space for new energy in your life.
  6. It helps you see both the positive and negative parts of the relationship so you can better judge whether or not you should get back together.
  7. It helps you rediscover the hobbies that you had neglected. Hobbies help you appreciate life, heal from hurt, have a positive mentality, get rid of negative emotions, and have hope.
  8. It will keep you from trying to convince your ex that the decision they made was wrong. That will only make you keep getting into fights with them, and it will not earn you the respect of your ex.
  9. It helps you regain self-esteem. You will feel proud of yourself for being able to go for a prolonged period of time without contacting your ex.
  10. It helps you erase the image of your ex. When you let images of your ex form a major part of what you think about, you are letting your ex control your mind. As long as they control it, you will not heal, and you will be unmotivated to move on with your life.
  11. It will prove to you that you can be happy and survive without your ex. Happiness does not come from having a relationship with someone else. It comes from within.
  12. Lastly, it helps you realize that begging doesn't get you anywhere. You’ll realize you have your dignity and that you don’t need to lower your self-worth for someone to accept you. NC will open your eyes so you can see that you don't need to beg.

How to Apply the No Contact Rule

You need to be disciplined not to contact your ex if you want to reap the benefits of employing this rule. You will have to learn to control your feelings by fighting off the urges to contact your ex. It is not impossible as long as you have made the decision not to communicate with your ex.

  • Delete your ex's number or write it down and give it to a friend to hold on to so you don't feel tempted to call them.
  • Something similar also applies to all social media sites. If you have a social media account and your ex is in your friends' list, it is better to unfriend or block them. This will prevent you from stalking them or sending messages. Blocking them will keep them from appearing in your search results. If you feel like you're able to, you could unblock them later on. You should also delete or archive their emails, so you're not tempted to keep reviewing them.
  • Lastly, make sure you’re not idle. You should involve yourself in different activities to keep your mind from wandering in unnecessary places. This doesn’t mean you become so busy that you don’t have time to rest. It's true that you do need time to rest your mind and body, but you should refrain from entertaining the thoughts of your ex and the good side of the failed relationship. Pick up your old hobbies again, exercise, and see your friends.

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How Long Should I Go Without Contacting My Ex?

Generally, No Contact should not be applied for anything less than two weeks. The average period that's recommended is one month. In addition, the duration of No Contact might depend on how long you have been in the relationship with your ex. The longer the length of the relationship, the longer a person should exercise No Contact afterwards. For example, if the length of the relationship before the breakup was nine years, it will be ineffective to apply NC for a month. It will take considerable time to heal and recover.

As a guide, you can deduce that it’s time to end No Contact when:

  1. The hurt is no longer too painful because the healing process has already begun.
  2. You are able to think clearly about your relationship without hurtful emotions dictating your line of thought.
  3. You’re confident that you won’t sound needy or feel like you're crumbling when your ex contacts you out of the blue or when you contact your ex.
  4. Your ex's images do not consume a large portion of your mind or thinking.

You should be aware that there is a difference between No Contact and Limited Contact. If you contact your ex after waiting only two weeks or less, then it doesn't count as No Contact. This would be called Limited Contact. You can see more on that below.

Keep in mind that even though it's called a rule, there is no one period of time that works for everyone with No Contact. You have to determine for yourself when it's time to end No Contact, or if you should keep applying it. NC might run for months or years. In fact, it can run indefinitely.

Can You Use the No Contact Rule to Get Your Ex Back?

Some individuals do report that they've gotten their exes back as a result of using NC. Be that as it may, the figures aren’t very satisfactory. In fact, they are few. This indicates that it is not a 100-percent guarantee that NC will help you get them back.

The Internet is full of advice on how to get your ex back using No Contact. Should you follow it? You can try. If you do, however, you should know that No Contact is only one of the factors that can help you get your ex back. However, it alone will not get your ex back.

Getting your ex back is difficult, and there are many factors to consider.

If these factors are in your favor, then No Contact may work in helping you get your ex back. Even if it doesn't, however, it will help you not to be needy and desperate when you do approach your ex to talk.

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How to Know If No Contact Will Work to Get Them Back

  • Consider the length of the relationship. If the relationship was only one month long, applying No Contact will probably not work. The emotional bond was and is not strong enough. The longer the length of the relationship, the stronger the emotional bond, and the greater the chance of your ex getting back together with you.
  • How did the breakup happen? If there was a lot of drama, then it will be hard for NC to work out.
  • Why did your ex end the relationship? The reason matters a lot because your ex will stand by it, even if you apply the NC rule.
  • Did your ex end the relationship because they were seeing someone else? If so, it will be hard to use No Contact to get them back.

The best thing that NC can do is to make your ex miss you. That can only happen once you two are no longer communicating.

And in reality, NC doesn’t help you get your ex back. If you are only intending to use it for that purpose, you will be disappointed. During No Contact, however, you do gain deeper insight into the failed relationship and what happened between you and your ex.

What Is the Difference Between Limited Contact and No Contact?

Limited Contact is also known as Minimal Contact or Low Contact. This rule applies to individuals:

  1. Who are unable to go for more than two weeks without contacting their ex.
  2. Who cannot avoid communicating with their exes because of circumstances they can't control. For instance, if the exes are working at the same company or institution or if they see each other at school, they will be required to be in contact with each other.
  3. Lastly, the couple had a child together, then this will obviously mean that they will need to be in touch.

In spite of the above circumstances, it is possible to implement the No Contact rule. For instance, in the first situation, you have to be determined to not contact your ex for a period of two weeks or more until you feel it is time to end the No Contact rule.

In the second situation, you can talk with your ex, but only on the necessary subjects and only as long as you don’t touch on the failed relationship and the possibility of a reunion.

In the third situation, you must only call or text your ex to talk to your child or make arrangements to see the child.

Let your ex know you're exercising NC and the reason why you're doing so. This also applies to an ex that has custody of a child. In that case, you can make specific requests in order to minimize communication.

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Good Luck

Many people forget that No Contact brings out the best in you. It makes you a stronger person since you’re more emotionally healthy than you were before, you become more mature than you were before, and you are focused since you now know which steps to undertake.

You know what to do and what not to do since hurtful emotions no longer influence your thinking, and you’re able to work on yourself since you've noted what areas you need to change in your life.

It is a good step forward to getting over your relationship. I wish you good luck.

Your Take

Do you think No Contact is effective in getting back your ex?

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • Should I do no contact if it was a 2-year relationship and she broke it off because of constant fights? If so, how long do you recommend for no contact?

    I apologize for taking long to respond. You are right. You should exercise the No Contact Rule. A month is preferable but you have to let her know you won't talk to her for a month. Since two years is a lengthy period, a month is preferable so as to gain the benefits of this rule.

  • My boyfriend stopped contacting me out of the blue. I have sent text messages and I can see he has seen them but does not reply. Two weeks later, I sent him another text asking for a reason for disappearing on me, I need closure. It has been a month, nothing. What can I do?

    Your boyfriend has used a method known as the silent treatment. This is when a person either doesn't care or doesn't have the courage to tell his partner he has ended the relationship. Don't mind him again. Move on. Wait after two weeks, a month is preferable, then contact him through text. Ask him if he doesn't want to continue in the relationship he should tell you so you can move on with your life. If he responds or doesn't, wish him all the best and thank him for everything. I advise that even if he gives an excuse for his silence after you've contacted him, you should not get back with him. During this period of no contact, don't think about him. Do your own thing. Unfriend or block him from your social media accounts, store away his number or delete them. You have to move on even though it hurts. Life has to go on.

    If he cared he should have responded but lack of response shows how he doesn't mind you. Thus, you shouldn't worry yourself about him. But don't forget to forgive him. I have written an article about forgiveness, no contact rule, and how to heal & recover from a breakup. You might want to check on them.

  • My girlfriend said she’s not in love with me. We had no drama, cursing nor fighting. I was good to her. Do you think no contact will win her back?

    No contact is a 50-win or a 50-lose game. It is as if you are playing wild-card game or poker. You don't know if there is a chance of getting her back or not if your main idea is to try to win her back. You can try what is referred to as "Limited Contact." Do not contact her for a week to test the water. If she is not bothered with your silence then you will no longer she no longer has any feelings for you. You would have exercised no contact which runs for a minimum period of two weeks but in your case, it might not work properly because she said she no longer loves and you haven't done anything to cause it. It might be good to not contact her for a week and try to reflect on what might have led her to utter such a statement. It might be something not related to you. Is she seeing another person or does she have a second opinion of you?

  • Should I initiate No Contact? Our relationship was 3-years old but she broke up with me because she didn't have feelings for me anymore. After 20 days of having broken up, we had a little fight. Do you think it will work?

    It might work because it appears there is an issue or problem that led to the breakup. No contact will enable both of you to distance yourselves from each other, have some peace of mind and heart. It will enable you to reflect on the relationship and what you need to do to save the relationship. After ending NC find an appropriate way of asking her to meet each other with the intention of solving the issues which during the NC you saw are contributing to the fights. You should approach her in a manner it won't create another fight.

  • After being married for twenty-five years, I've just now I have discovered my husband's infidelity for ten years. Is the no contact rule applicable?

    Yes, you should exercise no contact. You need to have your own space to think things through, to make sense of your emotions, to know which way to go, to allow the healing process to begin and to find peace of mind and heart which as for now you're lacking.

    Let him know you don't want to talk to him for some time. If you have children, it is better you stay with them but don't live together with him. Find another place.

© 2016 Benny Njuguna

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    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      3 weeks ago from Kenya

      You shouldn't employ no contact immediately. Send her a text (I know she won't receive your call). Tell her how you feel, you're a changed person, to give you another chance because you love her. At the end of the text, tell her you're waiting for her. Don't send her another text. You should send the text about a week of not contacting her. Then wait. Don't send her several texts because they will irritate her the more.

      She needs time to rest her mind and process things without being pressured or bombarded with messages.

      After you have sent her the text, wait for more than a week. If you don't contact her for a month she might feel you have moved on. I would suggest to not contact her for two weeks after sending her the text.

    • profile image

      Tk 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi. I've cheated on my girlfriend of 1 year and 10months 3 times. The first time was when the relationship was new (4 months), with a girl during vacation. Second time she saw texts with my ex 4 days after sending them, nothing happened between the two of us, we never met. The most recent time she saw texts of a girl I met last year during the mini break up from the incident with the texts with my ex. I slept with the girl during that period only but we've been talking until recently but we've never met this year. She has blocked me everywhere, I sent her an email apologising to her and telling her that I want to change for her and how much I love her. I really do love her. The three instances had nothing to do with her. I was being lustful to be honest. I really don't want to hurt her again. I really want to make her happy. We haven't spoken for the past 3 days after sending her the email, what can I do to get her back? How long should the no contact period be?

    • profile image

      Natalie 

      3 weeks ago

      Thanks! I was skeptical about how it can actually get him back. I hope that this will remove the negative emotions we've held towards each other. I do want to restart the relationship over without those emotions. Like a brand new relationship. Your explanation made so much sense. It is going to be my first time doing the no contact rule and I wasn't sure what's the logic behind it. I came across an article earlier that says that we can skip the no contact rule. What are your thoughts on this? http://winmymanback.com/should-you-apply-the-no-co... Looking forward to hearing your opinion. Thank you in advance.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      4 weeks ago from Kenya

      Your woman is experiencing mixed emotions. It is evident she still has feelings for her ex-husband noting when she went to visit her two children she stayed there for a week. We don't know what happened there, whether love was reignited or missing her two children or confrontation with her ex-husband might have contributed to her decision to turn your relationship to friendship then to nothing.

      She needs space to sort her life. You should stay away from her for more than two weeks. This will give her enough time to reflect on various things. As for now, she doesn't want to be in another relationship.

      It might be she's missing her ex-husband. Maybe she has never recovered from the divorce. Maybe she doesn't want to be in another relationship at all. It is hard to tell.

      I suggest you shouldn't bother her for more than two weeks, preferably a month. Buy, don't have your hopes high when you contact her after the no contact duration. She might have made her mind not to be in another relationship.

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      Lost and confused 

      4 weeks ago

      I was seeing a woman who’s husband had cheated on her. They had 3 kids, 2 stayed with the father and 1 with the mom when she moved back to her home state. Things were going great until she got pregnant and got an abortion because of medical reasons concerning her health. I wanted to be by her side for everything but she insisted on letting her handle it herself and it’s the best way for her, I didn’t agree with it but I respected it. After that was like passed she rekindled the seeing each other and we had a big talk of how she’s choosing me to become serious with in seeing someone and admitting to falling in love with me. The next day she went to visit her other 2 children for a week. I don’t know what happened but towards the end of that week she was pushing back and saying sorry that all she could offer right now is friendship. That the abortion ruined our potential. So we moved on to friends but we texted everyday, from first thing in the morning to last at night. If I wasn’t the first and last person she spoke to I had to be in the top 3. Still saw each other every week. It was going great. The last time we went out to eat we were already tossing around ideas for the next week when all of a sudden she pulls the 180 turn on me again saying that we can’t go on this way, that this isn’t working for her, that I’m a great guy and at this point in her life she needs to focus on her career, it’s real estate. And said it’s just how she feels and to respect that. Her job was important to me too and I understood she was like starting over because she had to retake the test for her license and stuff. I love her and wondering how long I should stay away for?

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      4 weeks ago from Kenya

      A month is preferable to give him enough time to relax and think about the relationship (whether he would like to continue in it or not). You also need ample time to think whether he still wants to live with you together with your child. You have to do a lot of digging to find out whether he's still comfortable with staying with you and your child growing up calling him daddy.

    • profile image

      jam106 

      4 weeks ago

      My boyfriend of 5 months broke up with me because he isn’t sure when (if ever) he will be comfortable with the fact that I have a 2 year old. He has known about my son from the beginning and told me it wouldn’t be an issue but he wanted to take things slowly. Our relationship was amazing: he even introduced me to all of his close friends, parents and coworkers who all really liked me. He never met my son but bought him an Easter basket. He’s stressed at work so that may be playing a part. How long should I do No Contact?

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      3 months ago from Kenya

      @JDPT, yes, you should stick with no contact. It will afford both of you time to heal and reflect on the failed relationship.

      It was a good thing to let her know you should not talk for a month so she knows why you've remained silent.

      The fact she's viewing your photos indicate she's feelings for you, only that she knows she can't ask you to get back or she is comforting herself by viewing your posts.

      Thus, if you exercise no contact for too long you might not get her back because she'll have moved after seeing you no longer have any interest.

      You should gauge how long to employ no contact. At least two weeks is appropriate but when you contact her, you should start your conversation at basic level then later discuss the root cause(s) of the problems that had faced your relationship.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      3 months ago from Kenya

      @Moto554, I'm not sure by now which decision you've undertaken. I am late in responding as I didn't receive a notification of your message.

      It's best you tell her you're living with someone if you've not already told her so. Maybe she wants the two of you to get together after things not going well on her side in terms of her love life or it could be other reasons. However, since you're living with someone it's good to tell her.

      I wouldn't advice to be friends with benefits. It's like you are treating her like a machine. You should be friends but not platonic. Additionally, it will be good to meet with her to know whether her kid is yours or not.

    • profile image

      JDPT 

      3 months ago

      My girlfriend broke up with me a week ago and I'm torn. We've broken up several times because I would end it but within a week we'd get back together. This time we got into a fight and I hung up on her and didn't contact her for a week. She then broke up with me saying that she wasn't mad and she still loves me but we weren't meant to be and wants to still remain bestfriends. We've been in a long distance relationship for 4 years and have talked about moving in together by this summer. We talked a few days after the break up but the constant snapchat videos she would send me was getting to me so I said it's best if we don't talk for a month. I know it's barely been a week but every time I post something on social media she's quick to view it. I still dream about her and have a strong feeling she feels the same way I do. Should I stick with no contact? Is it possible to have my Queen back soon?

    • profile image

      Moto5554 

      4 months ago

      I broke the no contact rule that I started from 30 days and it went bad and I started over and completed 60 days been writing on Instagram and also been sending my ex money who is now married. not sure if she really is she has a kid and I did too we broke up because of me cheating and I don’t know if she was, we been talking and while we both are with are rebounds I’m not sure if her kid is mine as well she at the beginning she made me doubt it but I help her with money since we start talking again as friends I promised her to lunch and dinner and etc when she reminded me she is married me and mother of child got in argument and I broke up with mother of my child for a day I know that I have feelings for my ex i just miss her I didn’t expect me getting better would help so much so I told her I was single for that one day and she didn’t respond so I stayed with mother of child and I figure shes married but don’t know if she lying because she like to play hard to get way all her picture of guy who suppose to be father and married to is not on her profile no more literally not even one out of the six pics she use to have but anyways she didn’t respond the day that I was single, then next day my she told me that she would be in town we were in same town but I didn’t see her message until I came back home it’s been 48 to three days and I haven’t read the complete message or even respond because I am intimidated . I want to see her as a friend and be able to see her and hangout one more time and see where it goes we both may have been with rebounds but it not fair to anyone I just want to follow my heart maybe we could be friends with benefits and began a new sex orientation for me since I’m more of a demisexual . Please help me should I wait longer to respond like a week and tell her what really happen that I didn’t see message to finally see her again I’m guessing she doesnt have much free time like me since we are with someone else also I lied and told her I got her a new iPhone I knew it would get her attention and that work well since I been helping her with sending her money so I don’t want her to expect anything and a bear I am waiting for in mail but wasent meant for her she doesn’t know about bear but willing to give to her she expects a phone it’s been 3 years and now she finally willing to talk in person? Should I go through and tell her I’m living with someone ?

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      5 months ago from Kenya

      For one your boyfriend was hurt after realising you had a friend with benefits. It did hurt him the reason he ended the relationship. But, does he love you? He does but the thought of you having had a boyfriend with benefits makes him determined not to get back to you. He is hurt.

      You've tried to get him back to no avail. In the process you've become hurt. Thus, both of you're hurt and both of you need time from each other to heal. At the same time both of you need time from each other to reflect on the relationship and to gain the strength to move on.

      Since you relationship has spanned for 9 years, you'll need to exercise no contact for one month. You'll at least have healed from the hurt you feel, have gained the strength to move on and it will help you appreciate yourself.

      You have developed low self-esteem because of the action you'd taken that led to the demise of the relationship of which you've tried all you could but couldn't get the relationship back.

      During the no contact don't think about the relationship. Move on with your life, do the things you like doing and forgive yourself. After the end of the no contact period, contact him. If he doesn't respond positively, wish him all the best but don't forget to ask for forgiveness. You'll need it so much to move on with your life. If he says he won't forgive at least you tried. It will assist you greatly in your moving on.

      Realize with no contact the outcome can be positive or negative depending with the outcome of the breakup. How the relationship broke up, what lead to its breakup and whether your ex is thinking of getting back with you. Thus, don't hold your hopes high. You just move on with your life, doing your things, not thinking about the relationship and when or it comes to contacting him; you won't feel the pain at its maximum level.

      I have written an article on how to heal and recover from a breakup. You might want to read it but remember you've to forgive yourself and ask for forgiveness so as to overcome the feeling of low self-worth. One month is enough to get the results of the possibility of moving on or there is a chance of Getty back together.

    • profile image

      Krepalina 

      5 months ago

      My ex broke up with me after almost 9 years of being together in which we had a long-distance relationship for 3 years and open relationship agreement. When we came back together, he broke up with me because I told him I had a friend with benefits while living separately. He told me he doesn't see us together anymore in the future and that he doesn't love me anymore. I was trying everything to get him back and end up even more hurt and rejected by him. I feel so mentally exhausted and ill that I stopped contacting him for some days. Could no contact help in this situation and for how long should it last? What could I expect from it? I just want to overcome this feeling of low self-worth and hopelessness and to move on with my life no matter what will be the final outcome of this situation. I feel trapped in the sort of 'time gap'.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      6 months ago from Kenya

      I feel for you lady in red. No contact will be applicable. It will give you time to digest this shocking revelation. Also, it will enable you to reflect on the marriage and what next step to take. Since you won't be in contact, you will be in good condition to think clearly about the marriage, and if you have been blessed with children and they are still young what to do.

      No contact will also allow the healing process to commence and to still and control and make sense of the various emotions you're undergoing through.

      But do make sure to let him know you want some time apart from him or to have your own space but don't give him the time period you will end the no contact. And, it is better you don't live together during this period. At a friend or a family's home is better

    • profile image

      lady in red 

      6 months ago

      what shall I do,just now I discovered my husband had infidelity for 10 yrs.,we been married for 25 yrs..is no contact be effective?my heart is bleeding for that shock news.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      6 months ago from Kenya

      More than two weeks is preferable though a month is ideal. This period would have allowed both of you enough time to accept you are for now friends, not lovers, to heal and recover from the breakup without exhibiting feelings of desperation or neediness.

    • profile image

      Rohit 

      6 months ago

      What do you think is the ideal time for asking my ex out again after breakup. We've been talking as friends.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      6 months ago from Kenya

      By not contacting her, you are giving her the space she needs to reflect about the relationship and things she needs to fix. There is the possibility of a future between the two of you but it will depend on the conclusion she has made during this period of no contact.

      You should deduce when to break the no contact and get in touch with her, preferably in person to discuss things with her though not all of them at one go. She will be overwhelmed and confused.

      Before you end no contact you should also reflect on several things such as whether you will be content with her children because she feels it will be too much to have additional children.

    • profile image

      pxtr 

      6 months ago

      My ex lady left me because she said she has just too much going on right now (I know what she meant, for example, she has 3 kids, stressful job, she has 4 dogs and she sometimes even cried because she was so stressed for keeping 4 dogs) and she also said that she doesn't feel like we have a future together (I think she was pointing to the fact that I'm 8 years younger than her, she already has 3 kids and she most likely doesn't want any more children in the future). It still felt unfair because she is really bad at communicating and I never got to talk about future with her. I just thought we'll talk about future when she's ready...And next she just breaks up with me. I've been giving her some space now, haven't contacted her for a week. Does this look like the type of scenario where it could be possible for us to be together again in the future? Once she has fixed the things she felt she needed to fix alone that is...She did say she was happy with me.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      7 months ago from Kenya

      From your description Mel Pas, it is better you remain casual friends. After some time has gone by while still in no contact period or moving on with your lives, the two of you will know. Not in weeks but months.

    • profile image

      Mel Pas 

      7 months ago

      My recent ex tried being friend at one point doing the no contact rule, he came back feeling horrible for having blocked me. Recently we reinstated it because we keep hurting each other. We left literally only one line of communication open in case of emergencies, we were extremely close as a couple and when the break up happened, I took it poorly. Literally begging him not to go. But i saw it was inevitable. We agreed we would never be just friends, and have no idea when either of us will be ready to talk again, we know as of right now, who we are as people, currently arent good for each other. The likely hood of rekindling the friendship is there, and a slim chance for the relationship, but i dont count on either.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      7 months ago from Kenya

      It is a good idea, Becky,to contact him after the holidays for the two of you would have had ample time to reflect on your relationship and work out on things that need changes in your individual life. On the issue of getting a new apartment you would know whether it is wise to do so after contacting him.

      Remember,you should guard your heart when you contact him because you never know what will come out of the contact.

    • profile image

      Becky 

      7 months ago

      I've been with my boyfriend for two and a half years and the last 6 months have been really hectic (lots of visitors and time with new friends and not a lot of quality time together). He told me a month ago that he was worried about how we weren't communicating honestly with each other, as the chaos made me clingy and try to hide my feelings and opinions. I've gotten better and he's acknowledged that but it's a long process and he's beginning to realize he has some things to work out too. He says the feeling's not right anymore and thinks we need to work on ourselves outside the relationship (and maybe get more dating experience), but I see this as a chance to grow together as long as we have an honest discussion about where we see this going and what we need from a relationship. We live together but he's been staying at a friend's until Christmas so we agreed on NC but not a definite time. I don't know what to do - should I contact him after the holidays or find a new apartment?

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      8 months ago from Kenya

      Hey Ella. It is a good decision you undertook. It's better you stay friends but not platonic friends. Rarely should you communicate to each other. As long as you do so you'll miss him a lot, wishing to be together when you don't want to be in a relationship with him because he's in another one. If your friendship is not very close as it was before, the better.

    • profile image

      Ella 

      8 months ago

      Hey its been a week and I realized I dont want to be in a relationship with him anymore. We love each other alot but many things happened and we moved on and after one year got back together.. somehow the last month he was distanced and confused thinking he just came back with me because he missed me alot. Even if he has another girlfriend I'm fine with it as I saw that we dont work out. We have alot of fun together and we care for each other. Now he told me for a while he doesnt want any contact and I really hope we both can stay friends after that as I dont want to miss him in my life. We are too important for each other and everyone knows it.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      8 months ago from Kenya

      Your boyfriend refusing to give you your things signifies three things. The first he no longer wants you but wants to feel connected to you through your things. It will remind him of you or the things will remind him of the good times you shared together.

      Secondly he might not want you now but at a later date he will want you back. He thinks once you take your things it will be difficult for you to accept to come back to him when he asks so. It's like a passport for your accepting to return to his arms.

      Thirdly, he wants to feel he is control of things - you, the breakup, the relationship. He wants you to know he can do what he wants and you can't do anything.

      Since you know your boyfriend very well, you might have an idea from any of the above three reasons why he is adamant in not giving you your things.

    • profile image

      Ego 

      8 months ago

      My ex bf does not want me again and i asked him to release some of my things i left in his house but he is adamant.wht is the meaning?

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      20 months ago from Kenya

      You should take it slow. If he doesn't want to be in the relationship because he is afraid of responsibility/commitment, he wants to be a free bird; you cannot do anything to get him back. You need to continue on with your life. Do not contact him to plead he should come back. Do the things you do, concentrate on yourself and put his image on the back of your head, that is, it's time you stop conversation with him. It will be hard. You will only hurt yourself the more you contact you. Show him you are also independent, you can function without him because the reason he gave may be true or there is a hidden reason.

      In short, leave him alone as hard it may be and continue on with your life. It is obvious he does not want to be in relationship with you, therefore he does not respect the time you have been together with him. You will find yours in the future. Move on with your life.

    • profile image

      Anwesha chanda 

      21 months ago

      I am in relationship during 6 years...our relation is so strong...after completing diploma one day he has said that he wants to be single..can't take any responsibility..he wants to float in the flow.he'll not marry in future.....still there is no 3rd person in our relation..still we love each other bt he didnt want to get back into the relation..what should i do now??

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