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No contact rule: 6 steps to do it right

no contactThe no contact rule is perhaps the most important part of the GMEB method for getting back with your ex. When employed correctly, it can have amazing results.  If you want to get back together with your ex, this rule can help. From making you more attractive to your ex to making your ex miss you.  Do you want to get back with your ex?  Have you tried other ways of getting him/her back?  Is your ex resolved in their decision to break up?  Give the zero contact rule a try and let’s see if we can change his/her mind.

What is the no contact rule?

It’s all well and good to talk about using the no contact rule, but what actually is it?  Well, the clue is in the name.  The rule means NO CONTACT with your ex.  That means no visits, no ‘chance’ encounters, no phone calls, no texts, no emails, and no messages of any kind.  Seems simple, right?

But after a few days of zero contact with your ex you’re really going to start to miss them.  You’ll just want to hear their voice, just for a minute or two, to know they’re okay.  This is because after you’ve spent months or years with this person and shared your life with them, you’ve become somewhat dependent on each other.  You will really start to notice the other person’s absence in your life. You’ll miss them so fiercely that you would give almost anything to see them or speak to them.  But don’t do it.  The key principle of the rule is that you cut off contact completely.  If you give in every few days and call your ex the no rule will not have a chance to work its magic.

6 steps to do the no contact rule right

Give your ex space

Your ex decided to break up. So clearly he/she was feeling confused or insecure about your relationship.  Now you need to give your ex the time and space that he/she needs to think about your break up. Figure out what he/she wants, and you need to do the same.  You need to use the no contact period to reflect on the relationship. Try to understand where it went wrong and what you might be able to do to fix it if you succeed in getting your ex back.  You also need to use this time to grieve the relationship.  Make sure that getting your ex back is what you truly want.  You should also use this period to work through any feelings of anger or animosity you have towards your ex. These will not help you when the time comes to get them back.

Giving your ex space means that you have to stay away from any places where you’re likely to run into him/her.  Avoid walking by their workplace. Don’t decide to take a casual stroll through their neighborhood. And don’t hang around outside the bar where you know they meet their friends every Saturday night.  It’s crucial that you use the radio silence rule wisely.

Similarly, try to avoid the places that you and your ex used to go to together. Your favorite restaurant, the little salsa club where you had your first kiss… Try getting your latte somewhere else for a little while. While you’re attempting the radio silence strategy, you’re going to want to think about your ex as little as possible. So hanging around all their old favorite haunts or where the two of you made a thousand memories is a sure recipe for disaster.

Resist temptation

Your number one enemy during the zero contact period is going to be temptation. So you should avoid this at all costs.  How?  You need to make a decision early in this period and decide whether or not you can trust yourself to behave.  Can you think about your ex and not feel your fingers itch to pick up the phone and call?  Can you see that he/she is online and not have to slam down the lid of your laptop to stop yourself from messaging?  If the answer is no, the temptation is too great.

Then you need to consider that the best course of action may be to delete your ex’s contact details. Delete their phone number and email address and block them on social media.  You may still think about your ex a lot. But it will be a lot easier to resist temptation if their name doesn’t keep popping up on your screen every five minutes.

Avoid routine

There is nothing like the monotony of your daily grind to tempt you to call your ex.  When you come home from work in the evening to an empty apartment when your ex used to be there with something tasty cooking in the oven and a glass of wine in hand, or you go to cuddle up on the sofa and feel the cold and empty space beside you where your ex used to be, their absence is going to be more painful than ever.

So avoid falling into the snares of your routine.  Go out for dinner with friends, go to your parents’ place, go to the gym… Do something that is out of the ordinary.  If you used to go to visit your ex’s parents every Saturday or went rollerblading with them every Sunday, do other things to take your mind off of it.  Go to different places and do different things with different people so that you don’t think about your ex so much, because if you think about him/her, you will only want to call him/her.

Avoid going home to an empty apartment.  This will make you feel incredibly lonely and make you miss your ex more than ever.  So do things that will keep you out late and exhaust you so that you’re too tired to feel the loneliness of your empty apartment when you arrive home.  Try to keep yourself busy so that you don’t think about your ex, this is the next step to doing the no contact rule right.

Occupy yourself

do it rightFind things to do that will occupy your time and your mind.  If you so choose, go on a spontaneous holiday or weekend away to put distance between your ex and yourself and alleviate the temptation to call him/her.  But you don’t have to go away to occupy yourself.  Spend time visiting family and friends.  Perhaps you have some friends that you haven’t seen in a long time because you were always busy with your ex.  Take this period away from your ex as a chance to get back in contact with them and let them distract you for a while.

Take up a new hobby or get back to something that you used to enjoy doing.  Whether it’s a sport, music, reading, cooking, or something else, keeping yourself busy will stop you from wanting to contact your ex. Sport in particular is a great way to occupy your body and mind since it can exhaust you so much that you can’t stay awake to dwell on your ex’s absence when you get home.  Fill your time with other people and other things and before you know it the no contact period will be over and you’ll be wondering where all that time went.

Work on yourself

This is one of the key reasons for a silence period: you need some time to work on yourself.  Perhaps you had become complacent in the relationship or you had changed so much that your ex could barely recognize you anymore.  That’s normal.  People change over time and it’s completely natural, but maybe there are things that you could do to be a better person, to become more attractive to your ex, physically and emotionally.  You don’t have to completely change everything about yourself, but there are bound to be a few things you know you could work on.

Decide what it is that you want to change about yourself and brainstorm some ways in which you might achieve this.  Perhaps you want to be more spontaneous, have a more positive attitude or be more accepting of others.  Set yourself some goals and break these down into smaller steps, making sure they’re achievable, and start right away.  The radio silence period has a limited time frame, and you want to improve yourself as much as possible for the next time you see your ex.

Consider a physical change too.  Getting a new haircut or buying some new clothes can make you feel like an entirely new person. It can really change your outlook on life.  If you feel like you look good, you’re going to feel empowered. This, to make all the changes you want to make.  Additionally, this new look is going to appeal to your ex. It will make you seem more confident and attractive to him/her. And another key point: the change in your outward appearance will help to reflect the inward changes you’ve made and show your ex that you’re improving yourself.

Have support

Don’t try to attempt the no contact rule on your own.  Yes, ultimately it is down to you to put it in place and keep it going. But that it going to be so much more difficult if you don’t have family and friends to help you get through it.  You need to have a support system you can rely on to be there for you. To distract you, and to talk you down when you give in and decide you absolutely must call your ex right this instant.  Your family and friends have the power to take away your loneliness and distract you from your ex’s absence, therefore making the radio silence a lot easier on you.

If you’re having a lot of difficulty in keeping up the rule, you may even rely on your friends to ‘babysit’ you.  If you go out with them, make sure one of them takes your phone and stays with you at all times. This, so that there are no embarrassing drunk dialing incidents once your inhibitions have been lowered a little.  You could be really ruthless and a little masochistic? Have a friend pinch you every time you mention your ex’s name or stare off into space with a forlorn look on your face, thinking about your ex.  The rule only works if there is zero contact. And for there to be zero contact, you need to avoid temptation. This, by keeping your ex off your mind as much as possible.


The final important step to employing the zero contact rule successfully is to make sure that you are ready and that you have a strategy before you end it.  Make sure that you are truly ready; you feel confident and are sure that the silence period has been successful; don’t just end the period because you feel like enough time has passed and you’re eager to hear your ex’s voice again.

Devise a clear and detailed strategy before you get back in contact with your ex.  Think about how you’re going to get in contact; are you going to call, text or email?  It is not recommended to see your ex in person to end the radio silence period so don’t just drop by their apartment or their workplace unexpectedly, you may end up spooking them.

Consider what you’re going to say to your ex and make sure you are one hundred per cent sure of this before you make contact.  Be careful of the tone when you get back in contact and try to keep it light and friendly.  Finally, make sure you have a contingency plan.  Know what you’re going to do if your ex doesn’t reply or replies in a negative way.  Think of what you’re going to say if he/she asks what you’ve been doing or why you’re suddenly calling now.  Prepare yourself for any reaction or scenario before you get back in contact with your ex to end the no contact period.

How long should the no contact period last?

The duration of the zero contact period depends on you.  Typically, it has been found that one or two weeks is the optimal duration but there are factors that you should consider; for example, if the break up was very bad and there was a lot of screaming and crying. Then, it may be best to give it some more time. To give yourself and your ex some more time to cool off.  If you still feel angry about the break up, give yourself a little more time to heal and recover.  If you simply don’t feel ready, you want to work on improving yourself a little more and you feel that you and your ex could use a little more time apart, let the radio silence go on for another week or two.

Does it really work?

Some people may believe that doing nothing cannot possibly work, but it is in fact the best solution. Time heals all wounds. Sometimes all you need is a little time and space to heal your relationship. Which is exactly what the zero contact period allows for.  It works in several ways. It gives you both this time to take a step back and heal, and it makes you miss one another.  At the beginning of the silence period, you can be blinded by the fact that you miss your ex. All you want to do is see or speak to him/her.

What you need to realise is that while you’re missing your ex, if you want to get back together with him/her, you need to give him/her the opportunity to miss you too, which is exactly what the no contact period is all about.  Moreover, if you cut off all contact with your ex, he/she is going to become very curious about what you’re up to. What you’re doing, where you’re going, who you’re spending time with… So while you’re trying to take your mind off your ex, he/she will not be able to stop thinking about you.


What if…?

What if I can’t avoid my ex?

There are some situations where it is very difficult, even impossible, to cut off all contact with your ex. For example if you work in the same place or have children together.  In these circumstances, you should simply resort to the minimum amount of contact possible.  If you absolutely have to speak to your ex, see them or message them, then do so. But keep the contact as brief and superficial as possible.  If your ex speaks to you, don’t ignore them, but try to end the conversation as soon as possible.

These situations can sometimes even be used to your advantage.  If you have children, take them to do fun and unusual things. When they go back to your ex, they’ll report to him/her all the great things you’re doing.  If you work with your ex, allow them to overhear conversations with other co-workers about all the interesting things you’ve been up to.

What if my ex contacts me?

If your ex contacts you during the no contact period, be it by telephone, text or message, don’t ignore them.  Wait a few hours before you reply or return their call, and keep the contact as brief as possible.  Let them know simply that you received their message and you’ll get back to them soon.  Don’t enter into a long conversation about your relationship.  Make the most of the zero contact period by seeing it through to its completion.

What if I break the rule?

If you break the radio silence rule, don’t worry.  You’re only human and your chances of getting your ex back are not ruined.  Start again.  Go back to the beginning of the six steps and start over.  Try to be more resolved this time.  If you didn’t last time, this time you should delete your ex’s contact details and block them on all your social media accounts.  You may even need to avoid some of your mutual friends for a while.  If you need to, ask a trusted friend to keep an eye on you to make sure you’re not tempted again.

If you broke the rule, you may need to extend your silence period this time.  Keep your silence for a week or two longer than the first recommended period. Once you have successfully maintained the no contact rule for this period of time, you can finally get back in touch with your ex, with no harm done.

The zero contact rule in theory is very simple. Yet much harder to put into practice and very difficult to maintain. However, following the rule is sure to pique your ex’s curiosity about what you’re doing and make them miss you. So give your ex and yourself the time and space you need.  Don’t get stuck in the rut of your daily routine. Try to find things to occupy your mind and keep you busy.  Use the time apart to work on yourself and rely on your family and friends to get you through this. Make sure you have a plan before you end your silence.  The no contact period can be a very challenging time. But if you follow these steps to do it right, it won’t be long until you’re enjoying the fruits of your success.

Antoine Peytavin, fondateur du site

Poursuivre avec un autre article ?

  • No contact rule: 6 steps to do it right
  • Radio Silence: how to use it and get back with your ex
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