Does The No Contact Rule Work?

The No Contact Rule Doesn’t Work For Everyone

The no contact rule has been overhyped by many relationship websites. It makes people think that no contact is the magic pill that will help everyone get their ex back regardless of the situation.

Unfortunately, nothing is further from the truth. If one person in the relationship has already decided to move on for good, no amount of no contact is going to work.

It doesn’t matter whether one implement n.c. for 30 days, 60 days or even 90 days. It is not going to work for a dysfunctional relationship whether you try it the first, second or even the third time.

 

Why Does The No Contact Rule Work For Some People?

You have probably heard of people saying things like, “No Contact Worked For Me!” Therefore, they assume that no contact is going to work for everyone.

But you need to understand that every relationship is different. Just because the no contact rule is working for some people doesn’t mean it is going to work for everyone.

 

Here is why no contact works for some people:

Consider a couple who have decided to break up. They are feeling all kinds of emotions, anger and hurt. Then they went into no contact mode for an extended period of time.

This allows them to heal their emotions, anger and hurt. Because of the time apart, they have enough time to think about their relationship and realize how much they miss each other and how much they still love one another.

Therefore, they decided to get back together and work on the relationship again. That is why the no contact rule is so effective for them.

 

Why The No Contact Rule Is Not Working For Others?

Consider the above example again. As mentioned above, time apart can help people see things more clearly.

So the no contact has helped them realize that they are not compatible with each other and the relationship is not going to work. They realize that it is probably better to move on.

In this scenario, the no contact rule clearly doesn’t work.

In other words, cutting off contact with your ex can go either way. Either you get your ex back or your don’t. It depends on the situation.

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The No Contact Rule To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back

I decided to write this article to give you more information, specifically what are the positive and negative consequences of using the no contact rule on your ex. After all, I want to help you make an informed decision.

After seeing so many dangerous, and often silly advice when it comes to using the “no contact rule” , I think it is important for you to see a more complete picture.

 

So What Exactly Is The No Contact Rule?

I am assuming that this is not the first article you have read about the no contact rule. So you are probably quite familiar with this term. But for the benefit of those who don’t, here is what it means.

According to many “relationship experts” on the internet, the no contact rule (also known as N.C.) simply means cutting off all contact with your ex for at least 30 days. In a nutshell, it means no phone calls, no text messages, no emails, no Facebook messages and no meetups.

There are a few exceptions when total NC is impossible.

a. You have kids with your ex.

b. Both of you are living in the same place.

c. You are colleagues, classmates or simply attending the same college.

d. You have important stuff at your ex home and you need to retrieve it or vice versa.

For these special situations, the general recommendation is to keep in limited contact. Basically, what it means is that you shouldn’t be nasty and totally ignore your ex. Just be polite but don’t go into deep conversation or talk about your break up.

Some “relationship experts” even try to take it further. They say that you should not reply your ex if they contact you first within the 30 days period. And that is where things become ridiculous.

If you really take this approach of completely ignoring your ex, it can permanently damage your relationship. (I will talk more about this below, under the consequences section.)

 

Am I Against The No Contact Rule?

If you have read this far, you are probably thinking that I disagree with NC.

Let’s make this clear!

I am not against NC. In fact, I believe that NC, when used correctly, with the right mindset, is the most important step to healing yourself or even getting your ex back.

Here is what I am against.

I am against Manipulation, Playing Mind Games and Dirty Psychological Tactics!

 

The Principle Of Relationship Will Never Change!

I am only thirty one this year. I don’t have years of wisdom to impart to you. And I certainly don’t consider myself to be a relationship expert or guru.

But there is no need to be a relationship guru or wise old man or woman to understand that relationship is not about playing games or silly manipulation.

The way we communicate can change based on existing technologies. But the principle of relationship will never change! It is based on love!

So if some “relationship experts” are teaching you to play manipulative mind games in order to get your ex back, think again! If your intuition is telling you that this is the wrong thing to do and is not going to work for your relationship, you are probably right.

 

The Right And Wrong Way To Use No Contact

Before we go into the consequences, it is important to talk about the right and wrong way to use No Contact.

After all, if you use no contact the right way, you are more likely to experience positive consequences.

If you use no contact the wrong way, you are more likely to experience negative consequences.

 

The Right Way

The right way to use no contact is to focus on yourself. It is all about healing yourself. It is all about giving yourself the time and space to recover from a breakup.

Not just that. It is also a time for personal development, especially the internal aspect like what I discussed in this article.

 

The Wrong Way

If you are trying to use no contact to elicit a response from your boyfriend, such as making him miss you, or making him afraid to lose you, you are doing it wrong.

In fact, I have written an article about why you should not use the no contact rule to make your ex miss you. I encourage you to read this article if you want to avoid unnecessary sufferings.

 

What Is The Difference Between The Right and Wrong Way?

The main difference is your mindset. And that is huge!

It is going to determine whether you are going to feel better or suffer throughout the period of no contact.

For example, if you often find yourself saying “No contact is so hard! It is killing me!”, then you are probably using it the wrong way.

When you are focusing on getting your ex boyfriend to miss you, your mind will keep on thinking about your ex boyfriend. You will keep on wondering whether your ex boyfriend is missing you but you don’t know the answer.

It is going to become a guessing game. This is going to be a mental torture for you, which is not the purpose of no contact in the first place. It is supposed to help you heal and feel better about yourself.

 

Don’t Use The Word “Rule” On “No Contact”

To be frank, I don’t really like to use the word “rule” with “no contact”.

Since when did no contact become a rule? Who invented it?

 

“Rule” Makes Things More Complicated Than It Needs To Be

Usually, having a set of rules do help to keep things simple. For example, we follow traffic rules to make sure we are safe on the road. In this case, traffic rules are necessary to keep the roads in order.

However, it doesn’t make sense to have a rule for no contact. Every relationship is unique and you just can’t impose a rule on a relationship.

Typically, most relationship experts recommend at least 30 days of no contact. As if this is not confusing enough, some experts even decided to throw in different numbers such as 21, 31, 45, 60 or even 90 days.

No wonder so many people are confused about no contact.

One rule is already making things more complicated. With so many different rules, things become more complicated than ever.

No contact is suppose to be a very simple concept. After a breakup, you feel emotional. You are upset and you can’t think clearly. The best way to recover and heal yourself is through no contact.

Once you truly feel better, you can consider contacting your ex, even if it happens to be the 19th day.
This is based more on how you feel rather than the number of days. Don’t get bogged down by those artificial numbers.

 

“Rule” Makes People Play All Kinds Of Mind Games

The way most experts teach no contact rule is based on playing games. Basically, to get your boyfriend to panic or to get him to start missing you.

That is probably where the rule and all the artificial numbers come into place. “Don’t contact him for 30 days and he will come crawling to you, begging you to take him back.” Sounds familiar?

If you are not playing this type of mind games, you don’t have to follow any rules. You simply allow yourself to heal and once you feel ready to face your boyfriend again, you can contact him if you still hope to get back together with him.

 

“Rule” Makes People Nervous

Attaching the word “rule” to no contact makes a lot of people nervous. I see so many people afraid of breaking the no contact rule.

Here are some common responses I see on the internet.

“Please help! My boyfriend text me yesterday! Should I reply now? Am I breaking the no contact rule if I reply? Should I reply him after the no contact?”

“I think I broke the no contact rule by talking to him yesterday! Should I restart the no contact rule again?”

As mentioned, you cannot impose a rule on a relationship. Every relationship is different. Just because you follow the rule and ignore your ex for a full 30 days will not guarantee that you will get him back. In fact, if you actually follow the rule, ignore him and don’t reply back, it can backfire.

 

The Consequences Of Using The No Contact Rule

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, everything you do in life has a consequence. This includes the use of the no contact rule to get your boyfriend back.

Obviously, the consequences are either positive or negative.

Right now, you may think that getting your boyfriend back is positive while not getting him back is negative.

Well, it is not as simple as that. Getting your boyfriend back is not necessary a good thing. Not getting him back is not necessary a bad thing either.

For now, let’s try to keep things as simple as possible. In general, there are four possible scenarios that can result from the use of NC. Two are positives and two are negatives.

 

Here are the 4 possible scenarios:

 

1. You got your boyfriend back and you are happy. (positive)

You are using the no contact rule the right way. You are just trying to heal yourself. You are not using the no contact rule to play games with your ex. You are not using NC to make your ex miss you.

After some time, you feel so much happier. You have a clearer mind. You followed a proper plan to get your ex back without playing games and manipulation. With a happier and clearer mind, you put yourself in the right position to work on the root cause of your break up.

As a result, your relationship with your boyfriend improved. Both of you are back together and you are happy.

 

2. You didn’t get your boyfriend back but you are still happy. (positive)

Just like scenario 1, you are not trying to play game with the no contact rule. You are just trying to make yourself feel better. After a few weeks, with a clearer mind, you realized that you can be happy by yourself.

Although you didn’t get your boyfriend back, you are still happy because you realized that you don’t need him after all. You don’t even want to get back together anymore.

 

3. You got your boyfriend back but you are not happy. (negative)

Chances are you are using NC as a manipulation tactic, hoping that he will start to miss you. It works in the short run. You and your boyfriend did get back together.

However, you did not deal with the root cause of the break up. If that is the case, it is only a matter of time before the same issues arise again. As a result, the break up may happen again. That is probably why there are so many couples who are breaking up and getting back together again and again.

 

4. You didn’t get your boyfriend back and you are not happy. (negative)

This can happen if you take the no contact rule too far. Perhaps your boyfriend contacted you within the first 30 days of the no contact period.

Because some “relationship experts” say that you should ignore your ex during the first 30 days, even if they contacted you first, you decided not to reply your ex.

As a result, your ex has the impression that you have moved on and decided to give up on this relationship. Or your ex may think that you are playing games with him and feels angry. Now, he doesn’t want to get back together with you anymore.

Or maybe he decided to use no contact on you as well. Now, both of you are playing games with each other. How long will this game last? Well, who knows?

Can you see the danger of playing the no contact game now?

 

How To Get Positive Results And Avoid Negative Ones

As mentioned above, there are 2 positive scenarios and 2 negative ones. In general, the correct use of NC are more likely to bring you positive results. The wrong use of NC such as trying to play games or manipulating your ex will often bring negative results.

 

The Only Reason To Use No Contact

Many “relationship experts” recommend the use of no contact because it is a great way to make your ex miss you.

While it is possible that your ex may start missing you during the no contact period, this should never be your primary reason for using NC.

NC should only be used as a tool for healing and improving yourself. It is meant to give yourself the time to calm down. It is meant to give you the opportunity to reflect on your relationship. It is meant for you to work on yourself.

After all, you can’t get your ex back when you are too emotional. NC gives you the mental clarity to deal with the problems in your relationship. With mental clarity, you are more likely to make better decision.

 

Updates:

I first wrote this article more than 2 years ago. Over this period of time, I have encountered many interesting questions about the no contact rule.

So I think now is probably a good time for me to update this article by answering a few of these questions.

I do intend to update this article with more questions over time. Let’s start with three for now.

If you have any questions that are specifically related to the no contact rule, that are not already answered in this article, feel free to leave your questions in the comment below.

 

Q: Who Should Break The No Contact Rule – Dumper or Dumpee?

A: It doesn’t matter whether you are the dumper or the dumpee. If you are the one who wants your ex back, you have to be the one taking the initiative to contact your ex.

Ultimately, if no one takes the initiative to reach out first, then you can forget about getting back together.

I know some people may not like this answer, especially for the dumpees.

Why should I reach out first? He was the one who dumped me!

Well, if this is your reaction, then I need to ask you:

Pride more important or relationship more important?

In fact, if you are still feeling anger over your breakup, then you are not ready to save your relationship.

Maybe you shouldn’t reach out to your ex yet.

Also, worth mentioning are the labels “dumper” and “dumpee”.

How do these labels make you feel?

When you label your ex as a dumper, does that help you understand your ex more?

Does it inspire you to use empathy on your ex? Or does it cause you to see your ex as someone who is a “jerk”?

When you label yourself as the “dumpee”, does it empower you? Or makes you feel powerless like a victim?

If not for the sake of answering this question, I wouldn’t want to use these labels. I suggest you drop them too.

 

Q: Does No Contact Work On A Stubborn Ex?

A: Once again, don’t you think “stubborn” is another label?

If you see your ex as stubborn, how do you think that is going to affect the way you communicate with your ex?

Don’t you think that will become a self fulfilling prophecy?

You see, usually when people say their ex is stubborn, it is usually because they are frustrated. They just couldn’t get through to their ex.

Maybe it is more constructive to look at yourself?

Are you trying to force your will onto your ex?

Did you put yourself in the shoes of your ex?

How about changing the way you communicate with your ex so that you can finally get through to them.

Maybe it is time for you to upgrade your communication skills?

Put it this way. If you keep on using the same old methods that don’t work, don’t you think you are more stubborn than your ex?

I don’t know about you but I think this is certainly something worth reflecting on.

 

Q: How Does The No Contact Rule Work On A Scorpio Man?

A: This is a very interesting question.

You have to understand that getting your ex back is not about saving the old relationship. It is about creating a new and better relationship with your ex.

It is about rediscovering each other all over again. If you are doing it right, you will probably discover new things you never knew about your ex.

So in my opinion, I don’t think labeling your ex as “Scorpio” is a very constructive approach. When you see your ex as a Scorpio man, you already have a preconceived notion of who he is, which may not necessary be true.

You stopped being curious about who your ex really is and you will lose the opportunity to learn more about him.

After all, you can put 10 Scorpio men in a single room. I am pretty sure each of them will have their own unique personality, different likes and dislikes etc.

Obviously, my answer will be the same for other astrological signs, whether it is Capricorn, Gemini or Sagittarius.

I am Sagittarius by the way and I do have other Sagittarius friends who are completely different from me.

So don’t spend too much time on astrology. It will be more practical if you focus on developing your relationship skills.

If you like the information I share with you in this article, sign up for my newsletter below to get even better information to help you get your ex back.

228 thoughts on “Does The No Contact Rule Work?

  1. Mark,

    I need advice.

    My boyfriend and I were together for 7 months. In that time, I had broken up with him four times. I was so nervous all the time and insecure about our relationship. However, the third time was because he didn’t have a job for four months. Anyway, We would always get back together by the end of the day. The last time (last saturday), I broke up with him. He didn’t call me back. The next day I met up with him to talk about it in the evening. At first he seemed adamant that he couldn’t give me a fourth chance, because I made him feel like he could never make me happy. He said he needed two days to think about it. I didn’t beg, but I told him I loved him and that it would mean the world to me if he would give us another shot. He came over on Tuesday night and was a mess. He had tried very hard to dress nicely and leave a good impression, he was kind with words. He thanked me for everything, said he had no regrets and would want to be friends. But that he couldn’t change his mind. He said it was one of the hardest decisions he has had to make, and that he could hardly eat, hardly sleep. He said he was very hurt. I told him I understood and would be here if he changed his mind. He said okay. He wasn’t sure if he would regret it or not when he left. I could tell he was really sad. I was sad too, but I didn’t want to argue with him. I let him know that it took everything in me not to, but that I respected his decision. I told him I couldn’t be his friend. He texted me after he left that he was going to the bar (alone). I didn’t reply, I was too sad to talk to him. The next morning he texted me that he was really sad to lose the good times, and that he was really sorry we ever came to this point, but he still felt the same. Again, I didn’t reply, because I knew that already and he knew where I stood. Do you think that NC would help our chance of ever getting back together? I miss him so much.

    • NC alone is not going to help you get back together. Your ex will only decide to get back together with you if he can clearly sees that the relationship will be different and much better. The only way for the relationship to be better is to improve yourself. When I say improving yourself, it is not just enjoying your life, changing your hair style etc. It takes more than that. You need to work on your relationship skills like I mentioned in this article. The purpose of NC is for you to cultivate these skills. If you do nothing during NC, then nothing is going to change. So make sure you are focusing on the right things.

  2. Hi, Mark

    I am so glad I came across your website as I was releived someone can actually help me through this breakup without doing foolish things listed on the internet.

    Just a quick summary of my story… We’ve been together for a year and a half and just last month she said we needed to breakup. Prior to that we’ve been fighting a lot, something that never really happened before. We always talked about our problems and came out of them stronger. We were in an LDR (we live 6 hours away from each other). It was never a problem as I always traveled to see her and my family back in my hometown. I think it’s also important to know that she’s battling with depression, I was aware of that even before we started dating and it was never a problem to me. For my part, I tried hard to understand and deal with it the best way I possibly can. I tried to calm her down when she had her panic attacks and we were able to carry on that way. Though I know for a fact I am not a doctor, I couldn’t take her condition away. I always encouraged her to go to her doctor whenever she was ready. I said it will make her better and stronger if she faced it and not run from it (I didn’y pressure her on this as I know it is very hard for her to do so unless she was completely ready for it). Fast forward to last month, we were fighting a lot because I was tired from work and I somehow had it in my head that I was the one causing her sadness even though she kept telling me it wasn’t me or her, it was just depression. I knew that, but I just wouldn’t let it be. Maybe I was just stubborn. She doesn’t know why she feels that way in the first place. It sort of looked like I transformed from being understanding to being frustrated and demanding. I guess everything went spiralling down the last time we fought and we were shouting at each other, said things we never should have. And because of the distance, the arguments that followed looked impossible to solve.

    After days of desperately pleading, apologizing and trying to turn things around, I realized it should stop. If she wanted to find herself outside of this relationship and find her happiness, who am I to stop her? I should be glad she realized that she should not be dependent on me. She should be able to take care of herself on her own. So I told her we needed to see each other to breakup, because we were worth more than a breakup over a text message. She agreed and a week after we decided to meet, I traveled back home. I was ready, she was also fine. We talked for less than an hour. We were telling stories; I found out she finally decided to see her psychiatrist and she was taking medication for her depression. Then it hit me, no wonder she wanted to let go. She was determined to make herself whole again. So I accepted it, told her I was happy for her progress. And we parted ways with a light heart. We even hugged for one last time.

    It was clear that we couldn’t even be friends because she wanted to be on her own. I gave her that. Respected her space and decision. As for me, I still am working on myself. Focusing on my students, friends, family and myself. Then yesterday (a week has passed since breaking up), she sent me a text message trying to have a conversation. She told me she was feeling very sick. I never agreed on the NC rule, I replied and stayed friendly. Trying to tell her it was going to be fine. Last night I asked her if she went to the hospital, she told me she didn’t. She asked me to keep her company (by staying on the line even without talking; we always did that when we were still together). I did. I tried to convince her to sleep it off. She asked me if I was seeing somebody new because of this song I posted on Facebook, I said it was not for anybody – truth. I asked her the same she said she’s not dating either. I left it at that. No questions. This morning I asked her how she was feeling she told me still the same; high fever and all. So I just continued being there. Then she said she was finally going to the hospital and told me she remembered the last time she was there I took care of her. I just said I remember that too and I was thankful that when I was the one hospitalized, she was there as well. She said thank you for everything and that’s it.

    My question is: do I still have a chance of getting her back? No rush but I just need to know from a different perspective. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I also don’t want to rush getting back together as I know we both need more time to better ourselves. My love for her stays the same; I think it will never really change. So, what do you think? Will I win her back? If so, how? Thank you!

    PS: I apologize for the very long “summary”. Again, thank you and hope to hear from you soon!

    • Well, obviously I can’t promise you anything because I can’t predict the future. With that said, I have came across people with situation a lot worse than yours getting back together. So if they are able to get their ex back successfully, your chance is definitely there. And in my opinion, your situation is really not that bad.

      As for how to get her back, there are a few points you need to take note.

      First, it starts from you, especially your mindset. The people who managed to get their ex back didn’t start out knowing that they will get their ex back. It is an unknown factor to them. But they still go and do it because they are very clear about what they want.

      That is why these people can get their ex back even though their situation seems impossible. They are willing to do whatever it takes to get their ex back. Of course, when I say whatever it takes, I am NOT referring to playing mind games or using any kind of manipulation tactics.

      Second, it is about being patient. You said you are not going to rush. That is a good attitude to have. After all, you can’t rush it anyway. You need to be able to meet her where she is at emotionally so that she will not feel pressured when she is with you.

      In other words, if she just wants to be friends for the time being, be ok with that. If she wants space, give her space.

      For your situation, I think to a certain extent, her depression is affecting her ability to have a healthy relationship with you. So really, what you can do now is be there for her if she wants you to be there.

      You also need to take care of yourself, particularly your own emotions. You can’t fully be there for someone if you are still very emotional over the breakup. You may want to work on your awareness to help you manage your emotions. You can read this article for more information. It is relevant for men too.

      • Thank you so much for your reply!

        We exchanged messages a few more times today and the last she said was she’s starting to feel better. After that no reply. I was thinking she’s in the hot/cold stage right now. She reached out when she needed me and after that she’s gone.

        Though I know I shouldn’t expect anything. I think I should just be kind and polite whenever she reaches out, without expecting something in return. I’ll keep your advice in mind, be there when she wants me to be.

        Thanks a lot for helping me out!

      • Mark is it okay to be friends with my ex even though he has another girlfriend and he cheated on me of our whole relationship.

        • If he cheated on you throughout the whole relationship, why do you still want to get back together with him? Do you have a really good reason to get your ex back? Or is it out of fear or loneliness? You may want to take some time to think about it.

  3. Hi, My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year and 6 months… We had struggles, on culture differences and I was insecure.. Many of our fights are caused by my insecurity and some of them because I couldnt control my mouth… But we had many wonderful memories too. I know he loved me with all his heart… He really made me feel that he loved me… And i became too afraid of losing such a good thing…i really didnt wanna lose such a good man….Just in the last couple of weeks my insecurity just sky rocketed because our last couple fights ended up him telling me he is so tired of my attitude and that he will date another women.. I would always apologize nonstop until he forgave me and then I would do something again to make him mad at me. Just 2 days ago he told me he was going to a club with his new guy friend, i met this new friend and I immediately feel that something was wrong, i tried to tell my boyfriend my concern in the most polite way i can muster but he shuts me down.. I didnt like the new friendship because its been 3 nights straight that they have been out going to clubs. It was very unlike my bf, he wasnt really the club goer, he was more of an indoor person… I ended up grabing some alcohol and going to our mutual friends house to talk about our issues (this mutual friend is more his friend than mine) i went to him because he was the only one who can calm me down and reassure me my bf loves me and would never cheat on me.. I drank too much and vommitted all over his bed, he called my bf and my bf came over to clean me up, in the morning, i was still dizzy and i checked his phone and found that he took videos of me while I was drunk, i woke him and got mad, he said he only took them to show me how stupid I was acting.. In rage i tried to storm out, but i realized that I was wearing his shirt so i took it off and went out to the street, with only a bra and my shorts.. Ppl stared.. They probably took pictures…. I was insane, eventually my bf and his friends came to me and tried to calm me down, they made me wear a shirt and tried to get me back indoors, i was afraid that my bf would break up for good and i didnt want to deal with the rejection so I ran away. I went to a convent and they gave me a room to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and felt nothing but regret and an intense desire to turn back time and change my actions. I called my bf and apologized, he seemed sweet and understanding and asked me where i was, so i told him, he came to pick me up but as soon as he took me home, he turned cold. He wouldnt hold me, he wouldnt kiss me, he didnt want to talk about our relationship. He insisted that he needed to leave, i noticed he was dressed very nicely, as if he were going to a club.. I tried to beg him to stay with me and rest but he kept pulling away and told me he needs space. I kept asking him if hes leaving me but he wouldnt answer.. He left, its been 2 days now, he wouldnt return my calls or answer my texts.. I went to his house last night, his door was open and i convinced him to hear me out, which he did but he didnt say a thing, then he got dressed to leave, he told me to go home, it was 12am… And he was leaving his house again, only clubs are open that time…What bothers me so much is that I absolutely have no idea if he is leaving me or not, he never said anything, but the gravity of my actions tells me that he must be so exhausted with what i made him go through, and that it probably was the last straw for him… I really want him back.. I know i have issues but I know i can work them out but I dont want him to leave me. I love him so much :( and i really really do regret my stupid actions…. Please help.. I really need some advice..i know he doesnt deserve the treatment I gave.. I couldnt control my emotions…

  4. Hi Mark,

    My ex boyfriend and I had been together for 8 months, we did a lot together, always had fun and rarely argued.
    Just over a week ago he decided to cut things off with me – something which I did not see coming. At first I was very emotional and begged for him back over the phone. Realising that this was going to achieve anything I decided to hear him out over the phone. He explained that things didn’t feel right between us and that he was in a bad place – he isn’t making much money and this is causing him stress. At times I helped him out with money but this hurt his pride. He asked for a break to clear his head and think about what he wanted. I decided that this was unfair to me as I believed that if he wanted to be with me he would have made it work and didn’t need time to think about it. We both agreed to finish the relationship.
    For a few days we made no contact, then he messaged my sister asking if a top of his was at our house. The following day he sent me an email telling me that he was yet to tell his family that we’d split because he couldn’t face it and that he thinks of me everyday and is very thankful for the time that we had together. I then emailed back letting him know that I’m thinking of him too and wished him well. He then told me that he wasn’t happy in himself which meant that he’d never be in a happy place with me/could never make me happy. I replied telling him that he knew how I felt and told him to take this time to do the things that make him happy and if in the future he feels that he wants to try again, he can always contact me. I ended by telling him that I loved him. I have heard nothing back.

    I am okay with this, I really feel that he needs time to clear his head and spend some time on his own to think about only himself, and I respect his decision to end our relationship to do this. In the meantime I am not sitting at home dwelling on it, of course I am upset and at times I feel like I could breakdown, but I am taking this opportunity to do things for me. I have no plan to contact him and I’m sure that he has no plan to contact me.

    What I would like to ask is whether you think what I sent in my last message would have pushed him away – I was expecting him to reply to me telling him those things but he hasn’t contacted me. Similarly, do you see that there could be a way that he may come back in the future? I have no intention of playing games, I’d like to handle this maturely in the hope that if anything else – we could one day be friends. However I care about him greatly and I’d love to think he will be back.

    • Don’t worry too much about your last message. I think he was feeling a sense of guilt, that’s why he didn’t reply you. Anything can happen in the future. So it is not up to me to say whether he will come back. However, I will NOT rule out that possibility because I know there are people out there who got back together from the most difficult situations.

      First, he needs to learn how to be happy with himself before he can have the emotional capacity to have a relationship with you. Second, there are always things you can do to improve your chances of getting back together with him in the future.

      For example, you can start improving your relationship skills like what I mentioned here. This is because the key to a relationship is emotional connection. Having these skills will help to increase your ability to connect with him on a deeper emotional level.

      So instead of asking me whether he will be back in the future, it will be a lot more constructive if you start learning the skills now. This will create a strong foundation for your relationship in the future. Let say he doesn’t come back, these skills will still benefit you greatly in your future relationship.

  5. Long story short, by ex and I dated for about 4 years (he’s 22 and I’m 21) and he recently broke up with me the last time I stayed at his house. We partially lived together, but I am unemployed and I don’t drive. A lot of family issues arose for me which made those two things difficult. We were happy as could be up until about a month ago when I noticed small changes in his behavior. He started to get snappy, rolled his eyes during emotional conversations, stopped holding the door for me, and started to become selfish in bed. I knew he had stressful things going on at work, but he had never been this distant. He tried to reassure me that everything is okay and that he’ll love me forever, but he just seemed so uninterested in everything. We had a few nasty fights, but I didn’t think much of it since relationships can go through rough patches. When he dumped me, it was a shock. Apparently he could no longer handle my anxiety disorder (which has become somewhat manageable), he hated the fact that I didn’t drive/work, and he said he was just unhappy with how we were. I asked him if he still loved me, and he hesitated before saying yes. But after an emotional crying session (me doing most of the waterworks), he decided to give our love another chance after a break. He seemed so affectionate afterwards, even kissing me and holding me. When I returned home, he constantly checked up on me and even texted first. But he started to become less worried and more focused on his life of freedom and no commitment. I called him a week later just to understand what the boundaries are, and he didn’t seem to care if we dated other people (not that I’d want that, it’s way too soon), and he told me he didn’t love me anymore to a certain extent and hasn’t for a month (at first he said no and then tried to say that he doesn’t know what exactly he loves about me, implying there might be feelings). I felt crushed. But he kept emphasizing that it’s important to focus on myself (meaning go out and get a job/ learn how to drive) while still saying he will work on the relationship after this break. But why bother attempting to fix something you don’t want? And I don’t understand why is he so invested in me bettering myself if we’re no longer a couple. He keeps bragging about how great life is being single right in front of me. Then he says he doesn’t miss me, but yet still does. He promised he would use this time to work on our problems, but won’t guarantee that we’ll be together again. I just don’t get why he’s trying if he’s no longer in love with me. He’s always been wishy-washy, but never this bad. I have no idea if it’s too late to try the no contact method, it’s been about a week and a half. I do want to get my life together and heal from all this drama, but I also want him back more than anything. I fear that I might be heading towards a dead end though, I have no idea how to decipher his strange behavior and I’m afraid the “no contact” thing may make him angry enough to give up permanently. He can be unpredictable sometimes, but neither of us will get anywhere by continuing like this. Do you believe NC will help? I love him dearly and my greatest worry is losing him forever.

    • NC is not a magic pill. It will not magically solve all your problems. It is not NC that makes the difference. It is what you do during NC that is more important.

      Let’s put it this way. The old relationship dynamics is no longer working. If you want to get your ex back and make sure the relationship will last, you need to change the relationship dynamics. In order to improve the dynamics, you need to improve your relationship skills.

      In other words, you need to do the right things during NC, which is to work on your relationship skills so that you can increase your chances of getting your ex back. I explained this in more details in this article.

  6. I have been reading through what others are saying but I haven’t seen a story that is comparable enough to mine, so I would love your opinion. I started dating a medical resident about 3 months ago (I bet your eyes are already rolling, lol) and when I met him, his current rotation allowed him a good amount of free time, so we hung out a lot and we both fell hard for each other. I made a massive effort to be as understanding and accommodating as possible because I knew how much pressure he was already under so I was fine with it not being a traditional courtship. Once he changed to a different rotation, he became so busy that he was barely able to text and I never knew if/when I was going to see him, and if I did, it was for a couple hours at one of our apartments late evening. I had told him that I would wait forever for him (he’s a rarity; one of the last nice guys left in NYC and I did not want to lose him whatsoever) even under the conditions, but he said that is unrealistic and I agree. I became unhappy, and having a digital relationship was not cutting it. I say that because the problem with texting is that so many things are misconstrued and I just started spiraling and told him that it was just too distant. The problem is that neither of us wanted to walk away from the relationship, but its practically impossible for him to be in a relationship right now and I understand. I told him I missed him and he says he misses me too, but just can’t give me what I want/deserve. I am so heartbroken that I cry every single day. I really loved him and I knew it the first time I had a conversation with him. I haven’t felt this kind of anguish since we had to put our family dog down, I could hardly get out of bed. I am fully on board with NC and I have not communicated with him in any way in a week and have no intention or desire to reach out to him and he hasn’t said anything to me. I feel such a great sense of loss and I truly don’t know if I can rely on NC because neither of us wanted this in the first place and of course his career is what deserves his attention. We both tried so hard and I don’t know if I will ever have him back again. The thought of this is devastating. Sorry my comment is so long but I am really interested in what your opinion is as someone who is objective. Thanks so much.

    • If you want to save this relationship, the best thing you can do now is to focus on developing your emotional strength.

      Why?

      Let me try to put myself in his shoes and answer your question from the male perspective.

      Let say I am in a similar situation as him, not necessary doing medical studies, but maybe I have decided to start a new business. In other words, I am going to be extremely busy over at least the next 6 months.

      But here’s the problem. A few months before starting the new business, I met this new girl. We fell in love etc…

      Unfortunately, because of my busy schedule, I can’t really afford to spend as much time with her as I want to at least for the next few months, before the new business started getting more stable. Obviously, giving up the business is not a choice because I have people to account to.

      So I will have to make a very tough decision.

      Either stay or leave.

      And my decision to stay or leave, to a certain extent, is going to be influenced by the emotional strength of the girl I am dating.

      Let say the girl I am dating is very supportive of what I am doing, emotionally strong and doesn’t get too affected by the fact that we have to reduce the frequency of meeting due to necessity, I am more likely to choose staying.

      That is because I know she will be alright and it put my heart at ease. I know I can focus on my business at this critical time and I can reach out to her whenever I have the free time.

      On the other hand, if I can sense that she will be seriously affected emotionally, I may choose to let go of the relationship because at this time, I really have to focus on the business. I can’t give her what she deserves.

      I don’t want to hurt her. I don’t want to feel guilty.

      That is the reason why you should focus on building yourself up emotionally if you want to get him back.

      I hope this analysis gives you a little bit more insight of what he may be thinking.

  7. My ex boyfriend gave me mixed signals for a month. He always said he loves me and that I was valued yet he kept to himself. It became obvious he wanted his space. When he eventually told me we take a break, I parked my stuff and gave him the keys that he accepted and politely said goodbye. I decided to block him on social media to focus on my healing through minimal contact. It’s barely a week but he keeps calling and texting how much he thinks of me and missed me. I reply with a polite thank you as I don’t believe it’s because he wants me again. He is asking to meet up but while I am so heartbroken and haven’t healed, I dread going back to the periods of uncertainty before he said he wanted separation. Unfortunately, we have business together which eventually must be dissolved. How can I manage the moments of weakness in terms of pain?

  8. Is it possible to get back when an ex after years apart? I contact him after 3 years when I found out his dad died, I wanted to give him my condolences. Since and then we have been talking once a week. He has moved on with a girlfriend. They just moved in together after dating for four years. He wants us to be friends with no plans on getting back together. He did tell me that his dad always love children and that when we were together we should’ve done, because it would have made his father so happy. He has been thinking about that ever since his father died it’s been five months. How it would be if he did. I don’t know how to proceed from here since he just moved in with the girl of four years and he has made it clear that he wants us to be friends without expectations. How do I proceed from here? Thanks.

    • There are people who get back together after decades. So it is certainly possible to get your ex back after years apart.

      Of course, you have to look at the current circumstances as well. Let me give you an example. Say Sally meets Peter again after 20 years apart. Mary realizes that she is still in love with Peter and want him back. However, Peter is now happily married with a few kids. What do think is Sally’s chance of getting back together with Peter right now? I would say it is almost impossible.

      Consider another scenario. Sally meets Peter after 20 years. Peter is currently going through a divorce. Obviously in this situation, Sally will have a higher chance of success.

      So in my opinion, the main factor that will influence your chances is the circumstances rather than the time apart. If your ex has a very strong relationship with his current girlfriend, then your chances of getting him back is going to be very slim. On the other hand, if his relationship with her is shaky, then obviously you have a better chance.

      As for how to proceed, I would suggest that you respect his decision to be friends. It is a way for you to get your foot in the door. While being friends, you should be able to find out how strong his relationship is. If his relationship is really strong, then maybe it is time for you to move on and be happy for him. If the relationship is shaky, you will have a better chance.

  9. Hey Mark,

    Your blog looks really interesting and I’m hoping you can help me. My boyfriend and I have been broken up for almost two weeks now. We dated for two years, but it has always been on and off. At first when he broke up with me, I begged. However, we both ended our last talk on good terms. He said that why it wouldn’t work with us is because of how we both are going different places in life. We’re two years apart and he wants to go to school out of state. I think a big reason why our relationship hasn’t worked before is because of timing. He’s my first love, and I haven’t always known the right way to handle things and neither has he. If we could’ve met in college, I definitely think things would easily work between us. I’ve had a lot of time to look into myself and I would say a big reason why we didn’t work is because I’m so dependent on him, since he’s my first everything really. Like I said, if we had met in college and had both had previous experience, I think we could be perfect. Even though the timing sucks, I would hate for that to be a reason why we break up. I care alot about him, and I know he cares about me. I really want to try the no contact rule to hopefully save something special here, and to better myself so I can continue to keep the relationship going happily. I was just wondering what advice you have for me, and what chances you think I have of getting him back.

    • I believe to a certain extent, you already know what you need to do. For example, you mentioned that you were too dependent on him. So one thing you can work on is to become more independent. Don’t just rely on your partner for your emotional needs. Try to make new friends and also learn to be happy by yourself.

      You should also use this time to develop your relationship skills. Most people break up because of the lack of relationship skills. So you want to focus on the root of the problem which is to improve your relationship skills. By doing so, you have a much higher chance of getting your ex back. These skills will also help you manage and improve your relationship and help you prevent another breakup.

      As for your chances of getting back together, it is largely dependent on you. After all, knowing what to do is one thing. Actually doing it is another thing altogether. If you need more information on what to focus on, you can read this article.

  10. Hello,
    Well my story is that my ex ended it on the 2nd year anniversary. He cried a lot and told me he can’t give me the love that I deserve and that I am perfect and stuff like that. I was shocked. In those 2 years we had only few fights, loved each other really much. So well when he broke up we cried, and kissed and he stayed with me for four hours. He couldn’t tell me in the face that he doesn’t love me anymore. So I told him to think about it again and that’s how I saw him for the last time. He wrote two days later that he is sure and that something has changed in him and he doesn’t know what it is. He said sorry and wished me the best.

    My response was a letter I wrote a day after. Well nothing came, not even a thank you. I wrote in it that I accept his decision but that I love him and I see my mistakes. I think I was too clingy, I loved him too much.

    I think the feelings are still there. If someone doesn’t love you, you can feel it. AndI felt nothing cold the days before the anniversary. He was even excited and stuff.

    I think its his new life he is going to have. Study in a big city, his boys, party, freedom..

    Well we have no contact for about 4-5 weeks now.

    In that time his mum wrote me a lot that he is doing everything not to talk about it and always does sports and is out partying.

    He is a shy guy and he stays away from conflicts and fights and never talks about his emotions with other people.

    Of course in those 4-5 weeks, I did a lot with friends and family, went out, party, met guys and stuff. But I still can’t believe it down in my heart that its just over.

    I am scared that he does regret it but won’t tell me cause of his pride.
    He didn’t want to see me anymore and he even gave my stuff back over a friend behind my back. Such a coward! Coward because he is scared of his own feelings maybe and scared to see me.

    Of course I will continue with the NC and work on myself. But somehow you always look for a little hope.

    Thank you for reading.

    • Your situation is definitely not hopeless. The key to getting your ex back is emotional connection. So you need to focus on that. Right now, you are not really focusing on the right things. For example, you mentioned that you did a lot with friends and family, party etc. You can certainly do those things as they do help you feel better but that alone will not solve the root problems.

      If you are wondering why, I actually explained in a lot more details in this article. You can read it to learn more.

  11. Hi Mark , I want to ask you about the no contact rule, which I personally think works. How to pull it out when my ex and I work together? He is actually my boss and although we don’t see each other every day, we HAVE to talk on the phone every day, sometimes multiple times a day. What should I do in this case? Thank you very much for your time and help. You are the best relationship adviser I met so far. Many, many regards!

    • No contact itself is not going to help you get your ex back. It is more about what you do during no contact. If you do nothing constructive during no contact, if you are still the same old person after no contact, then it is not going to work.

      On the other hand, if you use no contact to heal and work on internal transformation like what I mentioned in one of my articles, “What It Really Takes to Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back”, it will greatly enhance your chances of getting your ex back.

      For your situation, I know it is impossible not to talk to him. So what you have to do is limited contact. In other words, only contact when it is about work. Meanwhile, keep on working on the skills I mentioned in that article. Don’t even attempt to get back together before you healed yourself and mastered those skills. Otherwise, it will backfire because you are still in reaction mode.

      You should only break limited contact after you have healed and mastered those skills. Read that article for more information.

  12. So here’s my story.

    Me and my ex girlfriend lasted a year and about 8 months. She’s my 3rd girlfriend and she’s really different. I loved her like I’ve never loved someone before. I’m her first boyfriend, shes only 19, I’m 20. I know we’re young but I really felt something about her that made me say she is the one. She broke up with me exactly 2 weeks ago because I didn’t went to her event twice. I didn’t know it was that important to her. I said I’m sorry many times and begged her many times but she won’t budge, nothing would change her mind. This is the first time that this happened to us. I mean we’ve broke up before many times, she’s always the one who’s breaking up but I do get her, but 1 week is the maximum amount of time, by that time she would always give signs or message me to get back together, but now is really different.

    The first 2 days of the break up, she seemed very sad. I contacted but she won’t reply me. Some days I didn’t contacted her because I thought she just needed time to not get upset anymore, but the following days, she seemed very happy. Her FB posts were like annoyingly happy, the break up was like nothing to her. At the end of the week, I said I’m sorry. I begged, I thought she was gonna be mad, but she wasn’t. She was calm and cool about it. I was shocked that she was over US that fast. She said that she was okay about what happened, then I asked her if she still loves me, she replied, “just friends”. I was devastated. I asked if there’s another man involve, she said that she has a crush on someone, but she won’t tell me who.

    The next day, I basically begged her to take me back. She still rejected me but finally I got her to meet up with me for just a few hours. Our meet up was okay, I try to play it cool. We had some fun, we didn’t bring up our relationship. It felt like we were friends again, I really thought that day that when we saw each other, something would spark but nothing special happened. Later I asked her about us and STILL nothing. She still said no. When I asked her about her crush, she was blushing, and that really hurts but I think I played it cool. I asked her if she doesn’t love me no more, she said that she still has FEELINGS about me. I didn’t begged her that time, that’s the last time I saw her. I contacted her that same day but still nothing, she won’t budge, she really won’t let me in back in her life. I asked her to rate her feelings for me from 1 to 10, 1 being just friends and 10 being the prime of our relationship. She replied 3 and that means best friend to her.

    Since that day, I’ve learned about the no contact rule. I’ve been avoiding her about 9 days now. Valentines day was hard because I felt like I had to do something to win her back again, but I didn’t do nothing. My problem is, I don’t know what going on with her, and I’m really confused. Do you think she still cares for me? Or is she really over about it? Should I contact her? Remind her of our memories? I really feel like she doesn’t miss me and she’s happier since the break up and that she’s moving on well with her life. She did not contact me till then, I’ve never been like this before. I haven’t moved on yet, this sucks, can you please give their honest opinion. I’m sorry for my English. I really really love her STILL and misses her big time. Well the biggest question for me is, ARE WE GONNA GET BACK TOGETHER?

  13. Hi Mark,
    About 7 weeks ago my girlfriend of 6 years broke up with me. We are in our mid 50’s. We split up a few times during the 6 years with the longest being about 3 months. This time she said its for good for a host of reasons. We both confess our love to each other, but we were both going thru a divorce and she was done much quicker then me. She said she couldn’t wait any longer and I understand.

    I am heart broken but guess its the right thing to do. I honored the NC she asked for. She broke it a few times. I broke it once as her birthday just passed and I was torn about sending her a card and I eventually did. She is going thru a tough time with her family, kids, ex, etc. and I know that she would be forgotten on her special day. She texted me that night and the night after to thank me and tell me that it meant a lot that I thought about her on her bday.

    After a few test messages that night, I mentioned that that it was making me sad and she stopped. It’s been a week and nothing.
    She means a lot to me and I love her deeply but I know its the right thing at this time. I am not sure how to handle moving forward, but I know that the NC has made me stronger. I am clearing my head, I go to the gym and getting in great shape. I am scared for the future though… I still love her tremendously and only want the best for her, but since she doesn’t have anyone to fall back on in her highly drama life… I will get a call one night that her world has once again caved in. I am not sure what I would do then. Anyhow, thank you for listening!

    • Good to hear that NC is making you stronger. With that said, you may want to focus on internal development as well during NC. Going to the gym and getting in shape is great. It keeps you healthy and makes you feel good about yourself. However, you need to work on your relationship skills as well. That is the key to saving your relationship. I talked about some of the important skills you need to develop in this article. You can read it for more information. When you have taken the time to develop these skills, you are more likely to know what to do when you are back in touch with her again.

  14. Hi Mark,

    Me and my ex boyfriend had been on a relationship for 2 years but we tend to break and patch back for 3 times. Basicially this is a long distance relationship, we never met before. This story is complicated, he is the guy who chased me. I didn’t liked him at first but he chased me for a while so I gave him the chance to be in a relationship with him, but I didn’t really feel any feelings with me so, I suddenly met other guys and liked him. this thing happened for 6 times. Therefore my ex boyfriend said I was cheating on him. To be honest, at that time I didn’t really like him (i should had stopped him, it was my wrong) Now I’m deeply in love with him, but sadly now he said his moved on and hurt, he said that he wants a real life girlfriend instead of a LDR gf. Recently his been sexting with lots of girls in his fb (i can see that because he forgotten that I can still log in his fb) To me, I think his really hurt and confused on what he wants. Of course I got hurt after seeing it as well, but I can’t do anything can’t I? It was hard for me to communicate with him as well because he kept “cold replying” me, like replying me with one word. His doing this so I can move on. I did talk to him seriously, once he said he wont be back with me no matter what, but the other time he said, its going to be hard for him to come back.. Do you think Its okay for me to use a NC for our relationship? Thanks

    • I forgot to say that, he only reply me longer if its about sex. I feeled being used. Of course I stopped him from doing that, because I want love more than lust, but when I stopped him from sexual stuff on calls, he was mad, and always say “bye” to me… Its like whenever I want to have a nice call with him, his always horny on calls with me, idk why… His like so horny recently after we broke up. I also saw him asking girls on fb to date with him, but the answer from the girl was no. It made me crazy and thought, what if one day he really found a girl, and that girl gave him a better relationship than me… One more thing, I read the article about how to show your ex that you’ve changed… It’s going to be hard for me, because my ex says I cheated.. How do I show him that I won’t do the same mistakes again? Right now, I’m trying my best to support him, because his now in army. Even though he always reply me with cold replies, I try to control and calm myself… I showed that I care about him… But he told me I was acting weird… He always say his busy.. But his always online on whatsapp, and on fb, And (other apps I don’t want to mention) chatting with girls. My friend did tell me he seem like his desperate for girlfriend, is it true? I will appreciate for you to give me a reply about what to do to get a LDR boyfriend back (even though its not easy or a slightly possible chance) Anything would help, Thanks :)

      • One last thing, i’m the one who always message him first, he never seem to care, never messged me first or what so ever.. I feel so one sided.. first I message first, second he give me short reply, third says goodnight, goodbye, or i’m busy. It’s really hard to communicate…

        • You have never met him face to face after 2 years and there are already so many problems? How much do you know him as a person? What exactly do you like about him?

          I usually encourage people to get their ex back if the relationship is worth saving. However, for your situation, is this a real relationship in the first place? Is this the kind of relationship you really want? You want love. What do you think is the chance of getting love from him?

          I know this is not the respond you are expecting but you may want to take some time to think about these questions. You may also want to spend some time doing this exercise. This can give you more clarity about your situation.

  15. Hello,

    I recently just went through a break up. I dated my boyfriend for about a year. We fought a lot since the beginning of our relationships mostly because of my insecurities. When I would fight with him, I would say mean things which he hates and says that people shouldn’t say those things. And I agree with. I realized that I made a huge mistake and that I should have tried to be more patient and understanding. I know it drove him away. He packed up his stuff and left me yesterday. It hurts really bad because besides the fights, we have a great relationship. Our chemistry is amazing. I really thought I was going to marry this guy. When he left he said that he still loves me but he feels like we need time apart because he doesn’t know what else to do. He also says he can’t imagine me being with any other guy but knows its unfair to tell me not to move on. He also said ” he hope to talk to me again” idk what all this means. I just know that I want him back so badly. I know he is the right guy for me, I just know I made many mistakes and my insecurities didn’t stem from him, but it stemmed from within myself. I’m willing to make a change, I’m willing for us to be happy again. Do you think he will come back? Do you think space will only make him realize how much better it is without me? I thought about sending him an email, not begging him or anything just talking and apologizing and trying to make him understand. Do you think I should said this email soon? I’m afraid if i send the email too late, hes going to have his mind made up, and I can’t convince him otherwise

    • Your ex will only consider getting back together with you if he can see that things will be different and much better. You may want to read this article, “How to show your ex that you have changed“.

      No, you shouldn’t send the email. A breakup is due to an emotional reason. So appealing to his logic by explaining things is not going to work. Don’t waste time writing that email. Your time is better spent working on yourself.

      Don’t worry too much about it being too late. Usually, people don’t move on that fast. As long as you don’t procrastinate or dilly dally, the chance is still there. Just make sure you start working on yourself from today onwards. Start cultivating the necessary relationship skills. Go for therapy if you think it is necessary. As mentioned, he will only consider getting back together if he believes you have truly changed and the relationship will be better.

  16. Hello Mark, I’ve read so many articles and yours seems the most sincere. I love my ex so much and I do not want to play mind games and hurt her. With that said here is my story.

    I’m Lesbian for starters.

    Me and my ex have been together for 4 years. We had a good relationship. We were a good team I broke up with her due to our apartment lease being up and I was very confused if she was the one for me so instead of signing another year lease, I told her way before the lease was gonna end that I didn’t want live with her and when the lease was done that I didn’t want to be with her, that i needed to find myself and peace cuz we were always together I didn’t even have my own time or own friends. Anyway, up until the lease we acted as we were together. We even went on vacation like 2 weeks before the lease was up. We have many issues but more was me not getting over the past. She cheated on me 2 years ago and since then, I always brought up the past never moved on and she tried at the end to make things better… I didn’t like her family and I never got to see mine anyway. I felt like we were perfect for each other. Just wish things were better with our family.. Well I broke up with her when she needed me the most. Her 20 year old brother past away 4 months before I left I feel so bad. Anyway, now that I left, I regret it soo bad no I see that things can work as long as I try and I didn’t try at the end. She didn’t want to break up and it marks 3 months since we been broken up. I expressed in a letter everything and how I want her back with roses and she didn’t respond. Then i asked her if we can meet up and she said yes. Then she canceled due to being sick. She texted me short or not at all. Anyway we finally met up and we talked and I’ll admit I got desperate at one point.. but i felt her giving in then she stood strong and told me she can’t handle taking care of anyone and she wants to put herself first and to work on herself and I should do the same.. that we are not together and not to worry about what she’s doing and she asked for her car key back cuz I had hers and she had mine and then she told me take care of myself cuz if I don’t she won’t take care of herself. She even stood in the rain cuz I was in the rain watching her leave and she got out of her car and said if I don’t go in she is gonna stand in the rain too lol… Anyway, after that I told her in text that same night that I’m sorry I lost it for a bit and that I will respect her wishes and said till we meet again my love and she just said thank you…. Well I started the NC and I’ll admit it. It was for her to miss me so the wrong reason to start the NC but 6 days in she calls me at my work to tell me someone called her phone looking for me and she didn’t have any msg other then to tell me that someone called. Then we just talked she even told me about her doctor visit, test results that she had and told me she was house sitting and sent me a pic of the dog and it was a nice talk. Well I said good night and she told me good night and now it’s been 8 days I haven’t heard from her. I’m not ignoring her but I’m just only gonna let her contact me but my questions is I haven’t been working on myself. I been soo consumed in worrying about if I lost her forever that I’m making myself sick when we had our talk. I asked her if this means we have no chance at all and if we are done for good and all she said was she does not know the future.. I know she has so much going on besides me.. so idk but I am gonna start working on myself. I wanted to know though if it ok to send flowers to her family when it marks her death brothers birthday? V day is coming and I’m not gonna send her anything but I do want to send her family flowers in march is that ok? I’m doing it cuz I am being sincere about it… also when i do feel like its time to reach out to my ex when I’m emotionally better, how do i reconnect? I’m so sorry I’m all over the place and its sooo long .. thank you for taking the time to read all of this I pray there is still hope

    • It is important to understand that getting back together with your ex is not going to automatically solve all the existing problems. So I recommend that you do some groundwork first before you attempt to save the relationship. This is to ensure that if you do get back together with her, you are doing so with a strong foundation.

      Here are some issues you need to resolve before getting her back. Otherwise, even if you somehow manage to get back together, the same issues may cause a breakup again. I am sure that is not what you want.

      First, you need to get over the cheating that happened a few years ago. Specifically, you need to learn how to deal with those emotions properly.

      I think what happened was that you really wanted to forgive her. However, you didn’t express those emotions in a healthy way. Instead, you kept all those negative emotions inside you. That’s why even after years, it is still affecting your relationship. One way to do so is to talk to someone you can trust. Alternatively, you can find a therapist to guide you through those emotions.

      Next, spend some time doing this exercise. This will help you get clearer about what you really want.

      Other things to work on include accepting her family even though you didn’t like them and also forgiving yourself because guilt is not conducive for saving a relationship.

      These are things you can work on during NC. You may also want to read this article on what to focus on during NC.

      As for whether to send flowers to her family on March, that should be fine as long as you are sincere about it.

  17. Hello, I need some advice. My ex broke up with me cause we’re both in a bad situation in life. I was unemployed, my family member was dying and I couldn’t find happiness and relied on him. Now it’s been five weeks since the breakup. In the beginning I begged him to take me back in the hopes that “I will change”, then I left him alone for a couple of days, we exchanged stuff in each others apartment but he didn’t want to talk to me. We have since then texted each other (I texted him and he answered me) with smiley-faces and I asked him last week if he wanted to grab a coffee or something, he replied that “It would be nice and I really like the idea, but I’m afraid things go wrong” and I know, last time he saw me for more than a couple of minutes I was desperate, so I texted him back and said that I really wanted to say good bye as friends, not as strangers, and that I’ve changed and not for him, but for me. Then I said “I’ll give you time to think about it, no stress” but I’m still afraid that he might think that the only reason I’m improving is because of him? I haven’t said anything since the text that I’ve changed and improved myself, and I hope that when I give him som space he realizes that I don’t want any harm. I’m not even sure if I want to get back together, just… see him and talk to him. I’m not over him, but I’m improving and I’m over the emotional state that I were in when we broke up. I have a job, my family member is in great shape, I’ve started working out and I have things to do everyday after my job. Will N/C work out for me as in he will contact me or did i f. things up when I said that I’ve changed and didn’t get the chance to show him? Sorry for my English, Swedish is my first language so English is little hard for me. Thanks!!

    • No worries about your English:) It is pretty good and I can easily understand what you are saying. I am also not a grammar police.

      If you have truly changed from the core, he will be able to see it. So you don’t have to convince or tell him that you have changed. You just need to be yourself (your improved self). I have written an article about this, How to Show Your Ex You Have Changed – Show Don’t Tell. You may want to read it.

      The purpose of NC is not to make your ex call you. It is for you to heal and more importantly, develop your relationship skills so that you are able to connect with him on a deeper emotional level. So whether NC will work or not depends on how much inner work you have done during this period.

      I explained this in more details in my article, “What it really takes to get your ex boyfriend back“.

  18. Hi Mark,

    Me and my boyfriend decided to have some air and space. We lived in the same house for more than 4 years. But because of some petty things that piled up, we broke up. We are off for 45 days now. I want to try this NC thing, but he keep on contacting me. But every time he did, I still see no clear things. He keeps on telling me he loves me, he misses me, and this space is for us to be a better couple in the future. But he can’t commit how long will this take. Tried the harsh way, tried begging, but still, hes saying that hes not ready yet. he still needs time to heal. Feels like i don’t have nothing to do right now. Please help me.

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