Should You Break The No Contact Rule?

The no contact rule promises to be one of the most effective ways to get over someone after a breakup. As its name suggests, it requires you to cut off all communication with your ex. That means no responding to messages or phone calls, no engaging over social media, and even no contact with their friends. You need to do this for two to three months if you want to see progress, but it’s normal to have second thoughts during that time period. There will be days where you wonder whether you’ve made the right decision. Sometimes, it will feel so hard not giving into temptation that you’ll just want to give up. The worst thing you can do while employing this strategy is to make contact, as it undoes all the work you’ve put in. Deciding whether to break the no contact rule is a choice that should not be made lightly. To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions and evaluate your responses.

  1. Is this just a fleeting thought?  If this is the first time the thought has crossed your mind, then no, don’t make contact. You’re going to have days where it’s harder to resist than others, and this is likely one of those times. Find a way to distract yourself. However, if you’ve been mulling over this for days or weeks, then it may indicate that something has shifted in your perspective.
  2. Have you put in enough effort?  You need to put in the effort to really start seeing result with the no contact rule. If it’s only been a week or two, then that’s not enough time to evaluate whether this is something you really want in the long-term or if you’re just feeling emotionally drained.
  3. What’s the reason for making contact? If you don’t want to get back together with your ex, then you may feel less guilty for wanting to make contact. But if this is the case, then ask yourself what the reason is. If it’s a practical reason (like you need your stuff back and you can’t wait), see if a mutual friend can help facilitate. But if it’s something not serious, then there should be no reason it can’t wait until after the no contact period has ended. However, if your motivation is to get back together, consider sticking out the no contact rule. If your feelings haven’t changed after 60 days, then maybe it’s worth giving another try.
  4. Have you been in this position before? If this a pattern-making a pact for no contact and then breaking it after a short period – then something has got to give. Either you have to stick to your guns and not communicate, or stop trying a strategy that clearly isn’t working for you. But also realize that a pattern like that is a sign of toxicity. Things likely aren’t going to improve between the two of you unless you can address the foundational issues affecting your relationship.
  5. What do your loved ones have to say? It can be messy getting other people’s opinions, but it can also be insightful. If you’re really struggling over whether to make contact, ask friends or family for advice. Hearing their perspective on the relationship can help you see things differently – and it may be exactly what you need to remember why you wanted to have no contact in the first place.
  6. What have they done to prove things will be different? You’re not supposed to have contact with your ex, so this may be a hard thing to know. But remember, it’s not worth getting into a complicated situation with an ex unless you know things are going to be different. If they haven’t shown or vocalized to you how things will be different if you become regular figures in each other’s lives, then you may be putting yourself in the same situation you were trying to escape with the no contact rule.
  7. How will you do things differently? It takes two to tango, so you need to consider what you would do differently to ensure you don’t wind up in a place where you feel the need to cut off contact. A part of that is asking yourself whether making contact in this moment is a mature and smart decision for the both of you. If you can’t confidently say ‘yes,’ then the answer is probably ‘no.’
  8. What have you learned having no contact? Before you break the no contact rule, ask yourself what have you learned through this strategy. Perhaps it made you reflect on your actions and realize how much you miss your ex. You may know what you’d do differently or what you want is clearer. If so, then making contact may not be in your worst interest. However, if you don’t feel it’s been beneficial, then you may not have done it for enough time. You may simply feel overwhelmed by the emotions of not having your ex so involved in your life. But don’t give in just because of this.
  9. Is this person truly good for you? Finally, this is a question to always ask when questioning whether to keep a person in your life. If your ex isn’t going to add any value to your life – whether as a friend or more – then no, don’t make communication. But if you can see the value of having them around, as a romantic interest or not, then perhaps having no contact made you realize how important they are. They do say that we don’t know what we have until it’s gone, and sometimes no contact with a person make you realize how much you want them around after all.

Whatever you do, remember to only have people in your life who add value to it, not take away from it.

Alexandra is a freelance writer in Montreal, Quebec. She enjoys shopping as a sport, Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs, and being a plant mom.