What Is The No Contact Rule? Everything You Need To Know

Dating and relationship experts often talk about the no contact rule, a brutal yet effective step in the breakup process. When done correctly, this rule can help you to get over your ex and find happiness again. But how does it work? Keep reading to find out what you need to do to employ the no contact rule, and why you should.

  1. The no contact rule. The no contact rule is an often dreaded but effective step that many people take after breaking up with someone. As the name suggests, the rule means that you don’t have any contact with your ex. You delete their number, unfollow them from social media, and simply remove them from your life. The thinking behind the rule is that it’s easier to move on when you aren’t tempted to contact them at all. It follows the logic of “out of sight, out of mind”.
  2. The no contact rule comes with a range of benefits. Mind Body Green points out that the no contact rule comes with a range of benefits. While it’s difficult to completely cut your ex out of your life, the advantages make it worth it. This step helps you to develop emotional skills, including developing boundaries, improving your self-esteem, and unlearning bad habits. It also gives you the time and space to work out what really matters to you. Ultimately, the no contact rule makes you stronger as you prove to yourself you can survive without your ex.
  3. It isn’t about getting your ex back. The most important thing to note about the no contact rule is that it’s not about getting your ex back. It’s not a ploy to make your ex miss you and think you’ve moved on in order to attract them back. The end goal is for you to move on from them and instead focus on yourself. Don’t expect them to come running back once you remove them from your life.
  4. The biggest step is deleting their number. People who have implemented the rule in their own lives have reported that the most important step is deleting their ex’s number. This eliminates the chance of your calling or texting them at a weak moment. Of course, if you have memorized their number, you’ll have to demonstrate even greater self-control. But deleting their number is non-negotiable.
  5. You have to delete them off social media. In today’s world, the no contact rule also means deleting your ex from social media. Unfollow them, block them, mute them, and do whatever else you have to so you can avoid seeing them on your feed. Even if you don’t interact with them, remaining friends with them online makes it harder to move on. You’re less likely to focus on yourself if you’re stalking your ex.
  6. Remove them from your physical world. Of course, you also need to remove your ex from your physical world. In short, that means not seeing them. No catch-ups. If you frequent the same places, try to go at times when you know they won’t be there. You might even consider actions like changing gyms or supermarkets if it means you won’t have to run into your ex.
  7. You should get rid of their family and friends too. Sadly, the no contact rule extends to the people in your ex’s life. If you could possibly contact your ex through their friends and family, put in place boundaries. Delete them or unfollow them online. Put up barriers so you can’t see anything to do with your ex and they can’t see anything to do with you, even through other people.
  8. Get rid of reminders from them. One of the hardest parts of the no contact rule is removing reminders of your ex. When it comes to gifts of value, either monetary or sentimental, you can ask someone to look after them for you until you’ve moved on rather than throwing them out. But if you can throw them out or sell them, it will help you to move on quicker.
  9. How it helps you move on. Cosmopolitan explains that the no contact rule is so effective because “it allows you to sit with your grief and wounds and not plug up any holes or feelings of brokenness with someone else.” Though it’s more painful than keeping your ex in your life in the short run, it will help you to get over them in the long term. Not contacting your ex will force you to acknowledge the loss and grieve appropriately, rather than suppressing or denying those feelings.
  10. There’s no set timeline. Unfortunately, there’s no clear timeline for how long you have to implement the no contact rule. Everyone processes grief and moves on at different paces. What’s important is you don’t contact them for as long as it takes. That may be a month, a year, or a lifetime.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including Hotsprings.co and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.