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Signs the No Contact Rule is Working


Reading time:

7 min


Published on:

Wed Jun 05 2024


Last updated:

Mon Jun 10 2024


Written by:

The Personal Development School

Breakups are tough — which is why many people undertake the No Contact Rule.

This approach, often touted as a way to heal and move on after a breakup, has gained popularity over the last few years. It eases a breakup while bringing clarity and perspective to both partners involved.

But how do you know if the no contact period is working? What is it exactly? How do you know when it’s not working? And how do you make it work?

This guide provides you with all the answers!

What is the No-Contact Rule?

The No Contact Rule is exactly what it sounds like: a period of time during which you intentionally cut off all communication with your ex-partner. This means no texts, no calls, no social media stalking—nothing.

The goal is to create space and distance between you and your ex so that both of you can heal and gain perspective without the emotional turmoil of constant contact. It’s one of the best ways to heal from a breakup.

Does the No Contact Rule Work?

Whether the No Contact Rule works depends on the individual, their situation because of their breakup, and their attachment style.

For some, like those with an anxiously attached style, the No Contact Rule can be extremely difficult. That’s because they’re programmed to constantly reach out to their ex to try to reconnect with them, bombarding them with texts or calls, and become clingy. They do it because they want the reassurance they’ll get back together.

However, those with an avoidant style (particularly dismissive) tend to retreat inwards and can thrive with the No Contact Rule. They value their freedom and independence, so being alone in their thoughts and emotions post-breakup works well for them.

Regardless of someone’s attachment style, the No Contact Rule has proven effective.

Many swear by its ability to provide clarity, promote healing, and potentially lead to reconciliation. It also allows you the space to acknowledge and mourn your loss and then create space for something new.

The No-Contact Rule can often lead to healthier outcomes for both partners by giving them the time to process their emotions and reflect on the relationship without the distraction of communication. 

The question of “how long to do the No Contact Rule” follows a similar vein.

no-contact rule, no texting

How Long is the No Contact Rule?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for a no-contact timeline, as it will depend on the person, their attachment style, and the breakup. The consensus is that 30 days of no contact is ideal, while others have suggested extending it to 45, 60, or 90 days for more complex or emotionally charged breakups.

Ultimately, the length of time you choose to implement the No Contact Rule should be based on how you feel and develop as a single person after an amicable breakup. There is no specific moment when it happens; you’ll know it’s working when you finally move on from the relationship.

That’s why you should watch for the 5 signs the no contact rule is working.

5 Signs the No Contact Rule is Working

1— Your Ex Reaches Out

A clear sign that the No Contact Rule is working is when your ex contacts you. Think of them as the first person to “crack” under the pressure of no contact. The radio silence pushes them to contact you, asking whether you’re okay and if you want to reconnect.

Other ways they want to stay in touch include commenting on social media accounts, posting pictures, texts, or calls, showing up at your workplace, giving you gifts, love bombing you, or asking someone in your inner circle to pass on a message. This shows that they are not over you and want to stay connected.

There’s also the flip-side when both you and your ex are able to respect each other’s personal boundaries. Even when difficult, if you and your ex are maintaining a distance, you’re demonstrating maturity and self-control, which are essential for moving forward in a healthy way.

2—Self-Improvement & Self-Care

One of the silver linings of the No Contact Rule is the opportunity it provides for self-improvement.

With all the extra time and energy you used to devote to your relationship now freed up, you can focus on personal growth, whether pursuing hobbies, hitting the gym, investing in your career, focusing on emotional independence, or becoming securely attached.

There’s also time to focus on giving yourself much-needed self-care, allowing yourself to feel and connect with your emotions. The more time you invest in yourself, the happier you’ll be and the more secure you will be when you enter the dating pool again or reconnect with your ex.

Noticing yourself to progress and thrive independently is a sure sign that the No Contact Rule works in your favor.

3—Decreased Emotional Turmoil & Increased Clarity

Breaking up can be extremely hard and challenging. So when you start to feel a decrease in emotional turmoil, you know you’ve made the right choice.

It's the same, too, when you find that your thoughts become clearer and more rational. Without the constant back-and-forth of communication with your ex and the overwhelming emotions that come with it, you’re better able to see the relationship and its shortcomings for what they truly are.

This clarity can be empowering and help you make better decisions in the future.

4— Emotional Healing

Perhaps the most important sign that the No Contact Rule is working is your progress in emotional healing.

Over time, you’ll likely find that the pain of the breakup begins to lessen, and you feel more optimistic about the future.

This doesn’t mean you’ll forget about your ex or the relationship altogether, but rather that you’re able to accept what happened and focus on building a fulfilling life for yourself.

Your healing journey helps you move onto the next step (and the final sign the No Contact Rule is working).

5— You’re Ready to Connect with Others

After moving past your relationship, you might be ready to put yourself out there and connect with others.

You’ll look forward to the idea of a new romantic relationship, be able to imagine yourself with another partner, know your non-negotiable/relationship deal breakers, and start believing that you’ll find someone who values what you do.

Most importantly, you will not be weighed down by the baggage of your past relationship; you’ll be excited to open yourself to the prospects of meeting and connecting with new people and forming new relationships.

the No Contact Rule

Signs the No Contact Rule is NOT Working

However, there are some indications that the No Contact Rule might not be working. Here’s how you can tell:

Obsessive Thoughts

You find yourself constantly obsessing over your ex and unable to focus on anything else. This can also include stalking them on social media or trying to connect with them regardless of what’s happening. This could indicate that you need to extend the period of no contact or seek additional support.

You’re Making Contact

Another red flag is if you keep reaching out to your ex despite your best intentions. This can create a cycle of emotional turmoil and prolong the healing process, making it difficult to move on. 

No Emotional Relief

Still feeling the pain of the breakup? A lack of progress in terms of emotional stability and healing occurs when you're stuck in a cycle of sadness, anger, or resentment. It may be time to reassess your approach and consider overcoming your fears and patterns to move forward.

No Personal Growth or Clarity

You have an excellent opportunity for self-improvement, self-care, and personal growth. If you are not actively working on yourself by setting goals, it’s a missed opportunity and a sign that the No Contact Rule is not working as it should.

Your Ex is Responding Negatively

If your ex responds negatively when you reach out to them, it’s a sign that they’ve started the process of moving past your relationship. You should start focusing on yourself instead of them.

How to Make the No-Contact Rule Work

There are some sure-fire ways to make the No-Contact Rule work for you.

Know Your Goals

It helps to know what you want to gain from the No-Contact Rule and what to do after it. Set some goals — they could be anything personal (like who you are), career-wise (I want a promotion), or even what you need from your next relationship. Having a contact strategy will help you take huge leaps in your life.

Set the Rules

Sit down with your ex and be transparent with them about what you want with the No-Contact Rule. It helps put both of you on the same path and idea while setting expectations. Some exes might not take this in their strive (such as those with an anxious, preoccupied style), while others might embrace it (avoidants). But having rules in the no-contact phase will make it easier for both of you.

Stick to Your Guns

The most important thing is to stick to the No-Contact Rule, even when it’s difficult. There are moments you might crack or cave in — just remind yourself why you implemented it in the first place.

Focus on Yourself

You have lots of free time now, so why not use the time and energy to focus on yourself and your personal growth? Just remember to always focus on your goals to keep you motivated.

Connect with Others

Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or the community at The Personal Development School for support during this challenging time. Surrounding yourself with positive influences and having a supportive network can make all the difference in navigating the ups and downs of the No-Contact Rule.

Watch this video to learn why No Contact makes your ex come back!

Are You Ready for the No Contact Rule?

The No Contact Rule can be a powerful tool for healing and moving on after a breakup. By creating space and distance between you and your ex, you can gain clarity, promote emotional healing, and ultimately emerge from the experience stronger and more resilient than ever.

By paying attention to the signs that indicate the No Contact Rule is working (or not working), you can navigate the challenges of a breakup with grace and dignity.

If you need extra help, we have a series of webinars on No Contact as part of our Memberships!

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