Rethinking the 30-Day No Contact Rule: When It Works and When It Doesn’t

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Without a doubt, you would have heard about the no-contact rule, specifically the 30-day no contact rule, which lasts about a month. And you would have wondered, “What is this whole rule about?” Don’t let the name intimidate you – it’s not a complicated formula or secret code. It is one that is extremely helpful for people going through a breakup.

What is 30-day no contact rule?

The 30-day no contact rule means stopping or abruptly ending all forms of contact of any kind with your ex. This means no calling, texting, social media interaction, face-to-face meetings, nothing. Zero contact. And all for 30 days.

Think of it as hitting a pause button or putting yourself on a timeout to reflect, clear your heart and mind from the emotional fog, regain perspective, and find a sense of independence. Basically, it is like going on a self-care challenge for a whole month.

Aside from the 30-day no-contact rule, there are other time frames for the no-contact rule. These are

  • The 45-day no contact rule

  • The 60-day no contact rule

  • The 90-day no contact rule

  • The indefinite no contact rule

Basically, the no-contact rule (whichever timeframe you choose) is a strategy you can use after a breakup to give yourself time and space to heal. It is highly recommended and effective. On the plus side, it has the power to get your ex to miss you and notice you again. Cool, right?

This guide goes in-depth into what the 30 days of no contact is all about, the psychology behind it, the pros and cons, what makes it effective, and more. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

The Disturbing Culture of “Ex No Contact Rule”

The Psychology Behind the 30-Day No Contact

It is important to understand that the psychology of the no contact rule is more than just cutting contact with your ex for a period of time; it is a deliberate and thoughtful process to promote personal growth and look after your emotional well-being.

During this period, individuals may experience separation anxiety, which is the emotional distress caused by the absence of their ex-partner.

At its core, the psychology behind this rule is grounded in the principles of absence, reflection, and emotional reset.

  • Absence

One of the main reasons for the no-contact rule is creating a physical, emotional, and mental distance between yourself and your ex-partner. By refraining from communicating with your ex for a designated period of time, you are creating an absence that every part of your being will feel. Psychologically, every aspect of you begins to protest because they are unhappy with the absence of something they used to.

However, over time, this absence becomes something you use to cool off. You begin to think and dig deep about your relationship. This absence basically provides an opportunity for introspection.

  • Reflection

Here’s a concept: When you rip a band-aid off, you immediately feel pain and rub that spot to soothe it. However, while trying to soothe the pain, you begin to reflect on what caused you to use the band-aid in the first place.

That same concept can be applied here, especially in matters of your heart. During the 30-day no contact period, you begin to reflect on the dynamics of your past relationship. Technically, you don’t know how it happens, but you find yourself doing it. That is the power of the mind.

This reflection enables you to have a deeper understanding of the reasons behind the breakup and see patterns or traces that you were blind to see earlier.

  • Emotional Reset

The no-contact rule serves as many things, and one of them is a reset button, specifically for your emotions. It breaks off many (if not all) emotional dependencies and patterns that lingered after the breakup. It resets your emotional state, reducing your reliance on your ex-partner for emotional support.

Overall, the 30-day no-contact rule is an incredible tool deeply rooted in psychological principles that have worked before and will continue to work for a very long time.

Discover the reasons behind ‘My Ex Blocked Me‘ and how to cope with it.

Pros of the 30-Day No Contact Rule

Some questions people who want to implement the 30-day no contact always ask are: “What benefit am I going to get from doing this?” “What will this change if I decide to go no contact?” “You do realize my relationship is different from other types of relationships, so what is the guarantee that this will actually work?” “How will I tell if no contact rule is working?”

Yes, every relationship is different, but the outcome is the same for everyone when the 30-day no contact rule is implemented.

There are so many benefits associated with implementing the 30-day contact rule, and without a doubt, you will DEFINITELY get at least one of the benefits (that is if the rule is not broken).

Here are the top five benefits of the 30-day no contact rule

1. You Get to Focus on Yourself and Grow Personally

If there is another word to describe the 30 days of no contact period, it would be “30-day me-time.” Yes. 30 days all to yourself to do whatever you want for YOU.

During the no contact, you focus more on yourself and rebuilding your own life than you ever did in the relationship. Those things you neglected or put off during your relationship, you have all the time to do that now.

Think of it as going on a 30-day personal retreat. A retreat of self-discovery and healing. A retreat to find back your vibe. A retreat to be an independent and stronger YOU.

2. You Gain More Clarity 

Generally speaking, the 30-day no contact period allows individuals to gain more clarity about their relationship and personal needs. The 30-day no contact period is like removing a bandage from a person’s eyes so that they can see things more clearly, especially for the first time in a long time.

Without the emotional and mental stress, pain, and other entanglements you carried before going into the 30-day no contact period, you give yourself a chance to view things more clearly and gain clarity and perspective on the relationship. Consequently, you will be able to understand your own needs and desires.

3. You are happier

You might not see it this way at first, but you need to know that at the end of the 30-day no contact, you come out lighter and happier. You come out with a clear head. One even your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend will appreciate. 

You become happy with the current version of you, which is better, stronger, and more rational. You become confident. Even if the reconciliation you hoped for doesn’t work out at the end of the day, you are confident that you are okay. Believe it, all these positive changes will not go unnoticed by people around you and even your ex.

4. Potential Re-attraction

Not contacting your ex for a while can ignite the flame of re-attraction. In many cases, when your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend notices you haven’t contacted them for 30 days or more, they begin to wonder what’s going on. It’s important not to make reaching out to your ex seem like a big deal, as this can make you appear too eager.

Then, when they see the changes in you, your confidence, self-happiness, and more, they may start to feel that attraction they felt when they saw you for the first time. In fact, there is a high chance they become way more attracted to the current version of you.

5. Fosters Emotional Healing

The 30-day no contact period gives you the space to grieve and heal your emotions. You have all the time to process not only the loss of your love and attachment to your ex but also the thought of what would have been. In addition to grief, you may also experience other feelings such as anger, frustration, and the need for closure.

Also, if you were in a toxic or hurtful relationship, this period is a chance for you to heal yourself and your emotions. It may not look like much but believe that it is a start, and at the end of the no-contact period, you are going to come out all better, stable, stronger, and in control of your emotions.

Cons and Limitations of the 30-Day Rule

Just as there are pros to using the 30 day rule, so are there cons and limitations. Some of these include

1. There May be Chances of Miscommunication

The no-contact rule may lead to your ex-girl or guy misinterpreting your intentions, leading to miscommunications and assumptions that could drive you both farther apart, especially if they intend to fix things and get back together with you.

2. You Have Unresolved Issues

The 30-day no contact period is a time for you to find yourself and let go of some of the baggage of hurt you are carrying. But if there are unresolved issues, then the no-contact rule may not be effective in addressing them. It may just serve as a band-aid for that period. Once you begin contacting them, those unresolved feelings resurface, sometimes (7 out of 10) ruining the effort you put into the 30-day no-contact period.

3. Emotional Toll

Undoubtedly, the no-contact rule is challenging, especially for those who are used to communicating with their ex in one way or another, regardless of whether they respond or not.

The no-contact rule can seem like they are spending time in prison, taking a toll on their emotional well-being. The absence of communication can intensify feelings of loneliness and isolation, potentially hindering the healing process. The funny thing is, many people find that the emotional toll lessens over time as they adjust to the absence of their ex.

Explore the pros and cons in ‘Should I Block My Ex’ to make an informed decision.

Does 30 Days No Contact Rule Really Work?

Okay, everyone… It’s time for the million-dollar questions…

  • “Does the no-contact rule work?”

This is one question that is asked more loudly than “What does the no contact rule mean?” If possible, a megaphone would be used to ask this question because this is a question EVERYONE asks and wants a concrete, honest, and sure answer. 

In addition to that, some other commonly asked questions are

  • “How effective is the no-contact rule in getting my ex-girlfriend?”

  • “What is the success rate of women who got their ex-boyfriend’s back after the no contact?”

  • “What is the proof or sign that the 30-day no contact is working?”

  • “How effective is the no contact rule once implemented?”

  • “Will the no contact really work for me getting back my ex?”

The questions might seem repetitive, but those are the common questions men and women ask. Now, to answer the questions: Yes! The no contact rule is one of the best ways to cut off contact with your ex or get them to miss you.

It is highly effective. Its success rate is at 90%. If we were to rate the number of men and women who have stated how well the no-contact rule worked for them to move on or get their ex back on a scale of 1 – 10, it would be a big 8.

However, it is also important to note that while some may find the no contact successful, others might not. This is because every situation is unique.

What Determines Its Effectiveness?

The effectiveness of the no contact rule depends on four factors

  • The type of relationship you had

  • How you implemented the no-contact rule

  • If you completed it without breaking

  • The outcome you are looking for

Different contact periods, such as 30, 45, or 60 days, can have varying levels of effectiveness depending on the situation.

Basically, it is safe to say that the no-contact rule is almost a one-fits-all kind of breakup treatment.

The Success Rate of the No Contact Rule

The best way to identify the success rate of the 30-day no contact rule is through other people’s success stories. This is always one of the biggest ways to motivate and make people believe that something is really legit. One avid reader shared their success story, highlighting how closely following the no contact rule helped them get their ex back.

Here is one of the best success stories from a client:

Jane and her boyfriend broke up a couple of months ago, and she said that going back to her routine had been quite challenging for her. Everything she did reminded her of him. She had an internal alarm in her head as to when to call every day. It was like a thing between them both.

The relationship was sweet and beautiful, and when he called it quits because he said she had become uninteresting and needy, she was devastated. She felt like the Titanic that sunk to the very end of the cold sea.

She’d send him a message every day asking if they could talk to work things out. She’d call him constantly, but he never picked up. She began asking him how he wanted her to change so they could still be together – through it all, no response. But all messages kept stating “read.”

After a while, she decided to take a step back and not contact him for a while to heal. She chose to use the 30-day no contact rule. The first 10 days were hard for her, as she said she picked up her phone countless times to call or message him. Ultimately, she decided to block him for a few days, so she would not break the no-contact rule.

This went on and on, each day spent reflecting, finding herself, letting go of the pain, and healing her emotions. She decided to unblock him on the 26th day because she believed she was strong enough not to make impulsive decisions. She also did that to test herself.

On the 27th day, her ex texted her, saying, “Hey, just wanted to check in on you. Hope you are good?” Although she was surprised, she didn’t respond back until the 30 days were over. She then sent him a text, “Hi! I’m doing well. How are you? Thanks for checking in.” He responded, saying he’d like to see me so we can talk.”

According to Jane, she said, when she met up with her ex, he apologized for saying she was uninteresting and breaking up with her. And now, after feeling that radio silence, he realized he misses her and wants them to continue their relationship if she wants. Jane got her ex back and they are happily back in the relationship.

This story shows how effective the no-contact rule can be in getting your ex back and making you grow as a person.

Find out possible reasons in ‘Why Is My Ex Ignoring Me‘ and how to deal with the silence.

When 30-Day No Contact Is Not Advisable

Despite the fact that the 30-day no contact rule is highly recommended and effective, there are some, or rather, specific situations where they are not advisable. Using the 30-day no contact rule during these situations might be highly counterproductive, harmful, or detrimental.

Here are specific situations when the 30-day no contact is not advisable:

  • It’s Been Over Six Months You and Your Ex Broke Up

The 30 day no contact rule is advised for people who have recently broken up. Yes, you may still be feeling the pain of the breakup, but it’s been a long time since the initial breakup, so using the no-contact rule is not necessary because over six months is a long time for you both to have moved on.

  • You Have a Child Together

If you have a child with your ex, that is, you share custody of the child or co-parent, using the 30-day no-contact rule is highly not advisable. This is because there is a high chance it could backfire. It could scream negligence to your ex, which could be highly detrimental to you in the long run, especially if you are fighting for custody.

  • When You Have Legal Obligations with Your Ex

When you and your ex were together, you took almost every decision together or helped out in one way or the other, and one of them had to do with you both having legal obligations towards something. Now that you both have broken up, you are considering using the no contact rule to heal. 

However, pause and hold that thought. Now is not the best time because there is a high chance your radio silence could backfire and make things complicated for you, your ex, or both of you.

  • If You Are the One Who Broke Up With Your Ex

If you are the one to dump your ex, then there is no point of the no contact rule, as it will definitely be counterproductive. Your ex already feels abandoned, hurt, and rejected, so going on a 30-day no-contact period can make it worse for you, especially if, at some point, you want to get them back.

Besides, you broke up with them… Why do you need to go on a period of no contact? Technically, it should be the other way around.

While the psychology behind the no contact rule is beneficial for breakup scenarios, it is not a universal solution to all breakup scenarios. There are some situations where you use no contact.

What to Do After 30 Days: Re-initiating Contact

Alright, congratulations are in order. Good job on completing the 30-day no contact rule. However, now, you are faced with another dilemma – how to re-initiate contact with your ex.

This crucial step requires a thoughtful approach to ensure positive communication. Also, while you are trying to re-initiate contact, being able to gauge your ex-partner’s response is essential. Basically, how you reach out and how your ex responds can either help you both get back together or make you both go your separate ways.

Here’s a guided action plan to help you navigate the process:

1. Understand Your Own Feelings

Before re-initiating contact, ask yourself, “Am I mentally and emotionally prepared to reach out to my ex?” Be truthful to yourself when answering this question. If you know you are not ready, don’t initiate contact. It is better to wait a few more days until you feel ready.

2. Make the First Move

One of the benefits of no contact is for your ex to miss you, doubt the breakup, and initiate contact first (maybe). However, sometimes, being the bigger person pays off. 

Making the first move doesn’t mean you are weak, clingy, or back to the same routine. On the contrary, it shows how strong you are, and more often than not, that is all it takes to get back together with your ex.

3. Choose the Best Communication Method

When re-initiating contact with your ex, choose the best way to communicate. You have texting, calling (voice or video), emailing, and seeing each other face-to-face to choose from. Consider the one you and your ex used to communicate more when you were in your relationship.

4. Clearly Express Your Intentions

Once you have decided on the communication method, be clear about what you want to say. Clearly express your intentions.

5. Do Not be Pressuring or Threatening

This is your first contact after a long time, so it should be neutral, considerate, and non-threatening. Avoid saying the following from the get-go:

  • I miss you

  • I want to get back together

  • I want to talk about the breakup

Your first contact should be interesting, fun, and positive. You could say these to make the first contact work

  • “Hi… Guess who I unexpectedly ran into.”

  • “So, I was gifted two tickets to see the current Star Wars movie, and since I don’t know anyone who likes Star Wars more than you, I thought I could ask if you’d be interested in a friendly movie date.”

This lays the groundwork for whatever is to follow.

Evaluate your situation with ‘Should I Reach Out to My Ex‘ to decide your next steps.

How to Gauge Your Ex’s Response

When you re-initiate contact with your ex after the no contact period, there are four responses you might get: Positive, Negative, Neutral, or No Reply.

  • Positive Response

When you call your ex or send a text or email and get a;

  • “Hi! It’s good to hear from you, too.”

  • “Thanks for checking up on me.”

  • “Wow! That’s great, I will love to go watch the movie with you.”

That is a positive response. You are good to go in continuing the conversation from there. But wait a moment, don’t be too hasty about it. Wait a day or two before you respond. It makes them wonder if or when you’d contact them again, or they might reach out to continue the conversation.

  • Negative Response

When your ex replies to your calls or texts with a

  • “Dude, leave me alone!”

  • “I’m seeing a new guy now, so don’t contact me again.”

  • “I don’t want to talk to you.”

Then, know that it is time to move on or that your ex is not ready to talk to you. Based on the response, you can determine what to do – wait a few days before reaching out again or letting go.

  • Neutral Response

Here are some examples of what neutral responses are

  • “Alright”

  • “Thanks.”

  • “Okay”

  • “Cool”

  • “No problem.”

This blows lukewarm. Your ex is not too enthusiastic about you messaging them after 30 days of no contact. Or they could be nervous. But, whatever the case, they responded. This type of message means they are still on the fence about wanting to talk to you. 

  • No Reply

When you send a message and your ex is silent. Just stop. You could try again, maybe twice or thrice on different days. But once you get a no reply, just stop and move on. In many cases such as these, people wait 30 days more to get their ex to respond or contact them.

Wondering why your ex suddenly unblocked you on Instagram? Check out these 10 possible reasons to consider and gain insights into their surprising change of heart.

Alternatives to the 30-Day No Contact Rule

Although the 30-day no-contact rule is usually one of the first suggested approaches to getting over your ex or making them miss you, it may not be suitable for everyone or every situation. As a result, alternative strategies to the 30-day no-contact rule are required.

Here are four alternative strategies that are used in place of the no-contact rule

1. Instead of Doing the 30-day No Contact, Try a Short Version

Going on a 30-day no-contact period can be a hard NO for some people. This is because the thought of cutting off contact with their ex for that long is enough to drive them out of their mind. They may have tried but broke the no contact rule many times.

So, instead, a short version is recommended. This could be between 3 – 6 days, 6 – 10 days, or 10 – 15 days. These depend on the level of seriousness of the breakup.

2. Gradual or Limited Communication

Instead of abruptly and completely cutting off communication, gradually reducing or limiting the rate at which you both communicate is recommended. Doing this might be hard at first, but before you know it, it becomes a routine or something you are used to.

This lets your ex know that you have taken a step back. That although you are still here, you are still not here. This approach can make you ex wonder what is going on and, in many cases, try to reconnect with you. This approach can include sending little messages occasionally to maintain some level of communication without overwhelming your ex.

3. Relationship Counselling

You can seek the help of a relationship expert to help you develop a structured, supportive, and better way to address these issues, especially if you are scared to start no contact. Relationship counseling can provide structured support to help individuals navigate the complexities of romantic relationships post-breakup.

Conclusion: Making the Right Choice for Your Situation

The 30-day no contact rule psychology is one of the best strategies ever designed for people going through a breakup. It is a powerful catalyst for healing and potential reconciliation. Yes, it can be hard to do, but the benefits you get are ones you will love for life – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

However, know what you want to get out of it before implementing it. Critically assess your breakup’s circumstances and how the no-contact rule will affect your emotional well-being. Also, weigh the pros and the cons and consider all alternatives.

Once you believe you are up for it, go all in. Yes, you will wobble, but when you do, go through this article again to know why you need to stay strong. At the end of it, you will come out stronger, smarter, and wiser. You will be in a good place to stand on your own or maybe get an ex back.

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About Alex

Alex Bert is an esteemed relationship coach with a specialization in marital counseling. With over 14 years of experience, Alex and his team have developed multi-lingual online programs that have positively impacted over 180,000 individuals globally. His approach, known for its effectiveness and often counterintuitive advice, is grounded in extensive real-world experience rather than theory. 

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