How To Communicate With An Ex After The No Contact Rule

Going “no contact” after a breakup is never as simple as it seems. Abruptly cutting communication and depriving ourselves (and our exs) of the routine of each others presence will usually catalyze the need to talk rather than diminish it. At least in the short-term.

But before you dive head-first into an awkward oh-hey-its-me conversation filled with heart-thumping silences, it will pay to consider the situation as objectively as possible. For instance…

Time is your friend

The most common fear regarding no contact is that our exs will simply forget about us and move onto something new. And while this can happen, this is exactly why we need space and time to begin with.

The more time we give no contact, the greater our capacity to see the relationship and our feelings objectively.For example, if all it took for them to move on was a little time apart, at the very least you now know how deeply their commitment and feelings really ran. Seeking truth over comfort is never fun, but is nevertheless necessary for functional reconciliation.

No contact is primarily a way of healing from dependency. It’s about us, not them. Giving it time will eventually allow us to get to an emotional place where needs are turned into wants.

If we use no contact (as many do) as a way to starve our ex of attention, so that they contact us out of fear or pain, we are going to lose. They will either return out of emotional trauma (and the reasons why you broke up will remain) or they will see through the manipulative smokescreen and allow their pride to propel them to greener pastures.

Bear in mind that no contact is just a guide, it is not a “get your ex back” gimmick, it is not a magic bullet. If your ex is resentful or confused by no contact telling them the reason why you enforced it will ease both your, and their pain. Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

How to communicate after no contact

Distance will catalyze confusion, and that “connection” you had may have frayed at the edges. I say this because contacting an ex after NC is often fertile terrain for misinterpretation and over-analysis.

Don’t let fear of rejection or resentment compel you to write mixed messages. Be clear and concise regarding your intentions (prompting them to respond in kind). Also, for the love of all that’s holy, strip all traces of resentment and tension from your messages. While you feel that they may deserve a figurative spanking, I absolutely guarantee they will also carry their own indignation close to their chest. Do not engage in nihilistic blame games.

If you do choose to contact (ideally after a lengthy period of time), do so only if you are willing to declare a general amnesty and start from scratch. Keep the tone even and light-hearted, but direct and concise.

If your attempts at contact are rewarded with silence, bear in mind that is also an answer.

Don’t push to tie loose ends. It is at these times when the value of your no contact will really begin to shine, because it will have actively prepared you for rejection. If you have allowed enough time to pass the silence will sting, but not nearly as much had you masqueraded as a friend or as a backseat driver in their life.

However, if your ex is open to negotiation, here are a few ways to go about it:

  • Write your first message on an impersonal platform (such as E-mail) to reduce the jitters, and make it easier for them to answer honestly.
  • Keep the message open-ended, so as to encourage a reply.
  • Be as clear as possible. They might think you hate them. Remember; they probably have no idea how you feel at this point in time. If you make it easy for them, most of the time they will make it easy for you.
  • Escalate contact to more personal methods as time goes by. If your initial message is positive (i.e they answered), try to call or meet face to face and see how they take it. Obviously, this shouldn’t be done impulsively or disrespectfully. Take it slowly, but keep building.
  • Ignore resentment, anger and manipulation. See them for what they are and do not respond in kind. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t get heated.

No contact is just a phrase

At the end of the day no contact is just a tool, and should never be taken as law. You will not jeopardize your chances for breaking no contact (unless you overdo it). After-all, if reconciliation is to take place down the line, contact is the only way that is going to happen!

Images courtesy of Imagerymajestic /


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