How Long Does No Contact Take To Work?

By Savva Smith
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How Much Time Does The No Contact Strategy Need To Work?


You will learn:

What the typical timeline looks like for relationship recovery and the key factors that can speed up or delay this process
How to properly navigate the no contact period to accelerate healing and enhance your chances of reconciliation
During my first painful breakup, one burning question haunted me: "When will this nightmare be over?" It felt like a relentless torment, and I desperately wanted to know when I'd feel free again. However, most coaches I turned to were hesitant to provide even a general timeline. They found it challenging to give precise estimations, resorting to vague assertions like "when the time is right," or a rather unhelpful "no one knows." When I later began crafting my coaching approach, I decided this lack of clarity wasn't beneficial. It became my mission to devise a method for providing relatively precise estimates. After dedicating over five years to refining my approach, I found the answer I'm now eager to share with you.

Since there are several primary results of the no contact method, we have to estimate the time for each to occur separately:

1. Recovery of personal strength and well-being, reduction of post-breakup anxiety
2. Relationship recovery

Contrary to what some people believe, regaining personal strength isn't a byproduct of getting your ex back. In reality, the sequence is reversed: you need to regain your personal strength first, and then, almost as an automatic process, your relationship can be restored. This is because attraction cannot exist in imbalanced relationships. If you rush into getting your ex back before restoring your strength, the chances are high that they'll leave again. Two main factors influence this timeline:

Two main factors that extend your no contact period

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First, let's address the factor for your ex:

It's quite simple: the rebound relationship. In most cases, your ex doesn't progress through the stages of no contact while in a rebound relationship. However, once the rebound ends, they often fast-track through these stages and attempt to reconnect with you. On average, a rebound relationship lasts 9-10 months. But don't let this statistic intimidate you; it's only an average. I've witnessed rebound relationships crumble within a few months. Moreover, these relationships tend to dissolve more quickly if you maintain no contact and refrain from providing your ex validation or "support" during the difficult times they will inevitably face.

You might wonder, can they transition from one rebound to another? From my experience, this only occurs if you fail to maintain no contact during this period. For instance, if they break up and your ex reaches out (without expressing a desire to reconcile), and you quickly show reassurance that you're still waiting, they might feel secure enough to venture into another relationship.

Their personality type doesn't significantly impact the timeline but rather affects their behavior during no contact. For instance, stubborn exes are often silent during no contact, whereas exes with narcissistic traits tend to fast-track through no contact. In simple terms, their ego can't handle the idea of you refusing to pursue them.

The second factor is for you:

This factor is the amount of time you spend thinking about your ex. Surprising, isn't it?

Here's the thing: the more you think about them, the higher value they hold in your mind. It's normal to attribute high value to a loved one, but when this value skyrockets, it starts a vicious cycle. The more value they hold, the more you think about them, and vice versa. This cycle only intensifies their value in your mind.
  • Important:
    If you find that no contact feels like torture, this is likely the reason: your emotional focus is still anchored to the past relationship. The primary goal during the no contact phase should be to shift this emotional focus away from your past. Many coaches overlook this aspect and then wonder why their clients struggle to feel better during the no contact period.

    Remember: your no contact is effective when it leads to improved emotional well-being. If it feels torturous and continues to feel that way for an extended period, the likely culprit is an inability to shift your emotional focus away from your past relationship. It may sound paradoxical, but the truth is to win back your ex, your focus should be on moving on.
This concept is vital because even if your ex reaches the final stages of no contact and tries to reconcile, if you're still consumed by your past obsession with them, the chances are that you'll overinvest emotionally, and take the one-down position in your relationship yet again, which is a surefire recipe for an imbalanced relationship.

For a reunion to be sustainable, you need to reduce their value in your mind. This is one of the paradoxes of post-breakup recovery. The encouraging news is, if you succeed in shifting your emotional focus away from your past relationship, the anxiety will disappear. Sometimes, this change occurs immediately.

How to predict when your ex will return

A joyful couple, dressed in elegant suits, embracing each other, embodying a successful reconciliation
For a reconciliation to occur, three factors must align:
1. If there's a rebound relationship, it needs to conclude.
2. Your ex must reach the final stage of no contact.
3. You must reach the final stage of no contact.

The alignment of factors 2 and 3 ensures the restoration of the power balance between you two. Only when this equilibrium is achieved can attraction begin to flourish again.

Here are some estimates for each of these elements:
- A rebound relationship usually concludes within 9-10 months at most.
- An ex generally progresses through all stages within 3-4 months.
- If there was a rebound, their progression happens faster: 2-3 months.
- If you're shifting your emotional focus away from the past relationship, you'll reach the final stage of no contact within 1-2 months at most.

Based on these statistics, the entire recovery journey can be completed:
- Within 9-12 months for the most complex cases.
- Within 2-3 months for average cases.
Now, if you find it challenging to maintain even a single day of no contact, a month might seem like an eternity of torture. Trust me, you can avoid this if you start working towards shifting your focus. I have written a short article to help you get started. However, without knowing all the details about your situation, I can only offer general advice (which will likely work, but will require significantly more effort than a precision strategy tailored to your unique circumstances and needs).

Could the entire process occur more quickly? Absolutely. Remember, these are general estimates. In my work with clients, we frequently identify specific moments in their narratives that allow us to create personalized action plans. These plans can expedite the no contact period and achieve results within a few months.

So, as you can see, fixing a broken relationship doesn't happen in a snap. There's a good reason for this: breakups don't just happen out of the blue. Your partner often braces for it, going through the breakup in their mind many times before they finally tell you about it. It takes time to change their thoughts. But here's the silver lining: no contact usually does the trick. For this exact reason, I've created the "No Contact - Quickstart Guide," exclusively for my website's inner circle, to ensure that your no contact period is as efficient and speedy as possible. To get your complimentary copy and gain instant access, simply enter your email below:


Key Points

Two significant factors can affect the length of the no contact period: the duration of your ex's rebound relationship and the amount of time you spend thinking about your ex.
The no contact strategy isn't about ignoring or avoiding your ex, but rather, about restoring personal strength and balance in the relationship.
The process of relationship recovery isn't instantaneous and can take between 2-12 months on average, but individual factors can speed up or slow down this timeline.