What Not to Do During No Contact?

By Savva Smith
Woman assertively holding a man's head in a confrontational stance, while he appears to be in a position of surrender
An image of 5 golden stars


Fast-Track Your No Contact Journey by Avoiding These Fatal Pitfalls


You will learn:

The most common missteps most people overlook and the transformative tactics you can adopt to accelerate your healing
How to guarantee effective results from your no contact period
In this article, I'll provide you with tools and advice gleaned from my years of practice to ensure your no contact phase is efficient, helping you reach your goals much faster. This will save you months of time and, crucially, spare your nerves. This list will be updated regularly.

Mistake 1: Aiming for 30 Days or 60 Days

Close-up view of a calendar and clock neatly arranged on a pink tabletop
In the aftermath of a significant emotional decision, such as choosing to enter a no-contact period, it's easy to search for definitive answers. You might be seeking a concrete timeline, hoping for a magic number that promises healing, clarity, or perhaps a reunion. And that's where the allure of 30 or 60 days comes into play.

A Day at a Time: As you embark on this journey, it might feel like an eternity stretched ahead. The early days are fraught with uncertainty, a blend of hope and despair. Every chime of your phone can be a pulse of anticipation. Every night might be a roller coaster of emotions, where you're grappling with the weight of your decision. During these moments, remember that even making it through a single day is a monumental achievement.

Debunking the Myth: It's natural to yearn for some certainty, and that's why these round numbers - 30 and 60 days - seem so appealing. They promise a finish line, a moment when everything will magically align. But here's the unvarnished truth: emotions, relationships, and healing don't operate on a fixed timeline. Attraction doesn't clock in and clock out based on calendar days.

While it might be comforting to think that after a set number of days everything will fall into place, it's essential to understand that your journey is unique. Your emotions, your healing process, and the dynamics of your relationship are individual to you. Instead of counting days, consider focusing on personal growth, understanding, and emotional well-being. The no-contact period is less about marking off calendar days and more about giving yourself the space and time you genuinely need. It's an opportunity for introspection, growth, and, ultimately, clarity, regardless of how many days it takes to get there.

Mistake 2: Telling Your Ex That You Are in No Contact

Close-up of a stunning brunette woman with red lips, hand resting near her mouth, deep in thought, wearing glasses
No contact isn’t a strategy game, nor is it a dramatic act meant for the spotlight. It's a deeply personal choice, rooted in the desire for growth, healing, or clarity. But the moment you make a grand announcement to your ex, it changes the dynamics and undercuts the genuine intentions behind the decision. Let’s examine this closely. When you declare your intent to go into a period of no contact, it can come across in various ways, many of which might not be in your favor:
Desperate Attention-Seeking: To your ex, it may seem like a play for attention, a way of saying, "Look at me! I'm making a significant decision!" It can dilute the genuineness of your need for space and time.
Manipulative Play: It might also be perceived as a form of manipulation. Your ex might think you're just trying to invoke a reaction from them, be it guilt, sadness, or even regret.
Lack of Authenticity: Declaring a no contact period can make the entire process seem less organic. It's like saying you're going on a diet and then loudly announcing it every time you skip dessert. The focus shifts from personal growth and discipline to how it's being perceived by others.
Loss of Control: By announcing your intentions, you’re effectively handing over a piece of control to your ex. They now know your plan and can respond (or choose not to respond) in a way that might influence your emotional state during this period.
The essence of the no contact is genuine self-reflection, healing, and personal development. This journey is about you and not about how your ex perceives you. By keeping your decision private, you maintain the purity and authenticity of the process. It allows you to navigate your feelings without external pressures or perceptions and provides a more authentic space for growth. Remember the core reason why you chose no contact. If it's genuinely about personal growth and healing, there's no need to broadcast it. Embrace the journey silently and wholeheartedly, giving yourself the best chance for genuine introspection and clarity.

Mistake 3: Checking With Your Ex To See If They Have Had Enough

Ah, the temptation! That burning desire to just pick up the phone, to check in, to see if the silence has done its magic. But here’s the crux of the situation: reaching out in the midst of a no contact period, especially with the premise of gauging if the other person has "had enough," fundamentally undermines the purpose of the no contact rule itself.

The name says it all, doesn’t it? No contact. That doesn’t mean no contact except for a quick check-in. It means complete and utter silence. When you break that silence to ask something along the lines of "I haven’t talked to you in a week. Are you ready to get back?" several messages, whether intentional or not, are communicated:
Impatience: Firstly, it screams impatience. It shows you're not fully committed to giving both of you the space and time you initially recognized was needed.
Insecurity: This check-in can also reveal deep-seated insecurities. By asking if the other person is “ready” to return, it can seem like you're seeking validation or assurance.
Undermining the Process: Remember why no contact was initiated in the first place. Whether it's for personal growth, healing, or gaining clarity, this period is meant to be a time of introspection. Breaking it even for a "check-in" negates the very essence of the process.
It's completely human to wonder, to hope, and to yearn. But every time you feel the pull to reach out during the no-contact period, remind yourself why you embarked on this journey. If the underlying reasons were strong enough to initiate this period of silence, then they should be strong enough to sustain it without interruptions. Instead of viewing the no-contact rule as merely a waiting game or a tool to reignite someone's interest, see it for what it truly can be: a valuable space for growth, understanding, and emotional maturity. When you focus on these deeper aspects, you'll find that the need to “check in” diminishes, allowing the process to unfold as it should. In essence, while the emotions and desires leading you to want to check in are entirely valid, it's crucial to remember the bigger picture. Give yourself, and the other person, the genuine opportunity to reflect, heal, and decide the next steps without external pressures or interruptions.

Mistake 4: Monitoring Your Ex

Silhouetted woman sitting in darkness, illuminated by the green glow from a computer screen, engrossed in what she's viewing
In the digital age, where everyone's life seems to play out in pixels and posts, resisting the urge to cyberstalk is indeed a Herculean task. While technically you aren’t breaking the no-contact rule by checking their social media, you are emotionally violating the spirit of the period. The goal is to detach, reflect, and heal. But by peeping into their digital life, you're doing none of that. On the surface, you might convince yourself that a harmless scroll through their profile is just satisfying curiosity. But in reality, it’s a minefield of potential heartbreaks and setbacks. Here’s why:
Emotional Roller Coaster: Social media showcases curated snapshots of life. And while your logical mind knows this, your heart might interpret these images and statuses differently. A photo of your ex smiling could plunge you into thinking they're over you. A vague, emotional quote might convince you they're hurting as much as you. This emotional whirlwind is counterproductive to the healing process.
The New Friend Syndrome: Let's face it; seeing a new name pop up in their friends list or a new face in their photos can be gut-wrenching. Even if this person is just a new colleague or an old friend they reconnected with, your mind might spin tales of budding romances or moving on. It’s natural. Your pulse spikes, your stomach churns, and suddenly, the progress you made during the no-contact period feels like it’s crumbling.
Obsession Over Interpretation: That ‘like’ on their picture, the comment they left on someone else’s post, or even the song they recently added to their playlist – everything becomes a puzzle piece you're desperate to fit into the narrative of their emotional state. But remember, these digital breadcrumbs aren’t giving you the full picture. They can be misleading, and obsessing over them can lead to distorted perceptions.
While physically you haven't reached out, by consistently monitoring their online activities, you're mentally and emotionally still deeply entwined. The essence of no contact is to find your own footing, independent of their actions or emotions. By spying, even from a distance, you're allowing their digital persona to dictate your emotional state. Every time you feel the itch to check their profile, pause. Ask yourself what you hope to gain and how it’ll impact your healing. More often than not, you'll realize it's a step backward. Instead, focus on activities and people that uplift you, delve into personal projects, and remember that your well-being shouldn't be anchored to their online actions.

Mistake 5: Not Putting Away Reminders

Close-up shot of a man securely holding several stacked boxes next to a table
The spaces we inhabit - our homes, our rooms, our digital screens - often turn into memory-laden museums after a significant relationship. These keepsakes, no matter how insignificant they might seem, hold emotional imprints. A picture, a trinket, or even a song can unlock a cascade of memories. While cherishing memories is beautiful, during a no-contact phase, they can sometimes be anchors pulling you back into a sea of emotions you're trying to navigate through. Why are these seemingly mundane items so potent?
Emotional Triggers: That t-shirt they left behind isn’t just fabric. It’s an evening of laughter, a shared joke, or a comfort during a stormy night. When you're trying to give yourself space to heal or reflect, these items can serve as intense emotional triggers, often reopening wounds you're attempting to mend.
Unexpected Onslaught: Perhaps it's a particular fragrance lingering on a scarf or a special date marked on your calendar. These reminders can catch you off-guard, leading to an unexpected surge of nostalgia. And often, these bouts of unexpected emotions can be overwhelming, leaving you feeling vulnerable.
Digital Echoes: It's not just the physical space. Your phone, social media, playlists, and even streaming recommendations can echo remnants of shared moments. Watching a series you both loved or listening to "your song" can momentarily transport you back, blurring the boundaries you're trying to set.
Just as the no contact rule provides an emotional buffer, decluttering your space from relationship reminders aids the process. It offers an environment where you're less likely to be ambushed by raw emotions. By putting away reminders, you're not erasing the past. Instead, you're giving yourself the gift of perspective, the space to view memories without being overwhelmed by them. Removing reminders also serves as an opportunity for self-rediscovery. It's a chance to redefine your space, your preferences, and even rediscover aspects of yourself that might have been overshadowed during the relationship.

Action Steps:
Physical Space: Consider boxing up items that are strong emotional triggers. You don't have to throw them away. Just put them somewhere you won't encounter daily.
Digital Detox: Clear out or archive chats, declutter your playlists, and perhaps even consider a break from social media platforms where memories might be more prevalent.
Redefine and Reclaim: Use this time to redefine your personal space. Maybe it’s time for a room makeover or a new playlist. Rediscover what resonates with your current emotional state.
While memories are treasured keepsakes of our past, during a no-contact phase, it’s essential to recognize the power they wield. By consciously choosing to create a buffer, you're taking a proactive step in your healing journey, ensuring that when you do choose to revisit these memories, it's on your terms and in your own time.

Mistake 6: Doing No Contact ONLY To Get Your Ex Back

While it’s true that distance can make the heart grow fonder, using the no contact rule solely as a means to get them back is both shortsighted and, unfortunately, self-defeating. When the underlying motive of no contact is to rekindle a relationship, it creates a paradoxical situation. Instead of using the time to heal and grow, one obsesses over the ex, playing scenarios in the mind, and analyzing past conversations. Ironically, the very tool meant to give clarity becomes a breeding ground for overthinking. By constantly reminiscing and placing the ex on a pedestal, you inadvertently inflate their subjective value in your mind. This skewed perception can lead to idealizing past moments, ignoring red flags, and ultimately setting the stage for potential future disappointments. No contact should ideally be a period of self-reflection and growth. However, when the focus remains tethered to an ex, it hinders genuine introspection. It's like running on a treadmill; there's a lot of effort, but no real forward movement. If the ex does decide to return, this heightened, idealized value makes it easy to overinvest emotionally. The relationship dynamics then revert to old patterns, and the cycle of imbalance continues.

The essence of no contact is to find clarity and heal. It's a time to reassess personal needs, values, and growth trajectories. Here’s how to realign the perspective:
Embrace Self-Worth: Understand that your value isn't contingent on a relationship status. Dive deep into understanding your worth, and work on cultivating self-love.
Engage in Self-Discovery: Rediscover hobbies, passions, and activities that resonate with your individuality. Pursue interests that were perhaps side-lined during the relationship.
Seek Balance: It's okay to hope, but balance it out. Let the focus be on personal growth. If the relationship is meant to be, it will find its way back, but from a more mature and grounded foundation.
Connect: Spend time with loved ones, friends, or even consider joining support groups. Sometimes, external perspectives can offer insights that introspection might miss.
While the desire to reunite with a loved one is natural, it's essential to approach the no-contact phase with a holistic view. It’s a journey of self-healing and growth. When approached with this mindset, the no-contact period can lead to profound personal transformations, ensuring that future relationships, whether with an ex or someone new, stem from a place of self-awareness and maturity.

Mistake 7: Blocking Your Ex (If You Want Them Back)

Amidst the whirlwind of confusion, hurt, and often anger, the urge to block an ex from all communication platforms can be particularly strong. It feels like a definitive step, a clear statement of intent, a way to reclaim control. However, if reconciliation is somewhere in the back of your mind, here’s why the block move might not be the best strategy:
Sending Mixed Signals: When you block someone, it sends a potent message of finality. If your intention behind the no-contact period is to give both parties breathing space while leaving a window open for potential reconciliation, blocking could be misinterpreted as you slamming that window shut.
Provoking Emotional Reactions: Blocking can elicit strong reactions, especially if it's done without prior warning. It might lead your ex to feel discarded, undervalued, or resentful. These heightened emotions can further widen the rift between both parties.
Limiting the Path to Reconnection: If, after a period of self-reflection and growth, both parties wish to reconnect, the act of blocking could complicate the process. Not only would unblocking be required, but there might also be the added challenge of navigating the emotional baggage stemming from the initial block.
Perception of Immaturity: While the act of blocking might feel empowering in the moment, it might also come across as an impulsive and immature act, especially if the breakup was relatively amicable.
If the temptation to check in on an ex is too strong, consider taking a break from social media or muting their updates rather than blocking them. This way, you reduce the emotional triggers without sending a potentially confrontational message. It's crucial to introspect on the true intent behind the urge to block. If it's primarily to safeguard mental and emotional well-being, then it might be valid. However, if the primary goal is reconciliation, other strategies might be more constructive.

Mistake 8: Trying to Make Them Jealous

Man and woman in an office setting exchanging intense, ambiguous glances, hinting at underlying desire
This is why It's a slippery slope: Believe it or not, post-breakup behaviors, especially those driven by emotional impulses, are often more transparent than one might assume. Posting pictures with someone new, flaunting a revamped lifestyle, or dropping hints about newfound admirers might seem subtle, but to an ex (especially a recent one), these actions scream intention. The dumper usually perceives these actions as deliberate attempts to provoke jealousy, it often reinforces their decision to end the relationship. It's interpreted as a manifestation of neediness or pettiness, diminishing the dumper's respect and the dumped one's dignity.

In trying to make an ex jealous, you inadvertently put them on a pedestal, giving them power over your actions and emotions. It's counterproductive to the healing process, anchoring you more firmly in the past rather than facilitating forward movement. The game of inciting jealousy is riddled with pitfalls. The message you're trying to convey (e.g., "I'm desirable and moving on") can easily be misconstrued as, "I'm not over you and will go to lengths to get a reaction."

Instead of orchestrating scenarios to incite jealousy, channel energy into genuine personal growth. Engage in activities and pursuits that foster self-improvement, not because of how it'll appear to others, but because it's beneficial for you. The desire to make an ex jealous often stems from a need for validation. However, true validation comes from within! Recognize accomplishments, no matter how small, and celebrate personal growth.

Mistake 9: Constantly Blaming Yourself

Solitary man deep in thought, seated on the edge of a cliff with expansive views behind him
No contact is a time of reflection. But there's a fine line between constructive introspection and damaging self-blame. When the balance tilts towards constantly berating oneself, the healing journey takes a detrimental turn. Let's delve deeper into why relentless self-blame is a misstep and how to navigate the path forward more healthily.

Dangers of Constant Self-Blame:
Stunting Growth: Obsessing over past mistakes stifles growth. Instead of using the time to understand oneself better and evolve, the focus remains tethered to what went wrong, preventing forward momentum.
Eroding Self-Worth: Continual self-blame erodes self-worth and self-esteem. This can have far-reaching consequences, affecting not just the healing process post-breakup, but also future relationships and overall well-being.
Distorted Reality: It’s rare for the breakdown of a relationship to be solely one person's fault. By shouldering all the blame, there's a danger of distorting the reality of what transpired, which can prevent meaningful lessons from being learned.
Here's what to do instead:
Embrace the Experience: Adopt the mindset that mistakes are simply stepping stones in the journey of self-growth. By focusing on retaining the experience and the knowledge gained, the mistake itself loses its negative charge and becomes a neutral event in the past.
Seek Perspective: Sometimes, an external viewpoint can help. Conversations with friends, family, or professionals can provide clarity, allowing you to see the bigger picture and understand that blame is multifaceted and rarely one-sided.
Future-Focused Reflection: Instead of constantly replaying past events, channel your energy into envisioning the kind of future you want for yourself. What have you learned? How can you grow? What do you want in your next relationship? Answering these questions shifts the narrative from blame to growth.
Practice Self-compassion: Be gentle with yourself. Remember that everyone, at some point in their lives, has made mistakes. It's part of the human experience. The key is not to ruminate but to rise, learn, and move forward.
It's completely natural to engage in self-reflection during the no-contact phase, but it's vital to ensure this reflection is constructive. Obsessive self-blame will be paralyzing. By focusing on the lessons learned and the experience gained, and by looking to the future with hope and clarity, the journey from pain to healing becomes a transformative one.

Mistake 10: Assuming They'll Just Move On

Euphoric man and woman embracing tightly, with majestic mountain ranges in the backdrop
The specter of an ex moving on can be a harrowing thought during the no contact phase. The mind tends to weave a tapestry of worst-case scenarios: them finding someone new, forgetting about the shared moments, or being blissfully happy without you. This fear, however, can distort reality and lead to actions that are counterproductive to the healing and growth process. This is why this mindset is flawed:
Projection of Insecurities: Often, the fear of an ex moving on is less about them and more about personal insecurities. It questions self-worth and wonders, "Was I not good enough?"
Misreading the Healing Process: Just because someone seems to be doing well on the surface doesn't mean they've fully moved on. Healing is not linear, and everyone copes differently. While some might seek solace in social activities or new relationships, it doesn't necessarily equate to them being over the past.
Self-sabotaging Actions: A mindset gripped by fear can lead to rash decisions. Believing an ex is moving on might cause panic, leading to breaking no-contact, inundating them with messages, or making emotional pleas. These actions can push the ex further away, confirming the initial fear.
Instead of speculating about an ex's life, channel that energy inward. Are you moving on? How are you healing? Directing attention towards personal growth can be a salve for the anxiety stemming from such fears. Accepting that you cannot control their actions, but can control your reactions, is liberating.

If you need another reason to stop worrying about them moving on, consider this: I seldom see it happen in practice. I can't even recall a case when this occurred. However, what I witness regularly is people breaking no contact, reaching out to an ex, pleading with them, and subsequently pushing them away.

The Crucial Essence of This Article

With this list, you'll ensure that your no-contact period is both efficient and swift...But do you know what's common among these mistakes? They all arise from a single reality: you're not focusing on yourself. You've lost sight of your true worth. You've forgotten the significance of your time. You ceased pursuing your own goals!

It's time to change that.

It's time to center your attention on yourself and embrace self-love.

It's time to finally redirect your emotional energy away from the past relationship.

When you manage to do this, the desire to text or call them suddenly diminishes. Monitoring their moves? Forget it. You have more important matters to attend to. Days morph into weeks. And then, one day, you'll find that the pain and anxiety have vanished. The moment you realize you're moving on, a sudden notification from that very person who once consumed your every thought will pop up on your phone. You'll smile, and the only question in your mind will be, "Should I even respond? Is this person truly worthy of me?"


Key Points

Drawing from my extensive experience, sidestepping these pitfalls is the linchpin to achieving a swift recovery, often in under a month.
At the heart of these missteps lies a common thread: a lack of self-focus. Remember, prioritizing yourself is paramount in this healing journey.

Not knowing this astonishing secret practically guarantees the negative experience during no contact:
Not feeling any better
Having relentless thoughts of an ex
Battling those near-impossible-to-resist urges to reach out