What to Do if the No Contact Rule Failed?

By Savva Smith
Distressed woman and man seated on a sofa, lost in thought
An image of 5 golden stars


Did the No Contact Rule Fall Short? Here's Your Plan B


You will learn:

Five common scenarios where individuals mistakenly believe the "no contact" rule has failed, only to realize that it's simply paving a different path to healing and understanding
Why "no contact" might seem like it's not working, and uncover the deeper narratives that such "failures" often mask
It's natural to question if things went the way they should. You're not the only one feeling this way. If you're second-guessing whether no contact did any good, let's gently delve into it, understand what you're feeling, and find a way to ease that burden:

Let's first check if no contact really failed in your case

Gorgeous ginger girl thinking
If you find yourself in one of the following scenarios, please understand that the "no contact" approach might not have failed you:

1. Your ex remains silent: If that's the case, I assure you, it's normal. There are countless parameters that affect your ex's behavior during no contact. They might be silent because they're simply having a good time. We all know that life is not that simple, which is why they usually reach out when their bright days turn into dark ones. It might also be that they're at a stage of no contact when exes are typically silent. For example, if they're in stage one, they typically experience relief and have no reason to reach out to you. Therefore, for them to start thinking about you again and to finally decide to reach out, we just need to give it a bit more time.

2. Your ex has been silent for a LONG time and/or blocked you: Okay, if they've been silent for a LONG time, the situation is slightly different. However, I'm not saying it's "more complex" - just different. Usually, if they've been silent for many months, it indicates they are either extremely stubborn or they're in a rebound relationship. Rebounds do occur, and someday I'll write an in-depth article about them. But for now, know that I've never encountered a case where a rebound evolved into a serious, long-term relationship. And I'm speaking from the experience of having observed (as of 2023) over a thousand cases. So even in this scenario, all we need to get them thinking about you, missing you, and truly feeling your absence - is a bit more time.

3. You broke your no contact once or twice: Listen, everyone does this to some extent. It doesn't prevent exes from coming back. The worst-case scenario is that there will be a delay. When you break no contact, it causes your ex to refocus on the day of your breakup. They remember all the reasons they had for leaving, which delays their progression through the subsequent stages of no contact. However, this isn't the end of the world.

4. You couldn't maintain no contact and resorted to begging: Most of my clients approach me after reaching this stage. I'll be frank: the complexity of the situation typically exceeds the average. But it's not because begging might push your ex further away, making it seem like they'll never reconsider. Rather, it's because such behavior usually indicates that the breakup deeply affected you. The pain is palpable, your days are often consumed with longing and memories, and you can't stop thinking about them. Thus, the primary concern adding to this complexity isn't about your ex (who often still contemplates reconciliation) but about you. If you don't prioritize your own well-being, you risk continually breaking no contact, jeopardizing both your mental and physical health. That's why the most crucial aspect of no contact is concentrating on your personal healing.

5. You ex told you that they will never get back with you: Sometimes, it feels like our partners, for whatever reason, want to inflict pain as they part ways. They may utter hurtful words, casting us as the root of their misery. Statements like "You wasted my life," "I don't love you anymore," or "I will never get back with you," can make it seem like nothing - and I truly mean nothing - can sway their conviction. And you're right. Only they can change their own minds. This shift in perspective has to come from within them. From my experience, any effort to convince them they've erred or to deny their assertions typically backfires, only reinforcing their belief in their decision. However, the moment you grant them space and embrace no contact, they're left to grapple with the ramifications of their choice. Soon, they realize that the true source of their discontent lies within themselves. It wasn't about you; it was about their internal struggles. With time, they'll recognize that life isn't always sunshine and rainbows. If you truly shared a special bond, they will begin to question the correctness of their decision.

So, whether you find yourself in one, several, or even all of these situations, understand that no contact hasn't failed. This realization should allow you to exhale and shift your attention to what's genuinely essential - your own well-being.

But what if no contact REALLY failed?

Serene woman sitting solo on a park bench, looking contemplative but not sad
If you're still convinced that the no contact strategy failed, bear with me. I understand that sometimes an ex might show signs of having "moved on," or even go to the extent of marrying some unfortunate soul (I'll clarify why I termed them "unfortunate" shortly). Here's an insight into what might be happening, and why this doesn't signify the failure of no contact:

When someone decides to part ways, they mentally prep themselves for the breakup. They develop logical justifications to validate what is often - as I always point out - a primarily emotional decision to end the relationship. In doing so, they may convince themselves that something or someone different will fulfill them. For instance, if you were charismatic but overly engrossed in your career, they might believe that some sort of unattractive and unemployed dwarf is their ideal partner. If they felt you lacked charm, they might seek someone ostentatiously more "beautiful" than you - think, over-the-top, classic adult movie star beautiful. Conversely, if they found you undeniably alluring, they might pivot to someone utterly mediocre. This is because they've planted a landmine for themselves with the conviction that you were the source of their discontent, thinking "this time will be different."

Given their preparation for the breakup, their commitment to this new decision is resolute. Thus, they see it through. Even when they begin to sense that this new partner (or new experience) isn't the antidote to their dissatisfaction, and that the unique bond you two shared isn't easily replicated, they stubbornly persist. This phenomenon resembles an "investment trap." They've committed so deeply to their choice that they feel compelled to validate it, both to themselves and to others, like family and friends. Hence, if you learn of your ex wedding someone seemingly mismatched, this is typically the underlying reason. So take a breath, find solace, and stay committed to no contact.
Sometimes, we need to be apart to understand just how much we truly love each other.
- Nicholas Sparks, "The Notebook"
But what about a Plan B? Suppose you've spent years with no contact, yet you still yearn for them, and they remain silent. This places you among a select few individuals. I have a specialized plan tailored for such cases, but due to its potency and potential for misuse, I'll only share it if you reach out via email. My assistant will forward your email to me and, after reviewing it, if it's appropriate, I'll provide a free response.

I sincerely hope this article alleviated some of the stress you're currently feeling. If your situation wasn't addressed, please leave a comment. I'm eager to know if this article was beneficial for you. My aspiration is to forge the foremost self-help resource on the Internet. Your feedback and questions will undoubtedly assist us in realizing this vision and expedite the recovery process for many others. Remember, time is our most invaluable asset. Wishing you a wonderful day.


Key Points

The Illusion of "No Contact" Failing: Sometimes, an ex might seem to have moved on quickly or make drastic life decisions. However, this doesn't mean "no contact" has failed. Often, they are navigating their own emotional journey and trying to reaffirm their breakup decision.
Post-Breakup Behavior Patterns: After a breakup, individuals often seek drastic changes, convincing themselves that the exact opposite of their previous partner will bring happiness. This is not an indication that the "no contact" rule has failed but is a part of their coping mechanism and a way to affirm their decision.
Value of Time and Reflection: Breakups are an emotional whirlwind, and one's decisions immediately after may not necessarily reflect their long-term feelings. It's crucial to remember that time is invaluable in healing, and the no contact strategy emphasizes personal growth and introspection.