Why Cutting Off All Contact With An Ex Is The Only Way To Move On (2023)



Updated on October 18, 2022

By Monica Parikh

mbg Contributor

Monica Parikh is a former attorney turned dating coach. She is the founder of School of Love NYC, where she teaches classes on breakup recovery, social-emotional skills, and relationship psychology. She has been featured on Bustle, Man Repeller, Marie Claire, and others.

Last updated on October 18, 2022

(Video) Cut Contact with Your Ex to Get Over a Breakup (No Contact)

The no-contact rule refers to cutting off all contact with an ex following a breakup, and it's the best method for moving on from an ex.

No contact should last for a minimum of 60 days, and it includes no texting, no calling, and no interacting on social media.

It can feel like an extreme move when you're still working to get over a breakup, but the truth is that cutting off contact with an ex is the fastest, most effective way to truly move on.

Here's everything you need to know about how no contact after a breakup works:


Some people try to use the no-contact rule as a form of manipulation (i.e., a way to get your ex to miss you so much, they want you back). But despite what some people will tell you on the internet, no contact is not particularly effective for getting an ex back.

Just because some people have exes who reached out to them after a period of no contact doesn't mean this will be the case for everyone.

Moreover, trying to reduce your former partner to a formula or trying to control their behavior to meet your own needs is not very empathetic. Attempting to use the no-contact rule this way may be a sign that you have your own inner work to do that's a barrier to your relationship working.

This strategy can also be unhealthy for you because it keeps you psychologically attached to apastrelationship, slowing down yourhealing process.

Instead, the no-contact rule should be aboutyouand helping yourself move on from your ex.

(Video) Should You Cut Ties With Your Ex?

It's an integral tool of self-empowerment. You want to get to the place where you're able to say, "With or without you, my life is going to be amazing."


The vast majority of people use love as a drug. They get "high" from an external source—another person's presence and approval.

The withdrawal from that feeling that comes withheartbreakafter arelationship ends(and the fear that they may not know how to be happy on their own) can be terrifying.

Have faith. You will feel sad. You will grieve. But by using the no-contact rule, you will also regain strength,self-esteem, confidence, and empowerment. You also differentiate "wanting" a partner from "needing" one.

Practice a lot ofself-careafter your breakup, and make an effort to avoid even seeing your ex onsocial media, which will make thehealing processeven harder. (Blocking your ex completely onsocial mediamay be necessary for making no contact really work.)

Share this journey with someone who "gets" it. This might not necessarily be yourbest friend, mind you.

A strong teammate will fortify your flagging spirits when the struggle is real. A bad teammate will add to your headaches and problems.

RELATED: How To Finally Let Go Of Your Ex (And Why It's So Hard)


Ending a long-term relationship is the worst, especially if your partner breaks up with you by text or another hurtful way.

In such cases, your ex likely knows they have behaved badly. They may even be waiting for you to scream or beg or demonstrate a meltdown onsocial media, so they can label you "dramatic." If you do so, you'll confirm that their decision was the right choice.

No contact changes the game. It's unpredictable. Without you telling your ex that they're wrong, they actually have to sit in their own discomfort...and think...and then lament.

Meanwhile, you demonstrate that you're a class act, allowing your ex to realize that they've lost someone pretty great.


(Video) What To Do When Ex Breaks No Contact and Reaches Out

The loss of a relationship often results in more free time. Use this time wisely to develop emotional intelligence so you have a greater chance of success (with or without your ex) down the road.

In my work coaching women and men, 99% of the problems I see result from a lack of boundaries. "No" is a short word that doesn't get uttered often enough. If your choice is between being liked or being respected, always choose the latter.

No contact is a good time to develop better boundaries, increase yourself-esteem, and abandon dysfunctional behaviors you learned in childhood.

When you assess where you made mistakes and correct those behaviors, you have a much better probability of success in yournextrelationship.

RELATED: How Long It Should Really Take To Get Over A Breakup


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Single people often have amazingly vibrant lives—they go out dancing, write poetry, and go on road trips with their friends.

In a relationship, many people dive into a black hole headfirst. They get comfortable. They stop flirting and start fighting. They abandon their old friends—and an essential part of themselves.

No contact gives you the time and energy to pursue your goals, big and small. Get the MBA. Plan a trip to Morocco. Flirt with the cute guy in Muay Thai class.

You'll soon realize that although your life without a partner is different, it's just as sweet. As you start smiling and laughing again, you radiate positive vibrations. In no time, you'll have a host of new suitors because the world is abundant, after all.

The vast majority of people look for a relationship the wrong way. They chase after attractiveness, money, or physique. If you want lasting love—the kind that gets better with time—you have to think differently. What are your values? What are your must-haves?

Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • "I date partners who say 'I'm sorry' and own up to their mistakes."
  • "I date partners who believe in mutuality—where there is equal give and take."
  • "I date partners who believe in commitment and communication."

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(Video) When You Do Not Contact Your Ex THIS Happens!

If a recent breakup has left you reeling, think about what values you and your partner were missing.

Make those values nonnegotiable in your next relationship.

RELATED: 9 Signs It's Time To End Your Relationship, From A Therapist


In a relationship, sex loads your body with oxytocin and dopamine—the body's "feel-good" chemicals. Euphoria often has you mired in fantasy.

The no-contact rule is a detox that brings you back to reality after yourrelationship ends. You see your ex not for what you wish them to be but for who they are. Are they selfish? Cowardly? A liar? An emotionally immature narcissist?

As your eyes open to reality, you can make a better decision about when a partner is really a good bet for the long haul. Long-term commitment is no joke, so you want a healthy and stable partner for the ride.


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When you stop pinning your happiness on your partner, you realize it's just you in the world. No one will save you from your demons.

It's your job to figure out why you were born and how to make your life rich with meaning.

This work is hard. It's often painful. But it's the place where life begins and starts getting really rich, rewarding, and fun.

You feel younger and wake up excited for the tasks that lie ahead.

If you've been bawling your eyes out or hanging in limbo, it's time for radical change. It may feel like a bold move at first, but cutting off contact with an ex through the no-contact rule is the fastest way for you to move on and reclaim your power.

RELATED: Is Your Ex Pretending To Be Over You? 12 Signs + What To Do

(Video) Why the F*%k Do Men Always Come Back?! | Matthew Hussey


Is it best to cut off all contact with an ex? ›

It can feel like an extreme move when you're still working to get over a breakup, but the truth is that cutting off contact with an ex is the fastest, most effective way to truly move on.

Why you should cut off your ex? ›

When to cut ties with an ex. Under no circumstances should a relationship that was abusive, manipulative or toxic transition into a friendship, Sussman says. But even if your relationship was generally healthy and simply didn't work out, you might want to think twice before becoming pals.

Why is cutting contact so hard? ›

The reason why no contact is hard is because human beings are wired to connect to others. Our relationship with others is our primary way of staying safe. Bonding and connecting with loved ones makes you feel safe.

Why is silence so powerful after a breakup? ›

There is no easy way to deal with a breakup, but remaining silent actually speaks volumes to your ex. After all, actions speak louder than words! By staying silent, you're telling your ex that you're strong, resilient, and independent. You're relying on yourself — and no one else — for your own happiness.

How long should you go without contacting your ex? ›

1 For an amicable breakup: around 30 days. 2 For a long-term relationship: at least 60 days. 3 If things got ugly at the end: roughly 90 days.

Does my ex miss me even though we don't talk? ›

Yes, an ex misses you during No Contact. They miss you because they no longer have what they used to have. Your ex misses you even though you don't talk because they have time to adjust to your absence. This will help them reflect and miss you more.

What no contact does to a man? ›

The male mind during no contact

The no-contact rule male psychology forces him to recognize his loneliness. After a breakup, if you stop contacting him, he will feel free and enjoy this phase as much as he can. But, with time, the loneliness and guilt pang will start to kick in.

Do feelings for an ex ever go away? ›

“In many instances, people feel those love-like feelings for quite some time after a breakup. This can vary widely depending on the person, their circumstances and personal history. Some people may just need days or weeks whereas others may take months or years to move on from an ex.”

How do men feel when you cut them off? ›

Anger and frustration are other likely responses a guy might feel to you cutting him off. You're taking away his ability to contact you. This means he can't talk to you anymore. And he doesn't get a say in it all.

Why is no contact so powerful? ›

The “no contact rule” is so effective because it means a person has accepted the fact the relationship is over. Putting away mementos, blocking phone numbers, email addresses, and unfriending an ex on social media are catharsis actions.

What is the hardest time of no contact? ›

What Is The Hardest Day Of No Contact? Immediately after you start it. Limited no contact breaks. The day/s where you aren't hearing from them.

What is the power of no contact after being dumped? ›

The goal of no contact is to give you the power of silence after break up. Your ex made the decision to break up with you. They were the one with the power to choose, and to make a decision that would affect both of your lives. No contact is a way of making them go through what they did to you.

Is silence the best revenge to your ex? ›

Silence speaks volumes

The best revenge is no reaction. Believe it, the silence and zero reaction really bothers your ex, and they consider it as the best served revenge. Nothing creates more curiosity than silence. Your ex would expect a vent or an angry rant from you, but don't give in.

How do you know if your ex is hurting after a break up? ›

One of the telltale signs he is hurt after the breakup is if he can't stop talking to you. Indeed, he knows you guys have broken up, but letting go is hard for him. He will text you, call to ask about your work and friends, or look for an excuse to hear your voice. These signs mean he cannot accept your separation.

Do men respond to silence? ›

Men respond to silence and distance emotionally.

When they don't hear from you for a while, their male instinct pushes them to find you and know how you feel. They want to see if you are fine, if you miss them or whether you value their existence. Strangely enough, it doesn't matter if you like him to not.

Can an ex miss you but not want you back? ›

Someone can miss you but not actually want to get back together. They may think you're great, claim to be crazy about you, or miss the things that ensured they got their needs met, but they don't miss you that much.

How do you know if they still think about you? ›

If your ex is trying to contact you, or maybe even trying to speak to you at weird hours, then it might be a sign they still think about you. Another big sign is social media. If they somehow didn't get rid of you via an unfriending or straight block, it might mean they miss you.

Why do exes go silent? ›

Radio silence simply refers to the act of being distant from your partner in order to make him come back to you. When done the right way, it allows your ex to miss and crave you more. It reaffirms and reawakens the feels he has for you, compelling him to come back.

Should I Unadd my ex on everything? ›

Deleting your ex can help your brain move on from the relationship. Even if you have no ill-will towards a past lover, getting them off of your social media feeds and out of your mind is the best way to train your brain to move forward, Chan said.

Is it better to mute your ex? ›

1. Unfollow or Mute Your Ex. When you're getting over a breakup, it will help if your ex is out of sight and out of mind. If you keep seeing pictures they're posting, it might make you think about them more than you already are.

How do I stop the urge to contact my ex? ›

Here are a few ways you can learn to stop texting your ex for good.
  1. Recognize why you want to text your ex. ...
  2. Acknowledge why you need to stop. ...
  3. Delete their number. ...
  4. Distract yourself, and preferably, break a sweat. ...
  5. Reconnect with your friends. ...
  6. Don't drink and text. ...
  7. Enlist technological help. ...
  8. Give it time.
Jul 18, 2018


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