If you’re wondering what to text after no contact, the short answer is…
Not what you expected, right? Well, here's the short of it:
Things to know
- During no contact, the goal is to focus on yourself and do things that make you feel good, like regular physical activity, nourishing your body, and spending time with other people. Avoid drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms, and seek professional help if needed.
- It's usually not a good idea to text your ex after no contact as it can derail your progress and bring back negative feelings.
- If you want to text your ex, make sure it's for the right reasons. Remember to keep things respectful and avoid low-effort texts; push for more meaningful interactions instead.
Now, you might want to stick around for the long answer. Here's what we'll look at:
- What Is No Contact?
- The Benefits Of No Contact
- What No Contact Isn’t
- When To Use No Contact
- How To Go No Contact
- The Challenges Of No Contact
- How Long Should No Contact Last?
- Why Texting Your Ex After No Contact Is Usually A Bad Idea
- Is Texting Your Ex After No Contact Ever Appropriate?
- What To Text
- What Not To Text
What Is No Contact?
No contact is arguably one of the most controversial and misunderstood pieces of relationship advice. A simple search of the term will provide results hailing it as the best way to get over a breakup or cut a toxic person off.
Other sources call it the most effective way to get an ex back. You might also hear it referred to as a cruel, immature way of resolving conflict. You’re about to find out precisely what no contact is and why it’s probably a bad idea to be texting an ex after no contact.
No contact is when you intentionally create physical, mental, and emotional distance between yourself and a person. In romantic relationships, no contact is usually used after a breakup to allow you to mourn the loss of the relationship and get your life moving in the right direction.
The Benefits Of No Contact
I hear you ask: does no contact work? Yes. It's one of the most effective ways of getting over a breakup. Its benefits include:
Sometimes you need to step away from a situation to appreciate it. No contact allows you to reflect on what you want out of life and future relationships.
In the days after a breakup, emotions can run pretty high. No contact allows you to disengage from a high-conflict situation and focus on letting go of negative feelings like anger, resentment, bitterness, and frustration.
No contact is a powerful way of regaining a sense of self after a failed relationship. It allows you to detox from a relationship and focus on rebuilding your self-esteem.
What No Contact Isn’t
Now that we’ve looked at what no contact is let’s get into what no contact isn’t.
It’s not a psychological trick
All the anger and resentment you've held inside has culminated in you going no contact with your partner. A few days without you, and they will regret ever treating you like an option.
The hours turn into days, and you’re feeling a little anxious. Shouldn’t they be blowing up your phone or making some grand gesture? Maybe you’ve made a colossal mistake. You never wanted to break up, but what if they’ve already moved on? Would they be interested in staying in a romantic relationship with you - no hard feelings?
Sorry, but the no-contact rule is not the secret recipe to a relationship where your partner values your presence just because you’ve given them a taste of how much their life sucks without you.
Although no contact is sometimes sold as a psychological trick to get partners to change their behavior or become more ‘attached,’ it should never be used to manipulate your partner into getting what you want.
It’s not a way to punish your partner
If you’re creating distance between yourself and a romantic partner to inflict pain or exercise control over a situation, this is a form of emotional abuse called silent treatment.
Consider seeking professional help for better ways to resolve conflict in your relationships.
When To Use No Contact
Although no contact isn’t a fix-all, it may be worth a shot if you find yourself in one of the following situations:
Your partner is toxic
As master manipulators, toxic partners are good at keeping their victims stuck in a vicious cycle of dysfunction. If your relationship has a history of sexual assault, domestic violence, or emotional abuse, no contact is the only way to protect yourself.
If you were dating a narcissist, you may also want to consider getting a restraining order and additional information about therapy.
Your partner is already in a relationship with someone else
It’s been months, perhaps even years, and you’ve been waiting for your partner to leave someone else to be with you.
It’s a terrible situation, but you’re invested, and it was never meant to last this long. Every time you break up with them, they promise to find the right time to deal with the situation.
Sadly, you tend to end up right back where you started. Needless to say, this is toxic partner territory. If you’re seeing a married man or someone in a committed relationship, no contact is the only way to escape their clutches.
You’re fed up, and breaking up is the only option
Perhaps your core beliefs about relationships are different. Maybe it’s been months, and they still won’t commit to you. You’ve tried everything - talking, negotiating, and pleading.
Despite that, your partner won’t address your concerns. In the end, breaking up becomes the only option, and using the no-contact rule will make moving on that much easier.
You need to create boundaries
It’s important to have boundaries that specify what you won’t tolerate and how you expect to be treated.
Good relationships are based on healthy boundaries and mutual respect. When a relationship becomes hostile, common with most breakups, no contact becomes a necessary protective measure.
You need to move on
One of the biggest mistakes you can make during a breakup is holding on to the past. This often looks like ‘seeking closure’ or trying to remain friends with an ex.
Wondering things like "does my ex think about me?," can keep you down in the dumps. No contact can help you heal and move on by diverting your focus away from your ex and the failed relationship.
When you commit to making a clean break, you can start pursuing new interests, meeting new people, and rediscovering what makes you happy.
A special case: getting your ex back after a breakup
After a series of colorful texts demanding ‘space,’ your partner has dropped off the face of the planet. You can’t seem to find them on social media.
You can’t reach them via text message, and their phone number has been disconnected. It’s day five, and at this point, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out you’ve been dumped.
All the dating advice suggests one thing - no contact. The no contact rule is supposed to show your ex that you’re confident and value their boundaries.
It's also meant to let your ex cool down and reflect on the breakup so that when you do reach out, they're more willing to hear you out. Give it enough time, the relationship coaches claim, and your ex will realize just how much they want you back and initiate contact.
There are a lot of claims about how the no contact rule is a magical way to get an ex back after a breakup. However, no contact is merely the first step. Getting back together with an ex requires more effort than simply ignoring them for a few weeks.
Although no contact was initially designed to help one make a clean break from a relationship, in some cases, it can help give a couple a fresh start.
How To Go No Contact
Although simple in theory, no contact is challenging in practice. How should you go about it?
Cut off all lines of communication
To ensure you don’t contact your ex, get rid of all their personal information on your devices. Delete their phone number so that it’s that much harder to give in to the compulsion to call them.
Block them off social media, so you don’t ‘accidentally’ see their posts. You don’t want to scroll through old conversations and suddenly feel the urge to reconnect. Scrub that inbox clean.
Change your phone number
You might have to change your phone number to avoid your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend’s constant calls. Just a word of advice, don’t use your new number to pretend you’re one of those pesky telemarketing calls just to hear their voice.
Avoid your ex at all costs
The temptation to run into your ex’s arms is something you don’t want to contend with. There’s a reason you fell for them in the first place, and you don’t want to be reminded of that during no contact.
Make a few changes to your routine if you risk bumping into your ex. Finding alternative places to hang out could be necessary. If you must visit familiar places, invite friends to help you create more positive memories.
Don’t obsess over your partner
The goal of no contact is to put as much physical, mental, and emotional distance as possible between yourself and your ex. Obsessing over what they had for lunch isn’t putting any mental space between you.
Rather than thinking about the past, occupy your mind with other thoughts like how you'll decimate that snack you love while watching your favorite TV show - positive vibes only.
Focus on yourself
The no-contact period is a fantastic time to prioritize your needs for a change. Work out to get those feel-good hormones going. Focus on nourishing your body and try to get good quality sleep. Self-isolation isn’t healthy. Make as much time as you can for your other relationships.
Don’t turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. Recognizing when you need help and having the guts to seek it are essential to self-care. If you’re experiencing crippling anxiety or depression after a breakup, seek professional help.
The Challenges Of No Contact
Going no contact can have you questioning your sanity. You're likely to face these challenges:
Resisting the urge to contact your ex
That coworker you loathe finally kissed something, you know, the floor, and you're itching to tell...oh wait, you can't. Arguably, the most challenging part of no contact is no longer having access to your ex.
They were a significant part of your life, and for a while, their absence will leave a void that nothing can seem to fill. Things like texting and calling your ex were habits, and habits are notoriously difficult to break.
Dealing with love withdrawal
Love is intoxicating. At a physiological level, the effect of being in love is akin to drug addiction, and, in this case, the drug is your ex. Many of the initial impacts of no contact can resemble the side effects of going cold turkey.
Resisting the impulse to check their social media
Let’s be honest; social media is a big part of our lives. The compulsion to Instastalk your ex’s will be strong, and avoiding their posts will be challenging, especially if you have mutual friends.
Not giving in to any of your ex’s attempts to contact you
Your ex might be persistent. They might try calling you or sending you text messages. They may even attempt to visit you at home or ambush you after work. Not allowing their efforts to sway you will be difficult.
How Long Should No Contact Last?
If you want to get your ex back and you're using no contact to give them space, anywhere between 21 and 30 days should be sufficient.
If you intend to move on, no contact should last indefinitely or until your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend contacts you and you decide to respond. Be cautious, mainly if you use no contact to end a toxic relationship. Just because your ex contacts you doesn't mean you have to respond.
Why Texting Your Ex After No Contact Is Usually A Bad Idea
All the time you’ve spent focusing on yourself is paying off, and you feel confident again. It's now evident that your previous relationship had pitfalls, and you have admitted your part in the breakup.
Finally, you're moving in the right direction and figuring out what you want from life. A simple text could:
Derail your progress
If your goal was to keep no contact up permanently and move on from your ex, caving and texting your ex could derail all your progress.
You’ll lose credibility with yourself, and all those strides you took in rebuilding your self-esteem could be damaged.
Bring back negative feelings
The negative feelings associated with the loss of a relationship can be debilitating. Breakups are complicated, and one desperate text could send you spiraling back into despair.
Create a cycle of toxic behavior
You reach out, and your ex says everything you want to hear. Sure, it’s an ego boost, but before you know it, you’re right back where you started: having your hundredth fight about why your partner is leaving heart-eye emojis in someone else's comment section.
Expose you to danger
A simple text message could give a toxic partner access to you again. Toxic partners are master manipulators and shouldn’t be allowed to remain on friendly terms with you. Confide in a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional if you’re dealing with regret over ending a toxic relationship.
Do not reach out to a toxic ex. At this stage, you should have changed all your contact information. Any attempts by your toxic ex to reach you should be met with an error message.
Sabotage a new relationship
Staying in contact with your ex can make it difficult to move on with your life. You are also less likely to feel satisfied in a new relationship if your ex is still hanging around.
Let’s be honest; a new romantic interest isn't going to feel desired or secure if you’re constantly on the phone texting your ex.
Is Texting Your Ex After No Contact Ever Appropriate?
We’re flawed human beings who don’t always make the best relationship choices. In the cases below, texting your ex after no contact may be appropriate.
Your ex broke up with you
Your ex ended the relationship and cut off all communication with you. You were devastated, and though it was hard, you respected their wishes.
If you’ve given your ex a reasonable amount of time to calm down and reflect, sending a text is an appropriate first step to getting the reconciliation process started.
You used no contact prematurely
Maybe after serious reflection, you’ve realized that you used no contact prematurely and that the problems in your relationship could’ve been resolved by having a serious conversation with your partner.
Sending a text could be the olive branch needed to return to speaking terms with your ex.
You used no contact for the wrong reasons
If you’ve used the no contact rule for any reason other than moving on from a breakup or escaping a toxic situation, it might be appropriate to send a text.
It might also be worthwhile to seek professional guidance on how to build and maintain healthy romantic relationships.
It’s a special case
Sometimes it’s just not possible to cut off all communication with an ex. If you work together or if children are involved, no contact will look a little different.
In special cases, the first text after no contact is an appropriate first step to salvage what’s left of the relationship and set the tone for future interactions.
What To Text
Before sending a text, consider what you hope to achieve by contacting your ex. Also, be prepared to deal with disappointment.
Understand that your ex may not be where you are yet. Try not to bombard them with texts if they don’t get back to you immediately. Remember, how you approach the first text determines if it will be possible for you and your ex to have future conversations.
A friendly, lighthearted text is usually a good way to see if your ex would be open to talking to you. If they respond, remember that texting isn’t a good way to solve serious problems. Instead, try to steer the conversation towards meeting in person.
You want communication to be as open as possible, and sometimes things can get lost in translation over text. Being able to see each other’s faces and read each other’s body language will ensure you have a far more meaningful discussion.
What Not To Text
It’s easy for words and intentions to be misunderstood via text. Texting has also become synonymous with toxic behaviors like emotional laziness.
If your goal is reconciliation, you want to communicate that you are being as sincere as possible. You don’t want your ex to think you are reaching out to them as an afterthought or to play mind games.
Ditch the low-effort one-word texts, as they are likely to be ignored. If reaching out to your ex is important, take the time to craft well-thought-out texts that are likely to lead to more meaningful interactions.
If things don’t go the way you want the first time, take some time to regroup. Resist the urge to force a response out of them. Don’t send rude, insulting, or threatening messages. Not only will this sour any possibility of reconciliation, but it could also land you in serious trouble for harassment.
So... what to text after no contact? Well, you guessed it, the long answer is still nothing.