No Contact Rule After a Breakup

Go no contactNo contact after a breakup, also known as the no contact rule, is advice routinely passed on to men going through a breakup in order to help them get started in their recovery process. I want to start off by saying that I am a big fan of the no contact rule, simply because it works.

The concept is simple: cease all forms of communication with your ex. Without exception. So no facebook, texting or social media stalking. What is the importance of no contact? And why does it work? I want to take a moment and address these questions and hopefully leave you with a better understanding of the importance of going NC.

Chances are, you’re going through a breakup and you’re having a hard time holding yourself together. Your emotions are running the show, your ex-girlfriend is acting like she’s never acted before, and you’re pretty sure you couldn’t be feeling any worse. You’re no longer together, but your heart, your body and your soul long for her. But every time you get in touch it ends up in disaster – you try to get her back and she pulls away further.

Perhaps she’s even giving you mixed signals, at times pushing you away and at times wanting you near. If all this is driving you crazy – know that it would drive anyone crazy.  In fact, repeatedly re-engaging your ex and suffering through the consequences is not sustainable strategy for you nor is it for anyone. There really isn’t a quick fix that applies here. What I can show you is the eject button. No contact is your way out of this mess.

(I couldn’t cover all there is to know about the no contact rule in this article. Save yourself time and needless suffering and get access to my best pieces of advice in my book: The Breakup Recovery Manual for Men.)

The Importance of No Contact

No contact is not about your ex-girlfriend, it is about you. It is not a weapon you can use to wage war with your ex nor does it magically inject happiness into your life. Your happiness is your own business. No contact is about reclaiming control and responsibility over that area of your life.

Your happiness is your own business. No contact is about reclaiming control and responsibility over that area of your life.

No contact is about accepting that you are no longer connected to your ex-girlfriend and letting go of the connection you once shared. How they respond or interpret your decision to sever communications is their business, not yours. No contact is not a statement. It is a stage one needs to go through and it is a process in and of itself.

No contact is not a statement. It is a stage one needs to go through and it is a process in and of itself.

No contact is about you deciding that you are going to take measures to no longer to get hurt by maintaining a relationship that hurts you more than it does you any good. It is about grabbing the steering wheel and taking back control over your li
fe.

Why The No Contact Rule Works

I often get the question “Does the no contact rule work?”.

The answer is, it depends what your goals are. Some guys haven’t reached their tipping point and are still holding on hope of reconciliation. Their goal is to get back with their ex girlfriends, and in that case, the no contact rule won’t help you.

If you’re committed to getting over your ex and you’ve decided that no one person is worth all this pain, then the no contact rule can work for you.

Now, no contact is hard. Let me warn you. It is super hard. It goes against your very nature not to turn to the person that you were so intimate with, when you are upset.

But you must realize, on a rational level, that further contact with them will cause more negative feelings and feed into a negative spiral. You have to realize: the very thing you used to rely on for comfort is now the source of discomfort.

No contact is so hard because your body is craving for interaction with your ex-girlfriend. But your body doesn’t “know” that the mode of interaction with your ex-girlfriend has changed. Your body doesn’t “know” that you’ve broken up.

By going no contact you will slowly but surely convince your brain that you and your ex are not getting back together.

The scientific explanation is that you’re feeling withdrawal symptoms to a love addiction. Researchers have identified similarities in the way love affects your brain to the way a cocaine addition does. In many cases, the same neural pathways are activated.

Love, however, can be a tremendously positive force in your life. But as soon as the love is not reciprocated, the addiction changes from a positive, constructive force, to a negative, destructive one. You are now, all of a sudden, an addict displaying some of the worst and most intense withdrawal symptoms, longing for another hit of the addictive substance: your ex girlfriend. Not surprisingly, the best thing to do is to abstain from the addictive substance.

Renowned anthropologist Helen Fisher did an experiment where the brain activity in recently dumped college students was monitored while they were given pictures of their exes to look at. Turn out viewing a picture would light up their brains like fireworks, eliciting a strong emotional response. This is what’s happening in your brain every single time you see, or hear about your ex – contacting her will likely elicit an even larger response.

Entering no contact creates silence, and silence is much better for the healing process – it doesn’t give you false hope.

“I’m afraid no contact will drive her away.”

If she really loves you, she’ll find a way to get in touch with you. No contact does nothing to drive someone further away. If anything taking something away from someone which they’ve always had may actually spark renewed interest.

“I don’t want to lose her as a friend.”

You can only be friends once you are no longer in love with her. Some couples can transition into friendship right away because the flame of romantic passion has died out already. It’s more likely that you still have feelings for her and thus it will be impossible to be friends. What’s more, you probably want to be friends because deep down you don’t feel ready to let go.

“I need to know why she broke up with me.”

You don’t need her for this. Often women aren’t able to accurately tell you why they’re breaking up with you and end coming up with some rationalization after the fact (which may not even be accurate!) The truth is we don’t chose who we fall in or out of love with, it just happens.

No Contact, But How Long?

(See my post how long to get over a breakup)

Going no contact forever is an incredibly daunting idea. How are you supposed to never talk to or see this other person again, when you still long for them? The answer is: start small. Go no contact for 30 days and observe how it changes the way you think, see and feel. Before no contact guys tend to have this irrational tunnel vision mentality where nothing else matters but her. You have become reliant on your ex girlfriend in some way, and by doing so you have divested an amount of your care and safety to her. That’s okay, it happened to all of us. But now is the time to reclaim those responsibilities.

At first it is terrifying and lonely, and you will be infused with the past. But as time goes by you will notice more things about the present.You might notice that you think about her when you’re tired, or sick. But the pain this time around has nothing to do with her. Anything painful will strike the same chord which was struck so violently when you broke up. But slowly you’ll come to understand that this new pain, has nothing to do with the old pain. It’s something in the present that concerns you, no longer what happened in the past.

A month of no contact can seem very daunting. Once you’ve completed 30 days, try another 30 days, or even go for a 60 day no contact rule. Don’t try to ‘never talk to her again’, the idea notion can be too intimidating and too painful right now. You need to approach this in segments, pushing yourself a little bit further every day.

And further down the road you will realize that you no longer think of her as your ex. Thinking of her that way implies ownership, whereas people we were involved with do not belong to us or own us. You don’t have an ex taxi driver any more than you have an ex girlfriend. You were driven by that taxi driver and involved with that woman.

This is what the no contact rule is all about. It’s about you calming down, recovering, feeling better and letting go that relationship. It’s about disassociating your current self from your previous self. This is just one more person you’ve met on your life journey, and you’ll meet many more. You undoubtedly had some extraordinary and memorable times together in which you touched each other’s hearts. Now don’t be sad it’s over – be happy it happened.

So the no contact rule is a process – a stage in your life. By deciding to stop the harmful process of maintaining contact with her, you have made a conscious and targeted decision to remove that stress from your life. You have decided to reclaim control over your own happiness. You give yourself space to accept what has happened, where you are now and to let go of the feelings that were holding you back. You have made the first step towards moving on.

And then you end up in the now, as a better, happier and more present version of yourself, ready and able to make more of your life. To identify things that make you happy and to go out and do them. So change your phone number, turn off Facebook, block emails and get rid of pictures. Get out of town, the country or the continent. Follow the  no contact rule diligently. And let me know how it goes!

What to do when you feel the urge to contact her

  1. Buy yourself some time. Can you postpone your urge by an hour? If that hour comes and passes, try postponing it again. Sometimes our emotions pull us in a certain direction with such force, that resisting it is not an option. Instead of resisting it, we can redirect it slightly; slow it down. Often when we’re successful at redirecting the urge, it loses its initial intensity and we can overcome to completely.
  2. Talk back to your urge
  3. Remind yourself of her negative traits
  4. Remind yourself of your negative engagement dance
  5. Change activities
  6. Call someone from your support network
  7. Write a letter (Without sending it!)

I Broke The No Contact Rule, Now What?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is: “How did the no contact rule get broken?” Did you let it get broken? Were you in fact disconnected from your ex girlfriend in all possible ways? Or was it easy for her to get in touch with you or send you a little text?

Even if it is your fault, you need to start off by forgiving yourself. You can’t change the past, so you must accept it, and re-initiate no contact. Make sure it’s fool proof this time. It’s best to delete her number, remove her from facebook and avoid ‘slippery’ activities such as viewing her facebook friends.

Make no mistake, breaking no contact will hurt and set you back. Here’s a story from a client:

The No Contact was the hardest. And I failed. I texted her. We met up.  At first it was magical. All those feelings.  It turned into a disaster pretty quick though. I felt like I was auditioning for my old job back. And I was turning into a door mat very quickly. Needless to say, it didn’t work. And we both knew it wouldn’t. What makes it hard is the I, probably like some men, care. And it’s hard to just walk away when you do.

No Contact Rule Success Stories

My favorite success story is from a guy that goes by the nickname “hunk” on the Loveshack breakup forums. According to him he struggled to get over his ex for over 2 years, maintaining no contact all that time. Then, after 4 years he gets a message and… well… read for yourself:

The ex that brought me to LS [Loveshack forums], some 4 years ago, has messaged me basically pouring her heart out. I was sitting at my desk writing a paper and my phone went off, I instantly recognized her number, even after 4 years. I have NO idea how she got it.

She’s spoken about how “we’ve both grown, how time apart and other relationships has made her realize what she wants out of life and out of a partner and that we were both young and neither of us had any idea what we were doing. She said she forgives me for being a lousy boyfriend and that the connection we had and feelings she has/had for me overrides any stupid mistakes either of us made in the past and that she can’t stop thinking about me and wants an adult relationship starting slowly if i’m willing to give it a shot. She said “Most of all I just miss talking to you. I haven’t connected with anyone like I did with you”. If I had received this message a few years ago I would’ve had a heart attack and thought I was dreaming.

She said not speaking for so long was extremely difficult and it felt like she’d completely lost someone she cared deeply for – translation = NC worked.

The real success story here isn’t her messaging me though. I don’t want her back anymore. I feel nothing for her. I honestly don’t care – translation = NC worked.

I won’t be responding to her message. I don’t even have it in me to write up a response of any sort because I just don’t care. I don’t think I’m even over the pain she inflicted on me, even after all these years. I am certain however I do not want a relationship with her ever again. I went through so much misery and pain over this girl, it consumed me for years and irreparably destroyed my perception of her as a person. I have no feelings left for her as I completely convinced myself we would never be back together, and I allowed myself to slowly view her as being gone, even dead.

I don’t want to inspire false hope here – the point of this post was to show that no contact is the indisputable best course of action post break up, and that time completely heals all wounds. I’m still in a bit of shock, I’ve only given myself a couple of hours to digest the message. It is mindblowing to compare the way I feel now receiving this to the way I would’ve felt ~3 years ago.

Here are some other no contact rule success stories:

It’s amazing but everyone was right when they said it would “get better with time”. Definitely No contact is the key, because otherwise you will keep cutting the wound open.

George from Alabama

Here’s what Dan from the UK had to say:

 

In these three months [of no contact] i realised that this woman treated me like dog**** and i let her get away with it to often. In reality i know i deserved better, but my thinking was cloudy as hell. The no contact rule was a blessing, it gave me time to realise that even if she re-initiated contact like i thought she would, there was no way i was going to take her back in any way.

 

Dan from the UK

This one’s from Ryan from CA:

4 months ago, my ex of almost 2.5 years and I broke up. We had lived together for almost a year. She was my first everything. Hug, kiss…. and more.

She always talked of marriage and children, and I had convinced myself that all I get is 1 shot, so no matter how bad it scared me to think of these things at 20 years old, and having been with no one else, I had to accept it.

Since we split, I’ve gone no contact and I’ve become millions of times better than the person I was. I realized that she did nothing to make me comfortable. She always created doubt in our relationship, always was super jealous if I went to hang out with friends, and generally dragged me down. I woke up feeling like crap every day.

In the last few months, I’ve really turned my world around. I no longer crave her. I don’t feel like I’m dragging myself out of bed anymore. I go to kickboxing class 5 nights a week, and I hang out with friends a lot. I’ve started reading a lot, and I’ve started writing again. I’ve met some girls and made new friends, and I’m just more productive overall. And, for the first time in my entire life, I FEEL CONFIDENT. I don’t find reasons to put myself down, or have to convince myself that things HAVE to be one way for someone, and not for me.

I don’t want her anymore. And that’s as successful of a story I can have.

Ryan from CA

Let me know if the no contact rule is working for you in the comments!

About Jesse

I've been helping guys recover from their breakups since 2012. Work with me to fast-track your recovery.

Comments

  1. My testimony is a true life story. My boyfriend and I have been dating for three years and we broke up. My affection for him never died because he was my first boyfriend. While my friend Stacy knew about my feelings for my boyfriend she silently searched for a spell caster who could help me get my ex boyfriend back to me. I never knew but one day she introduced me to him and i got to know him and as time goes on i began to feel the rush of my boyfriend’s presence around me and within 3 days, my boyfriend got back together with me. My testimony about how i got my ex back have gone viral in my school and many of my friends have had a contact with this spell caster. I will not post his email here because i do not know how private this spell caster is with his spirituality but if you are looking for someone to help you try and search for DOCTOR ODUNGA on the net and you will see his website and contact him. Thanks for your patience. I hope this helps you.

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  3. Abby Villalta says:

    Question? What if you have to see them (school, church) weekly. Ive been in no contact for 3 weeks , completly agree with the article. But i am missing class studies.

  4. My guy of 14 months and I had an argument. I came to realize I had no idea how he felt about me. He is dealing with a very stressful situation and had told me once that having to shut down emotions because of that meant he had to shut them down on everything. But I could not go on without knowing, so I asked him what he felt for me. He would not answer. He would not even say “yes” or “no” to whether he felt anything for me. This surprised me. He said he had told me but he had not. I sent him a message telling him I needed to know so I could make decisions about where to go with my life and that I would start dating again. He sent me a message saying he could not and would not deal with emotional issues about me or anyone else (he did assure me often there was no one else). Then he said he wanted no communication until he was ready to talk. He said he would not read or answer any messages sent to him or phoned. Yet, he has not blocked me. What’s up with this? Is he breaking up with me or is he thinking things over or is he waiting for me to come begging for him to come back?

    • Oh, I had broken up with him over this same issue at the 8 month mark, but after a couple of months came back and he seemed quite happy to have me back. When I came back I immediately told him I still loved him and asked if he was ok with this. He said yes. I told him twice more and he seemed happy. So, I don’t understand why he cannot just say how he feels about me once and let me relax with it. He wants to be loved but he doesn’t want to say he feels anything for me?

    • Some people aren’t able to channel their emotions or to talk about them. It’s reasonable to want that in a man in a relationship. Perhaps you’re hoping he’ll do something he’s unable to do. Perhaps this isn’t the guy for you.

  5. keerthivasu says:

    Hi…i was in true relationship with a girl..for nearly 3 month…..and now she brokeup with me….for a reason as she felt like iam compelling her…for evrythng….and last week she brokeup with me finally….ans she said she dont love me anymore …such things and all…

    Iam helpless now…i want her back in my life forever…..so please …advise me the tips to get her back…..for how long i should be in no contact with her…and few text message to get her back all in my life foever…….she is so hurted now…..and she is so stubborn charcacter too…..whatever desicion she takes that will be final…

    So please help me out

  6. I’ve been seeing a girl on and off for the past year and a half. We were official for two-three months or so of this in the first quarter of this time. We mutually decided the label didn’t suit us and decided to be friends, it then just turned into an open relationship. We were both going on dates with other people but still hanging out and sleeping together. The feelings always growing, albeit deeper than I even considered. August 2016, she meets a guy and they go on some dates. She tells me it’s not serious and I’m her main guy. I feel the same, I’ve still been dating other girls but she is my girl. The connection we have is unreal. We’re the same person, different gender. I’ve never felt closer to a girl and shes the only girl I’ve ever said ILY to.

    Fast forward to November 2016, and she tells me she is falling in love with this guy. It hits me and I get upset. I tell her we need to take a month NC. 12 days in she calls me and says she misses me and ends up coming over to stay the night (nothing happens) but feeling guilty about having stayed over. By now they are going out. December 2016, and she tells me she loves him. I’m still not okay with this and I’m channeling my inner feelings going on dates with other girls. We hang out one evening, get drunk and end up sleeping together. She feels bad about it.

    I finally realise what I’m on the brink of losing, so I lay all my cards on the table for her. She tells me she wants to give it a go with this guy but she doesn’t want to lose me as a best friend. I say she can’t have both, in regards to my feelings.

    I saw her just before NYE 2017 (last time) and then spoke on the phone after that. We have began NC for me to try get over her. It’s hit me like a ton of bricks. Crying mercilessly. I’ve taken her for granted for so long, and it kills me. Such a fool. Searching for something and I didn’t know how good I had it. It’s upset her and she questions why I never said any of this sooner.

    We are 21 days into NC and have made a meet up date of 20.03…I’m struggling. I question her relationship with this guy. She said she still has feelings for me but loves this guy more. I wonder if it’s just a case of me wanting something I can’t have, but then I don’t think it would’ve hurt this much if that was just the case. She told me she told him we slept together and apparently “He’s not happy about it, but he gets it” wtf is that?

    I have stopped drinking, started doing yoga, have a good support system, taking my job more seriously. Things are starting to work out. But I miss her tremendously and worry that if I don’t contact her at all til our arranged date that all her feelings for me will resign. Or, she finally realises she misses me and pulls the plug on this guy?

    I know I shouldn’t, but I am remaining hopeful. I’m hoping the two months NC will finally give me closure, allowing me to accept that she has moved on but there’s something deep down that says we aren’t over. Life sucks. Only got myself to blame for this one

    • Hey Pepys,

      This could be a case of the Romeo-and-Juliet effect where your love for this woman is amplified once you can no longer have her.

      What was going through your mind when you were in this open relationship together? Can you revisit those feelings? Those thoughts?

      You may find that yourself remembering the reasons you had for not pursuing this further.

  7. I have a quick question about the “no contact rule.” Does this no contact apply to just the ex, or does it include all of her family as well? My ex broke up with me and moved out about 2 months ago. We’ve talked maybe half a dozen times since then, but I still have great relationships with her parents and sisters. I’ve told all of them that we can quit speaking to each other if it creates an awkward situation, but they have all expressed that they still have love for me and that will continue to talk to me as we have. Now I do know that all of them want my ex and I to get back together and they don’t really know what she’s thinking, but that’s neither here nor there. Should I cut off all contact from her family as well or just continue with things the way they are?

    • Yes.

      That doesn’t mean you’ll never speak to them in your life.

      But right now it sounds like they would serve to remind you of your ex-girlfriend or inspire hope that you will get back together, and those are things that will set you back emotionally.

  8. OK – I am so confused and have nothing to lose at this point so any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am 58 and was engaged for 2 years after dating another 2 years, she was divorced and I was widowed. We were the couple everyone hated and I still believe that we are truly meant to be together, soulmates if ever a true concept? She broke up with me about 6 months ago and I still hold out hope that we will eventually end up back together. I try daily to honor my self imposed no contact rule, mainly because I know she needs the space and time to figure out what she wants going forward and nothing I can say will change that process. Anyway, in the last couple of weeks, she has contacted me several times and I am unable to not respond or start a dialogue, hoping to find out where she is and maybe what she is thinking. I know she misses me but she is still afraid to jump back in for fear of more pain should it not work out, my point is what if it does, how great would that be. I am an all in type of guy with her, first time in my life that I have been so totally in live and committed to someone and she was the same. When she contacts me, I am consistent in where I stand and what I want going forward, I just want her to know that I haven’t changed and am hoping the she might be having second thoughts. She knows that I am all in and she admits that it is totally unfair for her to be contacting me when she isn’t ready to jump back in fully, yet she still does text and I encourage it when we do speak. When we talk, I do confirm my feelings and do try to ask if she sees a way forward but she feels I am pressuring her and that I need to stop, she isn’t at that point and is scared to go in that direction for fear of more pain. I know this is totally unhealthy for me but can’t tell her to quit because I still know in my heart that we should be together and I think she knows it as well, I know she still loves me and she does tell me that she misses me. How should I handle all of these conflicting signals, they are driving me crazy and totally wreck me for a few days after we talk, yet I don’t want to ignore because she still loves and misses me and I truly believe there is still a chance we will end up together.

    • You’ve created your own chamber of suffering here, Steve.

      Basically you’re convinced that there’s hope – but reality keeps disappointing. That’s why you’re in pain.

      So either cultivate a feeling of being at peace with reality disappointing (e.g. never being with her) or give up hope.

      I suspect either would be difficult for you to do, because you sound very firm in your convictions. But this is, I believe, your dilemma. If none of your convictions is going to give way, you will continue to suffer.

  9. I am 38 years old female met a a guy on tinder 2 months ago he said he was 45 but later I found out he was 57. I was finishing school in another state so our relationship was long distance. He wen on vacation for 30 days and we had few argument. while he was there and trying to work things out he said he met a girl, 27 years old, that is what he always has dated. I told him move on. But after he came back he said likes me more and if the fights are over he is welling to work things out. one of the problems we had was that he was asking to be intimate as soon as we see each other and I said no. So another broke up. again he came back and while we were talking he gave me a hint about the girl and interest in having 3 sum (no way) SO without saying anything very nicely I hung up and went no contact for few days. he texted “where are you?” “you are strange” “I hope you are oK’ So I finally broke the No contact rule and said this was a true break up and please stop contacting me on whats app, viber,…. 2 hours later he send me a text saying that the girl was his soulmate and he is in love (just like before he said) and sent me pictures with her. And at the end he accused me of giving him empty promises and being fake. I just can’t understand what is his deal and what he wants from me (is it just sex that he was hoping to get now he is angry????)

  10. The no contact examples are all very skewed. Sometime people are still nice people, but you break up because of incompatibility where there are no bridges burned. These are the hardest examples of no contact…the end result isn’t always to relish that this person wasn’t the right one…sometimes it could have been the right person at the wrong term or the two just weren’t a fit. You have to get over it anyway.

  11. Hi Jesse,

    I just wanted to say that not only do you give very kind and supportive advice, but I really appreciate how mature you are. You don’t treat women like the “enemy” and you don’t spew vitriol or hatred or insults against them the way a lot of mens’ websites do (which really doesn’t help anything, it just messes up mens’ future relationships with women). It’s just a refreshingly civilized and grown up way to look at women and relationships. Thank you.

  12. TRULYFREENOW says:

    My partner of 10 years left me for someone else. Yep! Said they were just friends then BAM! Anyway the truth that gave me the most freedom was excepting that I was entirely responsible. I could tell they weren’t happy & struggled to express their emotions. Knowing what I know now, I should have pulled the pin years earlier. Instead I traded Freedom for comfort & paid the ultimate price.
    Through counselling, I realised I needed someone completely different. Someone who knows what they want & how they feel & be able to express it. I’m relieved it ended ‘when’ it did, however humiliaiting & painful. One thing that has saved me is to NEVER look at their Facebook page….EVER! We share dogs & do everything by email only.

  13. I have a question my ex and I had a break up. He has baby mama issues and it affected us and he saw it was bothering me. He dumped me until he had stuff handled. Then break up was bad and I acted like a high schooler. One day he started talking to me again but he was very cold and distant and said he wanted to work things out and get back to what we had. Things went down hill and he changed his mind. Pretty much said he doesn’t see us being exclusive in the cards right now but he never will say never about us. When trying work things out I saw the old him come out when he came to see me. We were best friend and very close until the break up and he completely pushed me away. We fought the last time we talked I was so upset. He stopped talked to me cause I told him I couldn’t handle staying friends and if he wanted me to move on to disappear from my life. I sent an email apologizing for our fight and the mean things I said and wished him good luck with his stuff. So my question is does the no contact work on situations like mine. Where he has already cut me off? This is a guy who proved everyday how much I meant to him and how he never wanted a life without me. We had an amazing connection. Just could use some good advice on this no contact rule and if my situation still fits into it. I have done anything since the email.

  14. Hi All

    Just reading your posts. I’m 2 months into a separation with my wife and have only recently applied minimal contact as we have 1 son together. It has been a very difficult first 2 months as I was holding onto hope, but as of 3 days ago I have given up “most” hope and need to move on.

    Dont know how to erase the tiniest hope that I have left, i struggled in the first 2 months as there was flirting, making jealous, hugs, random phone calls, sometimes she suggest this is all so sad, but all in all she says she is happy and ok.

    I still need to speak with her and pop past or meet to see my son?
    Its so hard, how can I apply the bare minimum contact?
    In our conversations I have shown no interest in where shes going or with whom, I try to keep it purely about our son and the finances.

    Any suggestions ?

    Thanks

  15. pinaymix1971 says:

    I’ve read most of the posts here, as I am currently in an NC situation right now. It is very difficult but the best remedy I found every time I feel like breaking the NC rule is to immediately do something else! If I feel like calling him in the middle of the night, I just get my trainers and go running instead, until I get so exhausted that when I return home, I just have enough power to shower and fall asleep. If I’m at work and I get into that impulsive ‘damn-I-don’t-care-what-happens-next’ mode, I push myself to go to the Accounting Dept instead and ask about files that will take long for them to give to me, or talk to my boss about some issues at work… anything to divert me from that moment of weakness. Once I think of him and my fingers start fidgeting whether to call him or send him an email, I just go out of my apartment, do something else that needs my full mental (and physical) attention. Hugs, everyone.

  16. Well I’m on day 2 of No Contact after my girlfriend of 7 years dumped me for the second time in a year.

    She was my first love when we were kids and we reconnected 7 years ago after I left a long term relationship and she then left her husband and children to be with me.

    During the first years together things were very difficult as her ex husband made (and still does make) it very hard for her to see her children, and I was missing my family and ex partner a lot and there was a chance I’d go back home.

    Last year things were hard between us and we drifted apart, but were still going out (at least I thought we were), only to find out that she’d quietly given up on us, slept with two other men (one whilst I was critically ill in hospital), and then had begun dating a 3rd guy and refused to see me!

    If this wasn’t bad enough, I’d managed to get myself in serious trouble with the police, doing something to try and help her (something she told me explicitly not to do), but the stress of this situation and the impact it would have on us and out families was huge.

    She’d decided on her own to give up on us, despite agreeing that were are meant for each other, we’re soul mates and I’m the only guy she’s ever truly loved.

    After several months of absolute torture and feeling suicidal I’d had enough. I made all the begging/pleading mistakes and finally left town for a week between Christmas and New Years (I’d found where this guy she was seeing lived, and found her in bed with him on Boxing day – after she’d promised not to sleep at his house if I’d not date anyone so she could have time to think about out relationship…sucker I know…)

    On New years eve she contacted me saying we had to talk, so I rushed back to town, where she confessed to sleeping with these other men but said she loved me and wanted to try again and had just dumped this other guy – I said I’d forgive her and said yes.

    The next morning so text me and told me she couldn’t be with anyone right now and wanted to just be there for her kids – I went straight into a furious/heartbroken no contact phase.

    After a couple of months we began talking again and she got back with me, saying she’d decided she wanted to be with me for good and we began planning our wedding (something she dreamed of since we were kids).

    The only downside was the looming police issue (they’d kept me on bail for 2 years at this point with no idea how bad the punishment might be).

    So, we come to now – I’ve been to court once and it’s looking like I might get 3 years (serving 1 1/2 inside) – I’ll find out in december.

    The court appearance was reported in the newspaper which her ex husband saw and went mental, accusing her of being an awful mother for letting her children near a criminal etc… The pressure of possibly being apart from me for 18 months and the crap she’s getting from her ex was enough for her to leave me again last week – I was devastated.

    This is the toughest time of my life and I need her more than I ever have, but she’s not being strong enough to stick it out with me, despite constantly telling me how much she loves me. The wedding plans are ruined, I have an £800 engagement ring I can’t return and I miss her so much I’m suicidal again – all this on top of the prospect of prison.

    I’m a good man, I hurt no one, just did something really stupid trying to help her get over something awful and now I’ve lost her.

    I can’t help feeling that if she truly loved me she’d stand by me even through this – isn’t that what true love is all about??

    So after a week of her refusing to see me but wanting to call and text every day to chat, I’ve had enough – I’ve stopped responding to her texts and she sent me one saying ‘Guess you don’t want to talk to me right now, I’ll wait for you to contact me. I love you xx’ – I didn’t reply.

    I love her more than anything despite how she’s treated me and would have her back in heartbeat – we had such a good future ahead despite prison. I know the police thing is all my fault but the person who wanted to marry me should stand by me right or am I asking too much?

  17. Hi Jesse,

    it’s my 2nd day of no contact period.

    the last time we met, that was 4 days ago. he told me to move on.

    we had a very bad argument.. when i told him “you’re not in love with me anyway”

    he was angry and said “wtf? me? not in love?” he totally lost it..

    the thing is if he really loves me why is he pushing me away?

    2days after. he sent me chats telling he’s depressed because the girl he’s courting dumped him.. I was really crying at that time. i decided to block him in facebook and deleted ALL our photos in facebook and instagram…

    then yesterday.. he sent me chats in hangouts asking me why i’m hiding from him.. i totally ignored him.. then i decided to block him in hangouts as well.

    the thing is… is blocking a bad thing?

  18. Appreciate this article. I am having my own troubles, where I have a forced no contact situation with my wife, the forced nature makes it easier in some ways to stick to, but the no contact is still difficult – I still hold hopes of restoring out relationship, especially given we have 2 young children to guide through life, and that she has assured me she has no intention to divorce (and I believe this based on her moral compass/faith).
    But this article helped me get some perspective on how I too need to heal from the hurt we’ve caused each other.
    Thanks
    (Any suggestions on dealing with no contact but with the possible resolution would be interesting reading, if indeed it should be a thing!!)
    MVB

  19. Matt Lancer says:

    Hi Jesse,
    My ex broke up with me 5 weeks ago. we were together for 2.5 years. It wasnt the most amazing of relationships in that we didnt see much of each other because of her busy schedule and hadnt moved in together. We did enjoy each other when we did meet up and were very close when that happened. In the last year she changed and looking at it now we became incompatible in ways because of her decisions she was making in her life.

    The next day after she told me I emailed her looking for more answers etc. we swapped some emails and then I initiated NC for 4 weeks. It was very hard and i did have some slip ups where I viewed her FB once and viewed her friends FB pages and then I was re-reading the emails we had swapped. I stopped all that too and made myself avoid anything related to her. I did send one txt but that was too keep some of my stuff I had left in her place but that was it. I’m on week 5 now and looking to continue with NC for another 4 weeks. I had heard off her friend that she had wanted to contact me and she was feeling terrible about the break up but I didn’t get any contact. Part of me is hoping she will so I can feel like I am in control again but I shouldnt be worried if she does it not. This should be all about me now. I shouldnt want to be with someone who has changed from the girl I once knew.

    There is a part of me that has been wanting to meet her and express my views on the relationship because I didnt do that when she broke up with me and the emails were all about her view on it and her explanations, some of which I didnt agree with but I never said this. I have been ruminating about this in that I wasnt real to myself or her and I let her explanations be made over emails which is very impersonal looking back now. There is something inside me saying I need to have a very open face to face conversation with her about my perspective on the relationship. Im not sure if this is just my subconcious wanting to see her again or wanting to convince her that her explanations werent fully true because they werent but I also feel this talk may end some of my ruminations and it will help me move on. Then there is also the things I read that if I do this I will look weak in her eyes and will push her further away and the possibility of being friends down the line will be damaged. For now I think I need to wait longer and work on myself till I balance myself out. Maybe a few weeks or months down the line I wont want that talk but if its still there I might have to do it.

    Any advice for me on this?

  20. Matthew says:

    HI looking for some input, me and my girlfriend who been together 14 months lived together literally 12 of those months (yep quick I know) literally did everything together but we haven’t literally in the last month split due to her deciding to follow her dream to move to Oz , since the split she has come across like it doesn’t bother her and keeps asking for space , Whilst I don’t like the fact she is going I get this decision maybe hard for her but whilst she can focus on the reason for the split it feels like I’ve lost my wing man .
    As a result of her needing space I’ve done the NC approach in a way of me trying to accept the decision but is proving hard as I want to just see how she is but knowing this will cause me more pain
    Whilst she doesn’t leave for Oz until December and may return in June it could be a year down the line before things are known.
    She has openly admitted to being open to a discussion of getting back together if she returns but it’s feel I’ll be holding onto something which is no guarantee.
    I know I must except the relationship is now over and let her look forward to her decision but how can I refocus ?
    If I use NC chances are she will not resume the relationship later down the line but if I keep friends I literally am stuck in her shadow?
    Better to love and forget I know but feel this year will continue to always be about her and the what if.
    I’m confused

  21. No contact is simple. It is the only way to get rid of someone for good. Some people just don’t get it and they keep calling, texting etc. WTF is that? I suppose I cant imagine pining for someone to the point that I would compromise myself. When its over its over people….just walk.

  22. Michael says:

    Does making Facebook status updates about stuff count as contact? I don’t make them about her or anything but I’m sure she sees them. We’ve been no contact for a week and I want her back 🙁 but I know I have to be strong

  23. hi dear Jesse,

    it’s me rundi… am soo much thankful of this your artcle i found so hard to browse every rules in the internet how to deal with my miserable life that i was dumped by my girlfriend, it’s about 4-months now am trying hard to looked for coaches an advise to make my self initiate and grown for recovery.. i was always being OBSSESED all the time everytime i think of her, we’ve been for 6-years, all those years we’ve been together HELP her Financially, Education, LOve, Sex, Oneness, and compromises she made.. but what she did is all BETRAYAL, until i suspected she’s having a multiple relationship with a another Guy, to cut short i suffered Hell, goin’ Run after her, it was a real nightmare, until i’ve learned about the NO CONTACT RULE just a few 4-weeks ago and implied myself but a breaking dawn comes after 2-weeks ago She my Girlfriend Text Me and asked for a HELP re: her Clearances that i have to follow up to the company where she works before our break up, and my heart felt soften so i did Help her but everytime she’s coming with me she’s goin’ insane and wld shouting and can’t never touched her even in my car as i drive, she used to bang every piece of the door’s car, and wanted to come out… the 2nd attempt She did is that She cried for another HELP that she is suffering a UTI- infection that she can’t urinate, and i had another fall and Trap again, i brought her to shopping and bought her medicines… after she made that easy for me, as she got home and completely bought everything she need, again “SHE NEVER TEXT OR MEET ME AGAIN”.. I Text her just yesterday sunday but she just Replied Short Messages Like: OK, NXT TIME, NO…. i was again obssesed expecting more if she’ll be with me for awhile, but she never answers or reply anymore, but why.. She still used to kept texting me On and Off…. so till this Page of your NO CONTACT RULE i was awaken and have decided to fill the said RULE, no matter she may have to… i’ll kept on to ignore whatever consequences may she get over me, let me become SAD but No Longer to SUFFER, She Will SUFFER Not ME…. thank you jesse, please let me know more things to do, i don’t understand if she have move on or Really Flirting me? Thank you for now and i’ll wait for your great advise, all the best!

    • She’s not. Women will always “ping” you to see how you will react. If you react emotionally, or in a needy manner, she’ll be turned off and it will reaffirm her decision of breaking up with you.

      If you do not react emotionally, or do not react at all, she might try again, and try harder. So you need to be strong.

      She’s not flirting with you. It’s her way of figuring out where she stands by gauging how needy you are.

  24. I don’t know but adhering to the No Contact Rule has been pretty easy for me. I really don’t even want to talk to my ex after she broke up with me. What I did is make a list of all the terrible things she said and did to me during our break. And I look over the list periodically. My pride is also preventing me from reaching out to her. Since I’ve implemented NC 10 days ago, she has contacted me twice. Once to tell me she was admitted to the hospital. I did respond to that text asking how she was and telling her I hope she felt better, and another time a few days later asking me how I’m doing. I didn’t reply to that message. I’m finding that without any contact from her, I am able to have a little more focus on my current situation. It has also forced me to seek out other people to talk to. While my ex was my only support while we were together, I have been successful in building one hell of a support system in her absence. They are the ones who are really getting me through this. If you want to break free from your emotional chains, you must find your own motivation to adhere to NC. You will be fast on your way to recovery.

    • pinaymix1971 says:

      I agree. I always make a list of the negative things that happened during the relationship and what would happen if I return to him. Sometimes both people do something to damage the relationship, but sometimes, it’s really just about one person making too many mistakes in the relationship. And the person who calls it off had better think twice before doing so. I’m a woman and I never break up unless I’m positively sure that’s what I really want to do. So if the guy calls it quits with me, it doesn’t matter if it takes him 2 days, 10 months, or years to contact me again. Happiness is a choice and no-contact is a surefire way of claiming your own happiness. The heart is a very resilient body organ. Everything gets better in time.

  25. Hello Jesse:

    Thanks for this blog for lack of a better word. I have just broke up with my girlfriend of over a year and a half. Much of that time was spent living together. I have been through relationships before and really thought this was the one. However, it was not it seems. The last fight, turned out physical, she attacked and bloodied me. I could not believe it. The venom and anger that welled up. Not the first time she had punched, slapped, etc…I have never and would never with any woman raise my hand. On top of that the things that were said to me by her were some of the most hateful and cruel things anyone could say to anyone. Hurt is what I am to put it mildly. I told her to leave and she eventually did and now has taken all of her stuff except for a few nick knacks and the puppy dog….that she said she wanted….still here…and she has not made mention of getting her….I dunno…but it is a constant reminder of her. However, the dog is not going out on the street. But I wonder if in some weird way that I am violating the no contact rule by having the dog here. I do not want to call and say what is up with our pet….and break the no contact rule.

    I am in day two…..it is rough….I am numb…..heartbroken….and empty inside right now….the house is more empty than it ever has been because her presence is not here. I cannot even think of 30 day time frame….I am going to go day-by-day. Like an addict that it sounds like i am with her. Tomorrow will be day 3. That is all I can promise for now. I will be diligent in no contact….but there is some unresolved issues that are needed still….mainly the pet. I know she will make contact about that…and I do not know how I will respond. I need support. This little community here will be a part of it…and rereading the blog. Thanks. Moving forward….hopefully.

  26. I think this article and the above quoted comments are pretty cruel. I understand coming to this point after trying to fix a relationship that was clearly not working and unhealthy, however to just jump ship and go no contact is very immature and shows no personal development. Relationships aren’t about power plays, its about love. So obviously the quoted comments show 2 persons who were more concerned with power and their own feelings than with caring for their relationships. It is too bad and I wish everyone the best, but one cannot achieve a healthy loving and fruitful relationship with the attitudes shown

    • Derek Taylor says:

      Hmm MARY!
      I understand how saint your thoughts are about this, but then again if you haven’t experienced what most of us here had, wait till your lil love puppy becomes a sudden lion who roars at you when you even plead for a comeback and trust me. you’d be the first to want to jump out of the ship to save yourself and recuperate your bleeding heart because the more you try the more you get coldly and harshly rejected. you hear the only woman you loved so much go like; Derek”(what happened to darling or babe)” I don’t think I can do this anymore, so pls stop calling me”
      It’s definitely an experience you’d rather be dead than hear from a woman you love.
      We Have to matter to yourself just as our ex lovers, because the very fact that they broke it off stands to reason that it’s a decision they made solely for and about themselves, so what’s cruel about taking a month or two to do same as you evaluate yourself too.

  27. Zachery Dominguez says:

    Hi Jesse,

    Thanks for this wonderful post, I’ve always known that the only way to move on is by severing any forms of contact with my ex, but this nailed it… this article’s much more sensible, and it made me reaffirm my move.

    God bless you!

  28. In the middle of this and its hard. We were together for 5 year and lived together for 4 years. We moved in together when I was 22 and I feel like I don’t know how to be an adult without her. We broke up 10 days ago fwiw.

    After the break up, I took off and drove half way across the US to go visit some old friends and come to terms with what had happened. When I got back she had changed the locks on our apartment with my stuff in it.

    Now initially I had said that I would not leave the apartment, (she doesn’t work, I have a job) but during my trip I realized it wasn;t worth fighting over. However, she utilized her father’s position as a county judge to have a restraining order filed against despite the fact that i was 1,800 miles away and had ceased all communication following a couples therapy session via phone the day after I left on my trip (I was mentally unstable and had threatened self-harm in the past but never threatened her). Luckily, just 10 days away from that toxic relationship I already am starting to feel like myself again.

    Until yesterday, my father had contacted my old roommate (she still lives with X) to schedule a time to move my stuff out of the apartment. So many feeling’s came rushing back. I realized i have to go NC with both of them as soon as the move is complete. And requested that they stay away from my new neighborhood for at least 6 motnhs (they of course did not agree, but I cn’t change what they do). I also asked that communication be ceased for 6 months between roommate and myself. She wanted to stay in communication so that they could tell me when they would be in the neighborhood. I said I can not communicate with you t all. Please respect my space so that I can start to heal!! Not sure how this will go but I am proud of myself for standing up for what I think is right. roommates e-mil is now blocked and she has been blocked on facebook, IG everything. I dont want x knowing anything about my life and I dont want to know anything about her life (even if I think I do when I have moments of weakness). I have told my friends to actively prevent me from doing anything stupid, even if i have to be restrained. lol.

    Sorry for the wall of text, but I am writing this as many times as possible, because venting my feelings is helping me let the anger, saddness and loss go free. I know that my resolve is not perfect, but I do feel I just want to move on with my life no matter how many days I have to live until that is possible. I have been reading this website like it is crack, so many good ideas and philosphies on here. I have accepted all of the things I did wrong and I am beginning to stop caring about the wrongs I feel were done to me. I will never get validation from her so why worry about it!!!

    Thanks again fro maintaining this great resource. Its good to have a website focused on the males perspective, because I don’t want to suffer silently any more! Thanks for being here and I will continue to support your site while I work on moving on with a life of my own!

  29. Broke up with bf of two years for about 4 months now; have remained talking ever since break up coz we decided to remain as friends. He has a gf but I still miss him and want him back, sometimes wonder if he misses me.
    Will the no communication rule still work in this instance especially when we have been communicating for four months after our break up?

    Secondly if the NC rule can still be applied how should I break off the communication? Should I give a reason or just zone out?

    • Hey Ak,

      The NC is for you, it’s for you to regain control over your life if you’re at the whims of your emotions and your attachment to another person. So yes, it will still work for you.

      Whether to zone out or give a reason is entirely up to you. Both your questions are framed with your ex in mind. There seems to be an undercurrent of “what will he think?” in them. The whole point is making a decision for YOU.

  30. Hi Jesse, this is really interesting! I didn’t read about the ‘no contact’ anywhere…I just decided to try it out of desperation since I felt like committing suicide because I couldn’t talk to anyone about my situation. I was involved with a married man who was very attentive towards me. We did many wonderful things together, there are so many memories but the hardest part is that I still have fond memories of him. A lot. How I found out he had yet someone else is that he sent text messages to me in error and couldn’t cover it up except to say that I was acting like a child and I should behave. Mind you, I was very calm about it because it happened before and I brushed it off. I noticed other things too that indicated that he had yet another woman in his life but he always found some way to turn the tables on me…yes, I was an addicted fool in love. I decided to end it…the incidents caused too much pain. I always allowed him to wean me back so I just went cold turkey one day. That was it. I blocked him off from EVERYTHING! I decided that I was not ever letting anyone have the control over me again. It’s very hard, I am doing lots of things to occupy my time but when I lay in by bed at night, the demons come out. Sometimes I would think of something wonderful that we did and feel like texting or unblocking him, but I hold it back. It has only been one week. I miss him so but I know it could only get better and one day I would be healed. I know he is planning to come to my country soon and he will seek me out (it happened before) and I pray that I would be strong enough to resist when he comes. Thank you for your article, It feels good sharing this with others and knowing that I am not alone. God bless!

  31. I got dumped by my girlfriend two weeks ago. I found out she had been sexting with some guy on Facebook and the night I found out I met her and she said she didnt love me anymore. We had just moved to a new country and she had some problems with her self-esteem and how to be confident at her new workplace. We had been together for 5 years and are both very young, she is 22 and I am 24. I was also her first boyfriend and first relationship.

    After the breakup I had to stay in the apartment for two days. Those nights after work we both kissed and hugged and comforted eachother. Right before I left for the airplane we had sex. Just before I left for the airplane she cried and was really upset. She is now alone in that country. First days after I was really needy and told her I had to talk, I think mainly because I thought it would lead to she would understand her misstake.

    When I got home which was a thursday I wrote to her after been drinking saying we had to talk and all that. She said she wanted to but couldn’t and she had to have space and when she finally the following sunday said it was over and she was sorry I started NC. The following friday she wrote to me sounding really guilty. She said she was sorry and shoulnd’t write but just had to hear how I was feeling etcetera, she said she still felt the same as she did but like I was just away on vacation and would come home, even though she didnt want me to.

    I hesitated on replying but the monday that came I told her really simply “Don’t worry about me all is fine, I hope you are doing ok at work and have a nice week”. She didn’t reply to that and when my landlord sent me an e-mail today two weeks after I simply copy pasted the e-mail and sent it to her. She does this weird thing where she reads the message and then makes it “unread”. I don’t understand what she is doing if she’s only playing games with me or what

    I feel as if I broke the NC but im not sure. Should I follow the NC even if she writes to me or should I write back? I still have this “hope” that things will be okay but I think that it only sets me back. We have agreed on that we would talk when things settle down but now I only feel like I don’t want to anymore – because I would only open my wounds again. What are your thoughts on this?

  32. ANOTHER CHALLENGE says:

    SO WHAT AM I DOING WRONG??

    I’m more or less on day 60 of NC. If you read my past posts you’ll see how much effort I’ve put into focusing on myself, improving my life without her, accepting she’s gone, and STRICT NC.

    Yet here I am 2 months later and have just experienced a week of the most raging jealousy, hate, anguish and pain I have felt since the 1st week she left me.

    I cant say what triggered it, actually I was doing well for 2-3 weeks and even got myself on a good 4-5 day run without even thinking about her much. In summary:
    – Strict NC
    – I go to gym everyday
    – I have found an amazing support group of guy friends who I now regularly go out with
    – I eat healthy – no drugs or alcohol too
    – I’ve thrown out every single item that belonged to her/us
    – Blocked her numbers and changed the locks
    – Accepted 3 or 4 times over (all times were equally as hard) the fact she is gone. Each time I accepted it I focused on her moving on and cried for hours, realizing the fact and digesting it.
    – Found meditation and now meditate daily
    – Read many books on improving optimism, psychology of a break up etc, practiced techniques daily.
    – Even found a gorgeous rebound girl for intimacy (only recently, and I dont put any stock in this at all)
    – Basically I’ve been doing everything Im meant to be doing apparently.

    Yet here I am 2 months in, and still occasionally find myself listening to hear if she is at the door, or waiting for that call or letter in the mailbox saying how much she realizes she made a mistake. I regularly get pangs of jealousy thinking shes with other guys. I regularly get hurt and feelings of abandonment knowing she consciously decided to leave me, without giving it a chance or second thought. I feel constant hate that she left me when my dad was dying, and in 2 months hasnt even asked how he is.

    2 weeks ago I did get a text from another number (not hers) but I’m sure it was her saying “Can I come and pick up my stuff from your house?”. OK maybe this had some affect on me but would it really make me regress all the way back to square 1? Obviously I didnt respond.

    Seriously, I dont know how you guys do it. It’s not working for me and I’m sick and tired of feeling this for a person who I know wants nothing to do with me. How do you turn off the hurt???

    • How are you now? I read your story. I feel for you. I see the biggest problem for you and for many is that instead of looking from our side how to move on, we are looking at how they have moved on. I have that problem too. It’s hard not to think of what she is doing or how she is doing without you, but we do. When the focus is on us and not them, the battle is more manageable. The jealousy is just too difficult to handle. Your situation is unique because you associate your entire aboard experience with her. Obviously you love(d) her. Ever thought about taking a break from where you are for a long time, moving to a different home, or something like that so to not be reminded of her? I think that would help. You tried so hard and for so long. Something new need to be tried. 2 months of hell! I hope it ends soon! Hang in there man, I hope it gets better.

      • another challenge says:

        Hi Rick, thanks for the thought and the reply.

        I guess I have good days and bad days. That last post was written after a series of really bad days, so I guess to balance it out I can say there are certain days where the pain is numbed well enough to just focus on living.

        You are right that the key is to focus on myself and not what she’s doing. It’s just so hard though. It’s something you have to force yourself to do over and over again, I wish sometimes life would just flow a little easier so that you are not forcing yourself to focus on you and not think about her – rather life just doing it naturally.

        As for your suggestion to get outta town, well its not quite that easy for me due to my job (which I actually really like) although the long term plan is to do exactly that.

        Thanks again for the support, we all need it during these times. I’ll post again if I have any major breakthroughs.. as of now it’s about 70 days NC and ups and downs remain – with A LOT of downs..

    • you have to forgive her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it will stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • ANOTHER CHALLENGE says:

        honestly, I dont know how to start to forgive her. I am having enough of a hard time trying to forgive myself for the mistakes I made in the relationship.

    • Hey man,

      First of all, I think you’re doing great. You’re doing the right things, and pro-actively going through your recovery. You’re going NC, you’re exercising and you’re making use of your support network. There aren’t any more “things” you can do to “turn off the hurt”.

      What you need is to change your mindset.

      This pain you’re feeling, it’s not coming from her. It’s not something you should want to stop or block. It’s an expression of sadness that’s coming from within yourself. You don’t fight it, or try and turn it off. You embrace it as part of yourself, as evidence that you loved and lost, as scar tissue that you will wear with pride.

      What happened to you is very sad. It is sad that she left you at such a vulnerable time in your life. And it is sad to hear that you expected more compassion from her side but were let down.

      In your place I would be very sad for a very long time.

      It seems to me that your problem is not sadness – it’s suffering. You tell me you’ve cried and accepted that she’s gone. But you’re not accepting that you’re tired of being sad. You’re not accepting that you’d wish this was over but it obviously isn’t. You aren’t accepting that you’re mad at her, but really just wanted to see some compassion from her, but know you’ll likely never get it.

      Accepting the pain doesn’t result in the absence of pain, it only stops the cycle of suffering you’re putting yourself through.

      • More and More says:

        I love your outlook on the NC rule ,Jesse. And I totally get it. And its something I am going to try to let go of the hurt and suffering I have endured, by being in a casual (one-sided) relationship, where I had more feelings than he did for me.
        But, my one question is should I bloke his number on my phone, facebook, etc. Not having that as means of my contacting him would help me, with not being able to contact him, even at my hardest points. Is that the course of action I should I do?

        Thank you for your help!

  33. Dirce Ries says:

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  34. Having support from your family over the phone is great. Having friends you can open up with in real life, is even better.

    What would really help you in this situation is becoming a more social person.

    Us guys tend to isolate ourselves when something painful and intense happens. We retreat to our proverbial caves.

    You’ll find that if you make a conscious effort to do the opposite: become engaging and social. Your entire perspective will shift. Interacting with others will replenish your mental stamina. But you need to get yourself to that point.

    I advocate building positive momentum. Start with small positive, constructive habits. Exercising, journaling, doing things you’ve always wanted to do. Get into the habit of doing things you know you should be doing and let being more social be one of them. Phone calls with your mom is not enough.

  35. ANOTHER CHALLENGE says:

    Hi Jesse & everyone, I wanted to share an update. You will see in my above posts I was cut coldly from a 2.5 year relationship.

    Today marks 3 weeks, or 21 days, of pure NC. After the 2nd week I even took some extra steps of blocking her phone number, then deleting all her contact details, throwing out the rest of her stuff in the house, and also changing the locks cause she never gave back the key.

    The truth is she is long gone, probably will never try to contact me again (let alone let herself into the apartment) and probably is already way over me (considering it was a month ago she told me she had fallen out of love with me). So all of the above has been about giving power back to MYSELF rather than trying to close the door to her – there’s no door because she’s not even looking to come knocking, I’m sure of it.

    The last 3 weeks have been hard, very hard. Here are some thoughts in no particular order:
    – I read somewhere that progress should be measured in weeks rather than days, and it’s been true for my case. Day to day I don’t feel too different but if I look back say 2 weeks ago I would say I have made some improvement, even if it’s marginal.
    – I don’t think acceptance has been a one-off thing. I thought I had accepted things in week 2, only to find I had hope she would come back again in week 3 (fantasizing about her being at the apartment when I got home, etc), and having to accept things all over again. Very painful and I hope this acceptance thing will stick in the near future.
    – I have been eating well, and going to the gym almost every day, but it’s hard to say that these have any real impact on my mood. It’s hard to say because I dont have a control to know what I would feel like if I didn’t do these things. Good eating and gym alone haven’t been able to allow me to fully control the rumination, jealousy when I think of her with someone else, suffering self blame for how I handled the relationship, grief, loneliness and generally missing her.
    – I’ve found one of the best ways to stop the rumination is the ABCDE technique used in Learned Optimism (get the book by Seligman). I am actively trying to apply this to my rumination whenever I get thoughts of ‘I’ll never get someone as beautiful as her again’ or ‘I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life’. I’m 1 week in and it seems to be working, but I still get bouts of rumination that are very hard to disperse.
    – I go through severe ups and downs. I’d say over the past 3 weeks, I’ve had 1.5 days a week where I feel OK about the breakup – and I think lucky I found out now that she doesn’t really love me, otherwise a few years down the track it may be far worse. The rest of the time I have to admit I feel pretty miserable.
    – One of the worst down periods I had over the past 3 weeks was when I read the book Attached (Levine & Heller). It was super painful because it was like reading a carbon copy of how I acted sometimes in the relationship. By their measure I am both avoidant and anxiously attached, and my ex was a combination of secure and anxiously attached. I guess the pain in reading this came from the fact that (1) I probably had more problems than her (although this is debatable) and (2) there seemed to be techniques to avoid the errors I made as a result of being this type of character – and I immediately thought ‘if only I knew of these techniques BEFORE the relationship came to a bitter end!’. This brought me down for about 3 days – quite severe depression, rumination and anxiety.
    – Funnily enough, I haven’t been dreaming about her until yesterday – when my entire night was full of dreams of her rejecting me. I’ve read dreams are supposed to be showing where you’re repressing thoughts and feelings, and I have been trying to repress missing her heavily (and actually try to force myself to be angry with her) over the past few days, so perhaps that’s why. The dreams are often the worst because they are so real and it’s almost like breaking NC – you see the person, hear them, touch them, and actively re-live the entire breakup process again and again. I really hope I can find a way to ensure I don’t dream of her again.
    – I have strictly maintained NC for 3 weeks and I guess it’s had a good effect – only because the dream felt so real, it reopened wounds that I’m sure breaking NC would reopen 100x more.
    – I had to get out of the house and so I went partying with a couple of friends over the weekend (avoided alcohol) and slept with a girl I met, really to try to give power back to my own life again, also to test the waters with my own confidence. I can say it had no real positive impact (maybe other than it’s nice to have physical intimacy again), and probably some negative impact (she wasn’t as beautiful and it obviously wasn’t anywhere near the physical experience I had with my ex – both things I knew and expected going into it – but for some reason these things still created negative feelings for me). Not sure I would do it again too soon. I might wait a while before going out partying in general.
    – I am journaling about once a week, but not sure if this is having any real impact either.

    So generally, I think I’m moving in the right direction, VERY slowly, using a combination of the above mentioned techniques (especially ABCDE) but I have to say that when I fall I fall HARD. It feels like I go 2 steps forward 3 back, although maybe it’s not, I guess time will tell. I will continue to update when or if I feel I’ve made any progress.

    • Exactly! No contact is about giving the power back to yourself. I could not have said it any better.
      Thank you so much for sharing your insights, you’ve shared some really powerful stuff.

      The 3 first things I always recommend readers is (1) no contact, (2) exercise and (3) support network. It seems you’ve got 1 and 2 handled, how about 3? Going out with friends is a great activity, but what about sharing and opening up? You need to vent some of your emotions and get some feedback on your situation. It will make you feel less isolated and it will decrease the chance of you dreaming about your bottled up emotions.

      But overall you’re doing great man. Great insights and great reading tips. You’ll look back in a couple of weeks and not believe your progress!

      • another challenge says:

        Thanks Jesse, especially for your motivation.

        It’s a bit more difficult for me to tap into a support network. Simply because as you’ll remember I live abroad (now 3 years in this city) and I met her 3 months into moving here. So pretty much the whole experience has been related to her. That being said I do have an amazing family, and I get on the phone to them around once every few days. I also have some friends in the city, but they are not really ‘sharing’ friends.

        It does lift me to think that you could suggest I might be able to look back in just a couple of weeks and see major progress – to be honest I feel like I’m not going anywhere much quickly and had another major depressive day today. But I’ll stick with it and continue to update!

    • Matt Lancer says:

      Hey man,
      How are you feeling now. Your story is very similar to mine. Its 5 weeks since my breakup and some days I feel I am moving on slowly but other days I feel down and hopeless.

      Wouldnt mind knowing how you are getting on now and any tips you can give me based on your experience.

      thanks,

      Matt

  36. Hello Jesse,

    I came across your website once again and felt like leaving a few more notes here.
    While reading my last post, I realized that I have come such a long way.
    It has been 5 months I didn’t reach out to her and I now feel much better.

    If there’s one thing I have learned through this experience, is that time and patience and are crucial in moving forward.

    We’re still ‘befriended’ on social networks, but I have managed to maintain NC. This has proven to be tremendously helpful to identify my mistakes, my weaknesses and also regain self-respect.
    I learned to accept things, and began investing more time in my future plans, learned to enjoy some time alone and meet new people.

    To others here who are going through tough times, I suggest them to be optimistic and continue improving themselves.

    We may end up with those we long for one day, just to realize that perhaps we don’t really want them anymore, or we may find somebody else who we can appreciate and cherish even more. Important is, to remain loving and caring to yourself and to others and one day soon you shall receive just the same.

    Thanks.

    A.

    • Andon,

      Thanks for your awesome post. Messages like these make everything I do worth it. Congrats on maintaining NC and congrats on feeling better.

      Thanks for sharing your new found wisdom!

  37. Hi Jesse,

    Many thanks for all the articles that you had shared. It really helps to understand the psychological behind. However, I still need some more advice from you as my situation is a bit difficult for me.

    My ex and I broke up 3 weeks ago. Before the break up, we had been going out together for 6-7 years. During the first 2-years, we had already broke up once and it’s because she’s listening to other guys (who actually flirted on her) about my financial status until she decided to end the relationship. 3 months later, that guy dumped her and we met again during my birthday. She apologized for what she had done for me and willing to move on with me since then. I forgave her and continue our relationship until today. But now, we break up again and it’s the same reason (fear of financial status which do not end yet due to many issues – unemployed twice, cheated on investments, etc). After break up, I happened to know that she’s actually talking to someone already. (They knew each other 1 week before the break up) She’s moved on really fast. And she didn’t know that I already knew what’s going on with her. So, it seems to me like another reason behind why she can make a decision easily because she already knew someone is waiting for her. And yes, she’s leave me exactly like the first time.

    I had applied the NC for almost 3 weeks now. But my life situation is a bit difficult. My family is separated so they all stay in totally different location. My friends are all married and they are not that free to come meet except once a week. My colleague at work are not close to me as we are different units. So, i really have no “supporting” or someone to talk too that much and it’s really painful. I used to talk with my ex most of the time before so that’s why it’s very addictive to me. She also feel something too but since she already talked with someone new, it does help her to moved on. But in the future, we still have to meet because we are buying house together. Now we have to sell the house and some of her stuffs is still in my house. Also, the selling will need both signature anyway. I don’t know how i can easily get over her and moved on myself. I still can access all her messages. Tried to not obsessing her but can’t let go of the feeling for her. I also admit that sometime i wish of reconciliation (but it have to be her ideas and not me) But when thinking of how she somehow finding another guy whenever we had a serious arguement makes me think she’s only love herself. So, in my situation, can you help advice?

    Many thanks Jesse.

    • Jay,

      My pleasure!

      You’re the rebound guy for her. Stop putting her on a pedestal and show some self respect.

      You need to understand that you shouldn’t be in the position of wanting someone that doesn’t want you. Your number one requirement for a partner should be that they reciprocate your feelings.

      Secondly, no having friends or family to support you during these tough times is a MAJOR contributor to the pain you’re feeling. I cannot stress enough how important it is to open up to someone close to you. Rekindle past friendships, call your mom for the first time in years, I don’t care. Point it, it’s very important to feel loved when you’re going through this.

  38. Very helpful stuff here but I didn’t see much about children. my wife and I are separated for 2 months now and we decided to stay married for now because of financial reasons. she became unhappy with her life with me and the kids and so
    we agreed to sepearate for a year so she
    could” find herself “and “become
    independent”. Less than 2 weeks after we
    agreed to a no infidelity seperation, she
    fell in love with another guy of course
    from the bar she works at. she completely
    destroyed me with lies and lies and more
    lies. but I love her so much that I forgive
    her and made all the mistakes of trying toget her back like begging and changing myself just for her. then she decided she
    wants to be in love with me and the
    boyfriend and admitted that its selfish but
    she doesn’t care. I had sex with her a few
    times and I told her boyfriend about it in
    a text trying to get him to bail. He didn’t
    even flinch. Now I’m on the outside but
    she still will kiss, hug, and were her wedding rings!! I want her back so bad
    but she’s a completely wacked out
    person, not the same person I fell in love
    with. my emotions completely destroy
    me at times however I do have many
    good days. I tried to start a NC last weekend that lasted maybe a day and a
    half. she had to text me several times a couple days in row and I want her so bad that I just jumped right in. then we got into a huge fight this Friday night because I can’t stand this boyfriend still being around now we decided to go with no contact for 30 days for real this time. she texted me after 2 hours and I sent one back. you are so right about how difficult it is especially when we both need each other. we have 3 kids that we exchange every single day because I work night shift and she works days. we are best friends and we just wanna talk to each other about anything. I would like any kind of suggestions or help. I know I need NC to break my dependence on her. I do take anxiety pills because of when she’s out while I have the kids I suffer emotionally. How not care about her? I mean she is taking a crap all over me and just rub it in but I still forgive her. I know she can’t handle the no contact.

    • Hey Kyle,

      You need male best friends! How is your support network? Are you hitting the gym? Are you going no contact because YOU want to, or because she wants to? You need to reach your tipping point; the point where you say, nothing is worth this much pain. Have you reached that point yet? If not, why not?

      Kids make the situation more involved, that’s true. But it also makes a lot of decisions easier. Simply be the best dad you can be. Whenever you’re faced with a tough decision, make the best dad decision. Right now it seems like the best dad decision is getting your shit together. And to do that, you need to bring contact to an absolute minimum, and plan to fail in terms of facebook, text messaging etc. You don’t want to be able to reach out when you’re feeling down.

  39. ANOTHER CHALLENGE says:

    An update: I broke the NC rule tonight after almost 7 strong days. I feel so weak and pathetic. On top of the guilt I feel about the relationship, I now have guilt for breaking the NC rule! I feel like I’ve gone 2 steps forward and 5 back.

    I had to text her to put everything down in one final message. I just felt so much self blame for the relationship ending, how I didn’t see she wasn’t happy, how I could’ve treated her better etc etc. But I was also angry. I asked how can you do this to me. How can you lose faith in my ability to fix the problems that were making you unhappy? How can you go so cold so fast, only 2 months after you showed me so much love and we were talking about having babies together and laughing about their names? How? How? How…

    With this txt I have to say I have made a final move. There is no more contact I can possibly make, without repeating myself again. I have to reset the NC clock. I secretly hope she doesn’t write back so that I can start the process of moving on. I honestly do feel better that this text is out there, but I know I just delayed my recovery process.

    I do want to move on, I don’t want to linger in the past, so I will continue to focus on the future. I’ll start again as of today.

    • Hey another_challenge,

      While reading your comment, I felt the urge to start reply at several points, but near the end I felt no need to. It seems to me you’re picking up on what the best strategy is here.

      It’s basically being super strict on yourself in keeping to NC but being super forgiving of yourself once you break it. You need to bias yourself towards positivity, progress and recovery. Focus on progress not perfection.

      • ANOTHER CHALLENGE says:

        Day 5 after my ‘reset’ NC day zero. I am completely lost and in a hole of despair. I blame myself for everything, and I know that 90% of it is true. I pushed her away, it took me a full year to even properly start appreciating her, and by then the damage was done. I tried hard for a year after that, I can’t believe I invested so much in this relationship only to end up here.. I can’t believe she won’t give me one more chance to work things out. I can’t believe she doesn’t see how much stress I am under with my dad dying, and how that plays into my behavior in our relationship. I can’t believe she’s moved on so fast. What is this some sort of joke??

        I’m trying to do all the right things, I want to accept she’s gone, for good. I say it to myself every day. But I don’t seem to be moving anywhere. I don’t see how I’m going to get out of this hole. I’m stuck, stuck and I don’t see a sliver of hope. What a sad mess this whole thing is.

        • Hey Another Challenge,

          When you’re feeling this way, what you need to do is ground yourself in the now. What’s happening is that you’re identifying yourself with your thoughts and your emotions through which you’re losing track of time and reality.

          You are not your thoughts. You are not your emotions.

          They are just manifestations of your body. You are not your thoughts, you are the entity observing your thoughts.

          When you feel overwhelmed, you’re not observing your thoughts and emotions, you’re immersed in them. This makes you feel stuck, makes you feel like there is no end. You need to become aware that you’re in that state of mind.

          This doesn’t cure the pain, but it gives you a foothold in reality. Focus on breathing deeply with your lower abdomen. This induces a relaxation response in your body, and focusing on your breathing brings you into the now. This helps you distance yourself from your thoughts and emotions.

          They won’t disappear, but they will no longer feel overwhelming.

          • another_challenge says:

            Thanks so much Jesse. I will try to use these tactics next time I feel like this. It has been on and off over the past few days.

            I’m 10 days into NC now. About 3 days ago I had 1 good day, a day of clarity. It was almost like I was on a drug, a high, where everything became super clear and I realised I shouldnt waste time falling into despair. It came as a result of talking to my family about the situation, and them setting my head straight about how I shouldn’t waste time over someone who is capable of cutting me off for no real good reason after so long.

            It was elusive.. it slipped away fairly quickly. But it was like a beacon of light. If I felt like that once, I can get there again, I’m sure of it. I fell pretty hard after that again, and haven’t been able to attain that ‘clarity’ yet again.

            I have a question – I’ve been feeling like there’s a contradictory message in rapid recovery that (1) I should go through all the pain and feel it fully to get to the light at the end of the tunnel, yet (2) apply techniques do prevent myself from suffering ie. distract myself, don’t waste time thinking of her, mulling over the relationship what I could’ve done better etc.

            How do I marry (1) and (2)? How do I draw the line between feeling pain and letting myself suffer? For example the times I have been actively trying to think positive, push away the negative thoughts, stop thinking about missing her, I feel like I need to cry but stop myself. The pain goes inside anxiety rises and it feels like it burns there. And each time I do it I feel like I’m storing more pain, do you know what I mean?

            Where do I draw the line between when I should indulge in my pain (‘suffering’) and when I should say ’thats enough I want to focus on myself and my happiness now’?

            I know it’s a weird question, I might not even be asking it properly.. well that’s kind of the state I’m in.. I hope you know what I’m getting at and can maybe shed some light?

            Thanks again Jesse..

  40. another challenge says:

    An update: 2 days after starting NC I very almost slipped up tonight.

    I still have a few of her things and packed them in a bag, was going to text her and ask her to pick them up (not when I was here obviously).

    But then I stopped and thought – why am I texting her? What do I get out of this? She’s made it abundantly clear she wants NOTHING to do with me, that she doesn’t love me and has moved on. She hasn’t even had the respect to give me any real closure as to why. She hasn’t responded at all to my last 3 attempts to make contact prior to going NC.

    She’s made it clear she’s not thinking of me AT ALL. So I looked at what I had packed – a few clothes, books, some trinkets and a gift I had bought her a few weeks ago but never had the chance to give her. Who knows, maybe I had subconsciously hoped her seeing this gift would change her mind and spur her to come back.

    Enough hope. Hope is for the boys and I’m writing this now as a man. For now her things are stored way back in the closet – I will have to think of a better way to have them returned, or if enough time passes and she does not claim them I will not feel bad about throwing them out.

    Either way, I am still 2 days into NC and happy to report I don’t have to start from day zero tomorrow 🙂

    My god this is hard but I feel like a small battle was won tonight..

  41. another challenge says:

    Hi Jesse, my gf broke up with me a week ago, after a 2.5 yr relationship which had it’s ups and downs. I moved abroad just under 3 years ago and met her 3 months into moving here, so pretty much everything I have done and everywhere I have been in this city is defined by our relationship. There are ‘ghosts’ of our relationship in every street, every restaurant and almost every place I walk here. I have some other friends here but they can’t really be called ‘close friends’, and my close friends and family are all back at home.

    The relationship was not perfect and I was not entirely happy for some of it, but I don’t expect perfect in any relationship. In the first year I may have been somewhat noncommittal which she didn’t like, but I saw what the girl was worth to me and I worked hard on myself in that first year. By the 2nd year I was fully in, committed and we were both talking about marriage and kids. I had decided I will work on this relationship, and do what it takes to make her happy. I love the girl after all. After 2 previous long term relationships where my commitment issues got in the way, I have to say I was proud of this progress I made and thought I was on the right track. I felt good about things. I know she loved me deeply and I loved her.

    It is a cross cultural relationship and we come from 2 very different backgrounds. However being from a cross cultural background myself, and living in 4 different countries during my adulthood, I consider myself quite adaptable. We had a massive argument 1 month ago about us moving back to my home town for a year or so. I pushed my side a little too hard due to some other issues in my life at the moment (my dad being quite sick). I really wanted her to see my side of the argument that my dad was on his last legs, so it shouldn’t be unreasonable to spend some time with him at this point in my life. Naturally I wanted my future wife to accompany me. I even hinted that proposal was just around the corner (I was ring shopping at the time).

    With the argument going nowhere and 2 weeks of not seeing eye to eye, I suggested a couple of weeks break for both of us to calm down. I don’t know if that was the best idea but I have done it in the past and come to see that time alone does allow you to see the issues more clearly.

    Well for me the issues became more clear in that time and I came back to the negotiation table last week in a better state, less intent on pushing my side of the argument and more willing to listen to hers.

    When I reached out to her the message she sent me was simple: “I have moved on, I have fallen out of love with you and realised that you never made me happy in our relationship, never focused on what I wanted. You should move on, there is nothing I want from us anymore.”

    I feel shocked, betrayed, confused and hurt. I don’t know how I could have pushed myself past the commitment line only to now be rejected by the person I love. I won so many battles with myself to improve my character in this relationship and truly thought this would work out.

    As usual in life, it seems that everything bad came at once. My dad was admitted to hospital that weekend in critical condition, at the same time it was my birthday, at the same time I called her for a bit of compassion I got an earful of abuse “I don’t feel bad about what’s happening to you because I just have to think about how selfish you were in our relationship and how little you thought of me”.

    I wasn’t the perfect bf and can think of some actions I should have improved, but I wasn’t the devil. For the life of me I can’t understand why she is so angry and focusing on how unhappy she was or how bad I never really treated her right. It’s just not true. I have a hunch that the real issue is something else entirely but I will never find out. I wasn’t aware of NC and for the 5 days after that text I have been texting her lots and also called her twice to discuss this, all attempts have met with closed doors.

    FWIW I am 31 and she is 26. Maybe she is just changing and realised she doesn’t want someone like me. I want her to feel the same as she did prior to our argument, but at the same time I have a deep feeling of resentment that (1) she would treat me like this and cut me off so easily and (2) she would do so at a time where there is a near death in the family and on my birthday! Is there no compassion from someone who has told you many times in the past “I’ve never loved anyone as much as I have loved you.. you’ve shown me what it feels to really love”.

    Anyway enough of a rant, I am back to nausea, not sleeping, anxiety, feelings of depression and loss, and trying to scrape through the day. I need to focus on myself now and am going to do the 30 day NC. Unfortunately she needs to pick up her things so I need to send one more message to tell her when (I will not be here), but after that it is a strict 30 day NC. Wish me luck.

  42. Brianna says:

    What do you do if you have a child together, he doesn’t want to be with you, and has barely done anything for the child financially or emotionally? I’ve tried to work things out for us to be together, with no success. I’ve also tried to stick around to be cordial and mature for the sake of our baby. But he’s just nasty for no reason. I’m emotionally exhausted, and the child just turned 8 weeks. I’ve been contemplating just removing myself and my daughter for a little while to get my peace of mind back on track, and to help myself begin to get over him.

    Do you agree with my solution of no contact? or what do you recommend?

    • Brianna,

      That sounds like a terrible, destructive, irresponsible person. I would go no contact, reach out to your family and friends to support you, and treat your lingering affection to him as the worst addiction you’ve ever had that will kill you if you ever relapse again.

      Seriously, forget about this guy. He sounds like terrible news for you AND for the baby.

    • Brianna says:

      Hi Jesse

      Giving you an update on my situation. I went no contact, meaning I stopped calling, I stopped texting, and I stopped coming around. He’s much younger than me, and lives with his parents. I didn’t want to be the typical bitter betty by denying his parents to see our daughter, so I began just dropping her off for a little while – just as he had asked. He didn’t want me over there anymore. So, once I started doing so, it hadn’t even been 2 weeks and he started reaching out to me again. in various different ways. i still remained cordial and polite to him whenever he reached out about the baby, being that i’m the older person in the situation.

      but as of last night, i’m just DONE. I’m so drained emotionally, and i’m tired of being treated like a toy. i’m a person, and i have feelings. he keeps toying with my emotions/feelings constantly. he doesn’t do anything for the baby, he doesn’t check on her or anything of that nature. his parents always check on her- but he doesn’t. last night he basically told me he doesn’t have those type of feelings for me, and that he wants us to remain friends and blah blah…. keep in mind this was after he called me out late at night for a ride, i also had to drag my baby out of the house to do so. his parents kicked him out of the house a few days ago because he hasn’t stepped up as a parent, he isn’t doing anything with his life right now, and she doesn’t like the idea that he’s been hanging out with me lately, but it’s never me him and the baby.. he always wants to hang out whenever his parents have the baby for the weekend, so he hits me up. she doesn’t like that, and feels as if he’s only being around me for his advantage because i have a car etc, and he knows that i care about him deeply so he plays on that and kind of uses me because he knows that.

      these past couple of weeks or maybe even the last month or so, he’s been leading me on. i left him alone prior to this, and once i stopped coming around then he starts contacting me again. if you know you don’t like me, then just leave me the hell alone. just stop bothering me altogether. it’s not fair to me, and it’s just coming off as cruel. he’s 18 years old, so it’s very clear that he’s immature and has so much growing up to do.

      he knows that i care about him, and would never want to see him in harm’s way which is why i was the first person he contacted a few days ago when his parents kicked him out.

      but enough is enough.

      i want nothing to do with him, not even for the baby’s sake. i’ll communicate with his parents whenever they want to pick her up, but other than that I want no dealings with him anymore. he doesn’t do anything for the baby anyway, or check on her so it isn’t as if he’ll be reaching out for that purpose. i don’t want to see him or anything. if he reaches out asking about the baby, i don’t even want to respond to that. i just want him out of my life. i honestly wish i could cut ties completely, meaning even cutting off the family also, but that’s not the morally right thing to do. i was raised better than that. they love the baby, so i won’t do that to them. i wish i could though, it would be that much easier for me.

      i don’t know what to do anymore..

      what do you recommend?

  43. Have a question- It has been20 days NC after a horrible break up. Believe me I sent e-mail after E-mail telling him how he needs to get help and how is is a pothead and that we never had a chance with his love of weed, etc etc. We had previously broken up and got back together 4 times. this one was the most turmoil and a horrible break up with ugly words said in anger and rage. After my e-mails I sent him a final text telling him I had said everything I ever could say- Then I saidI loved him I was sorry for the fighting but we never had a chance with his addiction to pot. I told him maybe one day we can love eachother in a way we just can’t right now.
    He did not respond. Last week we ran into eachother which was about once chance in a billion as it was at a concert with 40,000 people there. We just nodded at eachother and that was it ( I as on a date)
    He has called me and e-mailed and texted ( thinking I must have blocked him since I did NOT repspond. He wants to just have coffee and explain his side of everything and hopefully get to a positive place about the break up. He said he needs healing and asked me if I would see him so that we can have one last conversation and leave in peace. I did not respond. I do not know what to do. Should I text him and kindly say I am moving on and please do not contact me again? OR just do not respond at all to his request. I know he is hurting, as I am. It ended horribly and I am sure he wants peace with it- and seeing me messed him up- and he wants us to at least try to have this be over with love. WHat do I do??

    • Hey Rach,

      That’s a very hard question. The end of a relationship is a point where both parties have to start making decisions that are good for them personally, as opposed to sacrificing their own needs to meet the others. I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing, but do YOU want to meet up with him? You seem to be avoiding that crucial question.

      Having said that, it’s still a tricky question. I can imagine scenarios where a closure conversation could really help him out. Conversely, it might his way of tricking you into trying to change your mind one last time, which would set you both back in my opinion.

      I think your number 1 focus should be what makes sense for you, not for him. Keeping that in mind, if he seems genuine and stable, I would consider meeting up with him. If you have any doubts, don’t go through with it.

      Hope that helps!

  44. Needed this says:

    I just wanted to take the time to post one last follow up to truly place some prospective on things for everyone suffering a broken heart. Almost a year has passed since my ex wife left me for her ex boyfriend. If you look at past threads you can see where and what I felt at this time in my life. I thought I’d never get over that situation. I reached out to Jessie and worked one on one at reclaiming my life and letting go of the pain…. I am very happy to say that life does indeed keep rolling forward. Jesse helped me with real world tools to not only heal from my hurt but to look at my own life to make positive choices in the future….. Fast forward one year…. I’m in a healthy relationship with an Amazing woman….I have kept no contact with my ex and I have received the random text at 1 am saying ” Hi, I’m thinking about you” …… It’s coming boys and girls , if you keep no contact and let life move forward I can almost guarantee that about the time you have completely let go of the pain of the break up you will get the ex with the random drive by text…….let it keep on driving! Life is sweet and there are many blessings ahead even if you can’t see them through the pain yet…… All the best to everyone fighting through the pain… Work with Jesse, have faith in yourself! Namaste and love and light to us all…. Thank you for everything Jesse!

  45. Jesse,

    I have been married to my wife for 27 years. This year she suddenly quit her job, started bailing on me by going home overseas without talking to me. When she returned, which was early since I paid the change fee for her return, she bitched me out for making the return too early. We tried to make things work. This Jan I had to quit my job and move to TX. Once we got to TX, she pulled the same stunt again by bailing on me. She said she was calling my bluff on a divorce. Now I come to find out that she was not the wife who never cheated. She told me we are divorcing on the phone. So now, I am wondering how to best handle the NC as her dog and some personal belongings are here. She is supposed to be back in 6 weeks. I have blocked her calls, txts and emails (which she has about 10 of).

    • Hey Lou,

      A this point I would say, do what you can. I would gather the personal belongings and put them in a box and place it in the garage or with a mutual friend. The point is you don’t want to run into them.

      Regarding the dog, I would ask yourself, what would your best self do? What would you do if you were feeling 100%. Don’t succumb to negative feelings of “getting back at her”. Perhaps the right thing to do is to leave the dog at a mutual friend. But I could also imagine that the right thing to do could be claiming it to be yours. It doesn’t sound like she’s very concerned about it in any case. This is an issue where you need to take the higher moral ground, whatever that is in your case.

      So no contact, without jeopardizing your integrity.

  46. Janell Hihi says:

    I am on my 2nd week of no contact. I blocked his emails, text and phone number. I stay busy and the only way he can contact me is by coming to my house but the problem is I am never home. I love to challenge myself and I don’t care how long or hard it is to get him out of my heart and my brain, I will do so an do it fiercely with no mercy. The truth is I will never trust him if we were to get back together so there is no point in even considering a reconciliation. I will just be jealous and insecure.

    Everyone going through heartache needs to realize that while your busy dreaming of them coming back, your not looking at reality. Ask yourself this, if you get back together will you really be happy or will you be miserable the entire relationship because you will be constantly thinking about if they really care about you and will they leave you again. Being in a relationship like that is hell. It is better to be a little sad now then to be in a relationship your not sure of.

    Be strong. Be diligent and NEVER back down.

    • Well said Janell!

    • You couldn’t of said it better its exactly! exactly! what I am going through Hang on keep going forward it gets so much better I am on day 35 and I am at peace and its so nice to worry about me and not what hes doing, of coarse I made myself live without a car and phone which help a lot because I would of just begged him back but this time I wasn’t doing that! I love that what you wrote be strong be diligent and NEVER back down! its so true. The article No Contact does work Get you life back!

  47. Thank you for your fast response.
    You are right in your assertions.
    Considering my age, I have gone through nasty situations, yet this one has drained me paradoxically.
    Fact is, that around other women I am confident, playful, direct etc.
    Her presence however, overwhelms me, and I act needy, get emotional…

    Some friends think I am joking when I explain my feelings for this girl. They think of me as a Don Juan and that me being played to this extent is impossible!

    I feel I am not neglecting myself though. I am very social, sexually active, I work, go to the gym, travel a lot (mainly because of work) etc…
    I believe being physically not available has contributed in this situation. I lead a hyper-active life and I believe she feels inferior and unable to keep up with my lifestyle, which is why I am considering moving back in the summer for some time and see what happens.
    For now, I am in no contact, but I will make myself visible once I return home in a few months.

    I will definitely let you know how the story develops.

    Thank you once again for your time and support.

    A.

  48. Andon. a. says:

    Dear Jesse,

    I loved reading posts on your website and I though I’d share my story in hope for a brief opinion from you.
    I am a 28 years old male and one year ago I fell for a girl who is 20 years old.
    I opened my cards too fast and revealed my feelings and we had dated only several times. It was first time I felt like that. That scared her off and she cut me out by saying she loves me but as a friend. I suffered from depression for months after that.
    We have exchanged emails from time to time but chances for it to work seemed vague.
    Last summer I moved to a different country for work. A few weeks ago when I returned home I decided to call and ask her out for a drink. To my surprise she accepted and she revealed that not only she had feelings for me, but also that I was special to her but she was confused and didn’t know how to deal with me back then.
    She is now in a relationship with someone she is not in love with (I think).
    Meantime I have dated other people, but my feelings for this girl grew bigger.

    I understand that NC would apply to couples who have spent considerable time together and they need time apart. In my situation is different – I want us to get to know each other and see if it really works and whether something beautiful can develop!
    Im moving back home in a few months and I really want to get a chance to get to know each other because I think I really love her. I think she feels for me as well because every time we meet we are both nervous and emotional.
    I find she is a lot more open in person, but when we contact online she acts distant and uninterested. (which is why we rarely write on Twitter or Email each other).
    Our last encounter took place about a month ago and we almost had sex. After that episode she accused me of pushing her into getting intimate and she felt hurt! That was like a cold shower but at least I knew she felt for me. She proposed we remain friends as she doesent want to jeopardize her current relationship in fear of hurting ‘herself, me or her bf’.

    I am now seeing a therapist for the first time. Im unsure whether to try let go or fight this emotionally expensive battle. I don’t want to look back one day and say I didn’t do enough, but in the current situation there doesent seem much I can do either.

    Thank you.
    A.A.

    • Andon,

      She’s calling the shots man, when you should be. Sounds like she’s interested, that you guys connected, but that you were acting needy and putting her needs first. This pushes women away and diminishes attraction.

      You’re needs need to come first. Women want an autonomous guy.

      You leaving introduced some non-neediness, I think that might have (re)-triggered some attraction/interest. It would explain why she’s confused. She felt close to you, there was some attraction, but you pushed her away by being too needy.

      The thing is, you need to BECOME non-needy. You can’t fake it. I’m not sure if that helps. What you’re describing sounds as if there’s a big chance you’re setting yourself up for a very tough/heartbreaking situation. Where she’s in a relationship, but giving you hints and mixed signals and not being able to tell you what’s going on.

      This is what I call the in-between-zone and it’s the source of all pain related to breakups, or in your case unrequited love. You’re not in a relationship, but you’re still holding on to the hope it will develop into something. Paradoxically, it’s that hope that’s pushing her away.

      Make sense?

      Rationally, the best thing to do is focus on other women. But something tells me there’s no way you’re following that advice at this point.

      I think that what I CAN convince you to do is become aware of YOUR needs and if you’re putting them first. Whenever you’re doing something, and especially things that involve her, ask yourself, why are you doing this? Who is dictating the terms? Do you feel in control?

      Putting yourself first is paramount and should be your compass in these murky waters.

      Let me know how it goes

      • Adam Lewis says:

        NC is ALWAYS the best policy. I used it before and I’ll be using it again now my 6 year trelationship has come to a bitter, unfaithful end.

        Great articles Jesse.

      • justanothervoice says:

        i recently began an online relationship. he was great, i felt great. he was syrian. he was muslim and i didnt care. im very openminded. we had a very in depth conversation that day while i was out doing laundry. about his work. how tired he was. it was the best conversation we had ever had. from the time zone i am in, he is 8 hours ahead. so i usually do not hear fro him until maybe 6-7a.m. sometimes i wouldnt. im not married to him so i didnt really worry. he was working with political refugees setting up healthcare facilities. a biomedical engineer. maybe. i really dont know. since he was in syria but emigated to the U.S. his american home was in California. so our agreement was “no expectations, no pressure”. during one chat conversation he told me he loved me. naturally, i needed clarification. what were we now? because i didnt want to read this situation wrong. we went several days after that without contact. i didnt want to push it. then came the conversation on laundry day. there was such a connection, and i was so happy. so i was surprised when he teaxt me at 5:00 a,m. it was the usual. hey, what are you doing? are you busy? im like “no” and then the conversation took the ugliest turn. i was overwhelmed. he said i didnt listen and understand. that if what i was doing was a ploy to keep him i was wrong. i kept saying what happened? what happened ? he said you know what, read back. so i did. he sais obviously i was sick…what? what do you mean by that? no answer. so he said that was it. i was stunned. i didnt know what just happened. after the great conversation we had had, i just couldnt wrap my mind around it. so i gathered myself up and began to block him from being able to communicate with him. our dating site, my hangouts connection, email and phone number. he did the breaking up but i initiated the no contact. and im hurt deeply because i have no idea what had happenend but i suddenly realize this may have been the best thing for us both.

  49. Hey April,

    Put yourself first. Stick to NC. And stay strong. It will still be hard once in a while, but overall it’s going to get easier and easier. Remember that.

  50. I forgot to mention we were together for 2.5 years….. (and he has narcissist tendencies & taking meds for a mood disorder). Although I hate to use this as an excuse for his actions!! Thanks again Jesse

  51. Hi Jesse – it’s been 17 days no contact… I’ve literally been sick since the break-up. Although we were supposed to be taking a break, we talked/text & met for lunch/ dinner once a week. We hugged, kissed, said love you, miss you, etc. I thought things were moving in the right direction, or so I was led to believe. Turns out he started dating all the while keeping up the facade!! I had some things to pick-up at his house since we were living together – which I did the very next day of finding out. He was not home. (I unfriended him on FB, etc.) Anyway, last week he sent an email asking for my address as he had some mail to forward. I did not answer. Two days ago he sent a text asking for address again… I do not want to break NC!! He sees my brother at work and could easily give it to him… Am I being unreasonable in this regard?? Jesse this man ripped my heart out with his betrayal… I could barely breathe for 2 weeks & still cry everyday… Any advice is very much appreciated!! Thank you!!!

  52. Hi Jesse, i need your help my ex gf breaking up me weeks ago, one day i visit on her house ill try to kiss her and she accept my sweet kisses, and she txt me over and over again, she said ” i want a space okey”and she have dating for someone else, but she still texting me inviting for lunch , i do the No contact rule , i did not reply at all. what can i do.. i confuse please help me :(..

    there will be a hope or a last chance? i want her back i love her. were almost 2 yrs .

    • Hey John,

      There is no answer to that question. You need to listen to what she tells you through her actions rather than her words. And you need to focus on things you CAN control as opposed to things you CAN’T such as how she feels.

  53. No contact at all. Try and wait till tomorrow and see if you still feel the same way. Chances are you don’t, and you’ll even feel stupid for posting this. 🙂

  54. mike sardar says:

    Hi jesse
    I just went through a very nasty
    breakup. And I followed NC .till now its 45 days and she contacted me at new year but I cut her call ..and now I m thinking to communicate to her because now I think it was all my fault ..to drag her to do nasty breakup..should I contact her or wait..till she should contact me..help me jesse

  55. I was in a LDR for about 3 years. My bf came down to visit me before Christmas and cut the visit short to break up with me. He said we are not compatible. He also said he wants to be friends after we get over each other. I sincerely feel that he does care for me. He showed some concern about feeling bad every time he thought about me being sad. He slowly initiated the NC rule to let me down easier, but we only texted. He did say he is no longer in love with me and apologized. I still have strong feelings for him and this whole break up made me open my eyes and realize what I need to work on. I am just not sure if it is too late. It’s been 4 days since we officially stopped communicating. I’m in the process of starting the 30 day NC rule. I just don’t know if I should hold on to hope. I’m still in love with him and we both have agreed that there is still attraction. Passion was a huge thing holding us together as well. I feel we are compatible, but needed to respect each other more.

    • Hey Mel,

      You are currently in what I call “the grey zone of death”. Mentally, you’re not in the relationship and you’re not out of it. You haven’t come to terms with the relationship having ended. Regardless of where you go from here, you need to realize that that is the source of your pain. Staying in the grey zone is what is feeding your pain.

      The no contact rule helps you to leave the grey zone. But you need to make the decision and the commitment to WANT to leave in the first place. That’s something I can’t help you with.

      I can say this. Pay a lot more attention to what he does as opposed to what he says. Everyone wants to let someone down easily, but often it gives the other person false hope. What are his actions telling you? Are they telling you there is hope? Doesn’t sound that way.

      If you’re sick of feeling like crap, get out of the grey zone.

  56. Could you delete the 2 previous comments? I don’t want my photo to appear. Thanks in advance.

    Dear Jesse,

    First of all, I’m not used to write a comment on a blog, but I guess it’s worth it.
    In order to explain my breakup, I need to describe our relationship and how was the past. I could write a book about our story.

    Our meeting:

    I was living abroad when I met her for the first time. In fact, few days after our first meeting, I knew that I had to come back to my country, and she knew about it since the beginning. After one week of relation, I moved to my city, and only after 2 weeks, I’ve discovered that I really missed her, so I decided to come back to her city. She hosted me for 1 week and then I find a place to be on my own. For two months I’ve stayed there, then again I have to come back to my country for an indefinite period of time. She came with me for one week, and met my family. When she went back to her country, I was feeling crazy about her, so I’ve decided to find a way to be with her. I’ve found a pretext: to do my BA in her city.

    During all this time, I didn’t tell her that I came back here just for her. For me it was obvious that she knew it.

    I’ve been with my ex-girlfriend for 3.5 years. During our relationships, I couldn’t be in love with her because I was blocked due to my past experience. During the first 2 years, my ex gf was hoping that I’ll fall in love with her, but I couldn’t. Then things started to change, I was seeing that I couldn’t make her fully happy, so I was feeling bad. Having the knowledge that I wasn’t in love with her, I’ve decided to break up with her after one year of relation. The break up was really short, only few hours. Then we came back together. Later I was losing interest in her, and I was given less and less attention so she started to feel abandoned. After 2 years of relation she made something really bad during one party, and I was really pissed off. I couldn’t stand at her, and at least for 1 month I was not able to touch her. After a while, the situation was a bit better, but I couldn’t forgive her, so I’ve decided once again to break up with her. This time, we had a no contact period of 2-3 weeks, then once again we came back together.

    The last year of the relation was chaotic, because I was sure deep inside that we weren’t in love together. I never told her that I was in love her, and she did the same because she was waiting for me to say it first. I was always controlling my emotion because I didn’t want to be addicted to someone and I was afraid of a breakup and to be knock out. That’s why I was always protecting myself concerning my feelings.

    The last 6 months of relation, we had less and less meetings, she asked me by her own a break up of 2 weeks with a no contact rules, because she wanted to see what she feels, and the same for me. In my case, this 2 weeks weren’t so useful to see what I really fell about her, and anyway we did came back together. Things were ok, but later, we started to act as individual, she was going more and more to her party and me too, in fact, I didn’t care so much to be honest.

    Then having such a situation, I’ve decided to break up, because we were living apart, she was doing her life, and so do I. We had a meeting maybe once or twice a week maximum, but always in contact every day.

    This break up was the last one, it was in august 2013. When it happened she started to reject me more and more, and I discovered that I really love her. That’s so ironical. Due to that, I started to be really honest about my feelings, and I told her that I came here for her. She told that she didn’t know it, because I didn’t told her.
    Since then she is not able to kiss me, to hug me because she is blocked. I showed her that I was in love with her, by doing some surprise, doing things but nothing changed. She is like a rock with me. During the last 5 months, she asked me for no contact break of one month. During this time I really did know that I love her. What a crazy feeling. Then when the no contact period ended up, she made the first move and she contacted me. We had a first meeting, for few hours when I explained her all what I did wrong, and I want something better. She started to cry, because she was waiting since a long time about it. Anyway the next meeting I told her for the first time that I was in love with her, and she told me that she is not. When, I told her that I love her, she told me that she was waiting for it for 1250 days, and that it is too late. Due to all this emotions, I’ve started to act differently with her, but now she wants to be alone and she is going out a lot with her friend. When I asked her if she wants to be back with me, she told that she doesn’t know, that she needs time. Somehow, I think she is taking a revenge on me, because I wasn’t in love like this before with her. She was waiting too long.

    Meanwhile during our last meetings, we had few fights, few good moments, but no kiss from her side. I deleted her on facebook, because she was putting photo of her holidays, or parties with some guys, and it was driving me crazy. Moreover, we had so many fights on facebook, and I was really tired about this shit. Moreover during one meeting she admitted one thing she was doing every 3-4 months. She was taking drugs (Ecstasy..and so on) and she knew that I was really against it. She was going to some electro party that I didn’t like and at the beginning of our relation, I caught her taking some drugs. I was really pissed off, so she told me she won’t take it anymore, but in fact she did it for the last 3.5 years. She didn’t told me this before because she was afraid to lost me.

    Last meeting;

    We met once month ago, we went to the restaurant then bowling and we talk about our life and relationship. I also talked about drugs because I wanted to know since how long she was taking it. Everything was fine, I even bought her a book about how to find purpose in life. Then the next day, we got a huge fight because I’ve send her by email a link about the consequence of drugs on the short and long term. I was really pissed at her because I do care about her and I hate when she is taking this shit. She told me that she know exactly what she is doing. Then for 10 days no news, she contacted me once again by writing an sms saying thanks for the book. Then, again we started to be in contact for few days, I even called on Christmas to know how she was doing, then I asked her for meeting when I’ll be back in town, and she replied me “For what?”

    For Christmas I bought her some workshop about painting because she likes to draw. Unfortunately I took the wrong classes, then later she told by email that it was ok, she was able to change the classes. Then on new’s year ev, she wrote me an sms “Happy new year:)”. I replied to her 2 days after saying “Happy new year;) How are you?”. She didn’t reply.

    I’m not able to put everything in one comment. Too many things happened. Just today, I don’t know if I should stop contacted in her and totally forget about her. I’m pretty sure she lost all her interest in me and she doesn’t give a shit about me. Could you give me some lead? Or some specific question? Advice? Whatever that will help me to make a decision. I really feel stupid and guilty about myself because I couldn’t give her my love when she needed but only when we broke up. That’s so weird.

    Sorry about my English, I’m French, and she is Polish.
    PS: I’m 26 years, and she is 29.

    • Hey man,

      Believe or not, what happened to you happens to a lot of guys. It is a recurring pattern for guys not to feel satisfied in a relationship, not to feel in love and not to consider their partner as ‘the one’. Many even consider breaking up, or actually breakup temporarily. And all this time they feel as if they would have the power to walk away from the relationship at some point.

      And then SHE breaks up with HIM and they are in shock and feel completely broken and ‘only then’ realize that she must have been ‘the one’.

      The fact that it feels that way doesn’t make it true.

      What you’re describing doesn’t sound like love at all. Your relationship sounds dysfunctional, bipolar and all round unhealthy. But that too, unfortunately, is a common pattern.

      It sounds like you both have issues that you need to deal with before being able to take part in a healthy, balanced relationship. People tend to look for partners that have an equal amount of issues which also resonate with them.

      You make her sound subservient to you and erratic and compulsive once you broke up. At the same time, you sound controlling, insecure and scared. Scared of intimacy and scared of losing intimacy.

      I suspect, like many guys before you, you have underlying insecurities you need to confront and overcome. You were using an unhealthy relationship to cover them up, never truly addressing them.

      You need to accept that the relationship is over. That is your ticket to feeling better. You replying the relationship in your head and you need to focus on your life now.

      You need to get into the habit of catching yourself when you’re reminiscing or obsessing about something and ask yourself “Is this something I can change?”. If it’s not, there is absolutely no point in obsessing about it.

      What you did, what she feels, what she’s doing. These are all things you can’t control. The sooner you grasp that the better.

      In terms of guilt and feeling stupid. Embrace those feelings. They’re not there to stay. They’re there to teach you a lesson. And they only leave once you’ve learnt it.

      Keep in touch on the forums!

  57. Hi Jesse,
    My ex-gf and her new bf were at the same New Years Eve dance that I was at with my lady dance friend. When I saw them both in the lobby, I went up to them and wished them a happy new year. They were both gracious and she gave me a hug. Later on she came up to me to chat, which was extremely hard to resist as it was a time for good will and let “bygones be bygones”. So my “no contact” rule did get broken. It was very hard watching them dance together. It’s been three months since she dumped me and I still feel uneasy and sometime miserable mainly because of my bruised ego, feelings of disillusionment and of being betrayed. Why am I not moving ahead and where do I go from here? What about more information on “rewiring the brain”?

    • Hey Brian,

      Congrats on that whole situation my man. It sounds like it was tough, and you handled it perfectly.

      It takes as long as it takes, three months in and of itself means nothing. Seeing pictures of my ex could still send a jolt through my stomach two years after the breakup.

      So, I think you ARE in fact moving ahead. You could work on being more encouraging and supportive of yourself and your progress up till now.

      In terms of rewiring your brain, what new experiences have you sought out in the last three months? You need to be seeking out and creating new experiences. This will forge new neural pathways in your brain which leads to higher satisfaction and a broader perspective on life in general. You can also view this as developing your identity further.

      It still sounds a little bit as if you’re using her in your definition of yourself. THAT’S what needs to change. You need to derive your identity from yourself and your experiences. Make sense?

  58. basicly my girl friend left me 2 weeks ago just before christmas with the excuse that it isnt the same any more and she doesnt feel the same way about me i got her to block me on facebook but i no shes stalking my instagram pictures ive been in contact with her twice since then and she admitted it as part of the no contact rule would my best option be to make it so she cant see my uploads i wont be contacting her again as i dont feel the same way about her this is the second time she has left me and she came running back after 2 months of me begging last time where she was constantly turning me down till i stopped for 5 days isit better for me to make it so she doesn’t see my pictures its not about winning or controling the situation but apart of me wants to be the strong one for once as a a man i should be i dont want her back but i would like the opportunity to refuse to speak to her not to hurt her but for my own self esteem what do you sujest

    • Yes! That totally makes sense. Just the knowledge of her looking at your posted pics reignites old emotions and memories. Block her and feel good about taking action!

  59. hi,
    very briefly… was in a 3.5 committed LDR. i admit i was difficult and had my fair share of misunderstandings with her. it finally got to a point where she took a weeks absence to introspect and then texted me 2 days back saying she no longer loves me and cares for me and is moving on and wants me to do the same. etc. i am going thru a job loss crisis and she said that although she didnt want to break up with me till the time i found a job she did it coz she couldnt lie to me that she stopped loving me. she asked me to not contact her ever and that she was going to start the new year without me.

    what does this mean? will she ever come back to me. i have started to honor her need for no contact etc but i wonder what should i do and what is on her mind….

    • Hey man,

      You need to assume this is the end. If she wasn’t entirely clear on that, it’s because she wants to let you down softly. You can’t hold on to that.

      You need to start bringing back the focus to yourself, rather than on her. You need to develop your identity further. Check out the resources on this website.

  60. I am going no contact but I have to see her at school. How do I work no contact with that situation? Do I say Hi? Do I just ignore completely?

    • Hey Peter,

      I would greet her in a civil manner and not engage in any conversation. So that could be just a nod, or a “hi”. But avoid any conversation, it’s messy territory.

  61. I am going no contact but I have to see her at school. How do I work no contact with that situation?

  62. Hello Jessie,
    You’re giving out great advise. Now here’s something that does not appear to have been commented upon. I am practicing nc, but how I deal with seeing my former gf with her bf while in a social setting with lots of other people present? This could happen two to four times a month. While I’m almost over having feelings for her, how do I deal with verbal or nonverbal communication in an environment where eye contact, at the very least, will be next impossible to avoid? She has said that she still has feeling for me, but she dumped me for another guy, two months ago, and apparently deceived him into believing that she was not in a relationship. So she is dangerous and I don’t want to be used by her. She had indicated that if I show up at these events, she would like to interact with me. I’ve already avoided three events and she cooperated by avoiding one as she knows that my seeing the two of them is hard for me to take. I feel that this is a real balancing act and yes, I could avoid these events entirely but they are an important part of my life and have been for many years. Thanks Jessie.

    • Brian,

      Stay present-minded, fear and anxiety don’t exist in the present, only when you’re caught up in thought patterns. See Eckhart Tolle’s stuff.

      Rehearse the situations in your mind that make you anxious and absurdify them. Change the colors, the proportions, the sounds and make everything ridiculous. Humor inhibits anxiety and this helps associate lighter, positive emotions with the encounter in your brain. Practice this often enough and you’ll literally rewire your brain to respond more positively (post coming up on this).

      Dismantle your limiting beliefs. You have some limiting beliefs about this situation that are irrational, and you need to dismantle them. Identify yours. In my case I was anxious about this new guy and his friends making fun of me and people talking behind my back. You dismantle this by asking yourself: first of all, is this a fact? Or is this some hypothetical situation that I’m worrying about? If it’s a fact, what objective evidence do I have. If it’s not a fact, don’t waste any more energy on it. Secondly, even if it were true. Do you care what this guy thinks? Do you value his opinion? Do you value his friends’ opinion? No. So fuck this guy. No more energy should be wasted on what this guy thinks.

      Adopt all positive mindsets. Positivity breeds confidence. You can see this as a major problem. You can also view it as a massive confidence building challenge. What if you survive one of those encounters and maintain your composure. How good is that going to feel? You’ll feel like you can take on the world.

      Have some type of prepared line for when you walk in to her. Something civil, terse and effective at keeping her at a distance. Something like “Hey, I understand that you might want to talk, but I think we both need to deal with this in our own ways. I have found that distance works best for me and allows me to focus on myself. I know you’ll understand.”

  63. I loved this article, and I appreciate your words. I would love some advice, however. My ex and I have been on and off for about a year. Things ended a long time ago, in his mind, as I could tell by his actions. He strung me along for quite some time. He recently told me he wasn’t in love with me and we weren’t ever going to be together. I’m on week one of NC. Am I an idiot for wanting him back? I’m too proud to beg, and I want to move on, but I’m hoping for a second chance, although I’m not betting on it. Is there anything I can do?

    • Hey Ashley,

      You don’t want to be with someone that doesn’t want to be with you.

      Really let that sink in. Even if you understand it, and agree with it, you may want to be with the ex you remember, or with your ex plus all the old feelings.

      Well, that involves wanting to change something that’s beyond your control. And that’s the source of suffering. It’s that simple.

      You’re not an idiot for wanting him back. It’s a symptom of a larger challenge you’re going to have to face: you’re not putting yourself first.

  64. Me and my girlfriend broke up a few days before Halloween and about a week later she text me that she loved me so after a few minutes I texted back that I love her and we really haven’t contacted each other for about two weeks now except to discuss a bill…

    Last time I texted her I told her to tell me if she needed anything. Now I did that because she moved into a new apartment and she doesn’t have a job so I’m genuinely worried about her from a money aspect…

    Now we lived together for about 10 months and she still has a lot of clothes and other stuff here at the house so I’m kind of perplexed on how I should play the no contact rule given the fact that eventually she will have to come back to this house and either get her stuff or return the house key…

    • HB,

      Part of breaking up is resolving yourself from feeling responsible for the other person. It can be hard, but it can the exact thing that’s keeping you attached. It might be the most important thing for you to let go of.

      Have a friend be at your place when she picks things up. Keep all other contact to an absolute bear minimum.

  65. Needed this says:

    I want to take the opportunity to personally endorse Jesse and his therapeutic coaching methodology. Back in June I was devastated to have my wife leave our relationship and run off to be with her ex boyfriend . I felt devastated, lost , and literally spinning out of control. I was scrambling for anything to help end the pain and turmoil in my life. I came across this web site and took the steps to reach out to jesse and work with him one on one. His coaching helped ease the devastation I was feeling and he gave me methods and techniques to survive the storm I was feeling. It’s been six months now… I’m divorced and of course there is still pain, but I have learned to let go and find peace in this new chapter of my life. I felt like I wouldn’t make it, felt empty, hurt so bad from betrayal and broken heart I wanted to curl up and die, and then time goes forward. You will adapt,grow and find time eases the pain,it does not heal,but gives you the time to implement the tools required to survive and move on. Jesse: haven’t talked to you in awhile but just wanted to say thank you for all the help. Love and light my man, namaste!

  66. Hi Jesse

    I’ve read all the above and took heart from a lot of what you say. Can you explain what you mean by if you still want her back, your not committed to no contact?

    I love my ex with all my heart and always have. The relationship was always volatile mainly due to her insecurity, moods and anger and occasional violence.

    Unfortunately my action of withdrawing when she lost the plot probably didn’t help much either. I also lost it with her recently and gave her a load of abuse by txt when she stopped out drinking and elected to stay out all night. At the time I didn’t know where the hell she was and lost it myself. Mainly because she would go nuts if I even suggested meeting my mates after work for an hour or less and her hypocrisy is what drove me nuts. Anyway I digress coz my heads up my arse.

    She lives directly across the road from me so her front door is the view from my window. So please give me some guidance.

    She has made it very clear we’re through and she means it btw.

    • You’re not committed because it’s not your choice in that case. It’s by default because she’s going no contact on you.

      “No contact is about you deciding that you are going to take measures to no longer to get hurt by maintaining a relationship that hurts you more than it does you any good. It is about grabbing the steering wheel and taking back control over your life”

      Are you taking measures to no longer get hurt? If not, you’re missing the point.

  67. WOW – this site is wonderful!

    Well, my gf of eight years broke it off with me several days ago, though this isn’t the first time we’ve been through it. The two prior times were initiated by me; this was a first for her. The problem, historically, has been that she’s very good at “guilting” me, and I’m a professional at feeling guilt…not to mention that I do love her dearly. On the surface I’ve tried to convince myself that we still might have a shot at overcoming our same old problems, but I’ve always known, deep down, that we were just prolonging the inevitable.

    This split seemed to be coming – she was becoming distant, avoiding me, etc. I really wasn’t surprised when it came and I didn’t try to dispute her reasoning (placing ALL of the blame on me and providing some sketchy accusations), rather, I told her that trying to sit down and talk it out was probably only going to result in a lot of finger-pointing and bad feelings. She was very apologetic and sweet about it, aside from all the blame. I immediately blocked her on Facebook – expecting the sh**storm that I knew was about to ensue – and immediately cut off all communication, aside from a couple of texts regarding her picking up her things. The gentleness in her approach toward the whole situation lasted about two days.

    As of last night she became very short, and today – the big day where she was picking up her stuff – you could feel the hate just dripping off of her! I’ve not felt so awkward in years. The whole time, I’m wondering where the hell she gets off hating me as I’ve made this as easy as can be on her and haven’t lashed out at all?

    …maybe I’m not really wondering.

    I know the only way for me to survive this type of scenario is to distance myself as quickly as possible. I don’t want to try to reconcile, as I know that we’re no longer right for each other. I don’t want to spill to her how much I love her because I feel wounded by her, and for her to dump every last bit of the blame on me steals away any desire to offer her the slightest bit of comfort. I feel like I’m immature for all the feelings I have right now. The thing is, I know that my not “fighting for her” and being so willing to let this go is leading her to believe that I really don’t care. It feels cruel! I know we’re on the path that we need to be on, but I wonder if it’s right for me to not express anything at all to her like this? The thought of her going off into the world believing that she’s just spent eight years on someone who could let her go SO EASILY just breaks my heart.

    Then again, I know that to offer her anything at all will only leave me feeling like pure hell – she will stomp me down (I’ve seen it before).

    Very, very, very uncertain on how well I’ll proceed. I’ve done great so far, but just one day of weakness may cause it all to come crashing down, ya know?

    Anyway, I’d like to thank Jesse for this wonderful site, along with everyone who may offer any advice.

    • Hey Clay,

      That’s not unusual that you feel as if you’re on somewhat shaky ground emotionally. All the more reason to investigate those grounds. Why are you feeling wobbly right now? Dig deeper.

      With regards to your story, I have some comments.

      In general when two people interact, one person is reacting more to the other person, than the other way around. The person that is reacting more is communicating that they are lower value. Meaning that these signals, deriving from the primordial tribe life we were wired for, signal one person to be lower in hierarchy than the other.

      In other words, this difference in reaction intensity is testament to an underlying value differential.

      More often than not, the reason for a breakup, is ALSO a value differential. Women will fall in love with guys for being independent. And then slowly lose their attraction as the guy becomes more and more whipped in the relationship. She ends the relationship because she no longer feels attracted because she feel she now feels she’s higher value than him.

      It’s very possible your girlfriend was feeling this at an unconscious level. Her attempts to guilt trip you are part of a women’s natural arsenal of relationship-shit-tests. She needs to test you out throughout the relationship that you’re still in the independent minded guy she fell in love with. As soon as you start accepting the blame, accepting her frame, this will create the value differential I was talking about. You still follow?

      Now, when you switched from accepting guilt, to not reacting, you’re suddenly putting yourself first. You’re preserving your self worth. And guesss what, you’re projecting higher value. So, just at the point where she’s breaking up with you for being low value, you’re displaying high value behavior.

      Her whole logic for breaking up breaks down. She’s probably super frustrated with herself right now, and blames you (as usual).

      I might be wrong, but I think there’s a good chance this is what’s going on.

  68. i have been in no contact for 2 weeks. almost 3. i still mis her and want her back. the only thing is i know that time will tell whats gonna happen. for now its difficult enought to clear my head. she doesn”t contact me so its over but what if she does and i still want her back. im from holland please forgive my grammatica

    • No contact is about YOU, it’s not about her. This is about you taking responsibility for your happiness. No contact shouldn’t be your plan B in case she doesn’t contact you. It should be you, putting yourself first and acknowledging that no one person is worth all this pain.

      As long as you want her back, you’re not committed to no contact. You need to come to the realization that you’re undermining yourself by chasing someone that doesn’t want to be with you. Only when you let go will you be able to commit to no contact, and the answer to your questions becomes obvious.

  69. konstantinos says:

    you are a great man Jesse and you help a lot thank you for everything you make me feel better and most of all i calm down when i read your posts
    thank you for your work

    Konstantinos from Athens Greece

  70. Hey jesse after a couple of weeks of my gf breaking up with me what do I do if she texts or phones or trys adding me on facebook I have a horrible feeling she is going back to her ex partner of eight years which I think is a bad mistake as he was very controlling over her mind you they have four children together

    • Block her on facebook so she can’t add you. Better yet, take a facebook break and indulge in your real life friendships.

      Realize that there is no point in obsessing over things which you cannot control, your ex her choices being one of them. What you CAN control is your life, and the direction you’re taking it. I suggest you focus on that and do your best to make it impossible for you to contact your ex or vice versa.

      No contact doesn’t work if you half ass it. You need to commit to this.

      (If you and her have children together, it’s obviously a different story.)

  71. How do you handle the mixed signals from your ex girlfriend? It is driving me nuts!!

    • You stop engaging. She’s not going to act less confusing any time soon. Give yourself the opportunity to straighten out your thoughts with some sweet no contact time.

  72. You deserve what you get from her. Apologize with flowers. Geesh

  73. Hey Jesse
    What is your advice in regards “no contact” when faced with a different situation which involves wanting the relationship back again? Let me explain…I dumped my gf one week ago, sadly not for the first time btw, due to circumstances in the relationship. In the past we always worked things out and moved forward. Now of course this time is different. As you can guess, she is making me pay the price and says enough is enough and that she cannot continue in this relationship. The reason for the breakup is not really important anymore, odd enough, but I know deep down that we both love each other and this is not a favourable position for either her or myself. I am sure that we both hate the thought of losing each other but yes I am being punished in a sense and made to rethink my course of action last week. Any advice dude? I can’t see “no contact” hurting our chances at reconciliation but a professional opinion is most welcome at this point. Thanks man!

    • No contact helps you differentiate between what feels good short term and what feels good long term. It sounds that you’re having trouble doing just that.

      It’s normal to have second thoughts, especially if she seems to have moved on to some degree. You are wired to have a predisposition towards wanting what you can’t have.

      You’re emotions will hit you in waves. You need to take notice of the peaks as well as the troughs. Then you’ll be able to discern how you feel ‘on average’ about the whole breakup. Then act accordingly. Perhaps that means no contact, perhaps she deserves flowers. The key is not acting on impulse.

      • Thanks Jesse
        Your advice to “act accordingly” got me to thinking. It prompted me to do what I thought was the right thing to do. I did not send flowers btw, not the time for gifts in my opinion, but I did contact her thru email as face-to-face or a phone conversation was never gonna happen. I manned up and took ownership for my part in the troubles of late and did apologize for my own actions, while at the same time not letting her off the hook for her own part in all of this. I told her how I felt about her and that I was open to discussing resolution, however I do feel its time for me to go no contact at this point. If she can also see the error of her ways and is willing to meet at some point, then that gesture and request will now have to come from her. As always in life, you hope for the best (turnout) but prepare for the worst. I really do not expect things to change at this point but I do feel a sense of satisfaction that comes from both apologizing and laying the cards on the table with regards to my feelings for her. I truly feel that all that needed to be said has been said and for that alone I have no regrets now nor will I in the future. Thanks for listening and cheers man!

        • Hey WB,

          I’m glad you feel that way.

          One of the caveats of contacting your ex is that now it becomes very hard to not to expect some sort of response. Or expecting a response, and not getting one. Just remember, there’s no point in obsessing over things that are outside of your control (like her replying).

          • Truthfully Jesse I’m not expecting a reply. You see, rather than focusing on all the good times and the positive attributes she brought to the relationship, I am thinking of the reasons why I would walk away in the past to gain needed space. I realize that I am far from perfect, but having my own issues with the relationship continuously passed over, ignored and not addressed by her would ultimately lead to failure anyways. Of course, my preference is still to have the opportunity to work thru our differences as I do love her but its not something you can do on your own if shes not willing to listen and engage. I have a birthday coming up within the week and to be honest that should tell all. It will be 2 weeks apart by that time and if she has not had a change in her position by this time then I doubt she ever will. You are correct though, I seem to want what I cannot have…..I wanted a change from her which would have lead to a happier union but she was just unable to see that. This is the message I keep telling myself. Yes…it sucks without her and I truly do miss her and all but having your needs continually glossed over and unaddressed sucks too! As always, I look forward to your reply and I do listen to and appreciate your advice. You can definitely see this thing clearer than I seeing as you are removed from the situation and looking in so to speak. Much thanks!

  74. I’v been in NC mode for nearly 2 months now but things are getting worse for me. In the beginning I used to feel better than now. Now i feel more confused, frustrated and angry. Nothing is working for me. Every minute there is some new thought or question. i’m seriously feeling of ending myself.

    • AG,

      If you are having suicidal thoughts, please seek professional help immediately. This is just one resource I could find: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/suicide_help.htm

      The sadness comes in waves, you need to learn to recognize the highs and the lows. This is probably a low. And maybe it’s not over tomorrow. But guess what, at some point it will be. Remember that it’s not endless.

      Are you keeping in touch with your friends and family? Are you exercising regularly? Are you improving yourself? Do you have goals you’re pursuing?

      No one person is worth your life. This is an important turning point in your life, this is your launchpad to your rich, confident future. You just have to seize it!

    • Ag..Oh no don’t be silly. Stop being angry. Your punishing yourself unnecessarily.

      Now take the above advice.

      I know what your going through and it will pass give yourself time please.

      Fill your life up with nice things and one day you will look back and wonder why you put yourself through this.

      Take care

  75. Aldren Terante says:

    Very well said Mr. Heart Ranger! Thanks!

  76. In my current situation, struggling to keep going ‘no contact’ with the biggest love i have ever has, this article has made it so much easier for me. I feel more positive about my future, and decision. Thank-you for writing this. Its bookmarked, and i will always look back on it when there is hard times.

  77. Needed this says:

    I have recently started working with jesse and have to say, he knows his stuff. Compassionate,empathetic but willing to give you the kick in the pants some of us guys need to get in the here and now! Thanks Jesse. Know I still have a long way to go, but I appreciate you helping me on the trip.

    • IGNORANCE IS BLISS ! The whole point, benefit to you of NC is . . .

      Who cares what she does after the two of you are ‘no more’. Ask yourself this question, which would you honestly prefer? Her seeking a new ‘happiness’ making another man potentially miserable OR dropping dead completely, ceasing to further exist at all?

      If one chooses, tends toward the latter then indeed it is you that has the ‘anger issues’ for sure!

      • The part I definitely agree with here, Michael, is that what she’s up to isn’t relevant to you anymore. It doesn’t help you in any way.

  78. Needed this says:

    Needed to hear this. Jesse, do you do online or phone coaching … Wife left after six months of marriage, went right back to an ex boyfriend 🙁

  79. Needed this says:

    Needed

  80. Bhaditudu says:

    Great post

  81. dogoodguy81 says:

    I know no contact is best, but I can’t get rid of this part of me that’s still holding on… I’m afraid going nc is going to drive her away

    • Ainslie says:

      I think that’s the point of the NC, I know he mentions that NC is for yourself, but it also has some other positive reactions, It indicates to your EX that the door is no longer open, THATS what I did wrong, I left the door open a little bit, she ended up coming back and hurting me more now broke up again… SO its TOTAL NC for me…

      • JesseMartin says:

        Couldn’t agree more

        • Hi I just did my no contact for 16 days and I am eager to continue that untill I finish my 30 days but sad to say I break the no contact rule.it’s because he’s mom died and I know it is not a joke anymore.
          I just listen to what he said because I know how hard it is to lose a mom.

          He said maybe he Will go back to his country for good and I just said.what ever makes you happy I am also happy for you.

          Though deep in my heart it hurts a lot.but I think it’s a better way for me to forgot him easily..

          And he told me that he wanted to meet me before he leave.he wanted to see me for the last time..should I meet him?f

          • Haryl,

            I would break no contact in this case if he’s really going. But then I would be very clear about the purpose of seeing each other. It is also plausible that he’s using the situation to play the victim card and to get you to meet up with him.

  82. Great post

    • Thanks Esteban!

      • Joseck Wakhungu says:

        hi Jesse,
        My girlfriend dumped me a week ago for another guy,i was terrified to the point of taking my life.
        We have been together for two and half years now,we have gone through difficult times a relationship can go through but still survived.I had given this girl my all,I have a good career and been supporting her emotionally and financially,because we met on campus and we have really endured a lot.
        Though i could see warning signs,anytime i confronted her she always denied.I took her home last year and we were warming up to to a marriage this year.Little did i know she had ill plans for me.Two weeks ago,i noticed she had unfriended me on Facebook and i wondered why.I confronted her yet again but she couldn’t say anything.I stalked her further only to find out shes engaged to someone else,my world crushed when i saw the pictures.I asked her why she did that but told me matters of the heart are difficult to understand.After all this time that was the best way she could dump me.I wished she had prepared me in advance.She requested me to be her friend but i got annoyed and abused her and told her new guy our story.She went silent and told me never to talk to her again.I have been terrified.I have applied no contact rule but i still feel like am going into a depression.she was my dream wife,Cute,intelligent and humble.I still cry because of this rejection.I cant go to work or pick up a client’s call.she was my first and my all.I have accepted she’s gone forever,but for how long should i apply this no contact rule?Will this depression kill me?

        • Listen Joseck,

          The no contact rule you apply indefinitely – until you feel indifferent towards her.

          You say she was your first. If she was your first love then that’s also a factor you need to consider. When we lose our first love we have no reference point for the pain we feel. It feels like we’ve lost “the one”. But when we feel like we lose “the one” the second time around, we realise: Perhaps it doesn’t actually work that way.

          Ultimately we want a woman that wants to be with us. If you’re allowing yourself to pursue a love for someone that doesn’t love you back, you’re undermining your own self-worth.

          Oh and the depression won’t kill you. None of this will.

          Stay present my friend.

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