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For those uninitiated, the 30-day no contact rule is generally peddled as a technique involving ignoring your ex for about 30 days to get them to miss you more, and then reaching out with some canned line or message.
It’s a common hoax dumpees fall for. Same story with 45 or 60-day no contact periods. They believe that if they don’t contact their ex for 30 days or so, this ex will magically start to miss them, become receptive, and immediately give another shot once they reach out.
Once these poor dumpees actually reach out after their 30-day mark, what’s more likely to happen is that they’ll get bitchslapped by either a deafening silence or a scalding rejection.
Look. This whole 30-day no contact thing is nothing but a gimmick greedy gurus keep yammering on about because they know desperate people will pay for it because they want a quick fix. And the 30-day no contact rule is an exemplar of a quick fix.
It’s also what everyone fucking wants to hear. Because let’s be real. No one wants to listen to the person saying how they should leave their ex alone after getting dumped and only give them a shot at rekindling things when they reach out first.
People want to hear what feels good — fight for your love, you can save your relationship all by godamn self, strike while the iron is hot, reach out in X-days, here, take this happy reminder text template.
Do you see the problem with this shit? Yes? Maybe? Ethics and stuff? It’s needy? …Here, let me go and unpack the whole thing for you.
I’ll start by listing reasons the 30-day no contact rule doesn’t work. Next, I’ll explain when it does and the signs indicating so. And last, I’ll put forward a more effective alternative.
Reasons For Why The 30-day no contact Rule Sucks
Here’s why the 30-day no contact rule does more harm than good, listed in no particular order.
1. The 30-day no contact Rule hijacks and sabotages the psychological process of detachment
The psychology behind the no contact rule goes like this:
- Giving your ex space helps you avoid displaying more unattractive behaviours like constantly calling or texting them or begging them to return.
- Due to your absence, you also pique their curiosity, and play on their nostalgia. This, in turn, makes them more likely to miss you since they start to think about you more.
- And when your ex keeps thinking about you (emphasis on keeps), they may become remorseful about breaking up.
- Then they may reach out. This is your green light for proceeding with setting a definite date with them, at which point you kick off the re-attraction process.
Now here’s how waiting 30 days and then reaching out hijacks your ex’s potentially growing attraction and, err… fucks everything up.
- When your ex dumps you, they’re sub-communicating that they want space. But instead giving them what they want and letting them return at their own pace, you start bugging them after 30 days.
- And would you look at that, you get the same results you’ve gotten before. Rejection and drama. Why? Because you’ve kept doing the same thing that got you into this mess in the first place: not giving space.
2. The 30-day no contact rule Is Unproven (In fact, there’s evidence disproving it)
The 30-day no contact rule has no concrete studies backing up its effectiveness. Now I know gurus like your Brad Brownings and Chris Seiters claim the opposite. But they’re only telling you that because it’s what you want to hear — because it sells.
Truth is, all the data we have on reconciliation, even attraction in the context of dating, hones in on a singular principle: pursuing someone who rejects you only perpetuates more rejection.
Even worse, this person can take advantage of your codependency and use you for financial or emotional gain. And if they’re particularly fucked up, they may even pull you into an on-again/off-again relationship. That is, a relationship typified by umpteen ups and downs, as well as breakup-makeup cycles.
3. The 30-day no contact rule Only Encourages Performance, Leading To Inferiority
If you’re an avid reader of my blog, you know I’m a zealot for relationships based on raw and unrestrained vulnerability. Well, adhering to tactics like waiting 30 days and then reaching out with some canned line or whatever is the polar opposite of vulnerability.
It’s a performance behaviour — a behavior done specifically to game the other person, and come out on top. One that always ends up making you feel more inferior to the other person.
And what happens when you progressively start feeling inferior to your ex? You begin to seek out only more performance behaviours: never text twice, never talk about deeper topics, let getting back together be your ex’s idea, and so on.
A couple of weeks of this shit go by and your relationship suddenly becomes like a game of chess. You don’t need me to tell you how toxic that is.
But even more importantly, you become needier. And this neediness sooner or later bleeds through your behaviors and gets your ex to notice it. And when they do notice it, they get turned off as rejection inches ever so close.
4. The 30-day no contact rule Diverts Your Focus From Things That Matter
Most people who use the 30-day no contact rule get so obsessed about hitting that X-day mark and earning “permission” to reach out to their ex, that that’s all they think about.
As a result, they hardly put any effort into self-improvement — that which actually matters when trying to get back with an ex.
And what do you know! When they reach out to their ex after 30 days, still harbouring the same emotional issues, still making the same mistakes that got them into a breakup initially, they quickly sputter and stall like a busted engine.
5. The 30-day no contact rule Makes You More Irritating (Sometimes Even Infuriating)
For one, following this dumb 30-day no contact rule is annoying and predictable. After all, your ex eventually figures out that you’ll just reach every 30 days or so regardless of what they do. Put differently, they know they’ll receive their unearned dose of affection and approval without batting an eye. So no shit they won’t appreciate it.
Even worse, reaching out after 30 days implies you see your ex on a pedestal and foster low self-respect or none to begin with. Otherwise, why would you contact someone who expressed that they don’t want to hear from you through dumping you?
Here, let me wrench the knife even deeper. Following this time sensitive no contact rule also makes your ex feel as though your whole life revolves around them. And the minute your ex starts to suspect you chose them over yourself, you lose them.
6. The 30-day no contact rule Makes You Disrespectful
When your ex dumped you, they’ve insinuated that they want space and wish to have nothing to do with you.
And when you start bugging them, despite their desire for space, you’re insinuating back, “Fuck you, I want you back now, at my pace. And I don’t give two shits about what you want.”
You’re essentially, disrespecting their decision to leave, disregarding their desire for space, and figuratively spitting in their face — snot, breakfast bits and all.
7. Contacting Your Ex After 30 Days Usually Just Upsets Them
When we think of something funny, like a puppy pug wearing a dinosaur costume, we experiance an array of feel-good emotions attached to that vivid, mental image.
Your ex goes through a similar process process when they hear from you. They also construe a mental image of you in their mind. The difference, however, is that this image, as apposed to our puggy-wuggy, reeks of negative, painful emotions like sadness, anger, grief, or even resentment.
That’s why you normally just upset them when you start interacting with them prematurely. That is, before they reach out, giving you the green light for commencing re-attraction.
When does the 30-day no contact Rule work
In two cases. When your ex broke up with you in the heat of the moment, without thinking anything through. Or when they’re still dramatically attracted to you, and are merely mustering up the courage to reach out.
Now even if you’re caught in any of these two cases, it doesn’t mean you should just break no contact after 30 days. Hell no! Your ex still dumped you. Thus, make them work for you. Not to manipulate them of course, but to show them — and yourself — that your self-respect is still intact.
Think of it this way: if you start pampering your ex, doing all the heavy lifting from the get-go, they’ll never respect you. Granted they have a healthy dose of self-respect themselves. And if your ex cannot respect you, your chances of forming some healthy, lasting relationship with them are next to nil.
How to tell if the no contact rule is working?
Here are five telltale signs to look for.
- Your ex initiates contact, whether it’s an obvious attempt to get back together or a subtle mention that reminds them of you. The only exception is when they try to discuss logistics like pets and kids, shared possessions, living arrangements, or work projects.
- Your ex is more responsive to your messages and doesn’t hesitate to meet up with you. They may also unblock you from social media.
- Your ex responds quickly and enthusiastically to your messages. However, be cautious as interpreting “quick and enthusiastic responses” may vary.
- Your ex asks your friends and family about you, or they send their own friends to gather information about you.
- Your ex communicates directly or indirectly that they still have feelings for you. They may invite you out, tag along wherever you go, talk about your future, or express their desire to get back together.
Want to dive deeper? Click here to read an entire guide on the signs your ex still has feelings for you.
A better way exists: Indefinite no contact
So if our infamous 30-day no contact rule is a bad idea — which it is — what’s a good alternative? Well, I call it indefinite no contact. And while I wrote an entire guide about it (that you can read by clicking here), here’s the gist:
indefinite no contact is the equivalent of walking away and never looking back after getting dumped. It’s when you prioritize your own immediate well-being over mending your relationship. It’s when you focus exclusively on getting yourself back instead of concocting some elaborate plan to get your ex back.
Be warned though. Before you cut communication with your ex, clearly tell them about your desire to mend things.
If, after expressing this desire, your ex is receptive or implies they want to get back with you, invite them on a date. In this case, no contact isn’t required.
However, if your ex is cold and unreceptive, or if they’ve blocked, ghosted, ignored, or rejected you, end the conversation and carry on with no contact. And, as I wrote earlier, only give them a shot at mending things by inviting them of a date, if they reach out first.
Further Resources About The 30-Day no contact Rule
- The Ultimate Guide To The No Contact Rule: my longest and most detailed article on the no contact rule, both in the context of breakup recovery and getting an ex back.
- Going No Contact With A Fearful-Avoidant: an article about the psychology of a fearful-avoidant during no contact.
- Should I Contact My Ex Who Dumped Me?: similar arguments than those made in this article, but the overall message tackles a wider topic.
- Should I Text My Ex? 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t: argument about why you shouldn’t contact your ex relating more to breakup recovery than re-attraction.
- My Radical Re-Attraction Course: my flagship course on getting an ex back. In it, I go even deeper into the no contact rule, devoting hours of video and written material to the subject.
A few tips for developing self-awareness. The better you become at the skill, the likelier your ex will perceive you as more attractive.
The Stages And Psychology Of Dumpers Remorse
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Change Your Mind About Getting Your Ex Back
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My First Taste Of Vulnerability
Consider being more vulnerable with your ex yourself. Maybe it changes everything. Fuck around and find out.
The Inferiority Gap
The science and solutions behind arguably the largest and most common problem people who want their ex back face.