No Contact Rule: How Long Should You Do It For?

No Contact Rule: How Long Should You Do It For?

Let’s cut to the chase: you’re here because you want to know how long after a breakup you should wait before contacting your ex. This is known as the No Contact Rule.

Maybe you really want him back and want to set yourself up for the best chance possible to get him back.

Maybe your broke up with him and are looking for a way of getting over the relationship and moving on.

Or maybe the truth is somewhere between wanting to rekindle an old flame and wanting to spark a new one.

more: The No Contact Rule: Everything You Need To Know

Whatever the reason is, you’re here because you want to know how to execute the no contact rule, how long to do it for, and how to do it well.

And that’s why I’m here — to give you the details on exactly what the no contact rule is, and exactly how long no contact should last so that you’ll have the best possible chance of getting the outcome you want.

Take The Quiz: Can You Get Your Ex Back Or Is He Gone Forever?

Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Can You Get Your Ex Back” Quiz right now and find out if you can get your ex back or if he’s gone for good…

What Is The No Contact Rule?

Before we dive into specifics, let’s clarify what we’re talking about. The no contact rule is a set of guidelines to follow after you break up with someone.

In essence, it’s designed to give you the time and space needed to heal your heartbreak, get perspective on the relationship, and (if you want and are ready) give you the best chance of getting your ex back.

more: How To Get Your Ex Back In 5 Steps Guaranteed

So let’s take a look at what the no contact rule exactly means:

No contact means that under no circumstances are you to talk to him or attempt contacting him.

Which we can define as:

  • No emailing him
  • No calling him
  • No “bumping into him on accident”
  • No meeting up with him to “catch up”
  • No talking to him
  • No texting him
  • No letters
  • No responding to or initiating of texts/calls/emails

All in all, the no contact rule is exactly what it sounds like: having absolutely zero contact with your ex after a breakup.

My article on the no contact rule goes really in depth on the nitty-gritty details – if you have questions about what to do in specific situations, that’s the first place you should go.

But if you’re only here to answer the question of how long before he misses me with no contact?
Well, it goes much further beyond that. The no contact rule is also about trying to do your best to not think about him and take space for yourself.

more: How To Make Your Ex Miss You After A Breakup

That is not to say that each situation is the same — what if you work with him, have a child together, or circumstantially just can’t avoid him? If there are reasons out of your control that mean you have to be in contact with him, there are still ways of following the no contact rule.

In those situations, the best thing to do is limit any communication you have with him to a bare minimum.

Keep your exchanges about exactly what you need to coordinate with him and nothing more. I repeat: nothing more. Do not talk about your personal lives, plans for the weekend, or even the weather. If you stick to being strictly professional and deal with whatever circumstances keeps you in the same environment, you will be fine.

more: What To Do About The No Contact Rule

Now that we’ve gotten the logistics out of the way, we still have the big question to answer:

How Long Should You Wait After a Break Up To Do the No Contact Rule For?

Or more specifically, how long does it take for an ex to miss you with no contact?
Some people disagree on the exact timeframe of how long to do no contact for. So let’s ask some different questions: how long does it take a man to miss you? Or how long does it take a guy to realize he misses you? And even deeper: how long after a breakup is it really over?

When I think about the answers to all of these questions, it’s generally from 3 to 8 weeks. Personally, when I’m giving advice to friends, I like to give a minimum of 4 weeks as the best possible length for the no contact rule to work. Giving yourself a solid month of no contact gives you the space you naturally need to decompress and gain perspective on the relationship. And with that, it gives you the time to start healing a little bit.

no contact rule how long

So, how long should you wait before contacting your ex? Anything shorter than 4 weeks is generally too short to really see any benefits of the no contact rule. It should be noted that if you want him back and start going longer than 4 weeks, you run the risk of him also moving on and finding someone new. But that being said, you also run the risk of you moving on and meeting someone new too.

more: How Do I Reconnect With Him After Cutting Off Contact

But how long does it take for no contact to work if you were in a really serious, long-term relationship (think more than 2 years)? In those cases, a longer contact rule is probably better for your mental health and wellbeing than a shorter one. How long no contact takes to work after the breakup depends on the amount of time you two were together. And if you were together for a really long time, consider going longer than 4 weeks.

Think about the following: how long does it take for someone to miss you, that someone being a friend, relative or casual fling? There has to be enough time so that the other person can live their life without you. When they have a taste of what their life is without you, then they can compare and contrast what it was like when you two were together.

And you might be wondering: does the no contact rule work in long distance relationships? Absolutely. In fact, it might be even more effective in relationships that lead more to the imagination. The whole point is to drive him to curiosity about what you are doing, and make him miss you.

But all that being said, you should be doing more than just not talking to him during those 4 weeks.

more: Exactly How To Get Your Ex Boyfriend Back

To sum up: how long is the no contact rule and what is it for? 4 weeks is a good starting point to go without contact. It’s important to remember that those 4 weeks are primarily for you to heal and start feeling better. Throwing yourself into hobbies, exercise, self-care, hanging out with friends, and doing things that you like doing should be your number one priority.

Sometimes in relationships, the activities you used to do and enjoy doing fallen by the wayside. This is normal, and do not beat yourself up about it. Now is the perfect opportunity to pick up on whatever it is you have fallen behind on. Focusing on self-care and pleasure is a great way to get yourself feeling better and establish a much healthier mindset after a breakup.

Along those lines, working on yourself i.e. channeling your sadness and pain into self-improvement is a path anyone would advise to follow.

more: When No Contact Works And When It Doesn’t

Going to the gym, taking up running, or really doing anything that gets you active, out of the house, and feeling good are the best ways to fill your time during the no contact period.

Not to say that this is only a journey for healing. Not only will physical exercise make you feel physically better, but it will also make you look better and feel mentally better about yourself. What is the success rate of the no contact rule? You get as much as you put in: if you’re productive, looking good and feeling good, you’ll have a much better chance of moving on from him more quickly, or getting him back if that’s what you are looking for.

more: No Contact And The Blow Off

Remember: during no contact you shouldn’t be sending him any messages, or keeping any kind of contact with him in any way. If he messages or calls you, you should not respond. Obviously if it’s an emergency you can break the no contact rule, but only to deal with the emergency specifically. Once it’s dealt with, contact should be put off immediately.

So, to sum up: how long does it take for a guy to miss you?

If you follow these rules (and again, if you have any questions, check out my in-depth article on the topic), you will give yourself the best chance to feel better, move on, and heal from heartbreak. And in doing so, you give yourself the best chance of getting him back eventually — if you decide that’s something you want.

more: Why The No Contact Rule Is Important

5 signs the no contact rule is working?

Given that you should not be contacting him or keeping tabs on him, it’s hard to point to specific signs that it’s working on his end. But I will break down the general psychology of how it works in 5 stages.

1. Relief

Your ex will feel initial relief from the breakup in the first few days of no contact for usually about 1-2 weeks.

2. Curiosity

Then they start to wonder why you haven’t reached out to them, or what you might be doing instead. His curiosity will increase each day that you go without speaking to him.

3. Anger

This is not always the case and depends on the person specifically. But this is the stage where, if curiosity has built up in your ex’s head, he’ll start to wonder if you might be with another person. Jealousy may come up. This is usually where rebound relationships occur in the stage of a breakup.

4. Preoccupation

Your ex has let his imagination run wild about what you could be doing to the point where he is totally preoccupied with you. Even if he’s in a rebound relationship, this is where the bubble might burst for him and he sees this new person as something that’s unrealistic – and potentially a nuisance.

5. Fear

This is the final stage that determines any course of action. Your ex is afraid that he has lost you forever. Between breaking up with someone and being broken up with, this is the stage that the initiator starts to feel the way that you felt in the beginning.

60 day no contact rule?

Usually, it’s best to go 4 weeks with no contact, but this depends on how long you were in a relationship to begin with. If you were in one for anything under 2 years, you might run the risk of both parties moving on going longer than 30 days with no contact. How long does no contact last for a serious, long-term relationship over 2 years? 60 days might be best.

Is it safe to say the no contact rule works every time?

The answer to this question is tricky. Do exes come back after no contact? Not necessarily. But that does not mean the no contact rule is not and has not been working. The no contact rule is designed to establish a healthy mentality for you, which also happens to be the best way of getting an ex back. If you were broken up with, the chances of him realizing he made a mistake are dependent on whether or not you show him what he’s missing. And even then, you might wonder, “How long before he misses me?” Even if you don’t hear from him, the no contact rule is a sure-fire way of making your ex curious about you. And curiosity almost always leads to longing.

Why is the no contact rule so effective?

The no contact rule is so effective in that it gives both parties enough space to be objective without losing sentimental value on the relationship. What would the point be of breaking up, only to be inundated with a barrage of calls and texts asking to get back together? As hard as it is, try to think back on the time when you and your ex first started dating. So much magic and excitement came from what was unknown about each other. And also, it’s important to remember that the no contact rule isn’t about how long before he calls after a break up — it’s about what you do with yourself in those 4 weeks, about taking space to improve yourself and give much needed clarity and perspective.

Is there a no contact rule success rate?

Something crucial for you to take away from this article is that the no contact rule can be working without you being aware. Your ex could be thinking about you nonstop, but they haven’t reached out to you yet. How long will it take him to miss me? He could regret his decision to end the relationship in the first place, wondering what you are doing, and thinking about reaching out. That would mean that the no contact rule is strongly working. But how would you have a way of measuring its success?

When does no contact not work?

If your ex doesn’t contact you, it’s usually because of the 5th stage I talked about earlier — fear. During no contact, it’s common for an ex — no matter how strong his feelings might be about wanting you back — to fear rejection. It sounds counterintuitive, but maybe he realized he made a mistake and feels ashamed about it. Worst-case scenario, let’s say he blocks you or refuses to talk to you. Even then, that’s still a sign that the no contact rule has worked because your silence has driven him towards extreme action. Hate isn’t the opposite of love, but indifference is. Besides, if spend the no contact period just wondering how long before he comes back, you won’t be using the time effectively.

No contact rule male in psychology?

Men, as a general rule, have strong egos. We all pride ourselves on being the best friends, lovers, boyfriends, husbands, etc. Whether we like to admit it or not, we thrive on validation.

So, what happens when your throw silence into the equation of male validation? A blow to his ego. So, how long does it take for a man to miss a woman after a break up? Not long, so long as you give him space to miss you in the first place. In the case of no contact, it’s really about how silence works towards your advantage in spinning his imagination. And in keeping your silence, how long does it take for him to miss you? As stated earlier, the standard course is anywhere from 3-8 weeks. Which brings me to my next point below…

What to do after the 30-day-no-contact rule?

If you have stood by the 30 needed days of no contact, this is the stage where, for some people and in many cases, he will reach out to “check in” or see how you’re doing. If you haven’t heard from him in this time period, I would recommend waiting at least 3 months before taking initiative to reach out on your own. Obviously it would be best-case scenario if he reached out himself, but if you are certain that you want to get back together with him after 3 months, reaching out would make the most sense.

Whatever you do, just remember — 4 weeks minimum is the best of time for the no contact rule to work. Good luck out there!

Want to find out if you can get your ex back? Click here to take our quick (and shockingly accurate) “Can You Get Your Ex Back” Quiz right now and find out if you can ever get him back or if he’s gone for good…

Take The Quiz: Can You Get Your Ex Back Or Is He Gone Forever?

49 comments… add one
  • Jessica August 9, 2021, 4:06 pm

    So he broke up with me for his mom. His mom made him breakup with me. There was a religion problem. His moms a Hindu his dad is a Christian and I’m a Christian but his mom doesn’t want him to choose Christianity so she choose to kick me out of his life and he agreed and broke up with me through a cold message. Saying we should have individual futures, he can’t disrespect his family this am that. And said that we should move on. And I want him back. Cause I really love him. He has made up his mind. He hasn’t contacted me since the day he broke up with me. I have replied to that cold message he sent through his friend and I haven’t contacted him at all. But I want him back. It’s been 2 weeks now and he’s not even checked up on me! What should I do?

  • Darrell March 15, 2021, 5:01 pm

    To all of those saying you can’t do this… Yes you can!

  • Scott January 26, 2021, 11:35 am

    9 year relationship became strenuous for me (male) since May ( it’s now Jan 2021) due to a “male friend”. Fast forward to recently she told me she was pregnant and due to the iud in place it the pregnancy needs to terminated. She calls me after 8 days of nc wanted to recommit. I did, went over and few days goes by I reach out wanting to see her only to get a response don’t come over her “male friend” is at the house and I will only be disappointed. Now I’m starting nc over again, 5 days in now and it’s not any easier the second time around.

  • Kanchan Yadav August 10, 2020, 4:54 am

    My boyfriend she is that he love me but his family force him to marry another. So his marriage got fixed and now he had broken up with me. We had a quarrel and he said that he will marry wherever his parents wish to. What should I do now to get him back? I love him very much. Will this no contact rule work for me in this case?

  • Goofy July 28, 2020, 11:22 pm

    He broke up with me just day before yesterday…. I did a big mistake… I bad mouthed his family and mom who is no more already…. Of course he used bad words on me first…. But I can’t take this breakup any more… I love him so much…. It is a 2 year long relationship…. I am starting no contact rule by today for 30 days…. Hope it works… I miss him very terrible

    • ngoc tho April 1, 2021, 2:08 pm

      anh now, what happened?. Are you and him together?

  • TheBaby17 June 5, 2020, 2:57 am

    My case is confusing; like everyone else’s. We never really ‘broke up’, but he had such mounting stress he had become unapproachable. Then with the pandemic to top everything off, we haven’t texted in 2 months. We are in an LDR, he is a doctor in private practice, so with the US economy getting hit, I am pretty sure he had to go under. Then he has all of these other problems, and rather than me nagging and wondering where we are going if any where, I just left him alone. A relationship is probably the last thing on his mind. However, about a year and a half ago, I mentioned I wanted to get married again at some point in my life, that’s when he really went cold. We’d been ‘together’ for about 3 years. We went from talking 5 times a day, him always telling me goodnight, to nothing. Then, I got cancer and he was barely there. I don’t have good luck with men, so he has been the best one out of the bunch at my age. The longest we went without texting before was 1 month. Now, it’s 2 months, but again, with all of the world’s outside problems, he is likely having a hard time. But, we were best friends and I would have hoped he would have let me help him through this. One thing that I have learned while on no contact, is that I tend to smother those that I love. I want to make them feel like they are special and the only person on the planet and I have no problem spoiling people. Perhaps that is just too much for some. IDK. But, the longer this goes on no contact, the less chance we have at rekindling what we had. I just don’t know how to get that back. Thanks for reading, and I would love to hear of other stories, success or not, in finding the love that we all deserve. Be well.

    • Wonder_Woman July 18, 2020, 11:39 am

      Hoping you are doing good @TheBaby17. Praying for your health. I felt the same with my boyfriend. we are also in LDR 6 months now. It was supposed to be our 14 months together but suddenly he ghosted on me for 2 days. On the 3rd day he finally replied saying he just wants to be alone. So I just said to him to take his time but I still love him and if he needed someone to talk to I’m just here. That was our last convo. It’s so heartbreaking cause there are several things going on now in this pandemic- economic impact, job security is at risk, anxiety, mental health issues and now this. We are in no contact phase now for 1 week but for me it felt like a month already. He’s normally sweet, caring and the first one who chats. I don’t really know why there’s a sudden change. :(

  • Bdoi April 14, 2020, 11:08 pm

    One week feels like one month.. I hope this rule works.

  • minnie March 25, 2020, 1:47 pm

    I want to know what to do with my situation. My ex boyfriend changed and said he didnt feel the connection between us after went for a field trip in asia for a month. we dated for more than 10 months. It has seem to be nice, and he told me he like rather quiet girl, and I am exactly one. But he changed entirely during the trip, I also felt his message were less sweet and not showing much care for me. The thing really shocked me was that it has absolutely no hint before, the last time we met, we had fun talking in the restaurant and great intimate time. So I find it so harsh to accept that he said he met some couples and new friends from the trip who made him realise he was not so happy in the relationship. I first express my doubt about meeting him in person for the break up, I just feel it would hurt mor and I stopped reply to his last message of him explaining how he lost feeling, I find it too hurt to say anything yet. So it has been basically no contact for 3 weeks, but for my situation we haven’t met since he flew to asia, that is actually almost 2 months we haven’t see each other. I wonder if I should start to talk to him again, or still wait till the no contact more than 30 days? There is one thing tricky make me struggle to whether still wait is that I opened the mail box today, and found a tore aparted envelope with an accessory which I left at his place, I believe he droped by in person and might even rang the bell, but I didnt know it untill today, and I am also curious about why the enveloped is tore apart, did he go mad that I ignored him or was it by accident? So I urgently want to know what I should do now? should I talk to him now? (ps. he still checking every of my instagram stories(nothing about the break-up) always like the first persons to check them, does it mean anything?)

  • Ani March 5, 2020, 1:53 pm

    Hi question is he needed space and i gave him the space but after 4+ weeks of no contact idk what he wants …he said he’ll contact when hes ready to but has not yet …idk what to do ..any advice please

  • Adejumo damilola January 6, 2020, 10:33 am

    My boyfriend broke up with me a month ago we didn’t fight, he just sent a text that I’m special, different he loves me but he doesnt want to waste my time we should break up I’m confused

  • Pauletta January 9, 2019, 4:58 pm

    I really connected with this person but she was not happy with my situation that I am willing to change for her it was only a month. What do you think?

  • Steven Senjaya October 10, 2018, 8:35 am

    This is a really good method. Just do it until you feel it’s alright to lose him/her. It’ll be really hard at first, but trust me, you’ll feel very grateful and happier after you can get through this! Yeah, it’s also good if you can get him/her back, but if you are too hopeful that your ex will be back, it can surely lead you to a huge dissapointment,sadness, depression, etc. Don’t forget to surrender it all to God and, Cmon you can do it!

  • Check these guys out August 10, 2018, 6:10 am

    It’s always great to take time, rethink things & reevaluate your relationship after no contact rule.

  • Myrelationships Center July 25, 2018, 8:10 am

    I see that you have shared great points for no contact rule, for relation not going postive vibes. keep sharing.

  • Jasmine June 11, 2018, 12:58 pm

    How long should I do no contact if we only dated for about 2 months?

  • Naseem June 6, 2018, 8:02 am

    No contact rules does not affect in my case. Plz help its almost 2 months

  • Tenesee Swepston March 13, 2018, 3:23 pm

    My no contact period is almost over. But I didn’t start it until 17 days after we broke up. Was that too late? Can I still get her back?

  • nola February 12, 2018, 2:49 pm

    3-8weeks may seem too long at first specially when you really can’t help but want to get back together with your ex. but this is a very important step you have to take to really have a better and clearer perspective of what happened and what you want to happen next.

  • charlee February 12, 2018, 8:37 am

    this is definitely an eye-opener to women who can go too impulsive over any breakup. it’s difficult to do but surely it’s something worth doing .

  • chelsea January 23, 2018, 7:37 pm

    i think i can’t do this.

  • Sada January 9, 2018, 1:17 am

    He has no contact for 4 months already after sent me text to broke up with me I cryied every days and respect him so stop everything.
    First, he suggested me to get married then move to his country after he back home he denied and said did not want again made me upset cos I did many things about documents for waiting him after that the situation was getting worse I called him to ask then no contact 1 month then he sent picture of me and ask me that “did you want to talk” I was very angry and disappointed on that time just say thank you for the picture at all then no contact for 2 weeks and he sent me text again to ask “do you want to talk ” I just asked him back “What did you do to me? he sent me many reasons which not true that his fellings think I do not like him much and said broke up with me. That all. I was confusing do not know what I want to do. Then 4 months that no contact and checking his FB profile he post gf with him and explained so romantic time so far. I was devastated and cried. Why he found girlfriend very fast just 4 mths we spent time together for 2 years. Does he go for good or no?
    Any comments would appreciate.

  • olivia September 28, 2017, 5:33 pm

    i did it for as long as i could hold it together until i realized it’s not worth the try again. now i’m at my happiest since.

    • IrishBluesNoMore December 1, 2017, 1:25 pm

      7 weeks coming up Monday. Did a few things wrong. She fired me via text. She was aleady gone. About a month before official. I got very sick have a tumor removed. I became weak and clingy. Just physically and mentally at my lowest. New guy in town no doubt. Can’t blame her I’m split up but Ed still lives here until Jan 2018. Good news is Tumor is gone bad news is so is she. She said she loves me. But couldn’t be there with me to help
      Me . Because my ex still being here. No contact . Time to reflect it wasn’t a healthy relationship. Started out on shaky ground. Shouldn’t have put her in that situation. Even though my ex is A roommate. I fell so hard so fast. Im
      Not chasing anymore. Now it’s time to diet , cross train, gym, bike , hike and surf. Back to school finish up. Back to my great 32 yr Career. Back to improving everything about me for myself. In time it will happen if not I’m good. God is good . Don’t look back you can never look back. I thought I knew what Love was. Those days are gone forever and I’m letting her go. Right Here Right Now….

  • renee September 26, 2017, 12:55 pm

    control the urge to even look at his profile on social media. this will prevent you from wanting to contact him.

  • rachelle September 7, 2017, 5:05 pm

    i just don’t think i’m brave enough to do this =(

  • jackielyn September 6, 2017, 5:00 pm

    when i was struggling with this issue with my then boyfriend, i came across one of your posts about your the “no contact rule”. it was tough and it was painful but i braved it and stood by my decision and in the end everything worked out for my good. i never got back with my ex but i have met the man for me afterwards and we’ve been very happy. <3

  • sandra August 23, 2017, 6:31 pm

    waiting a bit more won’t do you any harm. in fact, if you only open your mind you will be the one benefiting from it.

  • nicole August 20, 2017, 7:41 pm

    take as much time as you can. this will make him really think about the relationship as much as you need to on your own.

  • sage August 18, 2017, 11:38 am

    they say habits are usually formed in 29-30 day period so if you want to really get a persective of the relationship, i think minimum of 30 days is best.

  • debbie August 16, 2017, 3:28 pm

    try it and you’ll not even notice how long it already took you.

  • catleya August 15, 2017, 6:35 am

    don’t count the days, weeks or even months. count the may ways you can have the time for yourself. take this time out and you will grow as an individual, this i assure you!

  • margot August 6, 2017, 11:52 pm

    thanks for sharing this. i think this is really a good point

  • karen July 31, 2017, 11:59 pm

    do it for as long as you can and for as long as you’re comfortable enough

  • amelie July 30, 2017, 10:50 pm

    do not keep a countdown. focus on having this time for yourself and enjoying it doing the things you love.

  • apple July 26, 2017, 3:19 pm

    stick to the plan. even though he cannot see you do it, don’t even look at his social media profiles

  • rhianne July 23, 2017, 11:47 pm

    i will try to hold up until i can really say i’ve moved on..

  • nova July 17, 2017, 11:40 pm

    don’t put limit in it for as long as you maximize this time to feel better and think

  • cadence July 16, 2017, 4:15 pm

    follow this rule and you’ll thank yourself later on, i promise! (=

  • antoinette July 13, 2017, 11:56 pm

    do it for as long as you can, until you move on. it will be best for you.

  • kirsten July 10, 2017, 7:06 pm

    4 weeks isn’t bad at all. you can really think about things and your future may it be together or separated.

  • Jessica July 9, 2017, 11:19 pm


  • krizia July 9, 2017, 1:23 pm

    i tried this for a couple of months and then i realized it’s not worth taking him back and i’m thankful i did because now i’m so much happier

  • sabine July 4, 2017, 4:57 pm

    for me, a month will do. this is enough time to break any habit. so if you both can’t deal without each other then you must really still love each other.

  • wilma June 29, 2017, 1:11 pm

    don’t even think about snooping around his social media accounts! this is will help you lessen the urge to contact him.

  • bliss June 28, 2017, 11:22 pm

    gosh..this is very tough! i don’t if i can endure such waiting! :(

  • billie June 27, 2017, 10:12 am

    this may seem pointless, but in the end you will be thanking the stars!

  • lindy June 25, 2017, 3:15 pm

    gosh, i won’t be able to last! =(

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