signs the no contact rule is working

Have you recently gone “no contact” with your ex? This is usually a confusing and frustrating time, whether you wanted to break up or not. The No Contact Rule is often recommended after a breakup. Still, it can be almost impossible to know whether or not it is actually working. If you are completely stumped during this radio silence, here are ten tell-tale signs the No Contact Rule is working and what you can do next.

What is the No Contact Rule?

The No Contact Rule is a commonly recommended solution to various problems in the immediate aftermath of a breakup. This is a time when emotions can run high and fluctuate wildly, so it is often a good time for some distance between you and your ex. This can help you take some time to think about what it is you really want.

The rule is commonly set at 30 days, although it can be shorter in some cases or even go on permanently in others. During this time, ex-partners may avoid all forms of contact, whether face-to-face or over phone, text, or social media. Some couples may even block each other on social media sites.

The specific rules can vary among different people, but the key feature is a limiting of communication.

Tell-tale signs the No Contact Rule is working

The signs that the No Contact Rule is working might be confusing. You are unlikely to see all of these signs, but more than one or two may well signal that things are working out the way you would like.

1. You get a text from your ex

Of course, if you suddenly get a text from your ex, he has clearly been thinking about you for some reason. If he says that he is missing you, you can be sure that the No Contact Rule has worked. However, it is more likely that if your ex reaches out to you, the reasons will be less obvious.

If he asks you vaguely, “how are you doing?” he may be checking up to see if you are okay, or he may be trying to test the water with a general conversation. Either way, he is probably aware that breaking the No Contact Rule may signal that he thinks about you. Your ex-boyfriend clearly feels that contacting you is still important enough to be worth doing.

How you respond to this message is up to you, of course!

2. You hear that your ex has been asking about you

Have you heard from your friends that your ex has been asking after you? If this is the case, he is clearly thinking about you, and perhaps he even misses you. This could mean that the No Contact Rule is working.

When you have mutual friends, you can use this to your advantage and find out precisely what your ex was asking about. Was he trying to find out if you have been dating anyone else? Or was he just asking if you could return his favorite sweater ASAP? This makes a lot of difference!

Be warned when using this method, though; if these mutual friends told you what he said, they are likely to say to him anything that you say also.

Have you heard from your friends that your ex has been asking after you? If this is the case, he is clearly thinking about you, and perhaps he even misses you. Click To Tweet

3. You receive anonymous gifts or letters

Have you received an unmarked package or an anonymous letter from somebody lately? If this is the case, it may be that your ex is behind it. If he is really struggling with not seeing you, he may feel the need to reach out to you in some way anonymously. Sending gifts, letters, or flowers is one way that he could potentially do this.

Think of it from his perspective; he is really missing you but does not want to break the No Contact Rule that he agreed to. Your ex-boyfriend wants to have some kind of positive impact on your life, even if you do not know that it is him who has caused it. Any anonymous gifts are likely to be from him.

4. You’re getting more attention from men

Whether you are interested in getting your ex back or not, noticing that you are getting more romantic attention from other guys can be a good sign. If you want to move on, knowing that you are desirable to people can be reassuring that you will have dating opportunities in the future. If you want to get back together with your ex, this can still be a helpful boost to your confidence. If other guys are interested in you, your ex may well be too.

An increase in romantic attention can be for different reasons. Perhaps men who were already attracted to you when you were in a relationship have just found out that you are available again. Maybe you have been focusing on yourself and developing healthier habits that have given you a “glow” again and started to turn heads.

Whatever you are looking for, the increased attention from men is a good sign and shows that you are making progress.

If you want to move on, knowing that you are desirable to people can be reassuring that you will have dating opportunities in the future. Click To Tweet

5. You are succeeding in other areas of your life

The No Contact Rule is not just a way to make your ex jealous or regret the breakup. It is also a way to help you to move on in your own life. You will probably find you have more time and energy to focus on other aspects of your life, such as work, friendships, family, and hobbies.

Have you been achieving more at work after the breakup or spending more quality time with your friends? This may be a sign that the No Contact Rule is working. You may find that you actually prefer your life like this without your ex being in it, or you may still want him back.

Whether or not you and your ex get back together eventually, improving your own life is a massive benefit to you.

6. You hear that your ex isn’t doing well without you

Another sign that your No Contact Rule is working is finding out through the grapevine that your ex-boyfriend is having a tough time. You may have heard that he misses you and wants you back, or it may be something less direct. For example, he may have been underachieving in aspects of his life, drinking too much, or neglecting his hobbies.

If he is not doing well since the breakup, he is more likely to want you back in his life. He may not admit it, but it is certainly a sign that may point this way. I had a friend who was a total fitness fiend—spending hours every single day in the gym. That was until his girlfriend left him. As soon as that happened, he lost all motivation to work out. Eventually, they got back together, and he went back to the weights.

If you want him to come back, this sign may mean that he is more than happy to do so.

7. Your ex has followed you again on social media

Social media activity can be a useful way to work out how your ex is feeling. While a true no contact period involves removing or even blocking each other on social media, many people give up and unblock or even follow their ex just to see what they are up to.

I’m not suggesting you should break the No Contact Rule yourself and visit his profile to find out. Still, if you happen to see a friend request from your ex or notice that he has unblocked you on social media, this may be a sign that he misses you.

The No Contact Rule may have been an attempt to make him miss you or allow both of you to think about things and let lingering resentments fade away. Either way, this is probably a sign you may be ready to move on (with or without each other).

If you happen to see a friend request from your ex or notice that he has unblocked you on social media, this may be a sign that he misses you. Click To Tweet

8. You’re feeling more optimistic about the future

If the No Contact Rule is working, you may notice that you feel more optimistic about the future. A breakup and the time afterward is usually stressful and upsetting. You may spend days or even weeks feeling empty, alone, and bursting into tears at the smallest of things.

If you have noticed the tide turn and the future start to look a little brighter, this is a clear sign that no contact is working for you the way it should. Getting your mental health in good shape is one of the main reasons for applying the rule.

Whether the future looks brighter because you can imagine your ex returning to you or because you feel happier without him, this is a good sign.

9. You “just happen” to bump into him somewhere

Another sign that he may be missing you during the no contact period is crossing your paths with your ex unexpectedly. If you live close and happen to bump into each other at school, work, or the grocery store, this may not mean much. However, suppose he “just happens” to “unexpectedly” bump into you somewhere that you know he would not usually go. In that case, this may be a sign that he is craving contact with you.

Your ex-boyfriend probably doesn’t want to “admit defeat” and put himself into the vulnerable position of “breaking” the No Contact Rule. In that case, engineering a situation where he can bump into you “accidentally” is something he may do.

He may be breaking the No Contact Rule because he wants you back as his girlfriend, or just because he misses being friends.

He may be breaking the No Contact Rule because he wants you back as his girlfriend, or just because he misses being friends. Click To Tweet

10. His social media posts seem designed to get your attention

You should not necessarily break the No Contact Rule yourself by checking out your ex’s social media profiles. However, you may end up seeing a post or two of his, especially if you share mutual friends who interact with them or send you screenshots. If his recent posts on social media seem too relevant to you, he may have deliberately done this to get your attention.

For example, he may be pretty clear that he is missing you and even say so in his social media posts. This is especially possible if he has been out drinking and lost his inhibitions! He may go the opposite way and try to brag about something he thinks will make you jealous and regret your decision to break up with him. Posting pictures of himself flexing at the gym or close to someone else are typical examples of this.

He may also post something more subtle, like a song he knows you love or an in-joke that you would recognize.

When can I contact my ex again?

There are various reasons that you may want to contact your ex-boyfriend. The no contact period may have made you realize that the breakup was the wrong decision, and you should get back together. On the other hand, it may have made you feel happier than when you were with him. You may want to speak to him after the agreed no contact period has ended just to make amends and part ways with more closure. You may wish to continue as friends now that hard feelings have passed. If this is the case, you should certainly wait until the agreed period has ended. Even then, it may be best to go an extra day or two so you don’t look too desperate to reconnect.

If you want to get back together with your ex, you will want to know if he feels the same. Seeing any of those signs may indicate that he does, but nothing is guaranteed. Suppose he has messaged you during the time you were supposed to be having no contact. In that case, you may be able to leave a reply to this message after the no contact period has ended.

If you have decided that you want to get back together with him and you think that he does too, you will need to remember a few things. Don’t seem too keen or desperate, as this may make him change his mind. The best thing to do is start slow, talk as friends and play it cool. See where this takes you before you suggest getting back together. Remember that there is no rush; you went this long without contact, so you know that you can be patient.

Diana is a passionate beauty and lifestyle blogger. She loves writing about her journey of self-discovery and self-care and analyzing all the aspects of relationships.