You have most likely heard about the “no contact after break-up rule,” which basically consists of taking a specific period of time shortly after a break-up – usually a minimum of four weeks – where you do not contact your ex in any way, shape or form.
The importance of sticking to the rule completely and unconditionally cannot be overstated if your goal is to get your ex back in the most effective way. This psychological process can be very powerful and works on almost every human being.
The Male Mind After a Breakup
There seems to be an abundance of information about how women deal with break-ups, including the power of uncertainty on attraction, but there’s not so much out there about what men experience during this time.
It’s a well-known fact that men don’t open up and share their feelings like women do. However, more studies are now looking at what men are feeling and thinking during a break-up.
Regardless of what people think, breakups are hard on guys. Although they may successfully hide it under a macho exterior, in private, real men do cry.
A man’s emotional reaction can include:
- a feeling of numbness
- profound sadness
- a deep sense of loss
- feelings of failure
Why do Men Avoid Vulnerability During a Breakup?
A common thought about men is that break-ups are easier on them because they don’t get emotional and can move on more quickly to the next relationship. But it isn’t that simple.
Men experience emotions, but often use avoidance to deal with them. Just because they are avoiding their emotions doesn’t mean they don’t experience them. This is a coping mechanism for men as they attempt to shield their vulnerability from the world.
Should I Use the No Contact Rule to Get Him Back?
Cutting off all communication for a set period is effective and beneficial because it works from a psychological standpoint. Couples need time and space after a break-up to get off the emotional roller-coaster, take a step back, and literally review what happened that caused the relationship to falter.
Clearly, there are going to have to be changes made for the relationship to have another chance.
If he was the one to initiate the break-up, he is telling you he needs a break in your daily pattern of association – there are things happening that he simply cannot deal with any longer. Give him what he wants and step back, even though it may be challenging for you. The time you gain to clear your head and look at things realistically will be good for both of you. Reevaluation of the relationship is the key for having a meaningful chance at reconciliation.
The Male Mind During No Contact
When you go several days or more without contacting your ex, he will definitely feel confused. He thought you were going to continue calling, texting and freaking out. When you suddenly stop, he will wonder,
What’s going on with you?
Where’s the girl who used to respond immediately to my texts?
Are you missing me at all?
Have you moved on already and are seeing someone else?
Now he really starts to question his decision and is wondering, “Did I make a huge mistake?”
This is the beauty of this approach: he can see things more clearly now, which may help him realize the possibility that he had been taking you for granted.
What He Thinks When You Ignore Him
There’s a fine line between ignoring a man for too long, or ignoring him just long enough to keep him interested in you and show him that you’re not needy or clingy, which can make him want you even more.
This makes perfect sense from a psychological standpoint. The human brain is wired to want things that are challenging to acquire. Neediness is never attractive. When you give him space, show him you are independent, and that you have other options, he will definitely become more attracted to you again.
How Men Respond to No Contact
A period of time where you do not speak or see each other is important to open a man’s eyes to a whole new reality: life without you.
As the days go by, it’s likely that he misses you more and more. He moves past the irritation and frustrations he felt toward you and begins to remember the wonderful times the two of you shared. Now he feels a strong sense of loss.
As he evaluates his own behavior in the relationship, he begins to see instances where his behavior was not stellar. He knows that if he really wants to come back into your life he’s going to have to make some changes.
He’s excited about showing you how he’s changed because he wants to be your man again. No matter how small those positive changes he’s making are, he will definitely want to show you. The lack of communication between the two of you only makes him want this reunion even more.
Is He Thinking About Me During No Contact?
It’s easy to panic during that time of no communication, but ditching the plan can ruin the positive effects you’re hoping for, so don’t be tempted to give in before the deadline.
After initial relief and increased clear-thinking, he becomes aware of an actual fear of losing you because he remembers all the things he loved about you before it went south. It’s at this point that his thinking turns back to having positive thoughts about what you shared during some of the best times of your relationship.
Following the rule about do-not-contact gives you a high chance of success at reconciliation. It’s critically important to avoid making mistakes that will ruin your chances of getting your ex back during this period.
For a deeper understanding, check out our article How to use the 30 day no contact rule to get your ex back.
Why the No Contact Rule Is So Effective
The success rate is high – some say 90% – when done with complete commitment.
The key to this high percentage of success lies in the word perspective. Your greatest chance of bringing about reconciliation is dependent on each of you changing your perspective about the relationship.
Think about it – your relationship was broken and could no longer survive in the condition it was in; therefore, change is required to have any hope of reuniting.
And change can only come about through clear-mindedness, which is never what you have right after a breakup. You’re on emotional rollercoaster and cannot think straight until enough time has passed.
You May Not Think You’re Communicating – But You Are!
You may think you’re not communicating during this time period, but in reality, you’re passing on a great deal of information to your ex: your strength, your resolve, the fact that you respect his decision and are backing away as he’s asked you to do, and that you are strong enough to be on your own.
You are always communicating to him, whether you’re actually talking or not. It’s important for you to understand how valuable this time apart really is. This is the time you both need to change your perspective and lay the groundwork for a reunion that will last.
Jason Fladien is an author and relationship coach living in Toronto.
He used to struggle so much in his own love life that he decided to learn everything there is to achieve such level of understanding at which he’d not only be able to completely change his life but also help others to change theirs.
Now he’s on a mission to help others achieve effortless and happy relationships as he believes that relationships are the most important thing in life.