If you are facing a breakup and are thinking about implementing the no contact rule, one of the thoughts swirling around in your mind is probably how long should you do it.
Its an important question. If you don’t choose the right length of time to put your ex into Radio Silence, you may reduce your chances.
You are probably wondering just how many days it should last. Indeed, your mind is probably racing with all kinds of thoughts around how the No Contact Rule is best executed.
10 Top Questions My Clients Ask About How Long Their No Contact Period Should Last
- Just how many days are too many?
- Is it too late to do no contact?
- Can I Do a Mini No Contact Then Text Him Back?
- What if I don’t contact my ex and they leave me?
- Does the No Contact Rule really work?
- Won’t my ex leave me after all those days of ignoring him?
- How Many Days Should I Wait Before I Can Text Him Back?
- How long should I do no contact if this is the second or third breakup?
- Do I need to do no contact longer since I have already tried it?
- Do I have to start over with no contact if I messed it all up?
7 Tips On Determining How Long Your No Contact Period Should Be
So you are probably dying to know what things you should take into account before deciding how long you should do NC. Certainly, this is an important decision, so you don’t want to rush into it without thinking it through. Fortunately, I wrote an epic eBook that deals with this concept and much more. So take a look at this Resource.
Here are my 7 tips on what you should consider before making the No Contact Plunge!
Tip #1: Take Into Account How Long You Were Together
Generally, if the two of you have been together for a long time – and I am talking about several years – then you probably want to avoid No Contact unless things have deteriorated to a point where the relationship is struggling in a big way. And so if no contact is the path to take, it may be best to go with a brief period, perhaps in the range of 14 to 21 days (or less in some situations).
Tip #2: Consider the Manner You Broke Up
So just how bad was it when the relationship got unplugged? Was it an awful breakup where you were throwing things at each other – calling each other names and insisting that you hate and despise each other?
Or was it a mild one, where the two of you amicably parted ways.
In cases in which the breakup was horrifically bad – OK, maybe that is an overstatement. Let say in cases in which the two of you left the relationship in tatters, despising each other, you will likely want to take a longer view of the No Contact period.
In cases where you feel emotionally vulnerable because the break up left you extremely hurt and disillusioned, then once again a longer no contact period (e.g. 45 days) will enable you to find that healing path and rebuild your sense of what is the right thing for “you” going forward.
Tip #3: Assess How Often You Broke Up In the Past
Another factor in setting the no contact period is how often the two of you have broken up. I talk about relationship history all the time with my Coaching Clients to get to bottom of how to proceed.
If this isn’t your first, but your second breakup, or even third (or more), you will probably want to take more time away from each other. Obviously, when there are repeated breakups, that pattern is not healthy. It is easy for us to repeat the same mistakes if we don’t take sufficient time to pause and take a hard look at ourselves and the whole picture of whether the relationship should continue.
Tip #4: Is There Another Guy or Girl In the Picture?
When you break up with your ex because he or she took another lover, that spells big time trouble.
If there is another guy or girl in the picture, trust will evaporate and erode leaving you confused, disillusioned, and angry. The kinds of breakups caused by an affair usually strike deep into one’s psyche and you should not expect that things will come back together without an extended No Contact period.
Of course every situation involving a betrayal is unique, so don’t go forward with setting a no contact period until you have taken into account these other factors.
Tip #5: Take Into Account If You Are Working or Living With Your Ex
Implementing No Contact can be made to be a lot more challenging if you live or work with your ex. It can tend to add more pressure on the ex couple as they try to navigate around each other. So while it’s not ideal to try no contact when you live or work with your ex, sometimes it is a suitable strategy in order to convey to your ex partner how you feel about things through non verbal communication.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you should have a longer or shorter no contact period, as other factors are more important when setting the time scale. But if I had to offer you some general advice without knowing all of the particulars of your situation it would be to not over extend your no contact period. If you do live with your ex or work with them, there is likely to be added strain and the overall effectiveness of NC could be muted.
Tip #6: Evaluate if Your Ex Is Unusually Stubborn
I have heard my clients tell me many times about how stubborn their ex is and that they are afraid they will have to stay in No Contact a very long time because the ex may never learn his or her lesson or want to reach out.
It’s sad, but true that some people are stubborn to a fault and if your ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend has a stubborn streak, it may take longer for the positive effects of No Contact to make a difference.
Tip #7: Was It You Or Your Ex That Initiated The Breakup?
So who broke up with who?
Did your ex dump you?
If so, then ask yourself how he went about doing it and if was a classless act, then we are probably looking at a much longer No Contact period.
You may not be ready to return to a relationship very soon, if you were dumped for fear that it could happen again or worse you will be rejected again. So don’t be in a hurry to try and piece things back together. You will need time to recover and you will want a good amount of time to go by so your ex boyfriend or girlfriend can learn the folly of their own ways.
Now on the other hand, if you initiated the breakup – meaning you dumped your ex – but then later had a change of heart, it may be wise to take a briefer or somewhat more moderate period of time.
Though you may be somewhat more in the driver’s seat at convincing your ex that you made a mistake. Trying too hard and too soon to get things back to where they were before, can easily backfire if you try to rush back to make amends. It’s a sorry sight to witness a relationship come tumbling down because neither party was really ready to put their best foot forward.
The Different Lengths Of Time For Your No Contact Period
So when we talk about how long NC should last, we can get into some very interesting discussions as there are many considerations. Just remember that the NC Rule is adaptable and their is no magic timeline that is guaranteed to work. One needs to take into account many factors before deciding how long that want to remain in Radio Silence.
The 14 Day NC Period – For The Couples That Need a Briefer Break As Things Are Not Completely Broken
I usually recommend this length of No Contact for couples that had a moderate blow up. It’s serious enough where they called things off, but the seeds of them coming back together again are usually already present.
Perhaps they have been together for a few years. This couple may also have a good record of positive relations with no break ups in the past. So sometimes a week or two will help them both get the relationship dialed back in.
The 21 Day NC Period – Often Referred To As the Sweet Spot
This seems to be a sweet spot for a lot of individuals who are looking to take some time away from their ex.
The breakup was probably fairly serious and some feelings were hurt, perhaps badly. So now some time needs to be taken for both sides to decompress and re-evaluate their next move.
I urge my clients to use this time to seek out some healing and focus on their own personal growth. It’s also a time to reinforce their value and that can be accomplished in many ways. Healing and Attraction – two sides of the same NC coin.
The 30 Day NC Period – The Most Commonly Talked About Period of No Contact
This is probably the most commonly heard of period of time for someone to employ Radio Silence.
There is no magic number in taking 30 days as you NC period. It could be 28 days that is more optimum. Or perhaps the individual needs more time and so pushing it out to 35 to 38 days of No Contact might be advisable. The key is not so much the specific number of days, but what you are doing during that time to optimize your success.
The 45 Day NC Period – The Relationship Was Really Suffering
OK, so now we are getting out there in terms of length of time to be separated. This period of time may be best used in those situations in which the relationship was really floundering and some serious damage was done with words and actions.
Again, the strategies you employ once the No Contact period has started up are very similar to all the other periods, except you are going to need more time.
60+ Days for No Contact – Getting Out There In The Dark Zone
I usually don’t recommend NC periods in excess of 60 days because as you get that far out, it is my belief you have diminishing returns.
Indeed, being separated for that long could have adverse effects on the viability of the relationship. So if you are thinking of having a really long no contact period, in excess of 50 or 60 days, you may want to reconsider and dial it back in.
But remember, 60 days is just a number. And one cannot rule out the possibility that certain circumstances may require a no contact period in excess of 60 days. So long as you have a rationale reason to support you choice of time period, that is what matters most because no one has a crystal ball.
No one can tell you exactly how long your no contact period should be with complete precision.
How Do You Know That Your No Contact Period Is Too Short?
OK, just so that you know, there are times when people choose to implement no contact but they don’t do it long enough.
If you expect to heal and recover from all the anguish you have experienced as well as work on those things that will allow you to be the best version of yourself and get all that done in just a week or so, the odds are against you.
Just rebuilding trust and throwing off the anger and resentment you or your ex may have accumulated after the breakup is going to take some time.
So while the forces acting upon you will try to convince you to end the No Contact period and reach and out to call or respond to your ex’s reply, be forewarned. You will likely be ending it too soon.
What you are looking to achieve is to arrive at place emotionally where you can look yourself in the mirror and honestly tell yourself you are doing much better and have made serious inroads in getting over the disappointment of the breakup.
That is one part of the No Contact process. The other part is laying down a foundation of creating a value chain where your ex comes to see that you are much more than they realized and that they were mistaken to let you go.
When Is Your No Contact Time Period Too Long
Lastly, let’s talk about when you do No Contact too long.
It can be tricky to know whether you should tack on a few more days or weeks. A lot depends on how you are feeling about things and how much progress you have made in personal recovery.
But you also need to gauge whether your ex is ready to revisit the relationship or is even approachable.
Mind you, in my Program, what I teach is to do thing in steps, preferably slow and measured steps. It’s quite easy to rush right back out there and make the same mistakes that afflicted the relationship before.
So in my view, there is more risk in not taking enough time to achieve the goals you set for yourself during the NC period.
But you don’t want to wait so long that the opportunity passes you by. That is why I tend to recommend caution for those NC periods that exceed 60 or more days. Even doing a NC period for 45-50 days could be a touch too long.
Just remember, it really depends on the factors that led up to the breakup and the history of the relationship. If the two of you have been plagued with multiple breakups and a lot of conflict or a super serious breach in trust, then longer NC periods are probably better.