The no-contact rule is getting a true break from your ex-partner and giving yourself some space to figure your feelings out.
The rule is more about healing from the breakup rather than getting the ex back, although that possibility isn’t exempt.
When an ex texts you during no contact, there are hidden motives that can range from simply getting an update to trying to reconcile.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t make the process any less painful or confusing when you see their name pop up on your screen.
Breaking no contact has its consequences and how you deal with them defines the effect it might have on you.
So dear reader, here are 9 things you can do when your ex text during no contact:
1. Take your time to think about your response to it
Take some time to reflect upon the emotions you felt when you saw their name pop up on your screen.
Being calm and focused will provide you with a strong logic to set your boundaries and respect them. So take your time.
A dear friend of mine was in a similar position once. Unfortunately, she acted upon her emotions and ended up hurting herself and her ex-partner.
Taking your time to process their attempt to reach out is crucial if you want your healing journey to continue.
Once you’re calm and recollected, you’ll find yourself having an easier time thinking about your response.
Your response to your ex’s text can be no response at all, a text that replies to their question, or a text that reminds them of your boundaries.
You don’t have to text right away, it can take a few hours or even days until you decide what you’d like to do.
The text you send them can be a repetition of the questions they already sent to you, like:
“I’m doing great thanks. How about you?”
On the other hand, you can remind them of the weight of their action with a line similar to:
“I’m doing ok, thank you. And you? I’m surprised to hear from you as we agreed to stop contact. I need space, and I’d be grateful if you’d respect it.”
If you don’t feel like responding to their text, you can since this is a No Contact period and no contact is expected.
2. If you feel they’re interfering, you can block them
When you keep getting texts from your ex during no contact, you can just block them.
Block your ex from all social media, delete all chats, and block their number if you sense that their presence disrupts your healing process.
This abrupt disconnection can be complicated and emotionally overwhelming, and it’s normal.
This is a disconnection from a person you once loved, it isn’t going to be easy.
However, cutting all contact with them will provide you with space to focus on self-growth and healing.
You’ll be able to find emotional and mental healing without being distracted by the thought of your ex.
This decision is yours to make.
It can be tremendously helpful for your healing journey, especially if you sense that your ex will continue making attempts to contact you.
So, if they’re continuously interfering with your healing, block them, and take the actions needed for you to have your peaceful space together.
3. Avoid letting your ex step you back from healing
When your ex texts during no contact, you aren’t aware of what their intention might be.
They might want to be friends, they might want reconciliation, or they might want validation.
Be mindful of your response to their text.
By being mindful of your response and the way you react to their text you avoid giving your ex the power to step you back from healing.
Your ex likely wants something more than friendship by slowly installing themselves back in your life. Don’t allow that to happen.
You can identify that your ex wants to be more than friends when they
- Get angry for seeing you with someone else;
- Want to be updated on your life constantly;
- Think you need to win their approval if you want to see someone else;
- Talk about how good you were together in the past;
- Start texting you similarly to when you were dating;
Avoid letting them sneak back into your life. Your response to your text is likely to determine that, so think of your response and its effects.
4. Ask them directly about the intention of their text
When you keep getting texts from your ex during no contact, ask them directly about their intentions.
If you don’t agree with their reasons, you can tell them to not contact you again.
Nonetheless, avoid using harsh words, or an impolite tone to get your point across.
Try approaching the situation calmly and clear-headed.
You can say something along the lines of:
- “Hey, I wasn’t expecting a text from you. What is it about?”
- “Hi! I appreciate you reaching out but what is this about?”
- “Hey there. We agreed to no contact… I understand your need to reach out, but I don’t think continuing contact is a good idea. Is there a specific reason you’re reaching out?”
When an ex texts during no contact they might still have feelings for you. It is because of these lingering feelings that they want you back.
5. Ask yourself what would you get from responding to your ex’s text during no contact
You might be considering responding to their texts because you feel happy that they finally reached you and understood your value.
Just before you text them back, sit down and ask yourself these questions:
- What do you expect of them? (behavior-wise)
- Are you expecting to get back together?
- Is texting them back going to help on your healing journey?
- How will texting them back affect your emotional state?
- What would you get from talking to them?
Once you have reflected, try to understand where your feelings are coming from.
Try understanding your emotional state before coming up with the next step.
If no contact isn’t respected, the healing process might take longer and take you back to the beginning stages of the breakup.
Reflect on this and see where you’re standing, and what the source of your urges is.
6. Be attentive and careful of the mind games they might play
When your ex texts during no contact, you should let them know of the boundaries they crossed.
To win you back, they could use mind games and tricks that, unfortunately, in most cases, are very toxic.
Such mind tricks and manipulation tactics include breadcrumbing, lying, victimization of themselves, passive-aggressiveness, gaslighting, etc.
Ask yourself the value they would bring to your life if you took them back.
Avoid starting a chase. You would start the chase by sending them texts like “I miss you” or “I can’t stop thinking about you”.
When your ex knows that you still have feelings for them, they will pull back and let you do all the work to make things work again.
You’ll be chasing them, and that can start creating an imbalance within the power dynamic in your connection.
When imbalanced, the power dynamic can make you less satisfied, respected, less worthy, and in need of validation from your ex.
Be mindful and careful of the games they could be playing.
7. Don’t give your ex the power to dictate how things should go when they text during no contact
Understanding your intentions before you text your ex back will help you clarify the manner you will proceed with texting them.
You need to take the power of defiance when you don’t want to do something and disagree to do things their way.
You shouldn’t hand them the power to control the progress.
You can feel empathy for their pain, however, you have to feel empathy for yourself as well.
By doing things their way “because they’re in pain” you give your ex the power to dictate how things go once they contact you during no contact.
Prioritize yourself and your health before everything else.
Don’t give your ex the power to control or disrupt your healing journey.
8. Remind yourself of the reasons why you broke up
The common mistake of putting your ex on a pedestal can make you even more vulnerable to their mind games or their attempts to get back to you.
Because of the emotional connection you’ve shared with them, you might find yourself running to them for validation or affirmation.
That automatically gives power to their words and actions in your emotional state.
You might now see your ex as more valuable than you, put them on a pedestal, and see beyond the reasons that led you to your breakup.
In this case, one of the most eye-opening things to do is to remind yourself of the reasons why you broke up.
That will allow you to have a more pragmatic approach to the situation.
It is a highly effective way to prevent yourself from romanticizing your story with your ex to an unrealistic point where you decide to get back to them.
Prioritize yourself, build your confidence, and think on practical bases instead of ideal ones.
9. Avoid reminiscing about the time you spent together
Letting nostalgia guide your response to your ex’s texts during no contact will further confuse the intake of your current situation.
When you think about the amazing past, you will start missing those feelings and thinking about getting them back.
That can make you act upon your emotions and make irrational decisions.
This is where taking your time gets very beneficial.
To avoid reminiscing about the time you spent together (and the urge to get back to your ex), try taking some time for yourself.
- Think of the progress you’ve made so far;
- Think of the reasons why you broke up;
- Ask yourself how realistic are the memories you’re reminiscing about;
How long should I wait to text my ex back during no contact?
When your ex texts during no contact, you should wait at least a few hours or even take a whole day to text them back.
It isn’t about playing mind games, but rather being comfortable enough with yourself to text them without feeling like you have to.
Take as long as you find it necessary to gather your thoughts and consider your expectations.
If you have already reestablished yourself during no contact, wait at least 3+ hours before texting them back.
Don’t drop everything and panic about what to text, or send a panicky text right away.
Remember, it doesn’t matter what they think, as long as you are at peace with yourself.
Moving on: How do I gain back the power after my ex texted me during no contact?
After your ex texted you during no contact, you might feel that they still managed to go through the tough exterior you built.
The power and confidence you regained during no contact seem to be slipping from your hands as their texts still affect you.
Here’s how you can move on and maintain your No Contact strategically:
– Commit seriously to no contact.
Don’t give your ex another chance to contact you. And avoid contacting them even if it takes blocking them on social media.
Even if they still manage to get through, delete the chats and take some time off from social media.
Make yourself the focal point and don’t get distracted.
– Get creative and busy.
Let your feelings out by building or creating something that will bring you joy but also see progress.
You can start writing in a journal, put together a jigsaw, or paint your thoughts and feelings away. Find solace in the little things.
– Actively participate in your community.
It feels much better to be a part of something bigger in which you can help build and value the input and skills that you offer.
Try volunteering as it can be a rewarding activity and it can help you see your value, and regain confidence in yourself.
– Actively try to understand yourself. Talk to a therapist.
Try to reflect on yourself at the end of each day and identify the sources of how you’re feeling.
Once you locate the cause, you should focus on finding the solution. If you can’t do it alone, seek professional help.
Don’t feel ashamed of your decisions or of what you’re feeling as your experience will serve you in the future.
You can read books (suggestion: The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim), talk to friends, or your therapist.
Focus on what makes you feel good, whole, and confident. When you love yourself you will be unbreakable.
All in all, by respecting no contact, you will have time to process your feelings without being influenced by your ex’s advances.
The no-contact rule is there to help you, so take advantage of it. Stay happy and healthy.