“Is My Ex Thinking About Me During No Contact?”

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woman staring at phone

Today, I answer a reader’s question about whether her ex is thinking about her during no contact after a breakup.

“Hi Elizabeth,

I’m having a really hard time with no contact. My ex broke up with me 2 months ago.

I went NC 3 weeks ago and he hasn’t contacted me since. I feel like he doesn’t care about me anymore. I wonder if my ex is even thinking about me during no contact at all. It breaks my heart that he can just go on like nothing happened when we used to talk multiple times every single day.

I see on Facebook that he’s starting to date and this tears me up inside. Mutual friends say he seems happy. Does he even care that we’re broken up? I feel like he’s just going to forget all about me.

I really appreciate all of your email, it makes me feel like I’m not alone.”

—DoesHeEvenCare

Hi DoesHeEvenCare,

Thanks for your email. I see a few things here in your breakup situation that are probably causing you more pain than necessary.

The first problem is, lots of people don’t truly “get” the purpose of no contact. They think that no contact is a trick that they are doing to get their ex to wake up and pine for them. They feel like it puts them in the driver’s seat, and it a way, it does because maintaining no contact with your ex is powerfully self-protective. But going no contact after a breakup (NC) is not mind control.

NC should not make you look over your shoulder wondering “WHEN” or “IF” your ex is going to pop up so that you can pat yourself on the back for “winning” and making them pine after you.

Thinking of no contact as a manipulation like this (even though it’s because you want your ex back) lends itself to a few serious problems that actually make it harder to get your ex back in the long run.

If/when your ex does not contact you during the time that you have designated as a no contact period, it’s easy to decide that no contact “doesn’t work” and get discouraged about making positive changes in your life at all.

Waiting around for your ex to do anything during NC is a problem within itself.

No contact is supposed to give YOU space to get yourself in order. If you’re looking at going no contact like your ex is a turkey that just needs time to cook and he’ll magically come back to you begging to see you after the time is up, you’ll fail at getting him back.

Bugging your ex all the time wasn’t working so well to get them back before you went NC, so breaking down and desperately contacting them isn’t exactly a healthy strategy either.

The point is to detach, NOT to look over your shoulder at your ex, daring them to come at you so you finally have power and control.

Unfortunately, looking at no contact as a trick you’re doing is a surefire way to feel even worse about the breakup and actually sabotage yourself completely.

You don’t go no contact because you’re trying to get a reaction from your ex. You go no contact so that both of you have the emotional and mental space to heal from the breakup.

Especially if you follow the instructions in my Ex Attraction Formula program, you are not going no contact to magically jar your ex into a frenzied place of having to have you just by using no contact.

You’re going no contact with your ex to get time, space and perspective on the situation for both of you.

You go no contact to reinforce that you’re letting go and moving on without them.

Now, when I mention letting go and moving on, people freak out.

I completely get it, it feels like I’m saying that you have to get rid of a person you so dearly want to be with. But that’s not it.

What you have to let go of is your attachment to your ex.

Attachment is not love, it is the addiction undercurrent in any relationship. It’s the habit of being around someone. And, attachment is usually what makes people act as strangely as they sometimes do during breakups.

Attachment is also the root of all relationship problems. No contact is meant to break this unhealthy attachment so that the real love between both of you can shine through.

ESPECIALLY if you want your ex back, you must let go of this attachment for right now. This doesn’t mean “stop loving your ex,” it means that you have to step back, rebuild, get your confidence back, and stop putting such monumental expectations and life or death significance on whatever your ex is doing.

That brings me to my second point. When I say “go no contact,” you have to ACTUALLY do no contact. This includes not checking up on their social media and not talking about them to your mutual friends about them.

When you’re all up in his business to the point where you’re hoping to control his thoughts– that’s NOT no contact. Right now, you’re having trouble even controlling YOUR OWN thoughts and there you are, trying to dictate what he’s thinking about you and trying to place meaning on what IS/ISN’T happening with him.

“Ok, But What Is My Ex Thinking During No Contact?”

Your ex is most likely nursing an combination of hurt about the breakup just the same as you are.

Just because you haven’t heard from them does not mean that they don’t care about you or the relationship.

In fact, depending on the circumstances behind your breakup, they could be thinking about you quite often. The more they’re left alone to think about you, the more likely that your ex will break down and contact you.

If they DO contact you, be aware that this contact might not look like the grand gesture you could be hoping for. Your ex is not going to contact you only because you want him to. Your ex has to want to get in touch with  you. Sometimes with space and distance, your ex will have the opportunity to think about you and want to talk to you.

And… isn’t that what you actually want?

For your ex to want you back all on his own?

I explain this more in my video, 3 mistakes you must not make if you want him back which you should definitely watch here.

Keep in mind that I’m not trying to be hard on you at all. I get it. Trust me, your ex thinks about you from time to time. If they didn’t, they would probably not be human.

Be strong and hang in there,

-Elizabeth

If you are absolutely sure you want your ex back, make sure you go watch this video presentation I made which describes the 3 Mistakes You Must Not Make If You Want Your Ex Back.

About Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth Stone is an author and founder of Attract The One.

Her popular program Ex Attraction Formula, has helped hundreds of women reunite with their men. She is thrilled to have helped so many people reignite the spark in their relationships.

Tirelessly focused on helping people improve their love lives, her work has been featured on EHarmony Blog, YourTango, Thought Catalog, Mogul, Fox News Magazine, Ravishly, Femalista, Popsugar, Read Unwritten, Medium and many more.

17 Comments

  1. Qweentutt

    August 12, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    I had a huge fight with my ex for a message the mother of his child sent to me via Facebook Messenger stating that he’s been living with her (I’m 21 living with my mom), she also told me that he was denying me. After seeing her message I texted and confronted him about the message and he became angry at ME for responding to her after he told me not to. So he started saying hurtful things to me and blaming me for his anger as if I was taking her side or believing what she told me. I feel extremely hurt and cannot forget the things that were said. We have not spoken to each other for 11 days now and I went by her place and saw his car during this No Contact period. We have not reached out to each other so far and usually I’m the one to make things “Ok” after an argument but I’m trying to do something different because I believe he has become accustomed to me being the bigger person or trying to settle things. Why hasn’t he contacted me? What is he thinking? Will he contact me?

  2. Sara

    January 7, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I was e mailing a married man I made him do all sorts of tasks taking him out his comfort zone to leaving voice mail messages for me and not allowing him to speak to me personally toprove he’s worthy ..I’m a cancer survivor this guy has said he’s fell for me hook line and sinker I’m a very strong individual ..I told him yesterday to stop daydreaming about things we would like to do together walks in the park etc if we are not going to have the time to do it as he was confusing me ..he knows I’m not the type to sneak about and I do believe he has adopted strong feelings for me we have really opened up to each other ..anyway yesterday he said sorry babe and I didn’t reply he has not contacted me either what is he thinking

    • Elizabeth Stone

      January 7, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Men generally get tired of being sh*t tested. That could be the issue, or he could have gotten busy since it’s only been a day so far.

  3. Kevin

    January 24, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    What about no contact when he’s seeing someone else?

    • Elizabeth Stone

      February 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Kevin,

      No contact when your ex is seeing someone else is a good idea because it lets them get really familiar with their new partner’s quirks. Most relationships don’t work out, all on their own. If you allow your ex to experience the new person, warts and all, lots of the time it gives them a chance to really miss you once the rebound folds.

  4. Fahim

    May 1, 2017 at 11:03 am

    How long would you advise for the no contact period to be if your ex left you for someone else?

  5. Eden

    May 23, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I just broke the NC with my girl. I started to ignore her exactly a month ago. I didn’t call, text her. Not that I don’t love her anymore, but I have personal problems with my life ryt now. I just dropped out of school in my final year. I have problems with my dad…left home. I was feeling depressed and sad about everything so I wanted to be alone. My girl is the best thing to me after my mom so I didn’t want to hurt her cuz I was hurting then. I still am not yet settled but I miss her everyday. Within the first 5 days of nc she reached me on facebook but I still didn’t reply. Usually she doesn’t use her facebook but she did use it more often within the nc because Im always online on fb. She’ll post new photos and all but I won’t like or comment.
    actually I broke the nc last night wen I had a chat with my frnd who lives next door to her who confirmed she misses me and is worried about me. My problem is I don’t want this distance btw us but still Im not ready 4 a relationship since Im still sad. Wat do I do

    • Elizabeth Stone

      May 23, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      Hi Eden,

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

      First, please, please get yourself some help for the depression. There are things that can seriously help. You don’t have to keep feeling this way and it’s not hopeless.

      How you’re handling this withdrawal from your relationship is very normal for depression, but even though your mindset is that you’re trying to save her pain, by pulling away like this, it’s almost worse than if you had told her you needed to take time away from her for your reasons.

      That’s because people tend to blame themselves. Your girl most likely thinks she did something to make you fall out of love with her. Please at least give her some answers about why you pulled away– because otherwise she’ll drive herself crazy worrying about you and wondering what she did wrong.

      You don’t have to get back together or try to date her, but maybe sending her a little note with an explanation of what you’re going through would ease her pain a little. I feel for both of you.

      • Eden

        May 24, 2017 at 6:15 am

        Thanks Elizabeth. I think maybe I really need help handling the depression. If you could I’d appreciate though.
        two nights ago I called her in for the first time in about a month and it was so awkward. She was all cold and she showed this blank kinda emotions, I was doing all the talking and she gave me short replies like okay, fine, alright and all. Its quite understandable. And I know that she loved it hearing from me again. I asked her if she could be a bit more welcoming and the next time I called her-yesterday she was more welcoming and it was fun.
        now Im thinkin she expects me to try to walk back into her life, but I all want is just not as lovers but as good friends. It might seem a selfish thing to do because I don’t know if she’d be comfortable with that.
        She loves poems, so Im just tinkin of writing her from time to time and give her calls to keep her close. I don’t know how long she will keep up with these. She’s distant from me right now. Thanks

        • Eden

          May 24, 2017 at 6:19 am

          let me add that I am the type that don’t really open up to her wen things are not going well for me. She accuses me of this behaviour always. I just wanna be strong and good for her.

  6. Eden

    May 24, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Thanks Elizabeth. I think maybe I really need help handling the depression. If you could I’d appreciate though.
    two nights ago I called her in for the first time in about a month and it was so awkward. She was all cold and she showed this blank kinda emotions, I was doing all the talking and she gave me short replies like okay, fine, alright and all. Its quite understandable. And I know that she loved it hearing from me again. I asked her if she could be a bit more welcoming and the next time I called her-yesterday she was more welcoming and it was fun.
    now Im thinkin she expects me to try to walk back into her life, but I all want is just not as lovers but as good friends. It might seem a selfish thing to do because I don’t know if she’d be comfortable with that.
    She loves poems, so Im just tinkin of writing her from time to time and give her calls to keep her close. I don’t know how long she will keep up with these. She’s distant from me right now. Thanks

    • Elizabeth Stone

      May 24, 2017 at 9:45 am

      I completely understand that you want to keep her close, but if you can’t give her an actual relationship, staying close without following through on that is torturous. The other person will want it to go back to the way it was, even if they punish you (by being cold, for example) at the beginning.
      That’s why if you get help, then you can potentially give her the full relationship she needs from you— which obviously takes a lot more energy.
      You can’t throw her crumbs and then ask her to be different—like you said about how you told her she was being cold— then only nurture things half way. All the poetry writing in the world and offers of friendship miss the fundamental point that you can’t be a whole partner in a relationship right now. You don’t get the choice to downgrade things, it’s selfish and disrespectful to the romantic relationship you once shared.
      I don’t say that to beat you up, just to draw attention to the idea that when people do things half way, they do more damage than if they focused on themselves first and then were ready to do things all the way when they return.

      • Eden

        May 24, 2017 at 11:30 am

        Ok thanks once again Elizabeth.

        now that I have opened conversation btw us once again I’ll just try to fix things and get us back to how we used to be while I also work on myself right?

        I just hope I don’t let her down again.

        • Elizabeth Stone

          May 24, 2017 at 11:37 am

          You’re welcome!

          Yes! Just do the best you can and be mindful. If you feel like withdrawing, communicate with her. The more you can tell her what you need and what you’re going through, the more she can both support you how you feel best AND not make the problem between you worse by making her feel like it’s her fault. It’s a fine line but since I can hear your love for her in your words, worth doing.

          • Eden

            May 24, 2017 at 4:56 pm

            ok. Thank you I feel motivated already.

  7. Jane

    July 18, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Hi my boyfriend and I mutually decided to split be he had cheated and I became clingy. I told him not to contact m e bc I needed time to detach even though he insisted we be friends and talk from time to time. It has been almost 3 wks since we have spoken. I have talked to his family bc we are friends. He has been seeking attention through social media to get back to me. We were together for 3 yrs and I know I love him but I think its the rejection and normalcy that is eating away at me. What to do

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