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

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.”


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.

People treat “going no contact with their ex” as a trick that they are doing to get their ex to wake up and pine for them.

And, if you’ve gone no contact with your ex for this reason I don’t blame you for wanting to do something (anything) to feel in control again. It can seem like no contact puts you in the driver seat and can also feel 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 coaching, 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 a 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?

Trust me, your ex thinks about you from time to time.

Be strong and hang in there,

Elizabeth Stone

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

  1. 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. 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

    1. 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.

      1. Is butt dial on the 15 day considered breakung the no contact.. i was on my way to work suddenly it accidentally dialed my ex phone.. i was upset but i did not talk to him .. obviously it was at accident that was 6:08am here in LA

        1. Hi Eileen,

          Since it’s already done, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Accidentally butt dialing is much different than calling your ex for a purpose, and given that it was so early– I wouldn’t agonize over it. The real point of no contact is to give everyone a cooling off period.

          1. Thanks Elizabeth. I’m now on day 24 and I stronger now than the last time I saw him.. he was calling me 9 days straight after I started the NC 3x of missed calls. I never answered. He texted me couple times also and never replied. He saw one of our common friends yesterday and mentioned me of not seeing and talking to me for a long time.

  3. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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

        1. 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.

  4. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Me and my boyfriend were only dating two months. We are in our 50s. We had so much fun together. Then he just stopped contacting me. When we finally talked he told me that he cared so much about me but it all went too fast he had me meet his family it was awesome I was totally blindsided he said he had been alone for five years and although we only saw each other on the weekends he was feeling a little Smothered. talking about our future not me so I went no contact three weeks ago I blocked him on Facebook he has not reached out I’m not sure what to do I really care about him we have so much in common we never even had a fight he just stopped after a weekend at the beach and a great time he told me that he takes 100% responsibility Well I ever hear from him I have been going to the gym bettering myself taking care of myself but he’s always on my mind help me

  7. My ex bf broke up with me for the third time almost 2 months ago.We met online and had the greatest connection when we met.Things were going great but 2 weeks after we met he told he he had to let me go.I got upset because even though we were just seeing each other and weren’t officially bf and gf i was heartbroken.He came and broke up with me in person.2 weeks passed we would talk here and there and he then asked me if we could see each other.I totally said yes because i was starting to get into him and missed him so much.He came and told me he made a mistake letting me go and to give him another chance and I did.everything was great but 10 days later he breaks up with me thru text and blocks me.I was very hurt as to why he did this to me especially since i always been such a sweet and caring person to him.He didn’t even have the courage to dump me in person.This time we weren’t together for 2 and half months.we would rarely talk or text during that period.but one night Out of nowhere he texted me saying if it’s ok for him to call me.I said yes.He called and asked if we could meet up.Of course i accepted.I’m in love with this man.So he came and he gave me the thighest hug.He then said he really missed me in his life.That he’s crazy about me and wants us to be together.I couldn’t believe it.And he said I love you which he rarely did before.I told him to SHOW me and not just say that he loves me because actions speak louder than words.So i took him back and everything was blissful until i confessed that during our break i had slept with my sons dad.I have a 9 year old btw.He got very upset but i told him i don’t have feelings for my ex it happened unexpectedly and because i was lonely and sad.I told him i never cheated and respected our relationship.I don’t think i did anything wrong because we weren’t together and he left me.He was not having it he said he couldn’t trust me and that he’s not okay with my sons dad to be in my life.I got so upset because this was the first guy my son met as my bf besides his dad.It was a big deal.I told my ex that its not fair that i gave him plenty of chances and now he can’t do that for me if all i have done is be the best gf to him.Btw the third time we got back together he officially asked me to be his girl.Regardless this situation hurts so much.He’s my soulmate and i love him very much.Also forgot to mention he’s 23 and I’m 28.I feel he kept leaving me cause he wasnt ready.and this third time he met my boy and it got to real for him and he used my confession as an excuse to leave.Well i have texted him three times after the break up.2 of them he replied and was very nice to me and even admitted he regretted how things ended cause he did say mean things to me.He said im a good mother And wished me the best.My second text he replied cause i wished him a nice thanksgiving.He said thank you i hope you had a good day.Enjoy your holidays take care.My third text was because i had made him a video.Tbh was kinda of like a video to give myself closure and to tell him how i feel about him etc.I texted him to let him know that i made him a video and that it would mean alot if he saw it.He hasn’t seen the video and never replied.Tbh im not sure if i want him back.I’m scared to open up my heart to him again.Well sorry for my long post but my question for you is do you think he’s using NC on me? Because in the past he said he didn’t want to see me because he didn’t want feelings to come back and him regret it and let me go again.That’s what he said during our second breakup.This last time he didn’t breakup with me in person again.Second time either.Do you think he doesn’t want to see me cause he is confused about his feelings about me especially since he’s 23 or do you think he doesn’t care? If he didn’t care why reply to me if we are not friends,we don’t talk.please give me advice from your point of view THANK YOU

  8. My ex brokeup with me 3 weeks ago. And asked for some space a week ago. Havent heard from him since and its hard! 2 days before we cut communication we saw each other and he cried about how much he loves me. He is going through a hard time in his life and i think a bit depressed. His parents dont approve of us and he has work and money issues forcing him to move back to california. He lives in nyc. When he asked me for no contact he only gave me 5 min to talk. He told me we cant be for now. Im broken and i want to move on and forget him but its only been a week and its killing me! Does it get easier? Will he ever contact me again?

    1. I’m really sorry you’re going through that. It DOES get easier with time. Unfortunately my crystal ball is broken but usually exes do eventually contact you again– but it very much depends on the particular circumstances. GIve him all the time in the world and take it for yourself to heal.

  9. My Ex and I broke up a couple of days ago, after a two year relationship, he officially ended things over text. I haven’t spoken to him since and I’m participating in the NC rule. However, I was extremely close with his family, and i miss the contact and connection with them. Is it wrong for me to reach out to them? I dont know what to do

    1. Why would you reach out to him if he broke up with you via text message? You were dating a weak and cowardly boy. A man, or anyone with a spine and integrity, will never end a relationship through a text message unless it was only a date or two or an online only relationship. Yes, it was and is wrong to reach out to him. Cut them all out of your life immediately. People that end relationships by blindsiding or through a text message or social media are pathetic. Oh, my live in gf did just that lol. Left one morning to never return. Then texted me a few days later to break up. Less than a week later, a mutual friend of ours (she didn’t know that I knew this person) reached out to me and sent me all of the facebook comments and confirmed that she was in fact sleeping with this guy. People are messed up.

  10. Hi so me and my boyfriend have been dating since 4 years now. He broke up with me like 1 month ago. We were living together and we kept on fighting because I would bring up the old past on what he has done to me. He would flirt with other girls on social media. He made a tender. He wrote songs about girls in his notebook that I’ve read. And he took two girl out for lunch with him when we broke up. Key things that I’m the bad guy here. And hes not But I feel like we both are. I could never see myself doing that to him simce we had a long history together. I love him so much that I fell INLOVE with him. I thought that he was the one for me. I thought that we were a good match because we would like the same stuff. Like we were the same person. We act the same everyway. Well we broke up for a 1 month now two weeks ago he finnaly started to talk to me again. He would call me to check up on me and see how I was doing. I told him that I need to meet him up with me because I left something very important with him. He agree to meet with me. He gave me what was important and then we talked a little bit. He looked all sad and he kept Staring at me. And then he said I looked pretty and I said thank you. We talk for a bit then he said ok I gotta go to work I said yea me to. He came and gave me a big long hug and went through my hair. And I told him we should hang out sometimes. He said looked at me all sad and he said yea I’ll like that. 1 week later I text him saying I wanted to hangout with him. He promise me he would that day. But instead he hung out with his friends twice. And then he said will hang out tomorrow. So the next day went by and we finally did. He wanted to go to see a band play where there would be dancing and music. So we went there. We started to dance he would spin me around dip me it just felt like we were the old us again! I was so happy. He got on stage and stated to play with his guitar. He’s life is all about beging famous one day and playing guitar lol. Well I was cheering him on and it was like a local band nothing major…. And they knew him. So he played I cheered him on video tape him because I use to be his camera girl. I loved that. So when he got done playing couple of songs he got off stage. We went to stand by a table. And he would kept looking at me when I would dance and he wouldn’t just smiling and looking at me. And then I turn around looked in his eyes as he looked into mine. This lasted for about 5 mins now. And then i would but my head on the table and he would touch my hair gentle thinking i wouldnt feel it. And then we were leaving he would hold my hand to walk me to my car. I guess because it was 11pm at night and he didn’t want nothing to happened to me. And then he said so your going driving all the way home now. I said yes I guess lol. And he said well I don’t want you to drive at home tonight you and I said well I have to. And he looked sad and then he said well maybe you can come stay with me tonight. But you can’t stay there forever all the time. Note. This was going to be our new apartment that we was going to live at when we looked at it together. And I said are you sure I don’t want to bother you I would love to see the new apartment I never even got to really see it. He said yes I would like that I said ok. He walked back to his car I got so excited saying omg I hope were getting back together again. Because usually we do. So when we both went to the apartment we went inside I was about to cry when I walked in I said omg I love the place! I loved that place since day one! AND he said how you like it I said like it…. I love it! I was so excited! Then he said can I cook for you want something to eat are you hungry I said yea so he made a salade. It was good. Then when we was done we started to kiss. Worst mistake ever made……. And when we made out and stuff we went to bed we kept kissing. And cuddle I miss that so much. And I was getting excited saying omg our we back together. Because like I said usually when this HAPPENEDS we do. The next morning we would make out and then when we were done he would cook breakfast. And then after breakfast we went to the living room he would play his guitar and we would both sing. We had an amazing day ever! Then he hit me with so now that your living with your mom again and since your sis moved out would you be staying in her room now. First off I’m 24 years old…… that just hit me so hard my heart just drop. I didn’t know what to say after that. Because I thought that we was getting back together! He knew that I loved him that I fell INLOVE with him. And he use me. And he said I’m sorry we just can’t live together nomore. And then when I went to his bedroom. He said see doesn’t it seem so nice staying here and and not have to drive all the way just to work. I said yes. And then when I was going home he said maybe we can go golfing and you can come stay here on the weekends I said yea I would love that. Now I maybe messed up when I text him the next day saying he I’m confused what are we because I had the right to know what we were since what happened that night and that morning. And he said yea I’m confuse to. Look I really care about you but I don’t want to change anything I think we should be separated. My heart just drop he knew how I felt about him. If he wanted to just be separated then y bring me to your house cook for me. Kiss me did everything together and what we did that night. Why. And when i text him that he block me from calling and texting him. He doesnt even talk to me nomore. And he seems to be real happy seeing him post stuff hanging out with friends. Hes not missimg me at all! He use to like to check up on me and seeing if im ok and how im doing. And now hes not even doing that nomore. So my question is I’m doing no contact and it’s been 9 days since I’ve done it. My question is do you think no contact will work for us to get back together. And will he miss me if i dont contact him nomore. And when will he start to miss me and feel the same way that i am feeling when will it hit him?

  11. Pallavi Harihar Gothwad

    Hi ..I m going NC . But I miss him . Actually we were dating from nine months. We were not in a committed relationship.

  12. Hi,

    I dated this guy for almost 4 years. We are always together everyday and really got along. almost as if we are living together. Also, I can say that we so compatible in bed.
    Then, When I started working, I didn’t have so much time for him. and then was transferred to other city because of work. We had a lots of fights. that led to break up.
    He begged for me to stay. Also he got jealous of my friend. After a month, we started talking again making progress. He wanted to date me when he got back home but I declined. He went back, after a few weeks, he wanted to stop it. I didn’t understand, I went to him to talk about us then came back home. after a few days of getting along, he confessed that he likes some girl, a very young girl who still in senior high. Then we broke up for good. But he still message me until one day it all stops. After 2 months, he started talking to me again. Asked me on a date. It went well. the next day I found out that the young girl and him is a couple for a month. He got caught. and chose to reconcile with that girl.
    What does it mean? I’m doing the no-contact-rule, but he hasn’t talk to me yet.

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