Phase 1: Initial Steps
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» Why You Must Leave Your Ex Alone For A While
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Regardless of how long you and your ex were together, it will almost certainly feel strange to cut off all communication with your ex. But that's actually the whole point! Even if your ex has told you they still want to 'be friends' (the 'friend zone' is a bad idea!), you still need to leave them alone completely for a while.
If you watched the free video presentation I recommended in the previous article on surviving the breakup, then you probably know why the 'no contact' phase is so important to winning your ex back. Essentially, the goal is to force your ex to experience life without you, because this will make your ex miss you and realize what life is like without you by their side.
There are all sorts of excuses you can probably come up with that would require you to call or text your ex: maybe you forgot some clothes at their house, maybe they have your spare house key, or maybe you and your ex both attend the same karate class every Tuesday. But in the end, these excuses aren't valid reasons to contact your ex.
Aside from some life-threatening scenario where you simply must contact your ex, you should do everything you can during the "no communication" phase to avoid speaking with your ex at all.
Don't try to convince yourself that speaking with your ex during this period of time till help you win them back... in the long run, it will probably do the opposite and push them further away.
The length of time you need to disappear from your ex's radar screen for will vary depending on how long you and your ex were together and how serious the relationship was. In most cases, you should wait at least 30 days before you speak to your ex again. If you and your ex were together for years and have just broken up for the first time, you may need to extend the 'no contact' phase to 6 weeks.
I can't stress enough how important this "no contact with your ex" phase is to your overall efforts to get back together with your ex. If you cheat or break down and call your ex, you're only hurting yourself and your chances.
Your ex may attempt to contact you during the 'no communication' period after your breakup, and that's a good sign. I'll discuss how to talk with your ex via text message and on the phone in separate articles on this website, but if you're not sure how to speak with your ex when they call you, watch this video to get some insight on how to handle it.
If you happen to bump into your ex during regular activities, like in the grocery store or at a coffee shop, you should always be friendly and keep conversations ultra-brief. You definitely shouldn't be rude to your ex or run away from any possible encounter, but you should also avoid long conversations or emotional, tear-inducing discussions. You want your ex to think you're on board with the breakup and doing fine without them in your life.
Sometimes, avoiding your ex is totally unavoidable. This is usually true if you work or go to school with your ex. Again, the same philosophy applies: don't give your ex any hints that you're heartbroken or want them back, don't get into any serious discussions about your relationship, and always keep encounters with your ex as friendly and light-hearted as possible.