Possible Exception 1- The Long Distance Relationship
If the two of you were in a long distance relationship, the No Contact rule is slightly different because she isn’t going to see you around. She won’t run into you and see how well (or badly) you are doing. Furthermore, when the No Contact period is over, you will not be able to arrange a meeting so easily. However, in many cases, it can still be done.
You can still do No Contact for a solid several weeks and see if she reaches out to you at some point. If she doesn’t, you might as well give it a try. See if she will meet up with you somewhere, if that’s feasible. If not, at least call her to see how things are going, and feel her out. You should be able to get a sense of whether the chemistry is still there, and if she might be interested in working things out.
If the distance is truly prohibitive, I would still advocate No Contact, but not for too long a period of time. In an environment where there may be little to make her think of you, you will not want to give her too long to adjust to life without you. In this case, I suggest about a week of No Contact for every year you had been together, with a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of five weeks.
Possible Exception 2- You Dumped Her And Now You Want Her Back—But She Won’t Listen
If you broke up with your girlfriend and you’ve had a change of heart—but she’s not interested in giving the relationship another chance—there are a couple of likely reasons:
- She has moved on (i.e. is dating someone else)
- She is very angry and/or bitter
You may be surprised to hear this, but one of these two situations still requires No Contact as your best course of action. Which situation is it? The first one.
If she has moved on to dating someone else, you might as treat the situation as if she broke up with you. The 30 Day No Contact rule definitely applies. You have to trust that the lengthy history between you will be more than this new guy can compete with.
If she doesn’t seem interested in making up with you, and she isn’t dating a new guy, then it’s still best to give her space if she has indicated that she’s happy being without you. Go through with the plan as if she had broken up with you.
However, if you’re in situation number two—you dumped her, now you want her back, but she’s too angry or bitter to listen to you—this shows how much she still cares. She is angry because she wants to be with you, and in her mind, you messed it all up. Now she wants to feel as if you have paid your dues to get back with her. This will allow her to save some face, feel better about herself, and justify in her own mind her eventual decision to re-start your relationship.
So in this case, you may want to follow the 30 Day No Contact rule, anyway. However, before doing so, you should contact her once to show that you feel badly about how things have gone. That allows you to close the book on your “old” relationship with her and move on. Then resume No Contact, and within a few weeks her anger and hurt feelings should fade away—but her desire to be with you should not.
If you break up with your girlfriend, change your mind, and immediately try to pressure her back into a relationship—but she’s angry and bitter—you aren’t giving her a chance to forgive (or at least forget) whatever she is mad about. Therefore, if she does agree to be with you again, you won’t be starting fresh with her. You’ll only be resuming the messed-up relationship you had before (the one that you made the decision to end), and on top of that she’ll be carrying anger and resentment. I highly doubt it’s going to work out for either of you.
Possible Exception 3 – She Broke Up Over a Lack of Commitment
If your girlfriend thought it was time to move forward and get “serious” with the relationship, but you weren’t feeling the same way, it’s a delicate situation. How you handle this is largely up to you, and what you honestly want for yourself. If you are, in fact, ready to step up and commit, you could probably reconcile with her very quickly and easily by simply making the commitment that she wants.
However, if you’re not ready to commit, don’t tell her you are just to get back with her. Instead, establish your reasons for not being in such a hurry to commit (make sure to phrase it carefully and ensure she feels wanted nonetheless), then back off for a while and begin the No Contact period. She will eventually accept your terms when she gets to missing what she had with you.
Possible Exception 4 – You Cheated On Her
In this case, you will likely need to take a course of action similar to our last possible exception. You could possibly resume the relationship with the right amount of apologizing and making amends, but do you really want to do that? The concessions that you may have to make, and the baggage you will be forced to carry, might be much more than you expect.
Why not take a similar approach to the “lack of commitment” exception I explained above? Apologize to her as sincerely as possible. Tell her that you completely understand why she is upset and why she would not want to be with you any longer.
Do not beg, but tell her that you’re willing to earn her trust back if she wants to give you another shot. Keep it short, keep it sincere, then move forward.
If she isn’t ready to give you another chance, but you’re determined to win her back, you’ll need to begin the 30 Day No Contact period. Just be very careful about dating other women—in this situation, it will probably destroy whatever chance you’ve got of getting her back. If she resumes dating, then by all means, go ahead—but otherwise, keep in mind that it may have the opposite effect, and you could confirm her belief that you’re a “dog” or a “player” who can’t be trusted.
We’ll go over how to resume the relationship later on when we get to that step, but in this case, make it clear to her that if and when the relationship does resume, it has to be a “clean slate.” While you should understand if she’s a bit leery about you, she needs to be able to trust you (and vice versa) for the relationship to work moving forward. If you can’t get that trust back, you may hate the relationship you end up back in.
So Now What?
Don’t worry, you’re not going to simply sit around and twiddle your thumbs while you wait out the No Contact period. Quite the opposite, in fact. You’re going to capitalize on this time by improving yourself, making your life better, and getting out there and enjoying yourself. We’ll get into the specifics in the next section.