Do This If She Reaches Out During No Contact (Science Says)

So – why does your ex reach out during no contact?

To answer that…ask yourself:

Why does the sun rise?

Why do flowers bloom?

Why does a bear shit in the woods?

smokey the bear with a shotgun and a bottle of jack daniels
Smokey is coming for dat a$$.

The answer (most of the time) is nature. Our brains really don’t do well with the whole no-contact thing – whether you are on the giving or receiving end of it.

I’ll defend that viewpoint in just a second.

But let me guess where your head is right now.

You’ve finally taken the plunge into no contact and have put together a decent streak of days, one that you are feeling good about. Some days are better than others, but you know you’re headed in the right direction. Maybe you’re finally living for yourself or doing the things that make you happy because you’re worth it. Maybe you’ve even followed some of the methods I teach here.

Read More: 8 Ways To Work On Yourself During No Contact (That You Can Start Today)

If so, good for you man. You’re moving in the right direction even if it doesn’t feel like it yet.

And then, she strikes.

Her name flashes across your phone and suddenly your progress comes to a screeching halt as your heart starts to hammer and your palms sweat.

  • “I was thinking about you”
  • “Hey :)”
  • “How are you?”
  • “I thought you’d enjoy this”

If you’re fucking confused right now, don’t worry – you’re normal. I’ve been in your shoes before and worked with hundreds of men who have as well. If you don’t know whether to be cautiously optimistic about getting back together or just ignore her entirely, then this is the article for you.

So take a deep fucking breath my friend and put down your phone before you send a message you regret. You are stronger than the urge to reply.

Okay – hopefully you’re feeling a bit more rational now. Let’s put that rational brain to use.

First things first…

Why Did Your Ex Reach Out During No Contact?

Your ex-girlfriend reached out to you during this no-contact period because she felt it was in her best interest to do so.

In my article The Best Way To Respond To An Ex Asking “How Are You?” we identified the 4 main reasons why she thought it was in her best interest to break no contact and reach out to you.

The 4 possible reasons that your ex-girlfriend reached out include:

  1. She still cares about you / is attached to you;
  2. She is bored or seeking validation;
  3. She wants to know if you are still single;
  4. You have unresolved breakup logistics;

In my experience, for long-term, reasonably serious relationships (>3+ months of time together) she most likely broke no contact because she still cares about you and is attached to you.

I know, that probably seems fucking crazy considering you probably feel like she ripped out your heart, stole your lunch money, and called yo’ momma fat. Stick with me for a second and I’ll explain.

As a quick disclaimer, just because she still cares about you and is still attached to you does not mean she wants to get back together with you. Keep that in mind as we continue.

“Love” Doesn’t Just Go Away Because You Break Up

And by “love” I’m not talking about that woo-woo shit on every top 50 single or the focus of Love Island.

When I talk about “Love” not going away overnight, I’m talking about the automatic biological and chemical responses that take place in our brain that we associate with the feelings of love.

If you’re not familiar with the complex chemistry of love, here’s a quick primer.

Love Is An Addiction

Love is a natural addiction.

Two months after I had fallen in love for the first time at the ripe old age of 17, my girlfriend went away to France for a week. No big deal, right? Wrong.

For the rest of the week, the only thing looked forward to was our nightly phone call. The second we’d get on the phone, I felt like I was flying. I was weightless, relaxed, and effortlessly myself. When we weren’t talking, I alternated between obsessing over what she was doing, acting like a moody teenager, and craving her presence.

What can I say? The highs were high, and the lows were low. I was 17. Whatever this new drug was, I wanted more of it, pronto.

And I don’t say drug to be funny. Falling in love is very similar to developing a drug addiction.

Consider that falling in love, and being addicted to drugs have numerous behaviors in common including:

  • Mood swings;
  • Focused attention (or need) for the person or thing;
  • Cravings;
  • Obsession;
  • Compulsion;
  • Distortion of reality;
  • Emotional and physical dependence;
  • Personality changes;
  • Risk-taking;
  • Loss of self-control;

To oversimplify a very complicated topic – these behaviors are driven by dopamine, norepinephrine, and a reduction in serotonin in the brain.

hormones behind attraction, attachment, and lust science
We’re focused on attraction (also known as romantic love). Credit: The neuroendocrinology of love

Taken together, these chemicals make us excited, focused, and euphoric. They also suppress appetite and sleep. The reduction in Serotonin interestingly enough has been hypothesized to be behind the obsessive infatuation and interest that comes with falling in love. [1]

We become “chemically dependent” on our partner, just like you become chemically dependent on a drug. Once you become chemically dependent, there’s also a withdrawal period when you stop using – that comes with all kinds of fun symptoms.

This includes physical pain.

A 2011 study stuck several heartbroken volunteers in an fMRI machine and found that heartbreak causes activation in the same areas of the brain as physical pain. [2] So that stiff neck, sore back, or and pain in your chest? That’s normal too. And guess what? Physical pain is a well-documented side effect of many drug addictions.

There are other similarities between romantic love and addiction which are documented in the scientific literature. We won’t get into those here. You get the idea. [3][4]

So let’s call love what it is – a natural addiction.

And addictions don’t just go away because you want them to. You can get an idea of what this looks like below.

You still remain connected to your drug of choice and your compulsion to use it for weeks, months, or even years after you make the decision to quit.

Relationships work similarly. Just because the relationship has ended, does not mean the underlying chemical balance normalizes right away. The “withdrawal symptoms” associated with this addiction can last for months. Think about how you feel when you look at a picture of her or see that she posted on Instagram. Compare that to how you feel about a female friend of yours.

You’ve likely experienced many of the other symptoms, including:

  • Invasive, hard to control thoughts of her;
  • A strong, constant desire to reach out;
  • Trouble eating;
  • Trouble sleeping;
  • Loss of self-control;

I talk more about this withdrawal period (and how to survive it) which you should read if you want practical tips on how to control it so you don’t go fucking nuts.

Read More: How To Break Your Ex-Girlfriend Addiction

Say nothing of the emotional connection you have – the chemical connection between you and your ex-girlfriend will not go away overnight. And contrary to popular belief, your ex-girlfriend probably is not living her best life. She may be suffering from the very same withdrawal as you – and that may be why she’s reached out.

We address this subject in much more detail in my new course The Fundamentals Of Getting Your Ex Back. In Modules 2 and 3, we break down the hard science behind the enduring love and attachment that persists after the relationship ends – and how to use these principles to rebuild the love, connection, and passion that brought you and your girlfriend together in the first place.

Assuming You Had A “Normal” Breakup, She Will Probably Go Through A Similar Withdrawal Period

I recently worked with a client whose girlfriend made the decision to break up with him because she “didn’t feel the spark”.

My client was hurt, but because he had read my article on the no-contact rule, he respected the ensuing radio silence. He didn’t decide to wait for a predetermined amount of time to contact her. Instead, he focused on treating himself with compassion, which meant giving himself the space to grieve and to think about his life as a single man.

He heard snippets about his ex-girlfriend from friends. How she was out at the bar with her girlfriends a night here, on a date with another guy night there. It had only been a few weeks. It hurt. Did his feelings not matter to her at all?

Related: Your Ex-Girlfriend Moved On So Fast Because It Was Already Over For Her

Two months after the breakup, she contacted him. She didn’t want to wait longer. They talked, and she told him the story from her point of view.

After the breakup, she assumed she would feel free and happy. She started dating and having the fun and excitement she thought she was missing. But she only felt empty, and lonely. There was so much that she wanted to share with him that she couldn’t. Had she made the wrong decision? Her friends said no, but in her heart, she wasn’t sure. But she wanted to be respectful because she knew how badly her decision had hurt my client.

Eventually, emotion won out and she contacted him. They didn’t get back together, but hearing her side of the story helped my client move forward and gain perspective on the entire situation.

Does this happen with every breakup? Of course not. While dumper’s remorse is real – and it does happen, it’s not going to happen to every couple. But it happens often enough to many of my clients, and it’s a very common reason why she’ll break no contact to message you out of the blue.

With that in mind – now we know the best way to respond to her is to assume she’s going through a similar withdrawal period. And you know what that means? It should mean she wants to see you.

But we can’t assume anything. We need to find out for sure. To do that, we need to ask another important question.

Should You Respond If She Texts You During No Contact?

Whether or not you should respond to her during no-contact depends on what you want going forward. Right now 1 of 3 scenarios apply to you if your ex-girlfriend wants to talk after no contact:

  1. You want her back;
  2. You want to move on from her;
  3. You’re not sure what to do – or what the right decision is;

We’ll cover all 3 of those in just a second. First, we need to start with the assumptions I’m making.

For these scenarios, I’m assuming the following:

  • She is the one who broke no contact;
  • You were in a long-term relationship with her (>3 months, and reasonably serious)

Assuming these apply to you, let’s continue.

If You Want Her Back, You Should Respond (Correctly)

If she texts you during no contact and you want her back, the right way to respond is in a kind, non-needy, outcome-independent way.

Read More: Outcome Independence In Dating: Be Different With Indifference

Your goal is to feel out why she is texting you.

As we’ve talked about, there are 4 reasons why she may have broken no-contact.

  • She still cares about you / is attached to you;
  • She is bored or seeking validation;
  • She wants to know if you are still single;
  • You have unresolved breakup logistics;

Some women will send breadcrumbs after no contact – and it’s important that you not get sucked into trading small-talk. You have better things to do rather than just chit-chat.

Your goal is to be direct about your intentions. If she’s reaching out to you, you need to assume she is interested in seeing you. If that’s the case, you want to get her on a date so you can talk to her in person and begin rebuilding rapport.

So how do you do that? Follow these guidelines when you respond:

  • If you feel stressed, hurting, angry, or mad – wait at least a couple of hours before responding;
  • Keep the text short – no need to write a novel. Having a full-length conversation over text is not advised.
  • Be respectful – your reply shouldn’t insult her, demean her, or anyone she is seeing;
  • Avoid small talk;
  • Don’t ask if she’s dating or involved with other guys;
  • Focus on something positive you’re doing;
  • Leave her wondering – don’t spell everything out;
  • Keep it light and fun – but not overly flirty;
  • Your reply should move the conversation forward towards assessing her willingness to get together in person;

If she texted me after no contact here’s how I would most likely respond:

Better Response Bad Response
“Hey, how are you?”“One step closer to saving the world. How are you?”“I’m not doing great, my life sucks and I’m depressed”
I miss you“Hey, it’s good to hear from you. What made you reach out?”“I miss you too, it’s been so hard without you around”
“If you want to talk, let me know”“Yeah, it’d be great to talk sometime. When are you free to get together?”“Thanks, I will”
“I thought of you when I read this / saw this” “Thanks for sharing. What made you think of me?”“Lol, this is pretty funny”

If you are struggling with how to respond, there’s an entire module on how to get a conversation going with her in my course The Fundamentals. Pick it up if you need some more help.

One of the most common reasons an ex may reach out is to gauge your availability on the dating market. This is most common if you’ve only been separated for a short period of time (less than a year). After a breakup, many women will at least explore their options on the dating market.

Depending on the girl, this could be as simple as signing up for Tinder and swiping right on a few guys, all the way to banging their way through multiple men and having several relationships.

How can you tell if her reaching out is based on her own dating endeavors going sideways?

You can’t, but she might give you clues. If she’s carrying the conversation and asking questions, she’s trying to feel you out. Women aren’t going to come right out and ask you out. If she’s reaching out to you and continues to carry the conversation even if you’re only putting in minimal effort, she’s hoping you’ll set a date.

Pay attention to how she responds – that’s important. If she responds positively and agrees to meet up, follow the procedure I teach below.

Read More: Your Ex-Girlfriend Agreed To Meet Up. Now What?

If she avoids the topic of getting together or doesn’t appear interested in what you have to say, end the conversation and go back to no-contact. Likewise, if she has breakup logistics that need to be resolved, robotically address those and then go back to no-contact.

If You Don’t Want Her Back Ignore It (Unless…)

I worked with a client not too long ago that knew he needed to get over his ex. But every time she reached out to him (even for stupid shit) he responded. It didn’t matter if it was her asking about their dog, asking for help with work, or looking for advice. He responded every time, and always felt like shit afterward.

And that is because contact with your ex-girlfriend delays your recovery. Remember: you are addicted to her, even if you don’t want her back. To break that addiction, you need to cut her out of your life.

And that means you don’t owe her a response. With one exception.

I know that seems cruel, but if there’s one rule of breakups it’s that you don’t owe her anything after the relationship is over. Your ex may feel differently – but you don’t have to respond.

It might be tempting to try to catch up, as it was for her, but ask yourself this. What do I have to gain by talking to her, versus what do I have to lose?

Especially if a breakup is still fresh, talking to your ex before you’re ready can reopen those old wounds quickly and cause you pain for nothing in return. On the other end, it might do the same for her as well.

If you really must talk to her, and the feelings are overwhelming you at the moment, stop and take a breath. Get a pen, and a piece of paper and write everything down that you want to say. Then, take the piece of paper, fold it up, and put it somewhere safe to revisit it 30-45 days later.

If you just broke up, wait even longer. I’m willing to bet that the urge will have passed. Keep the letter, however, as it will prove to be a valuable insight into your mind at the time.

Read More: Steal My 8 Sample Letters To Your Ex-Girlfriend

If you truly don’t want her back, the best thing you can do is to block her number and block her on every social media channel you have. As I’ve talked about numerous times, the best thing you can do to recover is to completely ignore her.

The one exception to this is if she contacts you about breakup logistics – as in you have something of hers, you have children together, etc. If that is the case, the best thing you can do is focus on resolving the details for good.

If You Are Not Sure What To Do

To take her back, or not to take her back? It’s not always an easy question to answer. We dedicate an entire module of The Fundamentals to making this decision if you need more help.

Without knowing more about your situation, my recommendation is to wait. If you feel ambivalent about the situation, that usually means you haven’t taken enough time to figure out what you really want.

Read More: It Takes Time, Be Patient and Enjoy The Ride

Take the time apart from her to clarify your feelings. Think about the relationship, what it meant to you, and if it is in line with your masculine center. You may realize you want her back. Or you may realize you are better off without her.

Either way – if you’re not sure what to do, the best thing to do right now is to do nothing. Take the time for yourself. You’re worth it.

TLDR: She Probably Broke No Contact Because She Misses You. Respond If You Want Her Back. Ignore It If You Don’t.

Easy enough?

If you need more help getting your ex-girlfriend back without begging, pleading, or feeling like shit, then I recommend you take a look at my new course The Fundamentals. In it, I walk you through the principles behind re-establishing contact and rebuilding a relationship the right way so that you don’t have to stress about what comes next. Give it a look if you need more help.

You’ll be all the better for it.

Talk soon my friend,

Coach Jack


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Coach Jack

I'm Coach Jack, the owner and founder of Men's Breakup. I help over 1 million men a year radically transform their lives for the better after being dumped. My breakup recovery method for men combines science, first-hand experience, and critical analysis to show you how to either get her back, or get over her by building a life of long-term, masculine happiness.

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