Going No Contact with an Ex: 5 Tips to Help Yourself

When you have left a relationship, sometimes the best way to heal is by going no contact with your ex. This is especially true when…


When you have left a relationship, sometimes the best way to heal is by going no contact with your ex. This is especially true when you have left a toxic or abusive relationship.

And yet, even if the relationship was hurt tremendously, it can be difficult to fully commit to going – and staying – no contact with your ex.

This article will give you 5 tips to go – and stay – no contact so you may heal.

Tip #1 for Going No Contact with an Ex: Accepting the Truth

Getting to the point where you decide that you have to go no contact often involves an incredible amount of pain and confusion.

To effectively go no contact with an ex, it’s important to truly honor exactly why you know staying in communication with your ex isn’t healthy for you. This is because when you go no-contact with an ex, it’s natural for loneliness and self-doubt to creep in. It’s normal to start thinking things like, “Was it really that bad?” or I didn’t give them enough of a chance.”

Related: How to Get Over Someone You Love – But is Toxic: 5 Steps to Heal

To help yourself fully accept the truth that you must go no contact with your ex, take time to journal. Use these prompts to help you accept the truth:

  • What is made me leave the relationship? What was the final straw?
  • How long did I try to make this relationship work?
  • What strategies did I try to make this relationship work?
  • How did I feel about myself in this relationship?
  • What did my loved ones say about this relationship? How my ex treats me? Did I ever hide what was really happening with my ex because I was afraid of how my loved ones may react knowing I was being treated in a certain way?
  • Has my ex ever manipulated me? Gaslighted me? Lied to me?
  • Have you ever tried to make this relationship work again after breaking up? Did your ex really change or just give you empty promises?

Tip #2 for Going No Contact with an Ex: Validate Yourself

Despite potentially second guessing yourself, it’s important to remember you are going no contact for valid reasons. You probably gave your ex many chances to change and they didn’t.

That’s ok – they’re not a bad person necessarily but as you already know – they aren’t a healthy person for you. In life, some people are just unhealthy for us and that no amount of work will change this. We can either accept this painful true with grace. Or we can delay our suffering and spend more weeks, months, even years with someone who ultimately isn’t right for us.

no contact ex
From The Codependency Recovery Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Understand, Accept, and Break Free from the Codependent Cycle

When you doubt yourself, review your journal entries. Remind yourself you left for valid reasons.

Take time to review your journal whenever you need to remind yourself why you went no contact with an ex. When you’re tempted to speak to an ex again, validate your emotions and that you left for a reasons. This means telling yourself kindly that you understand that you will miss your ex and that doesn’t mean they’re healthy for you now.

Tip #3 for Going No Contact with an Ex: Cope Well with Your Emotions

You are naturally going to miss your ex at times. These feelings are completely natural.

You don’t need to judge these emotions – or react to them by reaching out back to your ex. It’s a thinking mistake to believe that your emotions are fact i.e., that because you miss your ex then you should be together. Remember, you left for valid reasons. At this time, it’s important to lean into coping with your emotions in healthy ways. Articles to help with this include:

Tip#4 for Going No Contact with Your Ex: Get Away from Devices and Get Busy

Staying no contact requires you create new habits and eliminate temptation for a while. Putting away your devices whenever possible greatly helps with this. To support yourself further, take a mindfulness break.

It’s helpful to fully put yourself into your experiences (this is mindfulness) and get busy. If you feel safe taking a walk without your phone do so. Otherwise, just get outside – to your apartment’s common area, your backyard, your patio – and connect with nature. Notice the air outside and temperature. Take deep breaths. Practice mindfulness by counting how many trees or flowers you can see. Put your bare feet on the ground to earth.

no contact ex

To be mindful, you can also take a shower and feel the sensations of the water while you smell the aromas of your products. Playing with your pet can also help you get back to the present moment!

It’s also helpful to do tasks that require your hands and full attention like painting a room, woodworking, sewing, or cooking. However, if you’re cooking, please don’t use a device to look up recipes as this reinforces the temptation to contact your ex. Instead, use a cookbook – if you don’t have any at home please know your local library will have plenty to check out.

Tip #5 for Going No Contact with Your Ex: Clear Out Reminders of Your Ex

Just as picking up your device risks tempting you to reach out – or reply to your ex – so does seeing reminders of them in your home.

To support yourself in having less of these triggers that risk reaching back out, literally clean out your ex’s stuff from your place. Firstly, if you have any of your ex’s old stuff, please either donate or mail their items back to them. You don’t have to text them that you have them. The emotional pain of seeing reminders around your place from your ex is probably quite clear.

However, we often don’t think consciously about how our clothes carry emotional energy and memories. To fully clear your ex from your space, try the KonMari method in your closet. To do this, take out every item of clothes in your closet and lay them out on your bed. Next, ask yourself if the item “sparks joy.” This may sound strange at first but, just ask yourself if the item makes you happy.

no contact ex

You may find that some of your clothes don’t spark joy – rather, they make you miss your ex by reminding you of the “good times.” Get rid of this item (unless it’s genuinely functional like a rain jacket and you need it) because it’s not worth the reminders of this person! You can donate these items, or if they are in good condition, you can sell them to a secondhand place like ThredUpBonus Points: You are both respecting yourself and helping the planet by giving your clothes a second life.

It is possible to stay no contact with your ex

With these 5 tips, you are completing capable of going – and staying -no contact with your ex.

By staying no contact, you are strengthening your boundaries which is an act of self-love and self-respect. Furthermore, by keeping this self-commitment, you are allowing space for a healthy relationship to enter your life. Staying stuck in an on-again off-again cycle prevents a healthy partner from coming into your life.

On the other side of this hard work is self-love, better boundaries, and a healthy relationship with a truly compatible partner. You deserve keeping your commitment to stay no contact with your ex! Your life is so amazing on the other side of this.

no contact ex
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About The Author

Krystal Mazzola Wood, LMFT is a practicing relationship therapist and author with over a decade of experience. Currently, Krystal sees clients at her private practice, The Healthy Relationship Foundation. She has dedicated her entire career to empowering people to find their voice, deepen their ability to self-love, and improve their relationships.

Her newest book, Setting Boundaries: 100 Ways to Protect Yourself, Strengthen Your Relationships and Build the Life You Want…Starting Now! (Therapy Within Reach), gives you the tools necessary to identify, set, and stay firm with your boundaries.

Her other books, The Codependency Recovery Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Understand, Accept, and Break Free from the Codependent Cycle and The Codependency Workbook: Simple Practices for Developing and Maintaining Your Independence have helped many overcome people pleasing, self-neglect, and resentment to have a healthier relationship with themselves and others.

If you have any personal dating or relationship questions, Krystal is happy to provide advice using her expertise and compassion. If you feel comfortable, feel free to leave any questions in the comments of this post. Otherwise, you may send an email to krystal@confidentlyauthentic.com or DM her on Instagram. We will always keep your name and other identifying information confidential.

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