no-contact rule male psychology
Are you trying to move on from a nasty breakup or a damaging on-again-off-again dynamic? Are you trying to push a guy away or make him come back to you? The no-contact rule can work wonders for you! Sounds complex? Well, it can be because the no-contact rule male psychology can be hard to crack. Does the no-contact rule work on men? Will no contact make him move on or miss you more? What goes on in a man’s mind during no contact?
If these questions have been on your mind since you hit the block button, we’re here to help you. With the help of psychotherapist Dr. Aman Bhonsle (Ph.D., MBA, PGDTA), who specializes in relationship counseling and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, we take a deep dive into how men respond to no contact and all you need to know about it.
The Male Mind During No Contact
The no-contact rule is a post-breakup period where you cut off all contact with your ex, in hopes of trying to move on or even to get them back into your life. If you’re wondering, “What goes through a guy’s mind during no contact?”, you might be tempted to contact him to figure out what he’s thinking.
But since that would literally defeat the purpose of the no-contact rule, we’re here to help you out. Speaking on the subject, Dr. Bhonsle says, “When the no-contact rule after the breakup is in force, a man might go through anger, humiliation, and fear, sometimes all at once. Depending on the time of day, the man could feel any of these individual emotions or all of them together.”
So, if you could get inside the male mind, you’d see that he is agonizing just as much as you are. Want to know more? Let’s dive deeper into the no contact psychology.
No-Contact Rule Male Psychology – 7 Things To Know
“Is he thinking about me during no contact? That question gave me sleepless nights after I dumped my ex-boyfriend, Caleb. It looked like he couldn’t care less about us not talking,” Jollene told us, “It had been about one week, and I’d often see him laughing around campus. His attitude made me feel like I never mattered much to him. But I tried to focus on my healing and growth.
“One day, Caleb’s best friend texted, asking me to give him another chance. That’s when I realized that male psychology in relationships works a lot differently than I thought. He tried his best to not seem vulnerable, but apparently, he was crushed. That day, Caleb texted me at 2 am asking how he hurt me. That was when I knew he was just running away from his emotions. Of course, I didn’t respond,” she adds.
Wondering, how does a guy feel when you block him? To put your mind at ease about the psychology of a man during no contact, here are 7 components for you. Keep in mind that while every guy reacts differently after a breakup, these are emotions they most likely will go through at some stage during the process.
1. The humiliation of being cut out
Dr. Bhonsle says, “One of the first stages of no contact for a man is a state of humiliation. He feels like he’s been cast aside, like a bad habit, as if there’s something about him that’s repugnant and repulsive to her. Regardless of what he may or may not have done, no one likes to be treated poorly. Hence, the humiliation of being cut off can hit hard.”
No contact after breakup psychology often revolves around his pride. When it is challenged, he may just put on a hard exterior and appear as though he is on board with your decision and is okay with it. This is one of the vital man vs woman breakup differences that governs the way he feels after the breakup as well as how he deals with those feelings.
2. The bargaining stage
On the male psychology after break up, a Reddit user wrote, “I begged and made an ass of myself, so I would say you have more chance of getting the ex back by ignoring her than by begging. She hated me at the end.” So, one of the stages of no contact for a man is the bargaining stage, wherein:
- In a desperate attempt to make amends, a man may say whatever you want to hear at the moment
- Since he is unable to deal with the sudden scarcity of communication, he may resort to desperate tactics
- You may see a 180-degree shift in his attitude and a readiness to do whatever it takes to win you over again
If you want to see if the no-contact rule is working, the extent of his bargaining stage will be a good indicator. Dr. Bhonsle says, “Immediately after humiliation, some bargaining may ensue in an attempt to crawl back into her life. He may even try to beg his way back into her life by upselling to her and saying things like “I’ll be a changed man”, “I’ll do better” or “I will change for you”. This, in turn, leads to more humiliation, since ‘change’ isn’t that easy to come by.”
3. The no-contact rule male psychology entails anger and establishing stereotypes
The male mind during no contact is fraught with pain and hurt, which often manifest in the form of anger and negativity. Just like everyone else, men start generalizing and putting women into a certain category in their minds after a rough breakup. They’ll start displaying worrisome signs of trust issues by saying things like “No woman is trustworthy”.
Related Reading: How to Move On Without Closure? 8 Ways To Help You Heal
The degree of anger depends on each individual, but almost every man will experience it. Dr. Bhonsle says, “Being at the receiving end of the no-contact rule can also lead to anger and resentment. In the long run, anger can lead to building stereotypes, which will lead to biases. The man may enter future relationships with biases based on the fact that he was rejected.”
“It leads to a vicious cycle of humiliation and rejection,” says Dr. Bhonsle about the dangers of the stereotypical mentality men can resort to, “He might be putting himself into a loop. The next woman might say, “He’s a bitter, angry, and frustrated individual”, which, in turn, leads to more rejection or even experiencing no contact again. Since dealing with rejection isn’t easy, it then becomes a vicious cycle of suffering.”
4. A feeling that he has to “prove” his love
The psychology of a man during no contact can also often be shaped by what he has seen around him growing up. On the big screen, the chronicles of depressed, alcoholic, and heartbroken men have been romanticized. So, some men believe that that’s something they must go through to prove their love.
As a result, when you don’t contact him, he looks for ways to woo you again after a breakup. Dr. Bhonsle says, “A lot of movies show men putting themselves through turmoil because of a woman. So, a lot of men may start believing that going through turmoil is a part of the process of being a man as if it’s a way to prove how authentic their love is.”
Explaining how this flawed philosophy almost never works, he adds, “It’s actually quite pathetic to grovel and not move on because you believe that’s what you need to go through. Just because it’s in the movies doesn’t legitimize it, it just popularizes a damaging notion. Your chances of recovery are hurt by that kind of destructive and self-pity-filled behavior.”
5. The fear of loneliness and losing love
Does no contact work to get him back? A Reddit user wrote, “After the breakup, I was OVER THE TOP with texting, are we still friends? Do you want to work on our issues? Are we seeing other people now? What is our status? Answer me pleeeeeeease!” This is precisely the loneliness stage, wherein:
- No contact rule for guys serves as a reality check on what their life might look like without you
- The realization sets in that the no-contact rule isn’t a gimmick employed by you for a couple of days
- A sudden panic along the lines of “Why am I still single? I’m going to die alone” may take hold
At this stage, the male mind during no contact is gripped by the fear of the unknown and a desire to gravitate toward the familiar. “Once the fear kicks in, it can lead to some pretty bad decision making in terms of self-respect. By giving a person what they want only to withdraw its availability, a scarcity mindset will kick in and they’ll start acting in desperation,” says Dr. Bhonsle.
6. Experiencing depression
Understandably, the male mind after no contact goes through a mourning period. A Reddit user wrote, “We all torture ourselves with this obsession over the ex, when our goal should be working on ourselves, grieving the relationship and healing.” As he said, this stage of no contact for a man is all about grieving the relationship, which means grappling with self-pity/sadness/depression.
Arguing that the use of the no-contact rule can be disrespectful/hurtful, Dr. Bhonsle says, “You can distance yourself from someone without being disrespectful. The ideal way to do it is to not ghost the person and disappear in the wind. You could say, “I’m no longer interested in continuing our association and I want to move on.” The more direct you are, the easier it is for the man to also lick his wounds and move on. However long that takes.”
Related Reading: The Right Way To Use Power Of Silence After A Breakup
7. Moving on and turning the tables
How does the no-contact rule affect a man? In his stubbornness, he might just end up using the no-contact rule himself. This final stage might be due to multiple reasons:
- Perhaps he has moved on and does not wish to communicate with you further
- Or he has come to the conclusion that you’re not a good fit for him
Dr. Bhonsle says, “We disassociate with someone because we deem them to be a threat to our way of life. Perhaps, he realized that she was bad-mouthing him, manipulating him, gaslighting in the relationship, or just being nasty.” This is especially the effect of the psychology of no contact on a male dumper. Once he’s made his mind up, the no contact from your end will be retaliated by no contact from his end as well. A game of cat and mouse, so to speak.”
If you’ve been using male psychology to get an ex-boyfriend back, this is the stage where you should give up. The distance, the pain, and angst caused by the no-contact period has made him see that he’s better off without this relationship. That’s especially the case when he has already crossed the bargaining and the “fear of dying alone” stages. Now, he may either work on self-improvement or let the grief dictate his behavior. Which option he pursues depends on his personality and perseverance. Once he begins to heal, he starts to pick up the pieces, rebuild his life, and move forward.
How Does The No-Contact Rule Work On Men?
Now that we’ve broken down the no-contact rule male psychology for you, you know exactly how his mental health might fluctuate, and all the ways in which he may avoid or tackle his issues. But, what next? How should you cope with the breakup? Should you move on or give it another shot? Let’s get you some answers so you can stop wondering how this period of no contact will end:
Scenario 1: He wants you back
The 30-day no-contact rule male psychology works in surprising ways. It can lead to you both realizing each other’s value. Taking some space might actually lead to your feelings for each other surfacing, stronger than before. After all, there are types of breakups that lead to reconciliation.
If you’re wondering what percentage of breakups get back together and sustain that relationship, here’s some data for you. Studies point out that 15% of people actually won their ex back, while 14% got back together just to break up again, and 70% never reconnected at all with their exes.
So, there’s a possibility that he might want to rekindle the relationship. In such cases, what’s the first thing that you should do? Be honest with yourself and ask yourself these important questions:
- What were the major problems that caused the breakup?
- What are the solutions and strategies to fix those problems?
- Can my ex and I work through these issues with patience?
- Do I have a list of unfixable dealbreakers?
- Do we differ fundamentally in our core values?
After you have thoroughly thought about the above questions, follow these steps:
- Discuss with your ex what you both have learned from the split
- Keep your closed ones in the loop instead of keeping it a secret
- Imagine yourself as a third party (would you advise your bestie to get back?)
- Go through a trial run to test the success of the reconciliation with your ex
- Take things VERY slow
- Don’t bring up issues of the past; consider this romance as a clean slate
Scenario 2: He wants to move on
My friend Sarah told me, “I broke the no contact and he replied. But, his response caught me off guard. He told me to lose his number. I couldn’t believe that he told me not to contact him again.” Hence, there’s a possibility that he might not want to move on. In such cases, you might end up questioning if you were good enough.
Counselor Ridhi Golechha previously told Bonobology, “One of the most common self-sabotaging behaviors is holding yourself responsible for everything. To deal with the breakup, practice self-forgiveness and self-compassion. The more you forgive yourself, the more you are at peace. You need to look at the two sides of the coin, where you acknowledge your mistake along with the need for you to move on.
“There is nothing wrong with you if you are struggling to get over someone. Without hating yourself, allow your thoughts to come and go like clouds. Break out from the pattern of self-judgment. Know who you are. Celebrate yourself for the person you are.” Here are some more handy tips on how to let go of a long-term relationship:
- One way to heal is to come out of the denial stage and see things as they are
- Write down facts about how this relationship has altered your equation with yourself
- Avoid drowning yourself in drugs/alcohol/cigarettes to ease your current situation
- Meditation and exercise can help you to get your life together after a breakup
- Opt for healthier coping mechanisms like performing better in your work/developing new hobbies
- Seek professional support and lean on trustworthy people for support
- Learn the lesson that your self-respect has to be stronger than your feelings
- The healing process will happen naturally, in its own sweet time; don’t force anything
- The 30-day no-contact rule male psychology works in complex ways
- Your ex may go through emotions like humiliation, bargaining, anger, and loneliness
- The way he behaves during the period of no contact depends of the stage he is in
- He may feel like he needs to prove his love to you to win you over again or he may realize that the breakup was for the best, and move on
- No-contact rule is an effective way to deal with a breakup as long as the goal is your recovery and growth, and not using it as a tactic to manipulate your ex into getting back together
Finally, the no-contact rule male psychology can be a complex assembly of emotions that even the man will have a hard time understanding. The lack of closure is what really gets to most since it’s troubling to not know the reasons behind the sudden discontinuation of contact. Now that you have a better idea of how men respond to no contact, hopefully, you have put to rest any questions that were on your mind.
While making a man move on is definitely one of the components of male psychology during no contact, there are also plenty of other steps/emotions he will feel and most likely get fixated upon. Chances are, the hurt and confusion you cause him by suddenly disappearing will stunt his moving on process.
A stubborn man may be harder to crack, and he may initially put up a nonchalant display as though your absence doesn’t bother him, there will come a time when it eventually will. How he chooses to act on those feelings/display them is entirely up to him.
If your ex has completely lost feelings for you, the chances of the no-contact rule working are slimmer than its usual high success rate. If he starts to frantically contact you after a few weeks or maybe even a few months of cutting out all communication with him, there’s a big chance that he may be pining for you.
Let him try to communicate with you, and when the time is right, ask him what he thinks is going on in his mind. If the period of no contact has done you both any good, you’ll be able to have a conversation about it with more clarity. However, if the no-contact rule does not work in this scenario, it’s a sign you need to move on with your life as well.
The no contact psychology works in stages. When you block him for the first time, he will feel shocked/humiliated. He might put on a hard exterior, even though he’s dying inside. But he won’t be able to pretend for a long period. Then, he will give mixed signals to test you. He might even come to the other side and use reverse psychology on you. Also remember, the psychology of no contact on male dumper works differently.