In this take i'm going to explain my perception and thoughts of why the no contact rule sometimes works and sometimes doesn't when trying to get back with an ex. Same with acting indifferent around your ex if you ever do see them.
First, what is no contact? It's really not complicated and is just as the name suggests: not contacting the ex under any circumstances. It's usually applied over at least a 30-day period.
What is the purpose of it? For most, its to get the ex back. For others, it's to regroup their emotions, learn from their mistakes, heal and shift their focus from the ex back to their goals and becoming you again. Essentially, moving on and eventually finding someone better.
In fact, for the majority of us, it's usually a mixture of both.
Is it a game? Some would say it is. Some frown upon it as being manipulative, spiteful and mean. But, that depends on how you apply it. Are you doing it to be spiteful, manipulative or mean? If yes, then you are playing a horrible game that will result in the ex never looking in your direction again.
But that's not what you want is it? So why does it sometimes work for those that are doing it for themselves and sometimes not?
That comes down to how you apply it. Normally, what happens in a break up is the dumper is unilaterally changing the terms of the relationship. They want you as a friend, they want nothing more to do with you, etc. This goes against what you want; you don't like the new terms. You want to continue seeing them; you want to continue dating them, kissing them, and shagging them, but they are taking all that away from you.
What do most people do? They nag, beg and plead for a second chance. They continue to call, text and chase the dumper in the hopes that they will come back, or change their mind about breaking up with them. Some people even agree to the "friend-zone" in the hopes of something romantic again in the future (which, by the way, is deceptive). Yet, nothing they do seems to change the dumper's mind.
Others will walk away and implement no contact. They will completely ignore the other person for a month or more. The ex messages or calls them again, and again, and again. Each time the dumpee ignores it. The ex eventually labels them as a lost cause, and gives up. They move on. The dumpee is left disappointed, because who are we kidding? Most of us implement the No Contact Rule to get the ex back.
So, how can we implement the no contact rule so that we do get the ex back? This is my opinion and my thoughts on the matter, and this will only work if the ex has at least some attraction/interest left for you; their interest level has to be at least 51-60%. If it's less than that, they won't EVER be coming back, so stop reading and start refocusing on your goals and desires so you are able to attract someone new and better into your life.
It's simple: change the no contact rule to the no initiating rule. You simply stop initiating. The same principles apply: No "checking in", no Christmas texts or birthday texts. You go on with your life like they are not EVER coming back, like they don't exist, BUT if they do ever reach out to you, you DON'T ignore them. Don't chit chat either, but respond lightly, and with charm. Keep it short! If you do want to see them again, be direct and ask them if they want to get together with you and to give you a day on which they are free to hangout. However, only do this if they haven't brought it up themselves after 3 or 4 texts.
Something like this:
Dumper: Hey stranger!
...(3 or 4 text's later)...
Dumpee: Hey, it's really great hearing from you. Let's get together this week and hangout, when are you free?
If they agree to it, you set a definite date (like a doctor's appointment) where they come over to your place to cook dinner together. Then say good bye, and end the conversation, And do this for at least the next 3 dates. This way, they get the chance to earn you back. After all, they dumped you, right? So, they have to earn your time again.
If they give anything but a yes, or try to change your plans, you withdraw your offer, but leave the door open for them to contact you when they are willing to get together, under your terms.
Something like this:
Dumper: Will see, I'm pretty busy at the moment (translation: No, i don't want to get together with you)
Dumpee: Okay, we'll make it another time then. Give me a call when your schedule is more open, and we'll make plans then. Gotta run, keep in touch.
I'm not going to go more into this, because it's veering off topic, but the point i'm putting across, is if you want the no contact rule to work, DON'T ignore the ex, but don't give them all your time either. Make a date if you want to, but keep the conversation short, then end it. Acknowledge that they are contacting you, but communicate to them through action that if they want your time, they have to earn it.
Ignoring messages is rude, FULL STOP, and it's incredibly hurtful, especially if the text is from someone who cares about you. Remember that text you sent to someone you loved, and they ignored it? How much did it hurt? How did you feel? What was going through your mind? Now, that is how the ex will most likely be feeling if you ignored their texts, and that is why after awhile they give up. Because why should they put themselves through all of this, if you aren't reciprocating? I mean, they are most likely contacting you because they are starting to regret dumping you, and want to earn you back, but you are throwing it right back in their face by ignoring their attempts.
A lot of this can also be applied to acting indifferent when you do bump into your ex. Don't ignore them, but keep the encounters short, and act cool. Act like the break up doesn't affect you and that you are happy regardless of whether they are there or not. Acknowledge their presence, but don't go out of your way to talk to them, or spend time with them. Share a few words with them, and then carry on with what you were doing in that moment,
Again, it only becomes a game if you're doing it to be spiteful, or manipulative. If you're doing it for yourself, it displays strength. It shows the other person that you are able to remain yourself whether they are in your life or not. If they have the minimum level of interest, they will eventually grow curious about you and maybe start regretting that they pushed you out of their life. They will start stalking your Facebook so they can see what you are up to, and, if you remain indifferent and don't act upon it, your inaction will eventually force them to reach out to you in some way or form. Which is what you want, isn't it?
Bottom line is: Don't ignore your ex, just don't be the one to initiate contact; acknowledge their efforts at reaching out to you, but don't go out of your way to reply or talk to them. They dumped you, remember? why fight for someone who didn't want you? That's their job...
I mean, think about...