No Contact: A Silly Game Or An Effective Strategy?

No Contact: A Silly Game Or An Effective Strategy?

Occasionally, I read a post in which a young user describes their circumstances and then asks, “Will no contact work in this situation?” Sometimes, I read about a failing relationship and I recommend that the user break up and have “no contact.” I did not take long for me to discover that “no contact” has two different meanings. I am going to address “No Contact – The Game To 'Make' Him Or Her Take Me Back."

When we are talking about relationships, “playing games” means engaging in certain behaviors to try to manipulate what our partner/potential partner/ex partner is thinking or feeling about us. Here are a few simple examples of game playing:

I go on a first date and have a great time. She is fun, engaging, not pretentious, intelligent, and very attractive. I sense that she is also attracted to me, the evening ends with a goodnight kiss, and I certainly want to have our next date very soon. However, I don’t text her when I get home to tell her that I had a great time and I don’t text or call the next day. Why? Because I don’t want her to think that I am too eager, already hooked on her, desperate, clingy, etc.

A guy calls you to ask you for a first date. You have noticed him in your English class and you were excited when he asked for your phone number a few days ago. You’ve been hoping to hear from him but, when he asks about Friday night, you say “no.” Why? Because he waited until Wednesday night to ask and you don’t want him to know that on Wednesday night, you still did not have a date scheduled for Friday.

"Who does he think he is?"

So, you made an excuse about this Friday night and told him that you’d love to go out the following weekend.

The common thread behind games is the belief that if you honestly reveal yourself, you will not be as attractive to your partner. “If I manipulate what he thinks about me, he will think I am a more valuable catch and will be more interested in chasing me.” In the short term, that strategy may work with some guys, but . . . eventually, if you begin dating on a regular and exclusive basis, they are going to learn who you really are and they will know that you were playing games with them.

Also, the most consistent advice you hear about relationships is to communicate honestly and directly with your partner. Beginning a relationship with game playing sets a precedent of not being sincere and direct and it gives your partner a justification to treat you in the same way. Do you really want your partner to not be sincere, to not tell you what they are thinking or feeling?

Game playing also is an impediment to developing trust. “I’d really like to believe her and trust what she says, but she doesn’t always say what she means, so . . ..”

"I'd better watch her very closely!"

When the relationship breaks up, what do you do? Accept it, learn your lessons, and move forward? No! There’s another opportunity for playing games!

The break up game is based on a notion which is more common among young people: after a break up, a couple should remain friends. I think this is a horrible idea. One of you is probably clinging to the hope that you will reconcile and trying to be “friends” just encourages this hope. Most people find it difficult to go backwards in a relationship, especially if you had developed a physical relationship before the breakup. Do you really want to hear about your ex’s new boyfriend or girlfriend? How are you going to handle it when they say something that indicates they spent the night with the new Mr. or Miss Wonderful? Most of us will feel jealousy and you should have no shame in admitting that you will feel that way. We are humans, not automatons, and jealousy is a part of our nature. No Contact: A Silly Game Or An Effective Strategy?So, when he breaks up with you, instead of starting to do “friend” things together, you don’t answer his phone calls, you ignore his texts, and you ignore everything else he does to reach out to you. You assume that he will start wondering why you are treating him this way, he will feel hurt, and will want to restore the relationship so that he can be at peace with you.

There are three possible outcomes.

First, he may not think that returning to being friends is all that important and he will just stop reaching out to you. You’ll get the idea after a few weeks.

Second, he may finally text you and suggest getting together . . . but not because he can’t wait to have you in his arms again. It may be that he wants to ask why you are treating him this way. He may be angry and he might just tell you that he has decided that he doesn’t even want to be friends with you and that you should expect to never hear from him again.

Third, he may feel guilty about the break up and welcome you back with open arms. It worked! Your strategy worked! But . . . wait a minute . . . or two weeks. Suppose you resume dating again. There were some reasons why it didn’t work the first time. Maybe he did not want to date exclusively and you were jealous. Maybe he realized that your long term goals weren’t compatible or maybe he thought you were the ice queen in bed and he wasn’t satisfied. Whatever the reasons were for the break up, you are going to encounter those same reasons again, and probably more quickly the second time you are trying to make it work. Maybe one of the reasons it didn’t work was that . . . wait . . . you didn’t communicate directly, effectively, and clearly!

Did you ever try this when you were a kid?
Did you ever try this when you were a kid?

So you break up after the second attempt, and this time there is no going back. So what have you accomplished? You have wasted a few more months of your life, unless you learn a lesson from this experience.

This is NOT how mature people conduct their relationships. If he calls on Wednesday night and you really want to see him on Friday night, you say “yes.” After a great first date, you text or call and tell him or her that it was a wonderful first date. You don’t wait three days to call her. You reveal what is in your mind and in your heart; if they don’t respect that, then you probably were not a good match and you move forward. But they probably do respect your open communications and it becomes one of the things that they cherish about you.

Happy!
Happy!

Having a relationship is not like playing Monopoly. If you approach a relationship with a game playing mindset, you will have – at best – a shallow relationship, and it probably won’t last. Are you ready to take things to the next level? Put all those “strategies” aside and start being sincere with your partner. And when you overhear your little sister talking about some game playing strategy, you’ll probably tell her that games are for little kids.

Good luck!


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Most Helpful Girls

  • To me no contact serves one purpose: helping me heal from that person. Thing is pulling away and coming back is not a functional relationship. You can't keep pulling no contact every time your partner or the person you are dating is uninterested. They may come back, but once you start paying attention to them again, they will leave/withdraw again. If a person loves you, there wouldn't be a need for no contact.

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  • Amazing mytake. Very true and I'm glad I don't play games 😺😼 when I find a guy who does, I cut it off quickly.

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Most Helpful Guys

  • I don’t know or care how often it works, I think playing hard to get is a stupid risk. What if you play too hard and they leave? What are you supposed to do then? Go back and say “just kidding”?

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    • If they leave then it wasn't meant to be in the first place that's what they wanted to do and you just gave both of you an out

    • @Oliee I don’t understand.

  • So true - I agree totally the only time I might do the no contact is where you hold back early on to avoid seeming full on. Game playing if being in a relationship is more complicated than your old life then something is wrong, a relationship should feel like easiest, the most natural thing in the world.
    The "Let's be friends" or the "Friendzone", you are right and I call BS - The friendzone only works if both parties know relationship is dead and there are no unrequited feelings, how many relatioships genuinely end with "Let's call it quits" - If feelings are there still on one side, one or both people will get hurt who I don't know but someone will get hurt. It becomes like picking a scab of a wound, rip the plaster off, clean break forever.

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What Girls Said 23

  • Proven effect
    Called exposure effect

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  • No contact will help you reconnect with yourself. It has nothing to do with the other one. It is a way of protecting yourself from feeling things you don't want to feel and misinterpretating love from affection habits from constant connections.
    Immature people break up but text everyday.

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    • I am not talking about no contact as a way of breaking up. This is about people using no contact as a way of trying to get someone to return to a relationship.

    • Oh ok well then it depends.
      Some situations involve to cut the contact and get a better sense of self. If someone showed signs of taking you for granted from the begining, give him/her the gift of your absence. But sincerely any manipulation tactic is immature and toxic and it is good to realise when your actions are truly meant to control someone 's feelings about you.

  • I would like to thank you for the time you invest in making such articles cause as I think it can be very helpful for many people who just wish to get as much information about this topic as possible.

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    • Thanks for the words of appreciation! I am usually motivated by the posts I see from younger users. I recently saw a post by a girl asking how to make her ex-boyfriend come back to her and asking our advice on the "no contact" method.

  • I don't know... sometimes I feel like second chances are just the confirmation that something is not working... although I have friends who saved the relationship the second time... and ones who did not... maybe it is luck?

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    • It depends on the reason for the break up. Caught her cheating? That is not going to work the second time around. It was her senior year of school and she didn't have enough time for you? That might work. The bottom line is: if you gave it a good chance the first time and it didn't work, it probably won't work the second time.

  • Omg I couldn't believe more about the game playing that most people do. Like don't double text or you will seem desperate, don't reply straight away so it seem like you are busy etc... and also the 'be friend' after a breakup.
    It truly is childish and immature, but here is the problem I am not sure if I should just join the game now?
    I have always been honest to people, when I like the guy I message him whenever I am free, i text them after the date to tell them I had great time if I did straight after, i dont wear any makeup the first time i meet them, I do what I feel. But it doesn't seem to be appreciated. A guy ask me why don't you wear makeup, some guy ghost me after a while, some guy just started not replying my message for 3 or 4 days because they know I will 'understand' so i do wonder if I started playing the manipulation game like everyone at least I could protect myself from getting hurt again and again...

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    • No, just realize that the people who don't appreciate your sincerity are the ones who you would not want as a partner and they are just doing you a favor and eliminating themselves from the competition. Remember, all you need to do is find ONE good guy who appreciates you as you are.

  • Thank you for this amazing wise take. Thank you so much.

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  • yes it works. but playing games does not. this sounds contradictory. how can it be?

    becayse desparate needy people ARE a turn off! and if you are, it doesn't matter if you are true to yourself, because you are just a true loser. you need to WORK on not being desparate and needy. because healthy people don't want to be with desparate needy people and they won't be. they will dump you and rightfully so. so when you do no contact, it isn't playing a game, it is simply faking it til you make it. huge difference.

    ideally, you need to fix you before entering any relationship. but since most people won't the above works in the meantime.

    for those who tell you to be needy because its "you", know only needy losers will find this attractive. so you will be in a codependant relationship. good luck with that.

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    • What about a girl you aren't in a relationship with? Does no contact work then? For example you put it out there you like them, then things get for a little while anyways awkward, you begin to ignore each other. She reaches out first... so I should assume ANY time a woman initiates a Skype chat, she's interested to some degree?

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    • @Darknut people dont miss you unless you give them a chance to. if you have made it known you like them UNLESS she specifically says, "i only want to be your friend!", yes, if she reaches out she is likely interested to skme extebt. this doesn't mean she will leave her man for you, but it is a show of some interest. once again, if she has made ut ckear you will only ever be a friend do believe her. otherwise, she is getting something out of it if she initiates.

    • Well its tough to figure out, during the time she acted like she hated me. She wouldn't even engage with me in a conversation, look at me, pretend I didn't exist only talk to people around me. (I would ve talking to the others as well and they would talk, but she would shut down entirely) later WAY later down the road in these Skype messages she asks me about stuff i long forgot about

  • Game playing in relationships although sometimes effective only leads to more drama

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  • Couldn't agree more with the last paragraph especially! <3

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  • No contact is just immature and will get you nowhere

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  • No contact is immature.

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  • Guilty as charged your Honor!

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  • Nice take

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  • I agree with you. Nice take

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  • Cool mytake

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  • Awesome take sooo true

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  • Hate games in relationships only leads to drama

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  • Great take 😊

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  • It's a dumb game

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  • Ooh very nice

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  • good take

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  • Good take

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  • I hate silly games, too.

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What Guys Said 32

  • Very good Take. Excellent advice on why to avoid the game-playing in such situations.

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  • i hate playing games, but i do believe in not sending more than 2 texts. honestly, though, its a rule for myself because when i get nervous i tend to babble and that just makes things worse, so i'm just trying to fight urges i have that i know are bad or annoying

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  • I have the 3-day contact rule after getting a girl's phone number I call her on the third day. When in a long term relationship people need a break if you're struggling but I don't believe in head games silence and separation out of the blue

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    • I talked to my brother right now he believes in a one day contact rule. He doesn't believe in pushing it back to far the girl will lose interest

    • I'm with your brother on that, particularly if it is Tuesday or later in the week. You can't wait until Thursday to ask her out because she might actually make other plans.

    • True I just didn't want to seem to desperate

  • Just gotta be real and be yourself even when texting. If you have something to say, say it. If not , then don't. Ignoring someone on purpose is a dick move. And also if you have nothing nice to say then just say nothibg at all. It's the better option 99% of the time.

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  • What if it really is a case that person is so busy they couldn't make it on Friday, and the asker misunderstood so they just took it as game playing. Incompatible?

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    • I give a person the benefit of the doubt until they give me a reason to distrust them.

  • No contact is for one thing - to get over someone.

    It's not about getting them back, but to help you heal yourself after a breakup.

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  • Do you want to play games or have a relationship? It’s that simple. And hooking up is just more gaming. Take your mask off and reveal your self and all your crazy. Maybe they will like it.

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  • As a guy, "no contact" doesn't work on me. I've learned to let things go if they don't work out, so I don't hold onto the other person if she pushes me away. I won't be anyone's lapdog. Sorry.

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  • Well I guess I'm guilty of that... but I got the results I wanted so I'm just a little sceptical

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    • You got the results you wanted but at what price? Has your partner's trust and respect for you lessened as a result? Will your partner feel justified in playing games with you the next time you experience a conflict? You may not have an answer to these questions now.

    • Yeah, probably should act more mature next time

  • I don't play games under any circumstances and when a break-up happens that other person no longer exists in my mind. Not saying it is easy as it takes some time to get to that point.

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  • I would try faking anger instead. Especially if the other person is angry too. Works every time. Way better than weak passive aggression.

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  • Does that always take nearly half a century to realise? :D

    I imagine those who have too much free time, think it's an effective strategy.

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  • Holy shnikies... a wall of text. TLDR
    But on quick browse, no, not an effective strategy - more along the lines of 'showing lack of interest'. But women are masters at nuance, innuendo, and hidden meaning, passive aggressiveness, so they try all manner of weird stuff to try to influence an outcome. Men are just a lot more direct.

    There are a lot of games for sure. But most of this gets to the differences between men and women as to their communication styles, and how they process information. A fellow that breaks this down really well is MARK GUNGOR. If you search his name on youtube where you'll find some very good material and explanation on these differences.

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  • If your partner is avoiding contact in the first place, this strategy is basically lethal to the relationship

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  • No Contract is very necessary and effective if it involves a narcissist.

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  • Self Respect. That shows how u conduct with others.

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  • Silly. I'll just assume you're not interested if you ignore me.

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  • Some people don't realize what they have till its gone

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  • It’s pointless honestly

    Can you answer my recent one please?

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  • Great job.

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  • Great insights.

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  • Well put.

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  • effective strategy

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  • Very stupid game and very immature

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  • It's a dumb game that nobody should do

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  • nice

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  • ım very ugly

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  • good take

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  • Good take

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  • It works a lot of the time... So many ex-girlfriends of mine came back after I stopped talking to them

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    • It is sometimes effective in the short-term, but there is always a price to pay.

    • Maybe, but it works for me

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