What is Closure?
When we say we want “closure” at the end of a relationship, what do we actually want?
I have discovered that when people talk to me about needing closure, what they generally tend to mean is that they want answers and understanding about why things ended the way they did. I know I did.
Heartbroken people often believe that they will get the closure they so desperately desire, if only they could make sense of why. They expect that this knowledge will help them stop the overthinking and relieve them of their painful emotions.
I used to believe this too, but experience from my long ago relationship taught me it doesn’t really work that way.
Closure must come from within because if you look to your ex or anywhere else to find it, you will be left frustrated and helpless and you will prolong your healing process.
Here are some truths about closure that explain why it has to be something you do for you!
1. Your ex’s responses will lead to more questions.
At the point of my breakup, my ex and I had a couple of conversations that involved me doing a lot of asking why, but not getting many answers. He couldn’t really explain; he told me “It’s not you, it’s me,” and when someone gives you that as their reason, there is nowhere you can go with it. I felt lost.
For the person leaving it probably feels like the best way to end it. But for the person left, it’s unsatisfying, and our natural tendency is to desperately ask more questions: “What’s wrong?” “Can I help you with whatever you’re going through?” “Can we fix it somehow?” “Can we at least work on it?”
It’s important to know that when we are still in love with someone, nothing they can say will us give us closure. The answers will never feel enough, they will only lead to more questions and more longing. I’ve experienced this.
2. Seeing your ex extends the pain.
If there is still communication after a breakup it’s tempting to ask for one last face-to-face, to help you understand and gain the closure you seek. But for all of the reasons above, this will not help.
A meet-up is often an excuse to get in touch because the ending feels too painfully final. Your healing will be prolonged.
Sometimes there’s a veiled hope that by seeing them for “one last talk” they may rethink or have doubts about leaving. You can’t make someone feel or change.
No one is ever wrong for seeking closure this way, but before deciding to meet, check whether you are really hoping for reconciliation. Consider how your pain might be prolonged if you don’t get it.
3. Your closure can’t come from their truth.
You cannot rely on the words of the person who just broke your heart for your own closure. Not because they are being deliberately dishonest (except for specific cases when they are), but because there is never just one truth at the time of the breakup. There are almost always many truths.
The reason or reasons you receive from your ex may bring you a little bit of understanding or peace at first. If you depend on them for your closure, and then the reality shifts, it can set you back and bring even more pain and confusion.
I allowed myself to feel deeply reassured by my ex’s assertion that he left because he needed to be by himself. He wasn’t committed to our relationship and he made me feel taken for granted. When i found out he had jumped into another relationship immediately with someone else it hurt horribly!
I had believed “It’s not you, it’s me,” then felt the gut punch that it actually was me.
I started to move through the healing process, my growth allowed me to shift my perspective on the meaning I gave to this revelation. I learned to reframe the deep feelings of rejection to create my own, more empowering, understanding of why we ended. This was just him, he simply was horrible at communicating and he always needed a back up. In fairness it wasn’t me. It’s just this is how he is.
Years later, he’s with someone who needs him for various reasons and he can be in control of her as he needs. He has the challenges but he chose that and it’s his life. I chose to be with someone who truly loves me for me and vice versa.
You cannot cling to reassurance from someone else’s truth or explanations, because they will not hold lasting meaning for you. Your closure will only have a strong foundation if it comes from your own truth.
4. Moving on should not have conditions
You disempower yourself when you believe that you can only get closure via your ex-partner. In doing so, you are effectively allowing them to say whether it is okay to move on.
If you need that apology, changed behavior, an explanation, empathy, or anything else from them before you can move forward, what happens if those things never come? Are you okay with potentially spending years waiting for someone else to fix your pain?
Whatever your ex-partner tells or withholds from you, however they acted back then, whatever their current situation or future behavior, is far less relevant than your response to any of these things.
The ability to gain closure is unconditionally within your control, and it becomes far easier when you stop focusing on your ex.
Understand that it takes time and work on your part to go forward.
Don’t jump to someone else, get comfortable with you first. Heal and in time you move on. I know it doesn’t ever seem that you will but I am proof you can and will. There is no time limit but it ta
My relationship is precious to me. I am happy being with my husband.
If I would’ve stayed with my ex, I would never have been happy as I am now.
Sometimes Gods rejection is His protection!