Closure is something we often seek out after a friendship, relationship or life chapter comes to an end. When it comes to relationships, closure is important in order to process the separation and prepare to move forward with one’s life. However, with that being said, it’s often times one of the most difficult things to tackle – especially when an ex has little or no interest in attaining closure. Many women, and men alike, find it incredibly difficult to move forward without getting closure. We convince ourselves that once we get closure on our terms in a way that lives up to the picture and feeling we have created in our mind, it is then and only then we can move on. I wish it worked that way but so often it doesn't. That isn't a bad thing though. If we can accept that closure doesn't always happen in the way we want it to, there is freedom in that. When we put our life on hold waiting for closure to happen in a specific way, we ultimately end up just holding ourselves back from moving forward and finding new joy in life. An article I recent read described this prolonged limbo as “sitting with the meter running.” There comes a point when you simply have to say, “I’ve tried” and build your own closure with the understanding you’re simply notgoing to get it from your ex.
So, for those of us who need some form of closure to move on, how exactly do you create your own? Here are five thoughts to think on:
1. Allow Yourself to Be Sad
Allowing yourself to be sad about the relationship, friendship and life chapter that has ended is an uncomfortable and often painful step but it is necessary. Life as you once knew it has changed and will continue to change. Let yourself really feel these feelings before you move forward because if you don't feel them now, I can guarantee they will come up again in the future even stronger. It is perfectly normal to be both glad a relationship ended and sad it ended all at the same time. When people jump from being in a relationship to instantly celebrating its end, they never allow themselves to reflect on what they learned and how they may do things differently in their next relationship. Without this reflection time, I often see how it causes issues in their personal development and future relationships.
2. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Each relationship and breakup is unique and so are its issues. So, for some people, the concept of putting yourself in your ex’s shoes and truly allowing yourself to explore compassion for them may seem impossible. If you can do it, however, you may be surprised at this exercise’s effectiveness. Allowing yourself to see the situation from the other’s side may help answer some of the questions you’ve been juggling in your mind. Yes, again, it is hard to do but it can be a growth opportunity for you to see how anger and fear can be lessened by inviting compassion into your life. Compassion can set you free, I truly believe that.
3. Understand That You Won’t Understand Everything
You likely have many questions you feel have gone unanswered. They may include why, how and when. If you feel that you lack understanding of how you’ve got to where you are, but you can’t find answers in your ex, I encourage you to move forward without them. The reality is that, even if you have received some answers, you will always be able to think of new questions or question the integrity of the information that you dohave. This cycle of questioning, doubting and anger isn’t healthy or conducive to your healing process. I urge you to accept you may never understand absolutely everything and that is okay.
4. Encourage Yourself to Not Take it As an Attack
If you’ve actively sought closure from your ex and have been unsuccessful in getting it, it's likely not because your ex doesn’t want you to have it. Sometimes if an ex doesn’t feel that closure is necessary for them to move on, they assume it wouldn’t be necessary for you either. Other times, the ex feels as though talking through the problem will only perpetuate the issues and will lead to further, and prolonged, feelings of anger and hurt they are wanting to avoid. Exes refusing to cooperate in achieving closure could also be, in their own way, trying to avoid hurting you further. While your relationship styles may have been similar, the way you and your ex process the breakup could be wildly different. Don't take it personally, just recognize you are different.
5. Honour The Good
Instead of rereading every text message or scrolling through your ex’s social media trying to discern where things went wrong, take a breath and remember to honour the good that was in your relationship. Try to associate the relationship with positive things, such as your self-development or milestones you achieved while together. When you do move forward, it’s inevitable that you’ll think back to this time in your past. If you can think back to this relationship and recognize the good that came from it, you’ll be able to avoid reliving feelings of pain. The more you can separate yourself from the negative, the more easily you’ll be able to refocus on your life and living joyfully.
Recently I was reading a quote and the sentiment was, ironically we can use the seeking of closure to avoid closure. Sometimes there's a part of us that is holding us back from closure because that would mean it's really, truly over and we have to move on.
Yes, you should take time to mourn the loss. Yes, you should process the situation and, yes, you can achieve closure. But, don’t let yourself wait indefinitely for it. I recognize it can be scary to think that once you’ve processed everything the only step left is to move on. That is okay. Life is waiting for you to move on and is looking forward to you rejoining and finding new and different sources of happiness.
To your authenticity,