We’ve all heard a brokenhearted friend say “I can’t move on because my ex won’t give me closure “. Maybe we’ve even said it ourselves.
Let’s be honest, if we dig deep we’ll see that we’re not really looking for closure but an 11th hour attempt at saving the relationship. Subconsciously, it’s a camouflaged effort to get your ex to understand that he/she is crazy to let you go. It’s one more change to show them that your love is simply too real to throw away.
If not to save the relationship, you imagine that you’ll at least have all of your burning questions answered so you can start the long journey to healing your broken heart.
You recite everything you’re going to say and imagine that you’ll have this deep conversation where you’re completely in control of your emotions. You imagine that your ex will professes deep feelings for you despite the relationship being over and that the conversation will end with hugs and resolutions.
This is never the reality.
In fact, these talks often end up being more of a disaster than the initial break up conversation. Sadly, you’ll often end up with at least one of these results:
1) You’ll end up plunging deeper into depression
You may not want to hear what your ex has to say and you’ll walk away from the conversation having hit the ‘reset’ button on your pain. You may discover new and hurtful details you never saw coming.
2) You may walk away with even more questions
You’ll likely get vague responses like “I don’t know”, “it just didn’t feel right” and more ambiguous answers that will leave you knowing less than you did when you started this closure talk.
Guess what happens next? You’ll feel compelled to call your ex to answer all these new questions you’ve developed as a result of that uneventful talk.
It then becomes a cycle.
3) You give up the power to take control of your own emotions
If your ex delays talking to you or fills your mind with more ambiguous answers, you’re essentially putting the power in their hands. You’re creating a state of mind where you truly believe that only they can give you the chance to mend your broken heart. You’ll put yourself in a state of limbo waiting for them to give you the closure you think you need.
4) You could end up feeling more rejected
Not everyone has an ability to talk in detail after a breakup. Some people need to digest what happened, which could take months, years or they may never even get there. Pushing your ex to talk to you will lead to more heartbreak as they try their best to run further and faster away from you and your incessant questions.
5) You won’t get an admission of guilt or confirmation of their feelings
Even if you don’t go into the conversation with this goal, you’ll find yourself looking for validation or an admission of guilt. People are often defensive after a break up. The last thing they will do is admit to faults or admit to hurting you. Their defensiveness and your determination to get he response you want will lead to more fighting — exactly what you didn’t want from this talk that supposed to give you closure.
So how do you move on after a break up?
Nobody has the power to give you closure; find your own closure.
You don’t need validation of your ex’s feelings for you, you don’t need their friendship and you don’t need forced apologies or answers to your questions. If you were going to get answers, you would have gotten them in the relationship.
Only you can help yourself. Take your time sorting through all the emotional crap the relationship left behind. When you take the time to truly think through what went wrong, where your responsibilities were and where they weren’t, that break up may honestly lead you to learn more about yourself and what you want.
Most of all, learn to be okay with the fact that all of your questions will simply not be answered.
This is true closure.