How to get closure

KAREN KLEINSCHMIDT

When a relationship ends, most people seek that final moment that says it is indeed over as well as the reasons why it ended. Unfortunately, closure may be something you have to find on your own, especially if you broke up during a big fight or were dumped via a text message. The unresolved feelings and unanswered questions make closure difficult. After taking the time to process your feelings, closure is possible, and it will enable you to move forward as you accept and learn from what was lost, according to Lauren Suval’s article, “Finding Closure,” on PsychCentral.

Explore this article

  • Feel Deeply
  • Question Yourself
  • Accentuate the Positive
  • Create a Goodbye Ritual

1 Feel Deeply

Rather than pushing your feelings away in an attempt to feel better quickly, acknowledge and label them. Every person reacts with varying intensity levels and emotions to a breakup. Common feelings that may occur include grief, sadness, remorse, regret, anger or rejection. Identifying which emotion you feel with the greatest intensity can help to determine how you deal with the breakup, according to the article, “Getting Closure After a Breakup,” published on the TwoOfUs.org website. If you feel it would be helpful and you are able to, have a calm, rational conversation with your ex-partner regarding your feelings. Otherwise, take the time to reflect on your relationship until you feel at peace with yourself.

2 Question Yourself

Abigail Brenner, psychiatrist and author of “5 Ways to Find Closure From the Past,” on Psychology Today, recommends having your own internal question and answer session to gain a deeper understanding of your breakup. Ask yourself if you are afraid to move forward, afraid to feel the loss and void. Figure out what you believe is the worse thing that could happen if you close the door on this chapter of your life. Although painful, understanding your relationship breakup will help to speed up the healing process which will also help you to obtain closure.

3 Accentuate the Positive

Focus on yourself and do something that makes you look or feel better. Take up a hobby or sport that you pushed aside while you were with your ex. Catch up with your friends and lean on them for support. Make a list of the wonderful, positive things you gained from your relationship as this will help you to become aware of what worked in your relationship in addition to what did not. You can take this valuable information into your next relationship. Looking at the positive aspects you gained can help you to let go of resentment and anger, leaving you with a feeling of gratitude for what you gained from the relationship.

4 Create a Goodbye Ritual

After some time, you will feel ready to move on. Write your ex-partner a letter that is meant for only you to read. Let it all out — include your favorite times together, what you loved the most about him as well as what drove you nuts. Write about all the ways he made you feel special and all the ways he hurt you. Let him know the positive aspects that you’ll take into your next relationship as well as what you’ll leave behind. When you feel ready, read the letter aloud or silently to yourself, then shred or burn it along with any pictures or other memorabilia you choose to help you obtain closure.

How to get closure

Do you know how it feels when your relationship ends without a proper closure? It is like dying with an unfinished business. Your soul has no peace. What about being left behind without the chance to ask why or say goodbye? It is like being a kitten left along the street to get lost.

Self-pity, bitterness, and anger are among the main emotions evoked in this kind of ending. Asking yourself if you are that easy to dump is a natural reaction too. Do not let them destroy your self-image.

Here are 14 ways that can help you let go and move on from an unclosed relationship that has clearly ended.

1. Demand for closure.
You were the other half of that relationship. Therefore, you have the right to demand for an explanation for its sudden ending. Try talking your ex into settling issues in a civil way. Assure him/her you will not insist on getting back together. All you need is to understand things and little respect.

2. Stop reaching out if there is no response.
If in spite of your effort to reach out your ex ignores or even avoids you, then stop. Leave a little pride for yourself. Stop running after the person, because it only makes you look pathetic. You have already done your part.

3. Give yourself some space.
At this point, everything seems confusing. There are questions unanswered, and you are torn between hoping and hating. Have a break. Take a vacation and do a self-retreat. For sure, you cannot avoid crying and pondering about what happened, but at least try to relax and quiet your mind.

4. Avoid too much thinking.
Do not overthink the situation. It will stress you out. Look for some things to keep your mind busy. Concentrate on your work or other activities. Find a new hobby or rediscover an old one. Distract yourself from depressing thoughts.

5. Be open to the possibility of reconciliation.
Since your relationship has ended without a formal closure, you can consider the possibility that your ex is just confused at the moment. S/he just probably needs space. Do not close doors yet as there could be a second chance for the two of you.

6. Do not hope too much.
Nevertheless, do not be too hopeful about getting back together. Unless it happens, there is no guarantee of it. Yes, it is good to leave some hope in your heart, but too much expectation may only lead to disappointment.

How to get closurePhoto by dima_goroziya

7. Decide to let go.
Letting go means struggling no more and allowing yourself to go with the flow. Just be open to possibilities and be ready for them. S/he may come back or not. Your relationship may have a second chance or not. You cannot control your ex’s heart. Just let loose and wait for the circumstances to make things happen.

8. Do not take all the blame.
The worst thing about breakups without closure is that those who are left behind think something is wrong with them, so they are easy to throw away. Please be easy on yourself. You may not be a perfect partner and you have flaws, but still it was not right for your ex to take you for granted. Do not think it was all your fault. S/he had a part in this mess.

9. Know you deserve to be respected and treated better.
In connection to number 8, you have to see your worth as a person despite your imperfections. One reason that should motivate you to move on is your right to be respected as an individual, which your ex did not honor. You deserve a partner who will treat you better.

10. Do not let it hinder you from living a productive life.
Your world should not stop revolving just because you have been left with no goodbyes. Do not wait for closure before you decide to live a normal life again. Instead of waiting for his/her calls, concentrate on being productive.

11. Forgive even if there are no apologies.
Do not wait to receive apologies before you forgive your ex. What if s/he does not come back to say sorry? Would you forever hold on to your grudge and bear its weight? You can never totally move on. You cannot truly be happy. Therefore, decide to forgive him/her for your own sake.

12. Allow yourself to explore.
The closure you long for might never come. Waiting for it for a long time could make you waste opportunities to be happy and find love again. You have the right to love and be loved, so open yourself to other people. Meet new friends, and allow yourself to date. Who knows you could be meeting the one really for you.

13. Wish him/her the best despite what happened.
You know you have moved on if you can already hope for good things for the person who hurt you. Part of forgiving your ex is praying s/he finally finds true happiness as you find yours.

How to get closurePhoto by IniRiske

14. Pray for a chance for closure in the future.
I remember having a big fight with a person in my past, and we separated ways without the chance to settle the issue. Soon, I was finally able to forgive him, but it was not enough for I knew I had to apologize. I did not know how to do it, because we lost contact, so all I could do was pray for that chance. After two years, we bumped into each other in the mall. We only had less than a minute to shake hands and say sorry because of the busy Christmas season—but it was all that it took to completely remove the burden from my heart.

Prayer works. Pray for that closure to come your way at the right time.

It is hard to let go of a relationship without closure. However, it is harder to hold on to a love that may be long dead already. Set yourself free from uncertainties. If that love is meant for you, someday it will come back. If it is not, then something better is on its way.