My BFF’s girlfriend abruptly broke up with him after two years of togetherness. He sees her at social gatherings every other day. “I can’t get over this breakup,” he confesses. “Maybe because you didn’t have relationship closure,” I guessed. “You’re right,” he sighed, and continued, “I need closure. How can I heal when I see her all the time? More so when we didn’t even say a proper goodbye to each other?”
“How to get closure after a breakup” can weigh on our minds, especially if the breakup was seemingly out of the blue. A sudden breakup can send someone spiraling down a pit of issues that might seem impossible to cope with. And the only way out seems to be the magical dose of closure that you long for.
Is closure necessary? Can we move on without it? If it is necessary, how does one go about getting closure? Let’s talk about it, so you can finally know the reasons behind why you keep telling yourself, “I need closure”.
Is Closure Really Necessary?
Priya Chaphekar discusses this on the Bonobology community: In an age when people are breaking up on social networking sites, how important is face-to-face closure? Do we always need it? Therapists and psychologists believe that the absence of closure in a relationship can lead to feelings of pain and rejection. For this, the first step is to interpret the closure meaning for yourself.
Once you have understood what is closure for you, seeking it becomes easier. You’ll know what you’re looking for, and perhaps even why you think closure after a breakup is necessary for you. This process can mean different things to different people, as is evident from the responses of our readers to the question, “Is closure really necessary?”
1. Need for distance
To get closure from a breakup, you need physical and emotional distance. That’s why the No contact rule is recommended in the wake of a breakup. You cannot heal and move on if you are still seeing the ex, or are still physically and emotionally involved with them.
You need to heal yourself and find closure, even if you don’t have a formal goodbye after a relationship ends. Shehnaz says, “Closure need not come from a face-to-face meeting. It is more a state of mind.”
“In the end, one needs to let go with or without the answers,” Priya agrees.
Breakups do suck, there is no denying that – especially if your relationship was with someone whom you loved a lot, or were with for a very long time.
Related Reading: 11 Practical Tips To Get Over Someone Fast
2. Coming to terms with the reality
We need closure because the healing process after a breakup can become prolonged without it. It isn’t easy to turn the one who was once your world, the center of everything, into a virtual stranger. Closure helps you come to terms with the fact that things are over.
“When closure equals an acknowledgment of what was important while saying a graceful goodbye, it is always great,” says Renica Rego. Living in denial increases the need for closure in a relationship, often leaving you stuck on the same stage of moving on without making any progress.
3. You need closure to move on
Closure helps you move on in life after your breakup, without making you walk around in circles. It helps you by giving you a chance to heal yourself from the wounds your past relationship might have caused. Is there anything worse than sitting all by your lonesome on your bed wondering, “What if?”
You deserve to know why your relationship ended. You deserve your peace of mind, and you surely deserve closure. Trying to figure out why the relationship ended by yourself, is bound to leave you racking your brain, coming up with more questions than answers. Closure in a relationship can finally help you put your curious mind to bed.
How To Ask For Closure?
No matter how a person interprets the meaning of “closure”, the unanimous takeaway in all these responses is that it is a must to be able to handle the grim reality of heartbreak and move on from it. The process of finding closure, however, isn’t always easy. How do you ask someone for closure? Is it possible to demand and get closure from a guy or girl?
After all, there is no telling how your ex is processing the breakup and how they’d respond to your request for a relationship closure conversation. Yes, that does create a bit of a ‘between a rock and a hard place’ kind of a situation, but that does not mean your quest for closure is a lost cause.
No matter how painful it is, you have to try to reach out to your ex and have a relationship closure conversation. There are several ways to do this:
Related Reading: Can we be Friends with our Exes?
1. Be clear and concise
Once you’re ready to talk to them or face them again, reach out to your ex and tell them in no uncertain terms that while the relationship is over, you need closure to move on. If doing this face-to-face is important for you, ask them to meet you in person.
Alternatively, if neither of you is ready for that yet, you can have a conversation over the phone or via text too. Let them know the motive behind you contacting them as early as possible, without sounding too emphatic about it. Tell them you’re just figuring out how to get closure after a breakup, so they don’t end up avoiding you thinking you’re trying to rekindle a dead romance.
2. Use positive reinforcement
Reaching out to an ex after a spell of silence and leading with, “I need closure, so please talk to me”, can sound too forthright. Instead, use a classic, positive reinforcement technique by thanking them for all the beautiful memories and experiences you’ve shared together. Once the ice has been thawed, steer the conversation toward the what, why and how of your breakup to get the closure you need.
Getting closure after breakup must be tactfully approached, you don’t want your ex bottling up before you even get a chance to ask them the important questions.
3. Seek their perspective
Once you’ve made small talk and caught up on what you’ve both been up to since the breakup, ask them for their perspective on what went wrong. Let them throw light on their view of your mistakes, shortcoming, or problems in the relationship. And make sure you listen patiently. In their responses, you will find the reason why it didn’t work out between you.
You may or may not agree with their reasons, but at least you’d be aware of them. That’s what closure is all about. Plus, you’ll get to know if they felt the need for closure in your relationship as well.
Related Reading: The Right Way To Use Power Of Silence After A Breakup
4. Let it build up organically
If you want to get closure from a tough breakup but are too apprehensive about broaching the topic out of the fear that it may trigger you both in unpredictable ways, let things build up organically. Once you’re comfortable talking to your ex or being in the same room with them again, reach out to them just to have a conversation. And see where it leads to.
The topic of your breakup will come up inevitably, and when it does, you can casually slip in the questions you have on your mind to get closure. Don’t let it seem as though getting closure has been running riot around your mind, play it off nonchalantly and ask them open-ended questions like, “So, what do you think went wrong?” in a calm manner.
5. How to get closure after a breakup: do it on your own
If things didn’t end well between you and your ex, or they are not ready to have any sort of contact with you after the breakup, you may have to go it alone in your search for closure. Rather than spending sleepless nights, wondering, “Why did they do what they did?”, “Did they ever love me?”, “Why couldn’t we make it work?”, “Where did I fall short?”, embark on a path of self-exploration. You can consider maintaining a journal, talking to a friend, or even seeking counseling to help you through the process.
Often, we already know the answers we need to get closure from a breakup, but are too scared to acknowledge them. Difficult as it may be, it’s your best recourse when you cannot ask someone for closure.
Do what it takes, but address that nagging need for closure. After all, these loose ends can hold you back and leave you chasing the ghosts of the past. Life is too short to repent and dwell on what we have lost. So find your answers, say goodbye and make room in your heart, life and mind. Move on to more inspiring and invigorating prospects in your life and prepare yourself to start dating again.
The first step to figuring out how to get closure after a breakup is to understand what closure truly means to you. Is it distance? Is it a final conversation where you can get the answers you’re looking for? Ask yourself these questions, then figure out how you can get what you’re looking for. If it’s answers you’re looking for, be upfront with your ex and have a conversation, calmly asking the things you need to, in order to get closure after a breakup.
If “I need closure” has been weighing on your mind, the sooner you get it, the better it’ll be for you. You’ll be able to process your feelings better and move on more productively once you do.
Closure after a breakup means understanding and accepting what happened, and getting to the bottom of why it happened, if that’s something that will help you accept it and move beyond it. Closure can be achieved differently by different people. For some, answers from their ex are more important than blocking them off.