You need closure after a breakup so that you don’t keep grappling with the question, “What really went wrong?” all your life. A breakup can be an extremely painful experience for the simple reason that getting over someone you shared an intimate connection with isn’t easy.
While you are dealing with a breakup, you cry, grieve and keep asking why the relationship had to end. There could have been arguments, fights, differences, and blame game, but there were good times, touching moments, and great passion too. So, why couldn’t you and now ex make it work?
Finding closure after a breakup definitely makes the pain somewhat more bearable and the process of moving on easier, as it frees you from being consistently caught in the loop of whats, hows, whys, ifs, and buts. A closure conversation after a breakup gives you clarity about exactly why the relationship didn’t work out. While finding these answers can be painful at the moment, they certainly are pivotal in freeing from the clutches of the past.
What Is Closure After A Breakup?
Every time you think about a past relationship, you are filled with sorrow, your eyes well up and a rush of memories keep going through your mind. You long for your ex-partner. If only you could sit across from them just once, and get honest answers to what went wrong and why. This is how you usually feel a few months after a breakup.
For some people, these feelings can linger on for much longer, leaving them hung up on an ex and feeling attached to a past relationship for years. This happens when their partner was the one who ended the relationship and they still haven’t got closure on why their ex did what they did.
Noah and his girlfriend Dina had been going through a rough patch for some time when one day she ended things with a breakup text. They had always talked about getting married someday and had been going steady for over 5 years, so her decision to end the relationship, over a text no less, came as a rude shock to Noah.
He never got to have a relationship closure conversation with Dina, and to this day, wonders what went wrong. “I know we had been having problems, but I still don’t know what was that final straw that pushed her to dump me – so unceremoniously, that too. Was there someone else? Did she suddenly have an epiphany that she didn’t love me anymore? I guess I’ll never know. It’s been 10 years since we parted ways, and these questions still keep me up at night sometimes,” Noah says.
If that’s where you’re at, you need to ask for closure in a relationship. Only when you get closure do you stop feeling an emotional attachment to the person or the relationship anymore. You do not look back wistfully thinking what you could have done to fix the broken relationship or was the relationship worth saving?
Finding closure after a breakup is crucial because it helps you reach a stage in life when you are finally willing to let go and move on. You do not feel any kind of emotion or pain anymore when you think about your ex. You finally make peace with your past.
Related Reading: How To Get Over Someone You Love Deeply – 9 Steps To Follow
Why Is It Important To Have Closure In A Relationship?
Yes, a breakup can be excruciatingly painful at several levels. You can’t eat after a breakup, you’re unable to focus on work, sleep eludes you, and your schedule gets thrown out of whack. Even the simplest things like getting out of bed in the morning or going out for coffee with friends seem undoable.
If you’ve pondered, “Is closure important after a breakup? And why?” The answer lies in these painful and troublesome behavior patterns most of us engage in when dealing with heartbreak. Closure helps you move on from this unpleasant state of mind and turn over a new leaf. When you give someone closure or ask for it, you’re finally ready to close that chapter of life no matter how beautiful it was while it lasted. People who don’t get closure remain stuck in the state of pathos and self-pity after a breakup a lot longer.
The odds of this happening are higher when you’re ghosted, and in effect, denied a closure talk after breaking up. Or when a partner cheats, causing the relationship to end, or when someone unilaterally decides to end a relationship and leaves without any explanation.
In all of these cases, moving on becomes harder because you have been denied the basic courtesy of a closure conversation after a breakup. Sometimes, you can get closure with an ex after years even without having a conversation with them. It’s like a sudden light bulb going on in your head when you realize how things were not meant to be or you could be asking your ex questions and trying to analyze the answers to finally find closure.
It is important to have closure in a relationship because it helps you to heal, move on and be happy again. Jessica was madly in love with Adam (names changed) but he cheated on her and moved on. “I kept thinking I was ugly, I was demanding, I wasn’t a nice person, and kept blaming myself for his cheating. Two years later, I got closure from just one phone call from him. He apologized for hurting me and said that he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself until he knew that I forgave him. I thought should I give my ex closure? But I did, and found my closure too.”
Related Reading: How To Get Over Someone You See Everyday And Find Peace
5 Steps To Closure After A Breakup
We have a tendency to keep questioning what went wrong after a relationship ends. Why did the love story come to such an abrupt end? Who was wrong? Could things have been done differently and the relationship salvaged? This is why finding closure after a breakup is important. Maybe you can find the answers to your questions and move on.
Here are some steps to ensure a sane closure after a breakup. You could ask, “Do I really need closure? Is closure important after a breakup?” The answer is everyone does. Without it, you cannot begin the process of healing and move on:
1. Have a closure meeting
When all is said and done and you know that the breakup is a reality that you have to deal with, it is advisable to have a closure meeting. Make sure that your partner also understands that this means closure and is not an attempt to revive a dead relationship.
Choose a neutral location for this closure conversation after a breakup, so that you can have an honest discussion without inviting curious gazes from onlookers. However, avoid intimate settings like your home or a hotel room to make sure that finding closure after a breakup doesn’t lead you to sleep with your ex. Expect the conversation to be messy and entail tears, jibes, and perhaps, even blame-shifting. After all, the decision to part ways can be traumatic for both partners.
2. Discuss all topics that you want closure on
How do you get closure from someone who hurt you? Don’t leave any leaf unturned. Pick out all the worms under each and squash them. You might have all kinds of questions – “Did you even love me?” “What was so great about her?” “Why did you not tell me?” “Is she good in bed?” “How many other women were there?” and so on.
Try to keep a check on your emotions. Ryan and Linda had met for a closure talk after breaking up at a coffee shop in an upscale hotel. As Ryan answered the many questions Linda had for him, things got heated. After a while, the staff had gathered into a quiet bunch and looked very concerned as Linda was bawling her eyes out. If you’re already feeling sorry for yourself, the sympathetic looks from onlookers can really augment your feelings of self-pity.
However, if a public meltdown isn’t something you’re wary of, let yourself go by all means. The important thing is that when you meet for a closure conversation after a breakup, you shouldn’t leave out any issues or questions that may be on your mind. For instance, if there are any financial issues, discuss those too. If you want to remain friends then discuss the terms and conditions for future conversations and behavior.
3. Stop conversations for a mutually agreed upon period
You must understand that you cannot go on being in each other’s lives like it’s business as usual immediately after a breakup. You are human, not a robot. Give time for all the hurt to heal. Do not email, call or text your ex-partner until you’ve worked through the pain of heartbreak. Believe us the no-contact rule really works.
It goes without saying that you will not ever stalk him or her. Keeping tabs on their life would only deepen the wounds on your psyche, making healing a near-impossible task. So agree that you both will stick to a no-contact pact until you’re both ready to be a part of each other’s life again. This includes not discussing each other with common friends.
When you ask for closure in a relationship, it’s important to lay out these ground rules for the post-breakup recovery phase clearly. Of course, if there is too much vitriol and bad vibes you need not worry about wanting to talk or keeping in touch at all. Your closure after the breakup is already done.
Related Reading: Why we crave sex with our exes
4. Make a list of all slights and forgive yourself and your partner
Once the closure meeting is done, sit down with a clear mind and make a list of all the good and bad events that have happened in your relationship thus far. Be fair! Write down every little thing that caused the rift and eventual breakdown of this relationship. Then meditate over these thoughts in your mind or even say “I forgive you” aloud. This heals the anger, the sadness, the betrayal, and the nastiness.
Remember that forgiveness is an important aspect of finding closure after a breakup. You’re not forgiving your ex and letting them off the hook for all the wrongs they may have done for their sake, but for your own. Until you let go of the grudges and anger, you won’t get closure after your breakup.
If you owe your ex a closure, you can sit with the list with them or send it to them over email and tell them the things that worked and the things that didn’t, You can have a closure conversation after that and then end it. You will feel much better. This is a great way of leaving the emotional baggage behind. To give someone closure after ending a relationship is the kind – and the right – thing to do. Unless it was a toxic or abusive relationship, it’s a courtesy you must extend to an ex-partner.
5. Do not delve into the past
Mel was attending a meditation retreat with her friends when she discovered she had such severe anxiety issues that she was unable to let go of the pain from her breakup. These unresolved feelings also triggered overwhelming new relationship anxiety that prevented Mel from letting anyone into her life.
At the end of the retreat, she asked one of the instructors how she could cope, and she responded, “Shut the book” on all of your past. It was truly a useful tip. Don’t open the book. Don’t delve into the past. It is like a dead leaf, it has drifted to the ground and will rot away and turn to mud.
So, is closure important after a breakup? The answer to that is amply clear by now – it’s extremely important to heal and move on. However, it’s equally important to know that you don’t really need another person to find closure. Yes, having them answer your question can be beneficial in gaining clarity on the breakup and accepting it. However, the real closure – which is the readiness to let go of a past relationship – can only come from within.
So, if a tete-a-tete with your ex is not feasible, focus on finding your own closure. Seeking counseling can truly speed along the process by bringing in a new level of self-awareness. If you’re still in search of closure with an ex after years, experienced therapists on Bonobology’s panel can help you get there. The right help is only a click away.