Stop Looking For Closure

I have heard many people (myself included) utter the words: “I just want closure.”

Closure is usually thought of as that uncomfortable conversation you have with your former partner hashing out why your relationship ended. You hope that they give you a concrete reason, sans cliche, of why they wanted to end things. You hope that they can make you understand why they don’t want you anymore.

The problem is, sometimes relationships end for no reason. Sometimes, love isn’t enough. Sometimes, life gets in the way, and they need to move to LA for work and you’re stuck in Murray Hill with the finance bros.

Or maybe, there is a reason they are ending it, but it is so ludicrous that you can’t reconcile with it. For example, I have a friend whose boyfriend dumped her with the excuse that God told him to (WTF!). As you can imagine, there was no closure that she could get from him. She never spoke to him again, and she had to get closure on her own - and she did! She is now living a happy and exciting life without him.

On a more personal note, I had a serious relationship with a guy that was my longest relationship at the time, and he ended the relationship out of nowhere. His exact reason was, “I want to be a doctor and you don’t understand science.”

After he ended things, I never contacted him because I knew space was what I needed to move on. I also knew that you can’t reason with someone who is being unreasonable. Still, I was very confused and spent a lot of time picking the breakup apart. What did he mean I don’t understand science? I was just sending him interesting scientific studies that I happened to come across. He knew from the day we met that I wasn’t an aspiring doctor! Was there something that I did wrong?

I didn’t hear from him again until almost a year after we broke up. By the time he reached out to me, I had already moved on and didn’t really care to hear what he had to say. I had sought closure on my own by accepting that the relationship had ended and that for whatever reason, he wanted out. Honestly, it was really empowering to know that I, the dumpee, had moved on and he, the dumper, was still lingering on the relationship.

I’m not telling this story to toot my own horn or to sound tough. My point is if I can move on without an official closure conversation, so can you.

At the end of the day, closure is something you give yourself. It is not something that someone can give you.

Closure is acceptance. Once you accept the relationship has ended, then you can move on. Why should you go back to the person who ended things just for them to essentially dump you all over again? All you are doing is hitting a wall over and over again while expecting a different result.

We can’t wait around for someone to give us closure. There really isn’t anything your ex can say that will make the hurt that they brought upon you okay. I’m never going to fully understand what drove him to end our relationship, and I’m okay with that. Heartbreak is a part of life, and people need to stop being afraid of it.

If you’re struggling with acceptance, I highly recommend the book The Art and Power of Acceptance: Your Guide to Inner Peace by Ashley Davis Bush. It’s super helpful and also a super easy read. And the little illustrations throughout the book make it more fun! I stumbled upon this book in Barnes and Noble and decided to buy it, and I’m glad I did.

If you’ve made it this far through the article, I’d bet that you are currently going through a tough breakup. (That, or you know me in real life and are snooping to see if I am a shitty writer. I hope you have been somewhat impressed.) I know it’s a cliché, but I want you to know that everything will be okay, and soon the person that broke your heart won’t even cross your mind.

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