Sorry, But ‘Closure’ Is Complete B.S. And Here’s Why
Whether you’re sad, confused, or pissed off after a break-up, everybody has the same question on their mind: why?
That’s why after a break-up, one of you (likely the one who was dumped) might ask to meet up for “closure” — theoretically, a conversation where you assess what went wrong and then officially put your failed relationship out of its misery.
Break-ups are messy. It’d be great to wrap all that emotional baggage, hurtful words, and lovelorn feelings into a nice tidy box called closure, wrap it up with a bow, and mail it away, right?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, because you’re dealing with two human beings. In fact, the whole idea behind “closure” is really bullshit. It’s not that you want “closure,” it’s that you want to blame your ex for your relationship’s demise, or you want your ex to see you and magically decide that he wants to try again.
According to relationship counselor and expert Marissa Nelson, closure “is an assumption, assignment of responsibilities of who did what in the relationship, a post mortem of sorts.”
Marissa makes it sound nice, doesn’t she? But think about all the unresolved problems you’ve forgotten about in your life and moved on from. Why should this be any different?
When you say you want to see your ex for “closure” all that they hear is “I want to see you again and this is the best excuse I could think of.”
At best, you and your ex will meet up in a boring coffee shop and awkwardly ask “how are you?” and make small talk until one of you either gets really mad or starts crying. At worst, you’ll drunkenly invite your ex over for “closure” which will lead to break-up sex that leaves you emotionally confused.
Regardless, you’re very, very unlikely to get what you want out of attempting to find closure with an ex.
Wanting closure doesn’t suddenly make it okay to reach out to your ex, it makes you look desperate af. You can swear that you’re over it, but if you were really over it you wouldn’t be worrying about your ex at all, would you? It’s okay to take your time mourning the relationship, but do you really want your ex to know that? No way, you’ve got more pride than that.
Still, “wanting closure doesn’t mean that you’re not over the person,” says Marissa. “People often want closure for justice and accountability for what their partner did, many times an apology if they felt they were wronged.”
If it’s not your ex that you want back, it’s your sanity that you want back, or your dignity, or something that you feel that your ex can give back to you by apologizing or explaining or admitting that they were dumb and wrong.
“Many couples breaking up have the expectation that they can move forward in an amicable way if you are accountable for x, or validate my concerns,” Marissa says. “It’s also a way of airing grievances and often rehashing relationship offenses to come to some sort of mutual understanding.”
The thing is, why do you need to come to a “mutual understanding” if you are broken up? Maybe in a perfect world everyone would be friends with their exes, but in the real world that’s usually a horrible idea. The only thing more horrible than trying to stay friends with an ex is trying to be fuck-buddies with an ex.
Instead of depending on another person to fix the problems you’re facing post-breakup, you need to let yourself move on, put on your big girl (or boy) panties, and fix those problems for yourself.
“Most people think closure is a conversation when in fact it is when you can internally reconcile what has happened in your past relationship and basically be ready to move on having learned those lessons, where you can leave that relationship behind you,” explains Marissa. “Closure is an internal process, and you can’t count on anyone to close your chapter for you! You don’t need closure to move on and start the healing process.”
If you couldn’t count on your ex to be a good boyfriend, why would you count on him to help heal your broken heart? Instead of leaning on an ex or potentially a new lover, rely on yourself. The best closure you can get is reflecting on the relationship and realizing what went wrong while simultaneously learning to better yourself and love yourself regardless of if you’re single or not.
“You have to be okay with not being able to predict or control other people’s actions or emotions,” urges Marissa. “You need to refocus on yourself and learning the lesson from this relationship so you don’t repeat the same patterns, or bring unresolved baggage into your next relationship.”
At the end of the day, you need to admit that your yearning for “closure” is basically just wanting somebody else to solve your problems.
“People can stop themselves from needing closure by realizing that they are looking for someone to make them feel better, validate them, apologize to them, want or fight for them, etc. All of which require their ex to do something,” explains Marissa.
Nobody is going to wave a magic wand and say “bippity, boppity, boo” and erase the hard feelings from your breakup, especially not your ex.
“Sorry, the reality of the situation is that all you need is to look within yourself to heal, and understand that breakups are a process, it will hurt and take your time to grieve,” explains Marissa.”Have a good cry, dust yourself off and close that chapter.”