Separations are unpleasant and brutal.
One day you feel like you're in paradise. The next it feels like your soul has actually been ripped from your body.
I'm not talking about the on-again off-again, I'm- slightly-annoyed-today short-lived breaks up. I'm referring to the genuine, heart-wrenching breakups.
The ones when you realize it's truly over.
The ones when you search in your partner's eyes and you just know what they're going to say. The ones when you need to move your things out. The ones when your ex stops responding to your desperate text messages.
In those minutes, we're taken from pure happiness to outright suffering.
And your natural instinct is to do whatever possible to prevent this trainwreck ... which's where the idea of getting "closure" comes in.
So the looming question is ...
Is "closure" actually worth it?
Why closure does not work like you think
After the separation, all you want is another shot to talk to your ex ... really speak to them.
You think that if you can in some way reach them, you can repair things. Or, help yourself recover.
I'm sorry to tell you, however ...
They broke up with you because they do not feel the same connection anymore.
Perhaps they do not have the same interest to you that they used to. Perhaps they realize you don't have the values they want in a partner. Maybe they wish to explore their single life or they're interested in someone else.
Regardless, they've accepted you're not the individual they wish to be with.
This was not an over night choice-- specifically if you've been seeing each other for a long period of time. Unless you did something awful which specifically triggered the separation, they've been thinking about this for a while.
And in my experience, your determination for "closure" will only make things even worse. It's already too late to change their mind, and one single discussion definitely will not alter the way they feel.
You aren't going to say something that unexpectedly makes them understand they're still madly in love with you.
You aren't going to reveal them some quality that makes them feel overwhelming desire for you again.
Often, you're just going to get squashed when you see they aren't trying to make things work like you are and instead, they're moving on.
And that's the ugly side of closure-- you're desperate to make your ex alter their mind at any cost.
But those attempts come from a misdirected, frequently unhealthy, place and just wind up backfiring.
How NOT to get closure
Many people look for "closure" to fill a selfish void. In my assessment, you shouldn't be seeking this conversation for any of the following factors:
1. Guilting them back into a relationship.
Letting go of somebody special is difficult. You might love your ex and would do anything to get them back.
So when they separate and continue to tell you it's over, you refuse to quit. You make grand guarantees claiming that you'll improve.
You assert, "Things will be different this time." You let them know you'll be ruined and not able to function without them. You sob and beg for them to come back. You let them know you'll do whatever it takes.
What does that suggest about you, though?
This is someone who honestly conveyed they don't wish to be with you.
You 'd rather guilt them into a relationship instead of finding somebody else who's excited to be with you?
In spite of how they feel or how dissatisfied they were, you're saying you 'd rather be with them than by yourself?
This only reveals that you're desperate and have no self-regard.
They're not going to all of a sudden be more attracted to you for groveling or manipulating them.
Seldom, I've seen this work but it NEVER lasts. As soon as that pity or guilt disappears, they're still left with the very same frustration in the relationship. Then they will end things once again and are more likely to resent you for your actions.
2. Making them feel like shit.
You feel hurt and cast aside. You're hurting so much that you wish to make them to feel how they made you feel.
And you figure that given that things are over, what have you got to lose?
Maybe you think insulting or scolding your ex has its benefits. Maybe you desire them to understand everything that's bad and unsightly about them. At least YOU will get the last word.
However that's the bullshit you tell yourself to band-aid fix your ego. You're unconsciously attempting to safeguard yourself from seeming like a loser.
Your attacks may sting in the instant, but your ex will quickly forget them. You'll soon see how little time they spend considering you, while you're wasting all your energy and time on them.
So who's really losing in this scenario?
If you've got many problems about them, you really should have spoken up previously. You should've tried to resolve them throughout the course of the relationship.
If you bottled up your feelings and didn't have your needs satisfied, that's a failure on your part.
3. Trying to propose a “friendship”.
So you encourage them to remain good friends. Your ex amuses that concept because, once again, even though they do not desire an intimate relationship with you, they still take care of you as a person.
Ask yourself ... do you truly want to be simply platonic friends?
This person just broke up with you. It's almost guaranteed that you still have romantic emotions for them.
You're most likely making a thinly veiled attempt to keep some sort of a connection in hopes they will take you back. That's deceitful and the exact opposite of being a genuine buddy.
You're only setting yourself up for failure.
You will get frustrated when your ex only continues to see you as a buddy. You will freak the fuck out when they begin pursuing or hooking up with other people. You will typically take those emotions out on them when they don't owe you anything.
When your ex sees you aren't searching for a real friendship, they will pull away from you the moment they get involved with another person.
Why put yourself through all that discomfort? Why lie to someone you love and lead them on with misleading expectations?
If you truly desire a friendship with your ex, you should not be using a closure talk as a means to do so. You ought to provide the both of you time to process. And if there's an opportunity at a real relationship, it'll still exist after a couple of months.
Seeking these types of closure is a losing fight. They do not work due to the fact that they show that you still think you can convince the other person to want you back. You can't.
Most of the time, you'll just push them further away. You'll keep deluding yourself into wasting time for the both of you. You will leave the injuries open and trigger a lot of distress for everybody.
So when should you get closure?
I think there are few instances when pursuing closure IS worth it.
Like I said, closure can’t be about your need to escape loneliness or pain, manipulate your ex, or seek revenge.
Closure has to be about YOUR personal growth and to help both of you move on.
That can only come when you accept the relationship is over.
I see value in getting closure when:
You sincerely apologize for your behavior.
Perhaps you feel you really screwed things up. You were mentally not available the past few months. You were controlling and temperamental due to jealous insecurity. You prioritized your job or your friends.
Or perhaps you did something genuinely dreadful which led directly to the separation-- like cheating on them.
It can be healthy to apologize and admit your errors. It will not necessarily repair the damage but you can at the very least reiterate that you understand you carried some blame. Or that you accept your differences and aren't holding an animosity.
This can make it simpler for them to process things, forgive themselves if need be, and go on. Once again, however, helping them heal needs to be your only intention with this.
The one caveat I'll add is to reflect and make certain you really have something to apologize for.
In some cases when somebody breaks up with us, we automatically blame ourselves. That isn't always accurate. Men and women in some cases leave others out of selfishness and malice.
You might've done all the things right in the relationship and still could have ended with the same outcome.
You want to figure out how you can improve as a person and future partner.
Throughout this process, maybe you're recognizing that you have room to grow. You wish to prevent the very same errors you made and end up being a more powerful future partner.
It's not always easy to see your own blind spots, so getting that external viewpoint can be essential to your development.
But, this can only work under specific circumstances.
- You need to go into it ready to be vulnerable and open to criticism. If you can't handle their feedback and just begin getting defensive, it's fruitless.
- Your ex has to want to have that conversation with you. I would ask if they're open to assisting you progress and grow. Guarantee them that's all you want out of this. Accept it with dignity if they're not interested or ready.
- Your ex should still have respect for you. That ensures they provide genuine, meaningful guidance to support you. You do not really want them to have a hidden agenda to make you feel worse and make themselves feel much better.
And even regardless of all that, you still have to stay unbiased, yet skeptical.
The suggestions you get may be originating from a spot of pain and therefore a manipulated point of view. It's also only one viewpoint and what they say isn't absolute. Try to think critically and heed what's actually important.
These are the conversations you should have post-breakup, if possible. The main focus ought to be to assist both of you come out better.
Coincidentally, that's your best shot of you two ever getting back together. Ending on excellent terms showcases your maturity. You'll end up being stronger and continue to build a more satisfying life on your own.
Then if your ex recognizes your value in the future or recognizes they made a mistake, you can think about giving things a try once again.
How we get real, long-term closure.
There are couple of times when I feel having a closure talk is worth it.
Even then, acknowledge that a single discussion isn't going to fix everything. It's simply ONE piece in the recovery process.
Giving yourself time to grieve and reflect is closure. Spending time with excellent people is closure. Looking after yourself is closure. Looking ahead and being open to brand-new connections is closure.
Unless your ex was violent, ill-mannered, or genuinely fucked you over-- letting them go and working towards being happy for them is closure.
That's how you move on and move forward.
These articles are created as a way to educate our members with tips and tricks of finding love in this day and age. It's a very different landscape out there than it was even 10 years ago. Everything is different with COVID and people are struggling. We want to help you find your person at "The Flock". That's the whole point. But to do that, education is important. Love and respect, Todd Staples. Founder of"The Flock"