I sit by the pond on this warm spring day, relaxing my mind from the stressful work week.
I think of nothing at all. And I feel at peace with the world.
But when it’s quiet, that is when thoughts of him consume me.
I’m normally too busy to think of him, ever. Or maybe I make myself busy so I won’t have to go down that dark, empty road with thoughts of him.
In the quiet, it’s just him and I standing there. Nothing else is around us. Or maybe there is and I don’t pay attention to the scenery. But we stand there alone.
I internally have conversations with him. He even responds. I asked him why he couldn’t fully participate in our relationship. He responds with some bullsh*t excuse. I tell him I needed a partner. He says he wasn’t a mind reader. I list everything I wanted in our relationship. He tells me I expected too much. I demand answers. He has answers for everything I throw at him.
Why am I arguing with him in my mind? He is not here. He isn’t trying to make things work. We have been done for some time, yet my mind still battles with him.
Our conversations are so detailed and in-depth. These were conversations we never had through our entire relationship. These are the hard questions we never asked. These are the conversations I longed for when we were together. And I might even love this version of our “now nonrelationship” better than I enjoyed the real one. Because at least now we are talking—granted, it’s still really only me. So there really is no difference.
And none of this matters. There is no need to have these conversations with someone who isn’t in my life anymore.
My head feels like it is going to explode.
I stand and move away from the pond. “This pond is a terrible place,” I think to myself. “I won’t ever come back here again.”
But the truth is, it doesn’t matter where I go, every quiet place brings me back to him.
I realize my brain needs some sort of narrative to make sense of what happened. I never received closure. We both just walked away without ever discussing anything. Without closure, our minds might keep going back to the relationship that wasn’t working.
My heart requires some sort of answer on why it had to end. Closure happens when we are satisfied with the results. We crave closure when that relationship is so monumental to us—when it held meaning.
Closure is the act or process of closing something. It’s a feeling that an emotional or traumatic experience has been resolved. We long for closure so we have the ability to move on without being haunted by any lingering pain, regrets, or doubts.
We believe if we receive closure, it helps us understand what happened as well as improve our future relationships and understand ourselves.
But closure doesn’t come from the other person.
When our hearts feel broken, we believe we will get closure if we can make sense of it all. We think having this information we so desperately desire will help us stop overthinking and relieve us of our pain.
We have to shut down our desire to obtain closure from our ex because it’s going to leave us sinking deeper in the dark, feeling hurt and angry. Their responses will lead to more questions. It never gives us closure. We will be left feeling frustrated and helpless. We are only prolonging our healing and extending our pain.
This person wasn’t able to give us what we needed in the relationship. What would make us think they would be able to provide us with any type of closure?
Moving on should not be conditional.
Yes, we need closure to move on, but all the closure we crave is within ourselves. It happens by processing our feelings. We can write in a journal, talk with loved ones, or work with a therapist.
Closure is not passive. What we do counts. Closure is not a one-time event. We have to understand that it is a process. And with time, we will make peace with ourselves and obtain closure on our own.
We have to be willing to do the inner work to change and grow.
I needed closure, but not from him.
Here are a few ways on how we can obtain that closure we need—on our own:
1. Start from within.
Letting go of the hurt and pain is the first step to making peace with what happened.
Then, we work to gain peace from the inside by learning how to heal the hurt, shifting our perspective, and changing our response to events. It is up to us to make the changes.
2. Allow ourselves the time to get closure on our own.
We need to feel what we’re feeling without judgment. We can let the grieving process unravel on its own. So grieve the loss. Take plenty of time to do this. There is no set timing to this thing. And time will heal us.
3. Understand that we don’t need closure from anyone but ourselves.
We can become at peace with the breakup from healing through growth, and choosing to focus on what is within our control. When we gain closure this way, it cannot be taken away from us.
4. Take full responsibility for ourselves.
It’s up to us to take the necessary actions to help move forward.
5. Walk away and never look back.
No communication is one of the best ways to move forward. If we have a connection with them through children, only communicating about the children is required.
There is no need to connect with them through social media, no need to call just to check in or meet them up for any reason. It’s done. They don’t exist in our lives anymore.
6. Remove all evidence that reminds us of them.
Before we can begin to remove them from our hearts, we have to collect any remnants of them from around our lives including that little box under our bed that holds love letters, movie and concert tickets, and anything else of the life we once shared. It has to go.
7. Write one last letter.
This allows us the opportunity to pour our feelings out in a written letter but without actually sending it. To say everything inside that’s still hurting us. To say everything we need to say. To tell him all the things we never got to say so we can get it out of our minds. And then burn it down, releasing it to the universe.
8. Stop the blame game.
We should stop blaming ourselves and them. We need to free ourselves in order to open ourselves back up again. Forgive, release, and let go.
9. Accept that we weren’t right for each other.
People who are supposed to be together will be. There was something broken in the relationship that wasn’t working. Something that didn’t work has a reason that it didn’t, and we should accept that and believe there is something better for us.
10. Take back our control.
We have the power over our own lives. So we shouldn’t let anyone have control over our emotions, heart, mind, and soul. We can gather our strength and focus on the positives. We can plan our future, create rituals, plan something fun. We must create our purpose and believe in ourselves.
We will go through five stages after a breakup: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Closure is walking into each stage like we own it. It’s taking advantage of each stage and feeling all that it has to offer us. These are the natural ways for our hearts to heal.
As we begin to gain closure, we will notice we are no longer triggered by the same events we once were because we, in fact, are different.
We have obtained closure when they no longer have power over us.
We are all that we need to get closure and move forward to a new chapter in our lives.