Breakups are hard, that’s no secret. There are often leftover questions, resentments, and fears that are sometimes impossible to resolve. Nevertheless, it’s important to know how to create your own closure so you’re not left hanging when a relationship ends. Don’t expect your ex to offer an explanation or a proper send-off — here are 10 ways to give yourself closure.
Know that you don’t need your ex to give it to you. Most people think that closure is something that you sort out with another person. They think it’s a gift (or a necessary thing) that a partner can hand over. In reality, no one can give you closure because it’s something that you have to decide to create on your own. It’s a journey you take apart from your former partner because no one can really give you what you’re searching for but you.
Let the grieving process unravel on its own. The ending of a relationship is hard, especially if it was particularly intimate and/or long. It’s important to let all of your feelings pass through you without judging yourself or trying to suppress them. You may go through the five stages of grief or some other wild cycle. This is okay. Just let it happen and know that there is an end to your feelings.
Take responsibility for yourself. A relationship takes two people to make it work and, generally speaking, two people to make it fall apart. Unless your ex cheated on you or betrayed you in some other extreme way, chances are there were things you did wrong and ways in which you contributed to its downfall. If you want to give yourself closure, you’ll need to own up to your screw-ups so that you can reflect on them and so that you don’t make the same mistakes in future.
Go totally cold turkey with contact. Nothing creates closure quite like shutting the door in your mind and deciding never to contact them again. It’s really easy right after a breakup to find reasons to talk to your former lover, but if you’re working towards closing the door, it’s important to leave them alone at all costs. Delete their number and don’t respond if they reach out. It’s better this way.
Stop creeping on their social media. This is one of the hardest and subtlest ways to keep yourself away from getting closure. Continuing to creep on your ex’s social media accounts does more harm than good while you’re trying to get over them. You’re only going to create stories in your head, miss them, or get angry. It’s best to go cold turkey on looking at their social media accounts – let it go right now.
Get rid of any remnants of them you have left. Maybe you still have their pajama pants and you just tell yourself you have them because they’re comfy. Well, you’re still holding onto your ex by holding onto their belongings. It’s better to just clean out everything. Have a friend help you if you can’t bear to throw things out. Or, you can have a friend deliver them to your ex so you can keep contact cut off.
Pour out your feelings in a written letter but don’t send it. Maybe you have a ton of feelings you want to express to your ex or yell to the world. It’s helpful to get them all down on paper. Pretend you’re going to send the letter and pour your heart out into it. Say everything that you need to say. Share your feelings, thoughts, regrets, and worries. Whatever you do, don’t send the letter. If you want, you can burn it or bury it or something equally symbolically dramatic.
Stop blaming yourself or the other person. The relationship has ended, but it’s easy to continue replaying situations in your head over and over again. When blame is kicking around in your mind, it’s usually towards you or your ex. Blame isn’t helping you gain closure or really doing anything at all productive. Do your best to let it go by redirecting your thinking when it comes up or changing your thoughts.
Work towards forgiving yourself and/or your ex. If you have blame and resentment swirling around in your mind, it’s definitely blocking you off from finding peace and closure. I know forgiveness is difficult, but practicing it will help you get that closure you desire. Know that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you’re making what happened okay, but it means you’re willing to let it go for your own well-being.
Accept that you may never get an apology from your ex. Perhaps your ex did something awful like cheating on you or treating you really poorly. This is unfortunate, but it doesn’t have to own you. You can be trapped in your ex’s grip if you’re waiting for an apology. On the other hand, you could practice acceptance in knowing that there’s a good chance you’ll never ever receive an apology from your ex.
Make new memories where you shared old ones. You likely have old date spots that you’re afraid to go to because you and your ex spent time there. To create your own closure, you can make new memories in these spots. It’s not going to happen overnight but say yes to opportunities to revisit date spots with friends, family, or colleagues. There may always be remnants of your ex, but you mostly get to cover them up with new experiences.
Talk to a professional, if needed. If you find that you’re really struggling to move on from your relationship and/or your ex, you may need to seek profesionally therapy. Having an unbiased person to listen to your feelings and offer objective feedback could be exactly what you need to finally get a grip on the situation and pick yourself back up so you can love again.
Make a plan for the future. It’s always helpful to have something to look forward to. In order to give yourself closure, you need to have something to look forward to. Think about what you want, both in love and in life in general, and make a plan for how you’re going to get it. Having goals and things you want to achieve will go a long way in helping you heal. Figuring out how to give yourself closure is tough, but you’re getting there. The future looks bright.