November 26, 2022
Ways That You Can Give Yourself Closure After a Relationship Ends

When a relationship ends, whether with a coworker, friend or lover, it can be painful. When a relationship ends without both parties understanding why it’s ending, then it can be even more painful. As human beings, we want understanding, we want questions answered and we generally do not like surprises like being left, cheated on or somehow not belonging to our chosen group. Lack of information can lead to holding grudges and resentments that can cloud future interactions with others.

When a relationship ends, whether with a coworker, friend or lover, it can be painful. When a relationship ends without both parties understanding why it’s ending, then it can be even more painful. As human beings, we want understanding, we want questions answered and we generally do not like surprises like being left, cheated on or somehow not belonging to our chosen group. Lack of information can lead to holding grudges and resentments that can cloud future interactions with others.

The act of closing in the gap of the unknown and allowing for perspective on the past is known as “closure.” It is sadly often a missed step in exiting a relationship. Closure is not for everyone as closure requires vulnerability. It requires that one is open, honest and kind in looking at the past and deciding to let go of the present. It requires that you are willing to create and maintain physical and emotional distance (no continued following on social media, texting and definitely not sleeping together!)

It would be ideal if we all had this clarity and understanding from the other person involved about how and why a relationship ends. The reality is that YOU are in charge of getting closure for yourself. You are responsible for your feelings, and no one can make us feel anything we do not want or believe. Yet it happens.

So here are some ways to get closure for yourself:

Do your own personal inventory. Start with what you can truly control: YOU. What are the lessons learned from this relationship? What role did you play in its ending? Taking an honest look does not mean blaming yourself. It means compassionate reflection.

Interpret their actions as honestly as you can. Using blame as your only coping strategy will boomerang. They may have other reasons for not continuing the relationship that you do not know and/or that have nothing to do with you. For example, someone who realizes that they have unfinished business with someone else.

Accept that we may never get the answers that we want. Life is full of mysteries and other people’s minds and hearts are big ones! Coming to terms with the “I don’t know” is healing.

Grieve. Allow yourself to feel the feelings, all of them. From sad to mad and all the in between. Grieving is a part of the process of letting go. In recognizing and honoring your feelings you allow the flow instead of creating blockage.

Intentionally step into moving on. It will be a decision at some point. A decision for you and about you. Shifting your focus to what you like, what you want and what you can create for your future.

Other ideas for letting go of relationships without explanations include writing a thorough letter to that person sharing all your feelings, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. You can decide later what to do with it. Change your environment by moving, painting where you are or rearranging furniture and purging things that are reminders. Most importantly, pursue emotional health: DO YOU! If you are not sure who that is…then that’s the place to start.

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