Whether it’s with a friend, family member, coworker, or in a romantic relationship, moving on from a breakup without any closure feels impossible.
How can you really move on, feel at peace, and let go when there’s no real closure and you have no idea how to get closure?
Easy! You can’t.
Why do we even want closure?
- Instead of being picky with what matters (your thoughts and feelings, the story in your head that you keep subscribing to, quality partners, mutual relationships, etc.), you’re closure picky. You convince yourself that unless you get the specific closure you deserve, you’ll never be able to move on. While it’s totally normal to want an answer in order to feel like we can move forward, you take it to an unhealthy level by not budging until you get that specific “closure” (which, even if you got, never actually leads to a feel-good, “ending.” It generally leads to more drama and even more confusion than before).
- Escapism. Plain and simple. Hunting for closure is a total escape and a form of avoidance. As long as you can busy up your time with the closure seeking, you don’t have to face dealing with your emotions and moving on. You keep yourself busy by bandaging the proverbial paper cuts on your hands, all while not addressing the fact that you have cancer.
- You want to be vindicated and you want the other person to acknowledge that what they did was wrong. You want them to empathize with you and see it from your side. You also may need them to give you closure so you can feel less guilty/bad about yourself.
The effects of not getting closure:
- As long as you can convince yourself that the other person holds the key to your emotional jail cell, you give yourself a license to continue to remain invested. I did this in the past because: I wasn’t ready to let go of the relationship. I was scared to move on and accomplish anything in my own life. It was much easier to allow someone else to have all of the power because mine had been depleted. I had endured too much and they “owed” it to me. Not only is this level of emotional unintelligence extremely unattractive, but being entitled gets you nowhere in life.
- As long as I was still waiting for a “resolution,” I didn’t have to focus on myself (which I avoided at all costs).
- Because I couldn’t cut the cord on my own, I became addicted to seeking validation and attention from the very people who I needed to give me closure. This ended up giving them enough closure to write me off.
- Self-blame. You will continue to blame yourself as long as you continue to seek closure from someone who is unable to give it to you. If someone treated you poorly enough to want closure from them, they won’t be able to give it to you.
- In my quest to get closure, I was consciously AVOIDING real closure. I comfortably resided under the umbrella of needing closure so that I could have a license to avoid trusting my gut and acting on my intuition (which was scary). I never wanted to get the real closure that I claimed to need. Deep down, I knew that if I ever got that kind of resolution, I’d have to let go, feel my feelings, deal with the pain, address my own issues and move on. “Closure hunting” had officially become my adult pacifier.
How to get closure when you have none…
- If you find yourself in a situation where the other person treated you with a consistent lack of respect, honesty, kindness, loyalty, and love, DO NOT try to get closure from them. You will just end up being made to look and feel crazy. Remember – you don’t need closure from anyone. You want it. You CAN provide it for yourself without having to engage with the very people who have hurt badly enough to want closure from them.
- Understand that closure hunting ALWAYS involves getting off of your white horse. And you never want to do that because you then, you can no longer act in dignity and be The One That Got Away.
- Provide closure for yourself by listening to the other person’s PATTERNS (which are made up of their actions) instead of listening to empty words. You’ll never get closure that you feel good about if you have to beg and pry it out of someone. This is why they teach us in Kindergarten that actions speak louder than words. If you LISTEN to the actions and patterns of others, you’ll have all the closure you need.
- Instead of humiliating yourself in the process of trying to “figure out the truth” from someone that was unwilling to be honest with you (and themselves) in the first place, answer your own questions and create your own closure by being grounded in what you do know and what you have witnessed. Little by little, you’ll start to feel better.
- Denying reality will prevent acceptance (and closure). The truth really does set you free,
You hold the key to your own prison cell. You’ve got all of the answers; they’ve been with you all along.
Written by: Natasha Adamo