Imagine your partner suddenly stops responding to your texts or returning your calls. What if they ghost you without giving you any sort of explanation? As cruel as it seems, you’d have no choice but to accept that they don’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore.
Yes, in an ideal scenario, your partner would have given you closure, and maybe you could still be friends. But that doesn’t always happen in real life. Some relationships end abruptly, leaving people feeling stuck and struggling to move on from the breakup because of not getting closure.
But what is closure in a relationship? More importantly, why is closure important after a breakup? How to ask for closure in a relationship, and what if your ex refuses to give it to you? If you find yourself asking these questions, this article is for you.
We’re going to answer all these questions, discuss why you need closure and how to find closure so that you can finally let go of the past and heal.
What does closure mean in a relationship?
To understand the need for closure in relationships, you first need to know what closure means in a relationship. While ‘Closure’ has become a real buzzword in the last couple of years, it was first used in the 1990s by Arie W. Kruglanski, a university professor and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.
He came up with the phrase ‘Need for closure’. He referred to closure as an individual’s desire to find a firm answer so that they don’t have to live with ambiguity. When you find closure in a relationship, you can accept that the relationship is over.
Finding closure allows you to figure out why the relationship has ended, get answers to your questions so that you can move on, and let go of the lingering emotional issues from your past relationship.
How to ask for closure after a relationship ends?
So, you’re looking for closure. But how to get it if your ex won’t give it to you? You can’t force a closure out of someone, and it’s not a good idea to impulsively call or text them for it. Rather take some time to process your feelings and then reach out to them.
It’s a good idea to be upfront about why you’re texting or calling them. Don’t leave your ex wondering what you want. They might think you want to get back together and feel uncomfortable texting you back or answering your call.
It’s great if they agree to meet for coffee or talk over the phone to give you closure. However, you need to understand that your ex may think that they don’t really owe you an explanation. They might not share the same opinion as you about the importance of closure.
If they don’t respond to your texts, phone calls and block you on social media, take the hint and stop trying to ask for closure. If they respond and you get to have a heart-to-heart, know that it surely will be a tough conversation.
That’s why you need to make sure to keep your cool and speak in a calm and neutral tone. Thank them for agreeing to talk to you. You can set the tone by explaining why is closure important to you.
Pour your heart out but try to be as composed as you can throughout the conversation.
How do you give closure after a relationship ends?
What if you’re the one who wants to end the relationship when your partner has no idea why you want a breakup or what went wrong? Should you just ghost them and block them on social media, or should you do the right thing by giving them the true reason why you’re ending things?
If they are still very much in love with you, you might be tempted to avoid talking to them about breaking up as you don’t want to feel guilty. However, if you ghost them, they may keep trying to contact you to understand what happened and if there’s a way to get back together.
Talking to your partner after a breakup doesn’t mean you’d have to get back together with them. Try to understand why is closure important to them. Sure, it might’ve been easy to just unfriend and block them on Facebook, but that wouldn’t be fair to your ex.
To give them closure, you may have a cup of coffee together or talk over the phone to explain why you’ve ended things with them. Give them some time to grieve the end of the relationship, process their emotions, and try to answer any questions they may have.
Have an open conversation, speak honestly, and don’t be afraid to take responsibility for your role in the breakup. Make sure to let them know that you don’t want to get back together and set clear boundaries.
You don’t have to be friends, but ending the relationship on good terms and giving closure will help you both heal and let go of resentment. However, you don’t have to give closure to your former partner if they were controlling and/or abusive.
Is closure necessary when a relationship ends?
Getting closure is really important when a relationship ends. Because when your partner decides to end the relationship without giving you closure, they rob you of your right to know the reason why they did it.
As you are not the one who decided to break up, not getting closure in a relationship leaves you wondering what went wrong. You may keep asking yourself what you’ve done that they had to end things this way.
Finding no closure in a relationship can make it hard for you to establish new meaningful relationships as your mind gets stuck in a never-ending loop.
You can see the mistakes you made and acknowledge that you played a role in the breakup.
You can get things off your chest and make amends by apologizing to them.
You can end the relationship on good terms so that you don’t hate each other and don’t feel guilty.
Getting closure helps you make sense of what really happened instead of wondering and asking yourself, ‘what if’?’
When you understand why the relationship didn’t work out, you can learn more about yourself, figure out what you want from life and your next relationship.
Without closure, you might keep believing that there are chances your ex will come back and take you back someday.
Getting closure can help you avoid projecting past hurts onto your future partner.
5 ways to find closure after the breakup
You can’t get closure when your ex doesn’t want to give it to you for some reason. They might not feel comfortable talking to you again, explaining why they broke up the way they did or doing anything with you, for that matter. No matter how insensitive it sounds, this can happen.
They might not even understand why is closure important for you to move on. But you need to accept that the relationship has ended, and you need to find ways to move on with your life. Here are 5 ways for you to get closure.
Writing can be a strenuous task for some people. But when you can’t get closure from the relationship while you really need it, writing your feelings on a piece of paper is a good way to get everything off your chest.
The purpose isn’t sending the letter to your ex but to get all the negative emotions and energy out of your system. Maybe you want to apologize to the person you were in love with or need to say your last goodbye.
Put all the feelings in writing to speed up your healing process. You may send the letter/email or not. Just writing it can help you release negative energy, which is necessary for finding closure in a relationship.
2. Come to terms with the breakup
Acceptance is the first step to recovery. You need to accept that the relationship has ended even though you probably didn’t want it to end. You might still be holding onto the hope that you may find a way to get back together.
Well, nobody knows what the future holds but at the moment, you can’t be with your ex, and coming to terms with this is really important to find closure. You may meet someone new you’re more compatible with and understand why it didn’t work out with your ex.
The good news is you won’t always feel as miserable as you might be feeling right now. With time and healthy coping strategies, it’s possible to survive a breakup and move on.
3. Cut off all communication
It’s challenging to find closure when you’re constantly texting your ex and stalking them on social media. You may be tempted to call them one last time, hoping they’d pick up and give you closure. Remind yourself that one last time is never the last.
It was their decision to end the relationship, and no matter how much that hurts, you need to respect their decision. So, block them on social media and don’t try to find out what’s happening in their life after the breakup.
Block their phone number and delete it so that you can fight the urge to call them again. Don’t show up unannounced at their doorstep or workplace. Developing an effective action plan to stop yourself from contacting your ex is the best way to get closure from a relationship.
4. Allow yourself to feel sad
It’s normal for you to want to get over your ex and feel better right away. But ignoring or suppressing your feelings won’t help you get closure. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions, and take time to grieve your relationship.
Let yourself have a good cry to release stress and emotional pain. Remind yourself that there is no timeline for healing. Give yourself some time to process the pain and let your feelings flow. However, if you can’t stop crying even after a week or month or cry uncontrollably for hours, maybe this traumatic event has triggered depression in you.
It’s time you talked to your doctor or therapist.
5. Seek professional help
If you’re having a hard time finding closure, it’s a good idea to speak to a professional therapist. Sharing your feelings with your friends and family is always a great idea. Still, sometimes, you need professional guidance to develop healthy coping skills.
With a professional therapist, you can unpack your feelings without the fear of being judged. They can help you see things from a different perspective so that you can deal with your breakup and find closure.
Watching this video might help you better understand how to move on and create closure in a relationship.
While finding closure will allow you to move on and help you recover from a breakup, your ex might not even understand why is closure important to you. Know that you’ll be okay even if they don’t give you closure.
Start investing in yourself, vent to your friends, and cry it out. Be okay with being alone till you feel whole again, and don’t hold grudges against your ex. Also, seeking professional help can facilitate recovery from the breakup and find closure.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.