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Sometimes it feels almost impossible to move on from a relationship. If you ended up here, reading this blog post, you and I probably have quite a few things in common. I’ve had my fair share of breakups over the years and for several of them I had a really hard time finding closure.
I did learn a lot and it might be helpful in your process to learn about the 7 things that helped me the most.
The 7 best tips on how to get closure from a breakup
In the past 22 years, I’ve had six serious relationships. I had a very hard time finding closure for four of them. But I did get a lot better at it. These are the tips I wish I were able to put into practice from the start to get closure from someone you love.
- Assess the options you have for getting closure
- Understand true closure can only come from yourself
- Allow yourself to feel sad
- Stop all contact with your ex
- Don’t become a stalker
- Understand the difference between attachment and obsession
- Aim for acceptance instead of closure
Assess the options you have for getting closure
First of all, you need to assess the situation you are in. You feel you didn’t get closure and it might help you to allow yourself to move on in your life. The easiest option you might have to take the first step in the process is to see if your ex is willing to talk to you about it. And to provide some clarity for you. Of course, don’t push it. If he or she is not willing to talk to you you’ll need to find another way.
In my opinion, there are three different options. The second is to seek professional help. A therapist or psychologist might not know about your situation but they are trained to ask you the right questions and guide you in the process of recovery.
Of course, you can also try to figure it out for yourself. I’ve tried all three options and what helped me most was to do it on my own. I found that asking for closure or clarifications to your ex usually leads to even more questions and does not bring the closure you were hoping for.
Professional help is definitely not a bad option but once you have the tools and the right questions to ask yourself, you are perfectly capable of doing it yourself.
Understand true closure can only come from yourself
The first time it happened to me I asked myself: “How do I deal with a breakup without closure? And is it important to get closure after a breakup?”
Regardless of the time you spent together with your ex you have created some sort of attachment that often is difficult to let go of. And usually when you struggle to let go and move on the decision was not mutual.
You actually wanted to continue the relationship and are now left to deal with, what it seems, countless unanswered questions. But let me tell you, some questions will never get an answer. And for others, you will continue to search for a better one. But let’s face the truth, you will hardly ever get a satisfactory response to any of your questions.
Ultimately, true closure can only come from yourself. And you can make it easier on yourself by applying the following tips. Some of them might seem very cliché but trust me, the sooner you apply them, the sooner you’ll feel ready to move on.
Allow yourself to feel sad
You can only achieve closure from a breakup when you allow yourself to experience your feelings. It’s okay to be sad. There’s no need to fake if you’re not doing well. You know, the people who care will notice it anyway.
Make sure to talk to your close friends, share how you feel. For most people, it helps to get it out of their system, to express what they feel. So, don’t rush it, just feel what you feel and be okay with it.
But be aware of dwelling on your feelings. One thing is to recognize your sadness and another thing is to engage with it. Just observe, but don’t engage. This means not to create new thoughts on top of what you observe. This can be a toxic behavior because it will keep you in a negative loop and will make it harder and harder to step out of it.
Stop all contact with your ex
This one is easy if you have an ex who won’t talk to you. This happened in most of my breakups so I was lucky to have it forced upon me. But otherwise, how to get closure when there is none?
It’s important to reorganize your life around your new situation without being in touch with your ex. You can’t expect to close a chapter of your life when you continue to read the last few pages over and over and never move on to the next one.
This doesn’t mean it will be forever though. I’m not someone who likes to continue to be friends with my ex but with 3 out of the 4 ex-girlfriends, I did get back in touch years later. The conversations I had with them were much healthier and friendly interactions because time had allowed us to move on.
Of course, if there are children involved it becomes a completely different story. Fortunately, I don’t have experience with this but I can imagine it will require some additional rules to follow to make it easier for everyone involved.
Don’t become a stalker
Once you managed to stop all interactions with your ex you need to figure out how to get closure without contact.
Nowadays, with all the social media and many different ways to keep track of someone online, this is one of the most dangerous temptations. And I have to admit, I did spend some time trying to follow the whereabouts of my ex-girlfriends from time to time.
And I know exactly why I did it and why most likely most other people do it too. It’s difficult to move on. To let go and accept the new situation. You’re not in touch with your ex and somehow you still want to keep that connection alive.
From your perception, the only way to do this is to follow your ex online. But let’s be very clear about this. Even if you don’t create false accounts, or you don’t physically follow him or her, this is stalking. And the worst part is, it will make you feel worse.
So, don’t do it. Use it as the perfect opportunity to make a new start and delete your social media accounts. This will not only help you to find closure but will free up a lot of time for you to pursue other things in life you love.
Understand the difference between attachment and obsession
Stalking your ex online is part of obsessive behavior that can occur in the process after a breakup. You need to be really careful to not fall victim to obsession. It’s not healthy for anyone, but especially not for yourself.
In this stage you have this inner fight going on. You want to feel better and move on with your life, but on the other hand, you don’t.
You must understand that compulsive thinking does not do anything to keep the connection with your ex alive. The memories will not fade away because you don’t think about him or her every single moment of the day. It will only keep you stagnant in your life. While you could be spending your time and energy on things that are so much more productive for your future.
Some time ago I wrote an article about how to stop obsessive thinking. You definitely want to read it if you think you might be obsessed with your ex.
Aim for acceptance instead of closure
In the end, life continues and it will never be easy to move on from a breakup with someone you still love and you still want to be with.
Therefore, what I’ve found is that you don’t need to desperately seek closure. Just be permissive with yourself. Be vigilant for obsessive behavior but also allow yourself to reminisce about good old times. As long as you don’t blame your ex, and you stick with the beautiful memories it’s okay.
And you know what? I realized closure isn’t necessary to be happy again. Real love never dies, so I learned to cherish and honor that.
It’s true that it made it more difficult for me to find someone new. I’ve been single for almost five years now. But I’ve accepted it and have learned to see the good side of it too. Because now the standards are set. I know very clearly what I want and expect in a possible new relationship. And as long as nobody meets that standard I’m fine with being single.
I learned that closure is something for books, not for real love.
View the video here.