“”We eventually learn that emotional closure is our own action. We can be responsible for it. In any moment, we can choose to open or to close.”    

David Deida

When a relationSHIP ends, it can evoke an array of emotions. We may feel sad, hurt, heartbroken and/or confused and to make sense of the relationSHIP ending, we seek to understand what happened. We want to know the answers to why it ended. For some, it’s considered closure. But is it? Is closure even possible? Why is it necessary to discuss EVERY detail of what happened and where it went wrong? What is to be gained? Do you think you’ll EVER get the answers you seek? Or Is seeking closure an attempt to rekindle the relationSHIP?

RelationSHIPS are investments that we’ve made in others. We share our secrets, our lives, and our families and when they end, it can be devasting and unsettling. The reasons why relationSHIPS end varies and is often based on the type of relationSHIP-friendship or romantic. Regardless of the nature of the relationSHIP, the reasons for its ending –we may be privy too, some we won’t, and some reasons we will never know. Still, some people have a hard time forging forward without knowing why it ended. They want and need closure. But, what is closure?

According to Webster Dictionary, “closure is an act or process of closing something.” Closure, for some, is important because it gives both parties the opportunity to own their part in why the relationSHIP didn’t work. Some think that closure affords them the chance to apologize and wish each other well in their future relationSHIPS. LOL! I’ve only seen that happen in movies because in real life when a relationSHIP ends, most people are unwilling to re-hash every detail of why it failed. Without the input of the other person, true closure is difficult to attain. But, if the other person in the relationSHIP doesn’t want to talk about why, is closure still possible?

Recently I was speaking with a friend who had just ended a 4-year relationSHIP. Although for years, their relationSHIP had been filled with mistrust and innuendos, her boyfriend, with no communication, abruptly ended it and she was devastated. Unable to let things go, she approached him with the intent of telling him how he made her feel during their relationship. She informed him that during their relationSHIP, she realized that she struggled with low self-esteem and that is why she allowed his mistreatment to continue for so long. She was surprised when he became defensive and didn’t want to further the conversation. Instead, he called her negative and walked out again. She was furious but wondered if she should attempt the conversation again. I inquired why she felt the need to tell him this after the relationSHIP had ended. Why share your feeling now instead of during the relationSHIP? I explained that this conversation would simply put him on the defense again and she STILL wouldn’t have the answers she was seeking. I wondered why she just couldn’t move on and accept the fact that that SHIP has sailed?

Life is filled with mysteries and we will NEVER have the answers to all or even most of life’s questions and since we can’t control others, we will NEVER have the answers to why they do what they do. I’ll admit, I don’t fully understand the need for closure. When a relationSHIP ends, my philosophy becomes you look better going than coming. Thus, I can easily accept the fact that it is over. Sure, I’m hurt and heartbroken but if it’s not working, I’d rather release it and move on. However, I recognize that some do need closure. To those who do, it’s okay to get feedback from the other party, but in the end, it’s your thoughts, your feelings, and your observations that are the ONLY ingredients necessary for closure to begin. So, don’t dwell on what happened and why it ended, just accept the fact that THAT SHIP HAS SAILED!!  

SHIP TALK: Are you the type that needs closure when a relationSHIP ends? Did your ex provide you with feedback on why it ended? How did you move on? Did you learn any lessons about yourself?

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  1. I agree with you that closure is necessary. My goal was to inform others that closure is a job that is done individually. People seek answers from others that they may or may not ever get.

  2. Closure sets you free. It limits the risk of bringing painful experiences into new relationships. Without closure your measuring stick is shorten. Closure removes scales from your eyes that you may see newness and a fresh start.

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