Cleo's Dating Blog

The Importance of Closure

Posted on: February 14, 2011

Closure is a necessity. You must get closure when any relationship ends. Closure is not about getting the last word, about making someone feel guilty, about keying his car (you know who you are!), about drunk texting, or even about the other person at all. Closure is about you.

If you expect to move on in a timely manner you must find closure. I was going to make a list of all the different types of closure, but the list would really only have one item on it: have a conversation. I have never tried “breaking up” via text but I doubt it provides as much closure relief as a live face-to-face or phone conversation. However, what I can make is a list of the steps of how to have a successful, relieving “talk” to achieve ultimate closure. See below:

1. Meditate. You do not need to worship idols in order to meditate. Lightening is not going to strike you. Simply spend 10, 30, or 1,000 minutes alone without any distractions (i.e. no iphone, pandora, or Jersey Shore re-runs in the background). Take a deep, slow breath and recognize the inhale and the exhale. Take note of your heart beating. Then take time to identify your emotions- your sadness, your frustration, your fear, your anxiety, your regret. These feelings are not bad. Although part of life, they are only temporary and will pass in time (if you take the proper steps)- that is a guarantee. Promise.

Next, prepare for the task ahead. You need to confront the person you are trying to “get over.” Use your own judgment to assess whether phone, email, or in-person is best. Then think of everything you ever wanted to know, ask, or say. Write down notes if necessary. Then just do it!

2. Hold nothing back. Now is not the time to second guess yourself. Be bold in how you express yourself and remember that is not a matter of wrong or right. If you feel a certain way, you are entitled to express it- just make sure you avoid the “blame game.” That makes you look like a d-bag.

3. Listen. Any person remotely invested into a relationship will also have opinions and/or a rebuttal. Do not immediately resort to being defensive when your ex-lovey voices his or her statement. Make sure you listen with an open mind since, as previously mentioned, it is not about who is wrong or right. The point is just to get everything out in the open so neither party needs to harbor untapped feelings.

4. Reflect. Do some post-conversation reflection. This stage is where you deal with it. So no brushing your feelings off to the side. It is over and you should feel better soon.

5. Mourn. If needed, be sad for a little while. Yet the key is to make sure that you are moving forward everyday- each day that passes should get easier. If not, you need to suck it up and find a way. No one can fix you but yourself.

6. Get back out there! Pity time is over. Date, flirt, dress sexy, laugh, take risks, have fun, be a little wild. Yet, do not ever forget your standards. Avoid rebounds that are a step down… avoid drunken rebounds altogether.

7. Repeat As needed. I hope it won’t be necessary, but if the path of my life is any example, this process will be used more often than you expect.

—–

Lucky me, I Stumbled upon a great article pertaining to this same issue. It is entitled, How to Let Go of a Past Relationship. It quotes Thich Nhat Hanh that, “The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” The author lays out 10 ways to start moving on and the importance of doing so. At the end, she adds a personal statment saying:

“It took me eight years to work through my feelings about relationships and letting go; but I am happy to report I am 15 months into a healthy relationship, standing firmly on my own two feet…. I don’t regret the time when I was single, but I know now I could have hurt less and created even more possibilities for myself if I put more effort into completely letting go. I hope you’ll make that choice.”

—-

One thing people tend to say when a romantic relationship ends is, “I still want to be friends.” In most cases, I say this is a lost cause. Sure, it is a nice idea, but I would like to paraphrase Cindy Chupack in The Between Boyfriends Book to explain why (thank you to my lovely friend for letting me borrow it!): The person you are trying to get over can NOT also be the one comforting you. Do not fall for this trap; it will only make things more difficult.

If that is not reason enough (or if you just want to be reminded that there are other hot men in the world) have a listen to my future boyfriend, Trey:

I hope this post helps you in whatever you are going through. I know it has helped me a lot just to write it!

Much Love,

Cleo

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1 Response to "The Importance of Closure"

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