Closure, the Consolation Prize
The idea of getting closure is often a knee-jerk reaction, post breakup. Getting over a breakup, is one of those things we’re usually not prepared for ahead of time. The person on the receiving end, often can’t resist a search and rescue mission for closure. We convince ourselves that before we can move forward, the “dumper” must bestow this parting gift upon us. Closure is a tempting life vest, when you’re sinking in emotions that are over your head but the search for closure after being dumped is often pointless. Before spending time haunting your ex like ghosts of Christmas past, ask yourself these 3 questions, to get over your breakup with dignity in tact.
The first question you should ask yourself before seeking closure, is whether or not closure is actually what you’re after. For 11 years I got my high school boyfriend back to the negotiation table under the guise of needing closure. It wasn’t purposeful manipulation. I didn’t even realize what my true motive was at the time. In my head, I was showing my maturity, subconsciously, I had no intentions to co-sign on the end of that relationship.
I did a great job of selling myself to him time after time. Remaining in a stale space longer than I was should have, ate away my self-awareness and self-respect. Before you search for closure, get honest with yourself and figure out your true motives. Is it closure you want, or a chance to make him/her fall in love again.
The second thing you need to ask yourself before looking for closure, has to do with the optics. How do you look chasing after someone who left you in the dust? To hell with how your ex sees you, I’m more concerned about how you see yourself. Chasing someone down and begging for the opportunity to emotionally prostitute yourself to them isn’t a good look on anyone.
After breaking up with a nice guy, (a relationship that came years later), I had the opportunity to see how I behaved for 11 years. After what seemed like a mature, amicable split after our four-month relationship, he haunted me for over a week. I received texts, calls, and messages asking how and why I broke it off. Promises to be more of what I wanted, and less of what I didn’t want, were his bargaining chips. Would you want someone to beg you for the chance to be a pliable, spineless lump of dough, for you to mold to fit your every whim? Of course not! I don’t know anyone who wants that.
Walking away with your crown intact is a win for you now, and in the future. You may not realize how desperate you look in the moment, (consumed by grief over your perceived loss), but it will stick to your subconscious. It can absolutely attach itself to your self-awareness, causing you to repeat that behavior in the future. If you want to pour fuel onto any false truths and self-limiting behaviors you already battle, chasing after anyone will get you there. Before you go chasing after your ex for closure, consider the impression your behavior will make on you.
So far you’ve asked yourself if it’s closure you want, vs. an ulterior motive, (like talking your ex into giving it another go). You’ve also asked yourself how behaving desperately now, will influence future behavior. The last thing you need to ask yourself, before chasing your ex for closure is will the truth lead you to where you want to be?
Does it make a difference if you were dumped because you fart too loud in your sleep? I t would probably sting if they came across someone they had amazing sexual chemistry with. Perhaps, they need time to focus on their career? Surely career advancement is a respectable reason for not being able to commit. Here’s the problem with all of these reasons, plus any other you can think of. All of them lead to you no longer being invited into that person’s future. Say it out loud. It hurts like hell, but there is liberation in taking the truth head on.
What is Closure?
We can debate what closure is all day, but I believe it boils down to this. If someone has essentially closed the door to their life in your face, closure has already occurred. It hurts. I know how bad it sucks to be on the receiving end of that door slam. I’ve also allowed myself to mirror my own desperate behavior, chasing after my ex for closure. At a certain age, you lead by your own example. A self-limiting behavior that you enact once, becomes as natural as breathing.
Hopefully in answering these 3 questions, (when facing the temptation of seeking closure), you see why the idea of post breakup closure doesn’t serve you. You deserve better than this time waster, so you can escape the grips of lingering within the stale energy of relationships past, and move into a healthy mindset that does serve you. For more in depth posts on what self-awareness is, and how it creates fulfillment in every aspect of your life, check out this core article.