As the song says, “Breaking up is hard to do.” Finding closure after the end of a relationship is often harder.
“Closure” is a psychological term that simply means closing the door on something or someone and moving on.
In other words, you leave the past in the past rather than dragging it out into the present and future again. In relationships, this means learning how to let go of that relationship and move on to another, possibly better, relationship.
There are many ways of finding closure. In fact, how you find closure will depend entirely upon your personality and particular situation.
Here are the top ten ways to find closure after a relationship ends:
- Declare out loud to a close friend that you accept that the relationship is over. Choose someone who will support you and help you stay focused on the present and future rather than dwelling on the past.
- Remove things that remind you of your ex. At some point in the future you’ll be strong enough to look at these things with fondness rather than being tugged back to the past.
- If you’re feeling particularly sad over the break up, don’t hold it in. It’s natural for you to feel upset about the end of the relationship. Go ahead and cry.
- Refocus on yourself. You may have let your own interests slide while you were involved with your prior relationship. Now’s the time to shift your focus back to yourself and what you want to do.
- Find a new hobby or activity to replace the time with your ex. If you always went out on Friday nights, invite some friends over, instead, and watch movies. Or you could volunteer for a worthwhile charity.
- If it’s safe, call the person you’re letting go and release them. Acknowledge that you still have feelings for them, the relationship isn’t healthy, and they’re free. If it’s too painful to talk with them, write them a note. Remember that you don’t have to send it. But expressing your feelings on paper is very cathartic
- When you start thinking about your ex, call a friend to bolster your resolve. Ask them to restate your reasons for letting them go.
- Create a mantra or saying that helps you refocus. Keep telling yourself this mantra and before too long you’ll start believing it. You’ll also start acting differently as well.
- Take care of yourself. Eat better, take up a new exercise, and get plenty of rest. Get into a routine. Hydration is important, too, so be sure you drink plenty of water.
- Try to figure out what went wrong in the relationship. Reflect on this after you’ve distanced yourself from it for a while.
- “I am strong and I am over them” could be all you need to say, but it may be something more detailed like “I’m a wonderful person who is worthy of love, respect and happiness.”
- Take them off your speed dial.
- Remove photos of the two of you.
- Box up gifts they gave you.
- You may even want to write in a journal how you feel so you can get the feelings out rather than holding them in.
- If there were things you did that could’ve damaged the relationship, admit them.
- Try to determine the red flags that signaled the relationship was ending.
- Decide to avoid similar mistakes in future relationships.
If you didn’t want the relationship to end, you may be tempted to leave the door open hoping to rekindle that lost love. It may be difficult to find closure, but the emotional price of holding out hope can be costly.
For your own health and peace of mind, learn to let the relationship end. Let go of the past, close the door, and walk into a better future.