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Relationship Breakup ~ What Does Closure Actually Mean & is it Important?

We are all want to have a loving relationship is our lives. We put so much time & energy into that special person in our partnership but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. So what steps do we need to take to finally end it and move on without too much scarring or prolonged hurt? Many people take a break-up very hard and have a tough time moving forward due to lack of closure.


Why are some breakups more difficult for some people than others?

Much of that depends on how the breakup was initiated. Was it abrupt? Were you blindsided and didn’t see it coming? Many couples do not end things properly and just run in the opposite direction without an explanation, leaving their partner in shock. This is the probably the most hurtful of all the breakup scenarios due to the non communicative ending. It is not easy leaving a relationship, especially if it is one sided. Confrontation is not something most people deal with comfortably, so they would rather avoid it. This is not fair to your partner and is looked upon as a cowardly way to end a relationship.

Both people in the broken relationship need closure to move on towards a baggage free future.

Some of the biggest reasons people stay in an unfulfilling relationship is due to fear of being alone, children, aging, and asset or money division. This is why some people play the merry go round of “break-up and make-up” 4 or 5 times before they finally cut it off completely. All those scenarios make it harder to leave because of having to deal with the reality of it all. Staying together seems easier at the time but eventually the unhappiness at home will be the demise of the couple. Even knowing all this, there still needs to be respectful closure for both parties involved especially if you will have to deal with each other in the future due to children or career/money commitments.

What Constitutes Respectful Closure in a Relationship?

  • Ending a relationship needs to be done in person, face to face!
  • Give them a justifiable explanation that helps them understand. It’s not you, it’s me, is not an explanation! You owe it to the person you have spent enough time with them to tell them what it is that was missing or what changed within your partnership.
  • Be gentle & compassionate in your delivery. There is no need to tell them you don’t love them anymore or you fell in love with someone else right away.
  • Make sure you are fair with finances and that they are not left penniless.
  • Be careful how fast you move on publicly & how much you tell them about your new life escapades. It makes it so much harder for the one left behind to hear how wonderful the other is doing while they are still deeply crushed.
  • Do not talk badly about them to anyone, especially mutual friends. It’s hard enough on friendships in a breakup situation without having to feel like they have to choose sides.
  • Do not post personal things about the breakup on social media.
  • Maintain strong relationships with shared children & pets & help out continually.

Does the Same Apply for Dating Scenarios?

While we should always be given the respect of closure even in casual dating experiences, we won’t always get it. Regardless of how much time you have been together there should be some closure. If they don’t give it to you, you may feel better sending them a note, text or E-mail telling them how you feel. By waiting a few weeks you will relay the message more diplomatically rather than in the initial hurt or angry state. Do not send it right after you write it, wait a day or 2 read it over and if you are OK with your choice of words, send it then. Even if they don’t respond, you said what you needed for your own personal closure and it will give them something to think about as well.

What do you do with their leftover belongings in your home?

If your relationship breakup was left with many of their belongings still in your care and they have not made any attempt to retrieve them or answer your messages for a month or more, drop them off to their friend or family member or failing that, give it all to good will. Looking at it on a daily basis will not help you move on. You don’t have to get rid of every memory you ever had with them but anything left staring you in the face will keep the wounds fresh! While they were a part of your life, it doesn’t mean you have to torture your heart. You don’t have to keep cards, letters from every Ex you had in your life. Everyone comes into your life for a reason but you don’t have to re-live every photographic moment. Take the life lesson you got out of your time with them and close the door with a smile & maybe some good memories.

It’s time to literally move them out of your closet and consequently out of your head!

Women are the emotional sex and can have a really hard time letting go of a relationship. This can be a hindrance in finding someone more suitable down the road due to these lingering feelings. The same can be a problem for a man who is left by a woman. It is really all about a bruised ego in the end for “both” sexes! You don’t see men on the couch with a tub of haagen dazs ice cream, holding a box of tissues watching “The Breakup” in their PJ’s after the demise of a relationship. They are probably out on the golf course with their buddies putting away a half a dozen beers, but it doesn’t mean they don’t think about it behind closed doors when they are alone. Women think men don’t feel anything but they just handle it quietly & internally for the most part.

To Get Over One Person Get Under Another - is not a good way to achieve closure either, as cute as that line is. Jumping into bed with someone when you still have strong feelings for another person is a sure way to screw up your emotions even further. You are not ready to give to another person so do them a favor & don’t screw up their head too. Take time for yourself, don’t bring someone else into the mix.

In some cases there are no words for closure as it’s all been said and the partnership has been over for a long time. We need to acknowledge this and not be in constant denial when the signs are there! Many of us know before the door actually closes that there are problems but we just can’t handle the rejection of someone not loving us anymore. That’s what ultimately makes the closure so difficult.

It takes two people to find a solution or make a closure compromise. A mature discussion will help both of you in your next relationship. Revenge or anger is never a good way to react in life. Do you really want to be with someone who doesn’t love you or respect you in your partnership? There is a reason things end and come to a close, but sometimes it takes us years to understand our own part in it. That is what closure is for, to help people understand their shortcomings & their strong points so that they can move on to a more suitable partnership that is loving, reciprocated & rewarding.

Susan McCord @

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