Closure after a break-up: how do you get it?


Ending a relationship is almost always a hard thing to do. You’re angry, sad, disappointed, or maybe everything all at once. Heartache always feels intense and we don’t compare it to grieving without reason. So, how do you get closure after a break-up?

Closure: what is it?

Before you can get closure, it’s good to know what the word really means. It’s a psychological term that makes it clear our brains have needs or impulses that make us want to understand a situation. In short: you want to understand why the relationship ended and begin to accept it. To get to that point, you’ll go through your relationship in your mind.

Also read: Healing your broken heart with visualisation techniques

How do you get closure?

It’s important to realize it’s not a guaranteed process. You try to get your thoughts in order in your head and structure them. You think about the end of your relationship and, in a way, departmentalize it into different chapters. By consciously reflecting on it, it’s possible to get some sense of closure. However, that’s easier said than done. You’re filled with emotions, and it can be difficult to see things clearly.

Put your thoughts on paper

The easiest way to put your thoughts in order is by writing them down. You could try the following:

  • All of your thoughts: first, write down everything that comes to mind when thinking about your break-up.
  • Own your mistakes: what mistakes did you make during your relationship that could have led to the break-up?
  • Previous relationships: has this happened before in previous relationships?
  • Attachment style: are you very dependant and insecure? Or are you open and sincere? And could the way you were attached to your partner have anything to do with the break-up?
  • Why: why did you break up? Is there an apparent reason for it, like cheating? Or was it just over, and one of you finally decided to end it?

It’s better this way

In general, a relationship is not over and done with at the drop of a hat. Things probably hadn’t been going well for a while already, and the break-up was inevitable. Because a break-up is often paired with feelings of nostalgia and other emotions, it can be difficult to recognize that things are better this way. Try writing down why it’s better that the two of you ended the relationship. For instance, because you both had different goals in life, maybe you weren’t a good match, or the other person wasn’t right for you. Every time you feel nostalgic about your relationship, work on focusing your thoughts on the reasons you’ve written down for yourself. This way, you’ll lessen your desire to run back into their arms crying, even though you know you’ll just split up again later.

Be kind to yourself

Allow yourself time to get used to the fact that you broke up and move past it. When your relationship ends, it’s always painful. Don’t blame yourself, but show compassion (even if you’ve made mistakes as well). And, try to keep in touch with the other person, especially if you have kids together.

Also read: Divorce: how to keep things amicable 

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