How to Get Closure After a Relationship Ends
When a relationship ends, most people seek that final moment that says it is indeed over as well as the reasons why it ended. Unfortunately, closure may be something you have to find on your own, especially if you broke up during a big fight or were dumped via a text message. The unresolved feelings and unanswered questions make closure difficult. After taking the time to process your feelings, closure is possible, and it will enable you to move forward as you accept and learn from what was lost, according to Lauren Suval's article, "Finding Closure," on PsychCentral.
1 Feel Deeply
Rather than pushing your feelings away in an attempt to feel better quickly, acknowledge and label them. Every person reacts with varying intensity levels and emotions to a breakup. Common feelings that may occur include grief, sadness, remorse, regret, anger or rejection. Identifying which emotion you feel with the greatest intensity can help to determine how you deal with the breakup, according to the article, "Getting Closure After a Breakup," published on the TwoOfUs.org website. If you feel it would be helpful and you are able to, have a calm, rational conversation with your ex-partner regarding your feelings. Otherwise, take the time to reflect on your relationship until you feel at peace with yourself.
2 Question Yourself
Abigail Brenner, psychiatrist and author of "5 Ways to Find Closure From the Past," on Psychology Today, recommends having your own internal question and answer session to gain a deeper understanding of your breakup. Ask yourself if you are afraid to move forward, afraid to feel the loss and void. Figure out what you believe is the worse thing that could happen if you close the door on this chapter of your life. Although painful, understanding your relationship breakup will help to speed up the healing process which will also help you to obtain closure.
3 Accentuate the Positive
Focus on yourself and do something that makes you look or feel better. Take up a hobby or sport that you pushed aside while you were with your ex. Catch up with your friends and lean on them for support. Make a list of the wonderful, positive things you gained from your relationship as this will help you to become aware of what worked in your relationship in addition to what did not. You can take this valuable information into your next relationship. Looking at the positive aspects you gained can help you to let go of resentment and anger, leaving you with a feeling of gratitude for what you gained from the relationship.
4 Create a Goodbye Ritual
After some time, you will feel ready to move on. Write your ex-partner a letter that is meant for only you to read. Let it all out -- include your favorite times together, what you loved the most about him as well as what drove you nuts. Write about all the ways he made you feel special and all the ways he hurt you. Let him know the positive aspects that you'll take into your next relationship as well as what you'll leave behind. When you feel ready, read the letter aloud or silently to yourself, then shred or burn it along with any pictures or other memorabilia you choose to help you obtain closure.