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Relationship Closure Conversation: What Is It? Why Do You Need It?

by Danielle Wright

We get it, with Valentine’s Day around the corner you could be wondering, “How can I get back into their presence without seeming desperate or lonely?” In most cases seeking closure from a relationship that’s ended is just that, it’s looking for a way to be back in front of the person you love in hopes of reconciliation. This happens quite often that women or men will use this opportunity to get dressed up and present themselves as the best version of themselves to show the other what they’re missing. Closure conversations usually take place about 3-4 weeks post-breakup, so there’s some time in between for the initial glow-up.

Closure talk after breaking up can be a different experience depending on which side you’re on. Are you the one who wants closure or are you the one providing closure to an ex? In both cases, things can feel a bit awkward.


YOU WANT CLOSURE FROM AN EX

When relationships end it can feel devastating—it is the equivalent of losing a loved one. If you spend your nights tossing and turning wondering what went wrong and how things could have been different, then perhaps seeking closure from your ex is a good idea.


But, here are some things to consider, if you had a healthy relationship in the first place where the split was mutual, 9/10 that ex let you know why they were leaving. Perhaps, they ended things in person and so you had an opportunity to ask your questions and get the answers you needed, but maybe that’s not enough and you’re still not satisfied. In this case, you’re not seeking closure, you’re looking for an opportunity to reconcile to relieve yourself of any grief you could be experiencing. We get it.


The reality is, however, your ex is not going to value you in this way. If reconciliation is on your mind, you should first go no contact and then allow yourself time to heal and for your ex to miss you. It sounds easier said than done, but that is the blueprint for getting an ex back for good. You both need time apart so that you can decide what’s best for you.



On the other hand, if things ended abruptly or there was an argument where you both said some things and the ending of the relationship is in limbo or things ended on a whim due to high tension, then I do recommend contacting your ex for closure. You see when things are left unsaid or the person ghosted after an argument and needed time to cool down, this is a good indicator that closure is a possibility. Maybe you will both make it clear that things are over or you will reconcile, either way, you can see one another.


HOW SHOULD THE CONVERSATION GO?

Start Simple: Go in with some mild chit-chat. Do not go in swinging and acting belligerent. If you’re still harboring ill feelings or resentment from the argument that caused the split in the first place then it may be too soon to get in touch. Allow the conversation to unfold naturally.


Have Self Control: Control your emotions—make notes on your phone of the things you would like to address. If you are at fault be prepared to apologize and mean it. An apology does not always mean you will be forgiven, it is up to the other person to decide but don’t allow yourself to get too caught up in that. You are your own person and taking accountability for your actions is what’s best. You can then feel better knowing that you did everything you could.


Express Gratitude: Make sure your ex understands that you are grateful to them for the good times you both shared. This does not mean you’re whimpering and begging them to take you back, it just means you’re mature enough to accept what is and you’re okay with the outcome going either way.



Honesty: This goes both ways, whether you’re seeking closure or giving it, always be honest, now is the time. Usually, when two people are together they may tell each other little white lies to keep from hurting the other person's feelings, but this is not the time for that. Put it all on the table so that there are no secrets between you. If you have some hard truths to admit it’s best to do it at this time because then the person can go away and heal from that.


If they choose to return to you and rekindle the relationship at least you’ll feel better knowing that they’ve forgiven you for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Unfortunately, there have been times when couples will have closure and one party will omit some truths that later on when they go to rekindle pop back up. In instances like this, the outcome is always disastrous and one or both of you will end up more hurt than before.


Burning Questions: Ask questions you’re afraid to know the answers to because now is the time. If you want to know if they’ve ever cheated, ask them. If they did cheat, ask how long and whatever else comes to mind. Go deep. More often than not the person will admit things that will expedite the healing process for you—and essentially that is what you’re there for, that is what closure is supposed to do. So take advantage of its true purpose and leave no stone unturned. But, just like you’re asking hard questions, you need to be prepared for the answers. Closure is not always pretty.



MY EX WANTS CLOSURE FROM ME

We all have free will and with that comes the right to say yes or no. Someone else's feelings are not your responsibility and if you decided to end things with your ex surely you had good reason. Hopefully, you were mature enough to end things face-to-face the first time around.


But if they’re still struggling to let you go and move on, then unfortunately, that is a [them] problem. You do not need to feel burdened by their emotions. Decide for yourself if you wish to give an ex closure and do not be selfish about it. If you choose to do it be present and honest. If you wish not to, be honest and firm in your decision.

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