How to Achieve Closure and Take Back Control of Your Life After a Breakup!
If you want to know how to achieve closure after a breakup, the following information will be helpful. Are you searching for closure? It’s natural to want some explanation when a relationship ends or you experience a similar loss. Social psychologists describe it as gaining the resolution necessary to take back control and move on.
Achieving what most refer to as closure has become more elusive in recent years. The same technology that helps you find romance online makes it easier to break someone’s heart. Your love interest may say goodbye with a text or change their relationship status to single on Facebook without any warning. Technology has made it easier to connect with developing the interpersonal skills necessary to build healthy relationships.
Hopefully, your relationships will run more smoothly, but even amicable breakups can be upsetting. Let’s discuss closure at a level where we at least have a limited perspicacity and the best way to achieve it.
In psychology, closure usually refers to situations where an event occurs without explanation, leaving unanswered questions. These unanswered questions can haunt and plague an individual. When a person says they need closure, they are looking for the final pieces to the puzzle in their mind that help it make sense. Say, for instance, you are dating someone, and without warning, they change their relationship status online and refuse to take your calls. While this seems cruel, it does happen. Not everyone is a great communicator, and some people avoid antinomy at all costs.
For some people, the inability to put those final pieces of the puzzle together can cause psychological and emotional distress. While closure, in its purest definition, is not always possible, there are some steps that you can use to gain closure in many instances.
How to Achieve Closure ~ Asking Others for Closure:
- Clarify your motives. Be honest with yourself. Are you trying to end your relationship constructively or hoping that you’ll get back together? Having realistic expectations could protect you from additional distress. Is it closure you are looking for or an opening to salvage what is lost? Being honest with yourself and any other party involved is the first step to achieving closure.
- Keep it simple. Dwelling on the past interferes with your future happiness. Cover the most critical issues and then shift your attention to enjoying the rest of your life. This approach may sound cold, but dwelling on things outside of your control usually leads to stress, worry, anxiety, anger, and other negative emotions that only slow the process of healing.
- Take responsibility. You might be tempted to blame your ex for your situation, but you’re still in charge of how you react. Acknowledge your own shortcomings and apologize if appropriate. Because your emotions will likely be high during this time, there will be a propensity to be defensive and shift blame. Be honest with yourself and take responsibility for your role. Even if the other person has done something wrong, dwelling on it will not change it, and you can’t force them to acknowledge it. Keep in mind that proving that you are right has no bearing on the outcome.
- Stay positive. What do you like about your ex and the time you spent together? Let them know if you’re thankful for their kindness. Try to forgive each other for any disappointments. Unfortunately, relationships end—sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. Do your best to make sense of it and move on into the healing process.
- Write a letter. Pouring your feelings out in writing may help, especially if you reflect on what you can learn from the experience. Reread the letter when you’re calm, so you can decide whether to send it or burn it. Be very careful if you choose this step. Words can easily be misinterpreted—especially while emotions are running high. You will not be there to confirm if they misinterpret a sentence or the entire letter when addressing your feelings in writing.
- Meet for coffee. If you feel strong enough, you may prefer to talk face-to-face. Arrange a coffee date or a lunchtime walk so that you can make a quick exit without any awkwardness. Setting a meeting in an environment where it is natural to be in and out makes it easy to leave if things become too intense.
Creating Closure for Yourself:
- Slow down. Sometimes the desire for closure is so strong that you might jump to hasty conclusions about your ex and yourself. Give yourself time to sort through your memories and discover their meaning. After things have calmed down, a moment of reflection may reveal all you need to secure closure. Not everyone will be willing to offer you closure. You will have to create closure yourself.
- Avoid contact. Maybe you’ll wind up being friends, but most couples need to distance themselves when they first break up. Resist the urge to call your ex and stay off their social media pages. Put away photographs and other reminders lying around your home and office. Taking these steps will create the time you need to initiate the healing process.
- Practice self-care. Protecting your physical and mental wellbeing will help you to make sound decisions. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Spend time each day hanging out with family and friends and doing activities you love.
- Start a journal. Recording your daily thoughts and activities can help you deal with stress too. You’ll be able to spot recurring patterns and see where you’re making progress. To stay on track, try writing at the same time each day, like first thing in the morning or before bed. I normally instruct my clients to do both.
- Be flexible. Life is full of sudden changes. Learning to adapt increases your chances for success. Set new goals and let go of regrets. Cultivate your curiosity. Your healing process is a great opportunity to expand how you experience life. Break the monotony by trying new things and developing new interests.
- Consider counseling. Talking with a therapist could help if you’ve tried to recover from your breakup or loss, but you’re still struggling. A caring professional can help you see your options more objectively and support you while you navigate through a difficult time. While this option is one of the most underused, it is one of the most efficacious processes available.
Remember that you are worthy of love and respect. It may take time and effort to heal from a past relationship or loss, but you can attain closure with or without cooperation from your ex. The sooner you resolve your feelings, the sooner you’ll be ready to move on.
Whether you are looking for closure or you are struggling with a bout of depression, seeking direct intervention through 1-on-1 engagement with an expert can provide relief and empowerment. If you would like to schedule a virtual consultation with Dr. Wallace, email LifeChange@rickwallacephd.link or check learn more here!
Dr. Wallace has authored and published 24 books, including his latest work Academic Apartheid, Critical Mass: The Phenomenon of Next-Level Living, Born in Captivity: Psychopathology as a Legacy of Slavery,” The Undoing of the African American Mind, and “The Mis-education of Black Youth in America.” He has written and published thousands of scholarly and prose articles and papers, with the overwhelming majority of his work surrounding the enigmatic issues plaguing blacks on every level. Papers that he has published include: “Special Education as the Mechanism for the Mis-education of African Youth,” “Racial Trauma & African Americans,” “Epigenetics in Psychology: The Genetic Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma in African Americans,” and “Collective Cognitive-Bias Reality Syndrome” — to name a few.
Dr. Wallace is also a powerful and electrifying public speaker, who speaks to numerous types and sizes of audiences, on a number of different subjects. He also functions as a personal life enhancement advisor and counselor.
As the Founder and CEO of The Visionetics Institute, Dr. Wallace uses a wide range of disciplines, including psycho-cybernetics, neuro-linguistic programming, psychology, neuro-associative conditioning, embodied cognitive conditioning, and transformational vocabulary to help people raise the level of their performance in every area of their lives, including finance, marriage, business, parenting and more.
Get your signed copy of Dr. Wallace’s 20th book, Critical Mass: The Phenomenon of Next-Level Living
Bockarova, M. (2016). Why We Need Closure from Broken Relationships. Psychology Today.
Staff, E. (2018). The psychology of closure — and why some need it more than others. The Association for Psychological Science.
Wallace, R. (2021). Mergin Souls: Healing, Hope & Restoration in Modern Marriage. Houston, TX: Odyssey Media Group & Publishing.