Breakups can feel like a big explosion scene in an action flick. They often happen so fast, with so many moving parts. When you stand back and watch it all, totally bewildered, you might find yourself wondering what the actual heck just happened. No matter how long you were dating your old flame, if you're looking to better understand why you split, then these questions to ask your ex for closure may really come in handy.
Whether you and your ex had been fighting nonstop for a while or you thought you were going to be together forever, calling it quits with someone can cause 50 shades of confusion. But as Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, previously told Elite Daily, creating a sense of closure can be especially important. This is especially true when you're not sure why your ex broke it off, or you didn't want your relationship to end. "Getting 'closure' means getting information, getting questions answered, and then pulling all that information together to create a narrative that makes sense to the individual," Dr. Klapow shared.
If You’d Like A No-Contact Break
Abstaining from contacting your ex can be one of the best ways to find closure. When you give yourself time to be on your own, that’s when you can fully analyze the relationships you’ve been in and give yourself time to heal and focus on what’s important: i.e., you. “Not everyone has the foresight to do this, but a no-contact period is a great idea because it keeps former partners from slipping back into a quasi-relationship, which only makes things confusing and hurting both parties further,”clinical psychologist Erika Martinez previously told Elite Daily. “It can be an important agreement, especially in cases when either partner isn't 100% sure whether they want to end the relationship but need some space from the relationship to process.”
Christie Federico, a relationship and sexual empowerment coach, agreed, telling Elite Daily that having a no-contact period with your ex can help you avoid the drama. “Often it's harder to detach from a partner when we're still in touch with them. If the communication remains the same, it can feel as if nothing has changed and it can leave us hopeful of a chance at getting back together, which may not be a healthy idea,” she warned. “Having distance can help us gain clarity around the relationship.” If you know that this is something that you want to do, then here are some questions to ask your ex.
- I need to process that we’re no longer together. Can we take a break from talking and texting every day?
- I need to find closure in my own way, so how about we unfollow each other on social media?
- We still have mutual friends — can we try not talking to them about us?
- Do you have anything else you want to say to me before we break it off?
- Before we stop talking to each other, was there anything you learned from our relationship?
If You’d Like To Stay On Good Terms
Maybe having a no-contact period with your ex isn’t for you. Not everyone wants to go cold turkey, especially if you and your ex had a beautiful friendship. If you would like to stay on good terms with your ex, then try taking advice from breakup coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast Trina Leckie. She previously told Elite Daily that "it’s best to just be honest and say you would like to remain friends” with them. But if you do that, then you have to be sure that this is the route you want to take.
After all, your ex did breakup with you for a reason, and being in close proximity to them might not always be the best thing for your health. "You need to ask yourself why you would even consider being friends with them," Leckie advised. "Why would you want to? It’s important to forgive in order to free yourself of carrying so much weight and toxic energy around, but that doesn’t mean you need to have them in your life going forward."If you’re sure that you want to stay on good terms with your ex, then try asking them these questions.
- Moving forward, what do you need from me?
- What positives did you take away from our relationship?
- Are you interested in staying friends?
- How do you feel about us now that everything is said and done?
- Can I still ask you to hang out, or do you need to take some time and space?
If You Want To Know Why Things Ended
It’s completely normal to feel confused after a breakup. When someone changes their mind about spending forever with you, you’ll probably wonder what went wrong. And sometimes, that might awaken some deep insecurities that you never knew you had. If you want to know why your relationship ended, try asking your ex these five questions.
- Can you walk me through what happened, from your perspective?
- I have a lot of questions about the way things ended, so can we set up a time to talk about it?
- Could we have done anything differently?
- What type of relationship are you looking for in the future?
- What made you want to give up on us?
If You Want To Make Sure They’re OK
Your ex broke your heart, but you still want to make sure that they’re OK. Don’t worry — this doesn’t sound as usual as it seems. When you’ve been with someone for a long time and shared countless memories with them, it might be a little hard for you to disregard them and pretend like they don’t exist. Making sure that your ex is OK after a breakup only shows how much you cared about them and want them to succeed. Not all breakups have to end with both parties being petty, especially if both you and your ex fought for the relationship to work. If you want to make sure that your ex is good, try talking to them about your relationship and why it went sour — but remember not to dwell on the negatives because your main focus should be your ex’s self-esteem.
- Do you feel comfortable talking about why it ended right now, or do you need time to process?
- How have you been processing everything?
- Do you feel like you’re healing from our breakup?
- Did you feel seen in our relationship?
- Did the breakup change the way that you see yourself?
There are many different ways to get closure after a relationship has ended, and there’s no wrong way to do it. However, it’s best to think carefully about which route you want to take, because remember: your mental wellbeing should always be top priority.
Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show
Erika Martinez, clinical psychologist
Christie Federico, relationship and sexual empowerment coach
Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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