The Truth About Attaining Closure

by Paul Hudson

Breaking up isn’t easy — living with the decision afterwards can be even more difficult. We often run through the scenario over and over in our minds, wondering if we maybe made a mistake. What you must come to understand is this: if you made a mistake, then it has already been made — you can’t take it back.

Take this from someone who has dated the same woman on and off for six years: once you cut the tie, you’ll never be able to get it back to what it once was. Attempting to mend the tear that you created always leaves scarring; the relationship will never be what it once was because after heartbreak, neither of you are who you once were. You are now someone else. So is your former partner. It’s time to move on.

Moving on can be easier said than done. People always talk about obtaining "closure" in order to be able to forget about their past life and move on to a fresh start. Maybe it’s just me — but I have absolutely no idea what people mean by closure. I understand the concept, but I don’t understand what is needed for said closure to actually happen.

What I do know for a fact is that the only way to truly move on, to end a relationship and make room for whatever life has to bring you next, is to forget about your ex. You must wipe them out of your memory the best that you can.

I was a little pissed off when my ex decided to cut me out of her life completely a few years back. Yes, I broke up with her for the umpteenth time, and so one month later she cut off all forms of communication. She wouldn’t respond to any texts, phone calls and blocked me on Facebook — the works. All this even though I believed we ended it somewhat civilly.

I was a bit surprised at her actions because I thought that we might be able to remain friends. Then I realized that her actions were not only exactly what she needed, but also what I needed. Being in love and then falling out of it is an awful experience.

The process itself is gut-wrenching. Then after all the hardship of the actual breakup, you may come to realize that although you no longer want to be with that person, you can’t seem to stop thinking about them. And because of this, because of the constant appearance that your ex makes among your thoughts, you can’t let go and move on.

The only way to move on — to get the so-called closure — is to forget. You have to stop your mind from wandering to past memories of past lovers. The experiences that you had will stay with you for the rest of your life; your experiences make you who you are.

That’s why forgetting is so hard: you can’t ever completely forget. What you can do, however, is focus your thoughts on something else. Delve into your work, your life, your career. Delve into whatever it is that brings you pleasure, meaning, or comfort — delve into whatever or whomever helps you get your mind off of your ex.

These things take time and patience. Your mind is bound to wander back to old times every so often. Eventually you won’t mind letting your mind wander back to those memories because they will no longer bring you pain; time heals all wounds.

After some time has passed — it could take months or years depending on your former relationship — you will be able to look back on all the good memories you had and appreciate the fact that you had them, that you experienced them. You will be able to look back to the time that you were with your ex without the feeling of longing or heartache.

Your emotions lie in your mind; control what makes its way to the foreground of your cognition and you will be able to control your emotions. You will eventually come to realize that all your past experiences, although laced with memories of pain and sadness, made you who you are today and brought you to the place you are today.

If you are happy with who you are, if you love yourself and love the life you are leading, then all that pain was necessary. You wouldn’t be the same person otherwise. On a side note: Falling in love again most certainly speeds up the process. Sleeping around, on the other hand, may not help with attaining "closure," but who cares? It’s sex. Closure or not, you’ll definitely feel better.

Paul Hudson | Elite. 

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