Do you feel like you didn’t get closure from your breakup?
Whether it was on your terms or a joint decision, you may feel like that chapter of your life isn’t fully closed for whatever reason.
Learn how to take control back and move on once-and-for-all with our guide to finding closure from a breakup.
1) Don’t stalk them on social media
Stalking an ex on social media isn’t harmless, for you or, if you’re in a new relationship, your new partner.
In my own experience, I was on the receiving end of someone not having found closure from their breakup.
When I met my current partner I realized he was still pining after the girl he’d broken things off with a year prior. I knew all about her and knew it was a thing of the past, but then when he was showing me Instagram there her name was.
He’d searched her up, just because.
It made me feel crap.
He explained his reason for checking out her profile was simply curiosity, before explaining the lack of clarity surrounding the relationship-end has meant he’s still felt attached to her and the curiosity hasn’t subsided.
Checking up on her didn’t do anything for his closure, it just caused issues for us.
As if that’s not enough, research shows that stalking an ex is addictive and will do more harm than good in the long-term. It actually stops you from being able to move on and to embrace the new chapter of your life.
It keeps you stuck in the past, ruminating on what once was and what could’ve been.
Who is that healthy for?
The best thing you can do if you don’t have closure on your breakup is to avoid checking up on them. Seeing them happy and thriving will only aggravate what’s going on inside for you.
And if your new partner catches on, it’s just going to breed insecurity and be a recipe for disaster.
2) Write a closure letter
Now: there are two ways to approach this.
You could write your ex-partner a letter and send it to them or you could symbolically write a letter and, if you wish, burn it.
Speaking to Brides Magazine, relationship expert Susan Winter explains that you don’t want to wait more than two weeks post-breakup to send a letter explaining your feelings and seeking closure from your recent ex.
The sooner, the better.
She suggests that if you’re still obsessing months on, write the letter but don’t bother actually sending it.
What should you put in it?
Well, the benefits of writing a closure letter are for you personally so use it as an opportunity to focus on yourself and look internally to pull together your thoughts.
Think about things like:
- How you showed up in the relationship
- Whether you realize you handled the situation poorly
- Things you said that you would like to apologize for
At all costs, avoid pointing fingers and blaming your ex for the relationship breakup.
If its closure on the situation that you’re seeking, then there’s very little to gain in doing this.
This letter will serve as an opportunity to gain insight for yourself and to think about why the relationship broke down.
There’s also so much to be said for symbolically writing a letter and burning it.
Writing from the heart, get everything out that you’d like to say and throw your letter on a fire – watching it burn and letting go as it goes up in flames.
Through this process, you’ll release emotional ties to your ex-partner and find some closure on the situation.
3) Do a cord cutting meditation
It’s true: visualizations are powerful and can have massive effects on our waking lives.
We know meditation can improve our mental and physical health, and it can help us redirect our thoughts to a better place.
But did you know that through meditation you can learn to cut energetic ties with people in your life, including your ex-partner?
In my own experience, I know the power of cord-cutting to release attachments.
I’ve done it with many people in my life, including my manager in my corporate job and my ex-partner.
It allowed me to let go of him.
If you’re finding it hard to move on from your ex-partner, consider setting aside some time to visualize symbolically cutting a cord between you two.
Reiki master teacher Semele Xerri advocates this approach if you’re finding it hard to move on from your ex-partner and she suggests that you follow a step-by-step process in your mind’s eye:
- See two circles on the ground, one in front of you and one in front of your ex-partner, forming a figure of eight
- Imagine this figure of eight is pulsing with bright blue light
- See your ex-partner in the other circle
- Step back and see both you and your ex
- Ask your ‘higher self’ to point out where the cords are between you both
- Identify what the cords look like
- Ask your ‘higher self’ to tell you what you need to cut the cords
- Put the tools at your feet, whether it’s scissors or a blow torch
- See if any healing is needed where the cord connects
- Take an opportunity to forgive your ex-partner and send them on your way with love
4) Move to a place of acceptance
I can talk from experience: I know what it’s like coming out of a long-term relationship and not being able to accept what has happened.
I was in my last relationship for five years, so it took some time to adjust to my new normal and I couldn’t quite believe it for some time.
I couldn’t stop breaking down and surfing the motions of depression, it was because I was grieving.
Just like any process of grief, whether it’s the loss of someone through death or losing them from your life, you go through the five stages:
It’s far too easy to dwell in the first four stages for far too long, especially if you feel like you never got closure on the situation.
Even though the decision to separate with my ex-partner was, ultimately, mutual and it was something I initiated, I still struggled to move to a place of acceptance.
I definitely found myself without closure until I decided to take my power back by consciously shifting to a place of acceptance.
It really was as simple as committing to a mind shift.
I was sick and tired of saying things like: “I can’t believe this has happened” because it wasn’t getting me anywhere and it was sending me into a spiral of despair.
The closure comes from accepting the situation – accepting that the relationship served its purpose at that time in your life and that there’s a reason you two are no longer the item you once were.
5) Discuss the situation with a few friends
Turns out, friends are there to be a shoulder to cry on, to hear you out, and to pick you up in your low moments.
I often battle with feeling like I’m burdening friends when I feel as though I’m offloading my thoughts – relationship or otherwise.
But, on the other hand, that’s what friends are for. And I have to remember that no one is judging me for doing so – it’s me judging myself. I wonder if you feel the same in these situations…
If you’re seeking closure from your past relationship, turn to friends who will help you work through the thoughts that you’re struggling with.
But wait, let me tell you something…
You can go wrong by discussing your situation with all of your friends and having to deal with loads of conflicting opinions.
The best approach is to select a few really close friends, who have your best interests and whose opinions you truly value.
6) Let yourself have fun
Rally these friends and plan something fun – be it a night out or a weekend away.
Yes, you might be hurting and struggling to accept the relationship end (while taking the above advice and actively working on this), but it doesn’t mean you have to wallow in your pain and shut yourself off from all of the fun and good times on offer.
It’s pretty bleak, but as Hemingway famously said: “when you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead”.
There are ups and downs we’re all faced with, but life is supposed to be enjoyed so don’t shy away from opportunities for fun with those you love.
Best of all, you’ll create new memories and remember that life is full of joy that you’ve generated yourself.
This will allow you to close the door on your old chapter – and you welcome in the new and all the goodness it has in store for you.
7) Stay open to meeting someone else
I understand that this is easier said than done.
But there’s merit in moving on.
In my own experience, I know this to be true.
Here’s why: I spent weeks crying and screaming into a pillow when my ex and I separated. As I explained above, I know I was in the grieving process and struggling to believe it was real.
I was wondering if we were going to get back together and whether we’d made a terrible mistake.
In the run-up to separating, we spent months deliberating and things turned really bitter. It was months and months of turmoil, and the breakup included me moving away from the city and back in with my mum so it was a massive shock to the system on many levels.
I wasn’t actively on dating websites and trying to find someone, it just organically happened when I enrolled in a new course.
I was getting on with my life and my new partner just showed up.
I tried to resist this because of what was going on internally, but we were magnetized to one another.
He was also seeking closure on a past relationship, so we had some big struggles in the early days with both of our emotional states out of whack.
But we move through it and we’re stronger for overcoming the challenges.
I wondered if I was just masking the pain and whether this was a rebound relationship that was only going to last a few dates before I came around.
However, researchers have dispelled the idea that people move on too fast, too soon.
Research into rebound relationships shows that rebound relationships are more beneficial than they’ve been made out in the past.
By staying open to meeting someone new and starting a new relationship, people examined showed improvements in their wellbeing and about their feelings towards their ex-partner.
8) Send good thoughts to your ex-partner
Now: this might sound a little wishy-washy, but just remember the benefits of visualization I explained earlier.
It’s the same concept I’m talking about here.
In prayer or meditation, consciously transmit positive thoughts to your ex-partner as a means of getting closure on the situation.
I came across this quote:
“When we choose resentment, we choose pain.”
It captures my point exactly: when you hold on to anger and bitterness it hurts us more than the other person. You keep yourself imprisoned in a place of negativity.
So what’s to lose in sending positive thoughts to that person – letting them know you’re grateful for what once was and wishing them well?
If this practice makes you emotional, let the tears flow. Crying also serves as a form of healing and allows you to let go of the tension that you’re holding inside.
The more you release, the easier it becomes to find closure and move on.
This doesn’t mean forgetting your ex-partner or blocking them out, it just means you can reflect on the lessons, blessings, and good times in your relationship with a smile – feeling at peace with what you had and what it taught you.