As the song says, "Breaking up is hard to do." Finding closure after the end of a relationship is often harder. "Closure" is a psychological term that means closing the door on something or someone.
A closure means that you leave the past in the past rather than dragging it out into the present again. In relationships, this means learning how to let go of that relationship and move on to another, possibly a better relationship. There are many ways of putting closure to a relationship. In fact, it will depend entirely on your personality and your particular situation. Here are some tips on how to put closure to a relationship that has ended.
1Accept That The Relationship Is Over
Declare out loud to a close friend that you accept that the relationship is over. Choose someone who will support you. It should be a friend who will help you stay focused on the present and future rather than dwelling on the past.
2Let Go Of The Person
Call the person you're letting go of and release them. Acknowledge that you still have feelings for them but that the relationship isn't healthy, and they're free. If it's too painful to talk with them, write them a note.
3Refocus On Yourself
You may have let your own interests slide while you were involved with your previous relationship. Now's the time to shift your focus back to yourself. Give attention to what you want to do.
4Find A New Hobby
Find a new hobby or activity to replace the time with your ex. If you always went out on Friday nights, invite some friends over instead and watch movies. Or you could volunteer for a worthwhile charity.
5Call A Friend
When you start thinking about your ex, call a friend. Let that friend bolster your resolve. Ask them to restate your reasons for letting them go.
6Create A Mantra That Helps You Refocus
Keep telling yourself this mantra, and before long, you'll start believing it. You'll also begin to act differently as well. "I am strong, and I am over him" could be all you need to say, but it may be something more detailed like, "I'm a wonderful person who is worthy of love, respect, and happiness."
7Remove Things That Remind You Of Your Ex
At some point in the future, you'll be strong enough to look at these things with fondness rather than being tugged back to the past. Take him off your speed dial and remove photos of the two of you. Box up the gifts that they gave you.
8Take Care Of Yourself
Eat better, take up a new exercise, and get plenty of rest. Hydration is important, too. So be sure that you drink plenty of water.
9Don't Hold It In
If you're feeling particularly sad over the breakup, don't hold it in. It's natural for you to feel upset about the end of the relationship. Go ahead and cry. You may even want to write in a journal how you feel so you can get the feelings out rather than holding them in.
10Figure Out What Went Wrong
Reflect on what went wrong in your relationship after you've distanced yourself from it for a while. If there were things you did that could've damaged the relationship, admit them. Try to determine the red flags that signaled the relationship was ending. Decide to avoid similar mistakes in future relationships.
If you didn't want the relationship to end, you might be tempted to leave the door open, hoping to rekindle that lost love. It may be difficult to find closure. But the emotional price of holding out hope can be costly.
For your health and peace of mind, learn to let the relationship end. Let go of the past. Close the door. Walk into a better future.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."