According to the Cambridge dictionary closure ‘is the feeling or act of bringing an unpleasant situation, time or experience to an end, so that you are able to start new activities’.
Although the term closure can be used in a business and operational context, it is safe to say that more often than not it is used within a more romantic context instead (more specifically within the context of a breakup). Time and time again overly sappy rom-com movies have led us to believe that closure is the ideal ending to almost all romantic relationships — as though it were the pretty ribbon that people slap onto their somewhat perfectly packaged relationships.
But some of us are left with packages that are wrapped rather haphazardly and most of us never see a sparkly ribbon. So what happens then? Do we go back to the person and demand a ribbon or do we say thank you for the present and move on with our lives?
I love sappy rom-coms as much as the next person but will also be the first to admit that they have set some pretty unrealistic standards when compared to modern-day dating. We are led to believe that almost all of our romantic endeavors require a ‘final conversation’ aka ‘closure’ that needs to take place in order for us to move on with our lives.
Conventionally, we have been led to believe that closure is a necessity to ensure we are able to move onto our next relationship without carrying the toxic bullshit of the previous one with us. However what happens to the people who dated significant others with the emotional maturity of a peanut — ultimately failing to give them to closure they were desperately conditioned to believe they required in order to move on with their lives?
Do they just float between time and space like tormented souls in horror movies? Do they create voodoo dolls and stick pins?
How do they move from the crying into a Ben & Jerry’s; to drinking their pain away; to taking on a gym membership that they regret; to throwing themselves into their work to numb the pain of the breakup; to finally acknowledging the pain by breaking down into tears when doing the laundry on a random evening — ultimately leading to the healing and moving on with their lives?
With modern-day dating and the emergence of f*ckboys (and girls), some of us aren’t fortunate enough to receive the closure we require through a somewhat mature conversation with the other person. This is why I suggest having a conversation with yourself.
Have the conversation with yourself that you never got from your ex. Sit down with a glass of wine or tea, and write a letter to the old version of yourself and tell her all the things that you wanted to hear from your partner but never got to. Let her know that she tried her best and that ultimately it wasn’t meant to be. Acknowledge the mistakes and strengths of that relationship. Give yourself permission to reminisce on the highs and lows, the ups and downs, the beautiful and the ugly. Write it all out of paper or a bathroom wall or a paper towel (idgaf).
Do whatever you need to do to purge yourself of your past and get it all out of your body so that your body is no longer the medium used to carry the dead weight of that relationship. Do it as many times as you need to and give yourself the time and grace to cry, scream or laugh about it all because if you don’t, you will carry that bullsh*t into your next relationship or you may never heal thoroughly enough to move onto another relationship. And even if that next relationship may not be with another person, it will be with a newer version of you — and that version of you that deserves someone truly great.