Most people will be familiar with the term ‘closure’. I think Urban Dictionary sums it up pretty well:
Whilst Definitions 3, 5 and 6 are perhaps a little unkind, I will agree wholeheartedly with the rest of them. And I would also add that ‘closure’, in reality, is basically non-existent.
Relationships will end for any number of reasons, and unless you’re in the rare situation where the desire to end the relationship is entirely mutual, there will be one person who is left confused and hurt. While the person who instigates the break-up might think that they have given valid and plausible reasons for wanting to become a lone wolf once more, the person being ditched is only going to have numerous questions and will be left with lists of what-ifs and whys. This is where the need for closure comes in. Let me tell you now – you’re not going to get it. A bit harsh? Maybe, but let me explain.
In the last couple of years, I’ve been what I would term as involved with (i.e. exclusively dating/in a relationship with) a handful of men, and for the most part it’s been the guy who has instigated the break-up. Pretty much all of them have been variations of the ‘I just don’t want to be in a relationship’ theme, but each time I’ve been denied the opportunity to have a satisfactory conversation where all of my questions (some rational, some not) are answered. And I get it – in the times where I’ve been the one doing the breaking-up, I haven’t exactly gone into a monologue explaining all of my thoughts and feelings on the matter – you want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible! So having been on both sides of the fence, I think I can say with confidence that you’re not going to get closure, and the notion of a ‘clean break’ is equally as abstract.
There’s no question that the person being dumped will be the most hurt, the most angry, and the most determined to find some sort of reasoning behind the break-up. This has certainly been the case for me in recent years. To me, a guy simply changing his mind about his relationship status wasn’t good enough – there had to be a CAUSE or a REASON. Did he meet someone else? Did he feel that way even when he invited me to spend the weekend with his parents? Have his guy mates convinced him that having a girlfriend makes him less of a lad? But, short of turning up on various doorsteps and demanding an explanation (NB never do this), these questions will forever go unanswered. And this is where Definition 5 is most pertinent – claiming a need for closure is basically another way of saying that you haven’t accepted that the relationship is over. Think about it – no one who is over their ex will whine ‘but I just need closure!’. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else, but now I’m beginning to see the error of my ways.
Break-ups are annoying at best, heart-breaking and awful at worst. I know I’m not the only one who has lost weeks or months of their life to moping, crying, and avoiding rom-coms at all cost. But all of this has taught me a valuable lesson: the sooner you accept that the relationship is over, and that your ex isn’t going to suddenly have a change of heart and beg you to take them back, the sooner you will start to feel better. Discourage use of the C-word, take the moral high road, and maybe we’ll all stop feeling like we’re missing something that we’re actually better off without.