Everyone craves closure from a past relationship. Sadly, not everyone gets it. Here’s how to ensure you find closure after heartbreak.
Heartbreak hurts even more.
People come and go, and there are those who would leave footprints in our heart and leave memories that would last for a lifetime. It’s ironic, isn’t it? The one who meant so much to you at one time would become a stranger to your eyes.
How does one move on from the memories of a past love? Truth be told, there is no easy way to get over them. Experience has taught me that moving on from a past love can pose a great challenge. You can cry all you want, curse all you want, laugh all you want, but the truth is that you are now broken up from your partner. Whether you initiated the breakup or not, it still tends to leave a little sting.
Nobody said that moving on and finding closure was easy. I remember that I let my sadness affect my way of living for a while. I wore my sadness like a shroud, and for a while, it seemed like my sadness would last forever… Until I decided that I had enough.
Sometimes, love isn’t enough
As I grow older, I grow a bit wiser. My past relationships have taught me a thing or two about love. I have learned to unlearn whatever delusions or ideals many romantic films and novels have taught me. As much as I hate to admit it, love is never enough to keep the relationship alive. People often have misconstrued ideas about love and relationships. Oftentimes, they would find themselves suffocating their partners in relationships that leave little to no room for growth or freedom.
Holding on to past relationships that love couldn’t save can be unhealthy and can take away your happiness. They prevent you from moving on and living in the present. While the past may be a great place to visit on occasion, you wouldn’t want to live there.
How does one make peace with the past?
Moving on from a past relationship is never easy, but it is possible. It is a journey of self-discovery, of making peace with yourself, and learning how to be truly happy.
#1 Give yourself time to grieve. Allow yourself some time to mourn the end of the relationship. It’s okay to feel sad, so do not repress your feelings. Take time to grieve, but don’t let this sadness consume you entirely or prevent you from doing the things you love. Remember that life goes on and doesn’t stop for anyone, even if you wish it did. [Read: How to survive the first 168 hours after a breakup]
#2 Learn to accept that there are things that cannot be undone. They say that accepting things is the hardest part of letting go. You must be aware of your present situation, so that you become aware that your relationship is over. This is perhaps the most important step in getting closure, because it would give you solace and help you evaluate your feelings.
#3 Learn how to make peace with yourself. You might find it very easy to start blaming yourself for the mistakes of the past, but remember that you are only human. The road to self-blame isn’t a pretty one, so never allow yourself to go down that road.
Take the lessons that you have learned, and use these to make improvements in your life. While it might sound trite, focus on learning to love and forgive yourself in order for you to experience the right kind of love. [Read: 12 foolproof ways to stop thinking about your ex]
#4 Be fair to yourself and to others. Once you are out of a relationship, you might find yourself tempted to make yourself available to the next person who comes along. Most people would heal at their own pace, but I would give myself an entire six months before I decide to pursue another relationship.
While some people wouldn’t necessarily go into full dating mode right after their previous relationship has ended, they will start flirting with other people. While it does seem to be doing you some good, it won’t be fair to the other person.
Oftentimes, we would treat the other person as a sort of “Band-Aid” to cover up the damages of the previous relationship. It works as a salve for the biting loneliness, but it never really helps. Be fair to yourself, and be fair to others, as well.
#5 Never think of those moments as wasted time. As you go through the process of moving on, you might find that all those moments you spent with your ex was wasted time. Moments are precious, no matter how long or short the period in time was. Consider them experiences that mold you as a person, and not mistakes that you should try to forget. [Read: 8 most common post-breakup mistakes]
#6 Put aside whatever reminds you of the past. Sometimes, we need to get rid of the things that remind you of the past. Put aside all the letters, the photographs, and the gifts. Place them all in a box, and store them away. If you feel that you have the need to revisit the past, do so. But remember that you should never use these memories and mementos to give yourself false hope about going back to those times.
#7 Reconnect with who you were before the relationship began. We tend to lose a bit of ourselves when we find ourselves to be in the wrong kind of relationship. This means giving up the things you loved to do, hanging out with the people your ex didn’t approve of, or changing who you are to make your ex love you.
Now that your ex is gone, reconnect with who you were before, because you are your own person, and who you dated shouldn’t define who you are. [Read: 10 things you should do to feel better after a breakup]
#8 Focus on the present moment. When you refuse to let go of a past relationship, you’re only holding yourself back. Live in the moment, despite the fears that you might have. The past is now a shadow, and it’s time for you to bask in the light of your freedom. Seize the moment, and use the present to ensure a better future for yourself.
#9 Do not focus on revenge. You might be tempted to cyber stalk your ex or even give into thoughts of revenge. While it might be tempting, it is never healthy to give into thoughts of revenge, because it eats away at your happiness and steals your peace.
If possible, detach yourself from social media for a time, or block your ex on Facebook. Remember that no one wins in the game of revenge. It is juvenile and immature, and it will only do you more harm than good.
#10 Do not maintain a familiar relationship with your ex. While you might be tempted to go back to the past because it was so familiar, you know that it is never the smart thing to do. Once you maintain a close or even sexual relationship with your ex, the old feelings can return and prevent you from moving on, and it can also prevent your ex from moving on.
Trying to stay friends while you’re still not over your ex will only make it harder for you to come to terms that what you once had is now gone. [Read: Is it really possible to just be friends with an ex?]
Moving on is a scary process, because it forces you to be in unfamiliar territory. It tears you from the familiarity of your past and makes you face an uncertain future. Remember this truth: you will find love again, the love that you need and deserve.