Here’s How to Actually Get an Ex Closed
You and your partner have broken up. You agreed, you got your things back, you cried, you grieved — you went through the whole gamut of emotions — and now you want what most people want after a breakup: a breakup.
This is fine. A breakup usually brings with it a lot of “what ifs” and various scenarios where we lose and lose what led to the breakup of the relationship, including what we could have done differently. Whether we were surprised by a breakup or not, many of us are looking for closure so we can finally get clarity from our ex in hopes of moving on.
“ Closing is about accepting and understanding the finality of ending a relationship,” says Saba Haruni Lurie , a licensed family and family therapist. “This is a concept that many aspire to and desire when a relationship ends. Considering how painful it can be to end a relationship, especially when it’s not on your terms, it makes sense that people would follow the idea that you can finally say goodbye to the relationship and walk away from it.”
While it’s common to seek help from your ex after a breakup, this can be a tricky situation for a number of reasons.
“In an ideal world, an ex would offer caring and clear information about why the relationship ended,” says Lurie. “It will take an ex who has insight into their own reactions to the relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes when a relationship ends, your ex may not have the ability or understanding to answer questions in a way that would allow the relationship to end, especially if he is hurting or in self-protective mode.”
But if you want clarity and hopefully peace from your ex – and he’s open to having that conversation with you – here are a few steps you can take to have the final conversation you need.
Get a clear idea of what closure means to you
Since every relationship and every breakup is different, the end of a relationship means something different for everyone. “If you’re hoping to end a relationship with an ex, ask yourself what that would look like,” Lurie explains. “And ask yourself if there’s a chance that talking to your ex could harm you by doing more harm than good. Ask yourself what it takes to finally accept the end of a relationship and move on, and if you can offer that to yourself.”
Sometimes we think we need answers from our ex, when in fact we are looking for answers from ourselves. As Lurie points out, “Be aware that if your partner has ended the relationship, there is a chance that talking to them may not give you the answers and closure you are looking for.”
How to broach the topic of getting closure from an ex
Lurie recommends waiting a while before asking your ex to talk again, as ending a relationship is often a messy and time-consuming process. “You can decide to wait until you feel ready to talk to your ex, or you can express understanding if he’s not ready to talk yet.”
Once you feel it’s time, she suggests getting down to business to find out the reason you reached out.
“You can broach the topic of getting closure by asking if they would be open to discussing the relationship with you, and specifying that you hope to better understand why it didn’t work,” Lurie says.
What to ask your ex during a conversation
If your ex has agreed to talk to you, Lurie suggests asking the following questions, which may help you get the completion you need.
Are you in pain too? “Ideally, if you’re asking this question, you’re not asking it to find a way to get back into the relationship, but to confirm that the feelings you both had in the relationship were important to both of you,” Lurie says. “Knowing that you’re both in pain won’t make the pain go away, but it can provide some comfort through confession.”
Can you help me understand what happened to us? According to Lurie, “If you still don’t understand why the relationship ended, accessing your ex’s perspective on what didn’t work out can help you understand things differently.”
What could I have done differently? What would you like to do differently? “In almost every way, both sides are to blame,” says Lurie. “Asking about what you could do differently, you can consider your own limitations and what you might want to work on for a future relationship, anyway.” At the same time, she adds that the question of what your ex would like them to do differently “hopefully encourages them to take some responsibility and confirm that neither of you is completely responsible for what that the relationship doesn’t work.”
What to do if your ex doesn’t want to talk to you
It is important to be prepared for the fact that your ex may not want to talk to you. In this case, the completion you are looking for must be something you give yourself. To do this, Lurie recommends starting by acknowledging and acknowledging the pain you are experiencing. “Expressing and understanding that you are struggling makes sense given how much you may have invested in the relationship and the nature of its ending,” she says. “Then it can be helpful to think about the relationship and see it from your perspective and from your ex’s perspective. Offer yourself empathy and care and ask yourself how you can respect the relationship and what you need to move on.”
If you allow yourself to truly respect your needs while giving yourself a big dose of self-compassion, you should find the peace you need to move on forever.