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Getting Over a Breakup Without Closure

by Kristina de la Cal, studioD

Regardless of the circumstances or who was at fault, getting over a breakup is no picnic. Many people believe that it’s not possible to move on from a breakup without closure. Do not despair if you find closure particularly elusive, though, because contrary to popular belief, it is absolutely possible to get over a breakup without it.

Closure Defined

Closure is the notion that you need to achieve a sense of finality about a breakup before you can move on. It is a process through which you try to make sense of what went wrong and why it happened so that you can learn from the experience and avoid making the same mistakes in future relationships. There are two main kinds of closure: one that requires input from the ex and one that does not. For those who subscribe to the former, finding closure can get tricky because it depends on cooperation from somebody who may not be willing to play along. The latter, on the other hand, is easier to achieve because it relies solely on a willingness to engage in meaningful private reflection. While achieving a sense of finality about a breakup or understanding the how and why of it all can help, it is not as necessary as you might think.

No Contact

The primary thing you need in order to get over a breakup with or without closure is to eliminate contact with your ex. Remaining friends with your ex after a painful breakup is as useful as pouring salt into an open wound on a regular basis. While removing your ex from your life in every capacity may initially increase the amount of pain you experience, it significantly speeds up the recovery process. Keeping your ex around hinders your ability to successfully move on, making it more likely for you to get stuck in your pain for far longer than necessary. If you truly want to get over the breakup, immediately cut off all ties with your ex. Delete his number from your phone, unfriend him on all of your social networks, and refrain from initiating any contact with him or responding to any attempts he may make to communicate with you. Implementing no contact won’t be easy, but the results will be worth it.

Mourning the Loss

A breakup is a loss -- an often-traumatic one -- and few people recognize the need to mourn a breakup like they might the death of a loved one. Although your ex is still very much alive, the relationship you had with him has died along with the dreams you may have shared together. Your life after the breakup is inevitably changed and you must mourn the loss of what could have been before you can move on to what will be. Take the time to grieve the relationship’s demise and the void in your life that your ex’s presence used to occupy. Expect to take a ride on the emotional roller coaster that inevitably follows major life changes, but don’t forget that every up and down is an opportunity for personal growth and development. Let yourself feel sad or angry for as long as you need to and when the time is right, let yourself feel happy, too. Mourning any loss requires saying goodbye to what once was, learning how to pick up the pieces and moving forward. The beautiful thing about mourning is that it does not require closure in order for it to be useful, but the process itself can lead to a sense of closure.


Seek support from close friends and family members who can help you through your pain. If you fall into a serious depression, consider seeing a professional therapist for help. While it may not be possible to implement no contact if you and your ex have kids together, you can limit all communication so that it relates strictly to issues involving the kids. Do not initiate or entertain communication related to each other or the relationship.

About the Author

Kristina de la Cal is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, “Breaking up without Breaking Down," in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.

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