Closure is a way of moving on after a breakup. Your ex-girlfriend may be wondering why you ended the relationship if you didn't give her a reason, suggests the article, "Getting Closure After a Breakup" for the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. Perhaps you were all too clear about your reasons for ending things, and she is now feeling angry or insecure. Closure may also be beneficial for the person who initiated the split, according to the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center.
She Wants to Talk
Your ex-girlfriend may want to involve you in the closure process to gain an insight into why you believe the relationship didn't work out. Talking about your relationship -- what the National Healthy Marriage Center calls an "exit interview" -- may help you both to move on. If your relationship ends without any real discussion, important issues may remain unresolved and cause problems in future relationships, warns Lauren Suval in the "Psych Central" article, "Finding Closure." Try to focus on the positive aspects of your relationship, suggests Suval. Bringing up old grievances won't help. The relationship is over, and neither of you can say or do anything to change what happened in the past. Thank each other for the good times you shared, and wish each other luck in the future.
You've Got Mail
If you're not willing to meet your ex-girlfriend in person, perhaps because you initiated the split, she needs to find another way to get closure. By writing you a final goodbye letter, she can reveal how she feels without holding anything back, says Suval. However, don't expect it to arrive in your mailbox anytime soon. According to Suval, this type of letter is not meant to be sent. After your ex has written the letter and released all her pent-up emotions, she may shred it, burn it, or store it in a private place.
It's Goodbye -- for Good
Perhaps your relationship ended amicably and you have been meeting up as friends since the split. If your ex girlfriend feels that this is stopping her from moving on, she may want to cut all ties with you. Some couples can remain friends, even if one or both of them begins a new relationship. For other people though, this is simply too difficult. To truly let go, your ex may ask you to stop contacting her. Respect her wishes, no matter how much you want to keep in touch. It's up to her to decide what she has to do to achieve closure, says psychiatrist Abigail Brenner in the article, "5 Ways to Find Closure From the Past," for "Psychology Today."
You Both Need to Move On
Perhaps your girlfriend thinks you both need closure. You may have expressed doubts over your decision to end the relationship, or tried to persuade her to get back together. Telling you she needs closure is a clear sign that she wants to move on, suggests Brenner. Simple steps you can take to help you get closure include focusing on the positive aspects of your life, spending time with people who make you feel secure, loved and valued, and concentrating on what makes you happy rather than what pleases others, says Brenner. Make a list of things that need improvement in your life, suggests Brenner, then write down what steps you need to take to make those changes for the better. For example, if you feel out of shape, you could commit to joining a gym and cutting junk food out of your diet. If you are dissatisfied with your current job, look into training opportunities to improve your career prospects. The better you feel about yourself -- both mentally and physically -- the easier it will be to move on from the relationship.
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C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."
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