How to Move on with No Closure

by Sarah Casimong

You hear people say that in order to move on from a relationship, you must get closure from your ex. Having answers to your questions can help you in the grieving process, but sometimes you don’t have the luxury of getting the closure you want. Although it may be harder to move on with unanswered questions, it is not impossible.

Closure from Within

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “closure” as the ending of a period of emotional distress. Although some people believe that speaking to an ex is essential to getting closure following a breakup, that is not necessarily true. “Closure comes from inside of you,” says Susan J. Elliott in her book “Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss Into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You.”


Because you’re not getting answers from your ex, the best thing you can do is get answers from yourself. Laura Bradley, therapist and clinical director of Steadfast Counselling, suggests that you look back on the relationship and ask yourself some questions: What did I do in the relationship that worked and what didn’t? Ask yourself what part you played in the breakdown of the relationship. By asking questions about the relationship, you can use your own answers to learn more about yourself and to open yourself up to a better relationship the next time.

Write a Letter

If you’re not in the position to speak to your ex, sometimes the best way to communicate is through a letter -- one that you’ll never send. Bradley suggests writing a letter to your ex with all your questions and all the things you wish you could say. After you’ve written down your thoughts, tear up or burn the letter. “That’s a way of letting go after you let it all out,” she says.

The Future

Another way of moving on is to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past. Bradley encourages you to plan for the future, create goals and think about positive times ahead. Now that you have a blank canvas, what do you want to do with your life? She encourages writing down goals or making a collage to express your values in life. By putting your focus on a goal, you are moving forward. Ask yourself: What do I want to happen in the next 5 or 10 years? Put a list on your fridge to show what you’re working toward, Bradley advises.


About the Author

Sarah Casimong is a Vancouver-based writer with a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She writes articles on relationships, entertainment and health. Her work can be found in the "Vancouver Observer", "Her Campus" and "Cave Magazine".

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images