accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Is there such a thing as closure?

Hello everyone! I’m taking a quick business trip, so we have a guest blogger today.  Her name is Molly and she is no stranger to Atlanta. I hope you welcome her and I will check in later today!

Closure. We ALL know the word. Oh yes, we know it well. Everyone has felt the need for it, felt called to provide it or tried to prevent it altogether at some point in their life.  In love and relationships, why is closure such a staple at the end? If we or our partner has already decided our relationship should be over or is on it’s way out the door, does it truly provide the calming of internal conflict individuals seek to gain from it?

Closure by it’s mere definition is the act of closing or the condition of being closed. At best, the idea of closure can only be described as redundant. Some may argue that we are emotional beings and a feeling of closure lends it’s sensibilities to our softer side. It’s a matter of respect, some say. But as adults in relationships, when someone makes a decision to walk away or begins acting obtuse and merely falling out of the picture with no explanation, isn’t that explanation enough?

Do we not consider just respecting their actions, or our own, and calling it a day? What within each of us yearns for a detailed explanation as to why? And what, in others, causes a complete avoidance for any explanation at all?

Is there really such a thing as closure? Is the idea of closure just a last ditch attempt at changing the mind of the person you’re with or, at the very least, changing gears on the road to the end? Does talking about the end ever truly change the end?

By Guest Blogger, Molly for Misadventures in Atlanta Blog

388 comments Add your comment

COME ON NOW

March 22nd, 2011
7:25 am

Good morning,

Women are more apt to ask for/need closure in relationships. I think a lot of times it’s a last ditch effort to try to change the SO’s mind about their decision to call it off. But I have learned that the closure is that the relationship is over. Men don’t believe in all that closure crap. If you pressure a man into trying to give you the REAL reason why you’re breaking up, 9 times out of 10 it’s NOT going to be the truth. It’s either going to be something they tell you so as not to hurt your feelings or something that justifies their reason for breaking things off making them look like they are without fault. Whatever it is, in many cases it just leaves you more confused. I don’t know if you ever get the answer you really want so why even go through the drama of asking? If a man breaks up with me, for whatever reason, I’m not asking him to explain to me why and I’m not begging him to stay either. It’s a done deal. I’ll reflect on the relationship, evaluate my role in it and move on. That’s all the closure I need.

Deb

March 22nd, 2011
7:31 am

Ok Molly…..I read your blog hoping for some great, wise answer to offer my son who recently had his heart broken by a girl. For 6 weeks it was perfect (her words) and she suddenly decided it wasn’t what she wanted. With a phone call and no “real” explanation (something lame like “we are to much alike”) she dumped him with a “we can be friends but this just won’t work” and hung up. She was his FIRST girlfriend but she had dated 15 + guys so was used to swapping up on a whim. She would NOT talk to him at all. Fast forward six months and he still pines for “closure”. He THINKS if she would have just given him a better explanation he could have healed. I agree with you if he would have GOTTEN that longer talk that it would have been precisely an “attempt to change her mind” which had already been made up. She did it the way she did to avoid the drama of THAT conversation. He has been left floundering and doubtful that he will ever trust love again. For him, it’s not worth the pain. Obviously “closure” is going to be just an opinion in this blog with no REAL answers. Let me suggest that now-a-days ALL relationships jump to “serious” WAY TO FAST and somebody is going to get hurt. It has become the norm to have two or three dates (IF THAT), have sex and ah oh… I really don’t like you, and out. Tenderhearted romantics (like my son) are the ones who get hurt. Slow down people.

Aaron Neville

March 22nd, 2011
8:00 am

Okay, so your heart is broken
You sit around mopin’
Cryin’ and cryin’
You say you`re even thinkin’ about dyin’
Well, before you do anything rash, dig this

Everybody plays the fool sometime
There’s no exception to the rule
Listen, baby, it may be factual, may be cruel
I ain’t lyin’, everybody plays the fool
Falling in love is such an easy thing to do
And there’s no guarantee that the one you love
Is gonna love you

Oh-oh-oh, lovin’ eyes they cannot see
A certain person could never be
Love runs deeper than any ocean
You can cloud your mind with emotion

Everybody plays the fool, sometime
There’s no exception to the rule
Listen, baby, it may be factual, may be cruel
I want to tell ya
Everybody plays the fool

How can you help it when the music starts to play
And your ability to reason is swept away
Oh-oh-oh, heaven on earth is all you see
You’re out of touch with reality
And now you cry but when you do
Next time around someone cries for you

Everybody plays the fool, sometime
They use your heart like a tool
Listen, baby, they never tell you so in school
I want to say it again
Everybody plays the fool
Listen to me, baby
Everybody plays the fool, sometime
Everybody plays the fool
There’s no exception to the rule
It may be factual, may be cruel, sometime
But everybody plays the fool
Listen, listen, baby
Everybody plays the fool

Geechee

March 22nd, 2011
8:07 am

Unfortunately, the true is that the Breaker doesn’t want closure and the Breakee does. I have been on both sides and understand this quite well. Deb: As you said, the Breaker wants “to avoid the drama of THAT conversation”. Unfortunately, for you son and all who have had their hearts broken, this is how it goes most of the time.

Randyt (aka Been There, Done That, Got a Closet FULL of T-Shirts)

March 22nd, 2011
8:14 am

Not sure there is ever total closure when deep emotions were present…or at least not quickly.

Being realistic, the closure usually is an issue of the “dumpee”, not the “dumper”, and that forces all of us to look at why we didn’t make the grade, what he/she has that we didn’t offer. Unfortunately logic and rationality have NOTHING to do with emotions and even if one can think of hundreds of logical reasons for it ending, it is still rejection and that is always hard to deal with. Does closure come, yes, with time. You know you have closure when the person or subject or even the ending comes up in a thought or a discussion and you suddenly realize that you have no feelings at all, good or bad…it doesn’t hit a nerve ending anymore. Then you have total closure. But it takes time.

the easter bunny

March 22nd, 2011
8:15 am

That is a great question. I really like it. Yes it is very important to have closure and walking away from the over with relationship. That way one is ready for a new and more fullfilling relationship. When there is no closure the preceding affair or whatever interjects itself into the new relationship or if there is no new relationship, it still effects day to day activities. Domestic violence is the result of incomplete closure. I could always tell when I was out with a married woman [although seperated] whether there was closure. When they started talking about what a lazy, dirty, no good bum their husband was, I knew there was no closure. Of course I always thought that was good, because I was going to move along anyway. I considered myself a “bridge” for them from a previous ruinous relationship to a knew and more rewarding one.

IN DENIAL

March 22nd, 2011
8:27 am

The only closure there can be is realizing that as imperfect humans, we cannot help how we feel about someone. The closer feels that they want something or someone else. The closee still feels that he/she wants the closer. They just can’t change their feelings as easily as turning on a light switch. The closee can be mad, sad or confused as to the reasons they got or didn’t get but they need to understand that they don’t have the right to say the closer is wrong for wanting to live their life the way they choose to. Truly believing that will get you through the hurt and give you all the closure you need.

Wyemciyeigh

March 22nd, 2011
8:37 am

There is no such thing as “closure” – it’s just a touchy-feely, psychobabble word for something that doesn’t exist. Recovering from a loss is a gradual process – it takes a long time, ebbs and flows, and does not have a defined end or “closure”.

Sweet Pea

March 22nd, 2011
8:44 am

Good Morning,

@Deb~Let me suggest that now-a-days ALL relationships jump to “serious” WAY TO FAST and somebody is going to get hurt. It has become the norm to have two or three dates (IF THAT), have sex and ah oh… I really don’t like you, and out…..Yeah those microwave relationships seem to have ulterior motives which leaves someone bruised when the true reasons aren’t stated initially. Patience and time in getting to know someone will reveal the real reasons.

I agree that closure is important, however I have found that some folks have a problem with being honest in sharing the real reason for parting ways which is a coward act…IMO Perhaps they don’t want to hurt your feelings, reveal they are the ones with the issues, or whatever the case maybe like the saying goes…time heals all wounds and perhaps if someone disappear without an explanation on their part then look at it as a plus! If they told you something to part ways as CON mentioned, it probably wouldn’t be true anyways. Life is too short to overanalyze why someone didn’t say this or that to put the nail in the coffin! Charge it to the game of life as life happens!

Dawn Is On The Horizon!

March 22nd, 2011
8:47 am

@ Aaron Neville….You are crazy!!! Thanks for reminding me that there is truth in most songs.

MC Hammock

March 22nd, 2011
8:50 am

Absolutely, I can get closure. As soon as I say “I’m done” and walk out the door, I have closure. Time to get back in the game and throw a few passes. WINNING!

DC

March 22nd, 2011
8:53 am

If there isn’t any closure, I put it in her butt. Works every time.

G

March 22nd, 2011
8:55 am

The dumpee is the one that needs closure. The dumper has already moved on. Closure is about moving on in time. Also, it’s not about the dumper giving you closure. They’ve given you the situation of breaking up, and you are forced to deal with it. How you deal with the breakup brings you to closure. Some people never get proper closure and continue to contribute to more “disfunctional/unsuccessful” relationships.

Leggs

March 22nd, 2011
9:07 am

Good morning.

Closure helps one to move on. To sit around pining and wondering WTH happened immobilizes a person. It’s hard to get up and dust yourself off wondering why this person no longer wants to be with you. You find yourself staring in the mirror picking yourself apart. Closure simply helps one heal.

Grow Up Please

March 22nd, 2011
9:09 am

People that have an extreme problem of dealing with closure are 1) too invested in that person providing them with security or sanctuary, 2) too emotionally unstable or 3) a sixteen year old (or a mental capacity of one). The issue has been stated and you can mourn it…for a certain period of time. These people that “can’t” go out on dates of have fun with other partners six months to a year afterwards have WAY too much baggage or emotional cripples. Pull yourself on by your boot straps, lace ‘em on tight and get back to life. There has never been a person that has gone through life and met someone that “they thought they couldn’t live without”. It ends and they do. Grow up.

Lady ~Rockin' It~

March 22nd, 2011
9:35 am

I’ve since went to a new level with this concept as once upon a time i demanded closure…here lately its not needed @ all…..seriously I see the side of moving on without looking back or even questioning why….when its over its over right @ that point……Keep it moving humbly! :) Happy Tuesday!

Chink

March 22nd, 2011
9:35 am

I don’t think closure means the other person will try to “un break” a break up..it just means sometimes you have invested time/resources/emotions in a relationship and you just want to know what was going on behind the scenes…its just plain respect.

Thats funny if you invested in the stock market and one of the stocks go down you wouldnt want to know why …you will just chalk it up??

Once you invested in a relationship its not as easy as “deuces” sometimes you do need closure depending on how much time, etc has been invested.

If its just a 3-6 month fling not necessarily ..but once it gets serious I think its only right for closure.

Lady ~Rockin' It~

March 22nd, 2011
9:39 am

Speaking of which from The Bert Show, You’re fiance/fiancee backs out the engagement a week before the wedding and 3 years later, they realize it was a mistake & want you back. Would you give them another chance or tell them to keep moving? #interesting………. ;)

DreamsMaterialize "Free Me-Lo"

March 22nd, 2011
9:40 am

I don’t need closure. If you say you don’t want to be with me or you disappear altogether, that’s all the closure I need. I’m a big boy, I’ll deal with it.

knockoutblonde

March 22nd, 2011
9:42 am

Good morning everyone. Been a few days on the road for business and taking the morning off. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

On topic, I’m on the fence about it. I would like closure or a reason for it, but it’s not necessary. If I or my partner decide to part ways, that’s just the way it is. We may state the reasons why, but will it make any difference? Once you get to the breakup stage, the song has already been sung and the words may make whatever hurt only get worse. I don’t need that. I say my goodbyes and start over. Hopefully, we can part amicably.

COME ON NOW

March 22nd, 2011
9:43 am

Chink-

Respect or not, wanting someone to give you closure is NEVER going to work. You’re not going to be satisfied with the response you get and you’re not going to get a truthful one. Only you can give yourself closure…whatever that means to you. But this whole wanting/needing someone else to give you closure is for the birds.

knockoutblonde

March 22nd, 2011
9:45 am

@Lady, no. After three years, their place will have already been taken and my feelings will have been long gone. If someone hangs on after that long, I just think that’s wierd or that that prson couldn’t find someone else, so they returned to the scene of the crime.

knockoutblonde

March 22nd, 2011
9:49 am

@come on now, I agree with you 100%. The other person doesn’t give you closure, you do. The reason’s are never what it really is. It could be that you’ve gotten boring, become fat or that you don’t have your full attention on the ball. Complacience and indifference are usually the main culprits or they are at least standing hand in hand with some other reasons. I’vebroken up with partners for a variety of reasons, some very real and others that some people think are shallow. But when the feeling is gone, it’s gone. Doesn’t matter what the reasons are.

DreamsMaterialize "Free Me-Lo"

March 22nd, 2011
9:49 am

Thats funny if you invested in the stock market and one of the stocks go down you wouldnt want to know why …you will just chalk it up??
chink One of the most common mistakes in investing is not cashing out when you stocks first start falling. People wait, hoping the stock will eventually rebound…usually doesn’t. By the time they finally sell, their stock is close to worthless. Get out early.

If its just a 3-6 month fling not necessarily ..but once it gets serious I think its only right for closure.
chink If you’ve been in a relationship for an extended period of time, you’re probably well aware of the issues in your relationship, and they probably been addressed, discussed, or argued about several times. Often relationships are over way before the breakup. The breakup is just the culmination of all the issues we both know are there. That IS the closure. What else is needed?

Leggs

March 22nd, 2011
9:51 am

If any of you watched Basketball Wives, Tammi finally got her “closure” when her ex finally admitted he did her wrong and apologized. It was important for her to hear that (even years later). Some people need closure, some can simply bounce never to look back. It’s that simple.

Molly (MTF)

March 22nd, 2011
9:53 am

Thanks for such a great start to the comments! I agree with everyone here in the sense that closure is a variable in all relationships and sometimes, against our more practical mind, we seek it for purely emotional reasons. We are human after all! I also beg the question, ultimately, doesn’t closure come from within yourself? Nothing anyone ELSE does or says can really provide healing, right? That is done from within one’s OWN being and takes time and a conscious effort. What do you guys think?

Chink

March 22nd, 2011
9:55 am

COME ON NOW

You know what you are right…I never thought about it that way. I thought I would never get the truth but I didnt realize I was giving the other person that much power over the break up…by needing some form of closure.

COME ON NOW

March 22nd, 2011
9:56 am

Leggs-But look how long she had to wait for this “closure”. She’s been carrying around that crap for all these years and you know that it has affected every relationship she’s been in since then. I’m sorry but that just doesn’t make sense to me. Giving someone all that power over you, having someone basically dictating when YOU can move on. I feel for her cuz I could see her pain but I just think it’s dumb.

Molly (MTF)

March 22nd, 2011
9:56 am

@Deb-I’m sorry your son’s heart has been broken! Young love is so shaping of what our future relationships come to be. I’ll hope a cute lil’ lady comes his way soon and wipes the slate clean.

@AaronNeville-Thank you for the soundtrack to this post. We couldn’t have done it without you.

@IN DENIAL-Really valid points!

@DC-Never thought of that lil’ trick. Way to think outside the box! (Women, don’t date him)

@Grow Up Please-I agree that dwelling on a facet of closure from an old relationship for too long eventually becomes a crutch for not moving on, as well.

@Chink Good points from the other side of the fence.

Chink

March 22nd, 2011
9:59 am

By the way closure was not healing for me but more of the other party admitting their part in the demise …like leggs said.

But such is life…I get it.

Randyt (aka Been There, Done That, Got a Closet FULL of T-Shirts)

March 22nd, 2011
10:00 am

When I got married, my uncle told me that Iwas tying a knot with my mouth that both hands and both feet would have a hard time untying. Very true. Ultimately we all have to be responsible for our own feelings. No one has or should hae the power to make us happy, sad, suicidal, or whatever…we control our feelings. So closure is somewhat of a myth, we just eventually decide to recognize that life is better with the other finally out of sight in the rear view mirror. We say, “debt cancelled, you don’t owe me and I don’t owe you anymore”.

DreamsMaterialize "Free Me-Lo"

March 22nd, 2011
10:01 am

But look how long she had to wait for this “closure”.
COME Agreed. If someone does you wrong, what more closure is there than the fact that they did you wrong?

Leggs

March 22nd, 2011
10:01 am

@C.O.N ~ she consciously chose to carry that around with her. I couldn’t have done it. You’re absolutely correct!! I couldn’t give anyone that much power over me and my emotions.

Randyt (aka Been There, Done That, Got a Closet FULL of T-Shirts)

March 22nd, 2011
10:02 am

…and the as has been said, “the best revenge is to live well”.

Randyt (aka Been There, Done That, Got a Closet FULL of T-Shirts)

March 22nd, 2011
10:02 am

(dayum typos)

Leggs

March 22nd, 2011
10:05 am

“crutch”…that’s exactly it. People need something to validate why they can’t or won’t move on. It’s a fallacy to believe another dictates how and when you should move on.

COME ON NOW

March 22nd, 2011
10:08 am

Leggs- Yes I think people just want to hear someone else admit to something. They want to be validated in some way. It’s human nature. But life ain’t fair and we don’t get everything we want so you just gotta let go and let flow.

abc

March 22nd, 2011
10:16 am

The one that does the dumping already has so-called closure: they’re done. They can rationalize ’til the cows come home about it, justifying themselves, but why bother? It’s over for them and they’ve moved on.

The one that gets dumped is left to grapple with it. So-called closure is nothing more than acceptance, at least, and being able to rationalize it for themselves at best. Chicks are more likely to have problems with this than men, but it’s not as if men are immune. I’ve had to deal with it before.

Leggs

March 22nd, 2011
10:16 am

@Molly ~ thanks for the topic and welcome onboard!

Randyt (aka Been There, Done That, Got a Closet FULL of T-Shirts)

March 22nd, 2011
10:18 am

When someone dumps you, the only thing that one has or needs to recognize is that that person doesn’t WANT you. Reasons are academic. Do an “exit meeting” with YOURSELF, try to be objective about what you could do better or different in the future…and don’t waste your time thinking about what the other did to wrong you. They don’t care and neither should you because it has already been written in the history book and cannot be changed.

Dan - Simply....Superior

March 22nd, 2011
10:18 am

@Dreams

“That IS the closure. What else is needed?”

By the time you’re seeking “closure” from the other person, you’re looking for validation that it’s not your fault.

The hardest thing to do is admit a personal failing/failure, accept the limitations that the failure imposes, and continue on with your life.

Few people want to accept that they “different”; when in reality, we all are. And that’s okay.

kimmie

March 22nd, 2011
10:18 am

But life ain’t fair and we don’t get everything we want so you just gotta let go and let flow.

This sums it all up for me. When I was much younger, I thought a guy “owed” me an explaination. When I got older, I realized him not wanting me was explaination enough. I really don’t care, because unless it’s something I specifically did that he just can’t get past, his opinion at that moment means nothing to me. Like to him I may have gotten fat,but to the next dude I’m fine and just right! Or he just may not be into me anymore – I’m fine with that too! I’m into the one that’s into me.

Now sure it hurts if I really care and the guy dumps me. But the sooner I move on and put him past the rearview mirror, the better!

Oh, Good Morning Gang!

Purple Rain

March 22nd, 2011
10:27 am

Closure is for the weak or those with self esteem issues. If it’s over it’s over. No need for closures or the excuses brought forth during those conversations. If closure is a ploy for a last romp or to try and change that other persons mind…why not just be straight forward. Or better yet why not have the “closure” conversation at the same time the two people involved decided that they were no more. In the past when asked for closure…well I’ve never responded….Now that’s certified closure for you. LOL

Leggs

March 22nd, 2011
10:27 am

I like that —> “do an exit meeting with yourself.” That’s exactly what I do, but never labeled it. Thanks.

Leggs

March 22nd, 2011
10:29 am

I got a text this morning saying “good morning, I miss you and could use a good hug from you.” Closure for me is not responding!! Like PR so eloquently stated.

Purple Rain

March 22nd, 2011
10:31 am

Leggs, life can be so simple if we choose it. LOL

Hello Molly :)

Randyt (aka Been There, Done That, Got a Closet FULL of T-Shirts)

March 22nd, 2011
10:34 am

Another thing that I finally figured out after a relational loss was that it is easy to confuse “losing someone” with “failing at the relationship”. I eventually realized that I was not missing that person, I was dealing with what I perceived as a failure (Ieffing hate to fail), i.e. marriage, LTR, whatever.

knockoutblonde

March 22nd, 2011
10:35 am

Sorry, in the middle of getting dressed for work. Closure, I think, is overstated. I agree with the other posters, if I don’t want you anymore or you don’t want me anymore, does there really need to be an explanation? The explanation has JUST BEEN GIVEN! It happens and will happen again. The problem is when people can’t let go and they return (or try to return) to the same old situation fret with the same old problems. That’s not “needing closure”. That’s :needing to return to the familiar”.

Purple Rain

March 22nd, 2011
10:37 am

Also some people turn to hate/rage or revenge. Which is also a weakness and a way to keep that person in your life……avoiding closure.

Purple Rain

March 22nd, 2011
10:38 am

knockoutblonde, you get dressed for work @1030 EST?