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Sex + Relationships

How to Move Forward Even if You Can’t Have Closure

When you go through a breakup, it often comes with a conversation that, hopefully, answers any lingering questions and provides both parties with a, more-or-less, satisfying end to the relationship. 

But sometimes, this kind of distinct closure is not possible. Maybe you’ve been ghosted, with no way to contact them. They might indulge your need for a conversation, but not give you answers. You could have been cheated on and do not want to have any more interaction with your former significant other. 

We typically think of closure as getting answers from another person in order for us to move on. Sometimes without it, we may dwell on the past and the “what ifs” and feel that if only we had a reply, we could get over the person. 

It is possible to move forward without that final say from your partner. Cutting off communication is a good way to start off to take your mind off of them. You can drive yourself crazy trying to get communication out of someone, but the reality is that the relationship is over for a reason and to truly get over someone, you need to stop contacting them.

Moving forward can also come through re-directing the energy you might spend re-hashing the breakup into improving your own well-being. Invest in yourself through pampering yourself physically, trying something new that you’ve been holding back from, or forming new healthy routines that you now have more time for. 

Of course, give yourself grace throughout the whole period. Breakups are taxing, and you’ll likely need extra support. Enlist your friends to go out and make your own memories, both to get yourself out of a potential rut and to be reminded of how much fun you can have on your own. 

Throughout the process, take a few moments to jot down your feelings, or journal extensively about how you are doing. When you look back on your earlier entries after making some progress, you will see how far you have come.

In having to go through this myself this past year, I over time found my own closure: no longer needing it from someone else. I took power back over my own feelings. Throughout the process, I learned how to live without relying on a romantic partner, including in the breakup itself. 

Breakups are inevitably hard, but without closure, they may be even tougher to heal from. Rely on your friends and family, take care of yourself, and trust the process. Time will help, and you will get through this. 

Emi Nishida

Cal Poly '24

Emi Nishida is a second year English major and Child Development minor from Irvine, California and an editor for Cal Poly’s chapter of Her Campus. Other than writing, her passions include concerts, romcoms, anything arts & crafts, and exploring the outdoors. Post-grad, she plans to pursue a masters in Education or Communication Disorders.
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