Rosie On Romance... Closure

There’s a myth about closure. The movies symbolize it with the tossing of a wedding ring or the burning of letters. Self-help books tell you, you must “first define your loose ends, forgive, withdraw and then have a symbolic ceremony.” But really, there is a whiff of scriptedness in any act of supposed closure, in the door-slamming screams of “it’s over” and “I can’t do this anymore.” These ritualistic acts of closure can be performed calmly like deleting his Facebook or email contact or brimming with fury like throwing darts at his picture. But the ironic thing is, whatever you do to bring closure in a relationship, you will still be thinking of him.

I remember hustling by a girl on the way to Harris, and saw her spraying something vigorously on The Rock with tears streaking down her face. When I came out of class, the girl was gone, but instead, I saw the name of a guy, and many profanities directed at him plastered on the boulder. The girl had recently broken up with her boyfriend, and decided to stamp her emotions on the rock, like the epitaph of a gravestone to symbolize the end of her relationship. Clearly she wasn’t thinking about him anymore.

Closure has come to be accepted as a necessity. Without melodramatically spewing collections of great lines, without mentally filing our emotions, we are supposed to find our lives completely stagnant. But in reality, nobody hinders our drive to move forward but ourselves. We blame our inability to move forward on not tying up our lose ends. We tell ourselves, “okay, I’ll cut out his pictures and burn his clothes and then I’ll be able to move on.” In truth, perhaps we cling to these rites as an excuse for refusing to simply let the relationship pass. Having packed up every stuffed animal he gave us, we eventually realize that the only thing that brings about any meaningful end to things is time. There are no bells and whistles, no mournful soundtrack in the background, and it sucks, but closure mostly happens without you even noticing it.

It’s going through the day without giving him or her a single thought, going to the same restaurant and listening to “your” song without a hint of bitterness or hurt. In the end you really do just forget about the smell of his deodorant, or his inarticulate grunts. Eventually when you speak to him again, you will possess the calmness and apathy you might have speaking to a stranger. You do not see him as the person he was but as the person he now is. Closure is being able to look at him in the eye and know you no longer hold any feelings towards them, whether it’s the waves of nostalgia or the sting of contempt.