You’ll Never Move On Without Closure—Here’s Why

The breakup itself is only the first step of many to actually move on from your ex. Next comes closure before your healing process can truly begin. Closure is not only a goodbye that seals in the breakup, but an opportunity for both of you to speak what’s on your mind one last time.

It’s the only way to feel like you have the tools, answers, and words you need to move forward.

The Meaning Of “Need For Closure”

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Photo Credit: Jose Fontano / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Jose Fontano / Unsplash

Here’s a fun fact for you. The phrase “need for closure” gained popularity in the 1990s when it was coined by social psychologist Arie Kruglanski.

He used the phrase to explain the need to understand a decision on a specific topic through answers that will ease confusion and ambiguity.

You’ll Always Wonder Why

woman looking away without a shirt on
Photo Credit: Ava Sol / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Ava Sol / Unsplash

If we were to put all the reasons closure is important under one big umbrella, it would be to try and understand the “why.” This is the question that immediately pops into your head as the breakup happens and the one that sits with you for days and nights after.

You’ll lose sleep going over every moment you shared, wondering why it all led to this.

You’ll Avoid Future Relationships

woman in a dress on a bike
Photo Credit: Blubel / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Blubel / Unsplash

A lack of closure can turn you off of relationships altogether. It leaves a void within you that you feel like you can’t fill yourself. The lack of understanding creates fear.

If you can’t understand what went wrong or how to move on from it, then you won’t allow yourself to expose yourself to it again.

You’ll Make The Same Mistakes

man looks confused crunching his forehead with his hands
Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

Since you don’t exactly know what went wrong or how you allowed it to happen, you won’t know how to avoid it. You won’t be able to break the cycle if you don’t know what habits you want to break in the first place.

You might even attract the same kind of person, hoping that somehow the similarities will finally give you that closure.

You’ll Feel Like There’s Still A Chance

woman praying in a park for hope
Photo Credit: Ben White / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Ben White / Unsplash

Without closure, it doesn’t really feel like it’s over. In fact, some people avoid closure because they’re not ready to fully let go. This leaves you feeling like they might come back one day and you’ll pick up where you left off.

You might think they just needed space and that when you do reunite, it won’t be to say goodbye.

You Won’t Forgive Yourself

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Photo Credit: Dev Asangbam / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Dev Asangbam / Unsplash

It’s sad to admit, but we often need their validation to clear our own conscience. You need them to tell you that it wasn’t your fault, and you couldn’t have fixed it.

Without answers, you’ll end up blaming yourself, either for what you think you did wrong or for missing your signs. You’ll carry guilt because of your assumptions.

You Avoid The Pain…So It Doesn’t Pass

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Photo Credit: Courtney Cook / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Courtney Cook / Unsplash

You don’t understand why the relationship ended or how they could leave you without answers. This is quite painful.

When the pain is too overwhelming and you can’t even make sense of it, your mind will look for a way out, and it’ll avoid it on the surface, knowing that it’s still there somewhere.

You Lose Your Faith In Love

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Photo Credit: Gemma Chua Tran / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Gemma Chua Tran / Unsplash

You’re not sure whether you were getting played from the beginning. You ask yourself if any of it was even real. You don’t know exactly, so you imagine the worst-case scenario.

Keeping closure from you is a selfish act, which negatively taints love for you. You trusted this person with your heart and they broke it. That’s not a risk you can take again if you don’t understand why they did it.

You’re Still Exposed To Them Online

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Photo Credit: Jakob Owens / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Jakob Owens / Unsplash

Without closure, you look for any means to get an answer and to hold onto a piece of them. You won’t be able to block their social media profiles because maybe they hold some sort of clue that will tie up all the loose ends.

You’ll spend hours checking their posts, looking for your answers.

You’ll Want What You Can’t Have

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Photo Credit: Clay Banks / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Clay Banks / Unsplash

If the closure is denied to you purposely, your brain will, ironically, confuse your need for closure with the feeling of still missing that person.

You might end up wanting someone who you know is bad for you, simply because withholding closure still gives them sort of power over you.

It Holds A Piece Of Your Identity

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Photo Credit: Vince Fleming / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Vince Fleming / Unsplash

Relationships mark us as they help us learn about who we are, our needs, and what we look for. They teach us about how we interact with others.

That’s the reason we get better at choosing partners as we age. When this process is shaken up, we can lose a part of ourselves that we now think wasn’t good enough.

It Disturbs Order And Predictability

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Photo Credit: Keren Levand / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Keren Levand / Unsplash

The less ambiguity you have, the more order you feel in your life. The predictability of knowing how what happened affects the rest and gives you security.

Even those who are open-minded need some kind of order to cope with the everyday.

It Makes You Feel Like You Have No Control

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Photo Credit: Kira Auf Der Heide / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Kira Auf Der Heide / Unsplash

We thrive on control. Just like with predictability, the more control we feel like we have, the more confidence we feel in our decisions.

When our ability to control things is taken away, it can play out in all aspects of our lives. You start by losing control in your love life, but then you start to feel its loss in everything from your career to your workout routine.

It Puts Your Life On Hold

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Photo Credit: Bruno Emmanuelle / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Bruno Emmanuelle / Unsplash

You will struggle with prioritizing the right away. The pain from the lack of understanding and closure can be so overwhelming that it takes over your every thought.

You can lose sleep trying to put the pieces together, and delay tasks to wallow as you’re not able to get through the pain.

You Lose Trust In Yourself

woman resting her hands on her chest
Photo Credit: Giulia Bertelli / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Giulia Bertelli / Unsplash

You start to question your own judgment. Since you can’t make sense of the pieces you were left with, you fear the situation will repeat itself.

You worry that you did this to yourself and that you could do it again. Your self-esteem and self-worth take a hit until you can free yourself of the constant questioning.

It Avoids Accountability

woman holding ice cream cone at shop
Photo Credit: Harry Cunningham / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Harry Cunningham / Unsplash

You might be scratching your head as to why they won’t just give you the closure you need. Rest assured, it likely has nothing to do with you. It’s often because they don’t want to feel guilty, criticized, or rejected themselves.

The vaguer they are, the less you can hold them accountable.

Not Everyone Needs Closure

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Photo Credit: Luis Galvez / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Luis Galvez / Unsplash

Before you fuel yourself with anger because how dare they withhold this closure from you, remember that not everyone needs closure.

Some people need answers and logical reasons to explain the world around them, while others simply go with the flow and have an easier time with acceptance and adaptability. Some even avoid closure to protect themselves.

They Already Have Their Closure

couple standing in front of big window holding hands
Photo Credit: A L FF / Unsplash
Photo Credit: A L FF / Unsplash

On the other hand, your ex might not even be aware of your need for closure because they don’t feel like they need it. If they were the ones who decided to end the relationship, that means they have already accepted it and have their own reasons why.

It’s sometimes hard to realize how much more sudden it feels for you.

Closure Can Be Unattainable

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Photo Credit: Marc Olivier Jodoin / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Marc Olivier Jodoin / Unsplash

Think of closure like a puzzle. You try to put all the pieces together until they make sense. You don’t actually feel closure until all the puzzle pieces are assembled to your satisfaction.

The only issue is, you don’t always find those puzzle pieces, or you get them and they simply don’t fit.

You May Be The Only Person To Give Yourself Closure

woman laying by the phone in sadness (black and white photo)
Photo Credit: Anthony Tran / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Anthony Tran / Unsplash

Just because we’re saying that you can’t move on without closure, that doesn’t mean that closure only lies in someone else’s hands.

At the end of the day, closure is your ability to make peace with the decision. That means as long as you accept that it was for the best despite how or why it happened, you can get past it.