Lately I’ve been exploring the subject of closure. Everyone talks about closure; needing it, wanting it, looking for it, etc.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had a girl friend go to see an ex that “did her dirty” using the closure excuse. They all say the same thing, “I know I shouldn’t give him the time of day but– I really need closure.” I just always assumed that I was missing something because closure didn’t make sense to me, but when I tried to find closure with a guy from my past it was a HUGE disappointment.
In sharing that story last week, I said “…the truth may be that people hurt people… and then they move on! Maybe we should move on too.” One reader (@missmeandi) responded to that statement: As you said, people hurt people and then they move on. Sometimes, an apology is just an excuse for bad behavior that had no real meaning in the first place. I’d rather not be placated with an empty apology. In the end the why of a break-up isn’t even really important, once you’ve moved on. The way one handles the break-up is the only thing that matters. At least, that’s how I feel about it. (Now, my answer is completely different if the break-up DOESN’T REALLY HAPPEN but the couple kinda just stopped talking to one another. LOL Somebody got some ‘splaining’ to do!)
Oh @MissMeandi, I think you may have just called me out! As much as I try to analyze myself, I almost started to research if this was one of the topics of study in online psychology classes.There are two sides to every search for closure and a few months ago, I found someone looking for closure… from me. Let me explain:
Rewind to 2 years ago, I was in California for Christmas talking to Grant, who I affectionately referred to as my “gay husband”. The title was more than applicable in many ways. Grant took care of me during bad times, visited me at my thankless job with a funny joke or a soy-mocha, was my +1 for everything and I truly loved him. One year when all of my friends bailed on me during a move, I called Grant in tears and he left his summer class at Columbia to come and schlep boxes with me. He was the perfect boyfriend (except for the whole gay part). The only negative thing about my relationship with Grant was that we fought. Often.
Anyway, Grant had just returned from a summer abroad and for some reason things were tense between us. Grant was staying in my apartment for a few weeks while I was away and I felt like he was mad at me but I didn’t know why. Our communication styles were very different (one of us direct, the other passive aggressive) which caused a lot of confusion. That particular day, during that particular phone conversation we were both on edge. Things were said, words were misconstrued and while this had happened with us a thousand times before, on that day I decided I was done.
Although, Grant was easily one of the best friends I’d ever had, I didn’t think it was healthy to have someone in my life that made me so angry.
The only problem is, I never told Grant how I felt. I just cut him off.
Looking back, I think I just didn’t know how to “break up” with someone who I wasn’t actually dating. So I just stopped the routine of our friendship.
Overtime, we made our way back into each others lives on a “birthday’s and holidays” basis. I’d attend his birthday, he’d attend mine– we’d even meet for a quick drink now and again, but we never discussed how/why we “broke up”.
A few months ago, Grant decided to move to LA, he emailed me asking for, you guessed it… closure. We agreed to meet for breakfast and talk about that tense time and how it translated into the end of our friendship. We rehashed it all including that fateful phone call when I was in California. Grant looked at me and said, “I hung up that day and told myself I’d wait for you to call me back… and you never did.” My heart broke.
Hearing it from his perspective made me regret the way I handled things. I could have done things in a more caring way. I could have respected the history of what we had and what we’d been through. Although we both agreed that our friendship ended due to missteps and mis-communication on both parts, I feel like I was the “bad guy” because of how I chose to end things.
Since sitting down with Grant to give him closure, we’ve been in touch a lot more. He’s still one of the best people I know and I’m glad he’s in my life.
In this case, I feel like closure was achieved, but only because both of us were interested in finding it. A situation like this, from what I’ve observed is still pretty rare, which still leaves me wondering whether in romantic relationships closure is a viable option.
I’ll take one more look at closure next week… in the meantime, share your thoughts below! Have YOU ever been the one to give closure? Ever had an ex or friend where you BOTH needed closure?