Dating Articles

How To Get Closure from a Past Relationship

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Most of us have been through a tough break-up at some point in our lives. The feelings of despair, hopelessness, sadness, and loneliness we experience are often overwhelming and often seem endless. Usually though, with the help of friends, family, and our undeniable human spirit - we eventually get over our heartbreak. We slowly pick up the pieces, put ourselves back together, and move on, hopefully, stronger and wiser in the end. Sometimes, however, we can't seem to "get over it". We can't seem to understand how the other person could have left us. We had so much invested in them emotionally, that we can't even imagine life without them.

People often think closure is something we get from an external source: "If only I could talk to him/her again so I could understand..." Closure, however, is about the feelings of peace and completion within ourselves. It's not always possible to get the answers from someone else, at least not the answers that will make us feel better about the situation. Relationship closure is an important part of emotional and mental health. Without it, we are unable to fully move on, commit to, and trust, someone new. So how do we achieve closure so that we can move forward and enjoy dating again?

Getting your thoughts out of your head and on paper is a great way of putting things in perspective. Answer the following questions to help you get closure on a past relationship:

1. What things will you NOT miss about the relationship and the person you were with?

2. What things WILL you miss and why? Oftentimes, the things we miss are how we feel within the relationship, not the actual person.

3. What negative things did you contribute to the relationship? Which of your actions made things worse? It's extremely important to acknowledge your responsibility here - blaming one person for the downfall of the relationship is an impossibility.

4. What would you do differently if you had it to do again?

5. What relationship skills do you need to strengthen for the next time you're in a relationship?

6. Write down the following emotions and how they pertain and relate to your ex and yourself:

Guilt, Anger, Happiness, Blame, Fear, Love, Denial, Hatred, Pain, Joy, Depression

7. Are there things you want to be forgiven for? Are you willing to forgive yourself?

8. Are you willing to forgive your ex for the things they were responsible for?

8. What did your ex and your relationship teach you that you're grateful for?

9. How are you stronger and wiser through this experience?

Every experience we go through is meant to teach us something, but it's up to us to figure out what that is. We often create a fantasy world around our relationships, and when the relationship ends, the pain tends to be more about the dissolution of the dream than the actual loss of the person. When things are real, honest, and truthful between two people, there are fewer surprises involved, and our needs are met. We must learn to clean up our backyard before venturing into someone else's, and being honest with ourselves first is that all-important first step.


I think it is important to have a new project, something to look forward to that is NOT a new person to date: a vacation, new job, new living location, new friends. Making new friends is especially helpful in understanding that there is a huge world outside of the cocoon that is often created within a couple. Seeing this new world is the fastest way to get closure and accept your own short comings.

Great article. I have been unable to "let go" and move on for over 7 years as my ex and I have been on and off again about reconciling. He has been with someone for all those years (on and off...) and now that my divorce is finalized (my prompting), I am sad about what was lost, but looking forward to rebuilding my life in my own way.

I think it is important to totally disconnect from your past that way there is not way of being manipulated into the same situation and more wasting more time. To think that past failed relationships cannot end in friendship,it is treading on an emotional playground for more games. Being able to let go, is the first step to healing and moving forward. Cheers to a wonderul future....

I believe in my heart that I had given the relationship my all. With that in mind its still hard but a little less hard knowing I truly valued the relationship .It's not 50/50 its 100/100 Another thing I try to tell myself is why would I want to be with someone who does not want to be with me.