Relationships > Love > How to Get Over a Breakup When You Don’t Have Closure

How to Get Over a Breakup When You Don’t Have Closure

Getting over a breakup is always painful, but healing is harder when you don’t have closure. These tips are inspired by a reader who can’t accept that her relationship is over because she and her ex didn’t have closure.

how to get over a break up without closure

how to get over a break up without closure

The most important thing to remember about getting over a break up is that you’ll never truly be “over it.” You lose a piece of your heart when you lose someone you love. But, this doesn’t mean you’ll never be happy again! It just means your heart has been bruised, and your soul is learning how love and life works.

Relationship closure is helpful because it allows you to say good-bye. If you aren’t sure what “relationship closure” is, read What is Relationship Closure? How to Heal Without a Goodbye. Below, I briefly describe what it is and offer a few ideas for getting over a break up when you haven’t had a chance to properly end your relationship.

There are no easy answers or quick tips on how to heal from a break up without closure. You need to grieve the end of your relationship, and give yourself time to heal.

What is Relationship Closure?

Relationship closure is when you – whether you’re a married partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, disgruntled colleague, or unhappy family member – don’t discuss why your love relationship ended. Relationship closure involves honest, healthy, open-minded, nonjudgmental communication. In my article about letting go of someone you love, a reader said she doesn’t feel she has closure. Her fiancé of nine years wasn’t honest about why their relationship ended.

Closure can teach you why your relationship didn’t work out, which helps with letting go of an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, or spouse. Closure can help you learn from the mistakes you made. It helps you heal by setting your mind at ease about how your love relationship unfolded.

Even if you made mistakes and were part of the reason your relationship failed, closure can make you stronger by preparing you for future love relationships. Denying an ex closure when you’re breaking up is worse than unhealthy: it’s damaging and destructive. Healing comes faster and easier when you’ve had a chance to say goodbye.

Relationship Closure is Difficult Because…

When you’re the one who wants to let go, you may find it easier to avoid talking about it. It’s natural for people to want to avoid pain. Relationship closure is difficult because it’s painful to talk about weaknesses and faults.

Closure can involve more pain than just letting someone go without explanation…which is, I think, what my reader’s fiancé was doing when he ended the relationship. He was trying to avoid causing her — and himself — more pain. It’s unfortunate that we’re not taught how to break up with people we love!

Getting Over a Break Up Without Relationship Closure

If this is your first break up, you may find Why You Can’t Let Go of Your First Love – and What to Do helpful and interesting.

To let go of an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, or spouse without closure:

Write a letter to your ex, expressing yourself fully

Don’t send the letter right away (if ever). The letter can be as long as you need; you can add to it for days or weeks. The act of writing your feelings and thoughts – and how the break up affected you – is an important part of the healing process.

Change your environment

If your ex moved out of the house, you might consider finding a new place to live. You might even consider moving to a different state or province. Getting away from the environment you and your ex were together in will help you see life differently.

Explore a different lifestyle

My reader mentioned that she worked hard on her career and didn’t leave room for hobbies or activities in her life. Part of getting over a break up without relationship closure is making time to do things you’ve always been interested in, but never took time for.

Make new friends

You don’t need to abandon your old friends to find relationship closure. However, you may find it refreshing to build new friendships with people who don’t know you from your relationship days. You may not feel like you have the energy to make new friends yet, but keep it in the back of your mind.

Work on healing without closure with a counselor

I’m a huge fan of counseling because therapists help you see yourself, your life, and your relationships objectively. A counselor can help you see why you’re having trouble letting go of an ex, and help you learn to find closure on your own. It’s really important to find a counselor who you feel comfortable and healthy with, so try to talk to at least three before embarking on therapy.

Recognize that you are responsible for your feelings

Nobody can make you feel anything. When you feel any emotion, you can choose whether to let that feeling sweep you away or derail it and put a more positive emotion in place. Those feelings of worthlessness or being unlovable are emotions you have control over – you do not have to feel that way.

Learn how to let go of someone you love

no relationship closureIn How to Let Go of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets and 75 Tips for Healing Your Heart, I share what I learned when I had to say good-bye to my sister. Without relationship closure, it was one of the most painful things I’ve experienced (after finding out that my husband and I can’t have kids).

One way to heal after a breakup without closure is to focus on the benefits of being single. What do you like about your new life? There must be ONE good thing about it.

If you have any thoughts on how to get over a break up when you don’t have closure, please comment below. I can’t offer counseling or advice, but it may help you to share what you’re experiencing.

Give yourself time to heal, because it really does only take a couple seconds to say “Hello”…and forever to say “Goodbye.”


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94 thoughts on “How to Get Over a Breakup When You Don’t Have Closure”

  1. I experienced this recently, not having closure is horrible. The thing is I think its worth mentioning two relationships I was involved in because they were polar opposites, both ended and the reasons why they ended were different and this had an impact on how fast and different getting over the breakup was.

    The first one worth mentioning was with someone who loved me and would have stayed with me forever, the problem was we argued about everything, throughout the relationship we talked about our problems and tried to fix them. I eventually decided I couldn’t take anymore and decided to end it, even then we talked one final time about why it ended and at the end of the conversation it had both of us saying that we loved each other. It was painful for a short while, I was in depression for a few months but not because we broke up, I was just getting over how sad I was for so long so the actual acceptance of it was over in a few days, and after a few weeks I met someone else. This is when it gets different.

    This new relationship was wonderful, we had everything in common, rarely argued, I did feel though she had trouble talking to me if she was upset in anyway about the simplest of things. However, it wasn’t long before I proposed, I met her family and they were happy for me to marry their daughter. However, it did mean her moving and if I am honest with myself, I don’t think she was willing to leave her friends and family behind even for a short time as she knew my job would end eventually. We lived quite far apart, I had just bought a property and she was trying to see if she could make it to the house warming party, at the weekend she stayed at some friends, and we were supposed to talk on Skype, she was ready to take my call but as I tried I got to answer, I thought it was a technical glitch and tried a few more times. On Monday she sent me a message that after some thought it was over, no explanation, even know I can guess what the reasons were and even though we have made peace with one another and can talk to each other again, this still feels like the hardest break up I’ve ever had to deal with. Having to guess why it ended, never being 100% certain, becomes very difficult to recover from. The fact that we were months away from spending the rest of our lives together makes it much harder. It’s been a few weeks, and I’ve started looking again, but it’s still painful, I keep thinking she is going to contact me out of the blue saying she made a mistake. I keep feeling the need to go for long walks and have cried several times whereas in my previous relationship, I only needed to cry once.

    1. Just corrections to my bad spelling in this part, the fact that I can write so much and get my English wrong in the way that I have, shows that I am still trying to recover from this.

      “she was ready to take my call but as I tried I got “no” answer, I thought it was a technical glitch and tried a few more times. On Monday she sent me a message that after some thought it was over, no explanation, even “though” I can……..”

  2. My relationship with my ex-gf was amazing, At the start I am so happy with her, She was my everything I do anything for her. I am ready to commit we promised alot of thing for each other and the future. When I broke up with her, she was the one initiated and I can’t do anything about it. She said she won’t be having any relationship but she have one after she blocked me from my social media. I am so sad by her action. Everything was fine until she keep on picking on me and stuff. Our first kiss was amazing we waited until the right moment. But when she was with this guy even when their relationship aren’t official they kissed already. I feel so cheated by the thing we said in the past and all the promises. I find myself giving up on relationship and will not love anyone like I loved my ex. i hoped she can have the greatest that’s all. I am just sad hopeless romantic man. I

  3. I’ve been feeling rotten about a relationship that took a long time to develop with an ex colleague. I really adore him but he left because of so many things going on but I really think He is just that kind of guy who moves fast. reading all of these experiences is helpful and makes me realize that I need to really keep developing myself. I believe that if I can become strong in myself I can find the right partner. I have a lot of work to do but it’s ok. The journey can be fun.

  4. Lost in California

    I was in a relationship when I was younger, mid teens. During that time we had a great time. We never had sex or anything, we just made out. He was about 4 years older which was normal for teen girls my age to date older guys then. We dated for about 6 months and we broke up because I was young and stupid and accused him of cheating on me.

    Then, years later, when I was between 18 to 20 years old I went over to his house with a bottle of booze and I had one goal in mind. We did and I was extremely drunk. He wanted me to stay, but I left because he was in between places and was staying at his parent’s house. I didn’t want them to think I was a slut. I think I remember he didn’t want me to drive because we had been drinking, but stupid me insisted. I don’t remember leaving a number. I just remember leaving. Now, 30-something years later after several failed relationships, having kids, and even a divorce I can’t stop thinking about him and it’s driving me nuts. I have no interest in dating or relationships because I want to get the kids all out of the house before this happens.

    I’ve tried to stop thinking about him. I’ve tried to fill my time with other things, but when it’s quiet and nothing else is entering my mind I get lost. I even saw a picture of him and he doesn’t even look the same yet I don’t care. It’s driving me nuts.

    Any suggestions? I want to call just to get closure and see why we never tried again. I’m pretty sure he is divorced and not remarried, but I would hate myself if he was married again and I called and caused a problem. That is NOT what I want to do. I want him to be happy whatever he’s doing. So maybe I can just forget somehow? Chalk it up as a good memory and move on? I don’t want to forget, but I don’t want to hold on to some angst that will never be cured either.

  5. I just recently broke up with my boyfriend of almost a year. I think just writing down my thoughts will be of help. Our relationship was a bit different because we actually dated in middle and high school. He was the first person I was ever with. We broke up not long after that because I just had this feeling he was going to break my heart. It was 28 years later and we reconnected Facebook. He has a twin brother and when we were in school I was fairly new and he and his brother were very popular. When we started talking again he revealed to me how much I had an impact on his life and that I was really the only girl he’d ever loved. Even one marriage and one long relationship later. We hit it off immediately, just like back then. The only down fall was I had moved away from our home town many years before so we lived in separate states. At that time that didn’t matter. We spoke every night for hours (just like in highschool). It seemed we had so much in common. He planned a trip to come see me and it was wonderful. He decided then that he wanted to move where I lived. It’s hard to think about that. It seems everything was against us at that point. His exes (whom he had children with) did not make it easy. It’s hard for me to admit but I don’t think he was honest with me about everything that was happening. Needless to say, he did not move. After it was clear he wasn’t going to be able to move he disappeared for three days. That really should have been my first and only clue to move on. I was devastated. Finally his brother wrote me and said that he had taken off (which I don’t know if is true either). He did eventually get in touch with me and apologized over and over and said he just needed to clear his head because of all that had happened. Things did take a turn after that. I tried to keep things going. He claimed he loved me immensely. We saw each other a few more times and they were all wonderful but I got the sense more and more that he was pulling away. He started a new job and yes it takes alot of his time and attention but it’s like he has used it as a way to really let go. I voiced my concerns to him and told him I felt like I had no other choice but to let go myself. I tried to explain in detail my concerns through and email (as I was hardly able to talk to him on the phone anymore) and that was it. He did say he needed a few days and he would talk to me but I’ve heard nothing. I tried reaching out only to get nothing. So, yea, I’m moving on with no closure. And again, like his disappearance before, the silent treatment. I know that I don’t deserve that type of behavior but it doesn’t make it hurt any less!!

  6. Getting over a breakup when you don’t have relationship closure is so difficult – and it’s something we need to learn how to give ourselves. We can’t expect the person who left (my sister, in my case) to come back and help us say goodbye. They are able to just walk away.

    What has worked for you in the past? My grandmother died, and I was never able to say goodbye. What worked for me is to believe that we will meet again one day, and I will be able to tell her the things I wish I could’ve said in person. I also trust God to heal and restore relationships – even if I can’t see the direct result today.

    I believe God has a purpose, and that he is powerful. I believe He woudn’t allow anything to happen to me without a reason. I believe He loves me, and wants the best for me.

    This helps me let go of relationships that I haven’t found closure in.

  7. My relationship too had no closure.
    The guy left me for my best friend. I was so hurt but decided to remain silent and let them be. I felt i really needed an explanation but didn’t get any. Both of them had the guts to say hi once in a while especially after it happened. I need to get over it because 10 months later, I still feel i need an explanation. please help. how do I go about it?