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Splitting with someone you cared about is tough.
Even more difficult? Ending a chapter of your life without really knowing the ending.
I mean, you know the ending—that you broke up.
But there’s still so many holes in the story.
Maybe you’re wondering why.
Or maybe you made the decision, but you’re unclear on their behavior that led to your choice.
There’s tons of reasons you may need closure but are unable to get it.
Whatever your situation is, I feel you.
It’s almost like dealing with a death without even getting the full autopsy.
You’re left with questions for the rest of your life.
This article won’t change that.
You may still be left with questions for the rest of your life.
But there’s ways to make living with those questions more bearable.
Until the point where you don’t really think about it at all anymore.
Read on to find out how to get closure from an ex
How to Get Closure from an Ex Without Contact
If you want to get closure from an ex about something specific, you may be able to talk to them to gain information. However, many times this isn’t an option. You ex may be unwilling to talk, rude or simply don’t have the answers themselves. Or, your ex may be willing to talk, but you know it’s not the best option for you.
In any situation, we can’t always get closure by talking to them. And many times, it’s a better idea if we look at how to get closure from an ex without contact.
#1 Realize There’s No Timeline
When we think about breakups, many of us think there’s an acceptable amount of time to grieve—and then it’s time to get on with it, whether we feel better or not. It doesn’t work most of the time, so we may fake being healed from it. We don’t want to admit that we can’t move on because we didn’t get closure. We might feel embarrassed that it’s taking us so long and that we’re stuck on the unanswered questions.
The first step to healing is knowing that there’s no real timeline. Sure, you may take longer to recover than your friends, but that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. Realize that although the feeling usually gets better with time, there’s no timeline on getting there. It’s okay to feel how you feel.
#2 Feel How You Feel
Sometimes, when we’re going through something hard, we want to shield ourselves from the emotions. Although keeping busy is a good way to get over a breakup, filling your schedule to the brim can lead to delay in processing your emotions. The same is true for being afraid to be alone, hopping to the next partner, drinking or using other drugs to blunt the pain, etc.
Especially when we don’t have closure, the heartbreak can feel like a longer process. Still, it’s important to feel it. Even if you need to hold it together all day and release it when you get home, give yourself permission to do that and feel okay about it. It can be healing and help you release the pain—even if you don’t get answers from your ex.
#3 Accept You May Not Get Apology
Sometimes, when someone has done something to really hurt us—we are so bewildered by how they seem to ignore it. Won’t they say sorry? When will they finally realize how much pain they caused us? We know the good parts of them, so they can’t be that cold and horrible to never say sorry, right?
There’s no guarantee your ex will ever say sorry. Maybe they are sorry and simply don’t want to talk. Or maybe they still don’t realize what they’ve done. If that’s the case, maybe they’ll realize in the future, or maybe they won’t. But there’s just too many variables to hang your future on it.
It’s really hard to let go of an apology we deserve but never got. But we need to realize it’s likely we’ll never get it. And although we don’t know why, we need to accept that sometimes people do hurtful things. Even if we’d say sorry in that situation, not everyone is like us or as caring. The good news is that we now have a chance to meet someone who can treat us better.
#4 Write It Down
Writing in your diary may sound weird if you’ve never done it, but journaling actually has over 80 benefits for depression, anxiety and stress, according to research.
Journaling about your situation can give you a way to share the situation from your perceptive. You can also get out your thoughts and questions about why the breakup happened or why someone treated you that way. Although you won’t get direct answers, journaling can be a good way to help you gain insight in your life, giving you some closure.
#5 Talk with a Therapist
If you can afford one, talking with a therapist about your breakup can help shed light on the situation. You may get more clarity on why they acted the way they did. And it can help you come to the conclusion that splitting was the best option, even though it’s painful.
If you were the one who did something wrong in the relationship, apologizing for it can help you gain closure. However, make sure you’re not taking responsibility for something that isn’t your fault just as a way to maintain contact.
Your apology may not be accepted or even responded to. But if it’s something you know you need to do, hold your pride and say it. In some cases, you may have wronged each other. Realize that although frustrating, saying sorry for your part won’t guarantee they’ll say sorry back.
#7 Brainstorm Other Perspectives
This one is challenging. If you’re struggling to get closure over why something happened, sometimes it can be helpful to brainstorm other perspectives. It’s important to note that this doesn’t excuse their behavior—but it can help you gain knowledge about it and therefore, a feeling of closure.
Think about the situation and other factors that were at play. For example, I learned in many of my relationships that my exes had abusive fathers. Even though they hated their fathers and weren’t abusive like them, they still had a very hard time loving someone properly. In my opinion, this factored into them doing things that even they didn’t have the answer for. Again, this does not excuse behavior. However, it helped me understand why someone becomes the person they are.
In other cases, factors like addiction, mental health, job stress, financial stress, health, etc. can play into why people act the way they do. Even realizing that someone is a narcissist and that it’s a personality trait you can’t change can help you get closure.
#8 Accept the Unknown
Sometimes our ex did something to treat us badly and we can’t figure out why they did or said it. Or maybe they broke up with us and cant articulate the reason, leaving us to guess forever.
This can be very painful. But we need to eventually accept that we won’t know all the answers. Maybe one day we will know, but probably, we won’t. That feeling of never knowing can be difficult to live with, but know you can live with it. And it will start to weigh less on your mind over time.
#9 Get Spiritual
Spirituality can help you get through many difficult parts in your life. It can help you realize that even though you don’t have all the answers, there’s something bigger out there. It can provide a sense of hope to carry you through the hard times.
In fact, one study showed that compared to those who weren’t, people who are spiritual tend to have more life satisfaction through times of crisis. This can mean:
- Going to church
- Reading a spiritual text
- Reading self-help books
- Making crystal grids
- Improving your intuition
- Studying tarot
- Practicing herb magic
- Getting in tune with nature
All of these activities involve believing in something higher than yourself, which can help bring you into a better space where closure without contact is possible.
#10 Delete Them on Social
Once you realize you won’t get closure by talking to them directly, consider deleting them off social media. Although this may not be the right step for every former couple, it’s a good idea for people who are struggling to move on. It can also prevent the urge to creep your ex. If you still creep them after deletion though, consider blocking them too.
#11 Throw Out Any “Relationship Memorabilia”
Getting closure without contact is going to be hard if you’re still keeping and looking at the things your ex got you. Throw out or donate any gifts or notes from your ex. Then, go through everything you have digitally. That includes:
- Photos on social media
- Text messages on varying apps
Delete all the content. If you can’t bring yourself to yet, at least move it somewhere you can’t easily access it—like an online storage space or a hard drive. That way, once you get closer to achieving closure, you won’t be pulled back by any lingering physical memories.
#12 Know That Love Doesn’t Always End Well
It can be hard to get closure from a relationship when we really liked or loved someone. That’s because we’re taught to believe—and strive for—a love that never ends. Although that’s the goal, that’s not the reality of many relationships. Most people who love each other end up a part.
It’s hard to accept that you can love someone but be better off without them. It can be hard to accept that you love someone, but they don’t love you back or can’t love you in a healthy way. It’s possible to both miss someone and know breaking up was the best decision. We don’t always need answers to get closure.
Accepting Closure as a Form of Grief
Another thing to consider is that endings or breakups are really a form of grief. And with that, it should carry the same compassion.
When most of us think of grief, we think of a loved one passing away. However, grief can come in many forms. One of the most popular forms is the ending of relationships. For example, The Gottman Insitute explains how the grief of an affair follows the same stages as the grief of death. It’s all grief.
If you’re seeking closure without contact, it adds another layer of complexity. Knowing the person is alive and you can’t (or shouldn’t) contact them can be difficult. First, you need to accept that you can’t contact the person for closure. Secondly, you need to accept that the relationship is over. Going through grief over those two aspects requires self-compassion.
How to Seek Closure Without Contact Using Self-Compassion
The same way a friend would be empathetic when a friend died, you should be empathetic toward yourself during this time. Ending a relationship is difficult, especially without contact, so it’s normal to feel bad during this time.
There’s a number of ways you can practice having compassion yourself after getting closure without contact. Here’s a few suggestions:
- Try self-compassion exercises. After dealing with how to get closure without contact, use exercises to gain self-compassion through grief. Start with these exercises by Dr. Kristin Neff.
- Use meditation. Meditation For Self-Compassion: 11 Audios To Change Your Life.
- Talk to your therapist. Tell your therapist about your experience seeking clsoure without contact. Ask them ways you can practice self-compassion amongst your grief of the relationship ending.
- Notice when you’re being self-critical. One of the easiest (and hardest) steps you can take toward self-compassion is to simply notice when you’re being self-critical. When you’re judging yourself for having feelings about a relationship ending, try to remind yourself that most people would feel similarly in that situation.
Summary: How to Get Closure from an Ex Without Contact
If you’re wondering how to get closure from an ex without contact, know that it can be tough and that’s normal. There’s no timeline and you should feel your feelings. Many times, we need to accept that we’ll never get answers. Although that hurts, we can begin to heal slowly.