How to get closure after a breakup was not the first question I had after my heart was broken but it was the most important.
The first time I experienced a breakup, I cried every night through the night for 6 months asking “Why, why, why?” For perspective: we had only dated 5 months.
So yea, I know what it’s like to grieve a love lost.
Ultimately, after a breakup, you need ice cream, favorite movies, and good friends. But more than anything you need CLOSURE.
Because closure isn’t a band-aid on the pain, it is the healing of the wound itself. It’s the end of longing, anger, loneliness, desperation, neediness, confusion, and embarrassing late-night text messages that you regret instantly in the morning.
It clears the deck so you can open your heart to someone new and attract your dream relationship without dragging along any “baggage.”
In this episode and blog, I’m going to show you how to get closure after a breakup in 8 thoroughly healing and practical steps.
I’m just out of college, and I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years. Last week, he told me he didn’t know if he was in love with me anymore. It broke my heart. I still really love him, and I know he is going through a hard and confusing time right now. He has gone into his cave now to essentially discover if he loves me or not. Waiting for someone to break up with you is awful. I just can’t believe this could be over. I cry all the time. Should I break up with him? How do I break up with someone I love in a loving way where I will feel like I have closure too?
I’m so sorry. I’ve been through a similar experience. Hearing him say he didn’t know if he loved me anymore knocked the very ground out from under my feet. It was something I had completely taken for granted. I mean, of course, he loved me. The sun rises in the east, right?
Then, suddenly, he didn’t know!
HOW. DO. YOU. NOT. KNOW?!
And accepting your breakup is a key piece of the puzzle to how you get closure after a breakup.
“Get Over It” — When Bad Advice Happens to Good People
Everyone deals with heartbreak differently, but I want you to know that there’s no time limit to your grief. Many people will tell you to “snap out of it,” “get over it,” or “find a rebound.”
They say this because THEY are uncomfortable with your pain. It reminds them of their own unresolved pain, and they want you to “get over it” quickly so they can get back to their comfy denial.
But when it comes to how to get closure after a breakup — so you don’t get mired in your own unresolved pain…
I say, BE with the pain. Process the pain in a healthy way so that you can HEAL.
Those who skip this step carry their hurt, bitterness, and insecurity onto the next relationship and sabotage it before it even has a chance.
It’s not particularly comfortable, but when you process your emotions in a healthy way, you will move through this and end up on the other side — heart intact and ready for love.
I’m going to guide you through this process, just like my dad guided me, in all my broken-hearted glory, all those years ago. I’ve used this process to heal my heart many MANY times since.
How to Get Closure After a Breakup in 8 Steps
First, you write “The Feeling Letter.”
This is not a letter that you give anyone — although you are welcome to share it with friends and family — just not him. It is a letter for you.
Don’t edit yourself; just write, and answer these questions in order.
(Heads up: You’re not going to be good at this at first. It’s going to feel silly and awkward, and you may feel like “this isn’t working” or “I’m bad at this.” It IS working, and as with any skill worth having, practice makes perfect — you’re on your way to being GREAT at this. And once you have this skill, it will serve you for the rest of your life. You will be able to heal any pain. Ready? Let’s begin The Feeling Letter.
1. What are you angry and frustrated about?
- Are you angry that he betrayed you by breaking his promise to love you?
- Are you frustrated he took so long to figure it out?
- Are you angry that he snores?
Don’t hold back. Write it ALL out.
2. What are you sad and disappointed about?
- Are you sad that you are losing your best friend?
- Are you disappointed because you thought he was the man you were going to marry and grow old with?
- Are you sad because you feel alone?
Indulge in these feelings and prepare to get raw.
3. What are you scared of?
- Are you afraid that no one will love you again?
- Are you concerned that he’s leaving you for another woman?
It doesn’t have to be rational; your letter can be as farfetched as you like because this feeling letter is a journey.
4. What do you regret and/or what are you embarrassed about?
- Do you regret the last fight you had?
- Are you embarrassed because he has naked pictures of you on his iPhone?
- Are you embarrassed because you showed him your most vulnerable self and then he didn’t love what he saw?
- Do you regret saying hurtful things to him? Or taking him for granted?
This is an opportunity to reflect. Be honest with yourself.
5. What do you want and what do you hope for?
- Do you want to stay friends?
- Do you hope that you will meet someone new to fall in love with?
Let yourself dream.
6. Now it’s time to explore your understanding and forgiveness.
- What do you understand about what HE’s going through?
This is a big moment to empathize with what is going on for him.
This will make it easier to forgive him. Only when you go through the other emotions thoroughly can you get to this place authentically. Don’t rush it. Keep writing about how pissed you are until it feels true to move on to how sad you are and so on.
Forgiveness is the goal.
When you can forgive, you can move on and open your heart to love again.
7. Lastly, give gratitude and appreciation a chance to shine!
- Are you grateful that he could always make you laugh no matter how frustrated with work you were?
- Are you grateful that his love and support got you through some hard times?
- Are you grateful for everything this relationship taught you and healed for you?
What can you genuinely say, “thank you” for?
This letter writing process might take days. Don’t rush through it. This is how to get closure after a breakup. The work you do here will empower you to embrace love and healthy relationships in your life again.
Step #8: Dear Boyfriend, Thanks.
After you have purged yourself of your anger, sadness, fear, and regret (it doesn’t all have to be gone but you should feel lighter), it is time to write another letter. This one is to him, and it’s called, “The Appreciation Letter.”
Tell him everything you are grateful to him for. I mean EVERYTHING, from the small gifts, like taking out the trash, to the large lessons you have learned from this relationship to the most absurdly kinky sex you had on your anniversary in the hotel bathroom!!! Have fun with it!
It will make you laugh and cry — and it is crucial to getting closure. You have acknowledged all the good that came out of this partnership, and he will forever have that letter. That is what he will hold in his heart and remember you by.
If you’d like, you can ask him to write a letter too. Some guys will, some guys won’t, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. As long as you know that writing YOUR letter to him serves your healing just as much as it serves his. You don’t actually need him to write a letter because:
You have everything you need inside of you to heal your heart.
There is no pain-free way to break up with someone. We often reach for things to numb the pain like social media, food, alcohol, and other men. But if you’ve read this far, I know you’re looking for something more.
You want to know how to get closure after a breakup and this is the MOST efficient and effective way to move through the pain, gain closure and open your heart to love again.
When your heart breaks, you are inducted into an elite society. A group of people who took the risk to love wholeheartedly and got hurt. Now you have the opportunity to join an even more elite group of people who continue to take that risk as many times as it takes because they know that the joy of being in LOVE is always worth it.
I’m one of those people. Are you?