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People need closure when a relationship ends. They want to know the reasons why it ended.
Getting closure can help them let go more easily. It can also help them avoid projecting the hurt caused by this breakup onto their future relationships.
Not everyone gets this closure from their ex, though. It leaves them guessing, and perhaps even hoping that their ex will come back.
If you want to end a relationship with someone, do the right thing and give them closure.
We’ll talk about how to do this, but let’s first see why it’s the right thing to do.
8 Reasons Why You Owe Your Partner Closure When A Relationship Ends
After you end a relationship, your now ex-partner may wonder what they did to cause the breakup. They might reach out to you in the hope of finding answers.
Here are some reasons why you owe your partner closure when you break up with them:
1. It gives them answers.
It’s easier to accept that something has ended if you know why. Otherwise, you could keep guessing and coming up with possible explanations.
Don’t make your partner wonder. They deserve answers to the questions that they have about the breakup. You should tell them the truth and let them know why you don’t want to be with them anymore.
This is not easy to do. It’s much easier to just block or ghost a person without ever letting them know why. But, how unfair is it to them?
Show them some respect, especially if you have been together for a while. You might not have all the answers to their questions, but they deserve to know what’s going on inside your head. This is not going to be an easy conversation, but you owe your partner the truth.
2. It helps them learn.
Knowing what exactly happened can help your partner learn from this experience. Understanding why something happened is a good way to start resolving the problem.
Even if you don’t want to work on the problem with them, they’d likely be willing to work on it themselves if they become aware of it.
It might seem obvious to you why you want to end things. You could even think that they’re sensing it too. But, love is blind. A person could be completely oblivious of things that are obvious to you.
If you didn’t talk to them about it, assume that they don’t know about the problem in your relationship. Most importantly, they don’t know that you’re going to end things instead of working on that problem.
Naturally, you have every right to do that. However, they have the right to know about it.
3. It helps them heal and move on.
It’s easier to heal from the hurt when a person has been fair to you. They didn’t lie to you or leave you guessing.
Yes, it’s always unpleasant to hear that someone wants to break up with you. But, you can’t hate them if they’re honest with you. So, be honest with your partner to help them heal and move on. It will be easier for them to accept the breakup if they know the reasons.
Even if they don’t agree with your opinion, knowing about it will make things easier for them. It’s hard to stay hung up on someone who makes it clear that they don’t want to be with you anymore.
When you give closure, you also let your ex know that there’s no going back. Hearing that hurts. But, knowing it helps a person move on from the relationship faster and with less difficulty.
4. It helps them understand and accept that you don’t want to get back together with them.
When you’re trying to give someone closure, you should try to treat them kindly. However, you should also make it perfectly clear that you have no intention of getting back together with them.
As difficult as this is for them to hear, it sets your partner free. If you never actually say it to them, they could hold onto hope that you’ll get back together.
Your ex-partner could keep reaching out to you looking for answers. Don’t make them do this. Let them know that it’s over.
As much as blocking or ghosting someone says it all, it still leaves the window open. They still don’t know what caused you to do this, so they keep hoping that they can fix it.
Your partner could come up with hundreds of possible explanations that aren’t true. Let them know that it’s over by giving them the truth.
5. It gives you a chance to take your part of the blame.
It’s probably not entirely their fault that you’re ending the relationship. Giving them closure makes it possible for you to acknowledge your part of the blame. What’s more, it gives you an opportunity to make up for it by apologizing.
Hearing you apologize for things that you could have done better will help your partner heal. Breakups are rarely just one person’s fault anyway. It takes two to make a relationship work, and two to make it fail.
Your partner could blame themselves for everything if you don’t give them closure. Let them know what they did wrong, but that it wasn’t entirely their fault. Take responsibility for your mistakes, and it will help you end things on good terms.
6. It gives you a chance to be honest with them and apologize.
Your partner can’t resent you if you give them an honest answer and apologize for hurting their feelings. Maybe you did nothing wrong, but you can still apologize for ending things with them.
If you are genuinely sorry for hurting their feelings, they won’t be able to hold it against you. They might be mad that you don’t want to give them a second chance, but they’ll have to respect your decision.
You don’t owe them any more time or energy than is necessary to give them closure, but you do owe them the truth. When you have this conversation with them, make sure that it is open and honest. As much as the truth can hurt, it’s still better than not knowing.
7. It makes it possible to end things on good terms.
Breakups are tough, and they always hurt. However, they don’t have to be ugly. If you tell your partner the truth, apologize to them, and make it clear that it’s over and why, then you did right by them.
They might be mad because of their hurt feelings at first, but they won’t be able to hate you. In fact, it will be much easier for them to forgive you and let you go instead of resenting or chasing you.
You don’t have to stay friends, but you can still stay on good terms despite the breakup. Be careful not to give your ex false hope, but feel free to stay in touch with them if that’s what you both want.
8. It helps both of your future relationships.
When you’re both clear on why the relationship ended, it can help you prevent making the same mistakes in the future. Without closure, your partner will be at risk of projecting their hurt onto their future relationship. They will probably also make the same mistakes.
Instead, you can both learn from this experience. Don’t let it damage any future relationships that you might have.
When you think about what you’re going to tell your partner, you’ll get a much better idea of what you want and don’t want in your love life. So, think about it, and keep reading to learn how to have this difficult conversation.
15 Ways To Give Closure In A Relationship
We really do recommend that you seek professional help from one of the experts at Relationship Hero as expert advice can do wonders for making the breakup process as painless as possible for both parties.
Breaking up with someone certainly isn’t easy. It can be hard to tell the truth when you know that it will be difficult to hear. But what’s the alternative?
Giving closure is like ripping the BAND-AID off quickly. It is very uncomfortable, but it doesn’t last long.
Keeping someone guessing instead could make them wonder, grieve, and question themselves for a long time. Be fair and give them closure by following these steps:
1. Don’t ghost.
Ghosting means that you stop talking to a person out of nowhere and ignore their attempts to talk to you again.
It’s the easy way out. For you, at least.
For your partner, it might even be the worst way of breaking up with them. They’re left with no explanation for your behavior and they may keep hoping to get one eventually.
This is very wrong, especially if you’ve been together for a while. Ghosting is the cowardly way out, and it isn’t fair to the person that you’re ignoring.
2. Don’t block or unfriend them.
Ending a relationship on social media certainly isn’t a classy way to do it. Your relationship probably didn’t exist purely on social media, so it shouldn’t end there either.
Don’t block a person or unfriend them to end a relationship with them. After you’ve had a conversation in person or over the phone, you can block or unfriend them if they’re disrespecting your boundaries.
If they constantly try to get back together with you or bother you in other ways, feel free to stop them from doing so. However, make sure that you’ve first clearly said that that’s not what you want.
If you have left a person thinking that they could still have something with you, it’s wrong to block or unfriend them. Give them an explanation and be honest and upfront about what you want and don’t want.
When you block someone, you’re preventing them from asking you questions about what happened. And they might desperately need those answers that you owe them.
3. Don’t avoid talking to them.
People tend to start avoiding a person that they want to break up with because it’s uncomfortable to talk to them about it. Well, you’ll just have to accept that some conversations in life aren’t that pleasant to have.
Don’t avoid talking to your partner just because you’re afraid to tell them the truth. Think about what you want to say to them ahead of time so that you can phrase it right. Then consider what their reaction might be.
No matter how nicely you phrase things, you’re still breaking up with them, so they’ll probably feel hurt. This is especially true if they didn’t see it coming.
Prepare them for what you’re going to say by mentioning the problems in your relationship and then gently let them down.
4. Don’t feel guilty.
People often avoid giving closure because breaking someone’s heart makes them feel guilty. However, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. You’re just doing what you think is in your best interest, and no one can blame you for that.
If you’re not happy in a relationship with someone, it’s okay to end things with them. After all, what’s the alternative?
You don’t want to be stuck in a relationship with someone that you don’t want to be with, for whatever reason that is.
Your partner might not be happy with you anymore themselves. However, it still hurts when someone breaks up with you. You just can’t avoid hurting their feelings. All you can do is break up with them as painlessly as possible.
5. Understand why closure is important to them.
To prevent yourself from ghosting or blocking this person, remind yourself of why the closure matters to them. As you already learned, it will make the healing process easier and faster.
They deserve to know the reason why you’re breaking up with them. So, don’t leave them guessing. Give them an explanation so that they can truly move on.
Even something like “We’re too different” or “I don’t think we can have a future together” is better than nothing.
Consider what exactly you’re going to say and try to anticipate what their questions will be. Once you’re prepared, dial their number.
6. Ask them out for coffee or have a conversation over the phone.
Don’t break up by texting them that it’s over. If possible, it’s always best to have these difficult conversations in person, but a phone call still beats a text message.
Have an open, heart-to-heart conversation, and don’t be in a rush to get it over with. They might not have seen this coming, so it will take them some time to process what’s happening.
When you are making plans to meet, try to set the tone. You don’t want to sound like you’re inviting them on an amazing date.
7. Give them the reasons why you’re ending things.
Once you’re having the unpleasant conversation, state the reasons why you want to end things. Maybe they’re just not your type, or you were fighting a lot.
Be careful about saying negative things about them. For instance, maybe you were feeling suffocated in the relationship because of their neediness. You could phrase this by telling them that you need more alone time and someone more independent.
You could tell them that you felt like your personal life was suffering because they constantly wanted to be with you.
Just make sure not to sound aggressive or overly critical. Try not to point out the things that they can’t do anything about, such as something related to their physical appearance.
8. Give them time to process their feelings.
Be patient when ending a relationship. Both of you will just want it to be over with as soon as possible, but don’t rush things. Talk it out and give them enough time to process their feelings.
Don’t just say what you have to say and leave. Be there for them as they accept the breakup. It shouldn’t last forever, but you should be there for as long as they need you.
They’ll probably have some questions, so be there long enough to answer them.
At first, they’ll be hurt by the breakup and possibly even shocked if it came out of nowhere. So, let them realize what’s going on and process their feelings so that they can ask you what they need to know.
9. Try to give them answers.
Their questions probably won’t be easy to answer but try to give answers and stay as honest as possible. You don’t want to insult them or make them feel bad about themselves. But, you can’t hide the truth from them either.
Be prepared for the questions about getting back together too. You want to make it clear that that’s not an option, but deliver the message in a gentle way. Even if they did nothing to cause the breakup, they’ll probably ask what they did wrong.
You don’t need to make this all about them and their shortcomings. If some of them significantly influenced your decision to end things, mention them. However, don’t make it all about them. You should take responsibility for your flaws and mistakes too.
10. Take your part of the blame.
Did you do something to hurt them in the relationship? Are there mistakes that you want to admit? Did some of your own flaws influence your decision to break up?
Are you ready to apologize for hurting them with the breakup? Try to acknowledge your flaws and mistakes, not just theirs. Usually, both partners contribute to a relationship ending. So, take your part of the blame.
Don’t get defensive if they talk about things that they didn’t like about you. Let them tell their side of the story too. If you both say things that weren’t right between you, you are likely to come to the conclusion that it’s better to end the relationship.
In the ideal case, this won’t feel like one person breaking up with the other. It will be a mutual decision that the relationship isn’t working anymore for either of you.
11. Be honest with them.
This has been mentioned repeatedly, but it’s important to emphasize. Try to stay honest with your partner for as long as the conversation lasts.
You might be tempted to lie because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, but you are hurting them anyway.
Just try not to purposely insult them or make them feel bad about themselves. If you don’t like the way they get jealous when you talk to other people or how messy they can be, then say it.
If some of their behaviors influenced your breakup, then let them know what you didn’t like. However, don’t forget to accept your mistakes too.
12. Make it clear that you don’t want to get back together.
You should be gentle with them, but not to the point that they think getting back together is an option. Make it clear that it’s really over, and don’t give them false hope.
Avoid saying things like, “I can’t be with you right now.” This will cause them to believe that there is a possibility that you will get back together at some point.
Don’t give them a reason to think that you’ll eventually change your mind. When people do this, it’s just as bad as ghosting and blocking. It keeps your ex-partner hung up on you.
Let them go by making it clear that you don’t want to try it one more time. Sure, they might still keep hoping, but if you’ve been honest and clear, that’s on them.
13. Set clear boundaries.
How should they proceed after the breakup? Do you want to stay friends, or do you want to end all contact? Set clear boundaries and let them know how you want to proceed.
If you don’t want them to stay in touch with you, say so. You can tell them that it’s better for both of you if you don’t talk anymore. That’s a fair way of blocking someone.
Don’t say that you want to stay friends if you don’t want to hear from them again.
If you want to stay in touch with them, make it clear that it doesn’t mean that you’ll eventually want them back.
If you communicate your expectations and boundaries clearly, your ex is unlikely to disrespect your decision after the breakup.
14. Try to end things on good terms.
If you do all these things, you’re more likely to end things on good terms with your partner. There won’t be much that they can hold against you if you’ve been fair to them.
So, after the initial hurt has passed, they’re likely to move on and still consider you a good person.
A lot of people hate their exes because they haven’t been honest with them. If you’ve been honest until the end, your now ex-partner has no reason to hate or resent you.
You both did some things that you’re not proud of. But, they’ve helped you realize that you’re not a great match, even if you’re great separately. That’s a good and healthy way to end a relationship.
15. Keep in mind that you don’t have to give closure to an abusive or controlling ex.
You should be fair to your partner, but only if they’ve been fair to you too. If they know very well what they did and they abused you, you don’t owe them an explanation.
Walk away from an abusive partner without looking back or waiting to tell them.
If they have been controlling, or have treated you badly in a way that they couldn’t possibly be oblivious to, just end things.
You might still want to tell them everything to their face, but you don’t have to.
In this case, it’s even okay to simply block them on social media immediately after they hurt you. However, keep in mind that this applies to situations where your ex is a bad person, not just the wrong person for you.
If they aren’t the right fit for you—not for everyone in the world—give them closure to help them heal.
Still not sure how to give your partner the closure they need and deserve during your breakup? It’s not an easy situation to be in, and it’s made all the more difficult if your now ex-partner wasn’t expecting it or didn’t want it.
We really recommend you speak to an experienced relationship expert to help you both through this. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can listen to you and offer well-considered advice to help you provide the kind of answers and closure to help your ex move on.
A good place to get help is the website Relationship Hero – here, you’ll be able to connect with a relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.
Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.
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