front door with cat sleeping out frontIn the final post in the Ten Commandments of Coping With and Moving On After a Break Up, it’s all about shutting that door on your relationship.

There is a fundamental belief about break ups that many women have and it’s that that you need two people for closure.

Now whilst it would be nice if we could meet up with our exes and get that closure so many of us seek, the fact of the matter is that you are far more likely to leave with more questions than answers, which could effectively set you back.

Exes very rarely meet our expectation of what we think closure is about and quite frankly, unless they’re down and out, crawling around your feet begging for another chance, and you get the opportunity to walk out with a flounce, there is no type of meeting that is likely to leave you satisfied…and not wanting.

What it all boils down to is how much do you want your own happiness? Do you want to be shackled to the past wondering what if and obsessing over little details of your relationship? Or, do you want to let go, embrace what lies ahead of you and close the door on this chapter of your life?

To break up properly, Thou must close the door and move forward.

One of the trappings that many of us can fall into is breaking up, acting like we’re moving forward, but secretly putting ourselves on hold ‘just in case’ your ex sees the error of his ways and comes racing back.

So what unfolds is a woman who is going through the motions of life with the door of her past relationship slightly ajar so that should he make contact and try to rekindle things, she is there waiting.

But of course, if you’re putting yourself on a hold (albeit on the quiet) for your ex, you’re not much good to yourself or your current relationships

It’s like putting your ex on layaway hoping that he’ll give you an option to buy when you have the ‘right’ cash to scoop him.

What if there is no right time? What if he doesn’t change? What if he goes off and gets on with his life? What if he does come back and disappoints you further? What if you are sidelining yourself and opportunities by pining your secret hopes on him?

If you don’t close the door and let go, you will actually become emotionally unavailable and create commitment issues for your future relationships.

Just like when you wanted your relationship to work with your ex, the same rules apply to you.

Relationships are the sum of both people and require both of you to put both feet in. If you are secretly leaving the door ajar for an ex, you are only putting one foot in to any other relationship you may have.

More importantly, you’re not committing to acting in your own best, positive, interests.

So what is closure?

In a post last year about Why you shouldn’t confront your ex, I say:

It’s about recognising and accepting what has happened and removing your emotional investment out of that person and situation and focusing on yourself and the other things that matter in your life.

Don’t put yourself through the turmoil of confronting your ex because you’re expending energy that is better spent elsewhere.

Your ex doesn’t give you closure, YOU do. Closure is permission to move on, but you can ultimately grant that to yourself.

That’s right ladies – YOU need to give YOU permission to move on much like YOU need to forgive yourself and others so that you can let go of anything negative that is holding you back.

YOU are in the driving seat so if you don’t let go, you don’t forgive, and you don’t move on, the only person who is responsible for the fact that you are trapped in a cycle of not being able to let go of the break up…is…you.

You don’t need him! He is surplus to requirements!

Accept that you are never going to have all of the answers and that in essence, sh*t happens, and give yourself permission to move on and get on with your life. More importantly, get on with enjoying your life.

I remember writing a post a couple of years ago called Exhale, Embrace, and Enjoy and those three words are just as important today.

When we’re in a bad relationship or recovering from a difficult break-up, It’s like holding in your breath around these asslowns that effectively steal our wind because…well we let them!

Breathe out! Thank goodness you are alive, that you’re out of your relationship, and commit to giving yourself a better experience and loving yourself irrespective of what happens around you.

Don’t dwell. As women we’re overthinkers and like to see more than what is actually there. Sometimes, it is what it is.

You are going to have a few bumps and scrapes along the way but when you are taking care of yourself, you recognise bad relationships and the assclowns that come with them for what they are, so you can opt out much quicker. It also means that when you’re in a good relationship, you recognise it as such and you nurture it as opposed to sabotaging it or punishing him for the mistakes of your exes.

There is no power in holding on to negative emotion, secretly pining for your ex or holding out for him, or allowing your experiences to permeate the current and your future.

Forgive you. Love you. Trust you. Embrace you. Enjoy you.

Don’t be afraid.

That doesn’t mean you race out the door and saddle up with the first guy that you meet but it does mean that you commit to you.

As I said to a reader last night who’s moving forward with her life after a terrible break up that derailed her for a few months, it is important to “act out of love for yourself”.

This is how you learn to trust yourself and your interactions.

If you being involved with a man means that you have to be devalued, miserable, have low self-esteem, anxious, afraid, or whatever that negative emotion is, you are not acting in your best interests.

If loving him means that you can’t love you, you must always opt out and love you. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it in the long run.

Close the door and don’t linger at the door like in the movies, wondering if he’s on the other side. Close the door and walk away.

It is as simple as getting up right now and getting on with your life. Put away the mementos (I know a few of you are fond of burning stuff but be careful!), rearrange your furniture, return anything that belongs to him, and close down those ideas about him possibly coming back. Whenever you break, you must treat it like it’s permanent.

What will be, will be, but you won’t ‘be’ anything if you’re not ‘being’ someone.

Permission to close the door on your relationship and move on – Granted.

NML is the editor of Baggage Reclaim. If you need help understanding emotionally unavailable men, find out more about my ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl.

Check out Commandment 1: Thou shalt cut off this ‘Let’s be friends’ mallarky

Check out Commandment 2: Thou shalt not obsess

Check out Commandment 3: Thou shalt stop fearing the pain of breaking up and confront it.

Check out Commandment 4: Thou shalt stop doubting yourself and get angry.

Check out Commandment 5: Thou shalt be accountable

Check out Commandment 6: Thou shalt understand WHY and do something with the knowledge

Check out Commandment 7: Thou shalt forgive…but not forget…but don’t cling.

Check out Commandment 8: Thou need to get a life!

Check out Commandment 9: Thou mustn’t give up on love.

Check out Commandment 10: Thou must close the door and move forward

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12 Responses to Coping With and Moving On After a Breakup Commandment 10: Thou must close the door and move forward

  1. cheekie says:

    again, dead-spot-on lady!
    this isn’t a poem, this isn’t a movie.
    this is real life. we are not long suffering romantic heroines.
    I know I have been guilty of that in the past. (oh if I just love him ENOUGH , if he sees how much I NEED him…bs, total bs)
    playing martyr and sacrificing YOUR life for some asshat who barely recognizes you exist is NOT making YOU a better more loving person.
    Forgiving him, but mainly forgiving yourself and learning and moving on IS going to make you so much healthier in the long run, therefore more loving and self confident.
    Admitting that it didn’t work, isn’t ever going to work and closing that door is the first step to trusting yourself. Really.
    It isn’t easy at all. No one says it is. But it is much easier than spending the better part of your future on pipe dreams, fear, pain and broken promises.
    Make a promise to yourself that from now on, you will treat yourself the way that you wish to be treated.

    (and I never said burn EVERYTHING…lol…gotta have the assclown collection to look back on and say ‘whew! glad I smartened the heck up!’)


  2. FinallyOverIt says:

    Amen to this article–I needed it today, too. I am exactly at this point with my life and my ex-EUM. I work with him, and I have been able to have “not contact” with him for awhile now, and I am really feeling like I am actually moving on from him. Such strange emotions are coming up for me–I find myself almost scared of ending this with him once and for all–like I am so attached to the craziness of it that if I don’t have it, I won’t know what to do with myself….But, that being said, I am closing the door to this chapter of my life. The only thing left to conquer is that I know he will come skulking around sooner or later, and I am going to also verbally end it with him. Again, thanks NML, for the words of wisdom!

  3. lisaq says:

    You have no idea how much I needed this today. Okay, maybe you do. :)

    “Forgive you. Love you. Trust you. Embrace you. Enjoy you.” Thank you for that! I’m going to write it on a Post It note and repeat it until I get it!

  4. Joanna says:

    NML, thank you for another amazing post. Closure was the last phase of the break up that I was struggling with. I was moving on, but thought that I needed that last bit of information, something that I believed would explain the final reason for the break up… but would it really make a difference if I had that information?
    There could have been many reasons, but that was not the issue. The bottom line was that the relationship wasn’t working because he was emotionally unavailable, and not willing to work on himself and the relationship.

    Despite all the pain and tears, I am not giving up moving forward. The process to where I truly want to be may take a while, but at least I am aware now, and I have learned from this experience.

  5. cheekie says:

    You know what else, I just had another thought…
    Chances are that if you could confront them for closure, would they say what you want to hear? Would they take their responsibility for it all? Would they honestly and truly put your mind at ease?
    Nope. I know. Been and done.
    You know the answers already, right?
    If they couldn’t be honest and there for us during the relationship, why do we think they will now?

  6. china blue says:

    I’ve been following this series, and just downloaded your book. Your writing is no-nonsense and inspirational, and I’ve realised that hanging on, holding out, whatever you want to call it, benefits nobody. And right now, it needs to be about what benefits me. And I realised that closure isn’t about the other person. It’s about me accepting the situation, taking control by deciding not to be a part of it any more, and moving forward with my life. It’s been painful (I really liked the guy) but if you asked me what I’d be going back to, I couldn’t tell ya!

    Potential does not a relationship make. And I’ve learned to listen to someone when they’re being honest. Armed with a bit more self-knowledge, I can carry on with my life, and I wish him the best with his.

    I credit your blog and your book with helping me to find some clarity and look within myself to break the cycle :-)

  7. Kim says:

    Cheekie- AMEN TO THAT! You are SO right.. Not only that but because they are cowards & manipulators & nothing is ever their fault they would find a way to turn it around on us. My guy used the typical line “I just don’t think we are in love” to break it off after months of bombarding me with sappy emails of undying love THEN turned it around on me when confronted & said “I never wanted it to be over you had that all in your head.” So which is it moron? (Mind you he had already been seeing someone else). He was lying & cheating & I actually started blaming myself after he said that! Talk about clusterf*uck! Like NML said they are master manipulators!

    “If they couldn’t be honest and there for us during the relationship, why do we think they will now?

    That line is right on the $!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. annie d says:

    Like many other here, I really needed this today. It’s been 12 days of total NC w/my ex-EUM. We work together and I find it the hardest when I hear his voice down the hall. We have been avoiding running into each other, so I guess that is a blessing.

    ANYway, I was close … close to cracking the door today. We used to IM all day long and I was going to make myself “available” – after reading this, I decided against it. Still, I feel that crushing sensation in my chest and my throat gets tight. I can hardly wait to find another job. If I didnt have 3 children to support, I’d have quit by now. The temptation of him being close is killing me.

    My sister sent me this song and I am passing it along. You’ve probably heard it, but – tell you what – it helps to hear it again! Peace to all of you … Annie D.

  9. […] Check out Commandment 10: Thou must close the door and move forward […]

  10. finallyseenthelight says:

    I need a refresher course on this after 3 months of NC and over a year of breaking up and making up. It’s like I welcomed the contact…had been thinking about him and somehow willed him to write to me…now I have to go through a mini breakup all over again…when will I learn…I am getting it about closing the door…if I leave it ajar…then I will not be available for my next relationship…I want to move on…I felt such a pull with him agian today…why did I respond…why was I so compassionate with him and his problems after all the hurt I’ve been through, not to mention that he had promised not to contact me again…I have to get my head screwed on properly again.

  11. sara stewart says:

    I have finally closed the door.. no mails, no phone calls, no answering the door. After five years off on and off relationship, like me not allowed on his or his sis facebook… and monthly breakups where I walk out when other women called him,or I find emails to and from other women.. watch him flirt with shop keepers and coffee shop emloyees, each time I would leave and he would find a way of charming me back, the last six months his behaviour around little girls, his staring at them or playing with them or taking pictures of them, even my own relatives, and these were children of 3 yrs old or so, and he would stare at them whenever they were around even in a restaurant. I talked to him about it and he would say I was being ridiculous. Finally when he acted that way at my friends house with her friends 3 yr old. . I made him take me home.. I again saw email from him to another women, I as usual left again. but I decided that I no longer respected myself, and I dont know how im doing this but I am, the only thing in this whole relationship that is bothering me is the fact that this man has such a sweet side that is all covered with crap… He fixed things inside my home, outside my home, installed cupboards, tile.. etc.. he has bought me so many gifts right down to bras,and sexy underwear, to suits and all kinds of clothes, I could not figure out why he did that even to buying me expensive things like tv sets…??? His house is a hopeless mess inside and outside, he has four vehicals and they are also filled with paper and stuff never put away..I tried to help him organize things, I even did his washing and ironing, I even changed my hair colour as he said mine didnt suit me, I dressed in skirts and lady like clothes, he dressed as he pleased..I was just happy being with him for some reason I cant and never could explain, I fell in love with this man..but I considered doing things for him, a trade off for the stuff he did for me…what the heck? why did he do all that for me, and than cheat, lie, and manipulate me?.he is and is prob still doing things to wreck his life.its now going on 8 wks. and Ive cut all contact with him. I finally realized what a dummy I was, and that there isnt any use trying to figure out why he is the way he is, I still love him which I know is stupid, but Im not going to do a thing about still caring for I know now that he was an addiction and I have to get over it.. Im trying really hard this time and am having no contact with him at I need to get my self respect back. This site has helped me. so.. so.. much… thank you….

  12. MsBliss says:

    “I am so attached to the craziness of it that if I don’t have it, I won’t know what to do with myself….” SOUNDS LIKE ME! It’s been two weeks of NC. How are you doing with the NC?

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Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.