In 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