On your computer, if you draw a rectangle and then put a line halfway through it to create two rectangles, and then another line halfway through the new rectangle you’ve drawn, and then another line halfway through this new rectangle, and keep going and going and going…you’ll never reach the other side of the rectangle.
It might look like you have reached the other side and you may feel you’ve reached the other side but it’s an illusion. Zoom in and you’ll see you haven’t succeeded getting to the other side. It doesn’t matter how many lines you draw, it will always be out of reach to some extent.
This image of a rectangle is what comes to mind when people talk about closure in the context of a romantic relationship.
Closure is about getting a firm answer and getting rid of any ambiguity about the situation.
People often say they need closure with their ex and once they’ve gotten closure they can move on with their life.
Not so fast Pythagoras.
It doesn’t matter how many questions you’ve had answered in your quest for closure. There will always be more. Your quest for closure will never end.
Ambiguity is ever present and the more questions we ask and the more answers we get, the more questions bubble up to the serve and we need to ask.
Closure as a myth
Closure sounds like a great idea in theory but it’s a myth.
In practice, trying to achieve closure is just like the image of the rectangle with the line dividing it in half for eternity. You will never reach the sweet spot you wish for because there will always be a gap (e.g. question) that gnaws at you.
In theory, you may have a list of 10 questions you would like your ex to answer but, let’s be frank, the answers are going to create more questions that need answers, and those answers will create more questions that need answers…∞
So, what to do?
You. Tough, It. Out.
You let all those unanswered questions stay unanswered.
You fight the urge to get to the bottom of things.
You don’t let your ex’s ambiguity, ghosting or bullshit deter you from healing and moving on.
You set yourself free.
Breakups are painful at the best of times but you will make yourself suffer a whole lot more if you tell yourself that you need closure by finding out xyz or you need closure by admitting to them xyz or you need closure by seeing their face when you finally tell them xyz.
Throw xyz to the wayside and take back the control.
By claiming you need closure what you are doing is putting the control back in their hands.
Often breaking up is compared to kicking a drug habit. It’s an excellent comparison because it’s true. Each time you communicate or come into contact with your ex you only exacerbate the pain and prolong the suffering. Kind of like a drug addict who needs a little shot to take the edge off before they kick their habit for good. Well, that shot just put you a few steps behind on your quest to get better.