Sometimes you can feel the demise of a relationship coming, like the scent of the salt can tell you you’re close to the ocean before you even see it. The long pauses in conversations, the last minute canceled plans, the cryptic tweets, the look in their eyes that make it clear to you that the feelings are now gone.
And sometimes, the end of a relationship is abrupt, with no indicators. One day you’re smiling and laughing with him, and eight hours later you’re staring at the ceiling with a bottle of bourbon wondering how you’re single. Those are the times you’d really hope for closure. But it’s in these instances that it usually doesn’t come.
No matter how hard you push the person to explain himself or herself, you never get a real reason as to why you’re now over. You either get silence, or the vague precursor to the fade away. When all you want is an apology for throwing your heart into a blender and letting it grind, and all you get is a cursory goodbye.
I once didn’t get the closure I was hoping for, and sought it for years. On nights I couldn’t sleep, I would make up lists in my head of all the reasons we probably didn’t work out. Remember that time you texted him super sarcastically and he didn’t get it? Yeah – that was probably one of the big reasons we didn’t work out.
I’d literally make up reasons just so I felt I had closure. It never came. I never felt like I got the send-off that I deserved and desired. I wanted him to realize that he threw away something great, and apologize for it. But over time, I got comfortable with the idea that closure just doesn’t exist. “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got,” Robert Brault is quoted as saying.
And that’s exactly what I did. I reasoned with myself that I didn’t need closure to continue on living my life. You’re not always going to get a reason for everything, nor do you always need a reason. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Not everyone is going to admit fault in a situation. Maybe it was you, maybe it was the timing or maybe it was him. But whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s the past, and you’re different today than you were back then. The reason is useless and holds no power over you.
I have come to simply accept that most relationships won’t work out. There are six billion people on the planet, and if you’re searching for “the one,” it’s likely that it’ll take a lot of trying to find him or her.
But then, sometimes the apology and closure does come, absolutely out of the darkness of the past, to creep up on you unexpectedly and throw your current mindset into a loop.
The only one who I ever wanted closure from contacted me two years after our last interaction, and gave me a beautifully written letter about all the reasons we didn’t work, and took the blame for most of our problems. He recognized all that I did for him, and it was everything I wanted to hear two years ago.
But yet, the letter brought me right back into the whirlwind of emotions and problems we had. It was such a strong flashback, I was caught in limbo between being happy that I finally got the resolution I wanted, and sad about how we couldn’t just get it right when we were together. I mean, it took two years after the fact for him to figure our relationship out. My heart automatically wished we could have had these conversations two years ago when it was all I wanted in life. Despite the fact I am happier now than ever, and don’t want the relationship back, the apology makes me reconsider. I feel weakened in my course of staying strong in the absence of a sorry. Maybes and what-if abound.
Is it nice to have closure to a relationship that probably developed me more into the person that I am today than any other relationship? Sure, but it also comes with a lot of memories, heartache and digging up old skeletons. Maybe it’s sometimes best to let things die and stay buried.