Hi! Is closure a myth???? Will I get over her completely?? I’ve done a lot of work this year to heal from a very devastating first breakup. In summary: after four years and tbh a lot of codependency, I moved across the country, she emotionally cheated on me, and after me struggling to end it, she finally broke up with me. I sent one (1!) very civil email a month no contact after the breakup being like idk how to be friends? (When we broke up over facetime there were so many tears and promises of us remaining friends lmao.) I’m not proud of this, but I had our mutual friend check her email to see that she had left it unread. Shortly after, I caught myself posting snapchat stories because I could see her watching them (not healthy I KNOW), so I eventually unfriended/unfollowed her and all her family on every social media thing I could think of. Flash forward- I’ve been living my life WELL and away from my home state, and in a few months I’m visiting family where she will presumably still be. Would it be crazy to text when I’m there and try to get closure/establish friendship contact??? out of a face to face? A year later? I really thought we were going to grow old together, but I recognize I was hurting myself so much trying to make it work. And really, thinking about it, I don’t even know if I want to be friends? Any advice is so welcome!
Closure is not a myth. However, the type of closure you seem to want is… mostly a myth. It sounds to me like you want to receive the kind of closure that relies on another person either meeting you halfway or providing the sense of closure entirely. I am here to tell you that closure is a choice. It’s one that you make for yourself. You can’t bank on someone else giving you closure, because when it comes to breakups, most of the time you’re just not going to get it.
There are exceptions, of course. But for the most part, the kind of closure you’re talking about takes a lot of time and a lot of work—work that doesn’t really make sense to do outside of the context of a relationship and friendship. And it sounds to me like even though there were promises of staying friends during the initial breakup (which is very common!), neither of you have a lot of interest in being friends. You yourself admitted to her that you don’t know what that looks like, and she made it clear that she doesn’t want to move forward with friendship since she did not open the email or reply (I know it may feel shitty to you that she didn’t verbally set this boundary, but it’s still a clear boundary that she set, and as hard as it is to leave that email just dangling there, you should respect it).
You even end your question with saying that you don’t even know if you want to be friends. This makes it pretty clear to me that it’s not something you want, especially since some of your behaviors reflect it (the unhealthy social media habits are not a great way to build friendship, for example). It’s perfectly fine to not want to be friends with an ex. It’s one of those things that sounds good in theory but is difficult in practice, especially since there was some element of betrayal before the breakup. I don’t know exactly what emotional cheating looked like in your situation, but if it was enough to make you classify it as such, it does sound like some form of betrayal. And the thing about friendship is that it requires trust, too! If you weren’t able to rebuild that trust before the breakup, it’d be very difficult but necessary work if you were going to pursue a friendship with this person. And you even say that it hurt you to try to make things work. That really signals that a relationship is broken, and you can’t start a friendship from that broken place.
I try to veer away from being too prescriptive when I give advice, but if you want me to be plainly honest: I don’t think you should text your ex. You have reservations about friendship, and she appears to tacitly have reservations, too. Also, if you go into a situation expecting closure, I think you could be setting yourself up for disappointment and more pain. Closure that relies on another person is extremely hard to come by.
But like I said, closure can be a personal choice. Closure can look like you doing the work to move on. Your ex can’t help you with that. It sounds like you’ve already taken great strides toward moving forward with your life. You said so yourself that you’re living your life WELL in the time since the breakup. If you’re doing well without your ex, doesn’t it sound like a risk to invite them back in, especially when you struggled so much when working on the relationship pre-breakup?
And I get it: Breakups suck! In general, losing someone who was once a constant part of your life really sucks. But based on the information you’ve provided, the cost of keeping this person in your life seems to outweigh the benefit. Being friends with an ex is lovely and works in some situations, but don’t fault yourself for not being able to make it work. I think there’s sometimes extra pressure in the queer community to stay friends with exes, and that comes from stereotypes and cultural expectations. But it simply doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s absolutely okay.
Letting go is sometimes all that closure really is. Honestly, you’ll probably never get to a point where you never think about this person. Eternal Sunshine technology does not exist! And a person’s first breakup can feel especially dire. Again, it takes time. And I think if you start to let go of this idea about receiving closure from her, it will help you get to a better place.
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