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Bypass Your Ex - How To Give Yourself Closure

Acceptance is the key to moving on.

Woman finding closure after her relationship

“I just need closure and then I can move on”.

Sound familiar?

You may have heard a friend or family member say it, or maybe you’re struggling with it now.

If only you could have that one magical conversation where you could tell your ex everything you needed to say to make them understand your perspective on how things ended.

I want to share something that helped me when I felt emotionally imprisoned because I couldn’t get ‘closure’ from my ex-partner.

The solution is not to ask someone for closure. The answer is within you. It takes self-awareness to zoom out, find the lessons and accept what is. Once you understand this, healing and moving on will be possible.

Closure is just another word for acceptance.

Primary motivations

When you break it down, there are two primary motivations for feeling you need closure from someone else.

  1. The need for forgiveness

  2. The need for an apology

Here’s the thing. Closure is an inside job. It’s not what the other person does or doesn’t say that finally allows you to feel like you have closure; it’s what you say to yourself.

The fact that you think you need an external source to allow you to move on indicates that you have not forgiven yourself for something you did in the relationship or accepted the reality of the breakup and some of the things your ex did.

Which one puts you in a more empowered state? Wanting closure from another person so you can finally move on, or going deep within to find forgiveness and acceptance so that you are the one who grants yourself the permission you’re looking for?

Lost opportunities

When you wait for closure before you open yourself up again, you cut yourself off from the opportunity to find love. It may present as self-sabotage. Or a feeling that you’re just unable to ‘click’ with anyone else.

This feeling is your subconscious wanting a perfect resolution to a problem before it can relax, let go, love and trust again. There are no perfect resolutions; there is no such thing as a risk-free love experience. Let go of the need to control relationship outcomes if it’s keeping you from being courageous.

Past experiences

Sometimes, we confuse closure with a desire to resolve a hurt or trauma from our childhood.

For example, if your parents made you feel invisible or you felt abandoned through a divorce.

If we didn’t feel good enough when we were young, our subconscious mind tries to resolve the pain as adults. We do this by ruminating and obsessing over things we believe we can control if we could just ‘put it right this time’.

I am the adult child of an alcoholic. My mother could not care for me properly because she was addicted to alcohol. So, when my relationship with my alcoholic ex ended, I still wanted to resolve those issues from the past. I wanted a different outcome, and I was not able to get it.

I got stuck fantasising about closure I didn’t need to ask him for. I needed to go within and find acceptance for the neglect I experienced when I was a child. It wasn’t easy, but it was a necessary step to letting go of my attachment to the outcome of the relationship.

Reflection is key.

What could be holding you back? Think and reflect carefully on this. This is a vital step if you want to remove those blockages to let go of your need for closure.

Without doing the inner work, you’ll keep telling yourself that you need something from your ex to be able to love again. The better option is to take the power back into your own hands. You are the one who decides to move on or not.

Dismantling the fantasy

A powerful tool you can use is to play out the closure fantasy step-by-step in your head and analyse the likelihood of getting the dream outcome you want. Write it all down. What is it that you are imagining?

Don’t gloss over any of the dialogue you are hoping for. Remember, you are the only one who knows your thoughts. The goal is to get 100% clear about the outcome you feel you need.

Once you see this outcome, you can decide if it’s realistic and if that’s what you truly want.

Here’s an example of what it could look like:

The “I need an apology” fantasy.

Outcome one:

He’ll tell me he’s so sorry, that he never meant to hurt me. He’s been feeling bad all this time and knows how his actions hurt me and destroyed our bond. He wishes he had done things differently.

Ok, now what? How is this going to make you feel? Is this the full stop you wanted, or do you now have hope that you guys could work after all? What if he’s not interested?

Outcome two:

He says “I never did anything wrong; you were the over-sensitive one. We were never right for each other, and I’m much happier now”.

Ouch. Now you’re back to square one with fresh wounds and hurt to deal with, ruminating and obsessing over how your ex still can’t take ownership for what he did to you.

The “I need forgiveness” fantasy.

Outcome one:

I’ll tell her how sorry I am and that I should never have let a good woman like that out of my life. She’ll say that she always knew I was a good person, give me a big hug, and tell me she forgives me.

Again, be honest about the likelihood of someone you’ve hurt being this open to forgiveness. If you have been romanticizing the relationship, you may have hope that you could try again. What if she doesn’t want the same?

Outcome two:

I tell her how sorry I am to have hurt her. She says she can never forgive what I did; she’s upset and wishes I’d never reached back out. She’s also in a relationship.

Now you have the thought of her with someone else running through your head, as well as the pain of not finding the forgiveness and understanding you were searching for.

Emotional risk

Of course, these are just some examples of how things could go. Still, when you break down all possible scenarios, you realise there is a high risk in asking someone else to give you permission to forgive yourself or to accept what has happened.

There is no risk of being hurt again and going back to square one when you decide to give yourself closure. Either by forgiving yourself for mistakes that you’ve made in the past, or by accepting that your relationship just wasn’t meant to last one day longer than it did and everything is happening just as it should.

Once you’ve dismantled your fantasy, if you still believe that a conversation with your ex is what you need, then at least you are going into the situation with mindfulness and confidence that whatever you are faced with, you’ll be able to deal with it. You’ll minimise the risk of being emotionally blindsided.


Letting go of a past relationship can be challenging. The issue is complex and sometimes has many layers that must be worked through to get to the heart of what keeps you stuck.

Take the time to decide if the closure you feel you need is something you can find within yourself instead. Give yourself the permission you’re looking for to approach life and love with a clean slate.


If you need support moving on after your relationship, book a free 1:1 call with me today.

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