Does Closure Make Breaking Up Easier?
The other night I was catching up with my homegirl Julie over drinks when the subject of her ex Bobby came up. He was her first love but they ultimately broke up because he cheated. Despite Bobby’s infidelity they managed to maintain a civil friendship for a while because they were friends first, but eventually Julie began to feel that it was pointless to maintain allegiance to a man that had betrayed her trust. However, she never relayed this message to Bobby directly, instead she just stopped reaching out and returning his calls in hopes he'd get the picture.
FLASH FORWARD about two years and Julie gets a friend request from Bobby on FaceBook. IGNORE.
A few weeks later she gets a voice mail message from him: "Hey, I got your number from So-And-So and just wanted to check in on you and say I really miss your friendship. If I don't hear from you just know that, uhm, I love you and, well, I guess, have a good life." DELETE.
A week or two after that Julie got a call from her grandmother saying how she ran into Bobby at the mall and he mentioned losing Julie's number. Apparently he needed to get in contact with her about “something important.” Julie also got a call from her father recounting a similar exchange with Bobby when he called her parents' house a few weeks back. Needless to say, neither grandma nor daddy passed on Julie's information to Bobby. Despite Bobby’s effort, Julie has yet to respond to him and she has no plan to.
Based on Bobby's multi-pronged modes of reaching out to Julie, I figured he wanted one of three things. A) He realized the error of his ways and wanted to get back together. B) He was getting married or had a baby on the way and wanted her to hear it from him first. C) Because their lines of communication ended abruptly with no explanation he just needed some closure.
According to Julie, though, she could give a rat's ass about A, B or C. Their break up was years ago and she has long since moved on. In her mind, there’s nothing else to discuss. While I saw where Julie was coming from, I tried to view things from Bobby's perspective as well. I mean, it had to be something real important for this man to go through all these hoops and hurdles just to try to get in contact with her. I viewed option A and B as all ego-driven, but if it was option C, I could definitely feel Bobby's pain.
Over the years I've had my fair share of relationships—platonic, romantic, business, family, etc—but what I've begun to realize is the value of closure. When I was younger, I thought only women needed closure. Any time I heard a chick say she needed "closure" I had no idea what she meant. We’re no longer dealing with each other so you go your way and I’ll go mine. But you know what? Men need closure too. At least I do.
Keeping it all the way real; I've got a lot of open wounds ranging from my unresolved daddy issues to my numerous unrequited crushes. Truthfully, I've only had one real breakup. All my other romantic relationships or dealings with women just somehow faded away with no real conversation or discussion. Someone stopped calling and the other person stopped bothering, eventually you both got the picture and moved on. The problem with that approach is that rather than dealing with the issue head-on, you merely bury your emotions under a false sense of security.
If you've been following my journey here for a minute you will have noticed that I'm constantly fighting with my demons and trying to better myself the best ways I know how—through closure. That's why I finally reached out to Karen (see "Requiem For a One-Night Stand") to explain to her why I faded out of the picture after our one and only night of intimacy. That's why I reached out to my father [see "Dear, Father (The Realest Shit I Ever Wrote)"] to finally get some answers about why he wasn't there for most of my life and to learn more about who I am. That's why I recently apologized to the mother of my unborn child (see "The Untold Fact") to beg her forgiveness for how I treated her during our relationship and never acknowledging her as someone worthy of being called my girlfriend (I'll write about that in depth at a later date).
While I cringe at the thought of that last sentence being read publicly, the growth that I seek myself requires that I face my demons head-on. So if that means unearthing buried skeletons from my closet and possibly calling up old exes and friends like Bobby just to find closure so be it. It may have taken me 32 years but I know now that before I can ever move forward in life and find true happiness, I first have to close all these still-ajar doors to my past. Sometimes you have to take one step back just to make two steps forward. Walk with me...
How good are you at finding closure when a relationship ends? Are you the one usually looking for closure or the one running away from it? How important do you think resolving issues in past relationships are to you finding happiness in future ones? Have you ever confronted an ex or former friend about unresolved issues between y’all? How did it go? Would you do it again? Is there anybody from your past that you wish could clear the air with? Are you ready to find the closure you need?
Speak your piece...