I’ve had my fair share of heartbreaks. The stories are pretty standard: boy meets girl, they fall in “love,” boy decides he doesn’t want girl, girl ends up crying into a bucket-sized container of ice cream as her mascara runs down her cheeks and clouds her puffy, tear-stained face.
Yep. Pretty typical. The first thing I always did when this happened was look at them through blurry, bloodshot eyes and ask, “Why?” Why were they doing this to me? What did I do wrong? Why was I not enough for them?
It wasn’t until the third heartbreak that I realized asking for closure after a breakup is a really bad idea. It may seem like common sense to find the thing you did wrong and fix it for the next person. Easy enough, right? Wrong.
7 reasons not to ask for closure
Having someone who just tore your heart out tell you all of the things they didn’t like about you is a really quick way to watch yourself shatter into even more pieces. When you hear them describe the things you did and how much those things turned them off to you, you’re left feeling dumbfounded and insecure. [Read: 10 stages of a breakup and how to get through them]
But those aren’t the only reasons why you should never ask for closure after being dumped. Here are a few more reasons you definitely need to consider.
#1 Your self-esteem will plummet into nonexistence. I mean so far into nonexistence that you may as well forget about it for a few months, because it’ll take you that long to find it again. It will be on some interstellar, across-the-universe vacation, with no plans of returning anytime soon.
When you have someone, especially someone you’re in love with, tell you all of the things they don’t like *ahem, all the things they would change* about you, you’ll really take it to heart. You’ll start thinking that you need to change yourself in order to fit what they want. [Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a relationship]
DON’T DO THAT. You should never change who you are for someone else, because there is somebody out there who will like you just the way you are. If you change anything, then they might not have the opportunity to see who you really are, and that’s a good way to miss out on someone great.
#2 You will start comparing yourself to any other person who enters their life. Any new person whom your ex starts seeing will immediately become a research project to you. You will stalk their entire social network like you’re Sherlock Holmes, just to see what they’re like.
“Oh! She has long hair? He must’ve hated my short hair, then!” Or, “Oh! He works out all the time. She must’ve been disgusted with my stomach pudge and just didn’t want to tell me that when we broke up.” Ring a bell? These thoughts begin to creep *unhealthily* into your mind and will make you blind to all of the incredible things that you actually are. [Read: Suddenly single? 11 things you have to avoid doing!]
#3 Your anxiety will spike with anyone new. That is, you will constantly be self-conscious about all of the things your ex told you they didn’t like about you.
There’s nothing like a never-ending stream of self-doubt running a marathon in your mind when you finally try to move on and meet someone new. You will always wonder if the new person will dislike all of the same things your ex did.
This will make you very closed off, and it’ll be hard for anyone to get to know you enough to decide if they like you, making dating new people that much harder. [Read: How to fall in love again after a breakup]
#4 You may not get an honest reason. Hopefully whoever is breaking up with you has enough heart to not want to hurt your feelings too much. But this may mean that they’ll lie to you about why they want to split up.
Remember the good old line, “It’s not you, it’s me”? Yeah, you very well may receive an answer like that, and it’ll probably make you feel worse than if they were to give you a reason why they stopped caring for you like they used to. [Read: What to do when your relationship ends without warning]
Why? It leaves too much to the imagination. Your thoughts will always drift to the different possible reasons why they left. Was it because you were too clingy? Were you not good enough in bed? Or was there someone else? This unhealthy obsession with the real reason will drive you nuts.
#5 You’ll try to change their mind. When you ask for closure and they tell you why they no longer want to pursue anything with you, you’ll start to convince them that you’re different. You’ll try telling them that they’re wrong and you aren’t like that, or that you will change just for them.
This may actually work. A lot of times, people start to break up, but then when the reasons are discussed, they tell each other that they will do everything in their power to fix it. [Read: 8 lies we tell when our relationship is going downhill]
But this is never a good idea. You can’t change who you are, so please don’t even try. If you do, then you will no longer be happy and you’ll start to resent them for wanting you to be someone you’re not. Resentment always leads to the demise of a healthy relationship. Or, worse yet, you’ll fall back into your old ways and will get broken up with AGAIN.
#6 Their opinion shouldn’t matter anymore. If this person is no longer going to be a part of your life, then their opinion shouldn’t matter to you anymore. [Read: How to stop holding onto a relationship that’s over]
Who cares if they think wearing socks to bed is weird? Who cares if they don’t like that you text them 50 times a day asking how they are? It won’t matter anymore. They may not like the way you do things, but they won’t have to deal with it anymore, so why sweat it?
Their feelings have changed, and who cares? It’s better to spend your time with people who you know want to be around you, instead of pining over this one person’s opinions of you.
#7 It could have nothing to do with you, anyway. Sometimes, the reason for a breakup has absolutely nothing to do with the opposite person. The cheesy saying mentioned earlier, “It’s not you, it’s me,” can actually be true.
The thing is, if you ask for closure and get the response that they just “need time for themselves” or “want to be single for a while,” you will immediately think they are lying to protect your feelings. But that’s not always the case.
It’s possible for someone to need time to self-reflect, without someone else getting in the way. Some people also just need time to be alone to find themselves. It’s not unheard of. But you will always wonder if they really wanted to be alone, or if they didn’t want to tell you about your flaws. Fortunately, sometimes, you truly are not the issue.
[Read: Time to let go? 14 Reasons why good relationships end]
The bottom line is simple: if your former partner wants to end things, then let it end. Don’t ask why. Just respect their decision, accept your new reality, and move on, because there is someone out there who is perfect for you, just waiting for their chance.
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