I recently parted ways with a long ditance dating relationship that was in the works for about seven months. The guy was sweet, sensitive, and attentive, but alas, things just didn’t work out. Our last conversation following a disagreement (via phone) went something like:
Him: How do you feel about things between us? Me: Well, it's always been a perpetual "kinda okay." Him: What do you think would get us to where we said we wanted to be? Me: I think we should see each other more. There's a new depth of understanding that a person gains when those nuances and manerisms reveal themselves, when you're in closer proximity with one another more often. Him:...yeah...I don't really think that'll fix things. Me:...so what do you think we should do? Him: I don't think it's working out. I think we should cut our losses. Me: Okay. Him:...um..okay...well I'll talk to you later, I guess.
Per usual when these things happen, my initial reaction was to cover my eyes in frustation and heartache and shed a few tears (literally just one or two). But something new happened. It was like my body swallowed all the hurt and righteous indignation I wanted to feel and it said “No.” Suddenly I was at a loss because I didn’t know how or what to feel. I’d entered emotonally foreign teritory. As an HSP who’s pretty in tune with her body, I understood immediately that things usually present in these sorts of break-up situations were absent. There was no pit in my chest, no racing thoughts, no anger. I was confused at first and a of couple hours later, I realized why.
I had emotionally invested according to the what I saw was the reality of the situation, and because of that, I didn’t need closure from him. My “okay,” which released me from a situation and person that I no longer needed to be a part of, was enough. Having come from a tramatic emotional past in romantic relationships where I’d been abused and/or taken for granted, then cast aside, I could appreciate the situation for being completely different and for it’s teachable moments.
Media, friends, family, and past experiences may tell us that we should close things out rom-com style; that we should have a final talk for closure at some chic coffee shop dowtown and either come out friends or emenies on the other side. But I’d like to offer you an alternative approach. Here some of the lessons I leared which taught me I’ll always have all the closure I need:
1- When you’re able to make a clean break, that means you didn’t emotionally over-invest.
Over-investing emotionally without regard for the reality of where you stand with someone romanctially is likely the potion for heartbreak. You over trust, over analyze, care too much, and end up in too deep. Before you realize it, you’re balling your eyes out over a tub of ice cream, telling your friends another sob story about a guy/gal they’d already warned you about.
As an HSP or even a person with a more common sensory processor, you may tend to lean really hard into things that make your heart and head feel warm and fuzzy. This is especially true of romantic endeavors, because…well…that’s what they’re supposed to do! When you maintain a view of the potential a relationship has, the things someone says, and their actions in aggregate instead of as indifivual factors, you’ll find yourself able to walk away feeling like your life hasn’t experienced a major tectonic shift.
The fact that you’re able to make a clean break without feeling like someone’s suddendly kicked your emotions in the back of the knees while they were standing upright indicates you’re probably in a good enough place already. Knowing that, do you need to go rehash a situation that’s over?
2 – You don’t have to breathe life into the shady parts of the situation you know you’d mull over until you found something to be hurt about.
This is a tough one sometimes, especially when a former dating partner rather quickly ends up with someone else in a happy relationship (before you do). Questions arise such as: “Were they always talking to this person behidnd my back?”; “Did that tweet indicate they were doing something shady before we broke things off?”; “Should I have been more concerned about (fill in the name or action) while we dated?”
The answer is a hard “no.”
While it sucks that there’s always a possiblity you may find out you shouldn’t have trusted someone as much as you did or didn’t know them as well as you thought, you should rest asured knowing the answers no longer have anything to do with you. When you part ways with someone you had a romantic connection with, all of those if’s, and’s, and but’s stop there. You don’t need to carry around negativity with you when knowing whether the other person was shady or not has no bearing on who you were in the relationship up to the end. And if you were shady too (no judgement here) then it really shouldn’t matter because you’d both have treated each other equally, more or less.
3 – It wasn’t a failure if you learned something positive about yourself and grew.
Knowing that you couldn’t continue getting along even though you may have done your best to be genuine and vulnerabe with someone can be a hard pill to swallow. However, it certainly doesn’t mean you won’t get along better with someone else, given the new skills you’ve aquired along the way.
Vulnerability is my hot button issue. The guy I dated was really patient with me about opening up, because he was already able to be fairly vulnerable. That’s just the kind of person he was. I can say I learned a great deal about how and when to open up and what speed is appropriate for me moving forard. That’s huge because it was something I’d struggled with for so long due to my upbringing and past relationships. Realizing I’ve conquered a barrier I have in getting to love, I’m content with how we walked away from things. It isn’t necessary that the person I learned the lesson from stick around to see me use the new skills.
You won’t be able to salvage every situation, but you should be proud that you tried to be the best version of yourself during the time spent having a person in your life. You’ll continue to be better for the growing you’ve done. And that, I’d say, is the best and most important kind of closure you could have!
If you found this post helpful or have tips about gaining closure in a new way that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Be sure to pass this post on to someone you feel may need to read it. After all, sharing is caring 🙂