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I recently went through a break-up from someone who was dear to me. This man and I had known each other since I was 25. So, he knew me for half of my twenties. When we met, we both worked at a restaurant in New York. I was a server and he was The Chef.
Even though we were friends for many years, both of us knew that we would end up being more than that. So, when we developed into more, it felt like it was always meant to be.
Our years of a story came to an end when I realized that the relationship was not headed in the direction that I felt was fair to both us. And, I felt deep down that I needed to give another man (who had been lingering around) a chance.
So, I did one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to- I cut ties with a dear friend and lover. Who happened to be the same person.
This experience has taught me a lot; however, it has taught me the most about closure.
Here are 4 things that I have learnt about closure:
1. It won’t always go the way that you want it to.
I must admit, in this situation, it is easy for me to walk away from this because I have already ‘moved on to another’. On my quest to move on, I was forcing him to do the same. I found myself bombarding him with messages to let go of us and the prospect of what might’ve been. It finally dawned on me that people deal with loss differently. Forcing him to deal with it as well as I have will drive both of us crazy. Sometimes it is better to let things be than force a peaceful situation when someone is still upset about the outcome.
2. Endings don’t always have to be happy.
As a positive person, I yearn to be around people that think like this as well. Sometimes my yearn can become force and inappropriately positive. I am great at dealing with moving past situations that I can clearly see will result in destruction. So, when others don’t, it frustrates me. I ask myself, why can’t they see that this is for the best? Which, is exactly what I was doing with this situation. I was ignoring his emotions and need to mourn because I could see that the relationship was clearly over. I was so over the situation that I was forcing him to be the same. Which, comes across as insensitive and rude when, all that I wanted was the best for both of us. I have learnt that endings don’t always have to be happy. Sometimes people will be mad at you and stay mad at you, but their opinion and feelings can’t get in the way of moving forward.
3. Closure is something that you give to yourself.
It’s no secret that I have been put through the ‘relationship-wringer’. And, none of my exes want to be friends with me or be at peace about us moving on with our lives. Until this recent guy. You see, through our many years of friendship and understanding each other, I always thought that if the time came for him and I to separate that it would be peaceful and serene- whenever that time came. I thought this because he is one of kindest, most sincere and considerate people that I have ever met. To my shock and dismay, his response to us no longer being together has not been peaceful and that was bothering me. I kept asking myself, why can’t he give me peace about this so that I can move on? And, one day, the answer was ‘because he is not the one who has the power to give you peace. You are’.
I am! I am the one who can give myself closure and progress from this, whether the other person wants to, or not.
4. Closure is a choice.
In my attempt to smooth things over and not be labelled a female dog by our mutual friends for the many years of our back&forth story, I wrote him that I thought so highly of him- which I do and always will. I started writing about his great qualities and questioned if I was making the right decision: to leave someone who was so loyal, kind and considerate to me. Of course, the answer is yes. Because I knew when I made the decision as I will always know, some two people can be great apart but not great together- which I believe to be the case here. I decided at that moment to choose closure. Despite his lack of response to me, I chose to move on. Despite the fact that he is showing me a different side of who he is, I know his heart. He is kind, loving and supportive. We gave so much to each other and all that I can say is ‘Thank you’. That is my closure.