Why You Should Stop Looking for “Closure”
Written by Phylicia Masonheimer | January 18, 2018
“I just need closure.”
We don’t hear this word much until we enter the dating world. It’s the word we use to describe that sense of finality in a relationship—how we determine that it has, at last, ended for good. We often use it to find emotional clarity and to determine what exactly went wrong between us and the other party.
But the search for closure, and the weight we place on it, is not necessary. There are four times when seeking closure is not just the unwise thing to do—it’s the wrong thing to do.
Closure as an Excuse to Talk to Your Ex
If you’ve been broken up for a span of time, chances are your past relationship isn’t looking quite as bad as it felt in the throes of it. Our minds tend to glamorize old relationships, giving them happiness and color that didn’t exist in reality. We start regretting the breakup (if we didn’t before) and tell ourselves that “closure” is what we need. But in our heart of hearts, we know the truth: We just want to talk to our ex.
Exes see right through this. Closure happens when the door, well, closes. And you don’t need your ex to help you walk through the relationship’s end. Find a mentor and a prayer partner to do that for you.
Closure as a Reason to Stay Emotionally Attached
Another reason we seek closure is to keep our minds fixed on that old relationship because it’s our “safe place.” It’s where we go mentally when we’re stressed or overwhelmed. We call it “looking for closure,” but really, we’re constantly opening up the same old door. We use the never-ending search for peace as an excuse to stay emotionally attached to someone who is no longer in our lives.
No human can satisfy the emotional desires of your heart until your heart is at rest in Christ. Your security—emotional and otherwise—comes from embracing your Christian identity, not dwelling on relationships of the past.
Closure as a Cover for Nosiness
Another sneaky way we use closure is as a cover for being nosy. Who doesn’t want to do a little ex stalking now and then? A few months (or years) down the road from a breakup, we send a nice message or text. Of course we’re just “wondering how he’s doing,” looking for an explanation for what happened. But if we were honest with ourselves, we’d admit the truth. We aren’t looking for closure. We’re trying to find out what our ex is up to, who he’s dating and if he missed us!
Closure as a Means of Control
The last reason we seek closure is as a means for control. Rather than do the hard spiritual work of dealing with our emotions and unmet dreams, we try to control the situation by staying connected to something we need to release. This kind of closure is simply a crutch. When we attempt to keep emotional, mental or even physical control over a situation, we aren’t entrusting it to the Lord’s work. The ultimate closure comes from Him. He is the one who grants peace in any and all situations. He can redeem relationships, heal our hearts and help us move forward without any effort on our part except to seek His face.
It would do us well to check our motives when we say we’re seeking closure. Have we allowed God to give us His kind of closure? His heart should be our first stop.