You were in love. You were happy. You told each other you’d be together forever. And then…. you broke up with each other. You didn’t even see it coming. Or, at least, you never thought it would happen. A promise was a promise, right?
When someone breaks up with you and leaves, you don’t get to end things on your terms. So how do you get a sense of closure? How do you get to feel like you are ready for it to be over, even though you feel like you were skipping across a green meadow when they burned it down?
This post is for those of you who need closure with your ex. Closure helps you feel like you are OK with the burning meadow… even though the reality is, you never wanted it to burn down in the first place.
Maybe your ex broke up with you and gave you no explanation. Maybe you don’t understand their reason. You can and will live with the breakup, but you still just want to tell them one last thing so you can know it is over.
But how do you express yourself without acting like a crazy stalker? Let’s look at the outline of a great love letter.
1. The Opening: AKA: “Why are you wasting their time with this conversation/letter/email when they just broke up with you?”
There are some things I wanted to have a chance to say to you….
2. The “Thank you”: What are you grateful for? What do you want them to remember about your relationship? This is your chance to commemorate the love you had.
Thank you for teaching me how to make pasta…
Thank you for meeting my parents….
Thank you for always listening to me on bad days….
2.5 OPTIONAL: Apologize for some misunderstanding you never had a chance to clear. Focus on using “I,” not “you.”
I am sorry for getting mad that one time…. I was overreacting…
I am sorry I bugged you at work… I never meant to make you uncomfortable….
I am sorry for not paying enough attention to our conversations when you had something serious to share…..
3. The Closure: What good things do you wish for them?
I hope that you find happiness with someone….
I wish you a wonderful life….
I hope you always have joy and happy things…..
Talk about what you appreciate in them.
Apologize if that is important.
Take a step back and edit yourself – waiting another day never hurts. After all, the relationship is already over.
Ask for their forgiveness.
Hint that you want to get back together with them (this is selfish and makes it about you).
Expect any reply.
Repeat: DO NOT EXPECT A REPLY. Like, ever. For the rest of your life. So don’t write anything in that letter that asks for one, or even implies you want one. The letter is not about your needs; it’s about your ex.
You are painting a picture of yourself as you are– that is, someone filled with dignity and grace.
People filled with dignity and grace say things like, “I’m sorry” and “Thank you” and “I wish you well.”
Send the letter. Cry at home. Let it go.
Your heart will heal. Years down the road, when you’ve fallen in love as a wiser and more mature person, you will look back and say: “I was so sad back then. But look what I learned from it. Now, that point in time is not even a big deal at all.”