Why We Need to Stop Waiting for Closure

In a digital age where most of us literally live and breath online, everything from business and education to love and relationships (and beyond) happens online. We stay connected to friends and family through social media, love our long-distance partners through text message and Snapchat, and even purchase food, groceries, home goods, and clothes through the Internet. The world wide web has it all. 

But when it comes to love, relationships, and dating, the one thing the online world can’t provide us with is closure. 

A friend recently emailed me a link to a video from self-proclaimed relationship guru, Matthew Hussey. In this video, Hussey explains that we can’t wait for closure from someone who has ghosted us, ignored us, or let us fall to the wayside. We can’t – and shouldn’t – wait for someone to tell us with their words what we already know based on their actions and behavior. Mainly, that when someone is no longer interested in us, breaks up with us, ends a relationship, or simply ghosts us, as opposed to expecting words, we should instead seek closure from their actions. 

Often, when a relationship, friendship, or brief Tinder-courtship comes to a close, at least one of the two (or more) people involved is left wondering what the heck happened. Why did the relationship end? Why does so-and-so no longer want me? What explanation can they give that justifies the breakup? These are questions many of us have likely asked ourselves at one point or another during our time spent moving on from the end of any relationship. But rarely do we stop to consider whether words offer less closure than actions or behavior. 

You could, plausibly, wait weeks, months, or even years to receive closure for something; closure for a breakup, the end of a torrid Tinder affair, a long-distance breakup…you get the picture. It could take considerable time for someone to offer an explanation for, or feel obligated to explain, why they ended things or broke things off. We wait on words, explanations, justifications, excuses, but rarely do we consider someone’s actions as the perfect closure we need to move on. If, for example, someone you were seeing casually (or seriously) ended up ghosting you – the process by which someone suddenly “disappears” from your life, like a ghost  – you’ve probably wondered why, or how, someone could do that to you (or anyone, for that matter). You’d probably love an explanation; a text explaining why. Instead, and as Hussey argues, you should take their actions as an indicator that it is time to move on. If someone has ghosted you or broken up with you, you don’t necessarily need them to tell you why they’re no longer interested in being with you, seeing you, or spending time with you. Their actions and behavior, however mature or immature, are indicative enough. 

While we wait around for closure in the form of one type of verbiage or another, we inevitably wait for something that never truly comes. Often, even when we do get closure, we are left feeling unsatisfied with the result. What we expect to happen or wish to happen is rarely what actually does happen; instead, we’re sometimes left feeling more lost than before. And if this type of verbal, textual, or written closure never comes, where do we go from there? If we rely so much on this closure, but never get it, should we simply be expected to never move on with our lives?

In the world of online dating, online relationships, and love controlled and scheduled almost entirely by our lives online versus our lives “in the real world,” there’s not really room for closure. There’s little to no room for a real conversation to take place whereby people actually provide explanation as to why something ends, or why others choose to move on. We have to stop waiting on this conversation to happen because, as Hussey recognizes, it never will. If someone ghosts you, breaks up with you, leaves you, or suddenly ends your relationship, there is no conversation to be had when most of our relationships manifest in a world where so many rely on the online world to get us through each day. We should, instead, take someone’s actions as closure. After all, it was a wise individual who once said that actions do indeed speak louder than words. 

Jacalyn Beales
Written by Jacalyn Beales
Jacalyn is a Canadian freelance writer and content creator with a focus on environmental conservation and sustainable living. When she's not busy crafting beautiful content, you can find her hitting the trails and exploring the great outdoors. You can follow Jacalyn's adventures on Instagram @jacalynbeales.