Give People Their Deserved Closure

Black Couple Breaking Up

When you have shared a special intimate relationship with someone, don’t just stop communicating with him or her.  An abrupt termination of communication with someone you have been intimate with for a significant period of time can leave him or her feeling more than heartbroken but also confused.  The person will be confused because he or she does not have any idea why things were so good when between you and then you just all of sudden stopped communicating with the person.  If you no longer want to be intimate with the person and/or don’t see the relationship as special any longer, then let the person know—don’t just have him or her wondering what’s going on with the relationship.

Open and frank communication is key to addressing most (if not all) relationship problems.  Have the courage to communicate with the person you have shared an intimate and special relationship with to inform him or her about your feelings.  Don’t simply say that “you’ve been so busy” as the reason why you’ve not communicated with him or her.  If you have the person’s telephone number and/or connected with the person via various social media platforms, it would not take you but a few minutes to communicate with him or her.  Without any communication, you run the risk of making the person think what you shared with him or her was not real.  The person can be justified in this line of thinking when all communication from you has ceased.

If the person contacts you through any vehicle, don’t simply ignore his or her effort to reach out to you—respond back to him or her.  Why would you simply ignore a call, email, text message, and etc. from someone you have shared an intimate and special relationship with?  You owe the person an explanation for not communicating with him or her.  The reason you have discontinued communicating with the person may be legitimate.  You, however, have a responsibility to inform the person about your reason(s) for no longer communicating with him or her is legitimate.

While you may not be making a conscious choice not to communicate with this person, you never know what he or she is thinking.  The person can mistake the absence of communication as sign of betrayal and/or that you simply used him or her.  This can be far from the truth but you have to bear the responsibility.  You didn’t communicate and this opened up an opportunity for the person to develop inaccurate thoughts.

Whenever sex has been involved in a relationship, it is wise for you to have the decency to at least end the relationship with some form of communication.  Hopefully, you’re going to give the person enough details to understand why you’re deciding to end a relationship he or she thought was just fine.  Let the person know the significant factors that led to your decision.  You might be surprised how well he or she takes your comments and might understand your comments better than you think.

Don’t simply resolve not to say anything to a person you’ve shared a special and intimate relationship with—communicate with him or her.  If the intimate relationship you had with the person was truly special and you communicated in the past that it was indeed special, then you have a duty to communicate with the person today.  Give people the closure they need today!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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19 comments

  1. I dont agree and you know usually I agree with you. However, when you feel its over then that’s just it- its over. I dont owe you nothing. This isnt what I thought it was going to be so I’m leaving. What does closure really do? People use that to see if they can trying and get said person back. Need to figure out what happens? Find a therapist.

    1. Actually, for the most part, I agree with your response. Where we fundamentally disagree, I believe, is on the basic idea that I contend that people who have shared a special and intimate relationship with others should not simply cut off communication without any level of explanation about why communication is being shut off. For me, I see this as cruel. One has invested so much time in that person and that individual does not have the decency to give at least a short explanation about why he or she is discontinuing the relationship and communication is simply inexcusable. Of course, I always appreciate your responses. I like agreements and disagreements on this site all the same. 🙂 Thanks for reading and your response!

      1. I hear this a lot people always talking about the time they have invested. That dont mean anything if a person wants to be done with you then they owe you nothing. Relationships end people move on.

        1. The point is not to revive the relationship but to get a sense of why the relationship or ended to begin with. This can be applied to any relationship from friends to lovers or even mother to children. No one enjoys being abandoned. It can deeply scar a person, the least you can do is be mature enough to communicate your feelings whether they’re good or bad.

      2. Totally agrre Antonio…That happened to me and it still hurts. To just walk away from someone without explanation is cowardice and lacks character in my opinion…But there’s a saying that i say by Maya Angelou and it hit the nail on the head…When someone shows you who they truly are, believe them the first time…And 10 times out 10 they’ve done it before…I wasn’t the first and i can bet i won’t be the last…It’s best to just let them go and move on…Because if you let them back in, they most definitely will do it again…and they usually come back or try to keep a line of communication open and keep you for a backup plan…Just let them go and move on…They’re not worht it…If they don’t respect you enough to be a mature adult about wanting to end the relationship, you don’t need them in your life…PERIOD…

    2. Wow, can you please put your views on a shirt or something so people can see your true personality.

      What do you owe someone? It’s called human decency. Obviously you never really loved the person or had any respect for them in the first place if you can be so cold hearted & just disappear without any explanation or a goodbye.

      As for a therapist, you are the one that needs to work yourself.

      While I agree that it’s hard to end a relationship, if a person is mature & a respectful person, they would NEVER just walk away without at the very least an explanation.

      And no, no therapist is going to be able to tell a person why the other guy dumped her. Obviously he/she can’t read minds.

      But I know I’m just talking to the wall here. You are who you are & no one is going to change that but you.

  2. I think it depends on the situation. Sometimes you are better off just walking away. Where as you have times, where you want to give the person the common courtesy to explain why this relationship needs to end.

    Some people end relationships over minor things, that could have been resolved and/or fixed if someone would have you spoken up.

    1. I very much agree with you. When it comes to relationship matters, they have to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Strong, open, and frank communication is certainly the key to maintaining and establishing lasting and meaningful relationships.

  3. Antonio, you know I read this blog post & wanted to give you a great BIG hug, but then I started being negative & thought, will anyone even listen to you or understand what you are saying.

    Then I went to the comments & read what I read & really I don’t like being negative, as I want to be positive, but I have to believe that their views are a clear representation of the majority of society.

    This is why I don’t get a long with mainstream society. I mean this isn’t the only reason, but this cold distant disrespectful F U mindset is what makes me feel I belong on another planet.

    While I get that there’s a small minority of us out there who care about respect & working on ourselves, it’s been hard for me to find such people.

    I didn’t mean to turn this into a crying match LOL, just saying. Healthy communication is THE one trait almost no one I know has. It’s also b/c it requires people be honest about their feelings & how many people do you know who can do this in real time?

    This is why most relationships (not even talking just intimate here) fail.

    We aren’t taught to communicate in school (I feel it should be), so unless our parents did a good job of it & we learned from them, we are clueless. And again, communication helps us is sooo many types of relationships including business.

    For me it’s hard b/c I’m not diplomatic as you can tell LOL

    You know I once believed that one could never remain friends with an ex, & then I went out with a guy who had a civil relationship with his ex & it amazed me.

    While he was a prick in the end & his wife really didn’t like him (I found out afterward), at least that taught me something & now I look for someone who can be man or woman enough to eventually remain friends after they have parted.

    I don’t expect it to happen right away, but if you loved someone & actually respected them, this shouldn’t be a problem.

    This is one of the reasons I love polyamory, because the one thing we all preach IS…

    COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION!

    It really takes maturity & overcoming our fears to discuss the negative as well as the positive & I respect anyone who’s in that realm or at the very least tries to improve in this area.

    I have a game that teaches communication skills. If anyone is interested, you can e-mail me for it. It’s something you print out & play with others.

    Thank you & have a great night!

    Michelle
    http://www.sensualforyou.com/poly

  4. closure it what makes people walk away without thinking that they did something wrong to make the person leave them …. at times you with someone and everything is good , then BOOM , suddenly the person decides they don’t want to be with you no more. you want to know WHY and HOW they come up to such a conclusion all of a sudden.. wanting closure don’t necessarily mean that you want to get back with the person… cause if you have respect and understanding.. you will have to respect that persons decision . ONLY COLD HEARTED PEOPLE just get up and WALK AWAY FROM SOMEONE THEY WERE SO CLOSE AND INTIMATE WITH… ITS JUST HEARTLESS

    1. I’ll take it one step further & say to just walk away from ANY human transaction (whether intimate or not) without signing off is cold & heartless.

      Unfortunately in today’s society, the lack of communication is even worse than it was years ago. Granted years ago people pretended everything was alright & were really lying, today people just get up & walk away.

      I love the Internet, I really do, but the fact that it gives people the ability to behave in a disrespectful manner b/c they can hide behind the monitor has changed society.

      From the Internet you can communicate via e-mail & then the person can just disappear. This is why I always refuse to e-mail past 1-2 e-mails when it comes to a social setting. Business I will, socially, no way. If the person is serious, they will want to talk on the phone. If they come up with all types of reasons not TO talk on the phone, that’s a HUGE warning sign.

      Then there’s the cell phone. People can just ignore your texts or just put you on ignore (how insulting is THAT????)

      While I’m all for privacy, the fact that more & more people lie online shows what people are REALLY like. People pretend to be females or a certain age, or single or good looking or whatever…

      I long for the days when you ONLY met people in person & I’m a die hard nettie & netrepreneur & I say that.

      In fact I’m reading the book about “An.non.ymous” now & I already knew some of this before when I first read this evil back in 1997, but this book really shines a light on how society (generally kids under the age of 30) are VERY dangerous. They have literally NO conscious. When a human has NO conscious, is bored, has no social interaction with other humans & is tied to the video games, THIS is what it’s producing.

      And it’s clear (something I already knew) that people will do & say one thing ONLINE, but will NEVER EVER have the guts to do that IRL. I don’t even like the term “IRL” b/c the net is VERY much real. It’s either “offline” or “online” – both are VERY much real. Just ask anyone who’s been cyber bullied, had their biz torn to shreds, has had nude pics of themselves or private e-mails posted all over the net, etc.

      I’m not going to blame the Internet for the majority of people’s lack of a conscious. If you were like that pre-internet, then it will come out BIG time now. If you had respect for others before, it will be less likely you will behave in that manner.

      I say find out what type of person they are BEFORE you get into a relationship with them. I always say it’s a good idea to talk to the ex’s. You never know what you find out from the ex & sure they can lie, but if all of the ex’s are saying similar things, then it’s time to open the eyes about that person.

  5. Yeah, I agree with most people here. Not giving closure is just cruel. I just experienxed that myself after dating a person for 4 months. I don’t see the point… So yeah I agree with most people here. Not giving closure is just cruel.

    He shut down all conversation for 24 h, then ended it all in a text, and didn’t agree that we should see each other. He did agree on a phone call, so that’s all good. He even checked on me for a few days afterwards. Lovely! But then I wrote back three days later and… EVERY promise he’d made (“You know you can talk to me, huh?”) was gone. He was just mean and angry. I gave it time. I was patient. But one month passed and he never gave in. The kind person I thought he was just disappeared, as soon as he knew he’d found another girl. I never knew why he was angry. He said he wasn’t- but he clearly was… No respect at all.

    The worst thing is that I remember myself doing it in my later teenage years, not concious of how weak I was. We never had a relationship, and we didn’t even spend time as friends together either. But he called me every now and then, I enjoyed it. We met through work, and I could tell he was interested.

    And I knew that I didn’t feel the same way. I told him, but even if I did, I should’ve done more, becaue I could tell he was confused. I regret that today, I really do feel horrible. I know that if we’d been intimate/had a real relationship – of course I would’ve ended things in a decent way even back then.

    This relation were short, sure, but I still know it hurt him…

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