How to deal with a break up without closure

One of the things I hear most often are people talking about how their break up is extra painful because they didn’t get the closure that they needed from the person that broke up with them.
For example if the person didn’t give you super specific reasons for ending the relationship, if they were vague and just said that they didn’t feel like it was working out. Or if the person went from seeming like they were totally in love with you to the next day wanting to end things without a lot of explanation why. There are many ways a relationship to end without a full satisfactory level of “closure”.
The lengths that people go to get the closure they want after a relationship ends will extend or delay the pain, will make the break up much more messy, and will overall do harm to both parties involved.
Here are some examples as to how someone might go out and seek closure in an unhealthy way:
  •  Reaching out and asking if you guys can get together to talk things through
  • Continuously texting them asking them questions about the relationship
  • Telling them it’s unfair that you need closure
The goal during a break up is to do the “no contact rule” so as you can see you seeking closure is definitely not living by that.
The Truth About Closure 
 
The reality of the closure you’re seeking is that it’s not really the closure you’re seeking. Stay with me for a minute. I’m sure there are people out there who want to know exactly why a relationship ended so they can learn how to do better in future relationships and really just want feedback for self-reflection and self-improvement.
HOWEVER, most people want closure not for that reason, most people want to know exactly why a relationship ended so they can then convince the other person how they can change themselves so they can fix everything the other person thought was wrong. Most of the time we want that specific closure so we can then manipulate the situation to end in our favor instead of us getting dumped.
So looking at it from that angle, the reason we want the closure is just selfish so we can change the outcome. And the fact of the matter is, the other person doesn’t owe us that. You need to allow the other person to speak their truth, no matter how much or how little they want to disclose. Yes it’s going to hurt, but break ups are supposed to hurt.
Another point to add in is it that the person might not want to get into the nitty gritty of the reasons for a break up because they don’t want to hurt you. If they maybe started to like someone else, you don’t need to know that. It will only add pain. If you go searching for answers you may be even more devastated by what you find.
How we can make our own closure 
 
Closure happens right when a break up happens. If you feel like there are a lot of loose ends, that’s how a break up always feels. All of a sudden someone who was super important to you is all of a sudden gone so you’re going to feel super off. Once it’s clear the relationship is over, instead of dragging it out start your healing process immediately. You don’t want to be with someone who you need to argue with to stay with you. Go out there and do your healing and claim your life back as a single person.
The best closure you can get is creating your own.

How to Create A Safe Space while going through a break up

When we’re going through a break up our life feels like it’s turned upside down. Our insides are broken, screaming, lost, and every other negative emotion in between. Life feels dark and unsafe, and we feel like it will last that way forever.
Because of all of these reasons, it makes it so much more important to create a safe place on the outside to resemble some sort of safety and peace on the inside. Below are some ways to create the most peace you can during this hectic time in life.
Cleanse out your place: 
I would highly recommend doing this with a friend or family member but as soon as you can go through your house and take down all of the photos with your ex, take down an knick knacks that you remind you of them, hide away any gifts or souvenirs from things you do together. I know this is hard but if it makes you feel any better you can put everything in a box and just stash it away.
Once you’ve cleansed it’s time to brighten it up: 
Replace the photos you took out of your ex of photos with your best friends or family members,  you don’t want a bunch of blank frames. Go out and buy something you may have always wanted in your place but you knew your ex would hate it. Get some candles or incense and make your place feel like a sanctuary.
Have people around, a lot: 
There’s absolutely no reason to face a break up in isolation. You may not want to be around people but this is the time to practice contrary action and act as if. Invite friends over, go for a walk with friends, it doesn’t have to involve money but just try to keep yourself in good company as often as you can. Also be aware of who you have surrounding you, surround yourself with people who bring you joy, energy, and love- not those who judge, suck energy from the room, or are super negative.
Get a calendar and use it: 
This will be helpful for a few reasons, I would recommend getting a big calendar to have either on your wall or big on your desk and write down things you have planned coming up. This will consistently give you something to look forward to when your life feels bleak. Also make sure you’re taking notice if you have too many days without plans and pick up the phone to make some plans.
Beware of what you’re listening to: 
The first 3 months of my break up I couldn’t listen to the radio, it was too risky that a sappy song would come on or “our song” would come on and I would have a meltdown. I actually really rarely listening to music in the very beginning, I listened to a lot of stand up comedy which you can find on pretty much any streaming service- podcasts are always a great option.
Beware of what you’re consuming in general: 
Don’t spend a ton of time on Instagram scrolling through photos of “happy” couples and making yourself feel awful. We call that “emotional cutting” and it can be so detrimental to recovering from a break up. Also don’t watch movies like The Notebook or anything involving Nicholas Sparks. With the world as it is today we can control what we consume. Put on a funny show or movie, I also watched a ton of stand up comedy when I was going through my stuff. Also, with social media you can unfollow or snooze a particular person if you don’t want to see their posts for a month.
Do everything you can to make yourself feel loved: 
Buy yourself flowers every week at the grocery store, buy some bath bombs for a bubble bath, cook a really nice dinner for yourself, get a nice pair of pajamas to lay around in, write yourself love notes on the mirror. Whatever feels good, do that.
As mentioned in previous blog posts, there are many things that are outside of our control during a break up but creating a safe place for you is something you do have power over. Make a list of all of the things you do or have that make you feel good and start creating that for yourself.

Let’s face it, we can’t control ANYONE (except ourselves)

Today we’re going to talk about control. One of the many reasons why a break up is so devastating and can rock us so hard is because it feels so out of our control. We may not have been ready to have the person leave, doesn’t the universe know our plan?! We were supposed to spend the rest of our lives with that person and now without our permission they’re ripped away.
When we lose control in any aspect of our lives we tend to try to grasp control in other areas. If we’re super stressed about something at work we may turn to obsessively exercising or dieting because we know we can keep our hands in that and control the outcome.
Often when we’re going through a break up we still want to have the illusion of control over the other person. We closely monitor their social media to see what kind of friends they’re adding, if they’re posting photos, etc. We ask friends how they’re doing because we want to know that they’re sad about the break up. We do everything we can to make sure they’re not seeing anyone else so soon.
Sometimes we also take it to the next level by continuing to reach out to our ex over text, email, etc because we think that if we stay in the forefront of their lives that they won’t be able to move on. We may not directly say “please don’t get over me” but we’ll manipulate our way into staying present in their live. If they left a shirt at our house we’ll reach out (which unless it’s at least a $500 shirt never do that) so we can stay relevant to them. You may try to run into them at their favorite coffee shop or gym.
What does that accomplish? The truth is, it accomplishes nothing except making the break up way harder on you than it needs to be. The fact is that we cannot control other people, places, or things- anything past the tip of your nose is none of your business nor in your power. If someone broke up with you it was for a reason, you may not agree nor like the reason but you also can’t manipulate your way around it. You won’t be able to stop them from dating by continuously texting them, in fact that will probably push them further away. You won’t be able to make sure that they’re sad by checking up on them.
The only thing you have control over is yourself- your actions and behaviors. So instead of trying to change them from a distance or work your way into their lives again, why don’t you try turning inward and working on yourself? I can personally guarantee that you are the only person you can ever change.
Letting go of control is a terrifying process- we think that if we let go of control then the other person will completely forget us. We believe that if we let go we’ll somehow be giving them permission to move on. The unfortunate fact is that they don’t need our permission to move on, and even if they did we couldn’t control that anyway. The tighter you hold on to control you’re only going to be hurting yourself and ruining your own happiness. You’ll never be able to fully move on if you’re still holding on to the illusion of control, and I call it illusion for a reason- it’s not real.
So take a second and write down how holding on to control is helping you and how it is hurting you. My guess is you won’t have too many “pros” for doing it. Now write down what would happen if you let go. What’s the worst that could happen? By no means does that mean it should be easy, but it will absolutely make it easier than holding on to someone you have zero power over.

Manifesting Your Dream Relationship

Heads up, this isn’t a post that will guarantee you in 3 months you’ll meet your soulmate (although I’m also not saying that you won’t). This is a post about getting really clear on how you can upgrade your next relationship from your last. I had a mentor told me once that as long as I continued to work on myself, every relationship I would get into would be an upgrade from the last- she was right.
There is going to be a bit of a plot twist at the end of this post so please make sure you read to the very end.
After being single for 6 months after getting dumped I had started to try out dating here and there. But the dates I was attracting were honestly comical, the guys were saying outrageously inappropriate things, one date the guy couldn’t keep a conversation going so I basically had to interview him. I was beginning to get super discouraged and I shared about it with some women I trust and one of them pulled me aside and told me she had an assignment for me.
I’m going to skip through the first part of the assignment and save it for another post but she told me to write down EXACTLY what I wanted in my next relationship- to be super detailed. It was a really interesting assignment because it made me reflect back on past relationships and pick out things I would never want in another relationship and also reflect back on things that I really appreciated about certain relationships. It was really powerful to write down a full list of everything I wanted in a relationship, it was totally mine, personal, I didn’t have someone over my shoulder telling me I was being unrealistic- even though my mind was totally telling me it was unrealistic.
I even wrote, this feels like a tall order. But I followed the direction and then went back and shared it with that woman. I felt really proud of myself that I was able to dig deep and identify what was important to me.
One thing that’s important to note with this exercise is you can’t put a time on it. I got an email from another break up site the other day and the subject line was “how to find your perfect guy before Christmas”. What? You can totally find a guy by Christmas but is that really the kind of goal you want to set for yourself, or wouldn’t you rather it happen more naturally?
After I completed this assignment about a month later I met a guy who was great, super nice, treated me well but it didn’t end up working out. It was totally an upgrade for me and it taught me a lot. About 8 months later I got back together with my now husband. I’m lucky I get to work for one of my role models, Danika Brysha and she talks a ton about manifesting. She says that you can tell the universe exactly what you want but you can’t tell it how you’re going to get there. You have to trust the process and know that you’re headed in the right direction as long as you’re clear about what your final destination is.
The plot twist that I referred to earlier was that I took my list to that woman who gave me the assignment and she told me that I now had to take each item on that list and then write down what I was going to do to make that happen. You can definitely put what you want out there but you also have to put in the work.
For example one thing on my wish list was a guy who could comfortably and openly communicate with me. I then realized that I had a really hard time speaking my truth, if I can’t expect myself to communicate openly, how could I expect a guy to do that? It made me look at the saying that we attract what we promote. If I wasn’t promoting in myself what my dream partner was, how could I ever attract them?
So try making the list and then instead of looking outward for the list- look inward and see how you can make that happen.

Signs You’re In A Toxic Relationship

A toxic or an abusive relationship doesn’t necessarily have to mean physical violence (which is NEVER ok), or yelling and screaming. Toxic and abusive relationships can take a wide variety of forms, and unfortunately some of the forms can be very deceptive and be interpreted as intoxicating love. Being someone who has been through an abusive relationship that looked fine from the outside- here are some signs I could see in hindsight that can hopefully be a cautionary tale.
  1. They are controlling. This again can be very deceptive because it’s usually not that they’re saying directly “you have to do this” or “you can’t do that” it’s sneakier than that. They’ll start saying they don’t like certain things you wear, or they suggest you should eat a certain way (my ex told me I should be eating like a ‘bird’) or that you should believe in what they believe -my ex also told me he always pictured ending up with a ‘good christian girl’ so naturally I started going to church even though it totally wasn’t my thing. After a while of making more slight suggestions it can turn into straight up demands. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but if your partner starts telling you how to dress, what music to listen to, etc. it has the potential to turn toxic.
  2. You suddenly realize your social circle has shrunk. If your relationship is toxic you’ll probably find yourself hanging out with your friends less and not talking to them about your relationship. If you told them what was really going on you most likely know what they would say so you refrain from hearing what you’re not ready to. You could also be embarrassed to bring him in front of your friends and family because you know he might make an insulting comment or do something else that makes you feel uncomfortable. You may feel a longing to always be around your partner so your girls nights go out the window, and your partner may tell you he doesn’t trust you going out dancing- so that’s out too. A relationship should be an addition to your life, and it is not meant to replace everything that’s already there.
  3. You find yourself defending them or just talking up their good features: It’s totally healthy to vent to your close girlfriends about your partner, they’re not always going to be perfect. It’s when you choose to completely ignore anything negative in the relationship because you know it will lead down a rabbit hole to eventually realize there is something incredibly wrong with it- then it might be time to take a good look at what you’re doing. In addition if you find yourself rationalizing and convincing yourself why they’re a great person…also could be a bad sign.
  4. Everything is ALWAYS your fault. Unless you’re a fundamentally horrible person (which you’re not) it is impossible for everything to be your fault. If you calmly and rationally bring something up to your partner that bothers you or hurts your feelings and they automatically turn it into something that’s your fault- that’s not a good sign. Or if they’re making up problems about you out of thin air, also a problem. I remember my ex suddenly decided that I couldn’t hang out with my family friend (who I had been friends with since I was 2 and never had any romantic involvement with) because obviously “we had something” and it would basically be cheating for me to hang out with him. Stuff like that isn’t normal and it is not healthy to be in a relationship with someone who will always turn something into your fault.
  5. Last but not least….if you feel like you might be in a toxic or abusive relationship you probably are. Unless you’re on a raging PMS period right now you’re probably reading this post for a reason. You are the only one who can truly diagnose your relationship and you know deep down whether or not you’re in a healthy and happy relationship.
These tips are not meant to diagnose your relationship. These are just red flags I ignored for 3 years in my own relationship and my hopes is I can help someone get out sooner than I had to wait.

How to Detox Your Ex

Going through a break up feels horrendous, obviously. The pain you’re feeling can feel physical, I remember feeling like I was having a literal heart attack because the ache was so intense. There is physiological reason it hurts so badly, and that will lead us into why it is so important not to have contact with your ex.
The chemical oxytocin is produced by our bodies naturally. It is called many things including the “cuddle hormone” and that’s because it’s associated with attachment. Our bodies tend to produce more oxytocin when we get a hug or a kiss from our partner, it’s associated with bonding to our children, and childbirth. So when you’re in a long term relationship with someone you’re in love with your body is going to be giving you a nice, steady supply of oxytocin.
A recent study also made a very interesting discovery. Researchers at universities in the U.S. and Norway have discovered that oxytocin isn’t only released when you feel love—it can also be released if you think that your relationship is in crisis. “When people notice that their partner is showing less interest in their relationship than they are, the level of this relationship-building hormone increases,” says Andreas Aarseth Kristoffersen, a research assistant in Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Department of Psychology.
What can happen with this in mind, is that when you’re going through a break up you will be getting a HUGE rush of oxytocin, as your body’s way to trying to fix the relationship. So when the break up happens, not only are you not getting that steady stream of oxytocin that you’ve been accustomed to, but you’ll also be coming down off of a huge rush of the chemical that happened during the break up.
Therefore, it makes sense the physical pain we go through during a break up, your body is going through detox and withdrawals. It’s not going to be fun, but it will pass. Just know that our bodies and our hearts are resilient. But…one thing very important to note here is that if you call your ex and hear his voice or you go and see your ex in the first few months after the break up it is very likely that you’ll get that huge rush of oxytocin back. You still have those feelings and your body knows that, so you’ll have to go through that detox process again. This is another reason why the no contact rule is so important. The last thing you want to do after going through that painful detox is make yourself go through it all over again!
However, there are some ways to produce more oxytocin naturally, and without the help of your ex.
  1. Hug your friends and family.
  2. Pet a dog
  3. Tell your friends and family you love them
  4. Give someone a gift or practice a random act of kindness
  5. Do something adventurous: rollercoaster, skydive.
  6. Take a bath
  7. Make eye contact. Instead of staring at your phone, look someone in the eyes when you’re talking to them.
  8. Get a massage
  9. Exercise
  10. Meditate

How to Break Up With Someone

To some this may seem like an obvious answer, you just break up with them. But there are so many people who stay in relationships so much longer than they should because they don’t know how to go about breaking up with the person in a healthy way.
Once you have gone through your process and have determined that this isn’t the right relationship for you to be in, here are some steps you can take to make the process go smoothly.
  1. Get clear on why you’re ending it: You don’t necessarily need to share this with the other person but it is important for you to be clear. The reason for this is because sometimes we can get ourselves hyped up to have this conversation and then they do something sweet (or walk in with flowers when you have the intention of dumping them, personal experience) and we completely forget why we’re breaking up with them and think, “well they’re so sweet, I’ll see about it in a week or so”. By you having the reasons clear in your mind you won’t be swayed by external circumstances. I highly suggest journaling and writing down your reasons.
  2. Run through it with someone else: Some might call this embarrassing but I once practiced breaking up with someone with my Mom. I was so scared to do it I felt like I had to practice to make sure what I was saying made sense, you don’t necessarily need to practice but it would be good to go over your reasoning with someone else. They can let you know if you’re being mean or if you’re beating around the bush instead of just getting to the point. It’s always good to have a second opinion on things.
  3. Be nice about how you set it up: Don’t text them in the morning and say “can we talk tonight?” we all know what that means. If you do that you’ll ruin their whole day because they’ll be worried about the talk and what you’re going to say. Try to time the break up where it’s somewhere somewhat private. The other person may cry and you don’t want to put them in a position where they’ll be embarrassed crying in public. Obviously if you can try to avoid special occasions or things like that, we don’t need to dump someone on their birthday. Also, try to do it as soon as you have it figured out, you may think you can hide the fact that you’re going to break up with them but you will be acting differently.
  4. Stick to your feelings and use I statements. Don’t go into the conversation attacking what they did, how they made you feel or didn’t make you feel. Stick to your feelings about why you don’t think the relationship is working for you. “I feel like for me the spark is gone and I don’t think we should be together anymore” not “you don’t make me happy anymore”. See the difference? You can of course give the reason as to why you’re ending it but don’t go into a detailed list of everything they ever did wrong.
  5. Stick to your guns: They will probably try to talk you out of it, they’ll tell you that you guys have something special and it would be such a shame to throw it away. They may get angry, they might get sad, they might not have anything to say to you. Regardless don’t get all wishy washy because you don’t want to make them feel bad. Do everything with kindness but make sure you get your message across so they’re not left hanging on to a false hope because it seemed like you were changing your mind.
  6. Leave gracefully: No matter how guilty you feel and no matter how sad they are DO NOT SAY “WE CAN STILL BE FRIENDS”!!! I REPEAT, DO NOT SAY THAT. The only reason you’re saying that is to make you feel better and that is selfish. You may also feel compelled to stick around and comfort them. That’s sweet of you but you’re the one who caused their discomfort, you’re not the best one to comfort them. As soon as it appears that the conversation is over, see your way out. That way they can call their best friend or family member and get the comfort they really need. Do not text them and say “i’m sorry” don’t call them and check up on them. Just leave them be!
Having to break up with someone is never fun but the best way you can do it is to at least be graceful and respectful about it. Even if you leave the relationship pissed off at them, remember that at one point the person meant a lot to you so make sure you treat them like it. Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. For whatever reason there’s a stigma that if you dump someone you shouldn’t be sad, but that doesn’t mean you’re not hurt as well.