Love requires an answer. And honestly, it will accept almost any answer, so long as it is a complete and thoughtful one to the line, Do you love me, too?
In my lifetime, I have heard both positive and hopeless replies to my heart’s request. Things like "I think so," "With all my heart," and "Absofuckinglutely," along with "Not anymore," "I don’t think so," and "I think I love her instead."
And while the negative answers feel like shit at first, at least they are answers. They create very precise cuts that we can neatly stitch back together by just crying ourselves to sleep, talking to our girlfriends, eating lots of ice cream and rebounding on Tinder.
The answer that causes the most damage, however, the one that rips our hearts through our chests, tears through our skin and makes our brains explode with anger, confusion, and all-out hurt is when there is absolutely no answer at all. When a person decides that they simply cannot dignify the relationship you had and the love you’ve shared and runs away from you.
It’s painful. I’ve been through this a handful of times now, with both old loves and some very good friendships. Shit, it just happened to me about three months ago, with two friendships and an ex-boyfriend. And, occasionally, I still wake up pissed about it. But over the years I’ve come to understand how to provide your own closure to an unresolved situation. It’s a little hard to do, and takes a lot of will power, but it absolutely is possible. Here’s how:
1. Accept Their Decision
If someone has made
the choice to run away from me, I no longer try to change their mind. The truth
is, when someone abandons you, they are obviously going through something that
you should not be a part of. For my own sanity’s sake, I only make one clear,
solid, attempt to ask them, “Are you sure? Is this what you really want?”
And then I leave it at that — badgering
them for answers, only makes a bigger mess in the end. Instead, shift your
focus to mending your own heart and moving on with your life — because it’s
going to take a ton of time (and inner work) to get over how bad this feels.
2. Don’t You Dare Reach Out
Texting, drunk dialing, Twitter stalking — all no bueno. You gotta look at this like you are in heart surgery now. You need to sterilize your hands, strap on your gloves and get to work on stitching your life back together. Don’t start touching their Twitter and Instagram germs, and then go back to surgery — you’ll make yourself sick! You’ll have to start all over again. Stay focused on your own recovery. Cut off all communication until you are healed up enough to deal with life in a healthy and functional way again.
My favorite way to do this — take it day by day. It’s far easier then to deal with thinking you’ll never talk — forever. Just tell yourself that today you won’t text, won't check FB or anything social. Make the deal that if it get’s super bad, you will let yourself look tomorrow, but TODAY, you will stay in OR. When you break it down like that, before you know it, six months will go by and you’ll still have kept your promise to yourself in tact.
3. Forgive as Fast as Possible
In my most recent experience with an ex gone rogue, a string of livid, violent thoughts followed me every morning — from my pillow and into my shower, filling the first 30 minutes of my day. Slinging every expletive I know, I would shampoo my locks looking like a pissed off leprechaun, trying to understand why someone would abandon me at a time that could not have been worse — and when I did not deserve it. By the time I would reach for my conditioner, I would just start sobbing. Not so much because I missed him — the anger I felt just made me feel absolutely terrible. I hated that I was turning against my own heart and pretending that the love still didn’t exist. I was ghosting on my own self, just like he ghosted on me, by not continuing to love him and forgiving his absence from my life. Forgiveness, really is a gift you give yourself. Without it, you create your own version of hell.
So I began to add forgiveness to my morning routine. Before I left my pillow, I would say something like, “I understand that you can’t be here anymore, but I thank you for what you taught me. I am a better woman for loving you they way I needed to and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I know you did not wish to hurt me. I’m good. I’m slayin'. I wish you every happiness.”
At first, I still made my way to the bathroom, cussing him out and crying in the shower. But that didn’t last for very long once I let my heart do what she does best. Continuing to love and actively practicing forgiveness, immediately gave me the space I needed to heal and move on, with speed. And now I never do that stuff anymore at all. #loveandlight
This is probably the hardest part of not having closure. Since our personalities are something we can actually change, we often get hooked on this point in our breakups — if you only know what went wrong, you could make a change, and make everything better.
True. You could. But the other person also could have loved you enough to ask you to make a change. Just like they know how to ask for you to switch positions and give them oral in the bedroom, they also could have simply said, "Can you stop being so bossy?"
Seriously, don’t bother judging yourself. If that person really had a problem with you, and if they really cared about helping you be the best version of yourself — IF THEY REALLY were your ride-or-die and had your back like REAL LOVE does — they should have told you what their problem was. They wouldn’t have let you drown so bad in your own problems to let your relationship just fall apart. They would have helped you become a better woman and fix your flaws.
5. Write an Ending for Yourself
You can always look at this situation anyway you want to. So give yourself the gift of closure by writing an ending that feels good to you. The truth about closure is that it’s relative — even if everyone sat down at a table and sang "Kumbaya" about the breakup, it would still mean something very different to each individual.
So write your own ending. Something that makes you feel good. “Edwin disappeared because he really does love that trick around the corner, even though he says they’re just friends. I don’t really like it, but I don’t really like sharing penises either, so I’m good. I’ll blast some Mary J, be fine and get to swiping right. ” Or “Lisa is a great, but she’s complicated as hell. And being her Oprah only made me feel more pain. I’d rather practice my own healing than be her therapist without getting any commission or a good orgasms for that matter.” Whatever works for you. Give yourself something that cobbles together the bits of truths you know about their disappearance with all the truths you know about you. Couple it with your own action steps for a healthier future, and pursue that life with everything you’ve got.
The only requirement for answering to love is to simply make it a complete one. If someone can’t give that answer to you, then be ruthless in the pursuit of giving it to yourself — by yourself. It will take a great deal of mental work, but through the hell fire does eventually rise a phoenix.
Breonna Rodriguez is a Founding Creator and love and relationships blogger. When she's not writing for Vivala.com, you can find her at zenfulie.com.