No perfect endings
Relationships are messy, so closure is elusive
I was dating a guy who works a lot and has his kids every other week (he’s separated). I tried talking to him about things in my life, but he didn’t seem to connect. I noticed a lot of flirty girls commenting on his Instagram posts. It made me feel really insecure. He dodged my questions about it and didn’t say anything reassuring. After that, his responses to my texts took forever and then he ghosted me. The other day he liked one of my posts and I responded: “Hey, haven’t heard from you for a while. How are you?” He didn’t answer. How do I get him to respond so I can have closure and move on?
Drop your concept of closure. You’re expecting a conversation in which everything is talked out until all the ugly feelings are resolved, and good vibes prevail. But you’re not at a campfire kumbaya. Human relationships are messy. So know the truth: sometimes closure is abrupt. Sometimes, it’s a slow but steady erosion of intimacy. Either way, it’s an invitation to grow in resilience.
Instead of seeking a perfect ending, dig down and learn how to take better care of yourself. If seeing flirtatious comments on a guy’s Insta disturbs you, ask why. But don’t ask him. Ask yourself: Are you comparing yourself to other women and judging yourself as not good enough? Did you think you were in an exclusive relationship that would require your man to draw a boundary that pushed other women away? If so, did you both verbally and clearly agree to an exclusive relationship? Before talking with him, these are the kind of questions you needed to answer honestly for yourself.
We all have insecurities. Personal growth requires that we understand why we choose to act out those insecurities at only certain times and how to do it less often so we reduce the chaos it causes in our lives.
In your situation, the man you were dating wasn’t down to tend to your anxieties. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s emotionally unavailable. It may mean your emotional needs are too big. Healing will begin when you manage your feelings with the clarity of a surgeon who knows how to cut away what is diseased.
It’s your job to manage your worries, fears and feelings. Begin by finding the thread of self-talk that leads from this situation back through your personal history. If you’re someone who struggles with emotions and rides a rollercoaster of big feelings every day, you may be too high-maintenance for a man who works a lot, has kids and is going through a divorce.
That doesn’t mean being extra is something you should change. It does mean you might consider that not everyone will find it thrilling to ride a rollercoaster with you every day (or even every week). It’s exhausting for people who prefer a centered life, one that avoids the extremes. It’s also exhausting for you to continue to try so hard to be seen, to keep reaching out to engage with a man who isn’t interested. So let go. That’s how you move on.