What Is Closure, Anyway?


Writer Emily Esfahani Smith did a great piece on how to achieve closure in New York Magazine's online column, "The Science of Us."  The article is called, "What is 'Closure' Anyway?" and she interviewed me for the story, as well as several really great researchers who work on love, and what to do when it ends. 

As Smith puts it in her piece: 

The dictionary defines closure as the “act or process of closing something,” or “a feeling that an emotional or traumatic experience has been resolved”; when it’s applied to relationships, the word refers to the ability to move on without being haunted by any lingering pain, regrets, or doubts.

But knowing what it means and knowing how to achieve it can be two entirely different things — and closure, like love itself, is often deeply misunderstood.

Part of the challenge with "closure," as she writes, is that many people feel their relationship really expanded their sense of self, and then feel diminished or lost when it ends. 

There are a lot of ways to reconnect with your personal strengths, as we write about on Splitopia.com. Check out her article for more ideas, and see these posts: 

Learning Self-Reliance, and Loving It.

You 2.0: Loss Can = Opportunity for Change.

I'm excited to read Emily's new book, The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters.  Look for information on her book here in the future (or order it yourself now).


Wendy Paris is the author of Splitopia: Dispatches from Today's Good Divorce and How to Part Well (Simon & Schuster/Atria, 2016). Splitopia and her work on divorce have been covered by The New York Times, Real Simple, The Washington Post, The New York Post, The Globe & Mail, Psychology Today, The Houston Chronicle, Salon.com, Parents.com, Family Law Quarterly, PsychCentral.com and radio and TV shows nationwide. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and is an advocate for family law reform. She is divorced, and lives in Santa Monica, California, a few blocks from her former husband, with whom she has a warm co-parenting relationship.