Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Seeking Closure Requires Solid Game Plan

DEAR HARRIETTE: My ex-boyfriend and I ended our relationship tumultuously, and then I immediately cut him off. He tried to reach out to me a few times but eventually gave up. Months later, I find myself with questions about our relationship that only he could answer. Is it too late to try to reach out and get answers? I know nothing about his current life. If it is too late, how do I get closure on my own? -- Wanting Answers, Cleveland

DEAR WANTING ANSWERS: Think about what you hope to gain from speaking to your ex again. Be very specific in your internal inquiry so that if you decide to reach out to him, you can articulate why. Attempting to hammer through unresolved hurts and pain usually does not work. If you want to know exactly what happened at a particular time, or whether there was a behavior of yours that was offensive or off-putting, or why he chose to do X or Y, list those things.

Given that time has passed, you can reach out to him. If you have to leave him a message, tell him that you are sorry you could not speak when he tried right after the breakup, but that you are of a cooler head now. Ask him if he is willing to talk to you. If so, agree to speak on the phone or in person. Stay calm as you speak. Let him know what you want to talk about. Be willing to hear him out. Do not come with ulterior motives. Be in the present moment and see where it takes you.