Steve Schappell-My Blog

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Closure-We all want it, but do we ever get it?

To start this off, I decided to get the dictionary definition to give me some perspective.

Closure: (noun)  The act of closing; the state of being closed.  A bringing to an end; conclusion.
Psychol.  The tendency to see an entire figure even though the picture of it is incomplete based primarily on the viewer’s past experience.  A sense of psychological certainty or completeness: a need for closure.

This is an interesting topic and one that I could elaborate on for a long time.  However, I will use a recent example to illustrate an area that I think both women and men can agree on.

I mean it used to be you talked to the other person, and in person no less, when a relationship was ending.  You talked it out and usually got some closure.  Now with today’s technology, it’s breakup by text, email or a voice mail message.  (I’m through with you but I don’t want to face you, so I will take the easy way out)   

I’ve had relationships that were going along well and all of a sudden, “whoop there it is,” the situation changes.  Sometimes overnight and sometimes over time.  And when it does and finally ends, either messy or neat, we all want closure.  To answer the “Why” and “What did I do or could have done better?”  Or maybe it was “What was wrong with them, or why did they end it?”

I am better at giving closure than getting it.  For example, if I decide to end a relationship, or realize that after a few dates, there is no interest to continue, I will do my best to meet in person and let them know my feelings, what has changed and if possible, try to remain friends. (alas, another topic for another time)

Now then, back to my recent situation.  Let’s wind the clock back to a Saturday at the end of February.  I receive an email on my phone that I am added as a favorite on a dating site and so I proceed to check it out.  I see her pictures, read her profile and send her a message.  After a few emails, she gives me her number to text or call.
-We then talk Sunday night for 3 hours
-We talk Monday for over 2 hours
-Then Tuesday night for 2 hours
-And Thursday night for 1.5 hours and agree to meet that Saturday for a date 

Now during the week, she turned me on to “Words with Friends,” which is basically Scrabble on your cell phone.  We could have turn based play at our leisure during the day and at night.  We played several games during the week and she was quite good.

Saturday arrives and I had to work, so I change afterwards and head straight out for our dinner date.  I arrive early and so does she.  We meet at the bar before dinner and wow, make an almost instant connection.  From our body language and time that evening you would think we had been together for a while.  She texts her friends on FB things like “OMG, he’s adorable.”  (Well maybe I am)  Anyway, the evening goes great.  All we did was eat, talk and listen to music.  She even burned me a CD of music so I would not have to download it from i-Tunes.

The next day, I made a friend request for her on FB (OK, maybe too soon I admit) and she friended me.  I remember then “stalking” her page and seeing a post from her brother that she did not take his advice and that she hoped she would not regret it.

Anyway, we talked on Sunday, on Monday, and then met Wednesday night after work.  She is a stylist and literally gave me one of the best haircuts I have ever had.  Afterwards, we went out for a late dinner that had only one awkward moment.  Her boss and her boyfriend came to the same restaurant and sat across from us, but left before we did.  The date again went well and I got another CD of music out of it.  We kissed goodnight, agreed to meet again sometime and that was it.

No, I mean that was it….well OK, not entirely.  We texted, but the talking stopped.  I had my kids the following weekend and suggested that if she wanted to stop by and watch a movie, my kids would be cool with it.  Via a text, she thought that was a big step and not ready for that (OK, I will take the blame there) and thanked me for the invitation.   

Well the texts dwindled and the games on “Words with Friends” slowed and the calls stopped.  And then one week later, I get this text “It’s nothing you said or did.  I just can’t seem to sustain an interest past a few dates.  I’m not normally like that.”

I dropped her as a friend from FB so she could have the freedom back without me seeing any posts and I moved on.

So there you have it, closure of sorts.  I guess…right? 

Well, my best friend gave me some possible reasons for what happened.
-Fear of her own emotions
-Some criteria and figured out that I don’t meet all of it
-Met someone else and the new guy is always more interesting
-Maybe she is waiting for a prince charming and may be kissing a lot of frogs to see what they become.  Maybe I became a different kind of prince than she wanted

She went on to talk about something that will be an upcoming topic of mine, “Dating is like a job interview.”  And thanks to my friend, who actually gave me more closure than the girl I went on 2 dates with.

So I have learned again that we don’t always get the closure we were hoping for.  However, in this case though, I believe I will finally get it.  Why?  Well, after my first haircut and before our second date, I made another appointment.  So come that Wednesday in April when I am sitting in her chair, where will she go?

Finally, there’s an interesting end point to all this.  Although I don’t have closure yet, we are still occasionally playing “Words with Friends” on our cell phones...


  1. Steve,

    This is why I told you I never talk on the phone. All those hours wasted of your life that you cannot get back. I make sure they are interested before wasting all that time. Internet dating is the land of one date wonders and I would say that most fall by the wayside in one or two dates. I think they feel that the grass is always greener somewhere else. However, they are usually still online years later, so that is not apparently true. I think we live in a throw-away society and many people do not commit to anyone or anything all the way. As you know from our conversation, I have seen my share of online dating frustrations! Just remember that it is not always like that and there actually are decent people to meet on there. I have met many over the years. I, personally, do not worry much about closure with online date unless there is an actual relationship that lasts awhile. We can always chat about this. I have far more experience in this area than I really want to admit.

  2. Anyway, just keep your spirits up. Do not let them get you down. You have a lot to offer someone, so do not forget that.