Sipping on her umpteenth glass of wine, Rachel Green slowly unravels at the prospect of friend and crush Ross Gellar moving forward with his girlfriend Julie. Rachel comes undone over Ross buying a cat with her. It’s at that moment she realizes nothing can happen between them. Rachel needs closure to move on with her life. She desperately grabs a stranger’s cell phone and leaves a message on Ross’s home answering machine. “Obviously, I am over you,” Rachel says. “I am over you. And that, my friend, is what they call closure.”
While that particular moment comes from an old episode of “Friends” and is highly fictionalized, the idea of seeking closure is something very real.
Whether a person wants closure from a relationship, a job, friendship, a loved one’s death or anything else, it is sometimes purposely sought after to help move forward.
There are those, like Rachel, who need closure to move on, while others can mosey on through life not caring if they ever receive that last shred of finality.
Today, Rachel’s voicemail would probably be a drunken text or Facebook message, but that doesn’t dampen the importance of said message. Rachel’s impulsive behavior lifted the weight off her shoulders. She did not second guess her actions (not that evening, at least). Sure, it took liquid courage for Rachel to say how she felt, but that just makes her pain all the more relatable. Her timing may have been off, but she did what she had to do. Rachel’s desperation to move on is all too real.
Closure isn’t easy to attain in most circumstances, but it’s possible.
Somewhat similar to Ross and Rachel, junior Stephanie Malone found closure from her on-again, off-again relationship of five years once she came to college.
“College made me mature and realize some things are worth leaving behind because you are becoming a better individual, so it’s OK to let go of certain things,” Malone said.
She acknowledges that college made it easier to find closure, especially for someone like herself who has difficulty letting go.
“I don’t like ending things,” she said. “Knowing something is over freaks me out. I like routine, so when that routine is disrupted, I don’t know what to do with myself.”
Relationships are potentially complex, especially if two people are breaking up. If the breakup is amicable then closure may not be needed. Similarly, if cheating is involved between any of the parties then closure can be reached knowing that person did not hold up their end of the bargain to be honest and faithful. It is not worth dwelling on someone else’s thoughtless behavior.
Aside from romantic entanglements, cultivating strong business relationships is essential for any person as they head into the job market.
Freshman Rachel Lussier is about to switch jobs and hopes to find closure with her old employer before making the move. Her position has been one of the first ever she’s taken in the workforce, so saying goodbye is especially bittersweet.
“I sincerely want to tell them that it was a great first job experience before I move onto new things,” she said.
Finding closure is easier said than done, especially if one party is making it difficult for the one seeking it to move on to better opportunities. Despite your most strident efforts to find closure, it is not the end of the world if it isn’t reciprocal, or if there is a disconnect in communication. Your closure is realizing that that is the way the other party is, and nothing is going to change their stubbornness (or “evil mind game” as Malone puts it).
In some cases, closure is not necessary, as freshman Cassie Krosche has found out since coming to college.
“I have a bunch of guy friends from home who I thought I was close with, but I don’t talk to anymore,” she said. “I’m fine with that because if they are not willing to keep up with the relationship than neither am I.”
It took Ross and Rachel 207 episodes to finally get together for good after she left the initial voicemail. If Rachel didn’t admit how she felt to Ross, their rocky on-again, off-again relationship may not have happened.
It may be worth striving for closure if it means living without regret. Even if the result is not desirable, peace can be made knowing that what is meant to be will be.