Closure is a spectrum, and “modern exorcism methods tend to place less emphasis on external factors and more on internal healing,” Ms. Alderson said. “Sitting with negative feelings can feel uncomfortable in the moment, but ultimately, it can allow for emotional healing to take place, and there’s far more awareness of this now.”
Dating experts can sometimes serve as closure specialists. Kimberly Anderson, a relationship coach in Paris, had a client his year who used ax throwing in batting cages to help move on. “She actually visualized her ex as the target, which definitely helped her with her aim in hitting the target,” Ms. Anderson said.
Others have done social media cleanses or even purged entire relationships of their digital footprint, essentially pulling a virtual deletion of an ex much like its literal version in the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Hania Khataby, 24, a reproductive science practitioner in London, believes in wiping all traces of exes or former friends on social media as a first step in forgetting someone. “I am a very out of sight. out of mind kind of girl,” she said. By removing all digital remnants of someone, “eventually you stop looking for the person,” she said.
But is closure really that necessary, or does a culture of love bombing and then ghosting render it obsolete?
“Lack of closure can leave us wondering what went wrong, and if we could have salvaged the relationship,” said Michele Leno, a psychologist in Detroit. She said that unrestrained worrying could manifest physically and cause headaches, fatigue, sadness and anxiety.
There are other risks, too. Methods like restrictive dieting and juice cleanses — sometimes creating or worsening disordered eating — can provide a sense of control, but they’re also a symptom of underlying emotions. Georgina Sturmer, a psychologist in Hertfordshire, England, said that while we might feel in control of our bodies, it could also reflect low confidence and poor self-esteem.