I used to be the type of girl who held grudges against my ex-boyfriends simply because they had become an ex. I’ve only had four exclusive, “long-term” relationships, varying from lasting months to about a year but I learned so many important lessons during each encounter. I don’t regret my time in any of these relationships, despite the hardships and abuse I faced during some.
Thank you to my ex’s for the important lessons you taught me about life, love, and myself. Thank you for the time we shared and the memories we made. Thank you for the kisses and the hugs and the presents, thank you for the moments that didn’t suck. And thank you for the moments that devastated me, that broke me down to my weakest self. Thank you for showing me that the only person I truly need is myself.
*A big announcement can be found at the end of this post, keep reading!*
During high school, I entered a relationship that not even the stars could predict. We’ll call him A and I were together every single day. Usually from when we woke up until we went back to sleep. He was cool with my family, and I, his. He never cheated, hit me, or called me mean names, he never actually did anything bad or wrong. At the time, the worst thing he did to me was speaking to an ex he still held near and dear. At the time, I didn’t realize it was just puppy love.
But in the end, I learned so much from him. This was when I initially learned that you could lay your head next to someone else’s and have no idea who they even truly are. He taught me that you can’t fix people and sometimes you need to save yourself before trying to save someone else. If I hadn’t dropped him like a hot potato, which unfolded an unpredictable series of events, who knows where we’d be today.
A year or two later, I learned dropping him was probably the best thing that could’ve happened to him and I had no idea. Had I stayed with him, maybe he wouldn’t have gotten the help he needed. Maybe he would still be living in his parents house with no ambition or goals. But instead he’s healthy and happy and becoming successful. Today I am so proud of his growth, I am proud to call him a friend, and I’m proud of how far we both have come since those crazy high school days.
The second relationship I entered was a bit crazier. B and I met on a random and I still remember how nervous I was on our first date and how hard it was to look at him because I was so nervous. We never verbally made things official but a few months later we were engaged. To say we moved quick is an extreme understatement in all aspects of our relationship. Unfortunately, as quickly as the wedding came and went, so did the problems. I can’t lie and say I didn’t see it coming, I knew from the beginning but me being young and dumb, I kept fighting.
The short-term marriage taught me so much, the first lesson being to stop moving so quickly through life. I was in such a rush to start my adult life, I skipped so many important things that I consider myself fortunate enough to enjoy now. After spending days in solitude, I learned that with time, patience, and prayer, bad times don’t last. I also learned how to truly forgive, but this wasn’t until a year or two after the relationship ended. I learned that I have control over how others treat me and that people will treat me how I let them treat me. I learned to trust my gut feeling and to stop ignoring signs that were right in front of my face. Also, I learned if they’re upset that you snoop it’s usually because they’re hiding something. I learned that if you’re logged into Google on your phone and computer, all your information can be found in the activities (yeah, I became that girl.) I learned that escorts are just the Internet’s prostitutes and some men just can’t help themselves. I learned to stop chasing after people and things, because if they were meant to be yours they wouldn’t leave in the first place. And if they come back, don’t let them, cause they walked away with no intentions of coming back anyway.
I can’t like, the relationship after moving back from California was a quick rebound. I enjoyed having C’s attention after things ended with my marriage and he boosted my ego. Unfortunately, because he gave me his attention, I felt like I owed him everything else I could give since I couldn’t actually give him a normal relationship seeing as I was still legally married. I gave him all of my time, money, and false hope. I knew getting into that relationship was wrong, because I was still hurt by what happened but I didn’t consider what would happen once I actually got over it and didn’t need a rebound anymore.
This relationship taught me that I can’t just use people to feel better about myself, and that I am extremely inconsiderate of other’s feelings. I learned, just again, how unhealthy it is to spend every waking moment with a significant other. I learned I can’t just give someone else everything I have, because when I’m left with nothing I’m going to be tight. And I also learned to not pity myself, because while I am struggling, I could be causing someone else to struggle more. I learned to not use people, because I didn’t like being used by someone else. I learned I cannot be with an enabling person because I will just do the worst of everything.
My last and most recent Ex, D, was a whole life lesson in itself. This relationship taught me that my two limits, abuse and cheating, are limits for a reason. I learned why people say, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I got ‘fooled’ eight or nine times, and expecting him to not make the same mistakes was stupidity because once they know they can do something and you’ll forgive them, they’ll keep doing it. Most importantly, I learned that “but he/she loves me,” isn’t enough of a reason to justify any sort of physical altercation, regardless of if it happens once or a hundred times. I learned that when your friends don’t like your significant other, it’s because they see the negative traits you refuse to acknowledge. I learned that any person willing to harm/hurt/disrespect your family is completely okay disrespecting you, and if you stay, you’ll end up disrespecting yourself as well. You cannot demand respect without self-respect.I learned that not being able to walk away from someone isn’t a sign that it’s meant to be, it’s just a sign of weakness. He also taught me so many great things like how I could really benefit from loving and taking care of myself. He taught me how to ask for and accept help. Together we learned how to walk before we can run and speak before we scream. He taught me how to reach my potential and be proud of myself before I’m hard on myself. He taught me to not conform to everyone else’s views of what I should be. He taught me that after all the anxiety and depression I’ve dealt with in my life, I deserve to be happy. He also taught me I don’t have to hate my ex-boyfriends and helped me create healthy acquaintanceship with boys of the past. He taught me just how much I am willing to do for people I love and how much more I should do for myself.
These are some lessons my fellow ladies may have also had to learn the hard way. I consider them growing pains although, I’m sure the growing pains I experienced before my growth spur were less painful that these.
One lesson that all these men taught me is: He is who he is. You loving him won’t change that. While we may find an annoying or unhealthy trait we’d like to change, there are also traits that caused us to fall in love in the first place. Either accept the good with the bad or move on, you can’t change who he is.
This lead to me discovering each time that above all, the only person you need to love you is yourself. Self love overall is more beneficial and healthy than any relationship you could possibly be in with another person.
What are some lessons you learned from a failed relationship that you wish you could’ve told your younger self? Leave a comment below!
So, while I’d like to gain new readers daily, I’d also like to show my regular readers some appreciation. To do this I am going to do a giveaway! I will be giving two gift cards away to two random readers based on comments and shares! To enter yourself for a chance to win one of the gift cards, share this post & comment ‘Done’ either on this post or any of my social media accounts where this post is shared. Good luck readers!
Until next time,