Lessons Learned: Things my exes taught me about myself

Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship that ended has learned something from their ex. That’s what relationships do. They teach you things about other people and yourself that you may not have been privy to before you were in them. Although the end of a relationship can bring you heartbreak, anger, spite and sadness, it also provides you with a valuable life lesson in one way or another. It’s up to you to recognize and internalize that lesson though. 

“I deserve better.”

Things can easily get muddy…because when you’re in a relationship, your partner typically overlooks things that bother them. You’re both a bit blind and perhaps overly forgiving-in the beginning. Then things get more serious, and you get comfortable speaking without thinking about how you should word something or whether what you‘re about to say is going to hurt the other person‘s feelings. Now your thoughts, criticisms and everything that used to drive you nuts but stayed in your head comes out. The person on the other end may pretend not to get their feelings hurt, or may come right back at you with the same hurtful comments-or actions. The individuals in the relationship begin to harbor anger and pain, start drifting apart and resenting each other. Eventually, it comes to an end. Once you’ve parted ways and stopped the post-relationship bickering, you have two choices.

“Time is precious…use it wisely. (I wasted 7 years)”

You can choose to play the blame game and place all of the fault of the ended relationship on the other person. They were selfish, they were a jerk, they said hurtful things, they didn’t listen to you, etc, etc. You take any part you had in the demise of the relationship and put it on them. It’s an easy game to play, but it doesn’t benefit you at all. You just remain in denial and end up getting into a new relationship that oddly ends the same way. The next one starts, then ends…the same way again. You create a cycle of denial and blame and that’s where people get the notion that all men or all women are the same. They can’t be trusted and they’re all going to hurt you the same way. Does that sound logical or productive in any way? Hell no. 

“I deserve someone that’s going to work as a team.”

Your other option is to look back at the situation and learn from it. It’s not easy, but you owe it to yourself to look back at the relationship-as an outsider-and see what really caused this end result. Chances are, you both had a hand in it. The key is being able to realize that and learning from it. I mean really learning from it. Not pretending to. You can pretend to understand it and then move on to your next relationship and have it all go down the same somber road. You deserve to be happy. But to do that, you have to be open to learning and actually take something from your experience. Stepping out as if you were a stranger and reviewing the relationship helps you see things clearly and take something from it. Don’t view it as the “worst year of your life”, but instead, a year of learning. 

“The value of myself as a person.”

Furthermore, don’t assume that because you've learned something from it, you’re now obligated to track down your ex and let them know about themselves. If they’re going to learn something from it, let them learn on their own. You’re not together anymore. They can continue a cycle or they can do what you’ve done and learn something…but the direction they choose to go in is not your responsibility OR your business. Move on. Go be happy.

“That I’m worthy of someone’s unconditional love.”

In conclusion, there’s no reason to carry hate in your heart or look back on a relationship as time wasted. While you were with that person, you had fun. You had a companion and you shared things. That doesn't have to be tossed to the trash just because you broke up. Life goes on and you’ll find someone that appreciates you ten times more and that you connect with on an even deeper level that the ex. BUT, you've got to be open to learning from the situation. If you aren't able to grow as a person, you’ll just end up in the same boat. 

“Don’t be with anyone that can’t bring you around their family.”

Now go be amazing and happy…and never, never settle.

Peace, love and happiness to all!