It’s hard to imagine being grateful for your exes but, the truth is that your exes taught you a lot of valuable lessons whether you realize it or not. In order to know what you needed in a partner, you had to first discover what doesn’t work for you. In order to learn what real love feels like, you had to see what it does not feel like. Some of these exes might have even taught you what kind of partner you want to be. Here are exes you can be thankful for:
The one who said you were selfish
Maybe this ex had to check you. Perhaps you went out late and were hung over for brunch with his family too many times. Perhaps you always pushed for what you wanted to do on date night. He got fed up with it, and left. And it broke your heart.
This ex taught you the important lesson of compromising and sacrificing for a relationship. He taught you that, if you are going to keep someone around, you need to make decisions based on what’s best for both of you.
At the time you thought he was overreacting or being needy, but now you see that he was just more mature than you were.
The one who tried to change you
He tried to make you quieter, less social, more reserved and smaller. He tried to put your light out. He was controlling and possessive. Nothing you did was ever right. You tried so hard to please him. You lost friends in the process—friends who told you, “You are not yourself when you are with this man.” And you called those friends petty and jealous, and wrote them off.
You learned that if you cannot be yourself fully, without making any amendments or apologies that you cannot be happy in a relationship. You learned the value in setting boundaries and promising yourself to never again let a man edit you.
The one who set your drama limits
This is the guy who brought the drama. Everything was a big deal. He never let anything go—not a hug with a male friend, or a text that came in too late. He was exciting at first because he was so passionate, but eventually he was exhausting.
These men who bring drama will give you that attention, but they will also make your life miserable. You realized the value in loving yourself, and giving yourself attention, so that you don’t need those turbulent and dramatic relationships, just to feel wanted.
Remember the workaholic? Some of your friends and family didn’t even believe he existed. He never made appearances at family functions or birthday parties. Your relationship existed within the tiny hours he could spare after work and between meetings.
You found his ambition attractive, sure, but in the end you realized that you want a life. And you want a partner who also wants a life. You value balance. You work to live, and not the other way around.
The one who didn’t meet your needs
He didn’t initiate plans. He didn’t communicate his feelings enough, even though you tried everything to get him to talk. He didn’t make you feel like a priority. He would invite his buddies to what was meant to be date night. He barely reached out. You felt taken for granted.
This man taught you to speak up about your needs. He wasn’t capable of meeting them not even close but he taught you not to feel insecure about stating, “This is what I need to be happy.” You have become a much better communicator of your needs since then.
What merit could this man possibly have? What good could have possibly come from all that pain he caused you? The truth is that, it’s those who have been victims of infidelity who recognize the sanctity of a relationship the most. They would never wish anyone to feel what they have felt.
The one who strung you along
Looking back, you cannot believe how long you let yourself get carried away with this man without putting a label on your relationship. He just wouldn’t define the relationship. He’d be hot and cold, he’d be around and then he wouldn’t be. You didn’t feel you could say anything because technically you weren’t his girlfriend.
You met your limit for games with this man. He made you feel needy and clingy for simply wanting answers. Now you realize that no man who cares about you will ever make you feel that way, just for wanting to know what is going on.