‘thank u, next’: All The Things I’ve Learned From My Ex(es)

Let’s get one thing straight: Ariana Grande is one bold bitch. Writes a positive song about all her exes, without all the cryptic lyrics that Taylor Swift got famous for, and talks about finding herself admits all the drama. Damn, what a bop! But in a more serious way it hits home. Every relationship teaches something special, shows a different side of you (sometimes not the best side) and each break-up is a time to reopen old wounds that need proper healing. These are the things I’ve learned from me ex(es) that have lead me to my new relationship with myself.

  • It’s ok to cry, even when there’s no reason to cry, even when I’m feeling crazy and yes, my period is a valid excuse.
  • Speaking of: don’t ask me to calm down when I’m bleeding profusely from my uterus, and instead, thank god that it isn’t doing the latter.
  • After my fourth tequila shot it is not the time to ask any questions that may start with “I don’t understand why” or “explain this”. Alcohol brings out the subconscious, but that doesn’t mean it has to bring it out of my mouth.
  • Texting all day, every day, slowly dampers any spark. I don’t need to hear about your explosive bathroom episodes or text you every morning before work. Our routines are always the same and if something changes, I’ll make sure to let you know.
  • Speaking of, fighting over text is so unhealthy. I spent too many nights sending messages that were passive aggressive and way too long, constantly checking the “…” on the reply pop up and down. Any woman who says she hasn’t done this is lying to sound less attached. Also, please turn off your read receipts. It’s the literal equivalent of saying “I’ll call you back” and then never calling back. It’s trash.
  • Insecurity trails comfortability. Don’t get me wrong, you should be comfortable in a relationship, but sometimes a relationship reaches a point and second-guessing things becomes second nature. I started asking myself if I was good enough, or if he loved me the way I loved him. It only proved I didn’t love myself.
  • Toxicity isn’t normal.
  • I shouldn’t have to ask to be a priority. I started spinning round and round like a broken record, begging to be what was most important, when in reality, I should have known that you couldn’t beg for something back that never was.
  • Not every relationship needs to be a serious one. Being myself in my 20s is hard enough. I’m still learning, growing, figuring out who I am. A relationship isn’t going to do that for me.
  • Ultimately, a relationship is between two people and it isn’t fair to blame myself alone when things weren’t perfect, or when I’d get hurt to ask myself what I did wrong. Validation doesn’t come from solving problems alone, but with one another, and you’re foolish if you think you don’t need to be validated. You do, everyone does in one way or another, and that’s OK.
  • I realized quickly that loving someone and loving the idea of being with someone are two incredibly distinctive things. I had to let go of being afraid to be alone, even if that meant breaking my heart in the process.
  • Red flags are BRIGHT RED for a reason.
  • The idea of closure is complete bullshit. The concept that there will be this big conversation where anything and everything that needs to be said is said, and the relationship magically dissolves and it’s just tears and some big finale…I can’t. Closure comes with time and can’t be rushed by some inclination that things will be back to normal overnight. One day I woke up and didn’t think about him and I knew I had finally shut that chapter of my life. Closing doesn’t mean forgetting, and it took me a long time to appreciate that.
  • I had to quit romanticizing the past. I really like to make excuses for situations that were less than acceptable, and to believe I could have done something different to change the outcome. Thinking back on the past in a nostalgic way is great in small increments, but constantly looking back and thinking “I shouldn’t have said that” or “we were drunk” isn’t. Let’s face it, if I justified things that happened every time I was drunk, I would never be wrong.
  • I’m never going to stop changing. Finding solace in the evolution and progress in my life hasn’t come easy, but neither was living in the confines of someone I didn’t want to be.
  • Everything happens for a reason. People come in and out of your life, some stay, and some don’t, but the experiences and people that mean the most will always stay somewhere in there, and the ones that are meant to come back, will.  

Just like Ari said: “One taught me love, one taught me patience, and one taught me pain, now, I’m so amazing. I’ve loved and I’ve lost but that’s not what I see, so look what I got, look what you taught me and for that, I say thank you, next”.


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