10 Things Your Exes Taught You That You Should Never Forget

The thought of your ex might churn your stomach. It doesn’t matter if you two left on a good note (as good as possible, anyway) or can no longer stand the sight of each other, because you’ve learned something from him either way. Haven’t you heard that the biggest lessons in life are learned through pain? It’s the truth, which is why you should be thankful for your ex. He might’ve broken your heart and keyed your car, but he still taught you some things that you should never forget.

  1. What you want in a relationship. As evil as your ex was, you dated him for a reason. Once you’re over him and are comfortable reminiscing about your fun times without collapsing into a puddle of tears, you should think about all of the qualities you liked about your ex. Then you can find the same traits in a new man.
  2. What you don’t want in a relationship. You two wouldn’t have broken up if you were perfect for each other. Think about the qualities that your ex had that clashed with yours. In the future, if you stay away from guys with those qualities, you’ll have an easier time finding the man that’s right for you.
  3. How to handle an argument. Your ex is an ex for a reason. You two probably had your fair share of arguments, one of which ended in a break up. If you think back to those fights, you can probably figure out when you acted like an adult and when you acted unreasonable. Then you can learn from your mistakes.
  4. That a relationship takes two people. It doesn’t matter how hard you tried to keep your ex around, because a relationship will never work if it’s one-sided. You both need to put in effort. If one of you doesn’t play your part, then the whole relationship will fall apart.
  5. That happiness should come from within. If your ex was your whole world, you learned this lesson the hard way. You don’t want your boyfriend to be your sole source of happiness in life, because he could always leave. When that happens, you need to have other things to live for, so your spirit isn’t crushed completely.
  6. That no relationship is a waste of time. When the breakup is fresh, you might wish that you never even met your ex. However, if he made you happy at one point, you shouldn’t regret your relationship. Even though you two didn’t end up together, it doesn’t mean your time together was meaningless. If it made you happy, it wasn’t a waste of time.
  7. That you don’t need anyone else to survive. It doesn’t matter how much you loved your ex. Even if you thought that you two would be together forever, and couldn’t imagine your life without him, you’re living without him now. That means you’re capable of surviving on your own. You don’t need anyone by your side, because you’re strong enough to take care of yourself.
  8. That it gets better. Two days after a breakup, you’ll have tissues in one hand and ice cream in the other. Two months later, you might be ready for a rebound. But two years later, you’ll finally realize that it gets better. As cliché as it sounds, time heals any wound.
  9. That you deserve better. You deserve to be treated like you’re the most gorgeous girl in the room. You don’t have to worry, because there’s someone out there who would never dream of breaking up with you or doing anything that would drive you away. If you never broke up with your ex, you’d never have the chance to find that special guy you’re meant to end up with.
  10. That some people grow apart. You might’ve had the time of your life with your ex. But just because you two dated once upon a time, it doesn’t mean you’re meant to be together forever. Some people are only in our lives temporarily, and that’s okay.
Holly Riordan is a writer from Long Island, New York who has authored several science fiction and horror books. A graduate of Stony Brook University, she has spent nearly a decade writing for publications including Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and more. You can find her on Instagram @hollyrio and Twitter @hollyyrio.