An unfortunate side effect of dating is breaking up. The funny thing about exes is that they can be a learning experience, if you look at it the right way. If you take the breakup as just another life lesson, you can find out a lot about yourself, how you deal with the world, and what you actually want in a partner. Here are 8 kinds of exes that can help you grow as a person:
- The ex that becomes a friend. It may take a while, but the fact is that if you had an amicable, mutual separation, there’s no reason why you two can’t be friends. Friendly exes are often some of the best people to ask for frank advice, simply because they’ve been intimate with you in ways that most people haven’t. Assuming that you two are good with guiding each other around the dating scene, you may end up learning volumes from one another.
- The total jerk. This guy is a scumbag. He treated you like crap, and when you broke up with him, it was like a breath of fresh air. When you dump a guy who’s no good for you, it’s a learning experience. It teaches you what you don’t want in a man, and if you’re very perceptive, also teaches you the warning signs of abuse.
- Mr. Family Man. If you’re like me and have had the dire misfortune of dating a guy who was completely and utterly controlled by his immediate family, you already know how frustrating it is. With every single issue in your relationship turning into a tug of war between you and his family, it’s no wonder why you eventually broke up. Simply put, guys who fit into this category of exes have been totally babied by their parents, and are generally incapable of leaving the nest. If there’s one thing you’ll learn about yourself from dating one of these doozies, it’s how to have the patience of a Tibetan monk, and when to draw the line.
- The ex who later came out as gay. OK, maybe it’s just a “me” thing, but I’ve personally dated a lot of men who later came out as bi, gay, or transgender. While I will admit I was very bitter about some of them, I also will be the first to tell others that it helped me learn a lot about sexuality as a whole. In fact, having exes who ended up later coming out made me realize how much stigma is still attached to being gay/bi/trans. Though I myself had struggled with my LGBTQ issues, the fact is that I was pretty stunned at how bad some of my exes had it. Saying that it’s eye-opening to be an unwitting beard is an understatement. Trust me on this.
- The ex who came from a totally different background. Admittedly, the chances of a relationship like this going well are pretty slim to begin with, so it typically shouldn’t be too surprising that you broke up. Speaking as someone who has a very different background from most other people I’ve met, I can safely say that it’s taught me a lot about being open-minded, accepting, and curious about the way that other people live. If you’ve ever dated someone with a totally different background, you’ve probably taken a crash course in empathy and cultural differences, too.
- Mr. Perfect. Everyone has that one ex that just had everything. He had looks that resemble Barbie’s ex boyfriend, Ken. He had a slick convertible car. He had friends. He would show up to your house with roses. Hell, even your parents liked him. Somehow, though, you couldn’t bring yourself to enjoy his company. You felt no spark, and you ended it with him. At least you learned that being perfect can be too boring to date.
- The ex who turned stalker. If you’ve ever had the experience of having an ex who just wouldn’t go away, then you know the pain of dating this guy. Though there’s really no good side to this, at least you’ve learned how to place a restraining order, right?
- The one was almost “The One”. This ex is a sad kind of ex to have. When relationships that are perfect end due to random circumstances out of your control, it’s pretty heartbreaking. Looking back, it might teach you that sometimes, love just ain’t in the cards.
The bottom line is that you can learn volumes by looking at your former relationships in an objective way. Have you learned anything from your past relationship yet?