I know exes generally get a bad rap — many times for good reason — but I don’t actually hate you. Sure, you weren’t always the best boyfriend and obviously things didn’t work out in the end, but I’m actually grateful for the time we spent together. I could have walked away from our relationship with a ton of baggage, but instead I took away some pretty important lessons. Here are just a few of them:

My voice matters.

You rarely agreed with me on anything, but you never belittled my thoughts or opinions — if anything, you showed me the importance of standing up for myself and never wavering no matter what anyone else thought, even you. Even when the neighbors complained about the noise levels, you only had to open your mouth and I felt encouraged to yell my opinion to the world again.

I Don’t Have To Get Along With Everyone. 

Turns out the age-old saying, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet,” is a load of crap, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that I found another woman in your bed one morning, I may well have walked past her in the street and assumed she was someone I could’ve been friends with — although, to be fair, we did seem to have a lot in common…

My body doesn’t have to be perfect to be desirable. 

Ah, those memorable moments when you would sidle your way up to me, grabbing and poking any little lump or bump you could grasp while muttering explicit directions for what I should do to you in the bedroom. I could never really tell if you were turned on or slyly criticizing me. I chose to take it as the former. I may not be a supermodel, but I’m still sexy, and in your finer moments, you made me feel that way.

Nothing is more important than honesty.

 I’ll give you genuine credit here. If I asked, “Do I look fat in this?”, the answer was always undoubtedly your honest opinion. And while I struggle to understand how the answer was always an incredibly resounding “Yes” followed by a good cackle with your friends, I appreciate the fact that you felt you could be so open on the topic. That honesty really made it that much easier for me to leave you in the end.

Even on my worst days, I’m Worthy Of Being Loved. 

I had days when, quite frankly, I should have been locked in a cupboard. I have no doubt those days left you quivering on the other side of the door, wondering which version of me you were going to find. Sometimes you knew exactly how to handle me and other times you really, seriously didn’t. Either way, I like to think you loved me in spite of it, so thank you for that.

I’m not Always Right And That’s Okay. 

Being the slightly neurotic, sometimes overly opinionated and often moody bitch that I know I can be, there were times when I was prepared to tell you the sky was purple and debate it to the ends of the earth. Of course I know that’s a load of crap and even though there were times that you always pointing things out and correcting me drove me insane, you did teach me a valuable lesson — I’m not always going to be right.

Personal Care Is Important. 

I’ve always taken great pride in my hygiene levels, but being with you, I took that to a whole new level. Having your rotten smelling socks shoved under my nose daily was enough to kick start my motivation, encourage me to raise my standards, and start stockpiling the antibacterial cleaner.

Time Out For Fun Was Just As Important As Work. 

If it hadn’t been for the number of mornings you rolled back over and continued to snore while I got up to start the day, I may never have seen the value in taking time out. Watching you exert your right to enjoy your obviously much-needed downtime day in and day out, I learned to truly appreciate the joy and happiness such times bring.

Being An Emotional Person In A Material World is okay. 

Despite my sometimes overly emotional state, I did try my best to contain my emotions when facing issues and people that would draw out my frustrations. I’ll forever be thankful for the moments you pushed my buttons far beyond what any other reasonable person had ever done. In turn, it allowed me to unleash a tirade of unhappiness and at times disappointment instead of harboring damaging emotions that had the potential to fester and cause personal disease.

I always deserve The Best In Life And Relationships.

There came a time when I was forced to look at our relationship with open eyes. I sat myself down and thought about the direction we were headed in and whether it was a direction I was prepared to spend the rest of my life walking. It wasn’t, but the journey up to that point was definitely an experience and we should be grateful for every one we get, so thank you.

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