Before I finally met my current boyfriend, my dating life was a complete disaster. There may have been okay guys/dates along the way, but the common denominator was endless disappointments and a constantly breaking heart. I learned some pretty tough lessons and went through some dark rough patches on the journey to the love I have now, but in hindsight, I’m grateful that I did, because learning those painful lessons has allowed me to truly appreciate my new relationship.
I learned the value of honesty. It was pretty shocking when I met my boyfriend and he was so upfront and honest about everything — not just about his own personal life, but in the way he didn’t hesitate to communicate how he felt about me. For once, I didn’t have to try and decipher whether or not he was actually into me because he offered me real honesty right from the start.
I appreciate all the little things my boyfriend does for me. I’ve dealt with some pretty rude mistreatment by guys in the past who failed to appreciate the efforts I made for them. Not only am I now finally appreciated for all of the things those other guys overlooked, but I’m also spoiled with the simple acts of kindness by my boyfriend, like making me my egg white scramble every morning or my morning tea before work. He cares enough to make me feel special right down to the smallest details.
I’m so grateful for how thoughtful my boyfriend is. A lot of guys I met acted like paying the dinner bill gave them a sense of entitlement and ownership over me — like it absolved them of the responsibility of treating me with human kindness and respect. Thankfully, my boyfriend does none of these things. He takes me on thoughtful dates. He constantly says and does things to make me feel special, and it makes him stand out loud and proud against the former duds I’ve encountered.
I learned self-appreciation through gaining my independence. After so many years of going guy to guy and having one long-term relationship after the other, it’s like the universe was telling me it was time for a major time-out, no matter how hard I kept forcing the idea of love with all the wrong guys. I learned to spend actual time alone. I built a home for myself. I got to know myself on a deeper level. I grew my spirit and figured out what I really wanted out of love. I learned to appreciate the woman I am with or without love in my life.
I understand how rare the good guy in my life truly is. I’ve unfortunately met enough jerks and players over the years that I know how genuinely rare my boyfriend is. Finally, after all of those unwanted penis pictures, ghosting experiences, and being fooled into thinking a guy was into me when he wasn’t in it for real, I finally found the unicorn guy who loves me the right way.
I relish the simple pleasures of being in love. Being single was great for helping me become the woman I am today, but even if the dating experiences I went through were horrible, it’s made me appreciate the little details about being in a loving relationship. Sure, I used to sleep diagonally across my queen sized mattress and I carried all of my groceries up two flights of stairs to my apartment in one trip, but now, I blissfully enjoy having someone to cuddle at night and someone to help me carry the heavy stuff, both figuratively and literally.
I finally made peace with my past struggles. I look back at all of those old wounds and the scars that used to blanket my heart and I’m not only grateful that I’ve finally made it past that ugly chapter, but I’m also at peace with every nagging thing that’s haunted me about my dating past.
I’m a new and stronger person now than I was before. To put it simply, I wouldn’t be the me that I am now if it weren’t for the struggles I went through braving the modern dating culture for the years that I did. I cried myself to sleep plenty of nights, wondering why my journey had been so tough and why the unthinkable kept happening over and over again. It made me a stronger person. It made me more aware of the good things in life, and most importantly, it made me a warrior of my own heart.
I fully understand my worth now because of my past and present. I didn’t realize how good I was supposed to have it in love until I met my boyfriend. He treats me with a level of respect, love and kindness I didn’t even know could exist. All those years that I wanted love so badly and searched for it endlessly, battling the series of disappointments along the way and questioning my worth constantly, it wasn’t for nothing. It was so one guy could walk in and show me just how worth it I truly am. Without my terrible past, I wouldn’t fully appreciate the relationship I have today.
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