Have you heard Ariana Grande’s new song Thank You, Next? She released a new song that talks about her past romantic relationships: what she learned from them, how thankful she is for them, and that she’s moved on to a serious relationship with herself.
I instantly fell in love with this song, because I’ve always been a big believer that relationships teach us lessons and develop us. Also, that we need to have a strong and loving relationship with ourselves too. After listening to her new song I was inspired to share what I took away from past relationships, in hopes of inspiring you babes to stop focusing on the pain and hurt from a break up to teach ya’ll how to pay closer attention to your own growth and why you’re better off without them. After my first break up, while scrolling on Pinterest, I stumbled upon this quote : “Sometimes people come into your life for a moment, a day, or a lifetime. It matters not the time you spent, but how they impacted your life in that time” and it stuck with me. The author is unknown, but from that day forward I looked at relationships from a different perspective. Break ups suck, but rather than focusing on the pain and hurt, I learned how to focus on what I learned: what hurt me, why there was a disconnect, and how it helped me evolve.
My First Love
This was one of the hardest breakups to deal with. He was my FIRST: first boyfriend, first love, and first intimate relationship. A LOT OF FIRSTS = A LOT OF EMOTIONS. I was 21 when we broke up and it took me 5+ years to truly get over it. I shared how hard it was to deal with in this blog post. I hate admitting that it took so long to get over him, but I had a bad habit of focusing on how much the break up hurt and that a guy I loved didn’t want me anymore. It took me a while to understand we just weren’t compatible: our family values were different, we didn’t see eye to eye spiritually, and at the time had a fondness for marijuana that I didn’t understand – simply our values didn’t align. I’m thankful for that relationship, because he taught me how to step out of my comfort zone, I learned how to trust others, also that opposites can attract. We were total opposites, but something drew us together. I also learned that break ups don’t need to be crazy or dramatic. I actually ran into him and his girlfriend at Coachella this this past year. We smiled, gave each other a big hug, and went off our separate ways. There were no bad vibes and I felt nothing but happiness for him and his new love.
The European Romance
This was the dude of my Mary-Kate and Ashley movie dreams. MK&A made these rom-com movies (i.e. Passport to Paris, Our Lips are Sealed) and they’d travel to other countries, get into some mischief and meet really hot dudes that they’d date during their trip. Those movies always made me hope to meet someone on a trip and I did one summer in Europe. I have family that lives in Europe, so I spent one summer with my Aunt and cousins (after my first love and I breakup) living up my 21 year old single self. I met this guy through my cousins. I had so much fun going out dancing, eating at super unique restaurants, and visiting museums with him, plus making out with him was fun. I liked that he was a creative too, so we would talk about art. And, he also liked fashion. He was a fun distraction for me as I dealt with my my first breakup and taught me that I will find love/date again. It was a fun summer romance, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do long distance. He was open to seeing where things went and through this experience I learned you have to be upfront and be honest about your intentions before you get romantically involved with. We should never use anyone to get over someone and that wasn’t my intent, but sometimes you can give people the wrong impression.
The One Not Over His Ex
On our first date this guy told me he’d just broken up with his ex and I had told him he needed to heal and deal with that, but he wanted to see where things went with me. I have to say I knew better, but have a bad habit of doubting what I think is right and was excited someone was interested in me. He wasn’t honest about how soon they broken up (it had only been a week) and I didn’t pry or ask, because I wanted to be a “chill” and “cool” girl going with the flow. Not asking questions was me not valuing myself and not standing up for what I deserve out of a relationship. Things felt off two months in, but we kept going with it and even traveled to Europe together. Through this dating experience I learned when things are feeling off we need to trust it. I kept pushing through it and just tried to flow with it, but it all felt off and forced. Long story short he was still hung up on his ex, but had a hard time owning up to his feelings and emotions, so I ended it. When the relationship ended I realized asking questions and learning about someone’s previous relationship is so so so important. You want to find out why it ended, if they’re still in contact, also if there was drama. I promise you’re not crazy or dramatic to ask. You deserve answers and deserve to be with someone that can totally commit to you. No more waiting a year to ask the serious questions. I also learned how important it is to not bully or be dramatic when your ex moves on (or is trying to). I talked about that in this blog post, because his ex cyber bullied me on Instagram weeks after him and I stopped dating.
The Hinge Guy
This guy was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting much from our first meet up, because I was on a mission to to use Hinge to try a 45 min dating tip I learned from a good friend. This was not a sexual tip, but a helpful dating tip to make first dates less scary. The 45 min tip is simply giving yourself only 45 min and a $10 limit on the first date. This help prevents you from investing/wasting too much time with someone you’re not interested in, also helps you not over-do it with someone you are into. There’s a whole documentary on it and I wanted to try it. The 45 mins tip also helps you understand that you’ll know you’re interested in someone (you met online) within 45 min. I tried this tip on the Hinge guy and actually hit it off with him. I don’t know if it was the tip or that we connected, but I definitely learned this will be helpful for every first date. Besides trying out a dating tip, I really liked that I could vent and talk to him. I felt myself and it was a pleasant surprise. I liked that he was into motivational books, was into working out, and that I could chat with him for an hour on the phone. I also liked that he had catholic roots. I learned the importance of our values aligning. He was a total gentleman, planned dates, opened my door, and made me laugh. It was really nice, but things started to fizzle as my Dad’s cancer started to get more intense. Family is always first to me and it was hard to balance dating him and dealing with cancer. He’d never gone through anything as intense as cancer and I felt that he didn’t know how to be there for me. I don’t blame him, because cancer is intense and we’d just met. After some time, things just didn’t feel right, so I ended it. Because of my previous dating experiences I had the confidence to tell him it didn’t feel right anymore and that I wanted to end it. It wasn’t easy and I was emotional, but I’m getting better. I loved that I applied that 45 min dating tip and I love that within a few months of dating I trusted my gut and ended it. I talked more about that experience in this YouTube video. I also want to note that I found Hinge to be a great dating app, most of the guys had similar values and intentions to me, than the ones I met on tinder and bumble.
So, as you can see you can learn a lot from your ex’s or past dating experiences. Every relationship helps you evolve and teaches you things about yourself or what you want in a partner. I’ve also learned relationships need to be an added bonus to your life and not your total focus. Relationships are going to develop you and when they don’t work out anymore pay attention to how they’ve helped you evolve. I’ve also learned how to value myself, stick up for myself, and that I don’t have to date anyone I don’t want to. And, don’t forget, that the best relationship is the one with myself. You have to put yourself and happiness first. I’m thankful for my past relationships and dating experiences and I’m happy they’ve helped me develop to the woman I am today, so Thank You, Next.