You learn something from every relationship you're in. Sometimes they're good things, and sometimes they're bad things. Regardless, you always learn something new. Unfortunately, the last guy I dated taught me that if you give a liar a second chance, more than likely all he'll do is lie to you a second time. Thankfully, I made the conscious decision to leave before I could confirm that. So fortunately, the last guy I dated also taught me that I am in a place in my life where I am in fact stronger than I think. That I can be proactive and walk away, despite the fact that my heart may be kicking and screaming to be left behind. Sure, I've looked back. He was mighty nice to look at, but when I look back I also see everything I DON'T want in a partner.
In general, I've learned plenty of lessons. Most of them, the hard way. It got to a point where I was so sick and tired of learning lessons I had a talk with God one day and said outloud through sobs of frustration, "OK I'm fucking tired of LEARNING. Am I done yet?" Then I realized the lessons weren't necessarily there to teach me what and what not to do. They were there to make me the person I am today, the person I was meant to be - good AND bad traits.
Because of my relationships, I've learned to be kinder. More considerate. Appreciative. I've learned not to raise my voice, slam car doors, or kick my boyfriends dashboard. I realized that men want to feel loved and wanted just as much as women do. That they hope you notice their new haircut, and like it when you compliment them. To listen and most of all THINK before I speak. That ALL men have a jealous bone in them no matter how nonchalant they may seem so that guy who just told you he doesn't care if you got a man while your mans at the bar? TELL HIM TO GO AWAY. NOW. I've learned that while you don't need to be Martha Stewart, making the bed and cooking dinner is always a "good thing." I've learned that sometimes, even though it may not make sense, you just need to let a man be and feel like a MAN.
Buuut from my past relationships, I've also built a newfound low threshold for bullshit that I normally would've accepted in the past. I've acquired the art of calming the fuck down and marinating on my feelings before reacting to it. Because the best response is no response and I have gotten good at giving the silent treatment when deserved. Not answering the phone, responding to texts, or replying to emails is no longer a life threatening task for me. I've learned to set reasonable standards and stick to them. And while it's not always guaranteed, I've finally learned to listen to my heart but follow my mind when necessary. Which is all wonderful for me, but for the next guy? Not so much.
So while Mister Next can thank the ex for breaking me down so I can build myself back into a new and improved ME as I've explained here, you can also thank them for turning me into what some may call - a BITCH. Because while I've learned which relationships are worth staying in, I've also learned when it's appropriate to walk and in some cases, run the fuck away. And THAT is one of the best lessons I've learned thus far.