A conversation with one of my sisters about ex-boyfriends and loving yourself first has me thinking a lot on everything I’ve been through with the opposite sex. Though I’ve had many heartbreaking moments, I’ve had many hilarious ones as well. Sometimes I think my love life or (lack thereof) is a television sitcom or reality show with everything that goes on. One thing I can say for sure is that I don’t regret any relationship or situationship (Ok, maybe that ONE) I’ve ever been in because I learned something.
Before I take ya’ll down memory lane, here are a few #MajorKeys about my love lessons:
- If you try to love someone more than you love yourself it will always end in disaster.
- Being single is not the end of the world, it’s just a time to figure yourself out AND what you want in a partner.
- Some men are simply just bored. A man truly interested in you will act way different than a bored man.
With that being said, here’s what my exes taught me:
Middle School Love Lessons
I debated if I was going to add middle school dating because who really takes relationships serious at 11-13?
Well apparently, I did.
5th or 6th grade brought me my first boyfriend and not much happened except I received my first of many kisses and that two months after going together, dude left me for my “bestfriend.”
I guess that’s what I get for dating the popular guy in school huh?
I remember feeling embarrassed and insecure about myself because I was very self conscious about my looks and body. I remember being pissed he and my friend betrayed me in such a way, I guess you could say I was heartbroken.
Lesson here: You can manipulate yourself into being any type of woman a guy wants you to be, but at the end of the day he will do whatever he wants to do. You might as well just be YOU. Also, I learned I should pick better best friends.
In 7th grade, I met a guy that was a much better fit for me than my ex, the problem was that a few months into our relationship (we dated the whole school year up until he graduated 8th grade) I began to become uninterested in him. He was very nice and sweet to me (I recall us telling each other that we loved one another) but I also wanted to be single again, especially since he was going to high school before me.
Lesson here: Sometimes you outgrow people no matter how good they are to you. And that’s OK.
High School Love Lessons
Everybody wanted a high school sweetheart and I sure I would be apart of that.
A girl can dream, right?
My first high school relationship was with a guy that I should’ve left in the park I met him at LOL. What’s worse is that I used to LOVE that boy with EVERY cell in my body. I wanted to marry him, have his babies, the whole nine yards. Unfortunately, he had a problem with staying faithful and I had a problem seeing that I was too young, intelligent, and beautiful to deal with that foolery.
Lesson here: First of all, life is too short to wait on a guy to act right. Second of all, your body is yours and yours only, if you don’t feel comfortable doing something don’t be afraid to say no. Lastly, I learned that you should never get caught up in the potential of someone. You literally cannot force someone to change, they have to want to do it themselves. And another thing, abuse comes in MANY different forms, not just physical. Educate yourself on the signs and decide if you want to put up with it. If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t.
My second boyfriend in high school came from after months of being single and deciding I would give love another shot. Not much happened in this relationship except that he was real messy and girls liked to play on my phone asking me about him LOL. Eventually I ended it after three months of dating, because I was bored with where things were going AND I was tired of getting confronted by different girls 24/7.
Lesson here: Give yourself time to grieve a bad breakup and just because you’ve known someone for a long time doesn’t mean you NEED to get into a relationship with them!
My third relationship in high school was interesting. This relationship was probably one I should’ve never pursued either, but you live and you learn right?
What started off as sweet and promising ended up leaving us both bitter and angry, I suppose. I won’t blame everything on him though, because he was a young man that was brought up never to express his emotions, and the only ones he WAS allowed to express were the anger and rage. Our arguments were over the top and unnecessary, but we stayed with one another because we felt like we needed each other. It was no longer love between us, but dependency. When he and I both turned 17, he began to change, to find himself I suppose. We started growing apart and I began to cling more. But when I started not to feel him anymore, he began to cling to me. It was a very toxic cycle.
Lesson here: If a person does not love themselves, they cannot truly love you.
After those relationships, I stayed “single” throughout the rest of high school. In high school, I also got into the first of many situationships. I went on dates and talked to a plethora of dudes but had no one to call my own though I could have had another boyfriend if I wanted to. I think I settled for situationships because I just wanted to HAVE somebody, without the headache of HAVING somebody, if that makes sense. Needless to say, I’m a serial monogamist who didn’t like being alone.
Lesson here: Just because you’re having sex with someone doesn’t guarantee you a relationship. Also, if a relationship is something you want, then stop settling to be someone’s sexual conquest and hold out. Lastly, being single isn’t the end of the world.
College Love Lessons
College is the place of hookup culture with a person like me who just wanted love like Whitley Gilbert and Dwayne Wayne.
My first college boyfriend was a situationship turned relationship. Dude was cool, but he was very controlling and didn’t like the fact that I was learning so many things and getting so many new ideas, you know GROWING as a person like you’re supposed to do when you go off to school. Something I noticed about the controlling and the manipulative types is that they always prey on the most vulnerable and with me having semi-low self esteem + a mix of personal issues I was an easy target. I got tricked into thinking I needed him cuz I went through a period where I thought no one would want me except for him. It wasn’t until I cheated on him that I figured out I didn’t. Call me what you want for cheating, but I eventually ended it because I couldn’t take it anymore.
Lesson here: As you journey through life, everyone is not meant to take the ride with you, not even the ones you thought you would love forever. Also, most of the men I dealt with respected me as long as they were able to have me. Once I wasn’t “theirs” anymore, I was disrespected just like any other woman. Lastly, it takes TWO people to ruin a relationship. Instead of cheating on dude, I should’ve just ended it.
Prior to getting with my college boyfriend, I was in another super messy situationship. Basically, dude lived a double life and somehow, I became a side chick LOL. I didn’t love him, but I did love his companionship and he was a pretty cool guy, just a habitual liar who used me.
Lesson here: Listen to your intuition girl. You are usually not wrong. I knew something may have been fishy about him, but instead of listening to myself I continued to let him into my space mentally, physically, and emotionally. Next thing you know, I’m looked at as a homewrecker LOL.
My last college relationship is still a complicated work in progress…. I say this because this person is someone I was with for the last two years but no matter how hard we try(ied), we just can’t get it right. It’s evident that we love and care deeply for one another, but sometimes two people need to work on themselves before they can work together. Like I said, this breakup is fresh so out of respect I won’t go into detail (mostly because he’ll read this) but here’s what I learned from him:
- If I don’t love me, I can’t love you.
- The words you say to people are important. Use them to uplift, not tear down.
- Communication is key.
- Situationships are stupid if a real relationship is what you want.
- We say we want honesty, but its the truth that really hurts.
- Again, situationships are incredibly stupid.
- Sometimes you may be better off as friends.
With that being said, I’m grateful that I learned these things from my exes. While many situations were hurtful, I have learned that you can’t force love out of people. I’ve learned that everyone has baggage, you just need to figure out which baggage is worth unpacking. And lastly, I’ve learned to work on me first, put me first and love me first before anyone else.
What lessons have your past relationships taught you?