What I’ve Learned From Each Of My Exes (In Honor Of National Ex Day)


From one-and-done dates, to one-night stands, to long-term relationships, almost every girl who has come into my life has taught me something for better or worse. Since it’s #NationalExDay, there’s no better day to show that there are positives to take away and lessons to be learned through past experiences in romance.

These are some of the most important life lessons I’ve learned from the women in my life. Some may seem mean and petty, while others are truly positive. Hopefully you all can look back at your past and realize how your past flings have affected you and shaped you into the person you are today.

To Number One:

Thank you for being the constant reminder that I will stress to my future children how important it is to wait for the right person when it comes time for them to experiment, sexually. I don’t regret what happened, I just regret that you were the first. You taught me that losing your virginity should be a special time for a boy or girl. Unfortunately, that will never be the case with me, but at least my children will have a chance thanks to you.

To The Girl Next Door:

Thank you for teaching me the difference between love and infatuation. For years I thought you were my first love, even if I never told you, but you cannot love someone you have no connection with. You taught me the value of communication and compassion in a relationship because there was so little of it on your end. I want to have a conversation with my significant other, not an interview; I want a two-way street of interaction, not a one-way dead end. I want someone who will love me unconditionally, not when it’s convenient for them.

To My Biggest Regret:

Every time I think back to our time together, I hate myself. I wasted your time (unintentionally, for whatever it’s worth) and made you cry (again, unintentionally), and for both of those reasons, I hate myself. You taught me that maturity in a relationship is imperative for its survival. You were light-years ahead of me — a woman with a plan; I was a kid — clueless and lost. You never had a chance with me, and I’m sorry for that. The only thing I find solace in is the fact that you found happiness with someone who has given everything you wanted and that I could never deliver. You deserve it all.

To My First Love:

No one will ever replace you. You were the first person I gave my heart to, and nothing will ever change that. I honestly don’t think there will ever come a time when I truly never think about you because you played such an important part in my life for so long. You taught me how vital it is to have complete trust in your partner and to have it reciprocated. I’m sorry you were never able to fully let me in the way you wanted to, but I hope that everything works out and you find a lifetime of happiness.

To Summer Loving:

I’d be lying if I said I don’t think about you almost every time I pass your exit while driving to work, or whenever I hear “Truffle Butter,” or when I see Carl Hagelin’s name. Despite whatever you may think of me, I still care about you. I may not be in love with you anymore, but I’m always here if you need a favor or friendly voice to talk to. You taught me the importance of honesty in a relationship. I made it a point to never lie to you, even if it meant revealing something you wouldn’t want to hear and didn’t really need to know. You’re an incredible woman, and that never changed just because we didn’t work out.

To My Muse:

Add this paragraph to the never-ending word count of things I’ve written about you.

You were the earthquake that rocked my world and left me recovering from vertigo for nearly a year with one kiss.

You were the love at first sight I had always heard about and never believed in. You were the inspiration I needed to unlock a hidden door of my emotions. You taught me about acceptance in more ways than one: accepting what you’re feeling inside, accepting that they’re not feeling the same way, and accepting that you have to move on.

There’s no chance that I’ll ever forget about you, and there’s little doubt you’ll be a footnote in my “How I met your mother” story to my future children, and I’m okay with that now. There will always be a small part of me that hopes life creates a path that leads us back to one another, but I’m also fine with life taking us in two completely opposite directions. I hope yours leads you to happiness, wherever that may be.

People are going to come in and out of our lives. Some will leave loving, lasting impressions, while others leave hurt and destruction as they walk out of our lives. We often cannot control what happens in each situation, but we can all learn from our experiences. Hopefully we are not ignorant enough to scoff at the chance and we take the opportunity to grow into better people.