Thank u, next: Valuable Lessons Learned From Ex-Boyfriends

For many women such as myself, growing up takes a lot of different experiences and life lessons to guide us along the way. The new and currently hottest song on the charts by Ariana Grande titled, ‘Thank u, next,’ really struck something for me. After thinking about it for a while, I realized how much the guys and relationships I’ve encountered really helped me grow into the woman I am today. My story is about my four “loves” and what they were able to teach me — even though I didn’t realize it at the time. 

Mr Puppy Love 

He was my first boyfriend ever; his surfer boy hair and tanned skin made my eyes sparkle and gave me butterflies. We met through a mutual friend of our families and were inseparable from the get go. I remember the first weekend we spent together. He joined my family on a weekend getaway to go down the islands. His family owned a small boat that he was allowed to use and this was the base for many weekend adventures. On that particular weekend, Mr Puppy Love and I drove all over until he took me to his favourite spot down the islands. We anchored the boat then jumped into the water and swam over to a small beach. We hiked up to the top of a small hill that looked down onto a huge and beautiful mass of water; safe to say I was hooked! And to make it even better, that was the first time he kissed me. Our exciting romance lasted about eight months until he ended it with that one text message, “Sorry, we’re done.” This was my first heartbreak and that was my first lesson. Mr Puppy Love taught me that even when you feel down and broken, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Life goes on and you will love again. 

Mr Not Right 

He was exotic, he was tanned, built and to top it all off, he was from Australia. Talk about melting every time he spoke. His grandparents lived in Trinidad and we met through my best friend — she knew he was a hunk and was moving to Trinidad for a few years, so in her eyes it was the perfect set up. We starting dating and began to know each other. Before I knew it, we were a couple. I was again completely smitten and fell head over heels. 

From the start, he was always very protective over me and didn’t really like when I interacted with other guys. It was a little alarming for me but I caved thinking it was just a little bit of insecurity. But then, the jealously and insecurity became more aggressive and the arguments became more frequent. This is when things began to get really heated and I found myself losing not only the people in my life but losing myself in this relationship. Enough was enough and I decided to approach him about out future as a couple if this is the way we were going. This was the first time he laid a hand on me. The events of that night and every night he put his hands on me, sometimes haunt me like it happened just yesterday; I was broken, I was battered and I felt like there was no way out. The fear of never getting out eventually began to be my strength and I was able to get myself out of a terrible situation. Mr Not Right, taught me how to love myself, taught me that I deserve so much more and taught me that I should never settle. The most important lesson that he taught me came long after we broke off. He taught me forgiveness. 

Mr Way-Too-Old-For-Me 

A ten-year gap sometimes doesn’t seem like a huge age difference for many relationships, but for this one, it definitely was. We met the day Mr Not Right flew back Australia and I was out and ready to have a good time with my best friend who supported me through everything at the time. My friend’s cousin invited to a lime with just about 20 people. I was chatting with everyone around and by no means was I trying to pick up a man at that point. I thought the idea of love was hopeless and having a boyfriend seemed like more of a chore than something to bring me happiness.

I’d chatted with everyone that day and I didn’t think anything of any of the men I met. The next week, I received a random text from one of the guys that I’d met that day inviting me to another lime that he was hosting the following weekend. He offered to pick me up from my house and we’d go to his lime together. Immediately, I thought, “Is this a date?” We met casually at different limes and he even tagged along on a hash (a run through the bush) with myself and another friend at the time. On the way back from the hash, my friend that was with me was planning for the three of us to go see a movie but then conveniently backed out at the last second, leaving myself and Mr-Way-Too-Old-For-Me on our first date. We became official and had a great relationship, but I never really felt that spark, which is probably a result of me being too closed off from my last relationship. Despite this, one very awkward night after a band launch I gave up my V-card to a guy who I didn’t love but thought was right for me because he was settled. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

We continued for a few months after until he broke up with me. At the time, I didn’t feel upset over the relationship — just over my virginity. That’s something he would always have and it was so special to me. 

This man really helped me grow up by nudging me to realize that not everything is what it seems and what you think is right for you may not be. He helped me to get over the pain of my past and learn to put my trust in someone else, opening up my heart to the possibility of loving again. 

And finally, Prince Charming 

He came without warning, he swept of off my feet, gave me a feeling I never thought I’d feel. Even though I wanted to be closed off to him, I just couldn’t. All of this sounds extremely corny and cliché but I don’t know how else to explain it. From the day I met him, I knew there was something different; there was always a future. And despite people around us trying to constantly break us apart, we were solid from the start and we knew it. We have a world wind romance that continues to surprise and excite me every single day. There’s never a dull moment and never an issue that we can’t overcome. The best part, when I think I couldn’t be more in love with him he does something that makes me fall even more.

There’s excitement in the simplicity of a steady life that not many people realize, you just need to find the right person to live it with.  

It was one year ago that he got down on one knee and asked to be my forever (after asking my dad, of course). Prince Charming has taught me so many lessons about life and continues to do so every single day. I look forward to going through life with him and making many different milestones together. First up, OUR WEDDING! 

The WE Team

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