Lessons My Ex-Boyfriend Taught Me That Made Me Glad I Broke Up With Him

To the unabashedly sinister human who split my heart in two, AKA my ex-boyfriend.

I hope you're well. I hope life is working out the way you wanted it to. I hope you found someone new, but know that your new conquest will never come close to me. No one will ever be patient enough to love you the way I did.

But before I let you go for good, I just wanted to say thank you because you made me realize my worth. Eventually, I'll move on and find someone better suited for me in every way possible, while you'll be stuck looking for me endlessly in other people.

Because every relationship — even the toxic ones — has something to teach us, let me say thanks:

For breaking my heart

You split it so far in two, I don't even recognize myself anymore. It's broken into so many pieces that I've had to dissect each sliver and decide which pieces are worth keeping.

I'm only keeping the best ones, learning to love each individual morsel of myself and knowing how easily someone can spoil it.

For showing me what love is (and isn't)

You allowed me to experience what true companionship is, showing me how it can consume you with a flick of its manipulative finger.

And you showed me how easily it can dissipate, how it can make you feel twice as hollow as before, like a decrepit oak tree waiting to fall.

For accepting a piece of my heart

It's yours for life, whether you want to keep it or not. I don't want it back because it's already been tainted with bits of you.

I'll survive without it, though, as I know that someone new will fill the empty space that now lies behind my chest.

For allowing me to love you

You made me learn what it's like to care unconditionally for someone other than myself. You allowed me to chart the path to your heart, and you watched me witness each tear that fell from your face onto my own delicate wounds.

I became so vulnerable with you, and you surprised yourself with what your life was becoming. And I was along for the ride.

For the good, the bad and the chunks of confusion in between

I don't regret a single day I spent with you.

Not the ones we spent laughing in bed as you gently stroked my hair, or the ones where we fought in IKEA every single time.

Not the ones where I cried myself to sleep, wondering if this was all too good to be true, if you'd still love me the next morning or if I'd ever be good enough in your eyes.

And I certainly don't regret the days where I learned what true happiness felt like — to truly be in love with my best friend.

Thank you for making me realize I'm worth more than half an effort to feel loved. I'm worth much more than being settled for.