It’s Time To Thank Your Ex

by Ashley Fern

Many people hold grudges and resentment towards exes after the end of a relationship. Let’s be honest, I’ve had car accidents that have ended better than my relationships, but each has taught me something different. Things that I will use to benefit my current and future relationships.

They have taught me to realize what is desirable in a partner and what behaviors are unacceptable, on both parties’ account. Some of the most profound life lessons come through pain. We cannot control how much we suffer through, but what happens next is in our power.

It is important to reflect on your relationships and how they have positively benefited you, despite the fact that they ultimately failed. Having the ability to look back and see things clearly and logically is very healthy and helps the healing process.

No matter how much you have been hurt, you need to free yourself from the anger and hostility that is inherent after a break up occurs. In the end, each ex will offer lessons that are integral to the development of your character. You need to do your best to heal yourself, pick up your life and put the pieces back together.

It is difficult to look back at these periods of strife, which we’d rather forget, but within them there lies wisdom. One of the most valuable things my past relationships have taught me was the correct way to argue. Many girls make the mistake of heating up and attacking their partners, never listening to what they are truly saying. As soon as you raise your voice, that’s when your boyfriend will tune you out.

You think the louder you yell, the more they will listen. NO. That is actually the complete opposite. You need to remain calm and rational, take in everything your partner is saying, and react accordingly. Remember: always win through actions, not arguments. It’s not enough to tell your partner you’re going to change a behavior, you need to show them.

Communication is the foundation on which relationships are built. Expressing one’s feelings is vital to the success of any relationship. This is something I personally learned the hard way. Everyone needs failed relationships to teach us the right way to handle relationships.

By the time you meet “the one” you will hopefully have a better sense of what it truly means to be a great partner. Learning to put the needs of someone else before your own is another key element in the development of a relationship.

When your relationship becomes more work than fun, at what point do you call it quits? We have all heard the saying that anything worth having is worth fighting for, but everyone has their limits. Every person has relationship deal breakers, whether it’s infidelity, lying or cheating.


 Sooner or later in life the things you love you lose.

When someone leaves, you have to regain control of your life. No one can build you back up but yourself. I mastered the art of self-sufficiency and independence through heartbreak. More importantly, I learned how to depend on myself for my own happiness because at the end of the day that’s all you are left with. You can’t waste your time on people who aren’t willing to waste their time on you.

Not everything you learn through relationships is an emotional consequence. I can finally sit through SportsCenter and be genuinely interested. I can actually participate in a fantasy football league and knowledgably engage in sports conversations. All making for great icebreakers in future male encounters.

The important thing to remember is not to judge yourself too harshly. Failed relationships are a part of life. With the benefit of hindsight you can reflect on past mistakes and learn from them. Now that you know better you can only prosper from here.

Not all relationships are destined to last forever, but if we’re fortunate, we walk away with a greater perspective of what we want and don’t want in future partners. Learning tough life lessons from a bad relationship will bring meaning to the suffering.

Old flames will teach us who we are and how we manage relationships. So instead of hating on your exes, maybe you should thank them instead!

Ashley Fern | Elite.