No Gratitude: Why You Shouldn't Thank Your Ex For A Lesson In Heartbreak
It always comes down to the blame game whenever a relationship comes to an end, especially with that first love who completely shattered your heart and left you stranded to pick up all of the pieces.
Lately, my social media accounts have been spammed with engagement proposals, newborn babies or shared articles with headlines reading something along the lines of, "10 Reasons Why You Should Thank Your Ex For Treating You Like Absolute Sh*t," or "An Open Letter To The Assh*le Who Shattered My Heart: Thank You."
Articles such as these go on to list the many ways your ex made you a stronger person, or how your ex proved you deserve someone better. Thank goodness you realized you deserve better after being toyed around by someone for quite some time.
If you really think about it, your ex should be the LAST person on this planet you ever consider thanking for your life lessons -- here's why:
He/She hurt you and walked away.
Once upon I time, your ex was everything you ever envisioned in a partner. He/She built up all of your trust and made you feel secure.
At one time, I'm sure your ex meant all of the things he/she said, and wasn't lying when he/she said he/she was happy with your relationship, but people change as time goes by.
Whether your ex just suddenly lost feelings, got bored or cheated with someone else, he/she left you broken and decided to move on. Yeah, your ex may have made you experience true heartbreak for the first time, but that is no reason to thank someone for teaching you a lesson.
It was your friends and family who were there to help.
It's very easy to give the person who broke your heart all of the credit for giving you a wake-up call, but we tend to forget about the people who have always been in our corner, picking us up after ever single downfall in the relationship: our wonderful friends and family.
They are the ones who will drive to your house in the middle of the night with a big tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and save a special spot on their shoulder, designated just for you to cry on.
Friends and family are the best people to get advice from because they aren't biased in your relationship. They stand on the outside and can see the issues as they truly are, with no emotions to filter them.
Give yourself some credit.
You are the only one who understands all of the emotions your body goes through after a dreadful heartbreak. No one can fully understand the feelings you get when you can't take it anymore or when you start to actually move on.
You are entitled to every single action and emotion you feel. The reason you finally have moved on is because you did it on your own terms.
Your ex may have treated you horribly, but you were the one who realized you deserve better; you were the one who realized what truly makes you happy in a relationship, and you were the one who realized what signs to look out for when starting something new with someone else.
Start thanking yourself for realizing all your self-worth.
Your ex didn't teach you a lesson; he/she was only looking out for him/herself.
When you play back the moments of your relationship, both good and bad, you may start to feel grateful your ex put you through all of those many different experiences because you think he/she taught you some sort of lesson.
But that wasn't his/her intention.
The choices we make ultimately come down to whether or not we are happy, meaning the way your ex ended it with you was what he/she thought would bring him/herself the most amount of happiness in that moment.
Your ex wasn't trying to teach you any type of lesson. The lessons were learned all by yourself. You were able to categorize what brought you joy or sadness with your ex, and from that, you were able to teach yourself what to look for in your next relationship.
Maintain your dignity.
Remember, never thank someone who hurt you in the process of finding joy for him/herself. Anyone who deserves a thank you should be someone who sheds a large amount of light onto your life.
Your first heartbreak will never be forgotten. But, instead of looking back at your relationship and thanking your ex for all of the hell he/she put you through, I say, if you must say something, shout a big "screw you" for never treating you the way he/she should have.
Thank your friends and family who were there to pick you up when you felt like you hit rock bottom. Most importantly, thank yourself for being a fighter and realizing your own self-worth after being knocked down.
Don't waste gratitude on someone from your past who brought you nothing but pain. Save it for that special someone who will come around, truly deserving of your big "thank you" for treating you the way you know you deserve.