Elephant Journal: Hvad kan du lære af dine ekskærester?

I hate to admit it, but my ex-boyfriends taught me a lot.

After the passion, the headaches, the heartaches and the breakups, I’ve collected a pearl of wisdom or two, or five:

1. It’s OK to get up and leave.

It’s OK to leave quickly, abruptly and dramatically. Even on the third date, on Saturday night at 1:00 a.m. while sitting on the couch, watching the credits roll on a foreign film. It’s OK to leave, even when you’ve already said “yes” every step of the way. It’s OK to change your mind. It’s OK say no. No questions asked. No excuses necessary.

2. I’m not fragile.

I am stronger than I think. I can take full responsibility for my actions and my emotions. I can trust myself to know when the relationship feels good and nourishing and recognize when it starts to zap my energy. I’m not afraid to leave, but I’m also not afraid to enjoy it while it lasts!

3. I think my career is important, and I want the man I’m dating to think so too.

I rarely talked about my job with any of my ex-boyfriends. But when I did, I was thrilled when that one special ex-boyfriend listened, and engaged me in creative, thought-provoking conversations about my big career plans. It felt great to have professional goals and even better to share those goals with the person I was dating.

4. To peek outside my little world.

We met traveling. We were from different scenes, with different interests, and completely different lifestyles. To me, he was exotic. To him, I was the exotic one. He reminded me that although the world is big, human connections make it feel cozy and small.

5. Artistic talent is not the same as emotional intelligence.

How many times did I manage to miss this one? Musicians, photographers and artists of all kinds—they’re no wiser, or more emotionally together than anyone else. Even though they can belt out a gorgeous tune, or create a pretty picture, they can still be petty, insecure, and just plain insensitive in relationships. Some talents just don’t translate.

What have you learned from your ex-boyfriends?

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