Lessons Learned

5:33 PM

With every relationship comes a lesson. I never really gave this much thought until I sat down and thought about the men from my past. Every guy I've ever dated taught me something that I later applied to my other relationships. Most people know nothing about these guys because I've always kept my relationships quiet. This is the thing, no man will meet my family or friends unless I know we're actually going somewhere. And here is why, my family and friends are precious to me, they are the ones that are there when things go wrong. They hold my hand and lend their shoulder. There hasn't been a guy in my life worthy of meeting them. I usually know if a relationship is worth it right off the bat. I knew all of my past relationships were short term, but they were there to pass the time. So that's what I did, I let time pass and I dated, and I learned and I moved on. That may sound harsh to some but when I was dating,I was young, no one was making promises of forever, least of all me (the girl who loves commitment, but hasn't committed yet). I've learned something from every relationship I've been in and even from the ONE that was never really a relationship. Let's name my ex's. First names only:

Van- He was...a sweet guy, and it was puppy love. He treated me like a fourteen year old should. I fell in love with his little brother who called me his girlfriend (what girl hasn't dated a guy with a little brother who tries to steal you away from their sibling?) This relationship laid the foundation for what I should expect from any future relationships. It was sweet, innocent, with absolutely no expectations.

Sean-He was older than me, but never babied me or made me feel like I was younger than him. He didn't live the lifestyle that many people would approve of, but he was a good person. I learned that: although someone might not be exactly what you want, they might just be what you need at the moment.

Brandon- He was the quickest to ever come into my life and get kicked right back out. He tried it on a daily basis. Brandon was an asshole who thought he could keep secrets from me. When the truth came out and his true colors started showing (he tried to play the mentally abusive boyfriend with the wrong girl) I told him how to get to my ass, and exactly where to kiss it on his way out of my life. He called, I hung up. With this relationship I learned that there isn't much that I will put up with in terms of how I'm treated in a relationship with. But more than anything, this relationship (if that's what we're calling it) taught me patience.

I met him (he will be mentioned later)around this time.

Isiah-He was controlling, and insecure, and a part time stalker. In this relationship, I learned how to play a man. I learned what worked and what didn't. I also learned that as good as I was/am at playing the game, I don't like it. I shouldn't have to play you to get you to do what you should already be doing. Ultimately that's what broke this relationship. I don't like games, and I will never play them again.

Kevin-He is the last guy that I dated. Kevin had a kid, lived in another state, worked in the entertainment industry, and was a little bit older than me, he was everything I never wanted in a boyfriend. But he was what I got. He was also sweet, caring, considerate, a good person, and a great father. What broke us was distance. I liked distance, he hated it, I didn't have the freedom to just jump up and travel because I had just started college and I was working, and he couldn't handle coming second to my life. I get that, but this was the first relationship I'd ever been in that I hated to see end. With Kevin I learned to love, be open and honest, I learned that I had to start finding a balance where relationships are concerned if I want them to work. He taught me a lot, and I'll always be grateful for that.

Him- He'll always remain nameless to those who I've never talked to about him. The friendship I had with this person did more for me relationship wise than any of the previous relationships I've been in. I met him when we were fifteen, and I've loved him ever since. Although the friendship is no more, because love got in the way, I still learned a few things. I learned that not everyone can handle the truth (and that's fine), I learned to love openly and freely, and to throw caution to the wind. I learned the difference between loving someone and being in love, I figured out what I wanted and didn't want in the next man I dated. But more importantly, I learned what it felt like to be truly appreciated, and loved.

I love hard, and probably always will. But I don't love stupidly. I wasn't always this way, it took every relationship from my past to get me to the place that I'm at today. I dated from fourteen to nineteen. Now I'm so content with being single that I can date and deal with just about anything. This is why I always tell my friends to stop jumping from relationship to relationship hoping to find in the next man what wasn't in the previous one. He can't give you what the other one didn't, he can only give you what he has, and what he's willing to part with. Learning how to be alone, and be ok with that is the first step to being able to give someone the best of you. Because the question is: if you don't know how to be alone, how are you ever going to be able to completely give yourself to someone. I know who I am, and what I want because I've been single for so long, and I am so proud of that. 

 The relationships of my past were the best thing to ever happen to me. I didn't ask for them, but they were given to me, and I cherish them each and everyday, and I pull from my memory of things learned whenever I'm approached by a man. So when I turn a man down, it's not that I'm being mean, or that I'm not giving them the chance, it's just that I've been there, and I've done that, and I'd rather move forward than backwards. Don't get me wrong, sometimes you have to backtrack (mentally) in order to pick up the things you missed that are going to help you moved forward. Just try not to go back there if you don't have to.

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