Life Lessons From My Exes…

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“I don’t know how to live without your love
I was born to make you happy
‘Cause you’re the only one up in my heart
I was born to make you happy
Always and forever, you and me
That’s the way our life should be
I don’t know how to live without your love
I was born to make you happy.”

Young and in love,I was 17, it was my first boy-girl relationship because I had been to a same sex school. I wanted to tell him how I felt with a song, after all he was my boyfriend, or at least the defination of a boyfriend for me at the time. So, I dedicated the Britney Spears song,Born to Make You Happy(chorus above) to my “boyfriend” and what did he say? He told me that, I should never say that kind of thing to anyone, at the very least the only person I was born to please was my mother. My little 17 year old ego was shattered but later I realized, he was totally right, because there is actually no one I was born to please, even my mother tells me to always make myself happy first. This was one of the many life lessons I learnt from my ex boyfriends, and I would like to share some of them with you…

• IT’S YOUR CHOICE TO BUILD YOUR SELF-ESTEEM
Starting from the beginning, I can’t remember my first boyfriend ever telling me that I was pretty, and trust me I know what it means to wait to hear those words from someone you “love”. I actually thought that I wasn’t pretty, seriously I thought I was the scum of the earth(I used to take things P then), but one day my room mate’s friend kept staring at me and I was like, “what?” Then she turned to my roomie and said, “this your room mate fine o”, and that was it. I looked at the mirror and I saw a different person, I mean I am actually pretty and I have sense, chai! I became unstoppable, a few months later my alter-ego Lipglossmaffia was born, and I’m impressed with what she has done with my life. In a nutshell, if you don’t love yourself, no one would probably love you the way you want or deserve.

• LOVE IS NOT BLIND
I used to date a guy who was a pathological liar,nothing out of his mouth was truthful, it was insane. I’m a creative okay, I understand the need to exaggerate sometimes but when you have to do it so bad and so often to someone who actually cares about you and you start to live in a bubble, you are not worth the effort. What happens when his lies start to catch up with him because nothing stays hidden forever, you become an accomplice, that’s what happens.People say love is blind, but it’s actually not, I saw everything but I thought it would get better so I helped cover him up, and wow! I really got good at that, which is really pathetic when you think about it. I really cared about him but to help him grow I had to go, tough love works mehn, he is doing great(actually AWESOME) at the moment. Can I get back with him? I’ll answer that at the end of this piece.

• LOVE IS A NOT BATTLEFIELD
According to most people in relationships, fighting is a part of getting to know each other and growing as a couple. I think that’s bullshit, and I don’t subscribe to that at all. This guy I dated one time was completely crazy, if I didn’t call for a day,he picked a fight, if I liked a guy’s picture on facebook, he picked a fight, if I said I was reading a book and couldn’t talk on the phone, he picked a fight, there were times where he gave me the silent treatment for days and I still had to apologise all the time. See, my problem is I don’t like apologising and I don’t like explaining myself for things that are not even worth mentioning, but I had an aunt who told me guys are like babies, so you pet them and everything would be fine. But I lost it when I had not spoken to him for three days(I was on the silent treatment) and he saw my comment on a male friend’s post on facebook that I had said, “I miss you too sweetheart”, he called me up and said I was “loose” and I was done. I can take a lot of shit from friends but guys I date can’t have it that easy. I’m not good at the fighting thing so when I see something I don’t like, I ‘ll give a warning and when it repeats itself, I’m gone(like the wind). I really don’t like to sweat the small stuff or the big stuff.

• IT DOES GET BETTER
Break ups can be terrible, and I say this because I know lots of friends who have been through breaks-ups and it is terrible. I , on the other hand, haven’t been broken up with, don’t roll your eyes yet, let me explain. I haven’t had the “let’s take seperate paths” speech or “I don’t think this is working anymore” speech, you know, that kind of thing. Most times when a relationships ends for me, we part ways, no one actually says anything, except one that I actually I had the “ it’s not you, it’s me” talk with, no wait they were two or is it three, I can’t remember right now, the point is, I haven’t been broken up with so I don’t know how that feels, what I do know is when you have to let someone that you are almost “obssessed” with go because it isn’t going to work out for reasons you can’t explain. So, this guy was just perfect, I would have killed if he asked me to, I was completely enamoured, wow! But we had to part ways and it felt like my soul was being wrenched out of my body with a trident. But he didn’t know that part, I couldn’t let him know because…………well, it wouldn’t have been fair. What I realized is no matter how much you love someone, it will get better, you wouldn’t forget them, no but you would move on. Just give it time, it doesn’t matter how long it takes.

• ALL OR NOTHING
In a relationship, you both go through the good times and the bad times together, that is what I think makes you grow as a couple. But this guy I used to date was awesome when the good was good we were fine, but when he was down financially or stressed at work or having family issues, he completely shut me out, no calls, no facebook, no crows or owls to deliver me notes, zilch! And I couldn’t deal with that, why wouldn’t he just tell me stuff and the annoying part is we were in a long distance relationship, and I would worry, I mean I can worry for Africa, so I imagined scenarios where he was killed and they took his left nipple for a ritual or he was hit by keke napep and thrown over the third mainland bridge, so many scenes in my head and not of them were good, then he would pop up after a month and be all nice and cheerful, he wasn’t cheating, I did my research(and trust me, I’m good at research, it’s a gift). There was no way I was going to deal with that, so I bailed, if you can’t share every part of your life with someone you are in a relationship, I don’t see the point.

• QUALITY TIME IS KEY
I have been fortunate enough to date some of the most thoughtful, creative guys on the planet. Because of them, I know that watching a football match with your girlfriend who doesn’t like football is not the best way to spend quality time. The guys I dated gave me memories, I would never forget, places, a song, a piece of paper, a road sign, I was looking through a magazine one time and I saw the corner spot of a lounge where we had “quality” time, I stole that mag from my friend’s house(hehehe), so many elements it took to create perfect memories and I’m grateful for that. So many couples get comfortable and stop doing what they both enjoyed when they first met, they get stuck in that and just make the magic disappear.

The answer to the question above is, no, I don’t think I’ll ever date any of my Exes again, the only things I like to repeat are books and movies, not boyfriends and lovers, I like new experiences and meeting new people and learning more about myself through them, and I think my Exes have all done their parts, so….there! What I have learnt from past relationships is sometimes you have to take the good with the bad and sometimes you have to take the insecurities to get to the secure place and all of those things I feel happy to express and share.

What did you learn from your Ex?

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