dating

'I once enjoyed hearing how awful my boyfriend's exes were. Now I want to thank them.'

You met someone new, and you’re in love.

All there is, is you and them.

Exploring one another, spending hours alone taking everything in, from how they take their coffee, to the way they smell first thing in the morning – you just can’t get enough.

Now, unless you’re a teenager or coming from a monastery, it’s inevitable, the ex is gonna come up.

We all have at least one. But why when it does, do we have to feel negatively?

I guess it comes down to the story that’s told, and I understand that not all relationships end amicably. But why, as the new partner, do we take pleasure in hearing how terrible things were?

Perhaps it’s the ego, needing to be told that I’m special and nothing compares to what we have right now. Or do I just want reassurance that my new love will not be running off with an old love?

Whatever the reason, it seems to me a little backwards.

None of my exes where bad people, even the relationships that ended badly. And if you put them all in a room together, would they get along? In my case, most likely yes.

After all, they all share similar values, goals and dreams, the very things that drew me to them, and them to me, in the first place.

They are by no means the same people, but at their core there is something similar – I guess people do have a type.

So now turn that round on you, would you get on with his ex? Are all exes really that bad?

Of course they’re not. After all, you’re someone’s ex.

What if the problem doesn’t come from them, what if it comes from us?

If we can learn to let go of insecurities about the past, about other people being better than us, about us not being enough – then maybe we can just accept the ex as being part of the past.

A part that actually got us to this point, a part that made us who we are right now, the part that brought us together.

And with that in mind, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for all the exes, for all the experiences good and bad, for every twist and every turn. Because, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here right now trying to memorise they way he smells first thing in the morning.

Heather Attwood is a self love advocate. She writes to bring a different perspective to the everyday, while learning to be a step mum and navigating infertility. No one ever said it was going to be simple. Read more of her writing on her blog. 

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