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After a period of radio silence regarding Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s breakup, Grande gloriously dropped her new single entitled “thank u, next.” Reminiscing about her past relationships, Grande took a fresh approach to a stereotypical breakup song. While a typical breakup song narrative is usually either about drowning in their feelings about their lost love or bashing their ex for treating them wrong, Grande decided to take a third path: discussing her growth and how she has become a better woman based on her experiences.

Instead of roasting Davidson and her previous exes, her song focuses on how grateful she is for her experiences with them. The whole internet, myself included, was astounded at how classy she was handling her situation. She lists out the lessons she’s learned and how her relationships have forged her into the strong woman she is today. Her positivity and optimism regarding her love life inspired me to want to do the same thing.

One of my main goals in life is to live with no regrets. Even if a relationship I’m in goes south, like Grande, I try to use it as a learning experience in what I want in a boyfriend and what it taught me about myself. No matter what negative mental state I am in post-breakup (whether I was dumped or I was the dumper), I know everything happens for a reason. As cliché as that sounds, I truly believe I was meant to go through everything I have so that I can one day evolve into the best version of myself.

So after hearing “thank u, next,” I was inspired to follow in Grande’s footsteps: I was going to compile a list of things I’ve learned from my exes. If Grande could move me to take action, maybe my experiences could motivate others to do the same.

One taught me to be myself

I shouldn’t feel the need to hide behind a facade. If they can’t love my authentic self, then who are they actually falling in love with?

One taught me it’s okay to walk away

No, I don’t deserve to be yelled at. No, I don’t deserve to always feel guilty. No, this isn’t normal.

One taught me to speak my mind

Strong relationships are built on communication – if I don’t say how I feel, how are they supposed to know?

One taught me not to settle

Well…we don’t have anything in common but he’s cute, so that’s enough, right?

One taught me to not be scared of love

I can’t let my past control my present, or my present won’t turn into a future.


“Thank you, next. I’m so f***in’ grateful for my ex.”

Elizabeth is a second-year English major at University of California, Irvine. This is her second year as a writer for Her Campus UCI, but her first year as Co-Campus Coordinator. In her free time she loves to write short stories and read fantasy novels.
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