thank u, nEXt

Exes are kinda like jeans: sometimes they are a good fit; other times, not so much.


It is hard for me to believe that it has almost been one year since I wrote the article “Ex Marks the Spot” (read it here!), in which I break down five incredible benefits to remaining friends with your exes.


In honor of Ariana Grande’s release of her song “thank u, next” earlier this month, as well as the recent Thanksgiving holiday, I have decided to look back on my past relationships and reflect on the lessons each has taught me. (For privacy purposes, I have elected to keep their names anonymous; however, each ex has been “named” based on the emoji I have in my phone contact list).



1. Airplane


Even though we were thirteen when we met each other, you taught me that love at first sight is real. A lot of people say that what kids experience is simply lust, and that’s probably because all the things adults do seem to be viewed as more legit. But, you proved them wrong. I cannot begin to thank you for being my best friend in middle school and for the brief relationship we had based on such a strong friendship. Most of all, thank you for making me feel like I was on Cloud 9 every day with you by my side.


For anyone who doubts the concept of love at first sight being just a part of a cheesy movie script, do not sell yourself short by thinking it could never happen to you. You never know… it could completely catch you by surprise.



2. Snowman


To my first serious boyfriend, thank you for teaching me to embrace my nurturing side. I would be lying if I said I was not afraid to “go soft” and let my walls down when I first met you. Your youthful side, though, brought it out in me too, and I am so grateful for the fact that I learned how to balance being a tough protector of my heart while being a tender teddy bear with the ways in which I expressed my appreciation for you and the things you did for me while we were together—and even afterward!



3. Anchor


To say we had a smooth-sailing relationship would be quite the overstatement, but you above all taught me to always find the good in any situation. Although I wish it had played out differently—there were so many things left unsaid—I am also grateful for the relationship lesson of finding my voice and recognizing that my voice is important (the lack of communication, especially from my end, was indefinitely what weighed us down). Moving forward, I know that I can anticipate healthier relationships in which my positive outlook and strong voice combine together for a good cocktail.



4. Alligator


And finally, a huge thank you to my Panda-loving Biology companion for teaching me that love has a right time and place. Although the popular notion is that it can happen anywhere, anytime, between any two people, you definitely showed me that it takes a little more than fate for it to work out. Neither of us were in the right mental state to handle a serious relationship, but I am forever grateful for what we had, along with the fact that we still talk today and that we can rely on each other to look out for another and to ask for advice.


Regardless if your past relationships ended on a sweet or a sour note, there is always something you can take away as a life lesson. Spend some time to consider what the relationships in your life have taught you—believe me, you might have much more to be thankful for than you think!