We've all heard it. It's made us think a million times over. After every breakup, every pint devoured of Ben & Jerry's. We wonder.
Is it really better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all?
Looking back on my very first boyfriend in high school (which ended up being 3.5 years of my life) to where I am now, I can only imagine who I'd be had I never loved. Despite the moments when I felt it was impossible to move forward, it was all completely worth it.
Every relationship we have brings us clarity and defines what it is we're really looking for. I feel blessed to be 1000% certain what I want and what I need from someone of the opposite sex. That comes from all of the lessons learned in the guys I've dated and my marriage. Each one taught me something.
High school boyfriend - Taught me what codependency was, that I didn't deserve to be with someone who was violent, and that life goes on, even after he sleeps with your best friend.
Baseball Coach boyfriend - Taught me I needed to be with someone who had some aspirations in life, whose car wasn't falling apart, and wasn't a virgin at 20.
FWB Actor Boy - Taught me that having someone in your life no strings, to share your life with, who complemented you in the stage of life you were in...was just plain awesome. In a seriously odd way, this was one of the best relationships I had. Go figure.
Anonymous Older Guy - Umm...this taught me a lot. More than I'm wanting to share. It taught me to never say never. It taught me when you're far from God, you make HUGE mistakes. It taught me that the grass isn't greener. It opened my eyes to the complications of marriage. It taught me that money really doesn't buy happiness. It taught me that you should really think twice about all you can lose by making bad decisions.
My Ex Husband - What didn't this teach me? It helped me find my passion in life. It taught me that I can be put through the ringer and still walk out in one piece, stronger than before.
Romeo - I learned about real love from him. The true meaning of forgiveness. What family is all about. I opened my heart in a way that is still unreal to me. I know how capable I am of loving unconditionally. Our relationship taught me to not give up on someone or something you believe in. I learned the power of unrelenting prayer. It also taught me that sometimes what we think is best for us, really isn't at all. There's a reason why this relationship left such an impact on my life. By far, the one that has changed me the most.
Romeo's Best Friend - Oh yeah. I sorta haven't mentioned much about that. It was years ago. After he left me for the Gators. We cleared it with him first, but none the less...it was probably a mistake. We were together for a year and it was great. I learned a lot from this too. For one, dating your exes best friend is probably never worth it. It made me realize that you have to be careful who you confide in. If you cry on the shoulder of your exes best friend, something is bound to happen. It also made me realize how amazing people can be. His family was awesome to me, opening their homes when I was going through a rough time. He's the one ex I can look back on and be crazy happy for him that he's in a new relationship. Ours ran its course, served its purpose, and that was the end.
A reason, a purpose, a lesson...from everything.
I fully believe that for every ending, there is a beginning. Every relationship that ends, brings me closer to the one that won't.