Wednesday, March 26, 2014

7 Things Ex-Boyfriends Taught Me.

1) Let go. No matter the resolution, you’ll have experiences that you’ve learned from or hilarious stories to tell.

My best friend convinced me to do it. I sat in the car outside of his apartment, in love with the heat and contemplating the cold I was about to face. I called her.

“I can’t do this.”

She laughed, “You can! He’s your fiancé. He’ll love it.”

“He doesn’t care about things like this. He’s a nerd.”

“Girl it was your idea.”

“Yeah, but then I decided it was a bad idea.”

“It’s not. You’re going to knock his socks off. It’s his birthday.”

She was right. I’d thrown him a successful birthday party, bought him the gift he yearned for, and I wanted this to be the cherry on top. What was a sundae’s aesthetic, without the cherry?

I got out of the car and embraced the cold. The wind roared up, into the trench coat I had on with nothing underneath. My stilettos clunked and I gained more confidence with every step. I got to the front door and knocked lightly. As his footsteps neared, my courage took its final leap. The minute he opened the door, I dropped the coat and he smiled.

He looked me up and down and began to laugh.

I grabbed up my coat and stepped inside, “What’s so funny?”

“You look like Inspector Gadget, babe.”

I rolled my eyes, as he closed the door behind me. Nerd. I sat on the sofa and so did he. He leaned in to kiss me. I recoiled, “You missed that boat.”

It was an embarrassing moment, but it made for one helluva story.

2) Avoid fire, by staying away from it completely. No matter its form.

It’s hard to shake off love. It’s difficult to disseminate passion. We are still embers and smoke, even when we’ve left the blaze. We’re easily rekindled and we must keep our distance, for we might go up in flames again.

There’s nothing wrong with heat. However, this isn’t the type that melts, it’s the kind that burns.

It’s possible to still love your burns, your wounds. & sometimes we walk right into the hurt, knowing the lacerations are waiting for us. There’s something about pain you can control, it’s frightening and exciting all at once. Run.

3) Romance isn’t fueled materialism, it’s fueled by creativity.

Today my pixie of a roommate (I call her that because she’s extra spritely) said that she didn’t feel like she’d been wooed enough in past relationships. She said she wanted romance then and none of her unions had extravagant and expensive date experiences. I raised an eyebrow and told her that romance and extravagance weren’t necessarily the same thing. I told her about men who’ve swept me off of my feet via limos, extravagant dates, etc. Sure, it’s easy to be ‘romantic’ when you’ve got it financially.  However, that didn’t really impress me. What impressed me were men who were able to carry out truly amazing things, for little or nothing at all. It takes a phone call or an order to retrieve a car or a dozen roses. However it takes keen attention to remember how much I love elephants.

& so he found a place where I could take a ride on one.

It takes a listener to know that I love wings.

& so he found a place with 40 flavors, because he thought I’d get a kick out of it.

It takes dedication to filter through a Google search of interior design stores in NYC, just so he could find the one where I bought our coasters.

4) We think we don’t remember phone numbers anymore, until you want to rid yourself of his.

You change his name in your phone from the pet name coupled with emojis, to the one his mother gave him. You try to be courteous after it’s ended, until he pisses you off. It’s then that you’ll delete his texts and number to rid yourself of him forever.

 & then on a drunken night you’ll realize that you remember it.
You’ll call and smile in between slurs.
He’ll either reminisce with you or ask you why the hell you’re calling.
It’s rarely the latter when the split is fresh.
Don’t be surprised when you find yourself in his presence.
Don’t feel too awful, when you realize that was a mistake.

5) Memories aren’t pictures, love letters, and/or paraphernalia. They’re sounds, smells, tastes, sounds, and so much more.

You’ll try to run, to no avail. You’ll clean your house and rid yourself of all the things you bought together or anything that reminds you of him. However, walking to the garbage can, the sound of the gate’s swing will remind you of the moments you knew he was home.

6) Nothing goes according to plan. This is a good/bad thing. It depends on the day.

The restaurant that everyone was raving about closed earlier than we’d expected. There’d been a kitchen fire and so we spent our romantic evening, formally dressed, on the promenade nearby.

It was the first time he said that he loved me. The river moved beneath us and the city glistened. It was the perfect backdrop, for his words.

7) Sometimes it’s all in your head.

I was sure he was cheating. She was all over his social media and made it clear that she was interested. He never replied to her.

Why would he? Clearly he knew that I would most certainly see his advances. He must’ve been making his moves in private. Why else would a girl incessantly post on everything you shared?

His answer: Because she’s crazy.
My answer: Because you condone it, by not saying anything.

Reality: He’s a nice guy. I wanted one; I got one. He wasn’t going to say anything to hurt her feelings; he just wasn’t going to say anything at all.

& me? I was on my crazy, bruised by the lies of men before him.


Moving on allows you to implement all you’ve learned.

Although I’ve had several weeks (or months) where everything hurt and the absence of someone, who was once significant, was too much to bear, I got over every single one.

I learned something new about myself. I learned what I would allow into my life, with every experience. I was able to bring my newfound maturity into future companionships and although we might’ve had different problems it was rare I reiterated a past one.

A lot of folks refer to themselves as damaged goods or laden baggage, when they leave something. However, I feel like a student renewed. I’m a lesson richer and I’ve graduated from one of love life’s grades.

What have your exes taught you?
Comment below!


Anonymous said...

THIS!!! "It’s hard to shake off love. It’s difficult to disseminate passion. We are still embers and smoke, even when we’ve left the blaze. We’re easily rekindled and we must keep our distance, for we might go up in flames again."

Unknown said...

My ex taught me that it's okay to love. Actually, it's a good thing as long as you're really loving and not yearning for something that's supposed to come natural. When you really love when things are all Said and done you'll know you did all you could.

Oh and an asshole is not an attractive man, he's an corny class clown of a boy who seeks validation through people weaknesses.

Toi J said...

The memories portion of this...nothing but the truth. I smelled the cologne I bought my ex on some guy recently. Talk about immediate flashback!

My ex taught me that no matter how much they love you, you have to love yourself first. Truly and wholeheartedly. The love of a significant other should have to ask to your self-love for some space in your heart, not the other way around.

Healingprose said...

I've learned a lot of things after dealing with my ex. I've probably told you this already, but your struggles have mirrored my own many times. Lessons are learned, and the absence of her has left room for something much greater that is just as filling and then some. I'm about to start a new career and have a life that's all my own. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Unknown said...

This was a great article made me want to think of the lessons I have learned

riva. said...

@Terri! Woooo! Amen! Amen! That should have been on the list. Remember when we thought that was cute and mysterious? I'm glad we're off that.

riva. said...


Beautiful sentiment. That's so true.

riva. said...

@curiouslovechild That's the way it should be! I'm honored that our experiences reflect. It means we've both learned lessons that'll change us forever.