Thank Your Ex

Tonglé Dakum
Tonglé Dakum

Thank you for arguing with me. You taught me the correct way to disagree, as well as the incorrect way. You pushed me to my breaking point, so now I know to never go there again.

Thank you for second-guessing every romantic gesture I made. You believing them to be nothing more than measly attempts at covering up dark secrets, only solidified their necessity. You taught me that I am more than capable of being romantic. To an almost pathetic, The Notebook, “you had me at hello” degree.

Thank you for sharing with me. Blasted music from busted speakers. Feuding teams with unwavering fans. Faithful friends and a perfect family. You taught me that I can share the intricate facets of my life, with someone else. And that when those shared moments last longer than our relationship, it is okay to sit in them and remember you.

Thank you for boring evenings on the couch. While I complained to no end about multiple nights in — with nothing more than a six pack, a remote control, and reruns of The Office — I realized my affection for the simplistic. You taught me that I am more than capable of putting down the Jack Daniels bottle, and picking up a cook book.

Thank you for the loss of affection. You taught me that missing compliments, absent touches, and separate sides of the bed do, in fact, affect me. I have learned that I need physical reassurance and verbal affirmation from time to time. I have also learned that such a need, is okay.

Thank you for loving me. There were moments when, without a doubt, you made me the happiest I have ever been. There were times when a stolen glance. An inside joke. A tender kiss. And a shared song, with you, sent me into a world of butterfly kisses. You taught me that I am capable of being unapologetically happy, and that I can be that happy again.

Thank you for facing a tough decision with me. You taught me that I can survive the worst imaginable situation. That I can survive it with you. And, eventually, that I can survive it without you. I have learned that I cannot change the decisions I have made, but I can learn to live with them.

Thank you for leaving me. I may have been a drunken mess. An easy-target for any one-night-stand-seeking gentleman. An embodiment of bad decisions and piss-poor life choices. But I was me. Every dark. Twisted. Ugly facet of me. And in breaking me down, you taught me how to build myself back up.

Thank you for reconnecting. The ability to see palpable changes. Realistic transformations. And lingering habits, solidified the necessity of certain actions. You taught me that it is okay to turn around, and look back at what was. Just not for too long.

Thank you for ignored phone calls. You exiting stage-right from my life, was the most humane action of our entire relationship. I hated you for it, but you were the stronger of us. You saved me from myself. And you taught me that I could live in a world where you no longer existed, and flourish.

Thank you for impacting me.

Thank you for changing me.

And, finally, thank you for helping create a me who is loved. By someone else. TC Mark


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  • seka

    oh really relates to what im feeling now…thnk youu

  • Lindy

    I love you for this.

  • Divya Dureja

    Thanks for putting almost exactly what I feel into words woven together like this.

  • Nicole

    beautiful way to describe a failed relationship and the stronger person you have subsequently chose to become.

    thank you for inspiring me, that I can do the same too.

  • Light

    “You had me at hello,” was from Jerry Maguire, right?

    • Light

      A very good read, nonetheless. It spoke to my heart. Thank you.

  • kaye

    Amazing! :D *hands down to you!*Thank you for sharing this.

  • At least you're over it.

  • Only L<3Ve @

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex Add a comment […]

  • SB

    Womp womp. Get over it. This site seems to wallow in lame self pity. Writer seems like a loser.

    • MF

      and you seem like a pathetic piece of shit who i’m guessing doesn’t do well in relationships?

      • Evica

        No need for personal attacks. Just because their opinion differs from your own doesn’t make them “a pathetic piece of shit.”

    • Josef K

      stop coming back?

  • Nosilla Remarc (@AliPants)

    Aw. this was less snarky than I thought it would be.

  • LuckyStars

    I could not get through this because I kept getting distracted by the improper comma usage.

    • CeciliaC

      I took it as more of a stylistic, rhythmic technique the author was using. She wanted us to pause at the end of lines to feel the full weight of the final words. It appears quite poetic to me, as if keeping a sense of continuity between stanzas.

    • Kon

      There was little to no incorrect comma usage take a spelling class

      • babelann

        ‘such a need, is ok.’ hmm

  • ex. thank you. | give a little of yourself

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  • JadedRomantic

    “You taught me that I am capable of being unapologetically happy, and that I can be that happy again.”

    This. Thank you for writing this, it is a wonderful reflection of relationships that didn’t work despite our best efforts.

    6 months down the road from that fateful day and the wreck that I subsequently became, reading this and feeling profound gratitude (albeit with some regret) instead of resentment is a marker of how far I’ve come in my healing. I believe that every experience in life is intended to teach us something, but the lessons that we glean are up to us to decide. It is our choice whether to seal our hearts in bitterness and put up the “No Vacancy” sign, or to keep them open in the hopes that the next person to reside in there will be the final tenant.

    Sometimes we mistakenly assume that love is a science, that the returns should equal all the efforts put in. But how can love be quantified in absolute terms? Where then is the mystery, the magic? Heed this life lesson, my friends. To fellow heartbroken souls, I say to you: don’t give up. Never give up.

    And to you, girl of my dreams, if you ever read this, thank you for the memories, the laughter. The raucous moments with friends and family, the quiet bliss of watching day cast its first rays of light upon your sleeping face. Thank you for loving me, and for having the courage to stick to your decision. I finally found my courage to move on with my life without you and I sincerely wish you all the best, but know that in a corner of my heart, I’ve sketched your face in permanent ink.

    • Refiloe

      Dear JadedRomantic
      This is so heartfelt, and so touching. Keep your heart open, someone sculpted for you is out there.

  • Dave Carmocan

    I am going through the same thing right now. This really hits home,

  • Christoph

    You taught me that missing compliments, absent touches, and separate sides of the bed do, in fact, affect me.
    This. This is what I needed to hear! thank you.

  • Mary

    I’m right there. Exactly. Where I can’t watch a tv show on the couch because those quiet moments used to be “ours”. Thank you for writing this, because the struggle between grief and building yourself back up again is huge, and sometimes it feels like everyone can bounce back except me.
    Thank you.

  • MS

    Don’t thank your ex. You did that all by yourself.

    It’s not a bad thing to acknowledge that you can succeed on your own.

    • campoad

      Still trying to learn that lesson. However, for you to point that out – and call me out – is wonderful beyond words. So thank YOU.

  • Jessiewill (@solitarypebble)


  • leetal

    i thank my exes but i want my recent one back.

    • Domino

      me too :(

  • stefan

    Sorry to point out the obvious, but a person putting effort into writing a poem like this, obviously is still in love with the guy they’re trying to “get back at”.

    • Josh

      I’m sorry some people have feelings and make deep connections with people. Do you feel uncomfortable, Senor Stoic?

  • James

    How dramatic…

  • Bullshit

    How disgusting…

  • Sheri

    I cried while reading this. Thank You.

  • Ruth Cooke

    This is an amazing, beuatiful piece of writing. Thank you for sharing, and best wishes to both you and your ex in your new lives.

  • Hanna Roy


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