Give chances but know when to stop
I was always the one to say I would never forgive someone who cheated on me and that they could never change. I was so adamant about that until, of course, it happened to me. Instead of walking away, I decided to give him another chance. I recognized that people make mistakes, and they can change if given the opportunity. So I gave it a shot… and then another and another. He never stopped his promiscuous ways, and it was then I learned that I could only give people so many chances. I can’t keep giving them out because people will take advantage. I had to learn when to stop, that some people aren’t meant to be in my life. It’s important to know when to let go.
Be a detective
Because I gave so many chances, I became a pro at detective work and creeping on him. Social media, his cellphone, room, even his brain. I spied on him like I was getting paid for it. Pretty sad when I think about it now, but who knows when this skill will come in handy?!
You can’t change anyone
At first, I felt like my ex had to work to get me back, and so I would expect him to do certain things or be a certain way. I couldn’t get over what he did to me because I couldn’t forgive him. I tried to change him into someone he wasn’t, and he wasn’t ready to be that person. Maybe he didn’t even want to be that person. I realize that now, and I know that no one changes unless they want to change. You can be a catalyst for that change, but, in the end, they have to be motivated to do it.
Value your friends
Throughout the time you’re with this cheating boyfriend, you either: 1) withdraw from your friends; 2) cling onto them for dear life; 3) a combination of both. I was number 3. There were days I needed to be alone, but I also needed my friends. They were always there to offer advice but, even better, to listen. Somehow a phone conversation crying to my best friend ended up in laughter, and that’s why I needed them. They just know, and they’ve known for all my other ex boyfriends too. Friends are the Oreo stuffings of life.
Listen to your parents more often
There are so many things my parents have told me that they have been right about and typically they’re right about their opinion of my boyfriends. When it comes to relationships and life, I’m open for what my parents think because I know they have my best interest at heart. Doesn’t mean they’re always right, but they do have more experience.
What I do and don’t want
I think while I was dating my ex I didn’t really know what I wanted. I mean, I knew I wanted him but not what I wanted for the “bigger picture.” It’s definitely safe to say that I know what I want now and for sure know what I don’t want. He helped me realize certain values I needed from a boyfriend.
Time is a Band-Aid for heartbreaks
Plain and simple. Every heartbreak feels like it’s never going to end, but then it does. It always does. So I’ve learned to sulk in the pain but never for too long. Eventually time passes, and things aren’t as sad as they used to be. I started to realize that the more days went on, the better I would feel because the universe has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need at exactly when you need it.
Not all guys are the same
This one was a tough lesson to learn because I really had my guard up after my ex. I grew weary of men and suspicious, and that didn’t help my life at all. I had to meet a few good guys after him in order to remember that I can’t hold the entire male gender accountable for one guy’s immature mistakes. It’s unfair for me to think that all men will cheat when I have met and dated men who wouldn’t. I don’t think I’ll ever give up on love because I’m sure one day I’ll meet someone worth my chances.
I think a part of the reason why I held on for so long was because I didn’t love myself the way I should have. Had I been putting myself first, I would have never put up with half the shit I did for as long as I did. When we finally broke up for good, I spent two years just working on myself and learning how to really love who I am. It’s easy to say you love yourself but putting it into practice is where I would fuck up. I didn’t want to be selfish and miss out on love because of it, but I learned that loving yourself is the good kind of selfish. You need to put yourself first sometimes. You need to make yourself happy before anyone else can. You need to know what you’re worth in order to know what and who’s worth keeping in your life. I thank my ex for the heartbreak because it was then I learned to truly love myself and know myself.