We learn a lot from every partner we have. Here are 11 things I've learned from ex-boyfriends that have made me a stronger person.
1. Sometimes unanswered prayers are truly blessings in disguise. Though you may really want to be with someone, years down the road, when you are happy in a new life, you'll see breaking up truly was a blessing.
2. When someone is venting, it doesn't necessarily mean that they want advice -- or any kind of help at all. Sometimes all they really want to do is vent. That's it.
3. You can't help someone who is unwilling (or unready) to help themselves. Trying to would be codependent.
4. Just because someone verbally told you that they are committed doesn't mean that they are. That being said, just because someone told you they love you doesn't mean that they actually do. Actions speak louder than words.
5. If someone shows you they are non-committal, believe them the first time.
6. You can't always trust that others will respect your boundaries after you state them. You have to be sure that you make actions that reinforce your boundary -- no matter how painful and difficult that might be.
7. Putting your partner on a pedestal is only going to cause more suffering. Remember you are both equals -- always.
8. You can't force someone to love you... nor can you force someone to commit, be loyal or reciprocate.
9. Relationship "labels" really don't hold that much clout. Things can always change. No relationship is ever completely concrete.
10. If you're ready to deepen and become more intimate in your relationship, then you've got to find someone who is ready to as well. Being in a relationship with anyone who is less ready will only cause things to be stagnant.
11. Nobody is responsible for your happiness -- only you are in control of that.
Jennifer is a self and relationship coach and teacher. She helps women worldwide create fulfilling relationships with both themselves and others so they can live happy and joyful lives. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation.