7 Terrible Breakups I’m Thankful For

Breakups suck. But after a little time has passed, you may find yourself feeling relieved, reflective and actually — dare we say — thankful that you and your former dude are no longer together. Breakups and how they’re done can teach us lots of valuable lessons about who we are and what we want. They can also be maddening, depressing and straight up rude. Still, all in all, practically every breakup has made me thankful, too–either that I’m no longer with that person or that I’ve learned something valuable about them. After the jump, some of the breakups I’m most thankful for.

And tell us yours in the comments!1. To the guy who broke up with me because my apartment was messy: Thank you for exposing your particular brand of OCD crazy to me early on. Thank you, also, for repeatedly asking me out after doing so, so I could repeatedly turn you down by telling you, “No thanks, I’m cleaning.”

2. To the man I dated, and broke up with, but then decided to take out to dinner for his birthday anyway: Thank you for teaching me that yes, you can take your ex to dinner for their birthday, but they are going to order the most expensive thing on the menu if you do.

3. To the guy who broke up with me over IM, while we were both at work: Thank you for reminding me that just because you have grown taller/hairier/fatter than you were as a teenager, you MIGHT ACTUALLY mentally still be a 14-year-old boy.

4. To the guy who dumped me two days after I lost my virginity to him, citing a “lack of spark” between us: Thank you for helping me develop a healthy wariness about guys who say all the right things too soon. If it appears too good to be true, it probably is. Also, thanks for getting scabies six months after I lost my virginity to you; it seemed like some really awesome karmic retribution from the universe.

5. To the guy who broke up with me so he could date my best friend, and eventually marry her: Thank you for helping me realize (the very hard way) that you can’t come between two people who are in love. Thanks for teaching my 19-year-old self it’s not all about me–and that you weren’t doing what you did to hurt me, but rather to be with each other.

6. To the guy who broke up with me on a mountaintop in Mexico in the middle of a two-month road trip: Thank you for making me realize how difficult traveling with a significant other can be, and how you have to make compromises to keep each other happy when you’re on the road. Had I know that then, I would have been a lot kinder and sweeter to you.

7. To the guy I dumped who later wrote a scathing blog about me that included photos of me and my home address: Thank you for helping me get over myself. I was 16 when this happened and it seemed like the end of the world. I obsessed for weeks, until my mom said, “You know, you should try doing something for someone else instead of worrying about what people think about you.” And then I did. Thank you for helping me realize that sometimes the best way to get over someone is to give back to other people.