Appreciate the Jerks: Finding the Positives in Dating Disasters

We’ve all experienced crappy dating experiences and relationships. Sometimes we look back with bitterness, sadness, or anger (or all three). However, we often forget to think about the positive aspects these experiences have taught us. Instead of looking back negatively, we’d like to challenge you to flip that to a positive state of a mind. Here are five reasons why you should appreciate the not-so-great (or downright awful) times in your dating life: 

They let you know how strong you truly are. You never really realize how strong you have to be until that strength is tested. While tears and anger may be part of the process, when that stage is over you’ll be a much more confident, braver, more self-assured person. Instead of letting past hurts shut you down, allow them to build your strength and make you wiser for the future. After all, you weren’t meant to break, and if you can handle something that hurts like there’s no tomorrow, you can handle anything.

They contribute towards defining who you are, the goals you want to accomplish and what you want out of life. While you may resent some of your experiences or certain relationships from your past, every person we meet helps to make us who we are. Sometimes, we don’t realize how important certain ideas are to us until we’re forced to deal with them head on in our dating lives. Your past relationships can therefore contribute towards making your goals, dreams and wishes clearer. This is something to be thankful for, as not only will you end up on the path that you truly want to be on, you will ultimately find someone to share these similar life goals with.

They allow you to really appreciate the good relationships when they come along. You’ll take less for granted and you’ll want to try harder with the right person. It will be a much more satisfying relationship when you’ve been able to learn from your past experiences what your deal-breakers are and what you want out of life. It can be hard to truly appreciate something great when everything is always going smoothly. But when you’ve been through all the bumps in the road and grown into the person you really want to be, you will appreciate a relationship with the right person in ways that you never could have otherwise.

Going through a bad relationship or dating a jerk will force you to evaluate how much of yourself you give or devote to someone. Sometimes, we hang on way too long to the wrong person and lose ourselves further when we should have walked away sooner. We give and we stay put when things are going badly out of fear that we can’t face the unknowns of life. However, in time you will realize how much better an unknown world of infinite possibility is than staying stuck in the same place. These experiences teach us the value of give and take, facing our fears and learning how to move forward. It is only when you let go and really pay attention to what these experiences have taught you that the most unexpected things can happen and you end up exactly where you wanted to be all along. 

You realize how awesome you are, how much you have to give and share, and to never settle for anything that doesn’t make you feel fabulous. You’ll build a self-confidence that will carry you through all aspects of life and allow you to navigate through the tough experiences to find the truly amazing, fulfilling ones that you deserve.