I had a blast writing this guest post for Coffee with Summer a while back! I believe it is important to reflect back on your choices (good and bad) and see what you learned from them. There is always a silver lining to every mistake or in this case ex-boyfriends. This year my motto is to be more mindful and when I wrote this post I really took the time to see what I learned from each relationship mentioned below and how they helped me find my eternal relationship with my husband. As you read think about your past relationships and comment below if we had similar ones and what you learned from them!

I think had my first “boyfriend’ when I was 14. It was one of those relationships where you only sit together at lunch, secretly pass notes, hold hands at the football game after school, and break up over a handwritten note folded into a cute triangle. Boy were those were the simple days! I had had many boyfriends since including: the bad kisser, the romantic, and the repeat boyfriend. Each ended relationship prepared me for the next one until I finally was able to meet the guy I wanted to marry. From my more serious relationships I learned important lessons that prepared me to meet my husband and be ready for marriage.

Mr. Newbie: With my first boyfriend I learned that even though I was a newbie to dating I was capable of dating. I gained confidence in my abilities to talk about my feelings with someone and trusted that those feelings would be safe. I let someone in for the first time and didn’t get hurt. I got my first awkward kiss out of the way, had fights, learned the rule of a date, and started figuring out who I was.
Mr. Faucet: Everyone has a bad kiss story but mine will seriously top them all. I’ll save the details for another post but just imagine your worst kiss, times it by 100,000,000, and then imagine that you are dating that person for a long time. No fun. But he was so cute, athletic, had good values, what more could you ask for? This relationship taught me patience like you wouldn’t believe. Not just in the kissing department but in so many other ways. We were both so busy that getting together was difficult and usually only for a short amount of time. I learned that if someone really wanted to be with me they would make me a priority. They should respect my boundaries and my values and make me feel special even if we can’t see each other all the time.
Mr. Clean: This guy was great. He was handsome, adventurous, and wanted to be a doctor. Plus he pulled out all of the stops to make sure I knew he loved me. Every girl would tell me how lucky I was to have such a “chick flick worthy” boyfriend and I agreed. There really wasn’t much “wrong” about him – except that the was overwhelming. I learned more about myself in this relationship than I could have ever known. He showed me that I like structure in my life and in my relationships and that being so mushy and romantic is exhausting and annoying if it happens 2-5 times a week. I know that sounds crazy but it just wasn’t for me. He showed me that I can have a fun adventurous side but I wasn’t willing to let my obligations and future fade just for a chance to be spontaneous and wild.
Mr. Swift: Two weeks after we started dating he told me he loved me. On my birthday, with a original piano piece he wrote for me, and flowers. It was extremely awkward. I wasn’t at that point in our relationship but I still wanted to see where it could end up. Looking back I realize he was very codependent but he reminded me that I could be spontaneous and fun! I have a controlling personality and he easily shook me up and tested the waters; showing me that I was capable of letting go and trusting someone else to be in charge. I also realized that I need space in my relationships. I can’t be with someone 24/7 or I will go insane. He showed me that I have a voice that needs to be heard and that I can be organized and detailed while still being young and enjoying life.

Even though none of these relationships worked out they still prepared me to meet my husband and be ready for marriage. Without these other men in my life I may not be the same person I am today. Each relationship (boyfriend or not) teaches us something about ourselves if we take the time to reflect on them. Whenever I had a breakup or a fight I would always ask myself “what can I learn from this” and then I would make personal goals so that I could be the best me.
Without these boyfriend lessons I don’t think I would have been ready to marry Dakota. I would have been immature, naive, impatient, and unprepared and he may have ended up just being another boyfriend lesson. Thankfully I was ready to meet him when I did. Marriage is the ultimate relationship with constant learning and growing and now that we are preparing ourselves to be parents I can’t imagine anyone other than Dakota being by my side. Sure those past boyfriends probably have their own kids now, and they are probably great parents, but I don’t think I would have the same family unit I have (and will have) if I stayed with them. Dakota perfectly balances out my control issues and constantly reminds me to stay young minded and patient. Alone I don’t think I would be a great mom but together I think we might just be able to do this parenting thing!

0 thoughts on “How my past relationships prepared me for my husband”

  1. I think that is a really good way to look at past relationships. I think that my boyfriends before my husband really taught me what I was willing to put up with and what I WASN'T willing to put up with! I've been with my husband for 10 years, married for almost 8 and we are still going strong. =)

  2. I love this, Chandler! I appreciate how positively you view each of these relationships! There's only one of my past three boyfriends that I consider a good person and positive relationship. But I learned so much from each of those relationships, and they were valuable tools for me to understand myself better!

  3. I remember reading this on Summer's blog. I've been with my husband since I was 19 so my dating history isn't extensive but I love what you said about mindfulness. All of our relationships have the ability to teach us things.

  4. Thank you! I really try to look back at bad situations and find some silver lining. You can always learn something from your experiences! It's great to see that you learned so much about yourself 🙂

  5. Great blog post!!Past relationships at the time may seem like bad situations but when you look back on them, they are great for learning. I can't tell you how many lessons I learned from past relationships. It really helped me learn what I want in future relationships and what I would not stand for.

  6. I am SO glad I caught this… I was thinking of writing one similar once upon a time. It's a great way to talk about past relationships without downplaying your marriage, sometimes I feel guilty remembering ex-boyfriends. But I really enjoyed this and if I do one similar I'll be sure to link you and pass it on as well. GOOD JOB!

  7. What a great post! I've shared it to Pintrest. I experienced the same thing! Different guys, a few of the same lessons, which prepared me for a wonderful relationship with my husband. (Oh, and I love the pictures at the bottom of your page!)

  8. This is always how I approach relationships as well – what can I learn from them. I believe that all my past relationships have prepared me for my current one. He is the first man I can actually see myself marrying. 🙂 Loved this!

  9. So glad you enjoyed it! I completely agree with you. We can only learn if we allow ourselves to see the lesson and grow from it. Glad to hear you found yourself a keeper as well 🙂