Wednesday, August 12, 2009


ZenMom is kinda new to me but I have fallen in love with her writing. She is a Mom of two boys and as she says, "madly in love with my husband". I'm excited for her fresh look on her life and her relationships!!! Click here to learn more about ZenMom... and Welcome!

I have a fabulous marriage. But, like everybody else, I had "failed" relationships before I made the right match.

Except they weren't "failures". Not at all.

They all ended, yes. And some ended badly. But that doesn't mean they were failures. And it doesn't mean they were wastes of time. Just the opposite, in fact. If it were not for those early relationships, I would not be who I am or where I am today.

I learned a lot about life and love and ME from those "failures".

Some of those lessons were beautiful - little whispers of happy wisdom laid gently into my psyche. And some tore my heart open, leaving scar tissue that changed my whole perception of life and love.

But I'm thankful for both kinds.

I'm thankful for the high school crush who was my first experience with that heart-racing rush of infatuation. He left me breathless and taught me that boys that age are fun, but irresponsible. And that girls that age are over-dramatic. And that love is not really about breathlessness and drama.

I'm so thankful for my first "real" love, who was - before, during and after our brief romance - a true friend. He taught me that love should be playful and tender. And that, when romantic loves ends, it is possible for it to evolve into something even better.

I'm thankful for the college lover who taught me so much about passion ... including the painful lesson that passion alone is not enough to sustain a relationship.

I'm thankful for the ones who showed me my own boundaries - the places I would and would not go for love.

I'm thankful for my platonic men friends. They taught me that not every relationship with the opposite sex has to be about sex or romance. I especially appreciate the few men friends I have with whom I can joke and flirt and be myself without worrying they might take things the wrong way.

I'm thankful for the ones who taught me that sometimes men can be sweet and charming and nice ... and still break your heart.

That's a tough lesson to learn: That not everyone who hurts you is evil. Sometimes there is no "bad guy" ... just very bad decisions.

I think I might be most thankful for the men who hurt me. Who used me. Who lied to me. Who cheated on me. Who betrayed my trust. They helped me realize some of the most valuable lessons of all.

Between them, all of these men taught me balance. The balance between protecting your heart and opening your heart to the possibilities of love. And they taught me to recognize what love IS and what love ISN'T.

And those lessons paid off for me: I am now married to the love of my life and I couldn't be happier.

I could have walked away from these "failed" relationships learning nothing ... or learning the wrong things. I could have become jaded. I could have fostered hatred in my heart. I could have given in to despair or anger. I could look back with regret.

But I chose - and continue to choose - to see the good. To be thankful.

Even for the scars.

What about you? Do have lessons learned from past loves?


Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I learned that its no use getting jealous over things because it can drive you absolutely insane!!! If it happens, it sucks and hurts, but life happe

ns and you learn and try to move on. I also learned that a BAD boy... most definitely can't date a GOOD girl for to long, it wears on them :)

I LOVED this post!

Danielle said...

Wow, Very great observation on past relationships and such a mature way to handle them.
I too LOVED this post!

ZenMom said...

Shelle: Two excellent lessons. That bad boy one can be a rough lesson. Personally, I'm such a slow learner, I had to go through quite a few of those bad boys before I finally smartened up! :)

Danielle: Thanks! That's the benefit of advanced years, I guess: You get that "mature" outlook on things. Plus, you get to tell people to "get offa my lawn". ;)

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I learned what kind of woman that I did not click with, which made it so much easier when I found the one that I did.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

And when u say Click with DGB... Do u mean personality wise? Or all around? Hehehehe

ZenMom said...

DGB, I seem to recall there's a story in there about the one that (thank goodness) got away?

What's that old saying, you have to kiss a lot of frogs?

SciFi Dad said...

Great post.

Most of the stuff I learned from past romantic relationships isn't what I would consider valuable, but I have had some platonic female friends that taught me things I never would have figured out on my own.

One that sticks out is a friend from university, who knew me at a time where if you asked most people who had met me they would say I was a badass, or crazy, or just as likely to beat them down as to greet them. (I was not the person I am today, sort of.) One night someone asked her to sum me up in one word. Her response? "Lovable."

Steph said...

Love the post!!

I too have learned from past relationships and am with the love of my life. We celebrated 8 years yesterday, although not together as he travels for work alot.

I think that's the biggest lesson that I learned- is that you don't have to be together 24/7 to be a good couple. It's okay not to be with someone all the time and to like alone time.

Anonymous said...

It has become abundantly apparent that at least two of you never found the right bad boy.....

ZenMom said...

Hi SFD! :D Platonic friends are the best for learning those handy-dandy little secrets about the mysterious opposite sex. I love that I can talk with my good guy friends about just about anything. :) As for your friend from university - I'd say she's pretty insightful. :)

Steph: It can take a while to figure out what "works" for you, even after you find the right person, can't it? Hmmm. Alone time? I vaguely remember that. ;)

Sage, darlin: We can't *all* find the right bad boy - you keep reminding us there's only one of you to go around.

Trooper Thorn said...

It is good to take what would have been sadness and hate and turn it into positive feelings. Holding onto hate is like holding onto a hot coal; it only hurts you.

ZenMom said...

Trooper Thorn: So true! I do believe The Buddha said the same thing. Great minds and all that. :)

Steph said...

ZenMom- My alone is time is shortned now b/c of Darling Daughter, but at least I don't feel like I can't do anything without my hubby to hold my hand.

Brutalism said...

My husband and I tell each other often that we are glad we met when we did. Not just because we were older and (arguably) more mature, but because we each had the chance to experience other relationships and know what we wanted and needed in a marriage. Invaluable -- both the good and not-so-good past relationships.

Great post!