Cher famously raised the big question “Do you believe in life after love?” It’s easy to lose faith in love when you have been hurt in the past, but we are big believers in getting back on the horse and moving on to the next potential Mr. Right. Instead of weighing on the insecurities past relationships have brought up, let’s look at the lessons those past flames taught you.

That guy that you really liked that never called you back after the first date taught you to not get invested in someone so quickly. Some people will tell you anything to get you into bed or will do anything to avoid confrontation. If it’s only been a couple of dates, we know it’s hard, but hesitance is vital in the early stages of a relationship. Be excited, just not over excited.

That guy who never listened to you made you realise you deserve someone who actually cares about what you have to say. Relationships are all about give and take and sometimes bad ones are completely one sided. You shouldn’t have to stand for that and that guy taught you that.

That one guy that you weren’t too upset about breaking up with made you realise that you don’t have to feel guilty about everything. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be and that’s OK.  You shouldn’t feel guilty every time something doesn’t pan out all smiles and rainbows. Other times it’s a case of right relationship, wrong time.  And equally, that’s fine. A little bit of bittersweet in your life is all part of growing.

That one guy who made you sit down on the kitchen floor crying into a family sized portion of lasagna after you broke up made you realise that love is often disguised as something else. When two people grow apart naturally, they were once truly in love. If you are still mad with somebody after five years and still find yourself singing along to Katy Perry’s ‘Part of me’ thinking of him, maybe it was more like infatuation and lust?  Either way, in the long run it means it was probably healthy things got called off.

That guy who made you feel more hurt than you ever thought you could be, taught you emotion is raw, unstoppable and often irrational. At the time it might seem hard to see the benefits of this but it’s the simple retaliation that you are human, imperfect, well rounded and real. Imagine yourself as a character in a book, nobody ever wants to read a bland character that doesn’t feel. Besides, it probably brought out the creative side of you. Think of all those unsent letters and poems you might have written, not to mention that attempt at nailing a Whitney Houston ballad.

That guy who was always distant taught you how to create your own independence even from within a relationship. You literally only ever saw him at weekends and whatever time you had with him was precious but he didn’t seem to think the same way. While teaching you that you deserve better, he also taught you how to move away from a more clingy side of you. You can watch RuPaul on your own and have that bottle of wine to yourself while doing so.  You didn’t need him to always have fun.

That guy that always argued with you over the little things taught you the importance of compromise and meeting somebody halfway in almost every aspect of life.

That guy who was just unbelievably cruel when you were breaking up taught you that not everyone is as considerate as you and that despite your best efforts, nothing can change that fact. These guys are the ones who truly teach you to avoid getting burnt by the flame in the future.

The guy who was your first love taught you how truly amazing finding yourself and your sexuality could truly be. It also taught you that your firsts are not always your lasts and that your first relationship is always an awakening; good or bad.  Most of the time it’s both.

All your past relationships taught you that you are strong. Through all the tears, anger and drunk nights trying to get over heartbreak with friends, you are still here and making your way through life and love. So again we stress the importance of getting yourself back out there into the dating world, because the next guy might just be the guy who teaches you lifelong happiness does exist.