As I look back on my previous relationships, I know that I'm no angel when it comes to breakups. I've had my fair share of, tearing apart old pictures, throwing away gifts, and changing cliche Instagram captions. But as I reflect on my life (as I do so every sleepless night), I begin to realize my life is the way it is because of my ex's.

Maybe it's the hikes I'll take my friends on, or the new road I drive down to the beach, or my newfound knowledge of sports I never care about until I met my significant other. The little things that trigger old memories of happy times. This probably shouldn't be a wild concept to most, but in the heat of the moment, I've said some things I probably wish I could've taken back and done some things I probably shouldn't have.

All in all my life has been drastically altered because of people that no longer serve a purpose in my life. Although it may have taken me awhile to come to this conclusion, I'd like to challenge everyone to be thankful for the good and the bad that transformed you into who you are today because whether you like it or not, we've only got one chance to make this the best life we've got.

Respect your ex.

It doesn’t mean you had to end mutually. It doesn’t mean you still have to be friends. It doesn’t mean you have to forget your hurt feelings.

But don’t act like at one point in time, they were your everything, your dream, and quite possibly the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. Don’t pretend you didn’t share irreplaceable memories together because you did and that’s how you know it was real. Go ahead, cry. Be angry that they hurt you, watch some sappy movie, eat too much ice cream, hook up with a stranger. Whatever it takes but with that being said, have some dignity to respect your ex.

It's easy to push the blame on someone else.

It's never your fault for anything, you never did anything to hurt your significant other.

False.

I'm tired of hearing the one-sided stories about how your ex was a complete monster to your innocent soul.

News flash, you aren't perfect, they weren't perfect and that's okay! Have some dignity and pride to respect that you two weren't right for each other, that's that. Why drag someone's name through the mud when they were everything you could've wanted because that's why you stayed, right? If not, why did you stay with someone if you have so much shit to say about them after you broke up?

I've had my fair share of bad breakups.

Maybe worse than others or not as bad as another but one thing I'll admit is that although they could be the clouds on a gloomy day, they could also be the rays of sunshine on a summer day. My life was intertwined with screaming matches and laced with priceless memories, all of which, have turned me and hopefully my previous significant others into individuals that will be more compatible with their next.

Respect your ex because one day when you look back on your life, although you’ll be a distant memory in each other’s lives, they will be the reason you are the way you are.

Take some time to reflect on the beautiful parts they drew out of you, the parts that you didn’t even know existed because maybe that's why you chase after the love you were given. Maybe that's why you're afraid to let go but with time, respect your ex enough to appreciate what you had. By no means do your breakups have to be rainbows and sunshine but take a moment to appreciate the person that was put into a moment of your life whose sole purpose was to be happy with you.