Ariana Grande released "Thank u, next" not long after her split with former fiancé Pete Davidson and tragic death of her former boyfriend Mac Miller. This song quickly became the anthem for anyone who has loved and lost... so basically, this song quickly became an anthem for the majority of the population. Ariana's song exudes a message of self-love, positivity and appreciation for former lovers—the good and bad.
Whether you admit it or not every ex played a major role in your life, and instead of holding onto negative feelings we should all follow Ari's lead in being grateful for even the toughest lessons our exes taught us.
One taught me love.
"I'm thankful for him because he truly was amazing and now my standards are so high because of him. I know we dated so that I could see what I deserve and what kind of man I want so that I wouldn't settle later on."
"My ex taught me what it means to love selflessly. Years later, after a lot of apologies, we're friends and she's going to med school. I'm really happy she's still in my life."
"I am grateful for my ex's because they taught me so many lessons. So many. Plus my most recent one taught me how to love myself and how to pick myself up after the hardest fall. He may have not intentionally done it but the way the break up happened, did."
"I am actually great friends with my most recent ex. He showed me that I needed to grow more as a person before committing myself to someone. He showed me a lot about myself that I was too selfish to see. He also showed me what love was—as I had never loved anyone before. We were friends for seven years before we started dating. That's why it didn't work. We just couldn't get passed the friendship that we had built with each other. But I am forever grateful for him. He is a big part of who I am today. If it weren't for him and his—brutal—honesty, I'd probably still be the same rotten person I was."
One taught me patience.
"I'm grateful for him because even though we aren't currently together, we're gonna get married one day. He knows it. I know it. Our family knows that. Everyone knows that."
One taught me pain.
"I'm grateful for my ex for making me see and feel what real toxicity is in a relationship. I expect better, and am better in a relationship and it took a SERIOUSLY toxic one to make me realize what good love is."
"He showed me what even the most subtle forms of abuse can look like."
"By the grace of God I survived a six-year marriage with someone who's mental and verbal abuse was so severe I tried taking my own life last winter. The months that followed became the most sobering and maturing months of my adulthood thus far. Did it suck? Absolutely. Did I learn and grow from it? Again, abso-freaking-lutely. So I'd like to thank my ex, for reminding me that self-love and preservation have to be had before you can love anyone else, until you love yourself the way you want to be loved, mentally and spiritually, you can't rely on others to do it for you."
"He taught me how to value my own self and what my next relationship should not be like. After our relationship ended I went into a deep depression but then I met my current boyfriend and he treats me so much better and I learned that I never wanted to be treated how I was by my ex and that I don't deserve to be treated like it. He helped me learn the warning signs of what I do and do not deserve. So yes, thank you ex."
Now I'm so amazing.
"I'm a bad bish and I don't need a man to treat me right."
"My ex is a piece of shit, but as damaging as our relationship was, I'm grateful that it happened because it made me a stronger person, and I wouldn't be with the wonderful guy I have now if I hadn't built up the courage to get out of my last relationship."
"They taught me that I don't need a man to make me happy and if I want to be spoiled with love I can spoil myself."
"I'm grateful for my ex for showing me that I was worth more. And for helping me grow as a person and seeing that I don't need a man to be happy and OK."
"Because had it not been for my ex, I would have never found out how strong I truly was. Which only helped me when life got rough in the years to follow. Also, I learned to pick myself back up again and do me because no one is worth hurting that much. Especially when they hurt you that badly."
"Because I realized my value isn't from guys who treat me like shit!!!!!"
I've loved and I've lost, but that's not what I see.
"Because while we didn't work out, they did all teach me something about love along our journey. Even the seemingly silly high school relationships that didn't last long. There was a point in life where they were my everything, and while we don't talk, may not even like each other now... I wish them nothing but the best for their futures."
"They ultimately always end up teaching you something you need for your next relationship, or even just for yourself in general—how to respect yourself, how to trust, how to be not-so trusting with every person, how to understand others feelings."
So look what I've got.
"He gave me the greatest gift ever, our daughter. "
"My kids are just one reason as to why I'm grateful for my ex. He's actually not that great of a dad but without him, I wouldn't have my two amazing kids. Also, when I was with him I had these different ideologies of what love is, what you tolerate, how you treat each other. When I look back on our relationship, it was definitely not love. He tore me down and I lost the best parts of myself in our relationship together. Because of him, I was forced to rebuild myself into a better, stronger version of myself. I do owe him a bit of gratitude because, without it, I would still be just as naïve about love as I was before. I know now how I should be treated and I definitely shouldn't be tolerant of misbehaviors."
Look what you've taught me.
"He showed me everything love wasn't."
"He helped spark my creativity and encouraged me to be expressive."
"She conditioned me to be overly trusting in the face of her sketchy-ass behavior with other guys. Now I know how to create and set generous boundaries, and what I will and will NOT tolerate."
"As toxic as our co-dependency was, he taught me how to be an adult."
"He taught me that even darkness can masquerade as light. Be careful because that light is definitely a fucking forest fire."
"He taught me that your world should not revolve around your significant other. This stems from selfishly using another person to fill a void or make yourself whole. You have to be comfortable with yourself and love yourself before someone else can come along and love you too."