Break-ups are hard. No matter how long you dated or how serious you were, they can be painful, and they can often make it difficult to believe that you will ever find love again. However, whether you've had your fair share of messy break-ups, or you always try to end on decent terms, every single relationship teaches you something, and every single love that doesn't last is only getting you that much closer to finding your forever.
In all honesty, I haven't really had that many boyfriends. But, I have learned a lot from the guys that have been my boyfriend (and arguably even more from the ones that haven't.) I've learned that boys will tell you anything to get what they want from you. I've learned that people change their minds about things sometimes, and that's okay. I've learned that not all guys are only after sex, but some of them are, and that if they can't handle you telling them "no," they don't deserve you anyway. I've learned that boys are more influenced by what their moms think than you might believe they are. I've learned that it's really easy to confuse "infatuation" and "love." I've learned that communication is important, trust is earned, and some people won't hesitate to hurt you for their own sake. All of these lessons were hard and painful, but they were all things I needed to learn to become ready for the person that I will spend the rest of my life with, whoever that may be. I've learned the kind of love that I deserve, and I've learned not to settle for anything less.
I've seen a lot of heartbreak and pain, not just in my own past relationships, but in helping my friends through break-ups as well. I have a friend that hasn't dated anyone since her heart was last broken almost two years ago, and I have another that met the man she is now engaged to just a few months after the boy she then thought she was going to marry cheated on her. I've seen year long relationships end over what seemed to everyone on the outside like nothing, and I've seen couples that have barely been dating a month survive monumental hardships. I've seen heartbroken girls rise from the ashes of what they thought was their only chance at love to find the person of their dreams, and I've seen boys chase after girls that are too busy chasing after other boys to notice. Sometimes love comes when you're looking for it, and sometimes it hits you right in the face out of nowhere.
In the end, I don't count all the relationships that didn't work out and the boys I thought I loved that didn't love me back as failures. They may not have been successful as relationships, and I may not be in love just yet, but every single one of those boys taught me something important, and every single one of those relationships served as a stepping stone to the love that I am confident I will find one day, the love that so many people around me have already found, the love that everyone that's ever been heartbroken or lonely deserves.