The ex—he or she is such an enigma in your life!  It seems as if this mysterious person swooped into your life, rocked your world, and then dashed away like a crime fighting phantom.  Unfortunately, the ex’s exit was far from dashing and romantic.  Usually the relationship ends with heartbreak, ill will and a great deal of regret.

However, it’s time to do away with this perspective.  As much angst as you feel right now about all of your evil exes, it is a mistake to think of each relationship as nothing but a series of random mishaps and regretful decisions.  The truth of it is, none of it is “random”—because all of these experiences—good, bad and ugly—make up the person you are right now.

If you had suffered one less bad relationship, or more bad relationship, you would not be the person you are today.  You would be someone else, for better or for worse, and that alone robs you of something precious—the person you have become.

Furthermore, it’s not enough to simply accept your past and shrug it off to identity molding.  You don’t merely want to accept—you want to learn from your past.  By now, it’s safe to say you’ve spent quite a bit of time analyzing the past, obsessing over old memories, and wondering where things went wrong.

Good!  While it’s not wise to dwell on this negativity too long, taking a moment to introspectively analyze your past relationship patterns can be very beneficial.  In fact, studying your old dating patterns can actually help you learn yourself, your partner and what you want out of life in the future.

For example, what qualities do all of your exes seem to have?  Why are you drawn to this quality?  Is it a good quality or a bad quality?  Has chasing after this type of person caused you heartache?  Or have your choices in partners been slowly evolving—for better or for worse?

Once you begin to see the patterns you are living, you will be able to make smarter choices in the future.  You may even start to narrow down your dating options based upon what you have learned from the past.  You are not merely older but wiser.  And oddly enough, sometimes pain makes people interesting.  You have grown, suffered…but learned a great deal.  Your charisma grows as does your audience.

So don’t be afraid to learn from the pain.  Failed relationships of yesterday shape the person you are, and could even save you someday from making the same mistake all over again.