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Friday, December 10, 2010

Blog Friend Feature: What We Can Learn from Our Ex'es

What can I tell you about this week's Blog Friend Feature? Well, she is one busy lady! First of all, she is part of the Nerd Mafia and hosts a weekly meme, called Word Up, Yo. Which I love because I'm such a nerd at heart.
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She also is the creator of Blog Boycott Day. Even though I am far too blog-addicted to really participate, it's a fun day to hang out on twitter.

Do you know who I am talking about? If you haven't met Liz from a belle, a bean & a chicago dog, then you are in for a treat!

Shell has kept us captivated for weeks with an amazing story of love, full of twists and turns, and ups and downs.  I've been married for 9 years, and while I have my own love story, it isn't nearly as engaging nor as exciting as Shell's. 

Shell's series got me thinking, though, about the guys I dated *before* I met Mr. Right, and how they each taught me something important about life and love.

There are a couple things you should know about me before I go any further.

1. I don't have a "type" when it comes to guys. If you were to line up the guys I've dated, they'd run the gamut, and you'd fail to see any common thread connecting them.

2. My mom used to joke that until a guy was around for at least 3 months, she didn't pay any attention. And she's right; that really was a turning point of sorts. I guess that I'm of the mindset that you get to know one another pretty quickly at the beginning of a dating relationship, and any obvious major differences or incompatibilities that become apparent during that time just means that you two aren't meant to be together, and you should end things and move on.

I was someone who met Mr. Right in college and was engaged before graduation, so no "Sex And The City"-worthy dating tales from me. Just regular guys from the time of my life when papers, final exams, proms and date parties were the norm.

My top 3 most influential boyfriends would probably be R, W and B. R and I dated on and off in high school (and would hook-up for random make-out sessions when we were both home from college!). He and I had a strong physical chemistry, but the one thing that drove me absolutely insane about him was his tendency to be a wuss. I have a strong head on my shoulders, and God help me - I need a guy who isn't afraid to wear the pants - even just capris! - and have an opinion!! I suppose if I had a need for control, he would have been perfect, but that's just not me; I need a partner. It isn't attractive to feel like the mother in a relationship, ya know?

W is the guy who made me crazy in the head. His personality was so different than any other guy I dated, and didn't exactly make me any kind of priority in his life, but - man - was I head over heels! The girls in my sorority would tell me he was no good for me and that I deserved someone so much better, and they were right. But at the same time he gave me the gift of learning to take a step back and not always take life so seriously. He was so lazy when it came to college and, well, most anything, but he gave me a totally different perspective on not sweating the small stuff so much. I think he had a pretty big impact on the person I became.

B is the guy who helped me to get over W. He is also the last guy I dated before meeting Mr. Right. B was so right for me at the time; I really needed a good, sweet guy in my life, and I think I thought I had stronger feelings for him than I actually did. He was totally the Rebound Guy, but helped my heart to get ready for falling in love forever.

Some interesting notes about these 3 guys. First, I still talk to 2 of them, and those two also told me at some point since the end of our relationships but before I got married, that they totally imagined marrying me one day. Second, my sorority pledge mom used to be the biggest advocate against dating W, but she didn't seem to mind when I hooked them up my senior year of college (both of them had already graduated). W and my pledge mom just welcomed Baby #2 into their family about 3 weeks ago.

So what about you? Do you look at your past relationships as "regrets"? Or do you think they provided something positive to your life? Do you still speak with any of your former boyfriends?
Please leave Liz some comment love here and then go follow her blog if you don't already!
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Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Great thoughts! I wish I had a few more ex;s under my belt, but so far, it's just THE EX, because I married (and then divorced) the guy I fell in love with in high school. I did learn a lot from that relationship, but still... I need to line up a few more, don't you think???? :)

December 10, 2010 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger KristinFilut said...

Ahhh, exes... I definitely have my fair share of those.

December 10, 2010 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Thanks so much for featuring me, Shell! Plus, this was a fun post to write!

I'm grabbing my BFF badge now. :)

December 10, 2010 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

Most people don't believe me when I tell them how few "relationships" I've had. I have had one other relationship besides the one with my husband. I regret it on so many levels.

December 10, 2010 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a guy like B. He was M. He was my last boyfriend before I met my husband (I actually met my husband while I was dating M). He was the sweetest guy I'd dated, but our religious beliefs were worlds away, so I knew it wasn't permanent. Now he lives across the country and is dating a gorgeous girl. He deserves good things!

And the only common thread in the guys I dated was that they were all pretty smart. My only requirement! :) No regrets; they just helped me narrow things down until I knew just what I wanted in a husband.

And I don't keep in touch with them, really. I'm FB friends with M, but we don't talk. I couldn't do that to my husband!

December 10, 2010 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Oh my... ex's. Some were good and some were bad, but all in all it was a learning experience and I'm pretty sure that without them I wouldn't be where I'm at today.

Now, there are times when I wish I could go back and change some things because of stupid mistakes that are so easy to see now. But that's life!

Congrats on being the BFF today!

December 10, 2010 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger The Sisters' Hood said...

Thinking about your ex's sort of puts life into perspective when you now find yourself raising two girls ... oh boy, are there things that I hope they don't do! Perhaps like cutting school one day, discovering you were found out and instead of fessing up -we drove to the beach six hours away and shacked up in a nasty hotel for 5 days before being found. And him the son of the church bishop and all ... I was 17, he was my first serious love and he is now my facebook friend, married with 5 kids (and a grandkid Good Lord) and he is a church leader! (and I married an atheist!)

December 10, 2010 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Wow, the dating days, somehow I forgot all about those, maybe I put them out of my mind intentionally. Thanks for the great new blog to visit!

December 10, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dated a couple girls in elementary school (wife says those don't count b/c who counts exes THAT early?), and then 2 in high school. I had such terrible experiences with the two that I swore off dating until I met the "one." I met my wife at orientation at UMCP, and 3 years later, decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

December 10, 2010 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

Great feature! I love Liz and her blog!

I don't have a lot of ex-es, but there are some guys in my past. I did learn things from them, but there's stuff I also regret.

December 10, 2010 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

This is great! And true - the people in the past make up part of who you are as you grow up.

December 10, 2010 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous heidi @ wonder woman wannabe said...

i'd say most all of my dating relationships taught me one thing or other for sure!

my High School romance was quite the Romeo/Juliette experience, but were eventually able to see each other out of secret.

he was a part of my life during a very difficult time in my family life - so i'll always be greatful even if we didn't end up together like we always thought we would

have you ever seen the movie 'sliding doors' - i often wonder that same scenero in my life had we stayed together - he died very young - i was in my 2nd year of marriage at the time.

nice to 'meet' you and hear your story! ;)

December 10, 2010 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Know her, follow her and already love her:)

December 10, 2010 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Renegades said...

I married my high school sweetheart and we are still going strong 16 years later.

I learned a few things from a couple boys before such as it's a right to be treated like a lady and when you can laugh with someone and enjoy them just on an everyday basis that's so much longer standing then the guy that's a jerk yet for some odd reason there's that attraction thing.

Or am I the only one that had that?

December 10, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger natalee said...

Love this Liz!!!!!!

December 10, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

This sentence alone is worth reading this post for "(and would hook-up for random make-out sessions when we were both home from college!)".

You still seem rather excited about it....

December 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1st of all- excellent choice for your BFF today!!!
2nd of all- I heart Liz. She rocks and we hang out on Twitter together all the time. We are both addicted. #TwitterRocks
3rd: I am not friends with ANY ex- boyfriends and I guess I learned *who not to date/marry* from them. They all BLOW.

December 10, 2010 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

I've been with my husband since we were both 16, so I've got nothing!

December 10, 2010 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Jen said...


December 10, 2010 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

What I know for sure about exes is that once we're done - NEVERMORE. Totally cut off, no friends deal. I don't speak to any exes at all. Too awkward. Way too awkward for me!

December 10, 2010 at 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only think of exes during long stressful seasons when I think if I had married someone else they would have made a life for me where I wouldn't have to work and I could shop all the time when I wasn't at the spa.

But then I would have to put up with his mom, so I'll take the extra work and in-laws who don't think they are on a tv show about really cool, good-looking people.

December 10, 2010 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Hutch said...

I love this week's BFF, she's one of my new(ish) fave bloggers and wish I had found her earlier!

Every relationship, regardless of the length of time it lasted, I feel is at the very least a learning experience. Without the good/bad how will we know we've actually met Mr. Right?

December 10, 2010 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I definitely feel like I gained something from each relationship whether it was positive or negative. I have tried to find ex on fb only because we were really good friends after the whole dating but no such luck. guess some things are better left un-touched.

December 10, 2010 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger adrienzgirl said...

I heart Liz! She's a super fun Tweetheart! And I'm totally a word nerd so she's good in my book!

December 10, 2010 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Great post, Liz! (I've not been to this blog before - can't wait to look around!)
I think all relationships - friends, family, dating - are an integral part of developing who we are. I don't really regret any of the relationships I've had, though I regret things about them.

December 10, 2010 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger MommyLovesStilettos said...

Ohh I love it! I've never been to her blog before. NOw I'm going to follow :)

December 10, 2010 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Excellent thanx for featuring her...can't wait to go visit her blog! Not much for exes. I didn't really keep guys around very long....I was kind of a man-eater. I liked that they liked me...so I'd get joy from ripping their heart out. Hey, I'm not proud of it...but YOU asked. My hubby is the only one who I kept around longer than a couple months. and I'm SO glad I did. Now off to check out her blog!

December 10, 2010 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Cheryl D. said...

Great post! I've never really visited Liz's blog although I see her all the time on Twitter (not judging). I also had no idea what the Nerd Mafia is although I see some blogs with the badge on them. I love that badge and was wondering what that was about. I should visit Liz's blog now. Bye!

December 10, 2010 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't look at any of them as regrets. I love my husband so very, very much but I do sometimes wonder what my life would've been like if I had married one of my ex-boyfriends. One of them recently posted some pictures of me on Twitter- pictures he had taken or that were given to him by me when we dated...right after high school...over, hmmm...about 16 years ago! I liked this post, Liz. You got me reminiscing. Shell, great pick for a BFF!

December 10, 2010 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Kir said...

I actually have a draft post (a pour your heart out kind) about my ex's...I think it will be ready by January, when i can put it all there...and deal with the feelings it's going to bring up.

awesome post!!!!! thanks for sharing.

December 10, 2010 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger TheBabyMammaChronicles said...

I definitely learned something from each of my real exes. I don't know that I "regret" any of them but I also wish I could have a do over at some points and skip over some of those mistakes. I don't talk to any of my exes and I think that's the right answer for me.

December 10, 2010 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey said...

I just visited her few hours ago from SITs. She's one funny mama. I love her blog.

December 10, 2010 at 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

I once dated a boy named Bart. Note to self: never date a boy named Bart. Ever.

December 10, 2010 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Ducky said...

I don't think I'd go so far as to use the R word...regrets...it IS tempting but I'm also centered enough to know that I would not be who I am today without those experiences. I happen to like who I am and where I am. I may not like how I got here or wish the journey had been a bit different but there is no guarantee that I would be sitting here telling you that I like me. And since I CAN say that when so many other people can not...I consider myself fortunate.

Great feature Shell!

December 10, 2010 at 5:49 PM  
Anonymous SharleneT said...

Love Liz. Great post and trip down memory lane. Has really gotten me to think... Come visit when you can...

December 10, 2010 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger bohomamasoul said...

I LOVE LIZ! Her blog is one of my regular reads, and she's a phenomenal writer. I can't wait to meet her at Blissdom in January! Thanks for featuring her, Shell!

December 10, 2010 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't have many exes. I almost wish I did. LOL I stayed pretty busy in school, and didn't make much time for boyfriends. I was the late bloomer in just about EVERY catagory there was when it came to guys. Then, I tried making up for lost time by quickly getting involved with all sorts of losers, but never actually committed to any of them. Except one. The biggest loser of all. It's hard to say I regret this relationship b/c it brought me my first child. Totally unexpected, but the best thing that ever happened to me, and the only thing that got me away from said loser! Whew! That was a lot of information. After him, came the love of my life, the best father I kid could want, and a loving husband. I feel a post coming on...

December 11, 2010 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The one ex I loved contacted me recently on facebook but I decided to keep my past in my past. It just has no place in my life right now. That's interesting that you set W up and that it worked out. :-)

December 13, 2010 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You might laugh but I met my husband when I was young, still in high school. I "dated" before him but not like you would if you were living on your own and in your 20's. I don't regret that, though. I love him 100% and I know he loves me the same way, it's actually something people regularly tell me, how I don't realize how deeply he truly loves me, and our children.
I don't talk to my ex-boyfriends, it's just something I don't do. He also does not talk to his ex-girlfriends. That's just how we work our over-a-decade-old relationship. :)

January 7, 2011 at 11:03 AM  

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