Ghosts of girlfriends past: 5 things I learned from my exes

Zodiac signs are just for fun, but I think I’ve come to reflect the general characteristics of Cancerian man. I tend to be extremely guarded yet capable of emotional closeness. I need to feel safe with my woman and know that she’ll reserve all judgements unless I ask for them. I’m shy and used to get mislabeled as being introverted. But once I adjust to new situations and people, I can be the life of the party. I’m more of a homebody and am very into taking care of my family. There’s a group of other traits that have come to describe me to a tee; maybe not solely because I’m a Cancer, but because of the family structure I come from.

In my opinion, your birth order and your role in your family are initially how you begin to shape what your romantic type will be. After a conversation with a friend who’s known me through 3 different relationships, I reflected and took notice that there are 5 very specific things about myself that have developed and been kind of fine-tuned as a result of my past relationships.

* Getting compliments and receiving praise make me uncomfortable: Yes, my love language is words of affirmation. Yes my zodiac sign dictates me having bouts of slight narcissism. But do I like attention in real life? Nah, b. I never really know how to take a compliment from a woman I’m dating. Mainly because women don’t just dole them. It actually feels weird having a woman tell me “babe you look nice today” or “I’m so proud of you”. Yet, I tend to attract the type of woman who wakes up with spirit fingers.

The Lesson: Women treat compliments like their phone numbers.

It’s cool don’t worry about it #reallymeans I’m about to black out

* You can’t talk me out of my anger. My temper is something that I try to be conscious of and am still learning how to control. But there are times when I’m moody and I honestly have no idea why. The truth is when I’m having a man-trum, I need to get it out without getting it out. There’s no troubleshooting my rage. I retreat into my shell “turtle power” and enjoy simmering in the solitude of my anger. However, past relationships have shown me that I suck at compartmentalizing my anger. Which basically means when I’m mad, nothing else gets done until that madness is addressed and handled appropriately. God’s still working on me doe….

The Lesson: If you really love me, leave me alone.

* You’ll know how I feel based on how out of character you’re able to pull me. Sounds crazy right? There was a post awhile back on SBM that explains this point. The only way a woman will ever know I’m completely vested into her and my connection with her if she has the capacity to get under my skin or make me lose my absolute sh!t. When a man is affected by something you said or do, he’s going to let you know. Why? Because it matters to him that you don’t make him react that way again. Guys don’t trip over things they genuinely don’t care about. So you’ll rarely see a dude sweat over a chick that doesn’t matter. But let a woman that has his heart piss him off? EVERYBODY that knows him will know what went down.

The Lesson: Don’t call me crazy. I’m passionate. And because I’m Dominican, there’s a difference.

* Our definition of quality time will never be the same. I’ve been called a hopeless romantic. However, I’m not a romantic guy. Those things aren’t mutually exclusive. I don’t like to entertain. I’m not big into fancy dinners where I have to wear my $200 cologne. I’m a simple guy who does simple things. My idea of a romantic gesture is a couple of steaks that I cook, some sides that you throw together, and watching the Giants or Knicks game.

The Lesson: Splurging for a night on the town is worth it sometimes. *Googles throat numbing spray* #okbye


* When I’m done, I’m done. People break up all the time. If things ended on a decent note, they’ll attempt to stay friends. Not the kid! If we break up, you’ll become a figment of my imagination. I actually haven’t had a peaceful, amicable dissolution with any of my exes. Thus, I’ve never been put in a position where I wanted to stay friends with them. I know me though therefore the fact remains. When I eventually tap out, I’ve also tuned out to everything attached to that relationship and person.

The Lesson: “Don’t let me get over you.” – the homey Amaris

As a guy in his 30s, I’m becoming more conscious of the patterns I’ve set in my dating life. I want a life partner. I admired the relationship that my parents had. I see my brother prospering with a great wife and 2 beautiful daughters. Despite the reasons why those past relationships have ended, part of my maturation process has been accepting culpability. My dad used to tell me this about my divorce – if you know why a relationship ends, you know how to fix the next 1 before it even starts.

What have your past exes taught you? What do you think you’ve taught them? Do you find it easy to apply the lessons in your current/future situation?

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Just another struggling Christian, trying to figure it all out. Time zone jumper. Passport stamp collector, and Avion drinker

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