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Ghosts Of Boyfriends Past – 15 Lessons I Learned From My Exes

Dating & Relationships / From the Editor / September 24, 2014

I was driving home tonight and thinking about the men in my past and what they have either taught me or what I learned from the experience…thus, the title, Ghosts of Boyfriends Past.  I am going to run through a few of the lessons that I learned and hopefully they will keep you from making the same mistakes.

Think Before You Speak

Ghosts Of Boyfriends Past. Lessons I Learned From My Exes

This was a lesson I learned from Bernard.  My mouth could be confused with a sword because when I was upset, the things that I would say could cut down the toughest man.  I learned the hard way that I need to think before I speak and choose my word wisely.  During a fight, I said somethings that should have been left unsaid, which resulted in me losing a really good guy.  Once you say something, you can not take it back.

You Can Never Get Back TIME

When I was with Dewayne, there were several lessons that I learned and I will touch on them shortly but I guess what I learned first and foremost is that when you settle for just “hanging out” when you really want something more, you are wasting time.  Time is something that once it’s gone, you can never get back again.  Don’t allow your time to be wasted!

Don’t Settle For A Temporary Situation When You Want A Permanent One

This again refers back to Dewayne and the decision I made to just “kick it.” We “kicked it” for a year and even though I wanted more, he didn’t and I knew that from the jump.  Although he would “act” like my man and do the things that a “couple” would do, he didn’t want the “title.” When you settle for situations like this, things can get a bit complicated because feelings get involved.  Lesson learned, don’t settle for a temporary situation when you want a permanent one.

Never Date A Man Who Is Going Through A Divorce Or Separated

You would have thought that I learned my lesson Ken and Ronald…NOPE. SMDH! Dewayne got added to that mix and like the rest, I think that men who are separated or going through a divorce are “emotionally unavailable,” thus the commitment level will never be there.  Take it from me, don’t even entertain a man in these situations…leave his ass where he is!

Never Date A Man With More Than 2 Kids

Ken had 1 kid when I meet him, then that one turned to 2 and down the road it turned out that he had 4.  Besides the fact that he lied about his kids…who in the hell does that…he took care of them.  However, call me a bit selfish but a man who has that many kids has to pay a lot of child support, thus cutting into what I get.  No ma’am!!

Sometimes You Just Gotta Google His Ass

Ghosts Of Boyfriends Past. Lessons I Learned From My Exes

I’m not going to name any names on this one but ladies, you are on the computer anyway, type his name in and see what comes up.  Now, don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be a private investigator but you should do some fact checking. I did this once to someone I was dating and learned that he was married and a whole lot of other things that I can’t really put out there but I did also discover that his ass was a pimp!  Trust me, by googling his ass, you may just save yourself some time and sorrow!

If He Shows You Who He Is, Believe Him

Most men are too dumb to hide their flaws and will usually show you who they are upfront.  Silly us, as women, ignore all the signs that he really is no good for us and we ignore and turn a blind eye to all his bullshit.  If you catch him in a lie once, twice…three times…I think it’s a safe bet that he is a liar! BELIEVE HIM and leave his ass alone. If he lies, he cheats and if he can do both of those then you really don’t need him. Give him his walking papers!

Closed Mouths Don’t Get Feed

Contrary to popular belief, men are not mind readers.  If you want them to do something, you have to tell them.  If he isn’t doing what you want or need him to do, you need to say it.  The thing is ladies, you have to communicate with your man and I had to learn how to do this.  I would drop hints and say stuff like, “I need to pay this bill or that bill, instead of saying, “I need help with this or that” and then get mad because he didn’t pick up on the hints.  You have to open up your mouth and tell them what you want!

You Can’t Change Him

This goes back to if he shows you who he is, believe him. I used to think that I could change the way a man felt about a situation by sweet talking or being the “perfect” chick…that didn’t work!  If he is not the man who you want him to be and he has characteristics that ordinarily, you wouldn’t deal with…don’t start dealing with it now, thinking you can change him.  He has already been raised and what he didn’t learn from his parents, chances are he is not willing to learn them from you.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are some men who are willing to make some changes in order to be with you and/or to make you happy but those are rare.  Don’t try to find a “project” because ain’t nobody got time for that! Ladies, if you want a “project,” take your butts to Home Depot!

Don’t Allow Good Sex To Cloud Your Judgement

Ghosts Of Boyfriends Past. Lessons I Learned From My Exes

Sex is great but it is a temporary feeling.  If things are bad in your relationship, sex will only take your mind off of it for a short while.  When the sex is good…I mean,, ladies, we can lose our damn minds and all common sense can be thrown out the window.  Don’t be dickmatized!! Trust me, I have been a victim and Ken…LAWD!!! Just because a man can put it down and make the flood gates open…sorry, I digress.  The point is, don’t fall for it!  When you become a victim of dickmatization, it is a bad situation and one that I would strongly warn you against.  If your man has done wrong and comes to you with all that touchy feely stuff and wants to take you down…DON’T FALL FOR IT! It’s just a ploy to take your mind off of the reason that you were pissed off in the first place.  Don’t be stupid and in the middle of the afterglow, decide that it wasn’t that big of a deal anyway…you have just fallen for game. DON’T FALL FOR IT, LADIES! BE STRONG!

Don’t Introduce Your Kid To Every Tom, Dick And Dewayne

I have preached about this on several occasions and some of you ladies, STILL are introducing your kids to every man who you meet. STOP! Here’s the deal, your kids don’t need to know about nor do they need to meet every man who you go out with.  While dating Dewayne, my son met him and saw him at varies gatherings but he NEVER saw him chilling at our house nor did he wake up and Dewayne was there.  I never did the, “you can spend the night but have to leave before my kid wakes up” thing.  If and when you are serious with someone and know that you are going to be in a committed relationship, then and only then, should you bring your child into the relationship.  If you are a single mother, it is only natural that you want companionship BUT every person that you date will not be THE ONE, so why have your child meet several people?  It will only confuse them in the long run and you are teaching them a behavior that you should totally avoid and that is that it is okay to have several men in and out of your home.

Sex Doesn’t Equal Love

This is a lesson that women should have learned early on but here you are in your 30’s and 40’s, still believing that just because you had sex with a man, you are in love.  Let me start by saying that you shouldn’t just be out there having random sex with men and you should be having sex (if you’re going to do it) with someone with whom you don’t have feelings for.  However, sometimes we don’t wait for love or some women think that because they give a man the Cookie that they are in love.  Girl, that is the quickest way to get your feelings hurt because now you “expect” for him to feel the same way and men aren’t falling in love with women just because they had sex with you.  While women are emotional creatures and many times we get caught up in our feelings, you have to learn how to differentiate sex and lust.

The Grass Is Not Always Greener On The Other Side

In my 20’s, I was very much a player and messed up a good thing with Charles that loved every fiber of me but I screwed things up because I thought that the grass was greener on the other side.  Many times, we start looking at the next man who may have all things that your man doesn’t and think, “Man, maybe I should get with that” and once you do, you realize that you had it better at home and should have stayed where you were.  My mom always said, “Find a man who loves you more than you love him,” and had I listened to that advice, Charles and I may have been married today.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Ghosts Of Boyfriends Past. Lessons I Learned From My Exes

I left a good man because I thought that the grass was going to be greener on the other side and I thought that man who was “ballin” was going to give me everything that my ex…the one who loved him some Ty, couldn’t.  Boy, was I wrong.  Being superficial has gotten me caught up more than once and dealing with a man who has it going on, usually means that a lot of bullshit comes from dealing with a man like that, including other women and unlawful activity.  I fell for “Fool’s Gold” more than once and trust me when I say that it is more than a notion.

Learn How To Be By Yourself

Last but not least and this is THE most important lesson of them all.  Ladies, you have to learn how to be by yourself so that you get to know WHO you are. You can not be anything to anyone else if you are not comfortable being alone with YOU.  Take some time in between relationships, to reflect on what happened, what went wrong and what you would do differently.  Don’t jump from relationship to relationship without taking time in between and then point the finger at your ex for everything that went wrong.  Maybe what is wrong is YOU.  Once you know what you want and what you will and won’t accept in a man and a relationship, the better off you will be.

I hope my ghosts of boyfriends past will help you in your own relationships.  As I have said before, I am not a professional relationship expert (although I was named #37 of Top 100 Blogs by Relationship Experts) but I know a thing about men and relationships and I hope that through my mistakes, you can experience success in your relationships.

What lessons have you learned from your exes?

If you could give advice to your younger self about relationships, what advice would you give? 

the sexy single mommy


Disclaimer: Name have been changed to protect the innocent or not so innocent

Photo Credits:,,,



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Ty Knighten
Ty Knighten knows a thing or two about relationships and dating. A single mom from Calif., Ty decided to turn her experiences in love and relationships into a blog. Written with plenty of sass, her mission is to help women empower themselves to realize love, success and confidence through her articles. She writes about dating and relationships from the perspective of a single mom but adds insights that will help women and men as they maneuver through the confusing world of dating and relationships. You can reach her on Twitter @UHeardMeRight, on Facebook at The Sexy Single Mommy or connect with her on Google+ and Instagram at chocoty.

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on December 29, 2013

Amen and halleloooo!!

    on December 29, 2013

    LOL!!! Glad you agree!!!

on December 29, 2013

Great read! Thank you for sharing!! I have been married for almost 15 years (I’m 2 years shy of 40). Sadly, I only had one on & off again relationship with a guy in high school. That relationship, did teach me the importance of being a priority. So when I went to college, I didn’t date much at all and I met my future husband in my study group. He was the complete opposite of my high school boyfriend. He made me a priority, and I actually asked him “When he was going to marry me?” after only three months of dating. I might sound like the “cheesiest” romance novel, but that is actually what happened! Is married life easy…HELL NO!! However, happiness is what you make it…single or married! 😉

    on December 29, 2013

    Shonda, it’s a good thing that you learned that lesson early because there are many women who either don’t learn it or learn it way down the road. I think your “love story” is sweet. yhanks for commenting.

on December 29, 2013

You are quite welcome! It is so important not to just run from relationship to relationship w/o taking time to understand what went wrong. The common denominator is YOU, so self-examination is required! 😉

on December 29, 2013

good post. the good thing is that you learned from all of them

on December 29, 2013

Yes to not settling for a temporary situation when you want a permanent one. I learned that after spending nearly a year with a man who refused to make a commitment. I could’ve used that time to find someone else.

Great post!

    on December 29, 2013

    Thank you. It’s funny how sometimes we settle and think that he will change his mind,when we know damn well, he isn’t going to commit,yet we stay.

    on September 30, 2014

    I just did the same. But wasted 2@half years. He was never gonna commit. I turn 50 next month and i should of known better. So pissed off with myself. And now down over turning 50.

      on September 30, 2014

      That’s the bad part, especially when we know we are wasting our time. I hope you find real love the next go round.

      on October 2, 2014

      Felicity, don’t be down on yourself. Sometimes we have to go through things to get to a better place. Maybe your better place is gonna happen at 50! Keep your head up!

on December 29, 2013

I’ve made more than one of these mistakes and quite a few of them with the same person. I’ve learned from each relationship; I’m not only a better person but a better partner than I was in the past. I wouldn’t change a thing; but I won’t be going on any reunion shows either, smiles.

    on December 29, 2013

    Lmao!I won’t be doing any reality shows either. But on a serious note, those mistakes/situations have made me into a better person/partner and because of that, I wouldn’t take back a thing

on September 28, 2014

It is so unfair that we only learn the hard way. I could compile quite a few mistakes I have done as well (yes, some are included in this list 😉

Great post, thanks for sharing.

    on September 29, 2014

    Yessica, this is so true. Finding out the hard way is how our hearts get broken over and over. Learning from those mistakes and having the wisdom not to make them again is what helps us to grow and protects our hearts.
    Thanks for reading and don’t be a stranger

on September 30, 2014

Ty from the man’s point of view it was also a good list and good information for both men and women. I have learned a lot for my “ghost of girlfriends past” and most are the same that you have learned. Keep up the faith and hold your head up high, those are two things that I will never forget to do.

    on September 30, 2014

    Thanks for reading, Daniel and those two are very important. I guess the main thing is that we “learn” from our past relationships, so that we don’t continue to make the same mistakes.

on October 1, 2014

Ty, you have just confirmed my beliefs. I also try to tell women who ask my advice some of the same things. I found my worth about 4 years ago and have been single ever since. I refuse to try to change a man or settle for a man that I do not want. I will definitely share this information. Thank you.

    on October 2, 2014

    I appreciate your post. I am trying to find my worth now. Looking at this list all I can say is guilty guilty in multiple charges. I guess in my past relationships I was full of myself and thought I could change him. I settled because I didn’t want to be the career woman that was single. But now all I want is to enjoy spending time with myself and learning about me. Single life had it’s challenges but I prefer it over the relationship I was in.

      on October 2, 2014

      Hi Francine, Being single is not always easy but I believe that it allows us the time to get to know who we are, what we want and what we won’t accept in a relationship, especially, if you acknowledge what it is that went wrong in past relationships and learn from it

    on October 2, 2014

    Thanks Fina for sharing and I am glad that you found your worth.

on October 2, 2014

I really like your style of writing. I am a guy and I found it entertaining and informative.


    on October 2, 2014

    Thanks John. Glad that you enjoyed it. Don’t be a stranger and check out other articles on the site.

on October 5, 2014

I am a male and this was a great read, a lot of what you said I’ve seen myself doing in past relationships, but you have to mature in your own time. I always try to keep my word and told women that I needed time to mature. Which was 100% true for me to grow from boy to a man. I also saw the characteristics of past girlfriends in your article as well. Your article hit key points of what to look out for be it male or female. But I can now happily say is that I am single, more mature, and taking my time to not fall back into any of these categories. And not to fall for women who fall into these categories as well.
Again great article.

    on October 5, 2014

    Thanks JD. The key is like you said, be mature and try not to go backwards. Also, I appreciate the fact that you were honest with women when explaining that you needed time to mature. I am kinda curious as to how women responded to that?

on October 5, 2014

Wow!! Very interesting read!!! I have learned from my past relationship but it still continue to haunt me. I always find myself looking in the rear view mirror trying to avoid what I left behind but it bites me every time. I guess I still need to learn to let the past go but my bruised heart want let me!! Any suggestion? Thank you

    on October 5, 2014

    Thanks Dionica. Actually it’s a day by day process and get’s easier with time but I will be honest, that *ish can hurt like hell especially when you have invested yourself and time. Don’t be afraid to get back out there, though and don’t go through the “all men ain’t *ish.” You are worthy of finding a good man, just remember the mistakes that you made and that they made, too and move forward.
    Good luck and don’t be a stranger. I want to know how things go with you.

on December 23, 2016

Love this post! So on point. I think the one that resonates the most is “if he shows his true self, believe it”. Sigh.. I wish l’d listened to my instinct back then.

on December 23, 2016

GIRL these are great lessons. I thought of doing a post similar. Like a letter to my exes, but I can’t wrap my head around what I want to share vs. what I don’t want to share. Nevertheless, enjoyed this post!

on December 23, 2016

This is so good! I think all single women need to recite this every morning. I know several who date married men and I had to cut off those friendships.

on December 26, 2016

Wow! It seems you’ve had quite an eventful love life. LOL
I’m sure lots of folks can benefit from these stories and lessons.

on December 26, 2016

Girl! Boy I could relate to this post. For sure learned several of these lessons and was Just talking about the taboo of dating a man with multiple kids (I have none and won’t be doing that again). Also closed mouths don’t get fed is my new mantra in Life, so I for sure will stop doing this coming into the new year. Ask and It is Given!!

on December 26, 2016

Hmmmmm let’s see. From my exes, I think I learned that no matter how good of a person you are, if they aren’t ready for a relationship there’s nothing you can do. Just move on while you don’t hate the person and they don’t hate you.

on December 27, 2016

Girl I love your post because you keep it 100% real these are the truth! Yes too many women, bringing all different types of men around there children. #allbad Im learning that you have to be careful about what you say and the things you do to other people.. Its important to learn a lesson from ever relationship moving forward..

on December 27, 2016

Lol your love life sounds alot like mine. It’s great to take the time to reflect and look at the lessons to be learned from every experience we have in life. It will only make us better. My favorite is your advice to learn to be ok with being by yourself. So many people make terrible decisions all in the name of “havinng somebody”

on December 27, 2016

This is a great post. So many lessons. I’ve learned a few them the hard way, especially the one about settling for a temporary situation when you want a permanent one. Been there; done that more than once. Thanks for sharing your experience.

on December 29, 2016

LOL at “Sometimes you just have to google his ass!” I google everyone I meet. It is a not so good habit, but I do lol It helps when you’re dating too.

on January 6, 2017

This. Was. Awesome. I learned from one of my worst relationships that I was worth it. Worth the time, worth effort, and worth generosity of whoever I was dating. He was definitely not for me for so many reasons, but after dating super cheap people, generosity was a breathbof fresh air.

    on January 8, 2017

    You know, it’s funny how our exes often show us what we don’t want and thank God that they often times prepare us for something better.

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