When I was fourteen, some friends came over to my house and my four-year-old sister innocently asked one of them, “what’s on your face?” Uh, it was acne, and the things all over that kid’s face were pimples. She didn’t know that, she didn’t even know what pimples were, let alone that they were considered embarrassing. She especially didn’t know that some things, like zits, shouldn’t be pointed out. But she was four, so it was fine. After everyone left I explained what they were and that sometimes you just keep those thoughts to yourself. I’m a REALLY good big sister. She learned at four (she’s VERY smart) what half the guys I’ve dated have apparently not yet learned at 23.

You seem super uncomfortable with intimacy“- oh I do? I’m nervous right now? I hadn’t noticed. HONEY! THANKS FOR TELLING ME. “You look tired” – WHAT??! I don’t care if I haven’t slept in 6 days, don’t tell me that. I’m shocked that anyone thinks certain things are okay to do or say. It’s not always their fault. You (or I) might think, yo, that seems like common sense, but maybe it isn’t common sense, maybe they just haven’t learned that “x” isn’t an okay thing to do yet. And why? Because someone hasn’t taught them yet. And that’s really annoying, because you (or I) are probably going to have to teach them. This is true for girls and boys (calm down!). Boyfriends, you should be grateful for your girlfriend’s exes too.

Imagine a world where instead of hating your current bf’s exes (you can still STALK THEM) you’re grateful for them – because to be real, your current partner is much better off because of them. I’ve taught people how to text like they’re not murderers – and their WIVES should really thank me. Before me, their husbands used to FaceTime people out of the blue, like killers. Now, they know how to text, and more importantly they know not to text things like, “call me” or “are you home?!” – uh, you’re being really intense, calm down.

I’m sure my future husband (all of our future husbands) does a million psycho things right now that some poor girl is dealing with and telling him not to do. And thank g-d for her! He probably doesn’t know how to sit through an episode of The Bachelor yet. Any man I know with a wife or a girlfriend knows how to sit through any version of this show. Don’t critique the show (or me for liking it), just shut up and enjoy it. They’re probably really bad a sharing a bed. They’re everywhere, they’re too close to you, they’re breathing on you, etc. UNTIL all of a sudden some girl (probably with bangs) that he met at a movie theater in Williamsburg where they serve you a full meal during the screening teaches him. I don’t know that girl, but hey, thanks, really appreciate everything you did.

Be thankful for that girl at summer camp who chose to make out with him instead of getting that third hair wrap. Because of her, he learned how to kiss. He didn’t know before! It wasn’t his fault. But because of that SELFLESS girl, you don’t have to teach him. You got to go out on a date with him and have him kiss you and not traumatize you. He knew how to hold his mouth, what to do (or not to do) with his tongue.

Be thankful for the first girl he really dated in high school. She taught him how to talk on the phone, how to meet your parents, and how fun it is to make out in the back of a car. GIRL, THANK YOU.

Be thankful for the second girl he dated in high school. She taught him how to argue. She taught him that fighting didn’t mean breaking up. She taught him the importance of a good fight, of not being afraid of you, of having an opinion even if it’s different from yours. She also taught him how to make up, to forgive, to move on, and to get over things. THANK YOU!

Be thankful for that girl in college – because let’s be real, she taught him how to do a lot of things. She taught him how to go out with his friends and include you and how to have fun together.

Be thankful for that girl after college because she taught him how to….ahem…you know what I’m hinting at here – HelloGiggles is a PG place so just finish that sentence on your own…

Be thankful for any other girl he dated ever (HOW MANY COULD THERE BE??) because she taught him things you didn’t even realize needed teaching.

By the time he got to you and you got to him, you both had to teach each other some things, but didn’t have to teach each other everything, and that’s sort of amazing.

So, to all those exes, thanks again.