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06th Nov 2018

Thank U, Next – why you shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed by past relationships

I'm so f*cking grateful for my ex.

Denise Curtin

“I’m so f*ckin’ grateful for my ex..”

On Saturday, November 3, Ariana Grande dropped one of her greatest hits to date, Thank U, Next. A track which in light of her split from fiancé, Pete Davidson and tragic death of ex, Mac Miller, reflects on her past relationships over the course of her dating life.

Thank U, Next, was almost like Ariana’s statement on her breakup as rumours began to circulate two weeks prior to this reporting that things were officially over between the One Last Time singer and Pete Davidson. And although many (including myself) expected her track to be a f*ck you to the SNL star like most post-breakup anthems, which focus on that fact that we’re actually better off without men, this was a different yet very refreshing approach.

Instead, the 25-year-old songstress thanked four of her serious relationships for their impact and the life lessons which they gave her.

“And for Pete, I’m so thankful…”

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“Thought I’d end up with Sean but he wasn’t a match. Wrote some songs about Ricky now I listen and laugh. Even almost got married and for Pete, I’m so thankful. Wish I could say, ‘Thank you’ to Malcolm ’cause he was an angel,” the lyrics read.

And just like that, Ariana Grande’s self-awareness is a new type of breakup anthem. One that reminds us that past relationships don’t have to be ones we live to regret or ones we block from our memory the minute we say it’s over or evidently… get f*cked over by.

No, past relationships help us to move forward, to grow and to learn exactly what it is we don’t want from a relationship. With each breakup, each heartbreak, we learn a little bit more about ourselves.

“I’ve learned from the pain. I turned out amazing…”

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I think in a funny way, finding “the one” is a little like buying a dress online. After a few bad buys, you start to filter the categories, learning what shape and style suits you best. I know looking back on past relationships isn’t easy and I often cringe when I think of the times I uncontrollably cried as one of my exes made me upset or when I feared I was losing them but, the thing is I shouldn’t be ashamed… you shouldn’t be ashamed, because that’s part and parcel of growing up.

Like Ariana says in the track: “One taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain, and now I’m so amazing,” Ariana is preaching that the take-home message is with each loss of love, you’re reminded that the most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. And so, in the second verse of her track, Ariana admits that her next relationship is with herself.

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Thank U, Next is exactly how you should reflect on previous flames – if it’s not for the memories be it simply for what it thought you, the love it once brought you or the courage it gave you to move forward for you and only you.

Thank U, Next.