I know, seems difficult considering most of us like to employ the “he’s dead to me” philosophy after we’ve been messed over by an ex. I say look past your bruised ego, and/or resentment, and see your exes as what they are actually intended to be: your teachers. Yes, that’s right. In my opinion, life is like one big school full of students taking different classes and learning different lessons along the way. Your exes are part of your learning process. They come into your life at certain points to teach you certain lessons that only they are capable of teaching you.
If you had a boyfriend that was a liar and unfaithful to you, hopefully you’ve learned that people are imperfect and love doesn’t necessarily stop a person from indiscretion. If you had a boyfriend that was constantly demeaning you and trying to break your spirit, hopefully you’ve learned that such behavior is toxic and you won’t be able to grow and progress as an individual if you surround yourself with such a person. If you had a boyfriend that you were constantly arguing, yelling, and fighting with, hopefully you’ve learned that raised voices don’t really resolve issues and you need to develop calmer and more effective communication skills.
The greatest lesson I think you can learn from all your exes is that compromise and forgiveness is the key to any successful/sustainable relationship. Your ex(es) may not have been the mate for you but whoever you end up with won’t be perfect either. You must be clear on what you need versus what you desire from your partner and be able to compromise on certain issues as well as forgive when they don’t meet all your desires. You wouldn’t be able to have this level of clarity unless you had those learning-relationships with your exes. So, whenever you see an ex I say don't get uncomfortable and start running in the opposite direction; smile, wave, and say “thank you."