After every relationship, you are left wondering what went wrong. You blame the ex for everything or try to figure out your own mistakes. But then time goes by and you meet someone new, and you suddenly realize why it didn’t work with the old guy.

Dating the wrong person teaches you about the right one. You learn what you want in a partner and in a relationship overall, and you discover a lot about yourself with each breakup. So as much as we all want to avoid ever dating duds again–and would also prefer not to waste the calories on post-break-up junk food–we kind of have to.

A few Mr. Wrongs can do some good. With every flop comes a lesson. We’re not all relationship gurus from the get-go, myself included. Everything I write about is what I’ve learned from past experiences. Like most girls, I bought into a fantasy of finding a great guy immediately, and some girls do get lucky and find great catches immediately, but most of us have to test out the waters.

By having some letdowns, you learn to appreciate those who really take the time and care about you. You also stop accepting immature behavior. Best of all, you intuitively know when you’ve finally found that one good guy.

So stop seeing any guy as a mistake. He carried with him a lesson.

Of course I’m not saying you should go out and purposely date someone who is bad for you. Most of us go into relationships with the intention of it working and therefore we see the future boyfriend as a good fit for us. Unfortunately (or fortunately) sometimes the fit isn’t quite right in the end–you just don’t know it at first. By dating a few bad seeds, you can eventually see what is worth your time and what isn’t.

After a few lessons and letdowns, you become more self-aware and understand how relationships operate. When you meet a good guy and begin to date, you appreciate the relationship that much more. Plus chances are you’ve both had some interesting experiences that have molded you into the people you are now. Maybe you two would not have been right for each other years ago. You needed some growing up to do, and with that comes a mature, loving relationship.

Don’t feel bad about a relationship ending. You may feel like your world is dilapidating, but it’s really just growing. The Mr. Wrongs really do lead you to what you want.

Have your Mr. Wrongs led you to a Mr. Right?