It took me a while to figure out that I didn't need someone else. At a younger age, I always thought having a boyfriend would make me a better person. But in reality, it's not like this.

All throughout middle school, I would try and try to get a boyfriend because it was "the cool thing to do". And I never really understood why I was striving so much to have that other person in my life at such a young age. It was always in the back of my mind that I would become cool if I had a boyfriend. This is what hooked me, I think, because I was kind of a loner child in middle school, not having too many real friends. I thought this would help me, and a lot of my friends had boyfriends, too, so I carried this thought with me until sophomore year of high school. Freshman year, I didn't even want to go to the homecoming dance because my best friend at the time had a date and I didn't, but I sucked it up and went anyways. There were a few guys I had my eye on in my first year of high school, but nothing ever worked out. This was the time where people were getting into "serious" relationships, and again, I was the only one not getting into one. The summer before Sophomore year, I met a guy while I was on vacation in New York and we stayed in touch and he was my "boyfriend", disregarding the fact that I was 15 and trying to maintain a long-distance relationship. Didn't work out. And at this point, I was just confused: why weren't people wanting to date me. Up until now, I've had my fair share of relationships with guys not lasting longer than 4 months. And when they did last longer than 4 months, something would make me lose my trust for them. And I still blame myself sometimes.

But why was this such a focus for me? Soon after I went through the phase in my life where I became confident in who I am, I decided that I didn't need to look for a boyfriend, they would come to me. Something would surely happen soon. And what's so wrong with loving yourself first? I save so much money not buying things for a boyfriend, I have more time to focus on me and what I have to do, and I don't ever have to look nice for anyone. It's probably the easiest lifestyle ever. Okay, there are sometimes when I get jealous of all three of my best friends who ALL HAVE BOYFRIENDS. (And somehow I'm always the one to give advice?) But I don't let it get the best of me, I just continue to live my life and do what I need to do.

I think there comes a time in life where you just have to look our for yourself and yourself only. You can't spend so much time worrying when the next boy is going to come sweep you off your feet because it's not going to happen that way. Being almost eighteen has made me realize that I have to be a strong, independent woman in this world because some people think that we can't do things that other people can. Being a strong woman will teach others and younger girls that it is okay to be alone and that it is okay to not have a boy next to you at all times.

Listen up, ladies. You do you! Buy yourself chocolate, wear makeup for yourself, buy yourself dinner, binge watch that show alone on Netflix, cuddle with a giant teddy bear you bought for yourself. It's all you! Love yourself and I assure you all good things will come out of it. BE YOUR OWN BAE!