First and foremost, thank you. I would not be the person I am today without all of the damage and heartbreak you have caused. Like most girls, I am currently obsessed with the film version of "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" and I have already watched it three times this week. I have not had the chance to read the book yet, but I imagine I will love it even more than the movie. This movie inspired me to more honest about my feelings toward others and to actually voice them to more than just myself. While I may not be as experienced with proper relationships as other girls, I have had my fair share of encounters with jerks and liars. Whether they were lying to me or others, I always found out one way or another. Plus, the male population today is just sneaky and I feel like I have to be extra careful when it comes to dating.

The worst lesson I had to learn was how quick someone you love can turn on you. After dating for a while, this guy began to be emotionally and mentally abusive towards me. Despite my mom already having to go through that, I thought I would know better if I ever got into a situation like that, but sadly I didn't. I was with this guy long enough to begin hating myself and contemplated suicide more than ever. He forced me away from all of my friends and had me believe that I needed him for my life to be complete. Toward the end of our relationship and right as he was about to break up with me, he started to point out all of my flaws all the time and especially dug into and would toy with my anxiety. Until finally, he ended it over text and then proceeded to block me on everything so I couldn't contact him for an explanation. This is not love, ladies, and we all deserve so much more. I wouldn't wish the pain that relationship caused on anyone, not even the devil. Never have I ever hated myself more than I did when I was with him, but after him, I finally started to find myself and that was a beautiful thing.

The second lesson I had to learn took almost no time to learn but it still hurt. I started dating a guy who was basically the complete opposite of me yet we had quite a bit in common. We didn't date for long, but when you start to question if something could potentially be a problem in the long run, then it most likely is and it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship. For example, Christianity is incredibly important to me when it comes to a relationship. After he and I became official I found out he was not a Christian which really tore me up. I wanted him to believe in what I believed in because it has saved me so many times before. I personally believe that when it comes to big issues such as religion and politics, you and your partner should typically have the same beliefs so that other issues do not arise.

Most recently, I learned not to wait for a guy to choose me. I'm not a second choice. I had known him for 8 months and we were kind of off and on during that time, but finally this past summer, he told me that his perspective on us had changed and it was basically a movie moment the way this all went down and I was over the moon. Occasionally he would come over and hang out with my friends and me, and we had a blast. He even had me meet his mom, but soon after kind of just stopped talking to me and I was left waiting for his answer. Then when my family went on vacation, my friend matched with him on Tinder and basically told him off and he semi-explained things to her. I finally decided to confront him and try to get my answer and when I did, it just wasn't the one I was hoping for. He told me he loved me but not enough. This is one of the worst things someone has ever told me and it was hard to hear but it helped me to move past him and wait for better.

In my heart, I know that one day God is going to place a man in my life that he has planned for me. Though it may be hard to wait for that day and go through these awful encounters, I'm blessed because I wouldn't be me without everything that's happened. Let go and let God.