I've always been the girl who dates someone over summer breaks. I used to always think summer was the best time to date someone because you're home and free and have the time to really get to know another person and adventure with them. That used to be my life, but now, I'd rather take the summer to date myself instead.

A lot of girls my age tend to associate themselves with a relationship — past, present, and/or future — and if they aren't treated right or the relationship ends, we're left with a hole inside of us until we find a new thing to temporarily fill that hole with. This leads to a temporary feeling of happiness and causes many young adults to be afraid of committing themselves to someone else.

This is the phenomenon that I have lived with and want to avoid furthermore. I keep feeling after every fling that I'm empty and that there's a space inside of me needing to be filled, so I move onto the next one and rinse and repeat. It's a cycle many people go through and I didn't want to be caught up in it anymore. I got tired of picking up the pieces for everyone else instead of guarding my heart and protecting myself. I felt as if I had given my heart to too many unworthy people in the past that I wanted to repair my heart little by little by myself.

There's a lot of learning and value in taking a step back to work on yourself. It's easy to get caught up in someone else's life that we forget to take care of our own. Stepping back and taking time off will show you what patterns you have in your life and what habits you have that are toxic.

For example, I stepped back this summer and started to notice that I attract guys who are lost and sad inside. I'm a very peppy and positive person who accepts everyone for who they are, so many guys who are in a bad place in their lives take that part of me in until they feel better, then they run. It's left me hurt more times than I can count because I always feel as if I'm responsible for trying to help them in any way. I've never tried to fix a person I've dated because I know you can't, but I have tried to show others that they're worth more than what they think that they are and it always ends up biting me back.

I want to take the time I need to break my habits and realize my own worth so I never fall back into that trap. I want to be more confident in myself so when I meet the right guy at the right time, everything can be healthy and magical between us. I want to better myself so my heart can be whole and I never have to fill it with superficial things again. I'm taking the summer to work on me, no one else.