When I entered high school, I thought that having a boyfriend was the greatest thing in the world. My decisions and my life were heavily influenced by my boyfriend, and I was completely okay with that. I didn't care where life took me as long as I was with him.

A few years and a few boys later, I began to realize that, by pouring so much time and energy into these high school romances, I was giving up too much of my own time. I was starting to let go of my happiness, my friends, and my future, all to be with a boy. Dating was becoming a burden to me, and I realized that I needed a break from dating in order to refocus on my own life for a while.

I haven't been in a relationship with a guy for a couple of years now, and I have no regrets. In fact, I've probably been more content and confident recently than I've been in a long time. I've grown into a more mature person, I've learned more about myself, and I've been able to spend time doing the things I love to do instead of texting my boyfriend all the time.

Without a boyfriend to obsess over, I've been spending more time with my family, making more memories with my friends, learning to rely more on God's love for me, and investing in my future. I was able to decide where I wanted to go to college (Go Tigers, baby!), and my decision was completely my own. I'm able to focus on earning my degree and on moving towards being an independent adult.

Taking a break from dating has been one of the best things I've ever decided to do for myself. I truly see the value in taking time to be single, and my only regret is that I didn't see it sooner. If you're a girl and you're newly single or maybe considering breaking it off with your boyfriend, I would encourage you to stay strong and enjoy this time. Being single is the time to focus on things more important than a boyfriend, like family, friends, and your future.

I'm entering 2019 single, and I like it like that. I'm not sure when I'll date again, but I do know that, if I decide to, it will be after much consideration and thought. When I decide to date again, I'll make sure that my priorities stay in order, that I stay true to myself and my goals, and that I date someone who doesn't make dating a burden.