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Love Yourself Before You Love Someone Else: My Experience

Throughout high school, I was constantly on the lookout for cute guys with my friends. I wanted a boy that loved me. I met guys at the mall, ice skating, through friends, but I never could find a connection. I was upset that I did not have a boyfriend to attend dances with and experience milestones like graduating high school. I finally realized I needed to stop looking for guys and focus on myself. I was enjoying the last of my high school, looking forward to moving away to Florida for college and a whole new community to be around. Not long after graduation, I met my now boyfriend, Jakob, who I have been with for over two years now. If I would’ve seen my life with my boyfriend now, I would’ve stopped worrying about immature guys that were no fit for me. I am writing this so girls don’t have to have the “if I only knew where I would be years ago.” Read this for a perspective that will give you clarity.  

Confidence is something so many girls struggle with, especially in their teen years around guys at school. I was constantly being judged by appearance and what I should and shouldn’t say. I could not be myself around a lot of guys. I felt below many boys I liked. I would curl my hair, wear a cute outfit, and apply makeup for a guy I liked in school who messed around with every girl. I feel regretful looking back. That makeup should’ve been for me to look in the mirror and love, the outfit should’ve been to express fashion, and my hair should’ve been for me to twirl while eating breakfast. I spent so much time focusing on how boys viewed me that I stopped caring about myself. I was called pretty, but dumb and too innocent with a lovely face but a big nose when I was myself. I never felt good enough for any boy. I always felt every boy was too good for me. Looking back, that’s an awful way to think. I am beautiful inside and out, and my personality is loved by many. I see this now, but then I did not. I want girls to read this that are struggling with what I went through years ago to come to a realization.   

The amount of time I spent meeting guys I could’ve spent on myself. Prioritize yourself because you never get time back. You can not let anything come naturally if you’re forcing yourself to create connections that do not mesh. I was looking for an outgoing guy who was mature enough and respectful, and I did not find that and kept looking, thinking I would eventually find him. Sometimes you have to stop looking and give it a break. Appreciate yourself; work on yourself because when you start loving yourself, someone will come around. This is precisely what happened to me.   

In May of 2019, my best friend was good friends with a guy who had another best friend who was going to the same college as me. Since they both knew we were going to the same school , they decided to give us each other’s social media to become friendly. His name was Jakob. We started texting and then FaceTiming for weeks in a row. I could be my complete self, and he embraced my crazy personality. He had this positive energy I was drawn to and a sweet smile with a big dimple that made me smile.   

We decided to go on a date. He took a train to NJ from his home, NYC. We saw a movie. He met my grandma, my parents, and most importantly, my animals, who approved him. He was not intimidated and gave a great first impression. When he left, I felt so happy inside that a guy appreciated who I was as a person. We began dating and have had the best time since.   

We complement each other well and aren’t afraid to act our complete selves. We have had arguments like all couples but always made up because life is too short to be unhappy with someone you love. He has respected me for all I am. We now live together, and I feel so thankful he came into my life when I was least expecting it.  

Waiting eighteen years to have a boyfriend was worth it as I feel happy with myself and life right now. Jakob has shown me that I should have never let any guy affect my confidence and make me feel lower. If a boy loves you, he loves you for all of you. If only I knew I would have such a great relationship years ago, I probably would’ve focused more on myself.

Ava Margolis is from Central New Jersey, studying Multi-Media Journalism. She enjoys interacting with others and hopes to work in the communications field one day as a writer or broadcast. Margolis is an outgoing, compassionate, and adventurous person who loves sharing her passions with others.
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