I want to start off by saying that I may be a hypocrite by writing this, but I don't care. There's that whole saying, "Do as I say, not as I do," right? Let's go with that because I've been in your shoes. I have thought many times that everything wrong in my life like low self-esteem and loneliness would go away if I wasn't single. It doesn't. It really, really doesn't, and maybe by reading this, you will realize that.
So, I'm gonna be as straightforward and honest as I can be based on my experiences.
There's still a chance you won't agree with me. Maybe you will have to do what I did. You may have to date the wrong people before you realize it isn't fixing anything. And let me tell you, it's not fun, but I got through it. So will you.
I always believed that if I fell in love with someone that I would automatically be able to fall in love with myself, no matter how painfully cliche and melodramatic that may sound. I found out this was not true the hard way, by dating someone and quickly realizing that I didn't become an amazingly confident person as a consequence. No matter how annoying it is to hear from your lecturing mother or meddling friend, you can't properly love someone else if you don't know how to love yourself first. This is not me saying that you have to become the epitome of self-confidence. No one that I have ever met is, even if it seems like it at first. I know that I'm not, and I highly doubt that I ever will be. However, this is me saying that you have to stop looking for validation from other people, whether that be from friends, family, or a significant other.
I know you're probably being really harsh on yourself right now.
You probably don't always like what you see in the mirror, maybe you never do, and I am so sorry you feel that way. If I had to guess, I'd say you probably keep repeating things like "I am not good enough" in your head like it's your own personal mantra. Probably because it is. You've made it your motto these days after all. The solution you have thought up is this: I will find someone that will make me feel better. I will find someone that will be my own form of reassurance, of motivation to stop hating myself.
I'm sorry, but it really doesn't work that way.
I know you hate it when you're scrolling through some form of social media and you have to stare at all the pictures of couples holding hands with those cliche Pinterest quotes. I know that there is probably some sort of jealous ache when you double tap on your friend's Instagram picture with their boyfriend.
Being lonely is the worst feeling, but let me tell you something that I know from experience, and I am going to be blunt: Starting a new relationship with someone just for the sake of not being alone anymore will make you feel worse, not better.
At the end of the day, the problem is that these kinds of relationships end. Then, there is a whole new ounce of self-loathing to add to the pot.
There isn't a person on this Earth that will automatically make all of your insecurities, your problems, your negative thoughts and emotions disappear. You have to realize that you're great on your own, not just because someone else tells you so. You are great though, just for the record. You are just as great on your own as you will be alongside another person someday. Just give yourself some time first to find out how fantastic of a person you are.
You need to give yourself more credit. You deserve more than a half-assed relationship. You deserve real love, no matter how cheesy that sounds. You deserve to be in a relationship with someone that you are head over heels for and that is head over heels for you in return. I understand that you're lonely. I understand that you may feel like the odd one out. I understand that it sucks to be the third wheel, but take it from me: a person that has had two best friends be in love with each other for the past two and a half years. It's gonna suck sometimes, but don't date the first guy that comes along.
Give yourself the time you deserve. You have you're whole life ahead of you to date the wrong guys and get your heart broken (I'm sorry if that is pessimistic, but I told you this was gonna be an honest letter). Don't increase your bad luck by pushing yourself. Life goes by fast enough, or so my wise elders have existentially told me.
No, a boyfriend is not what you need right now.
You need a friend. You need to be your own friend. You need to start realizing that you have a lot going on right now and that it is OK, that there are probably thousands, maybe millions of girls just like you feel the same way. I know that I felt like you before, and sometimes I thought that feeling would never go away. But it does. It always does, and before you know it it will happen for you.
The day will come that you look in the mirror and think you are beautiful, and you'll be happy. And that's when it happens. That is the time that someone will come up behind you and say, "Yes, you are."
But you will already know it by then.