A little over a month ago my roommates and I met a dog named Luna who absolutely stole our hearts. We had the privilege of fostering this precious pup for about a month. One thing about Luna was that she loved to chew on just about anything she could get her paws on; whether that was the box of chocolates my roommate got for Valentine’s Day, my heels, or the razor she stole out of the shower (Don’t worry she’s fine - I swear we’re more responsible than this post makes us seem), we were constantly having to tell her “no.“ We hated having to scold Luna but we knew it was in her best interest for us to do so. Finally, after weeks and weeks of this same cycle I had a thought: What if constantly having to tell Luna “no” could be a lesson I could apply to my own life?

I’ve always been very fortunate to have a great support system of friends and family who genuinely want the best for me. With that, for them, comes the not-so-fun responsibility of sometimes having to be the bad guy and tell me “no,” just like we had to do with our pup. For them, the word “no” is exercised most when it comes to the people I choose to date. As the age-old saying goes, “the heart wants what it wants.“ For me, this saying is usually coupled with another saying that goes something like “I told you so.” But, no amount of lecturing and “no's” from my best friends or parents can ever seem to change my mind.

I think it’s safe to assume every girl has gone after the bad boy at least once, twice, or if you’re like me, maybe even a million times. For some, the draw of the bad boy comes down to the principle of wanting something you can’t or know you shouldn’t have, just like with Luna. But for a lot of girls the draw stems from the desire to be that girl that’s “different.“ The one who finally ties him down. We fantasize that maybe, just maybe, we are his exception because we are special enough to capture the heart of the bad boy. Not so surprisingly, however, this never works out.

With each passing relationship I find myself going back to my friends and family, telling them, “you were right.” It’s what I imagine Luna would say once she got a stomachache after eating the box of chocolates. No matter how many people try to steer you away or open your eyes, there are some aspects of life that just have to be learned the hard way. Although this seems unbearable in the moment, there will be a time when you look back and are thankful that certain people, opportunities and things were removed from your life because you would have never found yourself had you not lost them. Sometimes, we get so caught up worrying about what we lost, rather than realizing what we are gaining in its absence.