02/25/2009 AT 12:00 AM EST
Fans of The Hills
(and Laguna Beach
before that) who've witnessed Lauren Conrad
have her heart broken over and over again will be happy to know she’s learned from her mistakes.
"I think there was a time when I let a guy, if not several guys, walk all over me -- which I would never let happen now," she tells Seventeen magazine
for its April issue. "I've grown to realize you can't allow yourself to be a victim."
Unlike her past romances with Brody Jenner
and Jason Wahler
, Conrad has kept her current relationship with actor Kyle Howard
away from the cameras. In fact, the fashion designer won't even officially call him her boyfriend. "He's a friend," she tells the magazine. "I'm a fan of labels, but girlfriend doesn't always look good on me. Ha!"
MTV star is a label she won't have for much longer: Conrad tells Seventeen
the show’s upcoming fifth season (season 4 bonus episodes will premiere in March
) will be her last.
"My biggest thing with the show was that I wanted to walk away from it while it's still a great thing," she explains. "I always want to remember it that way. I gave MTV a deadline and said, 'This is as long as I can do it and stay sane.' " -- Joey Bartolomeo