I think that once you stop 'looking' it's a lot easier to find one if that makes sense? Just be open to anyone and everyone and socialize a lot. I've watched all of my friends who 'weren't really looking for anyone' and they all seem to be in a relationship now.
when you're financially ready to pay for dates and food and stuff without affecting your other obligations. and you don't have any ties/feelings for any exes still. its not fair to date someone else when you're still in love with your ex. after that, just keep your options and mind open and take your time. NEVER rush into anything. and if u meet someone and you see red flags right off the bat, do yourself a favor and run. the red flags turn into machine guns to the face after you've been dating for a while. ALWAYS WEAR A CONDOM no if and's or butts. and if your still a teenager, don't expect to marry the next girl who likes you. take your time and learn. sometimes your tastes in women and their personalities change over time. mine sure did. and always remember that heartbreak comes with the territory. and time is the ONLY thing that heals heart wounds. drugs, alcohol and getting strange poon are only band-aids. and don't be a desperate, thirsty beeotch. have respect for yourself and know when to throw in the towel.
I'm about your age too. I think it's a good time to be open to actual relationships when you are mentally matured. If you are thinking about making out and power and the fact that you can say you have a gf- maybe you are not ready. If you are ready to invest your time and affection to one person, I would say you are definitely ready to be open to actual relationships.
Whenever you feel like you're ready to commit and to love one person and one person only, your journey can begin. I strongly advise against "hooking up" for the sake of hooking up. I say don't get a girlfriend until you are truly ready to commit.
Best time to get in one is when your confident enough to where you are in life. I may be a handsome, nice guy, but I need to get myself together first. I have a lot going on in my life, so I choose not to be in a relationship until everything is where I want it to be. Just keeping it real.