Listen [sassy handclap]. I’m not here for the fact that the universe thinks it knows me well enough to shove this mentality down my throat that in order to be happy, I must be in a relationship. And that as a twenty-something, I must also be on the constant lookout for “the one” because, you know, my grandmother wants to see me standing at the altar and she won’t live forever.

Yeah, being   #RelationshipGoals would be amazing. But the older I get, the more I realize the value of being single – and not just recklessly throwing myself at anybody who likes my Instagram selfie.

Today, I embrace my singleness. However, to do this, I had to unlearn the negative connotations that surrounded being single. Unfortunately, there are negative undertones towards singlehood, and after my last heartbreak I was ready to block it like I would a social media troll.

“So, you’re single. Does mean you’re afraid of commitment?”

Actually, no. This is a relationship between two humans we’re talking about, not my inability to pick a side dish at dinner. Which for the record, I’m still trying to make up my mind about.

“Because you’re single you must be focused on finding yourself, right?”

Hold on, so you’re telling me to put all my energy into loving someone else before myself? That’s like pouring the milk in before the cereal!

“You must be lonely 100% of the time!”

I’m sorry, but my two dogs, Friends: The Complete Series DVD Collection, and my three closest friends would have to fully disagree with that.

“Aren’t you afraid you’ll never be loved?”

I might have 99 problems but being afraid that someone won’t love me isn’t one. I’m awesome [hair flip]. However, I will admit that a breakup threatens the outlook on my future ability to love and be loved.

Being single has taught me to value myself, because at the end of the day I am the only one who holds my identity. No one person should be defined by their relationship status, and my happiness should never be contingent on it. Before, I was giving that power away too easily. I have to focus on the things that make me the person I am. And if I can’t value the things that make me unique, how can I expect someone else to do so?

One thing I have been guilty of is rebounding immediately after breakups. In doing so, I am constantly throwing myself at another person and hoping to find fulfillment. But the truth is, it is never going to happen. No one person will ever perfectly fill that deep craving in our soul for completeness. We’re flawed, broken, and incapable of doing the one thing we hope another person will do for us.

Being single has given me time in my schedule specifically dedicated to loving myself. This didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of work and research, which I would highly advise you to do since this article is about my journey of appreciating being single, not loving myself.

When I finally felt 110% happy with myself, I started to feel like there was nothing stopping me from achieving all the things I wanted. Self-love also helped me identify my true goals and aspirations, while being single gave me the time to work to achieve my plans of world domination.

If you’re a single, beautiful creature, remember there are perks. You don’t have to work around anybody’s schedule but your own … I mean, that is unless you’re planning lunch with that one super unreliable friend. You save money on literally everything. Because your world is completely yours, you can focus on your career and maybe even pick up and start a new life in a new city or country to pursue a better job or a better you. When you’re single and not committed to someone else, time starts to take on a new value. You now have the option to get up and go do absolutely anything, with whomever and whenever you want. There is no excuse for you to have a monotonous life when you’re single; you have the power to make decisions and plans that could give you that fun and crazy life you’ve always wanted.

Finally, as a single beautiful creature, you begin to make things happen that you once valued in your life. Sometimes (I know for me this was the case) being in a relationship can cause you to compromise things that you once loved but you end up losing along the way. As a single person, you now have the time and motivation to pick up those values during your time spent recovering; you suddenly start to transform into yourself again. And for myself, the things I valued started to become an attachment of my life and I now realize that these things I gave up aren’t worth giving up again. I advise you to find beauty in your solitude, because within that solitude you will surely find your true self.

P.S. I’m single and ready to eat a whole container of Pringles and that’s totally okay with me.