I love being single. There, I said it. Is that okay? Why do I sometimes feel single-shamed?

There are so many things I can do being single.

I can eat entire grocery store rotisserie chickens over the kitchen sink. I can sit on the living room couch SANS PANTS, while wearing a facemask and a Crest white strip, and watch any movie I want to. I can pee with the door open. I can spend an ENTIRE NIGHT googling pictures of Damon and Stefan from Vampire Diaries. I can eat the extra fortune cookie, because they always give two anyways.

I get to take up my ENTIRE Queen sized bed. Actually, I lied. I take up half the bed, and the other half is clothing, some water bottles, my laptop, cell phone, and some questionable food crumbs—but you get the idea. I get to go out whenever I want, or don’t want to, and when I do go out, I can talk to, and flirt with, whomever I like.

This isn’t about dating myself, or tips about getting a man. This is me, saying to the world—I am completely okay with where I am right now. Is it okay to just enjoy being single? Can I just be a reservation of one? Yes, my entire party is here already.

The only thing that still bothers me is this: why are some of my most intelligent, beautiful, successful girlfriends unraveled when they are “rejected” by men?

Where along the way did we start believing that our worth is based on our desirability to someone else, on whether or not they ask us out, text us back, or want to commit? I wouldn’t really want to commit to someone who based her happiness of self-worth off a text message or relationship either.

For some of us, it rattles us to the core if we aren’t asked out on date two. We self-destruct if we give our number to someone and he doesn’t text us back. But why? What does it mean if a complete and utter stranger doesn’t give us the attention our egos think we deserve? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with what our friends, families, neighbors, bosses, and baristas think of us? Shouldn’t we have a higher opinion of ourselves, so that it doesn’t change on a dime based on the attention of a complete stranger?

Maybe it comes down to the urgency one feels to couple up. Couples dinners, wedding season, reunions, birthday parties, delivery orders with a $30 minimum, travel—these are things that seem difficult to do alone. But guess what—YOU CAN. I have 100%, without a doubt, conquered the $30 delivery order minimum solo. It’s called getting an appetizer and a dessert. Heard of it? There is no urgency to couple up unless you put those demands on yourself. Weddings, dinners, parties—go alone, or bring your best friend! And have an amazing time. Don’t put so much pressure on the need for a partner that you make it your only priority.

Ladies—live full lives. Live exciting lives. Live important lives. Do not revolve your life around a man. Do not wait for a man. Do not ask permission from a man, and do not make your self-worth so small that you base your own value off the attention, or inattention, of men.

Because girl, YOU’RE BUSY! You’re busy working on your novel and having fabulous long lunches with your girlfriends. You’re busy taking hikes into the wilderness. You’re busy getting your degree. You’re busy making jokes that only some people laugh at. You’re busy taking a long weekend in Palm Springs.

Aren’t you busy taking up painting again? And volunteering at that great new organization? Oh, and being a good friend? You’re busy watching Game of Thrones! And reading books that interest you! And most importantly—making mistakes and learning from them.

And when you get a second, you’ll take a look at your phone. Somewhere in between those girl’s nights and great books and your days at the museum and your nights dancing with strangers and that great new business idea, an interesting guy you met will call.

And when you have time out of your very full life, you will take time out of your very full day to call him back. And you will call him back as soon as you have time, because you’re a mature woman who doesn’t play games.

And maybe that will turn into a relationship. And that man will add to your life, and perhaps make it exciting, reinvigorate it, and make it feel new. But he will not complete it—because you aren’t incomplete.

Until then, I’m going to curl up on my couch with a face mask on and plan my next vacation.

Primary image from author, secondary image from shutterstock.