At 24-years-old, I can't remember the last time I had a relationship or anything that wasn't a one-night stand.
Although my 70-year-old grandmother — who has a new boyfriend, by the way — keeps calling to ask when I'm getting married, I've got to admit, I feel pretty good about my perpetual single status.
Being free of a relationship has helped me understand my personality and figure out what I really want.
Here are the eight things I learned about myself after being single for so long.
1. Thinking I have a type sets me up for failure.
I used to think tall, blonde hair and blue eyes was the miracle of a man that would happen to me somewhere down the line.
At one point, it did happen. And guess what? The guy sucked.
The truth about your "type" is that it doesn't exist. I've learned to accept people as they are, regardless of looks and really get to know what's beneath.
Surprisingly, the guy I liked the most out of everyone I've ever been with turned out to be a short, almost-ginger bro with the biggest personality I've ever encountered.
We had a great time together, and that was possible because I let go of this idealized version of what I wanted and opened my eyes to the real thing.
2. By now, I know exactly what I want.
Being single for so long has shown me everything that I like and dislike in a man.
I value honesty, care and sense of humor above else.
Ambition, intellect and determination come as close seconds, and if I'm really lucky, he'll love to travel.
Being single in a way makes me feel like a scientist. I meet people and observe relationships. I look at different personalities and dynamics and I am able to see exactly what I want without being tied down to someone.
3. I have to be aware of my emotions before I share them with my partner.
Thank God for yoga and meditation.
Whenever I'm in a certain mood, I pause and take an introspective look to figure out why.
Being single has taught me to find the reason for my mood and adjust accordingly before making anyone else a part of it.
4. I know how to take care of myself.
I wake up at 6 am, work out every morning, read a lot and travel as often as possible.
I even indulge in some weird beauty rituals like vigorously rubbing my face with vinegar on a Sunday afternoon because it's a great skin tonic for acne, spots and pimples.
I also experiment science-backed nutritional trends, from paleo to keto and whatever else form of eating promises a tight bum and a couple years added to my lifespan.
Cooking is definitely a skill I picked up from being single, and I can't complain at all.
5. I value alone time.
No, not just because I've got vinegar on my face.
As an only child, being by myself is a reality. It helps me prioritize my projects, think about goals and simply relax.
I value not having to talk to anyone, because let's be real: On most week days no one wants to be a part of humanity.
Alone time is the key ingredient to a successful relationship, so whoever ends up dating me has to be aware of that.
6. I'll never give up traveling for a relationship.
Having been on the road since I was 16, most of my knowledge and ability to successfully pack a carry-on bag and move to a new continent has been learned through travel.
I've had to give up a few relationships because the other person wasn't into it, and that's fine.
At this point, I know I definitely need someone with a sense of adventure and wanderlust as insatiable as mine, so we can explore together instead of drift apart.
7. Relationships have to encourage ambition.
I've seen so many friends of mine settle with a partner who wants them to stay home while he/ she works, and it drives me nuts.
Both you and your partner should have equal freedom to work toward your goals — balls-to-the-wall style.
I find ambition very sexy and would absolutely help my partner with his goals, and I expect the same treatment.
If you try to belittle my goals in favor of yours, I'll leave without thinking twice.
8. Advice from friends is great, but it never works.
I've dated people who weren't good for me at the time, and my friends have told me so.
Similarly, I've been honest every time I've seen a friend's partner is wrong for him or her.
No one ever listens.
Being single for so long has taught me I should really pay attention when my friends tell me the guy I'm seeing is a sociopath instead of having to find that out the hard way after months of wasted emotion.
Oftentimes, it's easier to see from the outside, so even if you don't take someone's advice, at least hear him or her out.