There is a lot of stigma associated with being single. Your friend gets into a new relationship and says, “Oh don’t worry, you’ll find someone who makes you happy, just like I did!” Your family members ask you, “So are you actually planning on getting married to someone someday?” Other people say, “You’re such a great person, how are you single?!”

While all these comments may get to you sometimes, you have to realize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. People have different reasons for being single. Either they are getting over their ex, they’re not ready to date, they don’t have time to date, they don’t want to date, or maybe they’re just having trouble finding someone. Whatever the reason is, you shouldn’t have to explain yourself because being single is perfectly okay.

The most important thing you have to recognize is that you don’t need someone else in order to be happy. In fact, you should never count on someone else to make you happy. So many people are obsessed with finding their “other half” or find someone who “completes” them, but in reality, you need to be complete on your own. You need to find your own ways to make yourself happy without the help of another person, and you need to find your own ways to make your life feel complete. You should never think that you are only 50% and that you need to find your other 50% percent in order to make you feel whole. You should be 100% just by yourself, and if you happen to find someone, then you can be a grand ‘ole 200% together.

All complicated math problems aside, the main point I’m trying to get across here is that only YOU can make YOU happy. You should never start dating someone else until you feel like you are satisfied with your current state of mind. There are many different ways to reach this level of satisfaction. You can start by doing things that make you happy. Whether it be immersing yourself in a hobby that you enjoy, or spending more time with friends, you need to productively use your time doing things that you love. Another thing you can do is think about things you need to work on, and then actually do these things. This can range from working on bettering yourself, working on having more confidence in yourself, working on being more bold, or really anything personal that you feel could be improved upon.

It’s important to focus on yourself and take care of yourself, because who else is going to do that and do it well? Sure, it’s nice to have a significant other to make you feel better when you’re down, or give you over the top compliments. But it’s actually more satisfying to have the ability to cheer yourself up and to give yourself compliments, and actually believe in what you’re saying to yourself. It’s so crucial to have this ability before putting yourself in the dating world because it’ll make for much better relationships.

So never feel pressured to find that special someone and never spend an excessive amount of time searching for someone to be with. You’ll find someone when you’re ready, and when the timing is right. Remember, you don’t need validation from someone else to feel like you’re a worthy person. Respect yourself and treat yourself well, and everything else will fall into place. Just be patient and stay positive!