It has taken me a while, but I have finally learned how to love being single. My happiness doesn’t depend on having a boyfriend or wanting to please a man. Instead, I feel more sensual and powerful than ever. That is, of course, after having gone through all the stages of love: having a crush, dating, breakup, grief, rage, apathy, the desire to have a man, the relief of living on my own, the desperate need to have a man again… And finally, acceptance. Now I know what I’m worth and what I want in a relationship. That makes me stronger and less of a pushover. I no longer beg for love.

Of course I’d still love to meet The One. But you can bet my marital status won’t determine how happy I am today. And it seems I’m not the only one who thinks so. According to a recent government report, nearly 40% of women in the US aged 15-44 have never been married, and even fewer are in a first marriage. The highest percentage of women who have never married are African-American (55%), followed by US-born Hispanics (49%).

So, are we women finally embracing singlehood? That doesn’t mean that we don’t want true love, though. Quite the contrary, it may imply that we are willing to wait for true love for as long as it takes to find it, and not settle for less than we know we deserve.

Once you get over a breakup and overcome the social stigma of being single, you´ll start feeling such joy that you will only want more of that feeling as time goes by. Hang on to that! Enjoy the pleasure of your freedom, of doing whatever you want to. Revel in not having to put up with someone who makes you feel anxious, unhappy or that there’s something wrong with you. Be gentle on yourself, as it may take a while to learn to be happy without a man. As Latinas, many of us have been raised with the idea that it’s our duty to lead our lives devoted to a man and raising a family.

Read Related: How To Be A Successful Single Mom

As a single lady, it’s vital to build a strong network of good friends. You need to know there is someone with whom you can share your dreams and goals but also your doubts and your fears. Keep a cadre of special friends that will help you pull through the tough times and also be there to celebrate your successes. We all need to share moments of intimacy, whether it is with a significant other or a best friend. If you are a single mami, that network of friends becomes even more important!

You may feel you’re the happiest single woman on earth one day, and the poor spinster who will die all alone, only to have her body devoured by her dogs the next. And that’s okay. It’s normal to sometimes envy your seemingly happily married friends. But know that they too have mixed feelings about being in a relationship, and may sometimes envy your singlehood. Interact with your married friends, discuss the pros and cons of both sides of the coin, and then take advantage of your solitude to reflect.

Do not put your life on hold until you find The One. What if he never shows up? Would you want to waste your whole life waiting? How sad! Do the things you want to do, even if that includes buying a house, taking a dream vacation or having a baby.

The desperate search for love can be as harmful as giving up on it and then numbing your feelings by working to the point of exhaustion, indulging in compulsive shopping, drinking or being dangerously promiscuous. The healthiest attitude is to be open to meeting someone while you keep on making your own plans and live your life.

Are you single because you really want to? Or are you sabotaging your relationships on purpose? Do you just not know how to make a relationship last? Be brave and find out the reasons why you are single. Being happily soltera because you prefer to be alone rather than in ill company is very different from erecting emotional barriers around you because you’re afraid of getting hurt.

I’m pretty certain you have an image of your dream guy, and have perhaps even made a list of his traits. But, where do you stand? Do you live up to the standards that you seek in a soul mate? If not, take the necessary steps to embody the amazing woman that you know you can be. Like attracts like, so if you become the best version of yourself while enjoying singlehood, when you meet The One, he will most likely mirror who you are. And that, my friends, greatly enhances your odds of having a long-lasting fulfilling relationship. If you played your cards right, however, know that on occasion you just might yearn for your happy days of singlehood.