I’ll admit it: When I was single, I didn’t really bother to buy lingerie. I made sure I had a solid arsenal of basic bras and panties, of course. For me, the essentials meant a few T-shirt bras, a couple unlined wire bras, a nice balconette bra, and a plunge bra, plus several sports bras to rotate during my workouts throughout the week. I didn’t bother splurging on special underthings, though — like a bustier, a longline bra with romantic accents, or a lacy Brazilian thong. In my mind, those kinds of elaborate unmentionables were meant for women in relationships. After all, they had someone to show them off to. Why, I wondered, should I bother investing in exciting lingerie if there’s a chance no one will see it?

Oh, how I was wrong. After my last relationship ended, I made it a point to gradually build up my lingerie collection over time. And you know what? The benefits were mind-boggling.

Here’s why I decided to start buying lingerie for myself while I was single — and why you should, too.

Lingerie makes a solo night in more luxurious

Who says lacy undergarments are meant for date night only? There’s hardly a better way to spice a night in by yourself than donning some luxurious lingerie. Wearing some sultry underthings will make that night in by yourself feel far more special, no matter what you’re doing —  whether you’re just hanging around the house watching a Netflix movie, painting your nails, or having a solo dance party in your living room. Pour yourself a glass of wine (or your other cocktail or mocktail of choice), slip on some seductive lingerie, and take a minute to admire yourself in the mirror before going about your cozy night a home. I like to think of this as a spectacular form of self-care.

It gives you a saucy little secret

There’s something super thrilling about knowing you’re wearing a jaw-dropping bra and panty set under your work clothes. No one at the office will know, of course, but that fun little secret may actually give you a confidence boost. And that confidence could certainly come in handy while you’re negotiating your salary or running a meeting. So don’t bother to save your lingerie for a special occasion — wearing it under your clothes while working, running errands, or even on a girls night out may make you feel a tad more self-assured.

Lingerie reminds you that you don’t need to be in a relationship to be sexy

I don’t know where women get this notion, but some seem to believe that they need someone else in their life to tell them or prove to them that they’re desirable. This simply isn’t true — and in fact, lingerie can help to reinforce that this idea is merely a myth. Think about it: lingerie is designed to accentuate all of your assets. So if you’ve been feeling less than sexy lately, there’s a good chance that a well-fitting demi-cup bra or push-up bra that highlights your ample cleavage, or a pair of cheeky hipster panties that flaunts your derriere, could be just the ego-booster you need. Wearing lingerie simply for yourself can serve as an important reminder that another person doesn’t make you sexy or define your beauty — you do.

It can help you to see your body in a new way

There’s no doubt about it: Almost all women have some hangup(s) about their bodies. Whether it’s an insecurity about the width of their hips, their small or shallow breasts, their thighs, or their bodacious backsides, it seems we all struggle to accept some aspect of ourselves. The truth is, though, that most of us are our own worst critics. And wearing some flawlessly-fitting, high-quality lingerie can actually enable you to see your body in a new light. I’ll never forget the first teddy I purchased (for a boudoir photo shoot) — to this day, it makes me feel better about my body and more confident in my own skin than anything else in my closet. Sometimes I’ll slip it on while I’m home alone just to remind myself that even the things I don’t like about myself can be beautiful — it’s all about perspective.

If you’ve ever been hesitant to buy lingerie just because you’re single, I’m here to give you permission to treat yourself. Not only can wearing gorgeous undergarments help boost your body positivity and your overall confidence, but it’s a stellar way to pamper yourself as a single woman.