"I was smarter than my show and that didn't feel interesting to me anymore. I thought, 'I want to be proud of myself as a person,'" Handler says in the latest issue of PEOPLE of deciding to end her tenure as the host of Chelsea Lately in 2014. "I needed to grow up."
So, Handler found a way to challenge herself.
On Jan. 23, she will launch a four-episode documentary series Chelsea Does, in which she explores the topics of racism, technology, drugs and marriage.
While exploring that final topic, Handler, 40, experienced somewhat of a revelation.
"I never understood why people would want to get married. To me, marriage always encompassed a huge wedding and a huge reception and a commitment lumped together. But I realize now that you can be committed to someone without that commercialization and all that nonsense," says Handler. "So now I'd get married."
For more from Handler – including why she took a year-long break from Hollywood – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
"Now that I'm single and have no viable options," Handler – who was briefly linked to rapper 50 Cent after her 2010 split from NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert, whom she dated for almost four years – adds with a laugh. But just because Handler is open to the prospect of settling down, that doesn't mean she sees becoming a mom in her future.
"I'd have to over-correct so much from my parents that I would be a nightmare mother," says Handler, who credits her tender heart for part of her decision to not have children. "If my niece has a bad day at school, I worry about it for three days. I'd be such a helicopter parent. I'd drive my child crazy!"