11/10/2010 at 10:35 AM EST
is embracing something she never thought she would: the single life.
The 30-year-old star of E!'s Keeping up with the Kardashians
has moved from one long-term relationship to the next since her teens.
"There was at time in my life where all I wanted was a relationship," Kardashian tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story, "and I thought that was the most important thing."
Not anymore. These days the business-savvy star says she feels "powerful" being on her own. While her sisters Kourtney, 31, and Khloé, 26, have focused on motherhood and marriage, Kim says she has surprised even herself by choosing a more career-oriented path.
"Is it weird that I'm now the single one? It's definitely a change for me," she admits. "I have always been the one in a relationship. I like that role, I want that best friend partnership."
For much more with Kim, including her hopes for starting a family and an excerpt from her upcoming book Kardashian Konfidential, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday