Paul Wesley Paul Wesley

Throughout The Vampire Diaries' run, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) has been on his own, in love, "the ripper" and brokenhearted. But looking back, Stefan is always at his best when he's single. Don't get us wrong — this isn't about why Elena (Nina Dobrev) should be with Damon (Ian Somerhalder) instead of Stefan, but rather why as a character Stefan has always been the most appealing, likable and downright sexy when alone. And if Thursday's episode wasn't enough proof (hello, doing push-ups in the woods!), here are four reasons why we prefer him that way:

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1. He's sexy when angry
As Damon softens up, Mystic Falls is seriously lacking some angry brooding. Fortunately, Stefan has stepped up and taken over as the town's new resident bad boy. And we aren't complaining! Without Elena to woo, the romantic dreamer has transformed into a badass, kicking butt and taking names (and a few lives here and there). It's not hard to admit that as Stefan's temper heats up, so do we.

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2. He gets things done

Elena is often more of a walking, talking distraction than an actual character. Now that she's out of the picture, Stefan is much more focused and actually seems to be getting things done instead of catering to Elena's every need. Plus: Without her acting like his surrogate conscience, Stefan seems to have no qualms doing whatever it takes to get the job done. If Stefan keeps this up, it won't be long before he has that cure! (Even if it is for Elena's sake.) Just look at the way Stefan takes care of business with Klaus (Joseph Morgan) in the clip below.

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3. He has time for his friends
Can we all agree that the more Stefan's not with Elena, the more we can watch his and Caroline's (Caroline Accola) friendship grow? The bubbly blonde has turned out to be a surprisingly good shoulder for Stefan to lean on during his time of need. And while Elena's shacked up with Damon, we just love Stefan and Caroline playing house together. The new roomies could have a show all on their own!

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4. He has more fun
How often do we get to see Stefan laugh? Not enough, that's for sure. For someone who's going to live forever, Stefan doesn't seem to enjoy life too much. But now that he's single, Stefan's finally free to go out and have a little fun. In the clip below, he has a ball with his new friend Klaus, as the two share drinks over stories. Though given Klaus' unreliable loyalties, maybe Stefan should consider upgrading his drinking buddy this time around (we're looking at you, Caroline).