Derek Storm/Splash News
Alexandra Hurtado
June 23, 2015 09:00 AM

Kate Gosselin celebrated her 40th birthday by taking her brood of eight and her best friend to Mexico, and PEOPLE has an exclusive clip from a girls’ night out where Kate dished on dating, her goals for the new year and how she really feels about life after divorcing her ex Jon.

“I want people to stop asking me if I’m dating,” the Kate Plus 8 star says decisively. “I would like that to end.”

Five years after a painful and very public divorce, Kate says the dating question offends her most because it’s “a reminder that here I am, it’s just me.”

Just because she isn’t a fan of that question, that doesn’t mean Kate’s not open to dating, but she says being asked repeatedly about it won’t change her dating situation.

If there’s one thing Kate dislikes more than being asked about who she’s dating, it’s discussing her former husband (who recently booked a DJ gig in Atlantic City).

“Don’t talk to me about ex situations,” says Kate. “I don’t define myself with that.”

With the split now definitively in her rearview mirror, Kate categorizes her recent past as “the greatest five years of my life.”

And now, even after many of her circumstances have changed, Kate tells her friend, “My ideas haven’t changed, my parenting hasn’t changed. I’m just doing it alone now.”

As for her goals for her children in the new year, Kate says, “I want my kids to grow up and be each other’s best friends.”

Kate Plus 8‘s “The BIG Four Oh!” special airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.

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