I Prioritized Being Ambitious Over Dating & It Didn’t Turn Out Well

For years, I had my life mapped out. It included ambitious milestones like living abroad, graduating, moving to a new city, and pursuing my graduate degree. Naturally, certain things went on the back burner, dating being one of them. This is why my skewed priorities kind of screwed me over in the end.

  1. I was lonely AF. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school in a completely different city three years before finishing my undergrad. That pretty much wiped out any hopes for a boyfriend. Three years became four and during that time, the bed was cold. My standards became blurry and not in a good way. Like, Guy Fieri doing his food cheerleader stuff was kinda attractive. I was too insecure to be empowered by my singleness and honestly just wanted some sort of human connection.
  2. I got desperate but was still incredibly picky. While every guy became kinda attractive, they also were “not quite right.” They’d either be too cute, too stylish, too hipster, or maybe his shoes screamed “hates chubby girls.” Still, I’d check out every guy on the bus, on the street, on TV and found that while I generally gave them a favorable score, I’d discount each guy for some weird reason that made no sense and was kind of dumb.
  3. I thought I was broken. The few times I did put myself out there, it didn’t end well for a variety of reasons. Since no one was hitting on me and I had no men in my life, I just figured I was undesirable and that I was doomed to be single because of some inherent flaw. That one flaw ruined everything but I had no idea what it was or how to fix it.
  4. I was undateable. I made my life circumstances so hectic that dating would be a disaster for the other person. In a four-and-a-half year span, there were few times where I didn’t have two jobs, some traveling plans, moving plans, and homework too. If I wasn’t doing a combination of those, I was flat broke and being a hermit. Who TF would want to date that dreadful combo?
  5. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted. While carving my future out, I was evolving and growing as a person. I jam-packed a bunch of life-changing experiences into a very short span of time and never caught up to processing them. I just kept going, not realizing I’d changed one bit. It caused constant indecision and that overflowed into deciding on any guy. I ended up deciding there wasn’t anyone out there for me because apparently, that was easier than dealing with my own BS.
  6. I lost perspective. While I knew it wasn’t a good time to date, I never stopped looking or hoping. The slightest flirtation or giggle with a guy made me crush hard. As someone who already has a tendency towards obsessive thoughts, even I can say it was getting a little out of hand to the point that I thought having someone in my life would fix me. If I could just find a guy, I’d figure it all out, right? My brain decided not having a guy was the reason why I was such a hot mess.
  7. I stopped understanding the purpose of relationships. After a few failed dating attempts and realizing I had too much going on in my life to be in a relationship, I became straight up bitter. I’d look at happy couples and think they were faking it and were secretly miserable. I figured they compromised so much that they didn’t even know who they were anymore. Their partner was a barrier to living a full life. I thought men were burdens, women were crazy, and all relationships derail people’s lives for the worse.
  8. I was extremely jealous.  I was jealous of everyone else’s lives. Other people in grad school had relationships but I couldn’t or wouldn’t. I pretty much constantly compared myself to other people, wondering what they had that I didn’t. Nevermind that I was accomplished and had eyebrows that were on point everyday damn day. That nagging voice still said, “Why can’t you be like them?”
  9. I was a creep. Deprived of male contact, I found vague things to be semi-erotic—a guy eating an ice cream cone, a person sitting too close to me on the bus, the raw sexuality of men’s hands… If you remember all the creepy, perverted comments of Alana Wexler from Broad City, that was me being single. I felt like I was in the mind of a teenage boy.
  10. One-night stands were impossible. When you’re that starved for affection and human contact, it is pretty normal to cling to the first warm body that shows you any attention. While hookups seemed ideal, it was treading on dangerous ground. I was too lonely for “casual” flings or a friend with benefits. In hindsight, I backed myself into a corner devoid of sexual contact because I’m so good at achieving overly ambitious goals.
Kim is living, working, and enjoying every minute of living in Seattle. She enjoys sewing random patterns from Pinterest, sleeping, and takes quite the fancy to audio books. She hopes to upheave her career path one day, but in the meantime, she is content with her 9 to 5 grind while freelance writing on the side.