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Miss Independent: Putting Your Job Before A Relationship

I have heard multiple times the reason my relationships don’t work out is that I am too busy.

I have set goals about what I want to do with my life career-wise. I want to work for the United Nations communications office, and to be able to achieve that, I know that I will have to put in a lot of effort.

I am a very focused person, so to achieve my goal, I have been doing everything I can to get me a little closer to it. Every decision I’ve made in the past two years was thinking about how I could improve my resume and be a strong candidate for my dream job.

As a consequence, I have been spending countless hours a week doing internships, taking language classes, studying to have good grades in college, and working to save some money to be able to relocate.

That takes up most of my time. When I enter a relationship, I am aware that I won’t have much time to dedicate to it. I would be able to see the person during the weekends and maybe, if I am lucky, sometimes at night during the week. 

My career has always been my priority, so the person I am with definitely isn’t. If I feel like I need more time focusing on a project for my internship or job, I won’t think twice about canceling on my partner.

This doesn’t mean I won’t try to make the relationship work. When I am in one, I try my best to be free all weekends. At least one day of the week when I have some availability, I ask the guy if he is also available to hang out.

The thing is, I never try too much, and I make sure to have my career to fall back on. Overworking is the safety net I found to ignore my feelings. If you are constantly busy, you don’t really have time to sit and think about why the relationship failed.


minimalist desk space with a pink folder and a plant. a gold plaque reads "lady boss"
Photo by Marten Bjork from Unplash

I know exactly what I am going to do. Every time I go through a breakup I look for a new internship, double hours at my job, tweak my resume, and study every single day — all of that to fulfill this new emptiness in me. 

To many people, I am the perfect college student. I have heard from many advisors and recruiters that I am a stellar student. My friends always say that they’re inspired by my drive. However, I know that I use that as a way to mask my real feelings.

All I have to say is that the known “Miss Independent,” as some of my friends like to say, might just be lacking affection. 

I know there is a lot I have to work on. I need to work on that balance between academics and social life, and to not be overworked. I also know that I need to work on my coping skills. I need to understand why those relationships didn’t work out and avoid making mistakes in the future. 

I need to apply what I do in my jobs to my relationships. If something is not working, go through the problems and fix the mistakes. In this case, I need to work through my emotions and figure out what I am looking for in someone else. Hopefully, I will be ready when the right person comes.

Renata is from Amazonas, Brazil, and studies international politics and broadcast journalism at Penn State. Her hobbies include reading and writing, editing pictures, and dancing for fun. She likes to learn new languages, currently speaks four, and is trying to learn a fifth. Fun fact: she wrote a book, but let’s not talk about that.
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