Three years ago, I was 33, single and miserable. I was a successful advertising project manager and an accomplished professional woman, but inside I was a well of sadness.
Having been single for over six years, I felt like I was a complete failure. Somehow, I managed to scare every man I met with my ‘kamikaze’ approach to love: You’ll-want-me-or-I-will-humiliate-myself-trying. How come I seemed to have control of every other area of my life except this one? I had tried my best by dating frequently and ferociously, but one day, after another embarrassing failure to find love, I decided it was time for a significant change.
I began with researching the popular dating literature, but I soon became dissatisfied with the prescriptive advice found in self-help books. I recalled a conversation with a work colleague from a few years before, joking about evaluating guys using Key Performance Indicators and pie charts. It seemed like a silly conversation at the time, but I now saw it in a completely different light. What if, as an experienced project manager, I could use the methods I was familiar with at work to find the right man for me?
That was when I came up with The Love Project: a project management-lead quest to find love. I gave myself one year to bring order into the chaos of my love life and to be in a committed relationship. I set out my objectives, my timeplan, my deliverables and my milestones. What followed was a hell of a year, during which I learned a lot about love and dating but even more about myself. For the first time ever, I took full charge of my life and I became an explorer, a subject and an expert, all at the same time.
The Love Project chronicles the steps I took, and the wild, poignant and often humorous results, in memoir style, playing with the self-help and project management format. I’ve aimed to be honest and open with myself and the reader, maintaining a story-driven conversational tone that explores elements of my past and present that held me back. I confronted head-on the problems and dilemmas of the modern dating life that many women can relate to.
There is a Buddhist saying that the story is in the hurdles. At the end of my upstream dating and self-discovering journey, I eventually found love, but not at all in the way that I expected.