Dating a phd student long distance

If your significant other is still in the first years, your experience may mimic that of the college life you're accustomed to -- to an extent. A majority of students, though, supplement their classroom studies with stints as undergrad teaching assistants or researchers, according to "The Princeton Review" in "Master's vs. While it might seem that this phase, which entails fewer classes, would be lower-involvement, it usually calls for a great deal of concentration, research, writing and rewriting, and discussions with a thesis adviser. In the context of a committed relationship, it's easy for a busy student to take a partner for granted, focusing overwhelmingly on school obligations, according to the American Psychological Association's student social psychology representative, Ph.

Dating in Graduate School.

No matter how busy student life gets, you can make time for a white-water rafting adventure or checking out the dinner theater two towns away when you both consciously prioritize the relationship. Especially when it comes time for dissertation writing, your partner may develop tunnel vision for the subject of study. Because PhD students can unintentionally winnow their social circles down to advisers and peers tacking similar challenges, introduce yourself to that world to the extent possible.

While you don't need expertise to match your partner's, developing a working knowledge of the subject will allow your significant other to share passionate discussions with you. Keeping in mind that a doctoral candidate will likely maintain a lifelong interest in the degree subject, and that this subject is an aspect of the personality that attracted you, knowing the basics of it can create a stronger bridge between the two of you.

When you notice your boyfriend or girlfriend growing distant from former comrades and getting down in the dumps, you can offer support by either arranging or offering to help your partner arrange a get-together with appetizers, tall coffees and dissertation discussion. While you're at it, secure your own necessary social supports. Scheduling time for fun with your own friends can reinforce your sense of identity beyond the relationship and take your mind off the loneliness you may temporarily feel.

Jae Kemp has been writing and editing professionally since We had been together for over 2 years and were living together when I applied for grad school, and she moved with me, getting a job somehow we ended up in the same city as her old boss at the hospital where she had worked.

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She was applying for med school though, and applied in the months after we moved and I started my program. She then got rejected at the school where I was, and ended up accepting an admission in the city where I was originally from, where my family still is. So after we had another year living together where I'm in school, she had to move while I stayed here. So far it's been a semester, and it's been really tough, but also great. I proposed a few months ago and we're engaged, looking to get married sometime the year after next.

I also have more flexibility, in that my work is essentially in books and libraries, no labs or anything at all like that, so I can do my work from anywhere, meaning I can take a semester or a year service-free and relocate. Still, it's been really hard getting used to sleeping alone again, and coming back to an empty apartment when she's supposed to be here. We've been seeing each other at least once a month, but it's still so different, not having her right here when I get home. Still, in a way it's good, in that we're both so busy we can just get to our work, which has made it feel like time has flown by.

I have no remedy.

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Grad school took me from a live-together relationship to a mile distance. Didn't last past the second semester, and took a looooong time to recover. The dual stresses of Grad school and the long distance gf both multiplied each other, and lead to a total breakdown and a downward spiral into depression and crippling alcoholism. In the end, I would like to stay in academia.

Making Long Distance Relationships Work During Grad School

Fortunately, we won't have the two body problem because he isn't in academia and works in a completely unrelated field. He can't move because he has a really good job where he's at. You have a really good job where you are. I would strongly advise against switching programs unless you are prepared to have a less positive experience upon moving though you might get lucky twice. I know several people in long-distance relationships who are doing their PhDs, a few are a 5 hour flight from their SO.


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They tell me that skype helps. Another option is to plan some time at a University near your partner to collaborate with a lab on some aspect of your PhD. For example, one friend spent a 6 month period at her husband's University on the other side of the country to do the genomics portion of her PhD with a collaborator. Moving during the final year of your PhD is not uncommon, given that you can complete all of your labwork and the bulk of your analyses before then.


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You just ask your advisor what their thoughts are on this option. Seriously, talk to your advisor about your future plans, it's important! Absolutely have this talk with you advisor. It is not a weird thing to try to set time frames, though 4 years seems unlikely. You should also be considering the kind of PhD that will get you a position in academia: Will your partner be willing to move for your post-doc and again for your tenure-track position? Alternatively, what are your chances of getting a tenure-track position where your partner lives? Are you willing to consider a job in industry to stay with your partner?

That answer is different for everyone, and you will have to talk to each other to figure that out. A few people on here seem to think your SO is also into academia, but it's not clear or I read too fast if he is. What kind of job does he have? Are there prospects for him to apply for jobs near er to you? If you do stay in academia, you will have to face the problem of him giving up his job someday as it is quite unlikely that you would continue in your career in the same area.

Maybe what's right for you two is keeping the distance for a few years until he is ready to look for a new job, and at that point focus on opportunities close to you. As far as the other options, if you like your program then stay.


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A new university from what I understand would basically be like starting over. So when you're actually writing the thesis, it's only like 6 mos or less of work.

How to Deal With Dating a PhD Student | Our Everyday Life

The same goes for planning out your overarching timeline for how long your PhD will take. Everyone would love to get out in 4 years, but it is not as simple as writing down a plan. Science takes mistakes and these cost alot of time. What will be a good indicator of your time to graduation is how long other graduate students that have come from this adviser have taken. I'll be honest, I pretty much only signed up for 1 year because my SO was supposed to graduate soon- 3 years later and he's finally started working on his thesis.

11 Ways to Survive a Long Distance Relationship in Grad School & Beyond

The time delay was in no part his lack of motivation or work on his projects, simply 'bad luck' in getting experiments to work properly. We've had our ups and downs, and are a 2 hour plane ride or 17 hour car ride away from each other. It's definitely expensive, and had added time to my PhD - any day spent with my SO, adds about 2 days to my PhD, unlike couples who are in the same place. Let me know if you want more ranting and rambles- this is quite enough for you to digest! I'm a grad student part-time and work full-time. It's definitely hard, but I know it would be harder without him in my life.

I don't want to give away much more than that on here, but feel free to PM me if you'd like to chat about this more. I would say all of your ideas are good ones: If you have graduate students in the program in front of you they can be a great resource for these questions if you don't want to ask your PI.

Four hours could be worse, get used to the drive and meet half way every other weekend. If you two are compatible long distance and can see spending your lives together, then there is no reason to end it.

Set Your Expectations

It's a lot easier said than done, with a high failure rate. It's too easy to forget to tend to your SO when you are stressed and have tons to do. As for choosing between a PhD and a relationship, that's a relationship question. Just make sure you accurately quantify how important a PhD is to you which can be a nontrivial task. I'm in a similar boat, and don't really have any answers for you if I did, my own life would be less complicated. I really hope you're able to figure it all out. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Log in or sign up in seconds.

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Users who do not follow the general form may have their flair privileges removed. Welcome to Reddit, the front page of the internet. Become a Redditor and subscribe to one of thousands of communities. Hello all I am just finishing my first semester in a neuroscience PhD program. Want to add to the discussion? In the words of my advisor: The-ex-deserves-it However, I went through many, many tormented years in graduate school being a "semi-bachelor". However, it is some of your questions that are more concerning: Graduate school is about your continued education and career prospects, not about appeasing your partner.

Let me tell you from "the other side" that if you sacrifice what you have done so far or will do, after two years , you are missing out on your long-term career. It would be seriously frowned upon if you went somewhere for years and left. Half of your job at graduate school is securing a letter of recommendation from your advisor. Leaving early to go be with a partner does you no favors. Instead, use the following to reach success: Read the theses of the last students from your group this is awesome prep work for the lab, too , see how many of those chapters were published or were in preparation when the thesis was written.

This is what you have to copy in order to defend. Read a crap ton of literature 3: