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Adelaide9216

Dating

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Just like anything, it's not a big deal unless you make it a big deal.  They won't "know what it is like" to be an academic, but I don't know what it is like to be a doctor, or be in the military, so everyone has to get used to differences.  The main thing is, if you are a deep thinker, you may want someone else who is a deep thinker.   This may be harder to find outside of academia, but it isn't impossible.

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I get scared thinking that I'll be too busy to date during the next 5+ years and that I'll be a single, lame 30 year old by the time I'm done with my program...doesn't help that every. single. one. of my friends is engaged and getting married this summer :wacko:

At least I'll have my acceptance letter to hug if I get lonely, right? haha

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i cuddle with my cat. i think it's starting to get serious between us.

 

seriously though. my problem is not being proactive going out and meeting people. last year, I was talking to girls, getting phone numbers, etc. but these are shallow relationships.. and I'm much less interested in that now that research and school has me by the balls.

I've got cycling friends, but boy:girl ratio sucks for me. thought about going to church again. that's a good way to meet people right?

Edited by spectastic

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I definitely am the opposite! When I am dating someone I want a break from academia! It is also nice for schedules since if you both are in academia it can make it hard to meet if everything is opposite (different timelines for dissertation or both working crazy hours), though it can suck for time off and vacations. I agree with Cheshire_Cat in that it only becomes a big deal if you make it a big deal. But hey, if you want to talk about your work and bounce those ideas off each other then I totally get where you are coming from! However, I definitely find myself on the total opposite of the spectrum. 

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I've found that dating someone outside of academia is actually pretty healthy for me. My boyfriend has not been able to go back to school and finish his associates degree, but the fact that he's not in school is actually a plus. He's out doing a real people job, and I think that makes it easier for him to pull me out of my school-related funks. He'll sit all night and listen to me talk about my field, but if I'm stressing out he calms me down. Meeting him was the problem because at the time I was working 70+ hours a week in practicum and a part time job. Online dating for the win. He's a deep thinker about things not even remotely related to my field, and it helps remind me that no matter how it feels, I am not living in a bubble made up only of MSW students and unending books on theory and therapy.

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It is really up to you. Personally, I feel that dating someone from the outside is a complete breather. We can talk about other things and it does feel that it would make the "world" bigger. Good Luck!

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I dated another graduate student several years ahead of me in their program (he's in sciences, I'm in humanities), and when he graduated, he went into industry rather than academia. It's great because he went through the same process as me and is totally sympathetic as I cram for quals this semester, but he isn't in academia anymore so I get to spend time with cool people from his company and get out of the academic bubble, but still hang out with a bunch of people who have Ph.D.s and are really smart, creative thinkers. To broaden your pool, I'd suggest looking for people who aren't currently in academia, but may have been in it once and know what it's all about ;)

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Not completely the same, but I could never date a non-musician. The amount of practice time that is required would never be understood by a non-musician. My current fiance is the only person I have ever been with that was okay with me spending a Friday night in the practice rooms

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^ they say that about cyclists too. it's almost common sense that after getting an SO the FTP (functional threshold power) drops considerably. people joke around about it, but there's a certain truth to that. can't find the time to do it all.

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On 6 mars 2017 at 10:21 PM, psychlife4me said:

I get scared thinking that I'll be too busy to date during the next 5+ years and that I'll be a single, lame 30 year old by the time I'm done with my program...doesn't help that every. single. one. of my friends is engaged and getting married this summer :wacko:

At least I'll have my acceptance letter to hug if I get lonely, right? haha

I feel exactly the same. I am really busy and don't really have time and space for a bf although I'd want to. And yes, all of my friends are getting engaged/married having babies or are in long-term relationships... 

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I've tried so many dating websites considering that for some reason (apparently because I am ambitious and that intimidates men) I never get any invites for dates from people I actually see regularly. I've been many dates to the point where I've stopped counting them. And none of them worked out in the end. I'm so discouraged. tbh, I cry often when I think of all the horrible failures I've experienced in my dating/romantic life.

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On 3/6/2017 at 5:05 PM, Cheshire_Cat said:

Just like anything, it's not a big deal unless you make it a big deal. 

Some things become a big deal despite one's efforts not to make it a big deal. 

IMO, it is about the SO understanding that a graduate student is attempting to achieve an exceptionally advanced level of expertise in a complex domain of knowledge in a very compressed time frame. It is also about the SO's insecurities/anxieties not being activated by having a very limited understanding of this process unless he/she has done / is doing something similar. These two tasks are a lot to ask of someone who has not BTDT in his/her area of expertise.

(Metaphorically, if you were dating an Olympic-caliber athlete who had the potential to win a medal in Tokyo, and he/she put on some sneakers and said "Hey, let's go for a run," would you be at all nervous even though you'd received every assurance that your athleticism wasn't a deal breaker? Hey, no worries, Sugarsmacks. Everyone I know can run up the side of a building. Backwards. While doing pushups. I like you because you take the elevator.)

@Adelaide9216, yes, it is true that men are intimidated by women. Men's fear of women is the history of the world (and the president of the United States).

However, is that fear the only reason why you're not getting dates. By your own admission, you don't have time or space for a b/f. Should a guy be any more willing to do the majority of the compromising in a relationship than a woman should be? You say you want a "deep thinker," but have you asked deep thinking guys out on dates and pressed them for answers when they don't want another?

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Don't know if this is applicable in this case, but OP, please don't feel pressured just because so many of your friends are in LTRs/married/having babies. I know too many people who put lots of time and energy into suboptimal dating experiences because they felt they just had to catch up to the curve of their friend circle, and ended up really disappointed a few years later after the low-quality relationship(s) tanked. 

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2 hours ago, maelia8 said:

Don't know if this is applicable in this case, but OP, please don't feel pressured just because so many of your friends are in LTRs/married/having babies. I know too many people who put lots of time and energy into suboptimal dating experiences because they felt they just had to catch up to the curve of their friend circle, and ended up really disappointed a few years later after the low-quality relationship(s) tanked. 

Hello,

 

that is not what I am saying. I wouldn't lower my standards just to be with "anybody" at any price. That's just not me. I prefer being alone than being with someone that does not fufill me.

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If you want to date non-academics, you can and will find someone to date. I dated both academics and non-academics when I was doing my PhD. I can't say that academic vs. non-academic was the hallmark of whether or not those relationships were a success, though you certainly get different reactions at parties depending on what the person you're dating is doing. (That's my somewhat polite way of saying that grad students and faculty can be total snobs if, for example, they find out the person you're dating never finished college.)

I would also point out that there are definite differences in types of academics. That is, dating someone doing a MFA in creative writing, studio art, or music might be very different than dating someone who is specializing in organic chemistry, in part because their main work uses different parts of the brain. YMMV though, OP.

I think, at least to some degree, you just have to put yourself out there over and over and see what happens. At the same time, being rejected in dating can be a lot when your work life is also full of rejections (that grant you didn't get, that article that got rejected, etc.). If you don't want to take it all on at once, then don't. I definitely went through phases where I was more proactive about dating and phases where I was less concerned with it while in grad school. And, you never know when a chance first date could turn into a more serious relationship so you have to be willing to take a chance!

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On 3/11/2017 at 6:49 PM, Adelaide9216 said:

I've tried so many dating websites considering that for some reason (apparently because I am ambitious and that intimidates men) I never get any invites for dates from people I actually see regularly. I've been many dates to the point where I've stopped counting them. And none of them worked out in the end. I'm so discouraged. tbh, I cry often when I think of all the horrible failures I've experienced in my dating/romantic life.

Hi OP,

I think more than the academic and non-academic distinction, finding someone who is really secure in themselves, so that if you are doing more school than them, if you make more than them (in the future), or if you are smarter than them, they will encourage it instead of feeling emasculated or threatened by it.

I felt the same way before, and I thought it was me that was the problem, but it's really about the narrow slice of people that you're looking for. If you didn't have high standards (not that you should change them!), then it wouldn't take so long.

If you know where people that you would like tend to go, then you could focus on those places! I can't really help because I met my boyfriend in my lab, but if you want someone athletic, you have to go out there and meet people through ultimate frisbee or cycling. Perhaps online dating isn't reaching out to the right people.

tl;dr don't blame yourself and go where the people you want are likely to go!

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I think that for many people in grad school, it's the motivation and ambition that they are attracted to, not necessarily the shared academic experience. I've spent a lot of time hanging out with both artists/creatives beyond academia (my sister is in an MFA program) and with really productive Silicon Valley tech types, many of whom only have a bachelor's degree, and although they are not precisely the same as academics, they share a sense of motivation and ambition within their chosen field that I personally find very attractive, and suspect that it would appeal to other graduate students as well. TL;DR, those might be some fields to look for potential partners in, as they share a lot of the same values as academics.

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Yes, I love ambitious and motivated men.

But I have zero luck in my romantic life.

Everytime I think of asking a man out, turns out they are married with children. Every. single. time.

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I have yet to start my graduate program yet, as I will be beginning my MA in the Fall, but I am very open about my goals and very passionate about my interest in English literature.  I've noticed that this makes me get tunnel vision most of the time, and I am not going to apologize for that.  I will pull myself out to release stress once a week or once every week and a half, but my research, my work, and my future come first.  Period.  

I say this because I know from experience that it causes problems for my dating life. 

When I am dating I am perfectly fine with only seeing my SO once a week, which most of my partners were not okay with.  They wanted more of my time, more of my attention, and more of my energy.  I'm not saying this is wrong, but it was not for me.  Even one guy I dated who was in a graduate program to teach middle school didn't understand the time and effort I was putting into my undergraduate thesis, my applications, and my classes.  

So, what I am trying to say is that it depends less on whether or not you both are academics and more on what you expect out of the relationship.  If you want a partner that  you are around a lot--whether that means date night or just both in the same room doing your thing--then you look for someone who wants and can give you that.  If you are like me and don't mind a more (probably not the right wording, but oh well) spacious relationship, then you should look for someone who is able to give  you that without feeling threatened or ignored.  

It's about being open when discussing what it is you specifically need in a relationship.  

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I have found that if you go into something looking for a relationship, you'll have a harder time finding it than if you just lived your life and let it come to you.

I've dated academics and non-academics. I have gotten close to people in my cohort as well as people completely outside of my major. I'm poly so I have a partner who has never been to college before, partners who have graduated from college with a single degree, and one partner who was double majored. Here's what I can say from experience:

1. You learn a whole lot about the non-academic world and it even helps you with your research. I ask my friends all the time what they think about a certain topic because it gives me an idea what the general public who doesn't look into things as much as academics do thinks about stuff. Very surface level thinking but it helps in the long run.

2. That lack of deep thinking is nice sometimes. Sometimes it is nice to be able to shut off your brain for a bit and just exist, especially if you are balls deep in your work and school. Having someone who is a non-academic can remind you that there is a world out there to just exist in. Haha I actually dated a philosophy major for a while and man, talk about deep thinking.

3. Keep your options open. So someone is not an academic. Find someone who satisfies your other needs in life besides those things like hobbies or interests. Hopefully your life won't be all work and no play so try to look for a partner in that play area. Also reevaluate what you are looking for in a partner and see if you can cast a wider net. You'd be surprised the gems you find when you go a little outside of your usual.

Hope that helps! But yeah, I myself never had a problem dating non-academics, but I also met my longest partner in college and we've been together ever since ^^;

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