I wanted to share advice on how to stay true to yourself while dating in medical school! Here are some ABC’s (easy as 1,2,3…eh?…anybody? Jackson 5…maybe at least one chuckle?)
A) Academics is a top priority (it’s your dream to be a doctor, isn’t it? And you’ve worked your butt off to get here). Make sure your SO understands this in the beginning of the relationship, otherwise they will feel like you are cheating on them with Med School, and that is just a weird concept to wrap your head around. Since he and I are both students (my beau is in law school), we frequently study together. Though we may be silent for hours at a time, just having someone you love be physically near you is a great source of stress relief.
B) Busy. We all say that word at least once a day. Well, with us both being busy during the day, we decided to take an MMA workout class together in order to hang out and stay on top of our health. Though sometimes we throw physical punches at each other in that class, it helps relieve our stress with school. And it helps us to be silly yet competitive with each other!
C) Communicate – Let your significant other KNOW when you have an exam coming up, let them KNOW if something is bothering you (even if it might seem irrelevant), let them KNOW how upset it actually made you that they ate the last of the salsa in the fridge. Otherwise you might implode – and no one wants to see that, not even your Momma.
D) D is for delightful kisses and hugs! Isn’t there some research showing that a hug a day keeps the crazy away? Snuggles are awesome, especially when you’re watching Sketchy micro videos! But seriously, my older sister (also a physician), told me when I was an incoming lonely MS1 to either get a dog or a boyfriend for snuggles. The dog didn’t happen, but the boyfriend. Though do not get me started on my desire to have a dog…MUST RESIST LOOKING AT ADOPTABLE DOGS.
E) Every few months or so he and I find ourselves with a bit of downtime, and we ask each other this question: “What have I done these last few months that you feel has made this relationship better? How can I be a better SO?”. Yes, it’s cheesy and sounds like it is a line from the self-help book you got in a discount bin a few years ago. But it has helped our relationship grow. Just try it, maybe not on the first date though. Definitely not the first date.
F) Feelings? Don’t put them in a box under your bed. Like someone? Ask them out! Be gutsy and bold, like asking the cute law school guy for his number.
G) Gut feeling that something is wrong? If you aren not feeling the relationship after 6 months – break up. Your time is limited and do not just have a placeholder in your life. See above note about dog.
This is me and my love, two stepping the night away at a recent function.