Dating in graduate school

I think it also depends on the size of the department; for example, a larger one would provide a helpful buffer of. I don't think it's wrong to date someone in the same department, assuming your department is reasonably-sized. But dating someone in the same research group would be terribly awkward. It's happened in our department, and the people in question had to continue working together for years after they broke up. Our department shares a building with another department, which a lot of grad students I know have used as a source of people to date.

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As for me, I will date outside of school I don't think there's anything wrong with dating someone in your program, if it naturally happens, but I also wouldn't treat grad school as a matchmaking service. I wouldn't want to miss out on all the things my grad school has to offer by being stuck in the mindset that this is my "last opportunity to meet a large group of intellectual and ambitious people at once.

My parents met in graduate school, married right before they received their PhDs, and now teach at the same school happy ending, essentially. Their advice to me was that grad school is a great place to meet people but that it can be seriously difficult to find jobs in the same city if you do end up together after graduation. Plenty of their friends have had to make major sacrifices like being adjunct profs indefinitely in order to maintain their relationships. This is particularly bad considering the current job market.

Just something to consider when thinking about marrying a fellow grad student. There shouldn't be a lot of problems dating within the program, though. I guess it kind of depends on how large the program is and what the dynamics are like. I'll be starting my program this fall at the same institution my boyfriend is attending though we're in different fields. I guess it's a little different though since we'll have been dating for over 1. I don't think failing to date in grad school would preclude me from having a relationship for the next 20 years either!

Like, I was trying to make the point that either extreme may be troublesome. That being said, there are certain fields where you only see people in your program. So I don't know if dating outside your department is a realistic option for everyone. I commend you for this ability, but I think many people judge and judge hard. Reading these made me wonder about how women may view other women who aggressively date in grad school. If you thought someone was "treat[ing] grad school as a matchmaking service," would you be resentful or maybe just a bit annoyed because they may seem to be perpetuating a stereotype i.

I don't see how your life could be so insular that you don't have any relationships outside of your program. I've always tried to keep a somewhat diversified group of friends, albeit only because I play a sport. So I have school friends and rugby friends. Ok- I think dating other grad students is okay And you will become the butt of so many inside jokes. I also think that this has the opportunity to look bad on the students from the supervisor's point of view, and other lab mates.

I am single, and I often wonder if I were to date someone now, if it would be easier to date a fellow grad student verses non-student. I don't worry about it. That's not what I meant at all! It wouldn't bother me if any woman or any man for that matter - my post was gender neutral was aggressively dating in grad school.

I just know that actively seeking a relationship can be REALLY distracting for myself, personally, and that hunting for a boyfriend in grad school would almost certainly be a trade-off, where I wouldn't be as focused on my program. And if I was being so aggressive out of the fear that this was my LAST CHANCE for happiness, that would be too bad, because I think that would be a misconception that might make me miss out on some of the reasons I am going to grad school in the first place.

That's not to say I don't find dating a satisfying, stress-relieving activity, which is why I stated that I wouldn't be opposed to it if it happened naturally. This is theoretical for me anyway, as my boyfriend of a number of years will be relocating with me and our dog.

That being said, I can totally visualize a situation in which a person, male or female, who was insecure and constantly needing validation from a string of meaningless yet dramatic grad school flings, who was throwing off the group dynamic and constantly redirecting attention from the subject matter, could be super annoying in close quarters. However, I don't think that has anything to do with perpetuating a stereotype.

This is a relevant subject to me!

Why Relationships Matter In Grad School: 5 Ways To Maintain

Coming into grad school last year I had only one rule Don't date fellow grad students in the same program. And of course now I am dating a fellow student and I'm incredibly happy. I definitely wasn't hunting for a partner or looking for validation, but we have a lot in common and get along very well, and one thing led to another.

In general I think we don't annoy the other students, apart from sometimes hanging out in each other's office with other students there trying to work, but in our program that happens all the time, not just with us two. If you do find someone you really like in your program, I would recommend waiting a month or two and just get to know each other slowly, rather than jumping into 'dating' immediately. That should minimize the chances of 'meaningless yet dramatic grad school flings' But I'm glad I didn't stick to my rule of not dating a fellow student!


You need to be a member in order to leave a comment. Sign up for a new account in our community. Already have an account? By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Officially Grads Search In. For simplicity, I will use spouse and significant other interchangeably. The other common personality correlate Mongrain identified for depression was a lack of social support. They stop seeing friends and talking with families. Loneliness and isolation build and contribute to depression.

How prevalent is depression among graduate students? Much more prevalent than in the general population, says Daniel Eisenberg, an associate professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The percentage for younger adults is slightly higher. Could emotional support offered by a significant other during graduate school help lower depression rates?

While the pressures in graduate school can put the best relationships to a test, they also present an opportunity to deepen your support and commitment to each other. Your relationship might be strained financially and emotionally as you pour every ounce of energy into a thesis that will only materialize in a few months or years. However, it is no secret that one of the most important factors influencing personal happiness is the quality of your long-term relationship.

So the question is, how can you and your spouse support each other to give your work the attention it needs? The strategies I share here are from couples I knew personally where one or both of them were graduate students or post-docs. A strong relation can endure financial hardship, long-distance, and any other personal or professional challenges brought on by life. If you want to create a mutually supportive environment in your home, you first need to strengthen your commitment to your spouse.

No matter how busy you are, there is always time to do something nice for your spouse. Your spouse will surely appreciate it, and probably return the favor doubly. Knowing how busy graduate students are, I am sure that this suggestion is raising some eyebrows. Remember that you are not in this boat alone.

You are part of a team. If you function as part of a team you can come up with better strategies than if you tried to row alone. No time or money for elaborate dates? A simple minutes of connection every day over tea in the evening, or an ice-cream during the day will probably strengthen your relationship orders of magnitude more than an expensive get-away once a year.

Not to mention I feel this incredible pressure to figure out my romantic life before I go into a Ph. D program which, from what I've heard, is basically putting yourself in isolation for four to five years. I've never been in a relationship, and it's hard to meet people when your friends are never free or willing to go out. Any advice from others?


I actually think grad school and PhD in particular is a great time to meet people. A lot of this depends on your and your advisor's approach to self-care; even if you put in a hour week, there's plenty of time left over. In fact, if you want to maximize your productivity, you NEED to be exercising, eating, and sleeping well. It's a marathon, not a sprint, after all. So if you're gonna be working out, might as well join a soccer team or running club. And if you're gonna be eating a good dinner, might as well invite your cute classmate to join you.

I think this is definitely more true when you're taking fewer classes; in my experience, the Masters is a very different and much busier beast than the PhD. Regarding friends who are never free, I think it's a great idea to make friends outside of school. It can be a huge relief to hang out with people who don't care what your grades are: My first two years were pretty isolated. What I found was that I had to be the one to get people organized to go anywhere.

Once I took the lead role in getting people out, it became much more consistent and I didn't feel nearly as isolated. I see the "busy" reason thrown around a lot, but I know most people can carve out an evening or two. Even a board game night can be great! Another thing you could do is get your group organized for IM sports. Just send a call through your grad school mailer and organize it. That's how I met a ton of people. It is definitely manageable while you're getting the PhD, because I did it!

You don't need to have it all figured out before going into a PhD program. It just means you prioritize your "free time" to your social life and meeting people. Not only will you meet more people as a result, it'll have trickle down effects for networking, etc. You've got a ton of tools online you can use for meeting new people for either friends or dating.

For starters, you can try meetup. Everyone tends to be pretty friendly. Dating-wise, you can ease yourself into online dating, but it's harder for women than it is for men. I had good luck with OkCupid Year and a half and we're doing great! I know it can be really hard and disheartening, especially in the beginning, but honestly in the departments I've worked in a bunch of people met their partners at happy hours or through other grad students!

It's just a matter of being patient, and learning to love yourself and enjoy your life. Because when you're living the life you want to be living, that's when you'll meet someone to share it with: Don't be afraid to reach out to mental health resources if things get really rough and you need some help. And maybe one of those friends will turn into something else.

That's the most important thing I can convey.

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The number one thing to keep in mind is that dating people in your department is a recipe for trouble. Completely aside from that, it's great to have someone whose life does not intersect with work at all. Such a person is much better for listening without judging, and when you graduate and move off somewhere together, you don't run into the "two bodies problem" where you might both be looking for similar work in the same area thus you're still competing against each other.

Also, set aside at least one or two days per week to do zero work. You might feel that this will keep you from getting things done, but grad school is a marathon, not a sprint.

Why Relationships Matter In Grad School: 5 Ways To Maintain | The Grad Student Way

You'll be more likely to burn out if you don't take time away from your office. Use the weekends to take care of yourself.

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  • Don't waste your time, energy, stamina, and money hitting bars every Friday or anything, but find creative ways to live your life. Try the zoo, the beach, a hiking trail. Keep up with a hobby this is very important, even after you graduate. Meet people outside of work, socialize with them on weekends, and work on building a life. There's no longer a stigma against finding people to socialize with on the internet, though if you're a woman, you have to beware of the intentions of a lot of the people online.

    People say that online dating is easier if you're a woman looking for a man, but that's not really true, because women have to sort through a lot more bad apples to find people worth seeing, and even most of the relatively good people still tend to have some bad attitudes socialized into them. But it's all worth it when you hit the jackpot! I didn't really date before grad school, because it was impossible to find someone serious enough to meet my standards.

    Grad school age was when other people started to take life more seriously, so that actually made things a bit easier. I have nothing constructive to add, I just wanted to virtually high five you because your username is awesome. I don't think you should get your hopes up about anything long term when you're still bouncing around the academic system. It really depends on what you're looking for, I think. But dating in grad school is certainly possible.


    My parents met in grad school, my best friend is now dating someone. It's also about standards and making the effort, I guess, but curiously enough, there's a saying that relationship is like a bus, and when you wait for it, it just won't come. Not sure how true this is, but I do recall that when I started dating I usually wasn't really looking for a relationship. One way to have a social hangout is to plan it well in advance But c'mon, those who go into PhDs are usually nerds, and nerds are generally not the centre of the party.

    But plenty still get together and find each other and get married. It's all about timing, I think. Boooo this is not true. Plenty of people date in graduate school. Graduate school is a great place to meet like-minded people, and if it's a big enough city, you can also date outside of the university. Also, what's so wrong with finishing your PhD single? Especially if went from undergraduate into graduate school, you'll be on track to finish in your late 20s.

    Work on time management. Try not to stress about having your romantic life "all figured out. Its the same reason why undergrads mostly hook up and dont date. Theres very little stability going on and people dont wanna commit to that. Plus good luck trying to go on dates with your big money stipends or your big money student loans your taking lol. People in the working world dont find a grad student to be sexy either. Alot of working people wont find our mundane research very interesting to talk about.

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    Nobody dates in graduate school. Graduate school is a terrible place to meet like-minded people, and if it's a big enough city, you won't have time to leave it to date outside of the university. College is a terrible place to date. First off you got all the undergrads who are just hooking up and are scared to death to have any real relations between each other. Then theres the issue of the grad program itself where everyone is just an asshole to each other.

    You should really consider not getting a phd if you want to experience any sense of reality. Im so happy to be done with my masters this summer since im so burnt out that its not even funny. No job is worth all this depression and bullshit. Id never imagine college being so awful but thats the reality of grad school. It will be nice to have my freedom again to interact with the real world and hang out with people that arent detached from reality since sadly thats alot of what grad school is.

    What is UP with these trolls on the forum?