Believe it or not, PhD students are busy. It's not all macaroni and cheese and video games in your underwear. Classes, teaching, researching, writing are all part of the PhD lifestyle, and they take time, lots of time. And you are busy, too. Finding time, even if it's dinner, a walk, or a brief phone chat a few times a week, goes a long way to showing interest and commitment to keeping the relationship alive.
Occasional text messages also help achieve this goal, but keep them short; your PhD partner has enough to read already. A few hours a week may keep a budding relationship alive, but it won't work in the long term.
The key here is planning. Sit down and plan your upcoming free time together. PhD students often have irregular schedules, but are often able to work out reasonable vacation time between terms, during the summer, and over spring break.
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Try to match up your vacation time with your partner's, and take off together. It doesn't have to be a whirlwind trip to the Amalfi Coast. A few nights at a quiet, local bed and breakfast can do the trick by offering some time for well-earned relaxation. A ski trip may be good, too; it's quite possible that your PhD partner needs a bit more vitamin D.
Meet the faculty and friends. If your partner is up for it, make friends with his department. PhD students tend to become fairly close with their faculty, support staff, and other students, since these tend to be small and closely integrated communities.
Department members end up doing a lot together, such as after-hours drinks, trips, holiday parties, book clubs, weekend pick-up sports games, and all kinds of other things. If your partner is comfortable with it, try to be a part of some of these events.
How to Date a PhD Student
You don't need to attend everything, but showing some interest in a few events from time to time will help you integrate yourself a bit into the PhD lifestyle and community. Ask for, and expect, some reciprocation. Dating a PhD student takes work, but it's only going to work if he is also willing to put in the time and effort.
Your PhD partner needs to be interested in your life, work, and community as well. If your relationship is going to work, there needs to be mutual interest and respect for both of your lifestyles. Things won't always work perfectly, and sometimes one partner may need to put more work in, but, in the long run, a general balance should be expected, reached, and maintained. Harrison Pennybaker began writing in He has written as a student and a journalist, specializing in politics, travel, arts and culture and current affairs. As the Beatles once sang, All you need is love…and a publication before you graduate.
February 7, at For my part, I spent a good part of my first term leaning sultrily over books in the postgraduate lounge and suggesting innocent cake trips to Tesco with a cute second year PhD. February 11, at February 15, at 9: I enjoyed reading this via phdchat As a mini-case study to add to your investigation, my significant other is a fellow PhD-er and things are going well. The snobbery goes both ways, which works for us. February 21, at March 24, at I have just re-read this after many months away.
Thank you for all your wonderful comments! Since writing this I have had many people regale me with stories of academic amour, and I have even seen a few for myself. I feel a follow-up article could well be in the works…. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
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Peculiarities of finding romance as a PhD Student – PhD Life
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