Who has the free time in grad/med school, let alone time to date. Between classes, studying, and mandatory extracurriculars time can be extremely limited. Pursuing higher education can be an isolating experience and having a companion during this time can provide some added support, encouragement, and fun during this time. Being open to dating allows you to meet new people and have new experiences during what can be an extremely stressful time. So you’re far from home and the only people you know are your classmates. How do you even get started?
Do you have hobbies? If so, start there! This way you are bound to meet an individual with similar interest to your own. For example, if you enjoy working out find a local gym and start working out there or maybe even take a class. Meeting an individual socially is sometimes easier said than done. For the most part you’re alone and you have to be open and willing to talk and interact with strangers. Of course you should always feel SAFE, but when you’re alone you are more likely to talk to people and people are more likely to talk to you
Phone a Friend
If you don’t feel comfortable exploring a place on your own you can always lean on a friend! If they are a local ask them to take you to their favorite bars, restaurants, or just sightseeing. Being in the presence of friends can help you establish a since of comfort that will allow you to be more open to meeting new people. Also, our friends know us well enough to know the type of person we would typically click with and can help push us in the right direction.
First things first, how do you meet people when most of your time is spent with classmates and books? If you’re open to it, going online is always an option. From tindr to Match the options are limitless. Dating online can be complicated for a variety of reasons, but there are ways eliminate and decrease the problems people encounter when going online. Most of the people I know who have found relationships online have found them via tindr. First, when going online make sure you narrow your preferences, such as age and distance, to match what you are currently looking for. Are you really interested in dating someone 6 years younger than you who lives 100 miles away? Once you’ve set your preferences, it’s time to start browsing.
You did it! You matched! Now what?
Whether you matched online or in person, it’s time to get to know one another. Always start with general broad open ended question, rather than simple yes or no questions. This allows for more sincere, thoughtful answers that can drive further conversation. Avoid interrogations and allow the person you are interested in to ask questions and comment appropriately. Over time, if the conversation is flowing and you’re feeling comfortable feel free to take it to the next step – a date! First and foremost, when going on a date with a new individual for the first time always make sure you let someone know where you are going and who you are going with. I suggest sharing locations with a family member or friend, letting them know when you arrive, when you leave, and when you walk into your front door. First dates are important, and they set the tone for what the future may hold. Choosing the right first date is never easy, but find some fun ideas below!
Picnic, Coffee Shop, Amusement Park, Trivia Night, Bowling, Go Karting, Sight seeing, Amusement park, or anything else you enjoy!
Okay, so you’ve gone on a date and things didn’t go as expected…
One bad first date is not an end all be all! Determine what made you consider it a “bad” first date. Was it the activity you choose, the interaction or lack thereof, or just pure awkwardness? You’re always allowed to give it a second chance if you feel like it’s redeemable. If not, don’t get to down about it (bad dates happen to good people!), continue to live in the moment and enjoy the experience and memories!
Have you dated while in grad/med school? If so, tell me about your best or worst date in the comments below!
Taylor Ross is a physician assistant student and graduated PA school at Methodist University and blogger at at Taylormadepa.com. She obtained her undergraduate degree in biology from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. When she isn’t blogging or studying she enjoys spending time with her dog, Cooper, and her boyfriend.