Medical School Student Girlfriend = Constant Waiting Game

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The reason I decided to start this blog is because I needed a way to express how incredibly wonderful, difficult, frustrating, interesting, and crazy life can be dating a medical school student. I find it difficult to truly connect with people who are not dating or married to a medical school student/doctor when it comes to the topic of relationships. Dating a medical school student carries so many different emotions because of the time commitment your significant other dedicates to medical school, the demands of everyday life, and keeping the connection alive through all of the studying and long hours of work. I guess in order to truly start this blog off – I should go to the beginning…

Future Dr. B and I met as undergraduates. At the time, I was studying Finance and Accounting, with dreams of working at the Big 4. Future Dr. B was studying the best ways to consume Natural Light (I mean Psychology – please no offense to those majors), and it was love at first drunken party night. When we first began dating, Future Dr. B had recently graduated and was working part time as a Social Worker. He had aspirations of obtaining a clinical psychology PhD and was pursuing that possibility. I was finishing my senior year of college. It wasn’t until he actually didn’t like research and had been wait-listed or rejected from the 30 or so schools for clinical psychology, that he realized he needed to change course – I still wonder why in the world I planted the medical school seed in his brain. Two years, 60 extra college credits, and 4 long months of Kaplan MCAT classes under his belt, and he was on his way to medical school. Only two problems remained – I wound up holding down the fort 200+ miles in a different city working my “dream” job in public accounting (turning out to be more of a nightmare than a dream) and his medical school acceptance wound up being in the same 200+ mile city we were already apart from. Ahh long distance.

Fast forward: We made it through M1 (Medical School Year 1) surprisingly smoothly, with my job change to a more stable corporate 9-5 accounting job backing us up. Now we are in M2 (eight weeks deep). I feel like we are still plugging along: the distance, the phone calls, all his studying, me working everyday and maintaining the house I own, but now I feel it getting harder and harder to wait for that graduation day. I sit here on a Sunday night typing this story, wondering if I really do see the light at the end of the tunnel or if I am just continuously playing some twisted waiting game. This is something I need to explore…

22 thoughts on “Medical School Student Girlfriend = Constant Waiting Game

  1. i got to know a medical student 3 months ago.. he is constantly busy and i only receive 2 or 3 msg from him a day and we are only meeting on weekend. he is always tired / busy. his text is always very short and seems so insincere we lived in singapore and singapore is small it is not difficult to travel so meeting on weekdays is not too much to ask for. i even offered to get him dinner and will go off after the meal. he say its stressful for him as he thinks im doing too much and i will be tired. we are at the start of a relationship. we are getting to know each other.. our time and communication is too little! he always forgot things i have said even my birthday. he says he has too many things to remember. i wasnt sure if he is really busy/ tired or he is just not putting in effort sometimes i feel he is selfish and calculative. Friday nights he will propose to meet but only to his convenience if i ask him to meet me somewhere near my place (about 30mins journey) he would say he is tired but he would meet me if i am going to his place or somewhere near his house. i mean its fine if he is really busy/ tired but i am just worry he is a selfish person and i am wasting my timewhen we were physically together i think he is great guy.. when we are not i have second thoughts……. i think i need alot of time to know if he is right for me if he is constantly busy..

    1. I can definitely imagine that it must be hard to just start a relationship with a medical school student. They are always busy, tired and stressed. When I started dating my boyfriend luckily he had not yet started medical school. However he is often tired and stressed and we do not get to see each other as much as we like. I hope that you two can make it work with your busy schedules so that you can develop a relationship.

  2. Hi, my boyfriend (now husband) and I were in a long-distance relationship for about two years right after undergrad (I moved to New Mexico for my first job and he went straight into medical school at the University of Colorado School of Medicine). Those two years were rough but it taught us a LOT about being apart and how we’re okay, even if he’s off studying/doing rotations). He’s now an MS4 and we’re looking forward to interview season. Can’t wait to read more about your experiences!

    1. It is great to hear from a fellow medical school student spouse. I am so glad to hear that you have been able to make it work with the distance and stress. It is always inspiring to hear about couples that make it work and make it last. I will be keeping you and your husband in my thoughts as he starts his interview season. I hope that you can find a place that works for both of you for his residency!

  3. I’m a M-1’s girlfriend and he’s already in his second semester. We met the Summer before his first year of Med School at church… Fast forward, we’ve had our ups and downs, but we do great! I’m always at his house, since my office is down the street and my apt is further out ( which, I’m moving closer in April), so we are together a lot, which he’s prefers for some reason:) I hear the second year is crucial, but I, sure we will prevail! Stay positive!!! At least you’re further along than I am,

  4. My boyfriend and I have been together for a year now and he is in his first semester of year 1. I have all the trust in the world of him and love him very much. When I tell people (who dont know him or I) that im dating a med student they say break up now because he probably has feeling for a classmate and is going to leave me anyways. I find the jealousy devil come over me when I hear he is going to events with his group who are a majority woman… he is very crazy busy with everything and is the definition of sucking with communication when ill get 1-3 texts from him a week and seeing one another once a month (after exams). Hes becoming more stressed and dont know how to ask him for a little more communication at nights or just to here hes still there with me; without adding more stress to him. Help??


    I met a guy over the summer online and we started dating in september. He’s in his last year of med school. He’s the sweetest guy BUT we don’t talk to each other much. Here’s the thing… we met JUST before he went back to school to start a rotation. We had 2 pretty amazing dates and plan on seeing each other again when he comes back (he’s away in school). The only thing is getting to that date. He and I don’t talk often, and when we do the its through text and the conversations are rather bland. I fear that I am boring him. I do most of the reaching out. When we were together I figured I held his interest enough and he mine, but now all we do is text. I want to call him but I feel like thats intrusive or impeding on his time.

    My friends remind me of how stressed he must be as a med student. I feel like they’re too impressed by his med studentness lol. I understand that he’s busy but the waiting to hear from him (even when Im busy myself) and the lack of initiating texts to me on his part comes off as dismissive. We just have small talk all the time and then after a while he doesnt respond. I try to ask questions about what he does but I don’t want to seem naggy.

    I like this guy. I want to see where things go with him. What I liked most about him when we went out on our dates is that I felt like I could be myself around him and he and I could laugh and talk about any and everything. I want to look forward to seeing him again but I feel like if we continue on in such a snails pace that he’s not going to want to see me in the future. When he left he expressed having a fun time with me and looking forward to meeting up again when he comes back. BUT, Now I feel like he thinks talking to me is like watching paint dry. We’re not dating exclusively, or at least we havent explicitly established that. Things are very much so up in the air. It’s driving me absolutely insane… LITERALLY.

    What should I consider dating him?
    Is it ok to ask if we could talk more?
    What can I ask? What should I not ask?
    Is the whole “Im crazy busy” thing even real?
    Does he get a “get out of jail free” card because he’s in med school (my friends seem to think so)?

    I’m really curious.

    Thanks for your help!!!!

  6. Hi there!

    2 months ago I met this great guy who happens to be in his last year of med school. I thought we really hit it off! We laughed, we joked, we hugged. I felt like I met someone I could ACTUALLY be myself around (which is a rarity for me).

    We went out on 2 dates while he was home for a very brief vacation. At the end of the second date he expressed that he had a fun time with me and would like to meet up again when he comes back home. He’s about 8 hours away from the city I’m in, so there’s indeed a large distance between us that makes things a lot more cloudy. In the meantime, he said we should “keep in touch”. For the longest time I didn’t know what exactly “keep in touch” meant as far as frequency in texting was concerned. I recall being a little annoyed before we met because I felt like he and I didn’t talk much UNLESS we were planning a date. Otherwise, I didn’t hear from him. When he said we should keep in touch I told him that means he would have to actually text me. He seemingly got defensive and deflected the texting onto me saying that it’s a two way street and I need to text him too.

    At first I texted him the very next day just as a brief follow up to something we spoke about the day before. Then I text’d him a few days after that to show him a dish I made that reminded me of something he makes. After that, I started to pull back on texting him because I knew he was busy and I didn’t want to be excessive. It’s been 2 months since we’ve seen each other and “known” each other (known in quotes because we don’t talk much and don’t know each other well). However, throughout this whole time, he’s only texted me once just because. Any other time it’s been to make plans for a date. Now, I text him once every 2 weeks. It seems like a lifetime for me but.. what can you do? One thing I don’t expect from him is to text me back immediately. He explicitly said that he “may be busy but can text. I may not get back to you immediately, but I will respond at some point”. I respect that and it doesn’t bother me that he takes his time to respond. It bothers me that he doesn’t reach out to me.

    I’m stuck in the middle of different ways to think about this. On the one hand, I know that it’s only been 2 dates so we don’t have to talk all the time, but I feel odd being the only one who keeps up the communication. It feels like I’m “chasing” him even if it is once every 2 weeks. On the other hand, I don’t know what it’s like to be in your last year of med school, but I do know that it’s hard work and you’re at the home stretch. That means sure, it’s nice to meet new people, but at the end of the day I’ve gotta finish what I started, so I won’t always be at the top of my game when it comes to building a relationship (if that’s indeed what he wants). However, what makes matters particularly difficult is the fact that I am currently awaiting a diagnosis of a medical/mental condition which happens to greatly affect my interpretation of interpersonal relationships, so I’m altogether confused. Sometimes I don’t know if he’s interested. Sometimes I think I may have started out texting him TOO much. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t ask the right questions. When I do text him, he does respond, albeit not immediately, but he does. Sometimes I wonder if he’s just being polite when he responds. Sometimes I wonder if he thinks responding to my texts constitutes as “keeping in touch” (but he’s not dumb, so that’s not likely to be the case).

    I myself am in school and next year will be my last year. I’m studying to be an early childhood and special ed teacher with a concentration in Psychology, which is not an easy feat either. Next semester I start my licensing process and I have several important exams ahead of me. I’m also starting my own business and will begin teaching a music class.

    He’ll be coming home soon (within the next month) but we haven’t made any new plans, so I really don’t know if I’ll be seeing him again.

    I said ALL of that to ask (so sorry for the long story!!!), is it typical for med student’s to not be great a communicators?? Actually, an even better question, what is it like in your last year of med school?? What is that like? Are they really under a lot of pressure???

    Please friends, ANY advice is welcomed and I’d love to hear from you.

    Maybe it’s all in my head.

    1. Wow that is a really difficult situation and you sound like you have a lot on your plate as well. I hope everything is going well and you have found out how best to communicate with your forth year medical school friend. It is so tough no matter what year because medical students are always busy. That is the unfortunate fact and sometimes they just don’t have their phone available to them. I am sure expressing your concerns to him will help you feel better and more secure in the relationship. I wish you the best!

  7. In my country med school is 6 years long and i’m in the 5th. The first 3 years were rough and stressful but now it’s better. We have a waaay different system in romania than in the usa and i reckon it’s much easier. Also i have free time, i have a job and a stable boyfriend. I guess i’m pretty lucky and i also wish you luck with your boyfriend 🙂

    1. That’s great to hear that you are almost done with medical school. That is an amazing accomplishment no matter what country you are in! I am so glad to hear you have found great balance between school and your personal life. Thanks for the well wishes!

  8. My long distance boyfriend will be starting med school in August. My mind is overwhelmed. I found your blog in my search for support and finding other women like me!

    1. Oh my do I know the feeling! How are you doing now? He must be into his first year by now. I hope all is well and you are learning how to make it work together as overwhelming as it seems it is only in the short term. That is what I tell myself anyways 🙂

  9. My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over 5 years now. We met during the summer before our sophomore year in college. Although our hometown is in Northern VA, our relationship has always been long distance. He’s an M3 at a school 3.5hours from home and I have to admit, it hasn’t been easy! For us, it was his second year that made our relationship difficult- studying for Step and what not. I’m just now finishing up my second degree in nursing and plan on working either up here or down where he goes to school. I have interviews for both but I’m not sure if moving down to be with him is a good idea?

    1. Hi Lynn! Your situation sounds so similar to mine. I definitely agree that M2 is the hardest year. Although, each year brings a new set of challenges, especially with the limitation of time in M3 and M4 based on the clinical schedule. I can also completely relate to the difficulties of making life choices for yourself, such as a job or a place to live, around that of your significant other in medical school. I own a home and have a stable job in my city, so together with Future Dr. B, I made the decision to stay where I’ve been and not make the move to join him where he is going to school. I knew I personally needed to do what was best for my career and lifestyle for the time being. However, a decision like that is difficult in its own right because we have obviously given up a lot of opportunities to spend time together in order for us both to fulfill our own dreams and aspirations. I wish you all the luck in making the right decision for you. Stay in touch! I would love to hear more about your journey.

  10. Hello! I would be so happy if you could help me with some advice! I like a guy he is 3rd year med student. We had only one date though 5 days ago after texting and planning to meet for like 4 weeks. He is really nice and a gentleman he said he wants to see me soon, he even tried to kiss me but I didn’t let him because I thought it was too soon after planning it for 4 weeks.. He usually doesn’t text but if I text him he replies pretty fast most of the times.. We actually go to the same gym but we usually don’t go at the same time (he works out with his flat mate though so not alone) even though we could if he told me what time he is going but he said it would be nice to workout together anyways.
    So I don’t really know what’s up.. Is he that busy for real? Or he is just not that into me?hes always on Facebook though but never really texts me
    Help me please! ❤

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for reading my blog. I think your story seems really similar to a lot of people who have commented on my blog. It is really tough to start a relationship with a medical student. They are very busy and sometimes that can come off as indifference in a relationship. Be patient in the beginning and maybe talk through your schedule with him so that you can plan in advance dates. This might make you feel more comfortable in the early stages of the relationship. Good luck and let me know how things go.

  11. I’m not sure if you still respond to posts on your blog, but I relate to this so much. My MS1 boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year now long distance, and although some months have been a breeze, others have been so challenging. It started off so easy, he called me every night, showed lots of love even in his busiest of weeks, but as the weeks went on and the stress has gone up, the communication has faded a little bit. I always feel selfish for being upset about it because I know how busy and stressed he is right now, but I can’t help but take his decline in communication as a loss of interest. Its hard to talk about it with my friends because for one, every relationship is different, especially med school long distance relationships, but also, my friend’s advice is always polarized between 2 sides of advice, the first, say he is losing interest break up with him now and start moving on, or the second advice is just that med school is so busy and I need to be more understanding about his time. I’m currently studying to take the DAT, and applying for dental school so I do understand how important and time-consuming school is, but I still enjoy talking to him throughout my day regardless of how busy I am. I’m just having a hard time knowing if my insecurities are valid, and should be addressed or if these are normal med school signs. Did you ever feel this decline? if so what did it mean for your relationship and how do you move past/cope with it? It’s so hard knowing if it’s just a pointless waiting game.

    1. Hi Sarah – I think med school is a hard adjustment. The first couple years are a lot of info up front and adding long distance to the mix makes things more complicated. I was definitely there so I get this completely. No one can ever know what is good for your relationship, however a few basic tidbits of advice I have: be patient through this transition. Communication is definitely important for a long distance relationship to work, but with all the transition of first year, maybe patiently figure out a new normal. If you want to tell your boyfriend that you would like communicate more, save it for a time when he can focus on the discussion – not late at night or before a test. I think you are going to have to decide at some point, if he validates it isn’t the relationship but what he has going on in medical school, whether you are comfortable with the less time spent. My experience through this journey is that it ebs and flows. There will be more difficult times for him and easier times not unlike dental school I’m sure. I hope you guys can find a common ground that works for your relationship and school schedules. Hang in there and keep me up to date!

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