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A Review of Dating a Medical Student…Countdown

I am currently at the 6 month countdown to wedded bliss with Future Dr. B, and I figured this was a good time to do a reflective piece. There are lots of countdowns going on in my mind actually. Let me see..

  1. Until wedded bliss – 6 months
  2. Countdown until I know where I live (aka matchday) – roughly 3.5 months (March 18th this year)
  3. Countdown until residency starts for Future Dr. B, well rephrase – both of us really – 7 months
  4. Countdown until the car I bought Future Dr. B is paid for – 4 years 11 months (or 7 months until Future Dr. B has to start making the payments (got him lol)
  5. Countdown until I potentially could need to do all of the following: find a new job, new house, sell my house, move and uproot my life…well that is TBD in all actuality – somewhere between 3.5 months and 7 months.

The list of countdowns could honestly go on and on. Dating a medical student and/or marrying them involves constant changes and new developments. A couple years ago, I wrote my most popular blog post to date: Dating a Medical Student = Constant Waiting Game. Go check it out if you haven’t read it! The constant waiting game blog is really where the story started for me. I was just beginning to become truly serious in my relationship with Future Dr. B, and he was deep into his second year of medical school. I felt like I was always waiting around until he was done with whatever HE was done with. I made a pact with myself during that second year of medical school, that I could no longer view this journey with him as a waiting game and embrace my life for what it was – “living in the moment” if you will. I focused on ME for a time. In doing so, I began to formulate what I saw as a plan for OUR lives, what eventually evolved into a multitude of countdowns. I think I compensated for my lack of control over Future Dr. B’s schedule, which I felt had been defining my own life, by creating my own version of a timeline… or I should clarify – “countdowns”. The one thing I just recently realized though, is that the light at the end of the tunnel, or the end to the seemingly perennial countdown, is an oxymoron because dating a medical student is a continuous chain of countdowns – one beginning when the next one ends. What I had originally concocted as my happily ever after, my end to the “constant waiting game,” and the plan for how I controlled our relationship, really turned out to control me.

I had the “Ah hah” moment this weekend when I was having a pleasant and rare dinner out with Future Dr. B. It was a date night that was unplanned and a totally happy diversion from all the stress we are currently encountering. Future Dr. B was back early from one of his interviews, and we decided to hit the town with plans to have dinner at a local brewery. It was 7pm, and we walked into the restaurant ready to throw back a couple of brews and nosh on some hipster style hamburgers. When we approached the hostess stand to garner a table, she responded that they were no longer seating anyone else for the night. I was totally aghast, surprised that any local eatery would turn away patrons willing to wait. We never got a clear answer as to why the brewery could not take anyone else to eat, the strangest part being that they didn’t even take reservations either. I was perplexed to say the least. However, we wound up going down the street to an equally delicious eatery, imbibing on my favorite Christmas beer concoction and having a wonderful experience. [insert “ah hah” moment here] I realized, in that moment, that if I was always so calculated in my choices, if I always set these imaginary deadlines about what should be next, I would be missing out on the great experience tucked in the corner. Those just might be the events and choices that turn out to be the most fun in the end. Who knows?

Over the next six months, I have decided to let a lot of what I can’t control come as it may and enjoy all of these changes for what they are. I might not know where Future Dr. B will match for residency, where I potentially will live, what my job will be, or what my life will look like in general. This is sort of exciting and scary all at the same time.

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All of us – dating, engaged to, marrying, or married to a medical student/resident – let’s do this together!

Ahh – I’m inspired, I love when that happens!

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8 thoughts on “A Review of Dating a Medical Student…Countdown

  1. Just wanted to say that I came across your blog a few months ago and I have loved reading your post. I’m currently dating an MS1 and we’ve been together for 4 years. It’s definitely been hard to talk to others about not only having my significant other in med school but to also half way across the world pursuing the world putting is in a LDR for the first time. Of course, I began my search on the Internet to see if there’s been others in a similar situation, which then led me to your blog! It’s definitely comforting knowing that a lot of the things that I’ve been feeling, someone else has gone through as well! And it’s also comforting seeing others in the same situation makes things work! Anyways, just wanted to say I look forward to reading your posts and following your journey 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle! Thanks so much for reading my blog. I did the exact same thing when Future Dr. B started medical school. I immediately got online and looked for a community of support. There are definitely some great people out there I have met through the online community. I also agree that the long distance relationship and medical school combo is a rare combination. I am so happy that you are finding some comfort in knowing there are others like you. Keep me filled in on your journey and how things are going! I can definitely tell you it does get easier over time.

  2. Just found your blog and I love the insight you provide! I am a female medical student going through the anticipation/ups/downs of interviewing for match, but could not imagine what it would be like for a significant other to go through as well! You are truly selfless to follow him on this crazy journey and be supportive the entire way! It will get easier after match day, at least for a while!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for reading my blog! This is definitely a crazy journey, and I give all medical students credit for the madness. It is not easy for anyone. Good luck in match! I’ll be thinking of you on match day.

  3. I just want to thank you so much for your insight! I am also dating a medical student. She just finished her clinical year and is studying for Step One. I’m finding this period to be the most challenging over any rotation she went through. She has to pull away emotionally in order to study (which I totally understand), but it can get pretty difficult. I just miss her a lot, but also want to be as supportive as possible. Do you have any tips for the step one study period? It is very comforting to find an online community that understands.

    1. Hi Jasmine. I know that it can be very difficult when our medical student significant others are tied up in long study periods. I also felt very disconnected from Dr. B during his step 1 boards. That was probably the worst time. My only tip for you would be to just acknowledge that this will be a very disconnected time for you. One thing I did was focus on areas of myself that I wanted to work on such as exploring new hobbies or hanging out with new friends. I also spent some time planning my career at this time. This will help you focus on things that make you happy while allowing for your significant other to study for step 1. After she is done, you will both have lots to talk about as well since you will have explored many new passions.

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