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Advice for a concerned boyfriend.

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by isitalmostover, 02.22.12.

  1. isitalmostover

    isitalmostover

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    I'm sure everyone is aware that Friday is match day and that some individuals may not be matching and girlfriend is convinced that she is among them. I'm trying to be as supportive as possible but there isn't much in the way of pamphlets that explain "Here's what to do when you girlfriend doesn't match." I love her very much and want to help her through what has to be an amazingly difficult time.

    If you could provide me with some advice or helpful resources I would greatly appreciate it.
  2. Jegg

    Jegg *~*~*~*Dire~Wolf*~*~*~* Lifetime Donor

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    New shoes cure the blues....
  3. RoseRed2

    RoseRed2

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    These is no telling how anyone will respond to not matching. She will need time and space to figure that out for herself. I would encourage you not to put a time on how long it will take for her to deal with bad news. Just trust that she will be okay and life will go on for both of you. I have heard from others that they shut down for a few months before being able to focus on moving forward.
  4. Ettevi05

    Ettevi05

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    My boyfriend has made a few errors on going about me not being admitted this year to grad school. Personally, things like "They're stupid, they don't know what they're missing..." made me even more upset. I think what worked the best is my family talking to me about it, not my boyfriend. I think what you can best do is be supportive and provide a shoulder to cry on/an ear to rant.
  5. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    If you could plan to do something Friday, either afternoon or night, and stick to the plans no matter what, it might be helpful. Kind of conveying that life will go on regardless of the results on Friday morning. But maybe she would prefer to mope for a couple hours before applying to sites in Phase II, it really depends on the person. Ask her.
  6. 3rdWave

    3rdWave Licensed Psychologist

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    I recommend lots of empathy and validation. Even if you think she is overreacting a wee bit, or being overly negative, don't tell her that. Try to validate her emotional experience "This is a huge dissapointment for you," "you're super angry right now," or whatever fits. Use a lot of "of course you are_____," and "who wouldn't feel that way" type responses. Listen to what she is saying and validate her emotional experience (not necessarily the same as agreeing with her).

    Then mix in some behavioral activation. Go out (or stay in) and do fun/pleasant activities.
  7. RGirl

    RGirl

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    If you haven't already, be sure to stop telling her things like "I'm sure you'll match!", etc. I think all of us who didn't match had our anxiety invalidated by a lot of people, because they assumed our worries were for nothing. I know, at least for me, that it made my having to tell everyone in my life that much harder, because I felt as though they were really disappointed in me.

    If perchance she doesn't match, let her decide who she wants to tell and on what timeline. Help her with white lies if need be. I decided not to tell anyone but my nearest and dearest until after I went through the Clearinghouse (yes, back in the day...), and we made up a white lie about there just being an extra step I needed to go through for my friends who didn't know the details of the Match. It may be a lot easier for her to hypothetically focus on Phase II without needing to tell everyone about not matching in Phase I right away.

    And, yes, empathy, lots of hugs, her favourite snacks, and a reminder that you will help her figure it all out once she's had time to process it.

    Fingers crossed all this advice is completely unnecessary!!
  8. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    I would definitely have plans scheduled. Comfort food and a movie would be nice, to me at least. Also plan on alcohol because I know that people in my program end up drunk no matter if they matched or not. ;)
  9. jxmagik

    jxmagik

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    My boyfriend should read this. My only thought is to squelch that "me man me fix problem" thing that many guys do. Instead partake in lots of empathizing, listening and reassuring (like previous posters suggested).
  10. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    I'd recommend a pair of Christian Louboutin, if she matches it's a celebratory gift, if not, it's a great consolation gift... Win Win.

    :p
  11. MelKUPhD

    MelKUPhD

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    The fact that you understand that it's an incredibly difficult process (as well as the fact that you were thoughtful enough to seek help here from others going through the process) likely means that you are the kind of person who will be immensely supportive and understanding if she does have to face not matching :oops:. I would also agree with all the comments about validation and expecting recovery from not matching to take a while. She is lucky to have you! I hope she finds luck on match day as well.
  12. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    "like" button.
  13. psyman

    psyman

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    As someone who didn't match last year, I'd say it's important to ask her now (ahead of time) what she wants to do if she doesn't match. Meaning, does she want to stay in all weekend and watch movies, take a weekend trip, or whatever she may want? And get an idea of what she'll want from you (talk, don't talk, hug, take care of dinner, etc).

    As others have said, just validate her feelings and demonstrate that you share/understand her feelings about being "so upset/angry/whatever." I'm sure she no doubt knows the world won't end if she doesn't match and that there is a phase 2 and that she can try again next year, but this weekend is not the time to remind her of any of that if she doesn't match. Last year, it didn't help me to hear that. I already knew it and being told/reminded that only made me feel that others didn't understand how hurt I was.

    Just my thoughts. Ten points for you though for going the extra mile to find out how to help her!
  14. psychwanabe

    psychwanabe

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    I didn't match last year and my husband struggled with this same issue. The thing that helped the most was just "going with the flow." I wasn't able to even think about Phase II over the weekend, so we just kept busy. We had some of my classmates over in the evening on match day, so I cooked and baked bread (cathartic for me). Saturday and Sunday were about staying distracted...movies, shopping, etc. By Monday I was feeling more able to wrap my head around starting over by looking at Phase II stuff. As wisely stated above, just let her take the lead, hold her when she cries, validate every feeling, and do what you know makes her feel better (ice cream, shoe shopping, etc.).

    Yay you for being so proactive with this question!!
  15. Jegg

    Jegg *~*~*~*Dire~Wolf*~*~*~* Lifetime Donor

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    BTW, if it is a guy who didn't match you could always get him the newer version of this Louis Vuitton briefcase (the real one please, not a chintzy reproduction like the one in the picture...):

    http://www.bagborroworsteal.com/productzoom?productId=38269#

    Or, if the pricetag is too high on the briefcase, this pair of Ferragamo boat shoes (wide size please):

    http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/...CategoryID=11945#fn=spp=36&ppp=96&sp=1&rid=52
    Last edited: 02.23.12
  16. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    So what happened?
  17. APPICSucks

    APPICSucks

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    Wow, wish my significant other had gotten some of this advice!

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