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MCAT and Being in a Relationship

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by ManimalJax, 02.23.12.

  1. ManimalJax

    ManimalJax

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    Hi,

    I am a non-trad (27 years old) who is going to spend all available hours this year on studying for the MCAT so that I can take the exam in January 2013 and hopefully, begin medical school by 2014.

    Now, the problem is that when I began my prep, I entered into a relationship with someone who I really want to be with forever. And I don't want to lose her (yeah, go ahead and say, "aww," or, "please, what a starstruck lover"). The only problem is that she feels that I don't spend enough time with her. When we first started hanging out, I would try my best to see her at least once a week and I was pretty consistent at meeting that commitment by spending some time with her during the weekend. But then she demanded more of my time, saying that she wants to see me at least one weeknight per week, ON TOP of hanging out during the weekend. She then proceeds to mention other couples who are mutual friends of ours and who spend more time with each other. And she says that she doesn't feel like she's asking for a whole lot of my time.

    In an effort to continue the relationship with her, I tried to meet her commitment of spending time with her one weeknight and one night during the weekend each week. But I don't think I can do it! I work full-time, a 9am-5pm job. And while most SDN members may be too young to know what a 9am-5pm grind is like, it can be hell...and it makes the few hours you have each night so much more valuable, especially when you're trying to tackle a beast as scary as the MCAT.

    So what do I do? How can I tell her that I can only meet once a week? She rightly argues that she is sure that there are other people in the world who are doing a lot more than me and can still balance all aspects of their lives...but I'm not those other people. I can only focus on a few goals at a time. At the same time, I don't want this relationship to end. Can I do both? Can I insist on hanging out once a week during the weekend and spend all other nights on the MCAT? Or...do I choose between the two (I really don't want to, I want both)? I asked a friend of mine for some advice on this matter, and he said that the fact that I don't want to spend more time with her is an indication that I really don't want to be with her. But this is simply not true! I want to be with her...but I just can't meet the time demands at this moment in my life.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    Let's look beyond the MCAT for a moment. If she's this needy when you're merely preparing for an exam how will she react when you're spending 70 hrs/wk in the hospital during your clerkships or 80 as a resident? I think you need to clearly explain to her just how big a time sink a profession in medicine is. It's not fair for her to compare you to other couples because everyone's circumstances are different. Like you said, some people are able to handle more food on their plate.
  3. DocMan22

    DocMan22 Human

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    As someone who in a similar situation (about your same age, engaged)... You have three issues - you, her, & MCAT.

    1) You: if your going to want a relationship at any point in your life going into medicine your going to have to be more flexible. You can't just plan on weekends, it takes more time than that to make a relationship work. You need to take an hour here and 15 mins there. Also, you will never have a set schedule (weekends free, the same night free every week, ect) again in the foreseeable future. Learn to make due.

    2) Her - if you can spend an entire weekend with her now, that's the most she'll get of you in the foreseeable future. She has to understand that. She has to understand that you will miss a lot of "traditional" relationship/life stuff (friends weddings, holidays, kids birthdays - maybe even births)

    For a relationship - focus on quality and make the most of opportunities when they come up. If taking a night out with her a mutual friends reduces your overall stress you'll probably get more out of your studying.

    MCAT - the quality of your studying is just as important as the quantity. If your doing that much it's going to get old fast - most people start out with a schedule like that but it gets scaled back quickly. You can afford to take a night off during the week.

    Note: there is a reason a lot of physicians marry other docs, they understand your taking time away from them because you have to, not because you want to. They've been through it, it's hard for someone who hasn't to understand that you NEED to study TONIGHT for something MONTHS away.
    Last edited: 02.23.12
  4. MedOldAge

    MedOldAge

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    I was typing a long version of comments to you until I hit a wrong key & destroy the session and the file. The following is my short version. I am sure other SDNs will come in later.

    1. STAY with her and treat her like the queen IF you really like this lady. She will be your "energy source" :p when there are days after banging your head on that MCAT book for 12 hours and you said to yourself WTF why I am torturing myself. You will have many of those days. Just ask the folks here at SDN.:D

    2. 2013 is a galaxy away. My goodness! If you "determine" with no justifiable excuse and REALLY map the SN2ed schedule and modify it based on your life style for the coming 9 months, you have more than enough time to tackle this beast call MCAT and be with that lovely lady. You can do it; and that is my honest opinion. :)

    3. Take advantage the wealth of knowledge all the folks offer in this forum. Lay out your battle plan now and get all the legit study/reference material you MUST have as mentioned by SN2ed and start your engine ASAP.

    Enough said. Good luck :thumbup:
    Last edited: 02.23.12
  5. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche

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    No offense dude, but you're at the infatuation phase.

    If you're only hanging out once a week, you really don't know this person very well, as you described, you just started seeing her.

    There are ways to spend more time seeing someone while studying, but it requires a lot of planning and suffering.

    I don't think starting a relationship while studying is a good idea. You can keep something established going since there's more of a routine there.

    You'll figure out what works for you, but just decide what is more important to you if you find yourself being unable to balance both.
  6. TinaBina22

    TinaBina22

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    I went through that too. I met lots of guys that would've made great boyfriends before I started studying for my MCAT - but at the end of the day, you should focus on getting your career together before starting a relationship. Your career will still be here in 40 years, but she probably won't.

    This is my fav comic regarding this situation.

    [​IMG]
    sunshine02 likes this.
  7. MIAYO

    MIAYO

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    Is there are an activity comparable to studying that your girlfriend does on a daily basis? Like reading, crafts, social networking, etc. If so, then you could study with her by your side while she does said activity. This has worked very well for my girlfriend and I. Even though we aren't talking to eachother, it's nice to be in on another's presence.
  8. DocMan22

    DocMan22 Human

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    +1 worked nice for us too
  9. Misfit138

    Misfit138

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    For what it's worth, here's my opinion (coming from a 28 yr old female non-trad). I completely disagree with MedOldAge. Your significant other is being entirely too demanding and I think she should be a lot more considerate of the enormity of the task you're facing. I obviously don't know anything about her beyond what you've stated here, but I think her demand is a bit self-centered. It doesn't matter what your mutual friends' relationships are like, and it doesn't matter that there are people out there balancing more things. If you feel you need to put in as much studying time as you can to do well on the MCAT (and you DEFINITELY do), then that should constitute an acceptable reason why you can't spend more time with her. You're not limiting your time with her to play video games or party with your friends; you're working towards a very important and not easily attained goal. Also, I'm going to venture a guess that she's never studied for the MCAT, in which case she has no business drawing comparisons and dictating what you should and shouldn't be able to manage in the first place.

    Maybe you will manage to score well despite meeting her requirements, maybe you won't. Either way, aSagacious's advice to look at the long term is worth reiterating. Is THIS what you want to deal with when you're studying for the USLME? Is this what you want to deal with during residency when you can barely find time to sleep let alone socialize? (If you think the 9 to 5 grind is brutal, just wait until you get to residency.) The fact that she has a problem with you focusing on MCAT studying doesn't bode well for how she'll handle your years in med school, residency, and, depending on your specialty, your life as a practicing physician. It's a tough journey as it is with more than enough obstacles in place without having an unsupportive significant other to top it all off. If you really are considering spending the rest of your lives together, you guys need to have an honest discussion about what that will entail. If she's not willing to compromise, then only you can decide where your priorities are and whether or not it's worth the possibility of sacrificing your goals.

    Again, just my opinion. Good luck!

  10. TinaBina22

    TinaBina22

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    What he said!
  11. MedOldAge

    MedOldAge

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    Second on that! :thumbup:

    I also agree with DocMan22.

    It is 10 long months before the DATE. She will be your inspiration and energize you!

    Using SN2ed as baseline and stay focus. You will succeed! Cheer :)
  12. MedOldAge

    MedOldAge

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    I do not disagree Misfit said. She is female and obviously have a better understanding of female feeling than I am as male.

    Well, life is a journey with choices. There are times it is a very thin line between pro and con. You will be fine! :thumbup:
  13. vashka

    vashka Junior Member

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    I'm 29 and in a nutshell my advice goes as follows:
    1. Do you spend enough time with this person to know that you want to be with her forever?
    2. Does she know and have you spoken to her about how long, draining and inconvenient medical education and training is? I don't think her asking to spend an evening and weekends with you is asking too much of a regular person. Most people spend an enormous amount of time with their significant others. However, if she expresses that she cannot function in a relationship with periods of absence, then you might have a problem.
    3. I think if you want to take the exam next January, you can study a few nights a week now for content review and about 3-4mths before the exam, let her know it's time to buckle down. You should know each other better by that point anyway.
    4. If she tells you that she's not up to a supporting role in a doctor's lifestyle then you might have to reassess your relationship and/or desire to go to medical school
  14. MedOldAge

    MedOldAge

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    Well said :thumbup:
  15. chemhead123

    chemhead123

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    The MCAT is 3-4 months of study. If she is acting this way now do you really want to be with her while you are in medical school or residency? If she can't get it that this is important to you and that it is only a season in your life that will pass, you should drop her now before you waste any more time. Sacrifices have to be made, and if she isn't willing to make those sacrifices with you, then you will have to sacrifice her (not literally of course) : )

    I think that last line was pretty clever : P
  16. BeanDip4All

    BeanDip4All emt-abcdefgh

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    ^^ heh. we do that and sadly enough will gchat each other from our desks IN THE SAME ROOM.
  17. GeauxTime

    GeauxTime

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    The MCAT is an outstanding nucleophile, and this reaction is taking place in an aprotic solution.
  18. TheWeeIceMan

    TheWeeIceMan And like that... *poof*... he's gone.

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    Haha, nice. I can't even count the number of times I felt like I was getting "backside attacked" by the MCAT.
  19. von Matterhorn

    von Matterhorn

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    My ex was this same when when I took the MCAT, and it was one of the reasons I wound up ending things. If the person you're with can't recognize the important and magnitude of the MCAT to your future, they're a bit selfish imo.
  20. whitefang21

    whitefang21

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    This definitely ended my relationship
  21. benzonase

    benzonase

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    .
    Last edited: 10.30.12
  22. ppfizenm

    ppfizenm

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    Why have you started studying a year before the MCAT?
  23. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche

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    I don't think it has to do with being selfish. I think it has to do with having different priorities.

    If you're taking the test and want to start dating someone that is open to spend more time with you, then you're being unfair as well. You shouldn't enter something when you have outstanding priorities like that.
  24. plumhill

    plumhill

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    If your GF was really worth it, she wouldn't make you choose between her and doing well on (one of) the most important tests in your life. At least from my experience, if a relationship is right and healthy, it won't significantly get in the way of anything else going on in either of your lives, because you will learn to work around your schedules and make use of whatever time you have.
  25. valkener

    valkener

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    You can definitely make time, even if you only meet once or twice week there is always this thing called a telephone. You can show her your attention through texts or emails and frankly, you need breaks and nice things to take your mind off of MCAT.

    A big part of relationships is learning to trust each other and you never going to be less busy once you are in medical school so now is a good time :).
  26. RSum

    RSum

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    Sad but kind of true lol anyways make time for her if you really like her and you need to be more flexible but you both need to understand that goals and aspirations within everyone's life, especially the mcat and medical school takes some sacrifice. Ask yourself is this truly worth it in the end
  27. RSum

    RSum

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    Accidentally made a duplicate post and I just edited it
  28. Spikedsoymilk

    Spikedsoymilk New Member

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    :thumbup:

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