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choosing... for love or location?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by quideam, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    I would appreciate any advice you have...

    I am absolutely in love with my boyfriend.... I know that we are completely right for each other; he is everything I'm looking for in another human being. I'm accepted to my state school (RWJ), which would allow me to stay close to him... I am also accepted at one my top choices, UPitt, which is about 6 hours away. I'm unsure if our relationship can survive that sort of distance.... so i'm torn as to where to go.

    Please, advise, advise, advise away!!
     
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  3. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.
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    Go to UPitt. Most people who have boyfriends/girlfriends break up once they get to med school regardless of how far away they are. Besides, if you were meant to be, you can survive the 6 hours.
     
  4. moo

    moo 1K Member
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    Yeah exactly. Six hours is nothing. If you don't think your relationship can survive six hours apart then you probably aren't "in love." Don't choose your med school based on your relationship... residency, maybe (because you're older) but not med school.
     
  5. madtowngirl

    madtowngirl Senior Member
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    I agree; go where you want to go. You'll make it work. Plus, you never know if he'll end up elsewhere. My bf and I are in the same city this year, but he's off elsewhere to school next year, and I had to do some convincing to get him to go where he really wants to. Long distance is harder in some ways but better in others, especially in med school.
     
  6. samsoccer7

    samsoccer7 Senior Member
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    I started dating my girlfriend last May, when I also happened to be taking Step I and starting 3rd yr. She lives in Texas and I'm in Ohio. We're still together. Enough said.
     
  7. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    Wow, so I guess there's a concensus? If I stayed, we would get to live together, which I think would be nice... the thing is, also, I know my personality, and I honestly don't think that I would do well in a long distance relationship; I woudl either be miserable or we would end up breaking up. I'm also not sure that i'm so excited about Pitt anymore... it's a great school, but I'm ok with RWJ as well, and i'm not certain that i'm ready to move so far away from my friends and family at this point.

    So it's a difficult choice. I appreciate all of your comments... if anyone has anything to add, please do! I have about a month to make my choice :(....

    Thank you!!!
     
  8. kcrd

    kcrd Playing doctor
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    My vote is for RWJ, unless Pitt is your dream school. You'll owe a lot less money, and you'll have a built-in support system.
     
  9. banannie

    banannie Senior Member
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    any possibility your boyfriend will follow you out to Pittsburgh?

    if you're serious enough to be living together, it couldn't hurt to ask him . . .
     
  10. goobernaculum

    goobernaculum Member
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    there are definitely people who sacrifice "better" schools to be closer to their significant other. Your decision really depends on how much you have committed to each other for the future and your personalities as it relates to long distances. if you can't do a long distance relationship, that doesn't mean you're not "in love". for some people the long distance is really difficult because for a number of reasons (as with you). why can't it be this way....why can't we say that if you don't sacrifice pitt to be near your boyfriend, THEN you're really not "in love"? there's absolutely no reason why either one of the above "if, then" formulations is definitively right. it's all contextual. You can't really ask us what to do in this situation. you really just need to sit your boyfriend down and discuss all the pros and cons of EVERYTHING, and see what works for you two best.

    Also...remember that Penn is close by to where you live (or so it seems). don't give up hope! maybe you can try to make that work?
     
  11. medic8m

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    Let me speak up for the lovers! I changed plans regarding med school location for love. In the end I realized I wouldn't be happy without her so I made that choice. As a previous post noted, if you are older this may make more sense. I'm 27 and looking to settle down. I've done enough partying, dating etc. I'm going to med school for one reason. I can't speak for your situation but consider the emotional support you will have at home.

    :love:
     
  12. Drakensoul

    Drakensoul Senior Member
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    I'd say true love can survive a bit of distance for the sake of you attending one of your top-choice schools. That's just me :clap:

    If it doesn't work out, it wasn't meant to be.
     
  13. IlianaSedai

    IlianaSedai Senior Member
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    I think it raises the question of what's most important to you. What really is the top priority in your life-- your relationship with him, or your medical career?

    I'm not saying that it's one or the other. Relationships-- and the people in them-- can grow a lot in maturity, through the challenges of long-distance. A few years from now, it's possible you guys might look back and appreciate how much you grew up while apart. Maybe he'd be willing to entertain the possibility of eventually finding a job or educational opportunity in Pittsburgh. Maybe it's possible to have your cake and eat it too, if you are BOTH willing to.

    There are times when you can have your cake and eat it. There are also times when you have to choose what's important to you. Sometimes you'll be able to have what you want on both counts, other times you'll get first choice for one thing but not the other. But realize that this isn't the ONLY time you'll have this kind of choice. You win some, you lose some. If your relationship is a top priority, and you win this time (Pitt), maybe you can be willing to lose next time (the Match).

    It's easy to be single and get to go wherever you want. Truth is, most of us either end up falling in love or wishing we had the chance. And once that happens, it's a lot harder to have "wins" 100% of the time. If you win some of the time, I'd say that's plenty good.
     
  14. Sean2tall

    Sean2tall Pathology Resident
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    I can't imagine choosing medical school over love in a million years. Maybe I am crazy here but it's a school reputation versus the person you care about? I would probably not even go to medical school if I couldn't be with my girlfriend. Luckily she can come with me, since I didn't get in to our home school. If she couldn't move out to be with me I would probably just get a job, at least for a while. I guess it all depends on your level of seriousness and how important you think your relationship is. I guess I am biased because I asked her to marry me :love: :clap:

    Sean
     
  15. dsblaha

    dsblaha Senior Member
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    Go to RWJ. In the end you are still going to be a doctor, why sacrifice your love for a name. I would not leave my wife for anything.

    I am actually surprised that you are debating it. This is a situation where you cannot make a pros and cons list, your heart has much more weight than anything else.

    I am also surprise your boyfriend hasn't offered to go with you.
     
  16. mcgillmed

    mcgillmed Junior Member
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    You're certainly getting a wide range of responses to your quest for advice. I think all you can do is hear about other people's experiences and then make the decision for yourself. Let's be honest here -- nobody on an anonymous med school forum is going to know enough about you or your relationship to offer good advice -- we can ony tell you about what we have gone through. For what it's worth, here's my story:

    My girlfriend and I were dating for two years when I got accepted to McGill. We decided to try the long distance thing because she still had a year and a half left in school. The original plan was for her to move here at that point -- until we realized the only way for her to move here would be to delay her career another three years. She moved to New York to do what she wanted to do, extending our long-distance relationship to a guranteed 3+ years. It's been almost 3 years and we're still together and our relationship is stronger than ever. Was it easy? Not a chance. Were there days that I thought it wasn't worth it? Absolutely. Long-distance relationships are seriously difficult. You have to know that this is the person for you long-term and that you're willing to put in the effort to make it work.

    In the end, though, I believe that we did things the best way we could have, given the circumstances. If she had sacrificed and moved here to be with me, she would have resented me for making her put off her career for almost three years. Furthermore, I know that our relationship will survive the grueling years of residency (many don't) because it can only get easier after what we've gone through.

    The way I see it, you have to consider several factors:
    1) Is the name of your med school that important to you? In the end, you'll have the MD no matter where you go (What do they call the guy you finishes last in his med school class?? Doctor)
    2) Will you always resent him for keeping you from attending your "dream school" so you could stay with him? Will you always hold this over his head? That wouldn't work for either of you.
    3) If you do break up (let's be honest -- it happens more often than not) will you feel like a fool for choosing your school for him?

    That's about all I can think of at the moment. I wish you luck in making your decision. I always feel that things always work out in the end -- I believe that my situation is pretty close to a happy resolution despite all the difficulties. Good luck.
     
  17. darkcity998

    darkcity998 Senior Member
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    I say stay in RWJ because it's not a bad school either. You're still closer to city life and your love :love: . This only holds true if you're a lot more mature and you're looking to settle down with him. Did you ever talk about moving to Pittsburgh together? You can just list out what you like about Pittsburgh and see if you find the same qualities in RWJ. Try visiting Pittsburgh with him again to really decide if you would prefer it there.
     
  18. bw07

    bw07 Member
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    It's impossible for us to know what your relationship with your boyfriend is like. I would choose my girlfriend over school location (which I did) without hesitation. On the other hand, I'll be asking her to marry me within half a year (working and saving for a nice ring!). I disagree with anyone who says "if you can't survive long distance, you're not in love." Like everything else in life, true for some, not for others. good luck with your decision.
     
  19. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    Hey guys,

    Wow!! Thank you for all of the thoughtful, caring feedback. I should give you a little more information about my relationship. My boyfriend unfortunately can't move with me because he's currently a 2nd year at RWJ. If I went to Pitt, he would try to get a residency there or near there when he applies in two years... so basically we would be apart for two years.

    He and I have only been together for 6 months... but when you know, you know, right? It's one of those things... we finish each other's sentences...

    The thing with Pitt isn't even so much the school but the change. I've been in NJ since I was 12, gone to the state school... I'm so sick of it, and I don't really want to go to the medical school that's located about 5 minutes away from my undergraduate school. I've been talking about moving away for years now - it's just difficult to give all of that up for him, especially all of a sudden. If I stayed, we would move in together - and that idea is both very exciting and frightening to me.

    So it's a bunch of things - Am I ready to move in with him? Am I ready to sacrifice moving to a new place (finally!!) to be with him?

    I wish there was a guru on top of a mountain that I could ask for advice. I appreciate everything you guys have to say... thank you again for listening (reading?) and responding.
     
  20. jennie 21

    jennie 21 Senior Member
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    Given the additional information you've given us about your situation, I'd say go to U. Pitt. If you guys have only been together for six months, you really don't know what's going to happen down the road. If you'd been together for three years and were considering marriage, etc. it would be a different story. But this is a new relationship and no matter how crazy you guys are about each other you have no real way of knowing what's going to happen, so I think it would be a mistake to give up something you want for the sake of the relationship. Furthermore, it sounds like you have a really strong preference for U. Pitt over RWJ and really want to get out of New Jersey. It seems like it would be kind of a shame to give that up for your boyfriend, especially since he's going to be applying for residencies in two years and what if he ends up going someplace other than New Jersey for residency? Then you have given up going to U. Pitt which is what you wanted and you're still going to be apart for two years while you finish med school...assuming you can get a residency in the same place that he is. Plus, what if you sacrifice U. Pitt and stay in New Jersey and the relationship doesn't work out? I know that's probably not something you're thinking about if you're in love, but it could still happen and you need to think about how you're gonna feel if it does.

    If you two are really meant to be, being apart for two years especially this early in the relationship isn't going to harm you. In fact, it may help you figure out whether you're truly right for each other. Then in two years if you're still together, you'll be in a much better position to start making plans together for residency, etc. I'm not one of those people who says that you should never give up a career/professional opportunity for love, but it does seem to me that in your case, doing so would be taking a pretty big chance. Good luck with your decision, whatever you decide.
     
  21. spaz

    spaz Senior Member
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    of course this might not necessarily apply to you, but my bf and i have been doing a 6hr LDR for 8 months now, and it's going surprisingly well. i have to admit, i didn't have much faith in LDRs but we've been able to keep it going by making the effort to see each other at least once a month and talking to each other almost every day.

    we were together for 1.5 yrs before he left for grad school, and by that time we were practically living together, considering how much time he spent at my place. so at first, it was hard adjusting to not being with him all the time. but you really learn to appreciate the time you're together. and when we're together, it doesn't feel like we've been ever apart.

    anyway, just wanted to let you know that it can be done, and 6 hrs isn't really bad.

    best wishes~
     
  22. Vincristine

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    to the OP: I say go to school where you really want, and if this is was meant to work out, it will. I really think, however, that this situation would have prompted you and your b/f to figure out your committment to one another. Compromising on major life decisions is something you do when you're married. If you're not ready to be married, you shouldn't be weighing your relationship so heavily into this. Of course if you've already made a life-long committement to one another, you're back to square one.....

    However, I still very heavily weigh on going to the school you want to go to. You're not just talking about "location" you're talking about two different opportunities.
     
  23. Goofyone

    Goofyone Ohhh sexy girlfriend
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    "The right person at the wrong time is still the wrong person."

    It's hard to be at the top of your game academically when you have to put energy into a relationships.

    You are married to medicine now.

    Truth hurts.:(
     
  24. sleep deprived

    sleep deprived Senior Member
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    From personal experience I will tell you something:
    I had a boy friend I was with since I was 15 years old!!! I chose my college on the basis of him and my medical school on the basis of him. I thought I was going to marry this guy! We were very close.
    Needless to say, I am 23 years old and we broke up in November during my second year of med. school. It just can't work. He dumped me, broke my heart, I started failing exams, lost a fancy research fellowship, I am finally pulling through now and it is April!! Don't make the same mistake I made. If it is meant to work, 6 hours is nothing. A 6 hour distance won't break you up, if it is meant to be!!! Trust me on that. If Upitt is your dream school, please go. GO!

    And, you know what happens when your boyfriend lives near by while you are in med school? Here is what happens.
    You don't see him on the week days, you are to busy with class and studying. You see him every weekend though. And you are stressed out by then from the whole week, and you haven't seen him all week. And it makes it easy to develop a weekend "sex relationship." You are "together" but you are growing apart, because he has to find other ways to busy himself while you are busy all week studying. Maybe he busies himself with other women? You think it won't happen, you think you are "In love" but **** happens. It's extremely painful. Save yourself the agony.
    But with that said, it is so nice to have intimate companionship. If you can make it work, it's great. I just think it's risky. The above poster is right, you are married to medicine now. The truth hurts. By the time you can look, you will be a woman pushing 30 and deemed unattractive by society. It blows!!! I am bitter.
     
  25. medic8m

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    Naawwww, people often get support from relationships. In my experience it takes much more time and energy to be single. Going out to bars, mackin', dating, etc. while in med school seems to be much more work. I think many of the neighsayers gave up relationships and regret it.
     
  26. Flack Pinku

    Flack Pinku U lookin at my glasses??
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    I am not regretting anything now and I really doubt I'll regret it in the future... I'll be startin med school single.

    Till you get a firm footing you don't wanna have any distractions. Once you hit the ground running so to speak, then go for whoever you want. Get a firm foundation first, otherwise you may be forced into a residency you'd rather not like to do... :(

    You're lucky btw if you get all that (continuing) support you're talking about. Don't get me wrong medic8m, I'm just saying what I think, not picking against your post or anything. :)

    Quideam--go where you feel happy. It'll be a good test of the strength of your relationship--if it works you'll be that much stronger. If not, you'll probably meet someone better there anyway (in this case, the chances are always in your favor). :D
     
  27. MichiMO

    MichiMO Senior Member
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    I wouldn't put it into terms of choosing your boyfriend or choosing a medical school. I would really look at all the aspects of your life that will be determined by which medical school you choose. Medical school is hard. It is especially hard when you are alone and you will be surpised by how much of your performance is determined by your happiness with all aspects of your life. I know when I am lonely, it is really hard to get up the motivation to study. I am not saying you will necessarily be lonely if you go to the other school you are looking at but it is something to consider.
    There are many, many factors to consider and the most important thing to base your decision on is where you will be most happy.
    If you look at everything and it really comes down to one school where you would be much more happy vs. the school where your boyfriend goes, then you basically have to decide whether being with your boyfriend will make you more happy than all the other things at the other school. If that is the case, then you also have to consider the possibility that the relationship might not work out and how you feel about your decision if that were to happen. I am not saying that will happen (I disagree with the "you will most likely break up anyway" arguement...I have maintained a long distance relationship for my entire first year of medical school...some people have broken up with their SO during this year, but a lot more people have stayed together...there is no statistical rule and, even if there were, it wouldn't neccessarily apply to you), but it is something to consider.
    It is a hard choice to make...best of luck :)
     
  28. Vincristine

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    I disagree, my husband moved across the country with me so I could go to medical school, but we had already made the committment to one another to spend our lives together.
     
  29. nutmegs

    nutmegs ASA Member
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    The only question here is this- if go to RWJ and end up breaking up at Xmas, will you be pissed at yourself for not going to Pitt?
     
  30. medic8m

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    Good point, make sure you'll be happy at either school regardless. OP: You sounded as though you would be happy at either school.
     
  31. celticmists18

    celticmists18 california dreaming
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    Let me preface my remarks by saying that I have never been in a relationship so I can't empathize, however my friends say I give sound advice because I am not biased either way by experience.
    You said Pitt is your dream school. Even if you end up getting married you will be living with the what ifs if you don't go (what if we could have made it work AND I had gotten to go to the school of my dreams . . .). Can you live with that? People change so much in their twenties, especially when they are still in the process of getting an education, what you have now may not be what you want later. Personally I think 6 months is a little early into things to be making life choices for someone, but what do I know. I'm not going to give you that if its mean to be crape, I'm not a believer in fate. The best advice I can give you is to remember that this is YOUR future, the decision should not be based on what is best for "us." Good Luck!
     
  32. maswe12

    maswe12 Member
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    I think the choice is pretty clear that you should stay in NJ. Long distance relationships seem pretty easy until you get in one yourself and before you know it the passion wanes and you grow apart. You have to be happy with the decision you make even if the relationship doesnt work. I think you have to trust your instincts and if you think this relationship could be the one then stay in NJ. You will still be an MD and still get the residency you would get at Pitt. I think the most important key to success in med school is to be mentally stable and having issues with LDRs or break ups over distance can leave you wrecked for months. Stay in NJ a few more years...besides Pittsburgh isnt much better.
     
  33. SarahGM

    SarahGM Senior Member
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    Oh, come ON! I know plenty of medical students - at respectable institutions - who have time to balance their academic life with other things such as relationships.

    This is sensationalism and gross exaggeration. I would *hope* people would find time to balance out their lives. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!
     
  34. quideam

    quideam Too tired to complain
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    Hey all, thank you again for writing....

    I have been doing a lot of thinking, and due to recent events, I think that i'm going to go to Pitt. I had given the decision a lot of thought, and after telling my b/f that this is where I want to go, he panicked broke up with me (!!!!!!). After talking about it for a few hours, he took it back, but now I just don't trust him. I know that he did it because he was afraid of losing me, but that's still no reason to break up. Also, he has been rather terse and impatient with me lately, which makes me doubt our relationship's ability to get through rough times...

    Anyway, thank you so much for the replys. I am trying hard to get off of Yale's and Penn's waitlists (also my top choice schools), but if not, then i'm pretty sure that i'll be going to Pitt. I really wouldn't be happy at RWJ - the only reason i'm even considering it is for the sake of my relationship, and at this point i'm not sure that it's worth staying for.
     
  35. IlianaSedai

    IlianaSedai Senior Member
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    quideam, I'm sorry to hear that he panicked. :(

    When I met my bf, we were living 3,000 miles apart with not much chance of being together for another 3.5 years while he finished his PhD. We knew at that time that we wanted a future together, so after a couple months' deliberation we went ahead and decided to have our cake and eat it too. After 2.5 years we are still together and he's close to finishing his work :clap: and, God willing that he gets a job nearby, we can finally start our life together :clap:

    Go to the school you like best. A relationship that has a future (that's worth turning into a marriage) requires flexibility and the willingness to wait years (even if you don't have to). The right guy with the right commitment will love you with open hands and a willingness to be flexible and bend over backwards to make your relationship a great one-- and that includes the possibility of living long-distance for a while and/or relocating.

    Good luck!
     
  36. burlypie

    burlypie Senior Member
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    I had a long-distance relationship with an Italian guy for almost 3 years. We were both in school (me super busy with my post-bacc work, he with an advanced degree in EE). It worked for as long as it did because we were too busy to really get out and meet anyone else, plus we had an amazing connection and kept it going really well over phone and email...plus whenever we saw eachother it was vacation, so how could it not be perfect?

    It became imperfect when I wasn't willing to go to Med School in Italy and he wasn' t willing to come over here. That was that. The relationship survived the distance fine -- it was just that when it came down to it neither of us could make such a huge change in our respective lives to be together.

    So now I've been with a fabulous (local! booty more than twice a year...:D ) guy for about 6 month now. I'm moving across the country for school, he's staying put...for now. We're going to try the distance, and then if it works out, his company has offices in Philly and DC -- my choices right now.

    So speaking from my experience -- if he's not willing to stick with you and work it out LD, it's better off that you know now. It's awful to break up with someone -- especially someone you had considered changing your med school choice for -- but I'm glad you can make your decision with a clear mind now. You're young, do what you need to do for you -- the rest will follow. Good luck!
     

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