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Dating in Grad School

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by irish80122, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    When I move on to graduate school in a year, chances are extremely good that I will be moving on single, which has both its pluses and minuses. I always have assumed that I would eventually find someone at school, so I haven't worried about being single too much, but I got thinking...are you allowed to date people within your program in graduate school? Also, how many people are married by the time they enter? It seems like pretty much everyone in the grad school at my undergrad school is married, but I am not sure if that is common. Anyways, what is the common practice? Are you allowed to date other graduate students? Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. Psyclops

    Psyclops 1K Member

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    Gradcest? Generally allowed. Utterly inevitable.
     
  4. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.

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    It happens all the time. Just be careful, it is important that if you break up you are still able to remain friends since you still see each all the time.
     
  5. psypsypsy

    psypsypsy Member

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    Gradcest happens constantly, but just be careful. I've seen marriages happen, and people in the same lab who now won't speak to eachother.

    In terms of the single/married rate going on, I think it really varies by school. My school rarely has anyone married entering in (I can't think of anyone in the past 4 years), but people do get married during the course of the program. Still, I could count the married couples on one hand.
     
  6. Salsybabe

    Salsybabe Junior Member

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    Like others said, you can date people in your program in grad school. I'm single as well and am in a master's program right now, but there are so few men in the program that I would definitely have to look outside the program for any men to date, especially for single and straight men. Lots of people in my program are married or attached. I notice some are with other grad students not in our particular program. I would be careful with it like others have said because if you break-up you would most likely still have to see that person a lot if you're taking classes together.
     
  7. JatPenn

    JatPenn Senior Member

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    I just got married myself this summer (NOT to someone in my program), but I'm curious -- what gave you the impression that it could ever be not "allowed" to date others in grad school?!
     
  8. bigmood

    bigmood Member

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    I have wondered the same thing (about dating within your program). Even if it isn't a "rule," it seems like a less than ideal situation, but you can't help who you fall for, I suppose.

    Either way, I have the same concerns and just started my first year (single for the first time in many years) and have found myself not the least bit concerned with dating at the moment. I can't imagine how I'd have the time to be infatuated with someone! Certainly, I wouldn't want to stay this way for the next 5-6 yrs, but for now, just focus on you.
     
  9. Psyclops

    Psyclops 1K Member

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    Well you know what the research says: You fall for others based on propinquity and proximity (and promiscuity IMO).
     
  10. bigmood

    bigmood Member

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    ugh...a bit sad how those of us who study psych like to break the whole love business down to some article findings we read somewhere :) (sad BUT true, huh?)
     
  11. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    I wondered because I have worked jobs before where you have not been allowed to date in the workplace because it can lead to problems. Since in many Ph.D programs you are a kind of employee, I thought that it may be possible that such a rule would also apply to graduate schools. I am very glad to hear that there is not a rule like that!
     
  12. Psyclops

    Psyclops 1K Member

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    HA, what are you talking about...we study psych so we can break things like love down!
     
  13. butterfli73

    butterfli73 Member

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    It's funny I had a professor who is one of the leading researchers in attachment and someone once asked her if doing research on love and infatuation and everything ever affected her experiences with it. She said no matter how much you know why it's happening, or understand why, it still doesn't change the excitement and mystery of love. She fell in love and had a relationship with her husband the same as anyone, it's just that she can understand and explain things better than most people. So I say psychologists, rock on! Understand and break down everything all you want.

    And I think this is a really interesting thread. Anyone know if there is a study on grad students dating within their own programs, or meeting people from other programs? I once heard that most people have met their future spouse by the time they are 18 but I never saw any studies verifying that.
     
  14. Psyclops

    Psyclops 1K Member

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    Well Bfly, if most people don't leave where they live then I bet that will come true. The 18 thing i mean. But, with more people leaving to go to college these days I bet you that would be falling apart.

    I've had professors in grad school look out accross the class and tell us to look to our left and right because we were sitting next to our future spouses.
     
  15. psychanon

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    I know more than one in my program who have met, started dating, and married, all before internship. After all, where do you think all those married couples on psych department faculties meet? On the other hand, I've also known couples who have dated, broken up badly, and then awkwardly run into each other in the halls over the next 5 years. More of the latter. Actually, not too many of either because most are wise enough to stay away from dating within the department. You should also realize that there's a big gender disproportion in psychology, so if you're a straight female I wouldn't expect too many eligible bachelors. Then again, if you're a straight male, you shouldn't have any trouble finding available women. But either way, remember: there are always grad students in other departments, and students in med/law/business schools at your university.
     
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  17. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    I am a single male so I am one of the lucky ones! I know there are people in other departments, and you never know what will happen, but I just seem to get along with fellow psycho nerds :). The main problem I have found in my undergrad days is that a lot of my female friends are in relationships, but ehh, what can you do? I am going to be open to other fields, but I just think the chances are best with someone I come into contact with pretty much every day because that is how it has always worked for me in the past. I will just have to be careful if it does happen, and I will be!
     
  18. Psyclops

    Psyclops 1K Member

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    Just hope your incoming class isn't all dudes! You might want to look to marrying into a slightly more lucrative field, so attend a graduate school where there is also a med/law school. I've found though, that many psych graduate students I have run into over the years are not tremedously socially adept. That goes for guys and gals. Naturally that's just a generalization, but that's what we traffic in right?

    For those of you who do date within the field, for everything you gain in understanding of what each partner is going through, do you feel it can be tough in terms of competition with each other? And god forbid you both want an academic position.
     
  19. lazure

    lazure Senior Member

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    There will be other graduate departments in the school - you are not limited to psychology. I have seen a few psych marriages but I am about to marry a computer science PhD and know several other such pairings. My advice would be to get involved in the school's graduate association and expand your pool. You do not want to be discussing your stats assignment on dates...
     
  20. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    I definitely know the problems with dating in the same area; one professor at my current school just left for a tenure job in another state even though his wife is still at my current school. I don't think I could do that.

    I definitely plan on meeting as many grad students as I can, I just know that usually I do well with psychology girls for whatever reason. I agree that I don't want to be talking about stats on our first date, however.... some things are just sacred and need to be saved for later :).

    All joking aside, thanks for your help and your advice on this topic, as I am one who can use all the help I can get.
     
  21. psychanon

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    Highly unlikely! I'd say I go to a pretty typical clinical program. Number of students in my program (not counting those on internship or on leave)= probably around 30. Number of males= 4. Number of males who are single (i.e., not married or engaged) and straight = 0. This isn't counting the non-clinical folks, but you get my point.

    There may be some advantages, actually. Sometimes you are able to go on the academic market together, so if one of you is particularly competitive as a candidate, you may be able to help the other secure a job. Of course, it's harder than being single, but it's always hard to coordinate jobs with a significant other, especially in competitive fields.
     
  22. Psyclops

    Psyclops 1K Member

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    One reason I mention this is that the APA in all of its wisdom, and eye for "fairness" :rolleyes: suggested last summer that PhD programs begin addmitting more males since there were so few. Whether it is a result of this or not, the incoming class at my program is majority male. Out of 8 people, 5 are male. This is only for the clinical adult track. The child track is still majority female (4/5) and brings the total up to 7 to 6 slightly favoring the females overall, but not by much! So there may be a new trend. Granted this is only based on one program, on one year. Anybody else notice aything similar? (My program considers admissions for the 2 tracks seperately)

    On a more personal level, I would like to think that regardless of what the APA said, my genetalia did not affect the committee's decision on me. And, plain and simple, that I was the best for the job. But, I suppose there will always be that question.... :thumbdown:
     
  23. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    I hear you Psyclops. Though I am happy to get the help, I am going to have those doubts as well! This is why I am not a big fan of affirmative action in general actually, you shouldn't have to worry if it was you or something about you that got you in, you know? Oh well, I guess we should just be thankful.
     
  24. bigmood

    bigmood Member

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    I'm not at all opposed to admitting more males! Well, I'm slightly biased as a single female already admitted. I just know how annoying I can be as a g/f with all my psych. background, so I can't imagine having a b/f who was analyzing me just as carefully :)

    The women in my program all have their eyes on the med students across the hall, so I guess that's where my eyes should go as well.

    Good topic.
     
  25. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    Bumping this thread up out of curiosity, as I've been wondering about this, and it seems that most everyone I know has come into grad school already married

    I'm a straight female, so I wouldn't expect the number of potential dating partners to be high, but maybe quality will make it up for the lack of quantity? ;)
     
  26. Ollie123

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    There are only a few unattached, heterosexual men in my program, though it seems the vast majority of people, male or female, are in some kind of relationship.

    I ended a long-term relationship last month and now fall into the above category (unattached, heterosexual male) for the first time since arriving at graduate school. Not sure I would consider dating within the department, let alone the clinical area for many of the reasons stated above but who knows. I've never been able to understand how people meet at bars, so I'll be relying on other methods to meet folks - difficult given that grad school schedules don't exactly allow for an overabundance of extracurricular activities, but time will tell.
     
  27. JockNerd

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    There are unattached gay men there? Are they hot? Phone numbers.

    I'll say this--living in a college town has NOT been as good to me as I had been hoping. Everyone is much too young (and non-bright) to be viable dating material. As a gay man, though, I think most of the people who should be my potential dating partners are closeted (I go to school in the South).

    future--Why would your number of potential partners be low? There aren't a ton of straight men in *psych*, but dating within the dept. has always seemed like a bad idea to me. Plenty of eligible young men in other graduate studies departments.
     
  28. krisrox

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    Hopefully I end up at your program ; )

    Haha, I jest. I know a lot of my friends going into med school are just planning on going in either attached, or single but not planning on dating until their residencies. Personally, I always found it silly to put dating on the back burner during grad school. I hope I find someone while I'm there who can understand my busy schedule and whom I'm willing to "make it work" for.
     
  29. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Have you ever heard of, "The odds are good, but the goods are odd."....yes.

    Date out of your department....law, med, nursing...just don't date in your dept.
     
  30. PsychPhDStudent

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    I'm relieved that none of the guys in my program appear to be available -- I don't want to risk within-program gradcest gone bad. And like has been said earlier...I don't have time to think about dating right now. Maybe I'll go on a date marathon over winter vacation?

    Our class is a mix of people in different relationship (and lack thereof) stages. I do like that we have some attached people...their sig others are super nice and great additions to our social group.
     
  31. manko7

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    Just go ahead and date your professors. :D
     
  32. SingingCow

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    There are at least 4 "successful" couples in our department in the past 5-8 years, excluding faculty couples. I think intra-departmental dating is extremely common and apparently not a problem in our program.

    The only people you do not want to date are your professors, supervisors, clients, and students. That is a violation to the APA Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct. I don't remember if it's a problem if you date your research participant or the janitor who vacuums your office.
     
  33. manko7

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    IIRC, APA allows psychologists to date their clients after 2 years right? Still, I bet that would make an awkward "how we met" conversation at the dinner table.

    My graduate student mentor used to tell me that undergrads were a source of meat. I have no problem dating undergrads that are not my students.
     
  34. cara susanna

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    I definitely don't have the time or energy right now. I mean, maybe if some amazing guy came along, but at the moment... no.
     
  35. JockNerd

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    This is an aside, but the only reason this is the case is because a bunch of the people on the "ethics" board that decided this were married to their former clients. My personal rule is never, ever, not 2 years. I think it's reprehensible.
     
  36. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    It depends on the state. In FL there is not allowable # of years (if my memory serves me correctly).
     
  37. SingingCow

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    Ditto.

    One of my supervisors used to say, "Do you REALLY want to date your former client?"

    They have to set a time limit only because if someone does it and gets sued, the board will need to know what to do about that.
     
  38. Ollie123

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    JN: That there are. We also have a grant for an LGBT speaker series this year, feel free to drive down for the next one and I can make some introductions;) I can't imagine the difficulties of trying to find a homosexual partner in this area of the country. This isn't exactly the most enlightened of areas.

    I also can't imagine dating undergrads here either (no offense to those of you who are undergrads)...heck I could barely imagine it when I was an undergrad myself. Might be different at other schools though.

    Krisrox: And to think my school was relying on our exciting, productive research program to bring students in, but I like your reason more;)
     
    #36 Ollie123, Dec 5, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  39. TenaciousGirl

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    I see dating a classmate as bad news bears. I have every single class with my cohort and even if I dated someone in a different year, in different classes, I still don't think it would be a good idea. Not to mention the fact that in regards to relationships I'm a pretty private person and dating someone within a small cohort means your business = everybody's business. I'd say about half of my department is married.
     
  40. childpsych479

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    I've been wanting to post about this so I appreciate the thread revival... I don't think I could date someone in the psych department just like I'm not comfortable dating someone in my current lab (however, no longer an issue because its all ladies now). I've just been wondering how anyone has time to date in grad school? I didn't have much time for it in college but it seems like even less of a possibility in grad school? My impression is that your first semester is crazy because its a big transition, you adjust and then it just keeps getting busier - is this accurate? It's amazing anyone finds a viable partner in graduate school!
     
  41. ilikeeepsycheee

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    ...
     
    #39 ilikeeepsycheee, Dec 6, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  42. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Assistant professor
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    As an aside, a strangely high number of grad students here (across departments) seem to have met their spouses on airplanes (no, not *that* way). Maybe I should travel more? ;)
     
  43. Wildcat06

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    Ha! Maybe during interview season...? ;)
     
  44. lookitssara

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    I came into my program with a serious boyfriend, which has its pros and cons itself. It's much easier to make time for someone you're already in love with, than someone you thought was cute at the bar.

    My program (psych albeit not clinical) has lots of single students, many coupled up, and a few (maybe only one now) married. Many of the single ones have begun using online dating sites and I would do the same. We spend lots of time on the computer anyway :D
     
  45. irish80122

    irish80122 DCT at Miss State U.
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    This thread has really come full circle for me (see the first post). I came to grad school as a single, heterosexual man and am now a married man. I ignored the very first thing you are told, I started dating a Developmental student, and now we are married (I was actually introduced to her by my future advisor at my interview). You never know how it will happen, and the right person may be in your program, so don't write them off.

    Dating takes a lot of time in graduate school, but I would say having a significant other helped me have a life. I would have been much more productive without my wife, but I also wouldn't have had a social life or any balance. I think learning how to balance having a professional and personal life is key, as the demands on your time only get worse!
     
  46. ClinicalTrainee

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    And....I present the opposite perspective. Sort of. I came into grad school married, and separated from my then-husband after my 2nd year, with a divorce that followed in the spring of my 3rd year. Divorce was maybe the best thing that happened to my graduate school career, but that is likely because my ex-husband hated psychology and has some Axis II issues. He likes to tell people that I left him for graduate school, which is...sort of true.

    Since we split, I've spent a lot more time with friends and have been far more productive since I can stay at school later without reprimand. Yes, there is something to be said for the support and friendship of a significant other, but single life in grad school has it's perks, too.

    There are several inter-department couples in my program, including several married faculty pairs, and two engaged student pairs. Coincidentally or not, most of the student pairs I can think of are inter-divisional, which probably helps. Bedroom stats talk is still an option, but specific research expertise is separate...best of all worlds, eh?
     
  47. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National

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    I began dating the girl who is now my wife the second day i moved to grad school. She is not in my program. We married the summer after my second year. I have found that having a spouse has increased my productivity and made grad schol alot easier. But then again im not trying to be a superstar or trying to pursue and academic career, and have no desire to sleep in the lab. Also, I am so happy with the rest of our life, that when grad school get me down, I know its not my entire life, just one part. She is also somwhat old fashioned, and a rarely have to iron, cook, go the grocery, or do laundry....:laugh:..... so that helps......
     
  48. krisrox

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    Wonderful advice. I think grad students in general need to constantly be reminded that this isn't just grad school, this is your LIFE! If you can't have a life and be in a program, you're going to be miserable. Grades and pubs are important, but what is all of it worth if you don't have friends or a family to share it with? And who is going to be able to keep you sane when you're in the midst of all the projects and papers?
     
  49. BuckeyeAlum

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    This IS a good post b/c I think a lot of people think about it anyways!

    If I end up going to grad school next Fall, I will (presumably) be in a 5-year relationship... and possibly be engaged. My boyfriend has always been so supportive and wonderful to me, so I'm hoping this would continue. He is a special ed teacher, so not in the same field (although there are overlaps, of course!).

    Maybe I'm being naive assuming that our relationship will last throughout grad school. I am sure we will have to overcome some obstacles, but I think we're up to it...
     
  50. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Anectdotally I've seen probably 40-50% of relationships end during the first year or so of graduate school. Keep in mind most of these people came out of college and had the "college bf/gf", which frequently doesn't fit in the real world...grad school or not. Most of the people that came in with serious relationships (engaged/married) seemed to do fine.

    I still stand by my recommendation to not date in the department, as I've seen a number of relationships turn south, and the involved people still had to research/work together.
     
  51. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Bumped for Valentine's Day....

    [​IMG]
     
  52. Wolfman89

    Wolfman89 2 Legit 2 Quit

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    I love it T4C!
     

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