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SO not sure if they will follow me to medical school

BadaBing_BadaBoom

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    I have been dating my SO for 2+ years and they have stuck with me through undergrad stress, MCAT stress, and application cycle stress. My SO is a three 12-hr nightshift a week RN, and I have been working multiple jobs and volunteering, so we barely get time to see each other. In the little time we do get to see each other, I always work to make sure my SO feels loved and appreciated, but they have been getting more distant as the application cycle progresses. My SO says that they are unsure whether or not they will choose to stay with me or leave me when I go to medical school, explaining that their friends/family/job are all in the city where we live together now, and that coming with me would mean starting over multiple times (for med school, for residency, and possibly past that as well provided I can't find placement in the same location). They have also expressed concerns about having to wait until I am more established in my career (and actually have $$) to get married and have kids, even though I have offered to take a year off before finishing residency to be there if we have kids. They have also said that my stress around medical school has been affecting them, stressing them out to the point where they don't know if they can handle it for another 8 years. To be fair, studying for the MCAT was the most stressed I have ever been in my life (so far) and it was an unpleasant time for both of us, but since then we've just been the same level of busy as most working couples are and I have been managing my stress as it comes. This has all been incredibly hard to hear because I love my SO and am willing to make as many accommodations for them as possible (aside from not going to medical school since I have spent my entire life working towards this goal). I can't exactly choose where I go to medical school because I'd be lucky to get into any of the schools that have interviewed me so far, and it feels like there's even less choice in residency, so I understand why my SO is stressed by the lack of stability. I know following me to medical school is a big ask, but in my mind it really is only temporary until I am done with residency. My SO says they love me and I am everything they want in a life partner, so it really does seem like the only red flag for them is med school and residency. I need to hear from people who have maintained long-term (preferably not long-distance) relationships while transitioning to medical school / residency. How have you made things work? Is there even any making this work?
     
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    ftrdr2021

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    Do yourself a favor, friend. Get out of this relationship ASAP. If they aren't committed to the thought of you moving away for med school and then possibly moving again for residency, then they will resent you for it and drag you down along the way. Personally, I have no experience in this area, but I have been with my SO for 2+ years and they have a 3yr old that factors into the equation as well. Most likely I will not be attending the school right down the road from me and they tell me everyday that they are behind me and will go anywhere with me. At the end of the day, there are other factors (child's other parent) that could prevent that from happening. I understand that reality, but I've worked so hard to get to this point and I am for sure going to chase my dream. They also aren't the kind of person that will hold me back either.

    Soul search a little bit and think about your goals before you let someone else drag you down because they aren't committed to your path. Best of luck!
     
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    petomed

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    I have been dating my SO for 2+ years and they have stuck with me through undergrad stress, MCAT stress, and application cycle stress. My SO is a three 12-hr nightshift a week RN, and I have been working multiple jobs and volunteering, so we barely get time to see each other. In the little time we do get to see each other, I always work to make sure my SO feels loved and appreciated, but they have been getting more distant as the application cycle progresses. My SO says that they are unsure whether or not they will choose to stay with me or leave me when I go to medical school, explaining that their friends/family/job are all in the city where we live together now, and that coming with me would mean starting over multiple times (for med school, for residency, and possibly past that as well provided I can't find placement in the same location). They have also expressed concerns about having to wait until I am more established in my career (and actually have $$) to get married and have kids, even though I have offered to take a year off before finishing residency to be there if we have kids. They have also said that my stress around medical school has been affecting them, stressing them out to the point where they don't know if they can handle it for another 8 years. To be fair, studying for the MCAT was the most stressed I have ever been in my life (so far) and it was an unpleasant time for both of us, but since then we've just been the same level of busy as most working couples are and I have been managing my stress as it comes. This has all been incredibly hard to hear because I love my SO and am willing to make as many accommodations for them as possible (aside from not going to medical school since I have spent my entire life working towards this goal). I can't exactly choose where I go to medical school because I'd be lucky to get into any of the schools that have interviewed me so far, and it feels like there's even less choice in residency, so I understand why my SO is stressed by the lack of stability. I know following me to medical school is a big ask, but in my mind it really is only temporary until I am done with residency. My SO says they love me and I am everything they want in a life partner, so it really does seem like the only red flag for them is med school and residency. I need to hear from people who have maintained long-term (preferably not long-distance) relationships while transitioning to medical school / residency. How have you made things work? Is there even any making this work?
    Only you know what the best play here is, however I'll offer up how things went for me on my road to medical school, which I'm due to start in during 2022.

    Medicine was never part of my equation until about three years after college. This was my first exposure to the field and I had a long road ahead of me before successfully switching into medicine from my current career. My 5+ year college SO had already relocated to follow me for a post-grad job and we were on the track to being married soon. Then I started taking post-bacc classes and making an A in each one. As the A's started piling up, my SO began to realize medical school was becoming a more visible possibility. Inevitably, my SO took a hard look at what their life would be like during med school, residency, and thereafter--and knew it wasn't for them. We split as friends because the game had changed way too much since the time we met.

    I almost lost my way shortly after that, as I felt the need to choose between having a SO --> becoming married --> having kids, and medicine. After much reflection, I decided 100% on medicine and never looked back. A year or so passed and then I met my spouse, who knew full-well what this road meant and was onboard. We now have a toddler with another kiddo on the way. As for medical school, it took a few extra years but here I am, nearly there, and all the better for it.

    Will things be easy as I continue down this road? No, I doubt it. Nothing that has value is ever easy to obtain. But I've squared away with each decision I've made and am prepared as much as I can be for the fallout of those decisions.

    As for you, I would say to think hard about your current SO and whether, based on everything you know about your relationship, you think they can handle how unpredictable and unavailable you will be during years 3-8+. Consider all these things, reflect, and don't bang yourself up too badly when the time comes to make your decision.

    Most important of all, never look back.
     
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    that redhead

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    I think it’s actually a blessing in disguise: they’re being open and honest with you about their feelings and concerns, allowing you to digest and not just pretending everything is fine until it isn’t. They're also giving you this information now, instead of the night before your anatomy final or your first residency interview or some other far more catastrophic time to have a break up.

    Them saying that they “aren’t sure” about following you really means “I am not going to go, but I’m giving us time to come to terms with what this means and plan how to move on”. It’s too bad that they see you as a perfect life partner or whatever, but their feelings are absolutely valid too - it isn’t fair to expect them to jump through all these hoops with you if their plans for life take a different path. And at the end of the day, that’s all this really is: two people whose paths diverged. It sucks, and I’m sorry.
     
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    Zeldaspikes

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    I have been dating my SO for 2+ years and they have stuck with me through undergrad stress, MCAT stress, and application cycle stress. My SO is a three 12-hr nightshift a week RN, and I have been working multiple jobs and volunteering, so we barely get time to see each other. In the little time we do get to see each other, I always work to make sure my SO feels loved and appreciated, but they have been getting more distant as the application cycle progresses. My SO says that they are unsure whether or not they will choose to stay with me or leave me when I go to medical school, explaining that their friends/family/job are all in the city where we live together now, and that coming with me would mean starting over multiple times (for med school, for residency, and possibly past that as well provided I can't find placement in the same location). They have also expressed concerns about having to wait until I am more established in my career (and actually have $$) to get married and have kids, even though I have offered to take a year off before finishing residency to be there if we have kids. They have also said that my stress around medical school has been affecting them, stressing them out to the point where they don't know if they can handle it for another 8 years. To be fair, studying for the MCAT was the most stressed I have ever been in my life (so far) and it was an unpleasant time for both of us, but since then we've just been the same level of busy as most working couples are and I have been managing my stress as it comes. This has all been incredibly hard to hear because I love my SO and am willing to make as many accommodations for them as possible (aside from not going to medical school since I have spent my entire life working towards this goal). I can't exactly choose where I go to medical school because I'd be lucky to get into any of the schools that have interviewed me so far, and it feels like there's even less choice in residency, so I understand why my SO is stressed by the lack of stability. I know following me to medical school is a big ask, but in my mind it really is only temporary until I am done with residency. My SO says they love me and I am everything they want in a life partner, so it really does seem like the only red flag for them is med school and residency. I need to hear from people who have maintained long-term (preferably not long-distance) relationships while transitioning to medical school / residency. How have you made things work? Is there even any making this work?
    Writings on the wall. I know you love her, but you gotta set yourself free, you’ll be happier in the long run.
     

    Groove

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    I have been dating my SO for 2+ years and they have stuck with me through undergrad stress, MCAT stress, and application cycle stress. My SO is a three 12-hr nightshift a week RN, and I have been working multiple jobs and volunteering, so we barely get time to see each other. In the little time we do get to see each other, I always work to make sure my SO feels loved and appreciated, but they have been getting more distant as the application cycle progresses. My SO says that they are unsure whether or not they will choose to stay with me or leave me when I go to medical school, explaining that their friends/family/job are all in the city where we live together now, and that coming with me would mean starting over multiple times (for med school, for residency, and possibly past that as well provided I can't find placement in the same location). They have also expressed concerns about having to wait until I am more established in my career (and actually have $$) to get married and have kids, even though I have offered to take a year off before finishing residency to be there if we have kids. They have also said that my stress around medical school has been affecting them, stressing them out to the point where they don't know if they can handle it for another 8 years. To be fair, studying for the MCAT was the most stressed I have ever been in my life (so far) and it was an unpleasant time for both of us, but since then we've just been the same level of busy as most working couples are and I have been managing my stress as it comes. This has all been incredibly hard to hear because I love my SO and am willing to make as many accommodations for them as possible (aside from not going to medical school since I have spent my entire life working towards this goal). I can't exactly choose where I go to medical school because I'd be lucky to get into any of the schools that have interviewed me so far, and it feels like there's even less choice in residency, so I understand why my SO is stressed by the lack of stability. I know following me to medical school is a big ask, but in my mind it really is only temporary until I am done with residency. My SO says they love me and I am everything they want in a life partner, so it really does seem like the only red flag for them is med school and residency. I need to hear from people who have maintained long-term (preferably not long-distance) relationships while transitioning to medical school / residency. How have you made things work? Is there even any making this work?
    If you make it into med school, you'll have plenty of panties thrown at you during residency. If she doesn't want you, I guarantee you someone else will. It's probably for the best, cut her loose. I don't blame her either, it's a huge time investment with enormous personal sacrifice.
     

    GoSpursGo

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    even though I have offered to take a year off before finishing residency to be there if we have kids.
    I basically agree with what everyone else has said, plus this idea you have isn’t a thing. You will not be able to just take a year off to have kids.

    It sounds like you guys have different life goals. That doesn’t make her selfish for wanting to accomplish her goals, nor does it make you a bad person for wanting to go to med school. But two nice, compatible people still sometimes just do not make sense for each other.
     
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