Friday, March 20, 2015

Dating In Dental School part 1. The groundwork.

Yesle: I can't tell you how many people asked about the dating part of my life. Do you have time to date? Do you consciously not date anyone in your program? I got Dave to write this comprehensive (systemic and practical) guide to love (or dating?) in dental school. Writing a mission statement for your romantic life? Owning up to your value? Genius. I’ve included a checklist at the end of each post for what you can do right now. 

It’s funny that Yesle asked me to write about this topic because it is something we discuss a lot when we hang out. I remember one time after volunteering, Yesle looked at me point blank and asked, “How do you do it?!” And by it she means date a lot. I’ve had many successes and failures, but at least I’ve tried. I’ve really put myself out there during dental school and now is my shot to impart some wisdom learned from these past three years. Here are some tips: 

A)    Know quickly what you do and don’t want: You’re a busy dental student, so it’s okay to be picky. Does your potential partner understand your busy schedule? Make sure they have similar volunteer, fitness, and career ambitions as you. Glean this early. If they aren’t going to fit into your busy grad school life, it’s okay to give them the boot. Personally, if anyone wants me to lower my academic standards or skip the gym, I’ll skip on them instead. 

B)   Set a vision: Be honest with yourself and what you want. Do you want someone who will move to residency with you? Vacation with you during breaks? Help take care of you while you’re busy? Completely back off during the week when you’re busy? A gym partner? Great sex? No sex at all? The checklist can go on and on. You are a busy dental student and it is okay to have a bigger list of dealbreakers. You have no time for someone lying, cheating, or misunderstanding your needs as a burnt out student. Your partner should energize you!

C)  Confidence/Personal Mission Statement: This suggestion is huge. And also cocky. But important! You need to love yourself before you can love someone else. Evaluate yourself and set your own mission statement for romance. Mine is as follows:
You are going to be an Ivy League doctor when you are done with your program. You are a military scholar with no debt. You are reasonably attractive, independently wealthy, and have a lot to offer to someone. You dedicate your time to the gym, your classmates, to volunteering in the community, and most importantly to the highest level of care for your patients. Love yourself and the right person will find you in life and appreciate all you do.
When you put it so boldly, you won’t want to take crap from anyone anymore. Value yourself fairly. If you’re a broken mess, say so. If you’re confident and ready to rock a new relationship, say that. Once you know who you are, you will be ready to know who you’re looking for. 

D)   Decide on a course of action: Are you going to hit the clubs, download dating apps, or have your friends set you up on blind dates? Simply put, you need see what could potentially work depending on your style. Another huge decision is deciding on whether to make a move on someone in your program or not. Remember, you must see them frequently in a professional setting. That being said, if there is mutual attraction, don’t write them off if you think it can work. The choice is yours alone. If you have a distance component, be clear with who visits who and when!

Yesle: So here's your homework. 

- Brainstorm what your ideal relationship looks like. Give me a list of 3-5.

- Write up a one-paragraph of your mission statement for your romantic life.

- Decide how you’ll look for dates. Make one specific plan for a specific night. Add it into your google calendar.

Finished your homework? You can read Part 2 here.


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