Yesle: I believe in living deliberately- and that applies to dating. You guys are swamped with the application part of dental schools, but take a fun break to think about other aspects of your new transition, including dating. From your emails I know you're curious about dating in dental school!
Some things you’ll only figure out with practice and time. Here’s more of Dave's advice to keep in mind on how you’ll date and how you’ll learn to love- others and yourself. If you missed Part 1 from Dave, go read it here- including his mission statement on dating (!!!). My comment on this whole love thing? Dave and I are both figuring it out... but it's a fun journey. Here's Dave (@camevad).
A) Work them in: Dental student schedules are demanding. Don’t waste your time on boring dates or drunken hookups with your potential partner, unless that’s really all you want. Instead, try new coffeeshop and dinner adventures. Attempt a new hike. Take up a new hobby. I’m a huge fan of adventure dating. I’ve literally explored 75% of Philadelphia on dates alone – and if you’re lucky, they’ll pay ;) . And I’ve picked up a few new hobbies too. Make your time away from school valuable. If it has to involve school, have your partner start to meet your colleagues, volunteer with you, or attend a program or two held by your school. Work them into your dental school life.
B) School + life: 70/30? 60/40? Make sure you keep some time for academia, volunteerism, and the other duties dental school entails. 60%? 70%? Only you can decide. I would say my life is 60/40 – 60% of my week is set aside to the gym in the morning, lectures, clinic, and labwork/extra courses. But I know when it’s time to leave school and hang out with friends or go on a date. That being said, don’t be that burnout who devotes 90% of your time to school and only 10% of your time to someone else – it just isn’t fair. Explain how busy dental school is to your partner beforehand, and hopefully they will be willing to tag along for some coffee shop or library study dates. Mix it up but set a fair expectation.
C) Love yourself. This is important: self-care. Before anyone else can love you, you must love yourself- and act it out to make yourself feel loved. I know it’s hard in dental school, but try. Learn to cook, practice your hobbies, find a fitness routine, and treat yourself to some nice clothes and haircuts/spa days. You deserve it as a dental student and great human being, not just a potential date. Self-care took me great places: I found the right living situation, kept the right friends, and worked to upkeep the best physical appearance I can. From there I can only hope someone will love me the way I am.
I hope this helps. This is just one set of advice, and remember that there is more than one way to skin a cat. I know many dental school “class couples”, dental students making it work with other grad students, dental students dating undergrads, married dental students, et cetera. Anything is possible if you set a vision and try. Good luck out there. Cupid out.
Yesle: what do you think? If you're starting dental school with a partner, how have you made it work?
Also a disclaimer: the Gossip Girl obsession is solely mine, not Dave's...