Grad school dating

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#8220; Be prepared for a breakup about three weeks from now.” That was the relationship advice I got from a girl in her second year of my boyfriend’s graduate program, just before he started the first semester of his MFA in creative writing.

She had reason to be cynical: grad school means a convoluted class schedule, loads of coursework, very little money, and a whole new social circle of other grad students–and none of those things are awesome for an existing relationship.

Around this time of year (read: Valentine’s Day), it’s hard not to notice—try as you might—that everything’s suddenly turning heart-shaped.

As a grad student neck-deep in research, writing, or wrangling your TA section, it’s tempting to shut yourself off from this annual love-fest as you consume equal parts books and coffee.

I’m an inherently disorganized person, so this isn’t easy for me, and I’d probably get resentful of the extra work if my boyfriend didn’t openly appreciate it. When your partner is in grad school, they can’t bring as much to the relationship as they can when they’re less busy.

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