I have wanted to share what it really looks like to date a doctor or in my case a medical student for awhile now, so here we are… While the experience is different for everyone I want to share some of the hardships & wins that Steven & I have been going through over the past 4 years. My goal for these posts are to unveil some of the expectations, phrases, & experiences that couples go through in hopes to let those who are going through something similar know that you are not alone in this. You do not have to feel guilty or shameful about your feelings & that everything is going to be okay if you continue to work together.
Society has created this illusion that dating a “doctor” is glamorous and although we are not yet there, I’d like to point out that this journey has been anything but glamorous. Has it been a rewarding? Absolutely! Has it also been really really hard? Absolutely!
The reality is medical school is kind of like Steven’s new mistress & she consumes his entire world. In the beginning of this journey I was spiraling; I cried all the time, we fought a lot, there was no room for air in the relationship.
Dating someone in medical school is hard to describe, but the best I could come up with is that I am a passenger on my life’s train. The conductor has full say over my life, where I am going, how long we ride for, when I am able to switch tracks, & when we stop. Occasionally I get to pop my head out the window and see where I am going but again I have zero say in the matter. The conductor of the train is medical school….
We are in year three as I am writing, but I want to share something that we got told a lot in year 1 & 2. Family members, friends, and people who knew us in general would ask us how things were going, and our responses would vary depending on which week of hell (just kidding, but not really) we were in. The number one response we would get was…
“Oh, but it will be worth it…”
This is one of the worst things you can say, why? Two reasons, one because when we are talking about the hardships we are going through it can feel really dismissive. I remember it bringing up a lot of shame & anger because I felt guilty for feeling the things that I felt. It’s similar to when someone says, “get up, rub some dirt on it & move on.”
Second, is most people have no idea what we are sacrificing. When someone would say this to us we wanted to scream at them, “Well how in the heck would you know?” or my thought was, “If we even make it until the end…” Most of the time people are thinking about the massive payout that doctors receive, which I can understand however MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING.
While I know people are trying to be helpful, hopeful, and support us through such a hard time. But the “It will be worth it…” can lead to a lot of anger, hurt, guilt and sadness that consumes us 80% of the time. Dating a med student is hard, messy, rewarding, and an overall roller coaster. The biggest thing you can offer is understanding & support.