Can a relationship survive grad school? It’s a common question and many people wonder whether pursuing their educational goals will result in the end of their romantic partnership.
- 1 Can a relationship survive grad school?
- 2 How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship in Grad School
- 2.0.1 Be Innovative
- 2.0.2 Be Prepared for Some Awkwardness
- 2.0.3 Reduced Expectations
- 2.0.4 Separation
- 2.0.5 Distribute Your Work
- 2.0.6 Make Contact With Others
- 2.0.7 Discover Something New
- 2.0.8 Take Care of Yourself
- 2.0.9 Increase Your Independence
- 2.0.10 Plan Ahead of Time
- 2.0.11 Engage in Difficult Personal Conversations
- 3 How to support your partner in grad school
Can a relationship survive grad school?
Though many people believe that the demands of graduate school will take a toll on a relationship, a new study suggests that well-matched partners can thrive during the course of grad school.
“What I found was that there were plenty of well-matched couples—where both partners were motivated, supporting each other and committed to their joint goals—who experienced no negative effects from going to graduate school”.
“Those couples maintained their relationship despite challenges that are typically thought to disrupt romantic relationships, such as distance, time away from home, divergent goals and the high level of responsibility imposed by graduate school.”
How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship in Grad School
There is no single recipe for staying in touch, but owing to contemporary technology, there are more methods to keep connected than ever before. Use social media to see and share photos, send handwritten letters back and forth, watch movies or cook together on video chats, and discover other innovative methods to interact.
Be Prepared for Some Awkwardness
Many couples are startled to discover that they require time to acclimatize when meeting face to face after a period of separation. Allow yourself some time to acclimatize to being together each time you meet, and talk about strategies to acclimate with your spouse.
While this may appear negative, it is a realistic method to prevent being disappointed or let down after reconnecting. Many people romanticize their relationships when they are gone, only to return to their partner’s everyday routines. Expect that, while you will be delighted to see him or her again, there may be occasions when running errands or performing chores will not feel particularly special.
Growing apart is unavoidable, and resisting it would not only suffocate you both, but will also lead to tension and conflict. Accept and promote your partner’s and your own personal growth. You will enhance your connection and help you and your spouse to attain your greatest potential by encouraging growth.
Distribute Your Work
Is your partner fully aware of what you do? Instead of stating that you have a paper due or that you are starting on a new project, offer the directions or overview of what you will be doing. Until you divulge the details of the projects you’re working on, they’re just an abstract notion you talk about.
You may make your work more clear by sending class syllabi, internship criteria, or your job description. This will only make your partner’s understanding of your work’s triumphs and issues simpler, and will allow them to assist you more effectively.
Make Contact With Others
Create and sustain your own community to provide you with support and to assist you in achieving your own independence. It might also be beneficial to speak with individuals who have had long-distance relationships in order to share your problems and accomplishments. Use forums and online organizations for individuals who are dealing with the difficulties of being apart from loved ones.
Discover Something New
Use the time away to attempt a new sport or pursue a passion you’ve always wanted to pursue. Even if you don’t find a long-term pastime, you may keep your mind fresh and learn more about yourself.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking better care of oneself can assist with the upheaval of emotions and the absence of company. Make the most of your time apart by developing your own separate technique for dealing with emotions of loneliness and worry.
Increase Your Independence
Being away from what is known teaches you how to navigate the world without relying on the comfort of a loved one. Accept your newfound freedom, which will surely come in handy even when you rejoin with your lover.
Plan Ahead of Time
You’ll always know when you’ll see each other again. Even if it’s three months away, being able to countdown the days until you know you’ll see your spouse again is quite useful. It helps you to make plans, feel enthusiastic, and realize that your separation isn’t permanent.
Engage in Difficult Personal Conversations
You can’t always make this happen, and it’s difficult to be ready to do so for fear of ruining that wonderful time together. Having unpleasant talks in person, on the other hand, may promote closeness and intimacy. Many partners can support and feel better supported by their spouse in person, and large concerns or decisions are easier to explore when you can physically assist your partner.
The difficulties of living apart are as varied and distinctive to each marriage as the answers. Graduate school is a stressful period in a relationship, regardless of how strong or connected the two of you are. You can keep your relationship strong no matter how far apart you are by maintaining open communication, resolving difficulties as they arise, and developing your own support system.
How to support your partner in grad school
Consider Their Study Time
Graduate school is psychologically and physically exhausting. Projects, lectures, homework, and other obligations all take longer than intended. Graduate students are constantly racing against the clock, and even a little delay at the doctor’s office provides an opportunity to cram in some review time.
As a result, offer your spouse the space and time they require to study.
Take over some of your spouse’s household responsibilities.
Going home to a cluttered, filthy house after a hard day of work and school is sure to aggravate your partner. If you have free time and observe that your significant other needs to stay up late only to take care of domestic tasks on top of everything else they have to do, offer to help out.
Not only will they be appreciative for your assistance, but you and your partner will also have more time to enjoy each other’s company.
Persuade them to take a break.
It may seem counter-intuitive, especially with project deadlines approaching, but taking breaks, even if they are brief, is essential for productivity. While rigorous study is essential for graduate school achievement, breaks, such as brisk, brief walks about the neighborhood, can rejuvenate the brain.
When you find your spouse working nonstop on a project or study all weekend, get them out of the home by inviting them to eat at a local café or have some ice cream. If that isn’t possible, prepare them a dinner or bring them some take-out.
Be the inspiration they require.
Graduate students are a vulnerable demographic. In fact, according to a Harvard-affiliated study paper, graduate students are three times more likely than the general population to have “moderate or severe symptoms of sadness and anxiety.” Furthermore, 10% of those polled reported suicide thoughts for multiple days in the previous two weeks.
Words of encouragement, such as telling your spouse how pleased you are of them, celebrating their victories, no matter how large or little, and doing everything you can to help them succeed, may be just what they need to keep going.
Maintaining a happy and healthy relationship while your partner is in graduate school might be difficult. Understanding that graduate school life entails a slew of sacrifices, and being there for them when they need it, may considerably alleviate the strains of a graduate program—and strengthen your relationship with your significant other.