Dating In Medical School | Obstacles And Tips To Succeed

Dating in medical school may seem difficult due to most of the time being spent on studies and training, clubbed with the pressure of getting placed, but it’s not impossible. 

When dating in medical school, it’s important to balance your school and personal life. Go out on dates once a week and plan your school schedule accordingly so that it doesn’t affect your studies. Having an understanding partner (preferably from the same school) will make dating less hectic. 

Do not let your dating behavior damage your studies. You need to be emotionally strong to deal with the ups and downs of both academic performance and dating. Let’s jump into some of the finer details. 

Can You Date During Medical School?

You can date during medical school based on how much time you’ve got to spare. Some students work fairly quickly through their workload while others struggle to get things done. Make sure dating doesn’t distract you from your ultimate objective or results in lapses in academic performance.

Here are a few more things you need to keep in mind while dating during medical school:

1. Dating Someone Inside The Medical School

There would be a better understanding between the couple if you date someone from the medical fraternity and preferably from your own school.

Your date will be familiar with the time crunch and the pressure that medical schools put on you.

Also, taking out the time to spend with your partner won’t be so tough, as you both can study in the library side by side or have lunch together without affecting your academic scores.

You both would share a lot more in common, and communication would be unidirectional instead of all over the place.

But it can also become boring over time if you don’t introduce new interests to talk about.

Dating Someone Inside The Medical School

2. Dating Someone From Outside The Medical School

Dating an outsider in a medical school has its perks and downsides.

They won’t be able to understand your commitment to school, and it will take a lot more convincing than usual if you skip dates.

On the flip side, conversing with a person from outside the medical field can be much more interesting as you can learn from them or teach them a thing or two about what you are majoring in.

They can be your escape from the medical world and will keep you in touch with the outside world.

But you will have to plan at least one or two dates in a week to make it work since it is not possible to hang out together for hours every day if your date is not in the same school.

Is Dating Hard In Medical School?

Dating in medical school is hard, knowing the rigorous schedule, constant pressure, and dedication required. Managing your dating life can be challenging since it requires giving time and attention to your date. Staying focused on studies without letting the dating outcomes affect you is difficult.

Here are a few more reasons why dating can be hard in medical school:

1. Feels Exhausting

Medical students constantly miss out on other aspects of their lives because they must dedicate most of their time studying to pass their exams, which is a lot to handle.

Even if they manage to get someone to date them, keeping up with it can be really exhausting for them.

Going out on a date, wrapping up their work late till night, and then having to wake up early will leave them feeling tired the next day.

2. Staying In Touch Becomes Difficult

Like other people, medical students can’t afford to spend a lot of time on calls or texts, which can be problematic for the person they are dating.

And during their exams, there will be gaps in communication for days, making it more difficult to stay in contact.

Some people don’t take this behavior well and may quit dating a medical student.

3. Lack Of Understanding

Medical school students will not be able to stick to a time or plan due to their unpredictable hours and schedule.

The other person will take it as an insult if not kept updated with the schedule, leading to misunderstandings.

And students in medical school already have so much on their plates that the last thing they want is to deal with arguments while dating.

Stress from dating can take their focus off of studies and result in poor performance in exams.

4. Requires Compromises That Are Hard To Make

Dating puts a medical student in compromising positions.

At times, their partner will want to go out and have fun on weekends, but they might have planned to study the whole day to prepare for an upcoming exam.

Coming to a decision that suits both partners will not be easy. Someone will have to compromise, and it’s not always going to be the other person.

5. Increases Financial Burden

Most medical students are under the debt of their education loans, and going out on dates on top of that can feel burdensome to many.

Even the cheapest dates can feel like leisurely spending when you’re literally trying to save pennies.

Unlike students from other backgrounds, they cannot even afford to look for part-time jobs because the workload can be too much.

Knowing this can be a huge turn-off for some people they will date.

6. Nasty Breakups

Breakups are very hard to deal with, especially when you are in med school and can’t afford to spend time grieving.

Staying focused during dates or post-breakups without feeling emotional pain is humanly impossible, making dating even harder for a med school student.

Nasty Breakups

How Do Med Students Survive Dating?

Med students survive dating by going out with someone from the same school, making the process a lot more relaxing. It is much more likely that the date will have a similar schedule. When dating someone from outside, they try to adhere to a disciplined schedule and meet somewhere around the campus. 

Let’s talk about the survival strategies of med school students while dating in depth.

1. By Dating Someone From The Inside

As said earlier, it’s easy to survive dating when the person is from the same field and understands you and your schedule.

You can be around each other more often by matching your date’s study times and breaks.

Also, the expectations would be realistic without many demands as both partners will respect each other’s dedication to their life goals.

Both long-distance relationships and dating non-med students, thus, are extremely difficult to pull off successfully.

2. By Taking Out Time

One of the hardest things for med students is to take some time off from their studies for other activities.

So, setting a definite time slot aside for dates once every week works fine with an understanding partner.

Try not to skip these once-in-a-week planned dates unless absolutely necessary because there always will be a reason not to go.

You will always have something on your plate, but you’ll need to learn to manage your time wisely.

3. Working On Building Chemistry

Even though med students cannot spend much time together with their date, they tend to value whatever little time they have.

They will focus on creating a connection and making memories.

The time a med student chooses to spend with their significant other is precious to them, and they will try their best to make every bit of it count.

4. By Keeping Their Partner Updated

It’s natural for the other person to feel undervalued or left out when they don’t know much about what goes on in a medical student’s life.

While dating in medical school, a person should ensure their date is well informed about their schedule. This includes exams, vivas, lab work, voluntary work, etc.

So, even if anything changes at the last minute, they don’t feel bad about it since they were always kept in the loop.

This helps in keeping the understanding and trust intact.

Is It Possible To Be In A Relationship During Med School?

It is possible to be in a relationship during med school if you play smart when managing your workload, time, and finances. You’ll have to make do with whatever’s available. Many students join a med school with existing relationships and marry before completing their degree or during their residency.

Here are some possible ways to have a successful relationship while being in a med school:

1. Prioritize Your Partner Equally

To make a relationship work in medical school, one has to prioritize their significant other sometimes since studies are prioritized most of the time.

This could include a simple gesture like not attending a concert with your friends and meeting your partner instead.

Or you could invite them to the concert and hang out alone or invite the person to meet your friends. A person can not completely neglect their partner and still expect them to be there.

There is no going forward without a commitment to give each other importance and attention.

Prioritize Your Partner Equally

2. Set Realistic Expectations

Med school relationships are different, and it’s essential to set realistic expectations.

Clearly communicate what a person should expect while being in a relationship with a medical student. This will eliminate many misunderstandings and unnecessary drama.

Both should understand the fact that it’s not going to be like a normal relationship where there is a lot of free time to chill out together and accept the restrictions the way they are.

3. Dedicate Some Private Time To Your Partner

No matter how busy you two are in your own worlds, make sure to set aside time for your partner. Agree on a time slot that works for both of you to get in touch.

Other than that, try to meet each other in person whenever you can and do some fun activities together to protect the chemistry.

Video call dates are fun and all but can never replace the physical experience.

4. Communicate

Communication is the key for any relationship to survive. Why would it be different for med school relationships? Do not let the communication gap ruin your relationship.

Talk to each other almost every day, even if it is only for 2 minutes. But make sure to keep your partner in the loop and share what your day or week looks like.

Sharing is an important part of a relationship as it creates an emotional bond between two people.

5. Put In The Effort

Relationships in medical schools are harder because of time constraints.

A one-sided effort won’t help the relationship survive, even if the other partner goes the extra mile.

Both partners should be willing to compromise and put in equal effort to stay together even when they cannot connect regularly. 

6. Prepare To Adjust

Nothing is a hundred percent certain in the medical world of relationships. There will always be last-minute changes.

Both partners should understand this and prepare to adjust their schedules if they can or drop the idea for now.

This should be done without nagging and bringing it up in fights. Being flexible and supportive of each other’s careers is necessary.

Finding Love and Hooking Up In Medical School

Finding love in medical school is quite common, but hooking up is relatively uncommon and discouraged by most students and teachers. It is seen as not being serious about your career. People are quick to judge since you are expected to behave responsibly in the medical field. 

Still, if you are more inclined to have a hookup than a serious relationship, here are some key points to remember:

1. Be On The Same Page

It’s important to clearly state your intentions to the other person from the very beginning. It helps avoid emotional connections by keeping things only physical.

Also, the chances of one person getting hurt because of developing feelings reduces as both are aware of each other’s intentions.

When next to each other during classes, behave in a thoroughly professional way.

Be On The Same Page

2. Keep It A Secret

If you are open about your hookups in med school, people around you would certainly talk.

It will draw unnecessary attention and distraction, which you probably don’t want.

Since all medical personnel are expected to behave responsibly as ideal citizens, don’t forget how risky it will be if the faculty finds out.

It is best to communicate about keeping things a secret to the other person and decide how you guys want to go about it if the dalliance becomes public.

3. Set Clear Rules And Boundaries

Getting into hookups while in medical school can make things complicated. Setting clear rules and boundaries will help in keeping things simple.

For example, you can decide on the days or nights you get to meet and whether to keep texting or calling off the table.

Talk about what’s allowed, what isn’t, and what to expect. You don’t have to be very upfront about it but try subtly to convey everything without coming off as a cold jerk.

4. Look For Someone From The Outside

Hooking up with someone from inside your med school will be a poor choice.

If things go wrong, not only will you have to deal with the person daily, but a bad reputation will also follow. It will be difficult to avoid your FWB.

It’s easier to impress an outsider with a “I am a med student” card than a fellow medical student or senior.

Also, all the complications of hooking up will stay outside the school and probably, no one will ever find out.

5. Try Ending It Maturely

Ending things with someone you hooked up with can become hideous if not handled carefully and with maturity.

Try to end your hookup streak respectfully and possibly on a good note. There should not be any feelings of resentment between the two of you.

Both of you should be able to co-exist peacefully without being awkward or uncomfortable. Whatever has happened shouldn’t affect your studies by building up stress and tension.


Dating in medical school is both possible and manageable.

Some students get into serious relationships at school or keep long-distance relationships, while some marry during their time at school.

It’s all about being able to manage your studies and love life simultaneously, without letting one affect the other.

This can easily be done if both of you are determined to make it work by compromising on rigid expectations. Be considerate and help each other grow.

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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