Dating a med student? Check out these tips for a "healthy" relationship.
1. Don't expect to see them. Ever.
2. Accept the fact they will have many affairs. With their books.
3. Learn to hide your “ew, gross” reactions when they tell you all the stuff you never wanted to know about your bodily functions.
4. Support them when they come home after each test, upset because they failed—and gently remind them after they get their well above passing grade how unnecessary the “I’m going to fail out of medical school and never become an MD” dramatics are.
5. Each week they will have a new illness. Some will be extremely rare, others will be more mundane. Doesn’t matter. They will be certain they have it (no second opinions necessary.) Med school can, and will, turn even the sanest into a hypochondriac. Date them for long enough, and you’ll become one too.
6. There will be weeks you'll forget you even have a boyfriend—friends will ask how he is and you'll say, “What? Who? Oh....right. He's well...I think.”
7. They'll make you hyper-aware that germs are everywhere and on everything. Even though you used to walk into your home with your shoes on, and sit on your bed in the same clothes you just wore while riding the subway, or sat on a public bench in, you'll become far too disgusted to ever do it again. Believe me, it's going to get bad...you'll watch yourself transform into the anal retentive person you swore you'd never become. And when you witness others perform these same acts that, before you began dating your med student, you spent your entire life doing too, you'll wince and wonder, “Ew! How can they do that? Don't they know how many germs and bacteria they're spreading??!”
8. Romantic date = Chinese take-out in front of the TV on their 10 minute study break.
9. A vacation together consists of a trip down the street to Walgreens for new highlighters and printer paper.
10. Their study habits will make you feel like a complete slacker. For them, hitting the books 8-to-10 hours a day is not uncommon, nor difficult. You'll wonder how you ever managed to pass school on your meager one hour of studying per night.
11. They're expected to know everything. Everything! The name of the 8 billion-lettered, German sounding cell that lives in the depths of your inner ear, the technical term for the “no one's ever heard of this disease” disease that exists only on one foot of the Southern tip of the African continent. But ask them if your knee is swollen, or what you should do to tame your mucous-filled cough, or why the heck your head feels like someone's been drilling through it for oil for two weeks straight, and they won't have a clue.
12. “My brain's filled with so much information, I can't be expected to remember THAT!" will be the standard excuse for forgetting anniversaries, birthdays, and, if you get this far, probably the birth of your first-born.
13. You'll need friends with unending patience who pretend never to get sick of listening to your endless venting and complaints. Or, you'll need to pay a therapist who will pretend never to get sick of listening to your endless venting and complaints.
But take this all with a grain of salt. It's not like I'm speaking from experience or anything...
Marissa Kristal is a New York-based writer who has written for various print and online publications such as Psychology Today, Time Out New York, Chicken Soup for the Soul Magazine and Beauty Addict, to name a few. Read more from Marissa on her website: marissakristal.com, and her blog: mariskris.blogspot.com.