Dear Dr. Love,
I’ve been single for a while and now I’m just starting law school. I think I’m ready to get back into the dating game and find the one. How do I balance dating and law school?
Sincerely, Hopeless Romantic Law Student
Hopeless Romantic Law Student,
You’ve asked an important question. You’ll soon learn, law school is hard. Dating is an adventure. Dating while in law school…now that’s some *insert poop emoji*. A law school relationship isn’t like a typical relationship. It requires a different level of maturity and commitment. You’ll either be dating someone that is or isn’t in law school. We’ll start with the latter.
Dating someone who isn’t in law school while being in law school is a challenge. It can be done but a challenge nonetheless. Law school requires a heavy amount of time, emotion and energy – similar to a relationship. Because law school is so demanding and time consuming, your partner is likely to start feeling neglected and as though they are not a priority. The best way to combat this is to ensure that your significant other knows they are important to you. When you finish for the day, set aside some time to talk to them. Not just texting but an actual phone call (or FaceTime if applicable).
Equally important, take an interest in their day and what they have going on. You will be surrounded by the study of law ALL DAY, so when you’re with them try to not talk about law school. Most importantly, it’s the little things that count. Little surprise gifts like their favorite candy, a scented candle, a neck tie, or even a t-shirt of their favorite tv show or band. You want your partner to know they are appreciated. Little signs of affection go a long way
Dating someone who is in law school is an entirely different ballgame. There are plenty of Do’s and Don’ts. If you can manage to land an upperclassman kudos to you! It’s likely you’ll be dating someone in your section or one of the other sections. First, law school is just like high school. Your business will not stay secret for too long. The more you hang out in public, the sooner people will jump to the conclusion that you two are dating. Dating someone in your section is a delicate endeavor. Here is a person that you will be around nearly CONSTANTLY. There won’t be room for “wyd” or “what did you do today?” It will take more to get to know them.
But, I understand. The heart wants what the heart wants. If you plan on dating someone in your section, it’s important to give your partner their space. You don’t have to constantly be around them. A major DON’T…it is imperative that you do not date them and sit next to them in class. If you do then you will be placing yourself around this person at all times, seemingly never giving them any room to breathe. You have to give that person space while also making the effort to get to know them, and at the same time manage the heavy weight of law school.
First ask yourself, are you truly emotionally ready to take on the task of furnishing and maintain a new relationship? Dating while in law school is tough, but getting over a breakup while in law school is hard beyond compare. It can leave you feeling depressed, alone, and wanting to give up on law school. So, before you begin ask yourself if are you truly ready.