Dating Advice from a Pre-Med Student

Someone once told me, “You’re so tall! You’re never going to find a guy that’s taller than you.”

I remember thinking “I’m literally only in like…seventh grade. Please sit down and stop talking to me about guys.”

It didn’t really hit me how much emphasis and externally derived pressure there was, on getting into a relationship early on in life. I realized this only a few months ago when someone told me, “The happiest day in a girl’s life is her wedding day.”

I remember feeling a burning sensation in my chest when I retorted, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, the most important day in my life will be the day I get my white coat.”

The split second of shamefulness dissipated very quickly because I realized just how little I cared about everyone’s reaction and what everyone thought; all I knew is that I wanted my degree and the opportunity to practice medicine more than anything.

Image courtesy of OHSU

Finding a special someone wasn’t necessarily the last thing on my list, nor was it something to feel embarrassed about, wanting to feel appreciated in a way that was a little more than a friendship, but I wanted to make it clear it was never going to become prioritized over my goal to become a doctor.

If there’s one thing I learned in college, it’s that you’re awakened in a lot of ways that you wouldn’t have expected. I never really gave relationships and dating much thought back in high school because I was probably stressing out over my Calculus exam, but in college you have a lot of opportunities to explore different aspects of your life that you didn’t think about nearly as much as you did back in high school. Particularly dating.

I think that, for the most part, a huge reason I didn’t nose dive into dating people back in high school, and even now, is because I’d like to think I know what I’m looking for. I have a plan for the next 12 years, give or take a few, because of medical school and residency. Realistically speaking, I know I don’t have time to goof off, because at least for me, if I’m not dating in hopes of getting something serious out of it, it’s just dating to waste time. I’m essentially looking for someone  ready to commit, and who has the motivation to do something with their life.

It’s not to say that I’m going to mom this person around, or that I’m looking for an Excel spreadsheet of their life plan for the next 15 years when they apply for a position to go out with me. But I think for myself, and for a lot of people (from experience of talking to quite a few friends who are in relationships), everyone would appreciate a significant other that could keep up with them career-wise, and translate their motivation to make something out of themselves to other parts of their lives to make the relationship more exciting.

It’s hard to find that at a young age, and if you do find it in someone, consider yourself lucky. We’re still trying to figure out who we are and what we want from ourselves. We’re still trying to come to terms with our insecurities, and we’re still trying to understand the purpose we want to assign to our lives. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, or at least have an inkling to what these answers might be, how can you expect to look for it in someone else, or to be content with another person entering your life in an entirely new way?

At least that’s the way I look at it. Dating’s hard, period. For a pre-med student, there’s a lot of tea surrounding this kind of “taboo” subject, that you should just put off until you get your degree.

I’d like to argue that it’s not necessarily true and that you should play it by ear. If someone comes into your life and you can see something realistic coming from it, by all means, go for it. Unless you’re looking for something casual then, by all means, run free, wild spirit.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Know that you are deserving of the love you wish to give to others, and know that when you are ready to carry it, it will come to you. But until then, cuffing season can wait. Get to know yourself a little more. Explore things that scare or excite you, and spend time with people who feel like sunshine. Life is what you make of it, and sometimes, you have to stumble several times and question the point of it all to realize that. Just keep going, and trust that good things are coming your way.