PhD and relationships

posted
28-Aug-15, 14:19
Avatar for asha8200
posted about 4 years ago
Starting a PhD was getting one step closer to my ultimate goal. Although the transition from a legal practitioner to an academic wasn't easy. Now that everything else is going alright please tell me why is it so difficult to find a partner with a similar mindset. I was too busy building up my career that haven't even noticed that I have actually been single for 6 years! Now that I am more or less settled with a teaching contract and so on I do feel like I wish I had someone to share all these little stories I have. I socialise well and have friends but I do scare away guys the moment they find out about my legal background and the ongoing PhD. The PhD dudes I know around me is either too old or taken. Looks like I have chosen a path where I would have to remain single for the rest of my career. Anyone else finding it difficult to find a partner with a PhD?
posted
29-Aug-15, 01:11
edited about 8 seconds later
by Ganesha
Avatar for Ganesha
posted about 4 years ago
Hope someone suitable will come your way you soon. The people I know who usually are in your kind of situation are also the ones who seem to be not very adventurous and not enough experienced in other aspects of life out of fear ther they will compromise on one thing over another. As a result, they don't make a very good company because all they talk is about career. They have no real life story or experience to share which helps to have a companion. Next time when you do like someone, try being a bit mysterious about your occupation and keep them guessing. If you reveal it at once then it spoils everything. Let them take over the conversation and you be a good listener and then share your views and try to portray yourself to know a lot without acting to be so. That really helps to get through for a second meeting. Probably from thereon, things can heat up. If not, at least you can brag if having some dating experience and that definitely makes you an interesting person. People these days like multidimensional personalities , something that can stretch their imaginations the way the books don't. Once you know more about the person, then talk about things they probably will,find interesting to know more about as they don't know. But, if they already like you, then probably, they will automatically talk things that you like to talk about.....
posted
29-Aug-15, 10:04
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From Ganesha:
The people I know who usually are in your kind of situation are also the ones who seem to be not very adventurous and not enough experienced in other aspects of life out of fear ther they will compromise on one thing over another. As a result, they don't make a very good company because all they talk is about career. They have no real life story or experience to share which helps to have a companion. If not, at least you can brag if having some dating experience and that definitely makes you an interesting person. People these days like multidimensional personalities , something that can stretch their imaginations the way the books don't. .


Is it just me that finds this highly offensive?! So you're saying the reason people are single is because they are boring? Seriously? I have no other words.
posted
29-Aug-15, 10:48
by Eds
Avatar for Eds
posted about 4 years ago
Indeed. There are other words though... 'cretinous,' for example.
posted
29-Aug-15, 10:59
Avatar for asha8200
posted about 4 years ago
I actually refuse to play "interesting" just for the sake of attracting someone who has no idea what I do, how I do it and feels insecured about my achievements. I only wondered is it just me who finds it difficult to find someone who is intellectually compatible in the above post. I am not into working too hard to find a partner. My thesis deserves the attention atm lol! But thanks for your advice Ganesha.
posted
29-Aug-15, 11:10
edited about 3 seconds later
by BJS
Avatar for BJS
posted about 4 years ago
I agree with TreeofLife - Ganesha's comment came across as narrow-minded. You can't judge a person from a short paragraph they have provided.

I've not yet started my PhD yet (will do next month) but I know how you feel about focusing on a career. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, I know a couple of friends of mine who were set on academic careers but then found partners and settled comfortably into life with them and are now working in retail. There is nothing wrong at all with working in retail, of course, but it seemed to me as though they lost their ambition along the way. So at least by focusing on your career you've made a good start as that's something somebody can never take away from you (your education and experience, at least).

Anyway, in terms of actually meeting someone, are there any social groups within your university you can join? I don't know how this would work at your level as I'm only just finishing my Masters now but I know that in our University we have various postgraduate and academic societies and gatherings to encourage interdisciplinarity and the like. There is also Internet dating, something I myself have done. It can be a bit hit and miss in terms of finding someone but you are at least able to narrow down specific attributes on some dating sites, so you could find other people with a PhD etc.

From my perspective, I know I set high standards for a relationship like I do for my education/career. Perhaps you might be a little similar? Again, it's hard for us to say from the information we have to go off. What I do know is that many of my friends who have met their partners met them in random places like a bus stop or a dodgy nightclub! So keep holding out hope and you never know, you might meet the love of your life at the next conference you go to...
posted
29-Aug-15, 11:48
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
For me here's the difficulty: finding someone who's intelligent, single, who I'm attracted to, who's attracted to me, someone that's a nice, decent, reasonable person with a similar sense of humour and a similar outlook on life.

It's not that easy, and it has nothing to do with whether I'm an 'interesting/experienced/adventurous person with a life story'.

But then again, I do have some 'dating experience' so maybe I will try 'bragging' about that and seeing if that catches someone's attention. Or maybe not.
posted
29-Aug-15, 12:00
Avatar for asha8200
posted about 4 years ago
Lol! I would rather brag about something I'm good at, and that sure wont be my dating experience! people judge and non-academics often get intimidated by our unconscious use of jargons and confidence. Sometimes I wonder why do I get frustrated by loneliness when I know it too well that I cannot afford the time and commitment it takes to be in a relationship.in next two years. I guess having no distraction is my biggest distraction ( sadly enough)
posted
29-Aug-15, 12:07
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
For me, I need someone on my intellectual level and I'm pretty certain that person is not going to be working in retail. It's not impossible, but I find there are more like-minded people in academia.

I wouldn't worry too much about it for now. You will probably be glad you are single when you come to finalising your thesis, I know I was. It took up all my head space so there would have been no room for a relationship anyway.
posted
29-Aug-15, 12:27
edited about 15 seconds later
by Ganesha
Avatar for Ganesha
posted about 4 years ago
Asha8200 you are brave in trying to share your desire to not be single and I am warmed up towards your pure honesty in sharing this with us. Like others here, I am also just sharing what I know without knowing your exact circumstances so obviously it's going to sound very general. At the end of the day, PhD is more important and you have earned it and I know you are proud just like we all feel. I stand by what I know and only wish that things get more happier for you as they seem to me already are starting with your PhD this term. Surely, it will open doors to share your happiness with someone who truly deserves.

Enjoy your PhD life, it is exciting and hope you are going to teach as well. Mentoring is very satisfying. Personal wellbeing and happiness is equally important.
posted
29-Aug-15, 12:28
by Tulip
Avatar for Tulip
posted about 4 years ago
Hi asha,

Out of interest, are you mainly interested in dating academics/PhD students? I ask this because I met my boyfriend at undergrad and we've been together throughout my masters and PhD, but he isn't an academic. He started work straight after undergrad and is in a creative career (photography etc) and for me, being with someone not in my field meant that I can get a welcome distraction from work (at least, as much as you can forget about work when doing a PhD!). Also, the fact that he is ambitious and has his own career means that he is proud of my achievements, not insecure about them and vice versa. So I'm wondering if maybe looking for someone with a professional career of their own would be the way to go? Also, I have friends who started dating PhD students while doing their PhD, and they actually found it very hard because when both partners were struggling with thesis problems/stress they weren't in a position to make the other one feel better. This isn't to say that PhD students can't date and be very happy, but it might be something to bear in mind. As TreeOfLife said, try not to worry too much - enjoy the time you have to focus on your career and everything else will just happen.
posted
29-Aug-15, 14:39
edited about 11 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
I find the assumption that the PhD scares people away a bit arrogant, if they didn't confirm that this is the case. Some people have the problem that they define themselves almost exclusively with the PhD and their work and have basically nothing else to talk about. When I'm out and talk to a girl, we spent maybe 2 min talking about jobs. That's the stuff we spent all day with and I don't necessarily need to spend my whole private time talking about it. I'm honest, if a girl's only thing to talk about is academia (not saying that it is like that in your case), then I would probably be not interested as well. That has absolutely nothing to do with intimidation. Even if I do a PhD myself, I am not necessarily interested in your PhD work as a e.g. psychologist. I am out for fun.

I hardly believe that the problem is caused by a PhD. I have several female friends who are PhD students and none of them has a boyfriend that works in academia or did a PhD and several of them got a new boyfriend after starting their PhD. Why would that not work? You do a job like everybody else does. He works at the company, you at the university. I don't see why that is a problem. I don't believe that the guy who went to work with a company after the bachelor is less intelligent than you are, so why would one be intimidated?

Quote From TreeofLife:
For me, I need someone on my intellectual level and I'm pretty certain that person is not going to be working in retail. It's not impossible, but I find there are more like-minded people in academia.


IQ has nothing to do with education and most PhD students I met were absolutely average intelligent anyway. I don't really see why you should not find someone on your intellectual level outside of academia. Chances are pretty high that 50% of the people out of academia are at least as intelligent as you are ;)

I don't know how old OP is, but with increasing age it just gets more and more difficult to find a new partner, especially when you are not the "outgoing type". Maybe internet dating can help.
posted
29-Aug-15, 15:34
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 years ago
As someone who has worked in both non-academic environments and academic environments for years, I can tell you that intelligence/knowledge/IQ/education or whatever you want to call it is correlated with place of work. I have also seen this again moving from a well-established redbrick university to a research institute.

Chances are, if someone has a PhD, they are going to be more intelligent than the average Joe in the street. You are not average when it comes to intelligence Dunham, and nor are the PhD students you meet. You and they have the average intelligence of a PhD student, which is not the same thing at all.

Having said that, of course I have met highly intelligent people outside of academia - some of them are in high management positions, some are in are menial positions because they lack the drive/opportunity to achieve anything else.

Personally, I tend to have less in common with people that are not academic/scientific/logical. It's hard to reason with or relate to people that think irrationally, think education is unimportant, don't have a wide knowledge of multiple subjects, or put their life in God's hands because they don't believe that they largely control their own decisions. I want someone that can challenge me intellectually or tell me something I don't know, not agree with everything I say because I must be right because I have a PhD.

Regarding your other point about conversation topics, I find two people that work in the same place/type of job tend to talk about work a lot. There's nothing wrong with that and it's mostly inevitable because work is a big part of someone's life and if they enjoy it, or have a commonality, they are going to talk about it.
posted
29-Aug-15, 16:14
edited about 1 minute later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
As someone who has......


One should not mistake the more casual interaction of normal "workers" with a lack of intelligence. That was my point. That your work in science demands a different kind of appearance compared to the work in retail does not mean that the person is less intelligent and is only into dull activities. I am a bit startled that this is not common sense and that some people really think of themselves as intelectually superior because of a PhD. Might be that the average PhD student in math has a higher IQ but you definitely don't need an above average IQ to complete a PhD in chemistry or biology. I know so many PhD students and also tons of people who just work and they get along really well when we go out. You couldn't tell who works in science and who not. They are playing instruments, they are interested in politics and some of them are also interested in science. I don't see why that should be such a problem. There are tons of intelligent people out there. If you restrict yourself to academia because you tell yourself that only these people could satisfy your needs, then it will be of course difficult to find an appropriate partner. There are tons of male professors who have wives or partners out of science in normal jobs. They don't seem to be bored by them. Why would you? I think it is sad that so many women fulfill the stereotype that a future partner has to have at least the same or a higher social status. Overall, most of my male friends are non-PhDs and I can assure you that they are intelligent. I would bet that every single one of them could have done a PhD in law, engineering, economy and so on.They spent 5 years at a university. Why wouldn't they be appropriate partners? There was just no reason for them to do a PhD.
posted
29-Aug-15, 16:14
edited about 13 minutes later
by Dunham
Avatar for Dunham
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From TreeofLife:

Personally, I tend to have less .....


The description sounds as if people outside of academia were all completely dull, not interested in anything, never saw a museum from inside....where do you get such a strange impression?? My mom works at a hospital and never studied at a university. Most of her friends didn't study either. Still she's into art, you can talk with her about politics and million other things. My father has a PhD and not a single (good) friend of him has one. Some of his closest friends didn't even study at a university. Never bothered him.

Well, I follow the "never fuck the company" rule and wouldn't want to have a partner at my work place, but that you have the same background does not mean that you have to talk about it all the time. One of my ex girlfriends was more or less in the same area (neurobiology vs plant genetics) and we barely talked about that. I would go crazy if there would be nothing else to talk about. All day life science and then I come home to a person to whom I only talk about life science. That sounds horrible. Life is not just work and if nothing else happens in your life or you are not interested in other stuff then I tend to be less interested. I'd rather like to talk about hobbies, movies, music, travels, politics whatever. I have to admit that of all my friends who started PhDs in the last years, there is just one person where I could say something detailed about the topic. I know in which department the others work and could maybe sum up the topic in a sentence, but not really details about the research. When we go out we talk about a million things, but not work. I see nothing wrong with that.

I think the barriers are more in the heads of people.

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766