Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

  • Imagine you are sipping tea or coffee while discussing various issues with a broad and diverse network of students, colleagues, and friends brought together by the common bond of physics, graduate school, and the physics GRE.

Starting a new school: perfect time to end an old relationship?

Yes
13
33%
No
6
15%
Maybe
11
28%
You're a tool
10
25%
 
Total votes: 40

thisiswhoiam
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Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby thisiswhoiam » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:04 am

Okay so a weird first post on here, but as a lurker, it seemed best to start with a creepy topic anyway.

So now that everyone is picking where they are going next year, it seems to be a big decision time for lots of things. My girlfriend and I have been together for 3 years and are pretty happy, but I'll be moving to a new city in August and I'm not 100% sure if she should come with me or not. We're not the perfect couple, but we're also not unhappy... but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to let her come with me if I'm not 100% sure. She says she'll move whever I do and get a job, but is it wrong to let her?

Current grad students: isn't starting grad school/ending undergrad the perfect time for a fresh start? Or am I being "an idiot guy", as my sister would say?

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WontonBurritoMeals
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby WontonBurritoMeals » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:18 am

Whatever your answer is, I'm sure you'll find it on an anonymous online forum.

May the wind be always at your back,
-WontonBurritoMeals

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Helio
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby Helio » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:50 am

WontonBurritoMeals wrote:Whatever your answer is, I'm sure you'll find it on an anonymous online forum.

May the wind be always at your back,
-WontonBurritoMeals


got to agree here... but i will add some fuel to the fire... that you are considering it should give you the answer without asking people

astrofan
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby astrofan » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:03 pm

Not that I disagree with the previous two posters, but couldn't the same thing be said about all the advice given here. We only assume that the people here are actually in the field and know what they are talking about.

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Helio
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby Helio » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:12 pm

the other stuff are usually questions that apply to more general things, moving and how people do it for example, not whether to break up with your gf because you are moving away. there are a lot of people with two-body problems, but they mostly deal with that in private. these things are case to case basis. and as i said before. even considering it should just show what the whole thing is worth him.

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grae313
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby grae313 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:52 pm

thisiswhoiam wrote:Okay so a weird first post on here, but as a lurker, it seemed best to start with a creepy topic anyway.

So now that everyone is picking where they are going next year, it seems to be a big decision time for lots of things. My girlfriend and I have been together for 3 years and are pretty happy, but I'll be moving to a new city in August and I'm not 100% sure if she should come with me or not. We're not the perfect couple, but we're also not unhappy... but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to let her come with me if I'm not 100% sure. She says she'll move whever I do and get a job, but is it wrong to let her?

Current grad students: isn't starting grad school/ending undergrad the perfect time for a fresh start? Or am I being "an idiot guy", as my sister would say?


It's a huge decision and I don't think hardly anyone could be 100% sure about it. I certainly wasn't when I was in your position, now I'm really really glad he came with me. I don't really have any advice for you, though. I guess, try to imagine what it will be like one way, then imagine it the other way, and see how you feel in each case. If you are excited about the idea of starting new, that should tell you something.

thisiswhoiam
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby thisiswhoiam » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:18 pm

Yeah, I realize asking on this forum will mostly yield "You're an idiots", I was just wondering if anyone else had any experience with this... and yeah, I clearly am kind of a jerk for thinking it, but I bet I'm not alone. I just wasn't sure if everyone else made this decision easily or if my slight ambivalence was normal.

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Helio
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby Helio » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:56 pm

thisiswhoiam wrote:Yeah, I realize asking on this forum will mostly yield "You're an idiots", I was just wondering if anyone else had any experience with this... and yeah, I clearly am kind of a jerk for thinking it, but I bet I'm not alone. I just wasn't sure if everyone else made this decision easily or if my slight ambivalence was normal.


i guess you had planned to break up anyway in the near future it is an easy choice, else it is up to you two to figure something out

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quizivex
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby quizivex » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:05 pm

Your question isn't unreasonable at all. You're about to embark on a new journey, which perhaps would be good time to start over. If you two are that happy together, and you are thinking marriage, then sure, she should go with you wherever you go.

But if you're unsure, note that moving a girl across the country with you and making her start over too is probably also an expected commitment to keep her. Grad school is very difficult and time consuming, and doing it while managing to keep a spouse (and even kids for some guys) happy, you'd have to be very confident in your ability to be productive.

IMO, unless I thought she were the greatest girl in the world, I'd want to start over in grad school. If you met a quality girl before, you can do it again, wherever you go. Now this is even coming from a guy who always had difficulty meeting girls in undergrad. I don't understand how seemingly everyone on this forum has a girlfriend...

I'm not socially inept or bad looking at all, but when I was in undergrad, being in physics and math, I had very few chances to get anything going with anyone because I never got to see any girls on a regular basis, like in classes or whatever. And the ones I did meet (met randomly at the vending machine :lol:) were never single. So I don't know how you guys all managed to do it.

Now I meet girls online so if I were moving away, I'd start over, knowing I could meet a lovely lady within a 20 mile radius of wherever I go, :wink:.

thisiswhoiam
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby thisiswhoiam » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:55 pm

quizivex wrote:But if you're unsure, note that moving a girl across the country with you and making her start over too is probably also an expected commitment to keep her. Grad school is very difficult and time consuming, and doing it while managing to keep a spouse (and even kids for some guys) happy, you'd have to be very confident in your ability to be productive.

IMO, unless I thought she were the greatest girl in the world, I'd want to start over in grad school. If you met a quality girl before, you can do it again, wherever you go.


Probably the best advice I've heard yet.

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zxcv
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby zxcv » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:17 am

I made the opposite choice of grae313. I don't regret it, but that's more a reflection on that relationship than the circumstances -- the relationship probably should have been over regardless, but heading off to grad school was a good impetus.

astrofan
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby astrofan » Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:20 am

Helio wrote:the other stuff are usually questions that apply to more general things, moving and how people do it for example, not whether to break up with your gf because you are moving away.


Someone directly asked what school they should choose. I asked if I should take a year off last year (I had basically made up my mind, but grae's response certaintly helped to seal the deal). These are personal decisions that we have asked this forum, I don't see this guy's question as unreasonable.

quizivex wrote:IMO, unless I thought she were the greatest girl in the world, I'd want to start over in grad school. If you met a quality girl before, you can do it again, wherever you go. Now this is even coming from a guy who always had difficulty meeting girls in undergrad. I don't understand how seemingly everyone on this forum has a girlfriend...


There is a bias, as the guys (and girls for that matter) without significant others generally do not make that known. It makes a lot sense to say that my gf/bf are doing something, where as there is generally no good way of getting in that you don't have a gf. Plus, maybe it was different at my school, but less than 10% of my friends (both physics majors and non-physics) had gf/bf serious enough to move with after college. Most people do not settle down when they are 22.

mhazelm
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby mhazelm » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:08 pm

thisiswhoiam wrote:Okay so a weird first post on here, but as a lurker, it seemed best to start with a creepy topic anyway.

So now that everyone is picking where they are going next year, it seems to be a big decision time for lots of things. My girlfriend and I have been together for 3 years and are pretty happy, but I'll be moving to a new city in August and I'm not 100% sure if she should come with me or not. We're not the perfect couple, but we're also not unhappy... but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to let her come with me if I'm not 100% sure. She says she'll move whever I do and get a job, but is it wrong to let her?

Current grad students: isn't starting grad school/ending undergrad the perfect time for a fresh start? Or am I being "an idiot guy", as my sister would say?


Well, I'm kind of in the same position, actually. My bf and I have been together for 2 years. It's a hard thing, because he's such a good guy, and we tend to have fun together, but at the same time I'm actually reasonably sure that we won't ever get married. I guess I'm lucky in that I don't have to decide right now -- he's got 1 more year of undergrad so we'll be apart in either case for the first year -- but then he might move to where I'm at, and I haven't decided if this should happen or not...

Also, this is REALLY bad, but has anyone dated someone outside of math/physics and been bothered by their lack of basic math knowledge? I know this makes me a mean, stuck-up sort of person, but I can't help but be a little annoyed that my bf doesn't know things as basic as the equation of a line or what a function is (seriously). I don't expect everyone I date to be familiar with calculus, but I guess if I was going to get married, I'd want them to have some of the basics down (in case I got killed in an accident, someone would have to teach our kids math). Is that crazy? Has anyone ever been bothered by this?

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twistor
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby twistor » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:15 pm

Why the *** would you piss away two years of your life with someone you're not interested in marrying?

mhazelm
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby mhazelm » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:33 pm

twistor wrote:Why the *** would you piss away two years of your life with someone you're not interested in marrying?


Well it's not like I knew from the beginning. It's more like I thought that maybe someday we could get married and I just wasn't sure (the uncertainty has been there forever). Lately I've been thinking that we probably won't.

Also, I live in small-town Utah. If you aren't mormon the dating options are pretty slim - if you find someone you enjoy being with you might as well just stick together. Neither of us was planning to get married for a while, because we feel too young (FYI average age of marriage is only ~19-21 here, so almost everyone else we know is married with kids by now. Gives the outsider great urge to flee and not marry for a long time).

thisiswhoiam
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby thisiswhoiam » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:45 pm

mhazelm wrote:Also, this is REALLY bad, but has anyone dated someone outside of math/physics and been bothered by their lack of basic math knowledge? I know this makes me a mean, stuck-up sort of person, but I can't help but be a little annoyed that my bf doesn't know things as basic as the equation of a line or what a function is (seriously).


No offence, but I would never date someone who didn't know the equation of a line... because that probably suggests they never went to high school.

My girlfriend is smart, but normal person smart, not physicist/mathematician smart. She could probably learn a lot of it, but never would because of lack of time/interest. But I do agree with you, that it would be really nice to date someone who really knew about my field so we could talk at a serious level. I'm sure most serious scientists are bothered by it, honesty, how could you not, when it's such a big part of your life to not be able to share with someone? And what if in grad school you meet that girl/guy who you really connect with?

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twistor
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby twistor » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:45 pm

mhazelm wrote:
twistor wrote:Why the *** would you piss away two years of your life with someone you're not interested in marrying?


Well it's not like I knew from the beginning. It's more like I thought that maybe someday we could get married and I just wasn't sure (the uncertainty has been there forever). Lately I've been thinking that we probably won't.

Also, I live in small-town Utah. If you aren't mormon the dating options are pretty slim - if you find someone you enjoy being with you might as well just stick together. Neither of us was planning to get married for a while, because we feel too young (FYI average age of marriage is only ~19-21 here, so almost everyone else we know is married with kids by now. Gives the outsider great urge to flee and not marry for a long time).


I'd have never suspected. It's strange how part of my own country could seem so foreign.

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twistor
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby twistor » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:57 pm

No offence, but I would never date someone who didn't know the equation of a line... because that probably suggests they never went to high school.

My girlfriend is smart, but normal person smart, not physicist/mathematician smart. She could probably learn a lot of it, but never would because of lack of time/interest. But I do agree with you, that it would be really nice to date someone who really knew about my field so we could talk at a serious level. I'm sure most serious scientists are bothered by it, honesty, how could you not, when it's such a big part of your life to not be able to share with someone? And what if in grad school you meet that girl/guy who you really connect with?


If you can't share what you do without using math equations you don't really understand what it is you're doing in the first place. It's your shortcoming, not the person you are trying to explain it to. Your explanation doesn't have to be correct to every detail, it just has to convey a general sense of what it is your doing. Remember, most people even in physics won't give two shits about what you do anyway (because your research will probably be largely irrelevant, as is the case for most scientists), so in order to spawn interest in your work and get grants you need to convince people it's worthwhile. If you can't explain it to people you're not going to convince them that it's important. And you sure as hell won't be able to explain it to your students.

So don't consider the lack of mathematical knowledge of potential mates a shortcoming of theirs, but rather a challenge to you. Your frustration says more about you than about your potential mates.

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Helio
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby Helio » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:00 pm

mhazelm wrote:Also, this is REALLY bad, but has anyone dated someone outside of math/physics and been bothered by their lack of basic math knowledge? I know this makes me a mean, stuck-up sort of person, but I can't help but be a little annoyed that my bf doesn't know things as basic as the equation of a line or what a function is (seriously). I don't expect everyone I date to be familiar with calculus, but I guess if I was going to get married, I'd want them to have some of the basics down (in case I got killed in an accident, someone would have to teach our kids math). Is that crazy? Has anyone ever been bothered by this?


I have actually dated outside math/phys, it was chem, but pretty much the math outside of physical chem is not that bad. I wasn't really focused on doing line integrals with her or something similar. I honestly did got used mathematical stupidity from my econ classes, so i am desensitized. There is something called a tutor and school, and they should teach your kids. that is just how i think of it. if they are not taught properly you can take over and getting killed and worrying about that is really out there... which reminds me of my ex :lol: :lol:

sonikajohri
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby sonikajohri » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:05 pm

Don't break up.
Watch Big Bang Theory for a taste of the kind of people you are likely to meet socially, :D :D better to stick it out with your current normal bf/gf.

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grae313
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby grae313 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:13 pm

mhazelm, he's got two big strikes against him: he doesn't know what a function is, and he's from Utah. :lol: You'll meet a lot of interesting people in grad school...

mhazelm
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby mhazelm » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:53 pm

thisiswhoiam wrote:
No offence, but I would never date someone who didn't know the equation of a line... because that probably suggests they never went to high school.


That's basically my problem. In every other aspect of our relationship things are pretty much great (he's very artistically talented, so smart in a very different way). And it's not that I can't describe my work without using math... it just *bugs* me that he doesn't know these things that I see as fundamental, basic high school knowledge. I know I'm being a bit stuck-up by saying that, but it bothers me a lot!! I guess the problem is that I don't feel intellectually challenged in my relationship. Yet he's the most honest, caring person ever, has been amazingly supportive of my graduate school choices, etc., and so I have a hard time letting go - like maybe I am just expecting too much from him. But then again, then Pythagorean theorem is pretty standard - is that really too much to ask for? It's frustrating.

twistor wrote: I'd have never suspected. It's strange how part of my own country could seem so foreign.


OMG, I'd better not get started. It is a weird, weird place to be, esp. if you're single. It's okay if you're in the downtown center of SLC, around the University of Utah - the college students bring some normality to the area - but so far as I've experienced, everywhere else is a bit weird. The only reason I stayed was the super cheap tuition (my university is supposed to be a best value in the West, and I get resident tuition) and because I live within 5-15 minutes of 5 (count 'em, 5!) major canyons of gorgeous scenery, hiking, biking, climbing, etc. It is very nice in that respect.

thisiswhoiam
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby thisiswhoiam » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:38 pm

mhazelm wrote:That's basically my problem. In every other aspect of our relationship things are pretty much great (he's very artistically talented, so smart in a very different way). And it's not that I can't describe my work without using math... it just *bugs* me that he doesn't know these things that I see as fundamental, basic high school knowledge. I know I'm being a bit stuck-up by saying that, but it bothers me a lot!! I guess the problem is that I don't feel intellectually challenged in my relationship. Yet he's the most honest, caring person ever, has been amazingly supportive of my graduate school choices, etc., and so I have a hard time letting go - like maybe I am just expecting too much from him. But then again, then Pythagorean theorem is pretty standard - is that really too much to ask for? It's frustrating.


I definitely hear you. I am really comforted to know that I am not the only one going through this dilema right now...I was worried it was just me. I'm also pleased that it took this long to get people to pick the "your a tool" option in my poll, so clearly I'm not as much of a jerk as I thought I was.

a bucket
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby a bucket » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:40 pm

thisiswhoiam wrote: I'm also pleased that it took this long to get people to pick the "your a tool" option in my poll,


Guilty as charged :twisted:.

But on a more serious note, I would probably break up without a second thought regardless of who it was. I know... I'm an asshole.

thisiswhoiam
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby thisiswhoiam » Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:20 pm

I am really curious that the Yes's seem to be catching up to the Maybes. I was hoping for Maybes, since then I could feel normal in my doubts...

I wonder if all/some of those Yes's are from people who are currently in relationships?

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WontonBurritoMeals
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby WontonBurritoMeals » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:32 am

Come on you guys... Serious relationships are so so much more important than almost completely arbitrary things like which grad. school you go to, it's not even funny.

Isn't it offensive to your SO to even discuss something like this with strangers?

But of course, I'm completely retarded when it comes to this stuff, anyway. I think that you should be with someone because you like them, not because they're 'adequate'. That's kind of disgusting.

May the wind be always at your back,
-WontonBurritoMeals

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twistor
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby twistor » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:10 pm

WontonBurritoMeals wrote:Come on you guys... Serious relationships are so so much more important than almost completely arbitrary things like which grad. school you go to, it's not even funny.

Isn't it offensive to your SO to even discuss something like this with strangers?

But of course, I'm completely retarded when it comes to this stuff, anyway. I think that you should be with someone because you like them, not because they're 'adequate'. That's kind of disgusting.

May the wind be always at your back,
-WontonBurritoMeals


I couldn't agree more.

thisiswhoiam
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby thisiswhoiam » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:19 am

I think I came across as ... more of a horrible person than I meant. Its not like my girlfriend and I havent talked about this, in great detail, so my first source wasn't just some random internet forum, I was honestly just curious if other people were going through the same thing, and I think that they are.

I have never questioned if she was "'adequate'" for me, intellectually, I agree, that is pretty awful. But I do think that there would be all sorts of nice bonuses to dating someone in a really closely related field. It doesnt mean I can't and don't love my girlfriend though (but honestly, high school math might really be a requirment for me).

I just wonder sometimes if some sort of perfect person for me exists, maybe I'd meet her in grad school. Ive never met any girl other than my girlfriend who I was even really attracted to, honestly, in the entire time we've been dating, so I dont know why I have doubts. But if I were to meet a cool physics girl who I was attracted to and by some random chance was interested in me... I wouldnt want to miss that opportunity. But from everyone Ive ever really talked to, that girl does not exist (no offence girls here in physics, I'm sure you are good looking, but personal attraction is something else/special - I'm a picky guy, hah) : although, me thinking that her not existing seems like an awful reason to stay in a relationship, I know, but me loving my girlfriend (and despite all this, her still loving me) still seems like a good one. But I still don't know.

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Helio
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby Helio » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:35 am

thisiswhoiam wrote:I think I came across as ... more of a horrible person than I meant. Its not like my girlfriend and I havent talked about this, in great detail, so my first source wasn't just some random internet forum, I was honestly just curious if other people were going through the same thing, and I think that they are.

I have never questioned if she was "'adequate'" for me, intellectually, I agree, that is pretty awful. But I do think that there would be all sorts of nice bonuses to dating someone in a really closely related field. It doesnt mean I can't and don't love my girlfriend though (but honestly, high school math might really be a requirment for me).

I just wonder sometimes if some sort of perfect person for me exists, maybe I'd meet her in grad school. Ive never met any girl other than my girlfriend who I was even really attracted to, honestly, in the entire time we've been dating, so I dont know why I have doubts. But if I were to meet a cool physics girl who I was attracted to and by some random chance was interested in me... I wouldnt want to miss that opportunity. But from everyone Ive ever really talked to, that girl does not exist (no offence girls here in physics, I'm sure you are good looking, but personal attraction is something else/special - I'm a picky guy, hah) : although, me thinking that her not existing seems like an awful reason to stay in a relationship, I know, but me loving my girlfriend (and despite all this, her still loving me) still seems like a good one. But I still don't know.


here let me be blunt: STOP PLAYING MIND GAMES. As much as we are all physicist and believe in probability as the governing body of our world, i.e.there will always be the chance of the perfect woman walking in the door right now or in three years, just throw that out the window in this case RIGHT THE *** NOW. Cross that bridge when you get there, before that you should stick with her if the last sentence is true, else out the window the relationship goes.

You pretty much answered you own question right here IMO

kaosgrace
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby kaosgrace » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:09 am

You definitely should stop playing mind games. However...I'm not sure that you've answered your question. Looking at this from her perspective, while I might not be thinking clearly right now, I can't say that in the long term I'd really appreciate being kept around as sort of an "I can't have what I really want, but she's good enough" consolation prize. I really don't think I'd appreciate being moved cross-country to stay with you, and then dumped when you find out that girl you really want exists after all.

If you're thinking about taking her with you, I strongly urge you to think about the implied commitment you're making. As long as you're both in a place where you would have been anyway, making progress toward your own individual life goals, you have a certain freedom to simply part ways amicably whenever it's convenient. As soon as you transplant someone to a place that they wouldn't have chosen for themselves - a place where they might be sacrificing some of their own goals in order to be with you - you're making a certain commitment. You're not promising to marry the person, but you are implying that you won't just leave them for trivial reasons, you aren't looking for someone else in the new place, and if you should happen to trip over someone you're attracted to you'll do your damnedest to avoid falling for them. And if for any reason you choose to break off the relationship after moving to the new place, you have a certain moral obligation to at the very least help her get to wherever she wants to be to go on with her life.

If you can't handle that level of commitment and responsibility - if you think you'll be constantly on the lookout for something better, or comparing your female grad school colleagues' intellectual capacity to your girlfriend's, or thinking about leaving her for silly reasons like "there might be someone out there who's better for me," then I urge you to do the right thing and break it off now so that she can make her own plans. In advance. Don't tell her on the day you're leaving.

chishon
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby chishon » Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:01 am

I sort of have/had the same problem...but I got broken-up with first...

I suppose I'm a lucky one: I was cared for so much, and they were smart enough to realize that 6 months isn't long enough to really know if you want to devote the next 5-6 years of your life towards someone (that's basically getting married, IMO).

I had slightly considered not moving, but was told I was not allowed to do that anyway, lol.

Before reading these posts, I wasn't really too happy with what happened---but now I realize that my best interests were taken into account for me, so that I would do what I had originally set out to do.

I'd say break-up: it's the most realistic thing to do. Of course, if you don't...well, love does strange things to people.

In any case, just make sure you're happy with the decision, and hopefully it will all work out in the end.

tensorwhat
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby tensorwhat » Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:24 pm

stop thinking like a scientist and believing you can find any kind of answer to your problems.......especially in a forum of other scientists, plus....if you have to even think twice about this, you're obviously not content with what you have. if you were, you'd be happy to do anything for each other.


p.s.: being annoyed with your partner because the things you do dont click for them, is also insane.

storytime
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby storytime » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:22 pm

Okay, story time. I haven't posted here in ages, just finishing my first year of grad school now, and I even made a new account to contribute to this thread... I am fully expecting to be judged by some (Helio, I'm looking in your direction), but I have a pretty good idea on this subject so I thought my story would help some, maybe not the OP though.

So, all during undergrad I had the same girlfriend, who I loved. Not a physics person, but that never bothered me (as it shouldn't bother any of you), because I genuinely loved her. My not loving her enough never seemed like the issue and I don't believe it ever was.

Now, my college was pretty small, so for upper year physics classes, we merged with another, also kind of small, college near by (to save on faculty/lab costs, I'm guessing). So, in my junior year I met a girl - a perfect physics girl. We got along instantly well (like meeting someone and feeling like you've known them your entire life kind of thing). In both of our lower level classes, we had been the only serious students (and yet still being normal people) so it was really cool for me to meet someone else who wanted all the same things I did (like going to grad school in the exact same field as me). I'm not an idiot and I did my 'damnedest to avoid falling for her', but I liked her and there is no denying it and I knew she liked me too. But, I loved my girlfriend and she knew it, so it still felt pretty harmless.

So I had two years of an amazing friendship with a great girl who I had feelings for but it never made me question the fact that I loved my girlfriend. We studied together, stayed up all night doing problem sets, studied for the gres, applied for grad schools, and we also had a totally normal friendship where we talked about nonphysics things too. And I really liked her. A lot. But I loved my girlfriend and so I kept things friendly.

In my final year though, I realized that I was choosing to spend a lot more time with my friend than my girlfriend. I had always had feelings for her, but when I'd think about the things I was looking forward to in the fall, they involved her. When I heard from grad schools, I called my friend before my girlfriend. The term "emotional affair" could be used all over the place.

Since my girlfriend had been planning to come with me to gradschool for years, I felt like I had to tell her about my feelings for my friend. Not surprisingly, she did not enjoy the concept of an "emotional affair" and was really pissed off and told me to end my friendship. Since I loved her, I did.

It was surprisingly hard to do (and really bad for the last month of classes we had together), but I let my friend go for my relationship. My girlfriend still decided to move with me to graduate school and I was happy to have her with me.

About half way through the year though, we broke up. We mutually ended it, which was very hard to do after her moving 8 hours from her home for me. She never really got over me having feelings for my friend, and I think I got over it even less. It was weird how many things made me miss her, and I think I resented my girlfriend a little because of it. Course work was incredibly boring without her, I missed talking to her, seeing her during the day, talking about our future research, and honestly, just looking at her. I realized, too late, that I made the wrong decision.

A few months ago, after my girlfriend had moved back home (btw, moving in together after a rough patch is a terrible idea), I ran into my friend at a conference. We talked about the whole thing and she told me how it had been really hard for her too since she had apparently felt very strongly for me. Despite claims at the time to the contrary, she also told me that a lot of the reason she picked a school on the other side of the country from mine was to avoid having to see me. We had originally been planning to go to the same place together, not for each other, but for the program. (She still picked a great school though.)

But anyway, to sum it up: I had a wonderful girlfriend who I loved and I still managed to fall a little bit in love with someone else, the perfect "physics" someone else. I picked my girlfriend, not only because I knew our love was mutual, because we had so much history and I was scared to lose that. I made the wrong decision. I honestly should have ended things with my girlfriend at the start of junior year but I didn't. Her moving with me to grad school was probably the biggest mistake either of us could have made. I loved her but that wasn't enough. Letting my friend go though, ending that friendship, having to know that she exists on the other side of the country is actually the biggest regret in my entire life so far. I had two years of almost being with her, with getting to think in the back of my mind that we could maybe be together someway, somehow, and now, I have the rest of my life knowing that I'll probably never get that opportunity back.

I can't give any general advice to the OP's question, but for me, not ending my relationship was a big mistake. A huge mistake, that I will be regretting for a very long time. And I'm sure many of you will think it's because my 'girlfriend and I weren't in love enough' or something similar, but that just wasn't true. It's cliche, but sometimes, love really isn't enough. You can't help the order that you meet people in. If I had met my girlfriend and my friend at the same time, I probably wouldn't have dated my girlfriend to begin with, but, that's not what happened. For me, as soon as I had a second of doubt, I should have ended things. But I can only say that with hindsight.

I'm not sure with what background all of these people who are saying 'if you have any doubts, you should end things', are speaking from. But for me, it was true. I don't believe it has to be true though, I think everyone has doubts, but they shouldn't be ignored.

Staying with someone because you don't believe the perfect 'physics' someone is out there for you in nonsense though, because I've met mine, so I know they exist. If that's what you really want though, I just hope you figure it out before I did.

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twistor
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby twistor » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:15 pm

I don't have the attention span to read that previous post. Please summarize in 1 or 2 sentences.

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dustdevil
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby dustdevil » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:54 pm

I think it was a rather good story (I read the whole thing) and 1-2 sentences really wouldn't do it justice. However, I don't entirely agree with what has been said about having doubts. Everybody has doubts -- it's a natural part of the major shifts that occur in a relationship. Grad school, marriage, kids, etc. A scientific mind is trained to assess complicated situations rather than jump into something with 100% certainty. Maybe try the coin flip thing somebody suggested for choosing a graduate school. One side will be "end it" and the other will be "stay together," and whichever you find yourself really wanting right before it lands should be the decision you make.

tensorwhat
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby tensorwhat » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:10 am

man.......I really hope you don't take any of these peoples advice, if I even got to the point in a relationship where someone needed to flip a coin to decide on me, I would shhhiiittttttt myself.

You need to man up and talk with this person and lay it on the line, don't string someone along for a let down - especially if you're not sure about them. I guarantee you, whoever she is, would respect you ten times more if you just spared her the aggravation.

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quizivex
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby quizivex » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:46 pm

Excellent post, storytime! Some interesting dilemmas in there.

twistor wrote:I don't have the attention span to read that previous post. Please summarize in 1 or 2 sentences.
No worries about the length... each sentence was relevant. Not every story covering several years can be crammed into one paragraph.

storytime wrote:You can't help the order that you meet people in.
Yeah, that was one of the themes of my dating experience (or lack thereof) in college. I had met a hearty handful of awesome gals I got along very well with and they clearly liked me. But they had an inferior douche bag toyfriend and so I never got a fair chance. If I had only met them during a period they were single, my life could've been completely different.

The timing and order people meet others in determines everything. So I've always despised society's construction of formal dating rules. It goes against all other common sense practices. In business, if you can upgrade a machine, you do it. In the NFL, if you can bring in a better player, you do it. There should only be restrictions when a couple decides to have kids... since the kids obviously deserve/need to be raised, and be raised by the same parents. But otherwise, the accepted rule that a male(female) can only be close to one female(male) at a time makes the dating scene competitive, awkward, frustrating and absurd, and limits the fulfillment one can get out of our short lives.

I've often thought about the concept of marriage. To me it seems people go in and out of one relationship after another and then when they reach a certain age they decide they "need to settle down" and then they marry the next person they meet and that's the end. If they had met their first S.O. last, they would probably have married that person instead. If it weren't for the arbitrary order in which our parents met people, we woudn't be here today :lol:.

Anyway, enough philosophy. The only thing I'm suspicious of is this idea:
storytime wrote:Staying with someone because you don't believe the perfect 'physics' someone is out there for you in nonsense though, because I've met mine, so I know they exist.
Keep in mind only 1 in 8-ish physics people are female. Only a fraction of them will be desirable. So the chances of meeting a physics dream girl in your department are a bit slim. Oh yea and by the way, she'll have every guy in your department and elsewhere interested in her. So my point is, don't end an undergrad relationship (just) because you expect to get a physics dream girl in grad school.

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Helio
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby Helio » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:56 pm

quizivex wrote:Excellent post, storytime! Some interesting dilemmas in there.

twistor wrote:I don't have the attention span to read that previous post. Please summarize in 1 or 2 sentences.
No worries about the length... each sentence was relevant. Not every story covering several years can be crammed into one paragraph.


Except when it says dissertation and you try to squeeze three years of your life in a paragraph.

quizivex wrote:
storytime wrote:You can't help the order that you meet people in.
Yeah, that was one of the themes of my dating experience (or lack thereof) in college. I had met a hearty handful of awesome gals I got along very well with and they clearly liked me. But they had an inferior douche bag toyfriend and so I never got a fair chance. If I had only met them during a period they were single, my life could've been completely different.

The timing and order people meet others in determines everything. So I've always despised society's construction of formal dating rules (a male/female can only be close with one female/male at a time). It goes against all other common sense practices. In business, if you can upgrade a machine, you do it. In the NFL, if you can bring in a better player, you do it. There should only be restrictions when a couple decides to have kids... since the kids obviously deserve/need to be raised, and be raised by the same parents.

I've often thought about the concept of marriage. To me it seems people go in and out of one relationship after another and then when they reach a certain age they decide they "need to settle down" and then they marry the next person they meet and that's the end. If they had met their first S.O. last, they would probably have married that person instead. If it weren't for the arbitrary order in which our parents met people, we woudn't be here today :lol:.

Anyway, enough philosophy. The only thing I'm suspicious of is this idea:
storytime wrote:Staying with someone because you don't believe the perfect 'physics' someone is out there for you in nonsense though, because I've met mine, so I know they exist.
Keep in mind only 1 in 8-ish physics people are female. Only a fraction of them will be desirable. So the chances of meeting a physics dream girl in your department are a bit slim. Oh yea and by the way, she'll have every guy in your department and elsewhere interested in her. So my point is, don't end an undergrad relationship (just) because you expect to get a physics dream girl in grad school.


Well the toyfriends are always my favorite... they are frat-member business/econ/finance/insert generic major majors with the IQ of a flower. And yes, timing is everything... i had really bad timing... last semester here.

And remember there are always engineering girls :P

a bucket
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby a bucket » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:46 pm

quizivex wrote:Excellent post, storytime! Some interesting dilemmas in there.

twistor wrote:I don't have the attention span to read that previous post. Please summarize in 1 or 2 sentences.
No worries about the length... each sentence was relevant. Not every story covering several years can be crammed into one paragraph.

Physics sucks. I need sleep.

There... I just crammed the last four years of my life into two sentences. (I know. My life is dull as ditchwater :lol: )

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noojens
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby noojens » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:18 pm

quizivex wrote:The timing and order people meet others in determines everything. So I've always despised society's construction of formal dating rules. It goes against all other common sense practices. In business, if you can upgrade a machine, you do it. In the NFL, if you can bring in a better player, you do it. There should only be restrictions when a couple decides to have kids... since the kids obviously deserve/need to be raised, and be raised by the same parents. But otherwise, the accepted rule that a male(female) can only be close to one female(male) at a time makes the dating scene competitive, awkward, frustrating and absurd, and limits the fulfillment one can get out of our short lives.

I've often thought about the concept of marriage. To me it seems people go in and out of one relationship after another and then when they reach a certain age they decide they "need to settle down" and then they marry the next person they meet and that's the end. If they had met their first S.O. last, they would probably have married that person instead. If it weren't for the arbitrary order in which our parents met people, we woudn't be here today :lol:.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory

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WhatCanYouDoFermi?
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby WhatCanYouDoFermi? » Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:24 pm

noojens wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory


They should call it "Poly-amore" :lol:

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twistor
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby twistor » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:58 pm

quizivex is right. That is why I propose the physicsgre.com fuck-a-thon where we all get together for a delightful, no-holds-barred all-night fuck-romp at his apartment. BYOB. Sucks to the traditional dating scene.

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quizivex
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby quizivex » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:22 am

twistor wrote:I propose the physicsgre.com fuck-a-thon where we all get together for a delightful, no-holds-barred all-night fuck-romp at his apartment. BYOB. Sucks to the traditional dating scene.
I think the gender ratio would be problematic. Some naughty girls may volunteer to be double teamed, but still, lots of guys would be waiting in line.

Perhaps we should invite the nursing forum too (http://www.nursetv.com/forum/).

noojens wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory
Ah, interesting. Haha I love the internet... anytime I contemplate something different, or I have a question about anything, I just google around and learn about it. Anything I think of, chances are others have already done so and plastered it all over the internet. :D I didn't know what key words to use for this subject though. But I guess that's what that Breaking Benjamin songis all about.

Ugh, after 2 days I still have no physics weight *cries*. Somebody please find this post useful :wink:. Oh yea and go vote for garden!!!

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grae313
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby grae313 » Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:54 am

quizivex wrote:
twistor wrote:I propose the physicsgre.com fuck-a-thon where we all get together for a delightful, no-holds-barred all-night fuck-romp at his apartment. BYOB. Sucks to the traditional dating scene.
I think the gender ratio would be problematic. Some naughty girls may volunteer to be double teamed, but still, lots of guys would be waiting in line.


Now there you go making a perfectly funny post absolutely disgusting.

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twistor
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby twistor » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:29 am

The only girls here are grae313 and zxcv and I don't see grae volunteering anytime soon.

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dustdevil
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby dustdevil » Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:19 am

Hey now - I'm a girl! :?

... but that doesn't mean I'm volunteering either.

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Helio
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby Helio » Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:01 am

dustdevil wrote:Hey now - I'm a girl! :?

... but that doesn't mean I'm volunteering either.


you are taken, so lets say you are a hermaphrodite

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twistor
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby twistor » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:31 am

How exactly does that follow from being 'taken'?

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grae313
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby grae313 » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:37 pm

twistor wrote:The only girls here are grae313 and zxcv...


Image

Image

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dustdevil
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Re: Breaking Up/Ending Relationships Before Gradschool?

Postby dustdevil » Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:17 pm

Helio wrote:dustdevil wrote:
Hey now - I'm a girl! :?

... but that doesn't mean I'm volunteering either.


you are taken, so lets say you are a hermaphrodite


What ... ? :? :? :?

I'm with twistor... how does that follow?

Actually, maybe you shouldn't elaborate, it's probably better that way.




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