24 Struggles You’ll Only Understand If You’re Dating A PhD Student

You probably deserve a PhD in crisis counselling.

1. When you’re dating a PhD student, your partner spends all day every day obsessing about a single, tiny, specific subject.

But you know it means the world to them, so you play along.

2. Even when you’re having a nice weekend or an evening off, you know exactly what their mental schedule looks like.

3. So you may have to be there to give them some perspective.

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“No one dies if you don’t finish this chapter tonight, darling.”

4. They’re never really in their element until they get to the library…

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…and then stay there for 15 hours.

5. They can also be a little hard on themselves.

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So it’s important to remind them frequently that they’re not an idiot, relatively speaking.

6. You’ll join them in the delights of years and years and years of a strict budget and student lifestyle.

The struggle for funding is real, and it tastes like pot noodles.

7. Oh, and you’ve heard all about the stiff competition for an academic job.

Basically, no-one wins that race.

8. If their topic of their research ever comes up in pop culture, you have to deal with the inevitable emotional fallout.

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9. Their sense of humour is a little bit unique…

10. …as is their idea of flirting.

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11. You’re nearly as worried as they are about their thesis defense.

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By the time it comes around, though, you’ve picked up so much second-hand knowledge that you could probably do it for them.

12. Their idea of a rockstar is probably a little different than yours.

(Or maybe not.)

13. Their academic brilliance doesn’t quite seem to translate to the real world.

Has a PhD in Organic Chemistry, but can't set a DVR. #boyfriend

— Tom Ciaccio (@TomTeeVee)

14. They send you the highlights when they’re grading students’ essays, which can sometimes be worrying.

15. Like, really worrying.

Our children are the future.

16. They give you plenty of occasions to worry about their health.

17. And their crises of confidence are surprisingly frequent, but you do your best to reassure them.

“Yes, Jack is smarter than you. But only because Jack is a genius.”

18. They take their students’ reviews way too seriously.

Both the flattering and the unflattering ones.

19. Their friends are other PhD candidates who are always talking about their subject, but you learn enough buzzwords to get by at parties.

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20. In fact, being an outsider to academia can make you seem like a rare and exotic creature.

You can tell them what it’s like out there in the real world.

21. At the end of the day, your partner makes the best book recommendations, and that’s pretty great.

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22. And since they spend all their time applying for grants and scholarships, they’re really good at helping you with essays and cover letters.

Though they can be a really brutal editor sometimes.

23. You love that you’re always learning from your partner…

24. …even though most of the time it’s totally useless knowledge.

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Hannah Jewell is a senior staff writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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