Hey everyone, Doc here. This week, we’re doing something different. As on Monday, instead of my dispensing the dating advice, we’re have have a guest expert taking the reigns for today. Loretta Jean is a writer, artistic director and -unlike me – on track to an actual doctorate and she’s here to take your questions. Let’s do this.
Take it away, Loretta.
DEAR GUEST POSTER,
I am an inexperienced nerdlady of 27 who is trying off-and-on to get some dating practice. I have some pretty vague dating goals. I used to think I wanted a long-term romantic relationship, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more concerned that a LTR would require me to make a bunch of compromises that I find untenable.
Namely: it doesn’t really seem like many heterosexual relationships make any significant allowances for the woman’s career traveling places. Now, I’m not the most career-driven person ever, but I do plan to get a PhD in my subject in the next couple years (the plan is to start next fall, but we’ll see how that goes) and then spend at least a few years at a company doing research in my field afterward. I’m not really sure how to date in the present moment and be open to relationships that may appear, knowing that I plan to make at least two big moves in the relatively near future (well, one year and five years), and knowing that even if I found the love of my life I wouldn’t be willing to stay where I am right now. I can think of exactly one couple I know in real life where they moved to follow her schooling/career — pretty much every other couple I know of involved either the woman giving up her career plans or maintaining a long-distance relationship until she could move to be where the dude worked.
How do women date with this kind of constraint, exactly? There’s definitely a gender component to it (I think a lot of guys are more comfortable assuming their partner will follow them, and far fewer guys are willing to put their plans on hold to follow their female partner) but a lot of it’s just a logistical problem. Can you realistically look for a long-term thing in this situation? Do you just do “short-term dating” (to use the OKC term) until such a time when you can feasibly see yourself staying in one place until future notice? How do you talk about the impending move with people you’re meeting?