The Guide to Dating a Grad Student

In search of a date that will keep you on your mind moving? Always in search of an academic challenge? Consider dating someone pursuing higher education—that is, a graduate student. While dating a graduate student has its ups and downs, one thing is for sure: you’ll always have something to talk about.

For some people, there’ nothing more exciting than deep conversation, and dating a grad student is one of the best ways to find that in-depth connection you’re looking for. Being a “grad student” can mean many different things, so here’s the lowdown on the common threads for dating someone in graduate school. Study up and you may just find love along the way.

School Chairs in a classroom

Top Tips for Dating a Grad Student

  • Pick a flavor – There are graduate students in every field of study—math, literature, philosophy…you name it! In some cases, your date will be pursing an advanced degree that’s interdisciplinary—something that brings together two fields of study you’d never have imagined. They’re in for the long haul and the deep dive, so prepare yourself for some heavy conversation.
  • Dating a graduate student means dating a workaholic – Nearly every grad student not only does their own academic research, but they also make ends meet teaching or assisting in undergraduate classes. That means their time is at a premium. Making ends meet while furthering their studies is a delicate juggling act. Be sure you—and they—are up for the challenge.
  • Higher education is just the beginning – Dating a graduate student means dating someone who’s decided to devote their life to academic study. It’s not necessarily like dating a monk, but that level of dedication is there. That’s not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination—dedication is a virtue—but knowing that level of dedication is there is a vital part of starting and maintaining a healthy, balanced relationship.

Pros of Dating a Grad Student

  • There’s always something to talk about. – Dating someone pursuing higher education naturally means you’ll be dating someone whose mind is always working. A long as you’re interested in their area of study, there will be no shortage of things to discuss—but it may be up to you to steer the conversation away from academics and back to the present moment.
  • Graduate students understand what it’s like to be goal-driven. – Even if you’re not a grad student yourself, dating someone who’s working hard toward a goal means that they’ll understand your own drive to complete whatever project you’re devoting your time to. As long as you’re not the needy type, a graduate student may be exactly who you’re looking for.
  • Explore a new way of thinking – Being accepted into graduate school means that faculty advisors have recognized the possibility that a student has a unique take on a topic. Take advantage of that whizzing brain to become inspired yourself. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to take up a new academic pursuit yourself!

Challenges of Dating a Grad Student

  • There’s no such thing as a rich grad student. – Sorry, but it’s the truth. Between tuition, cost of living, and looming student loans, dating a grad student isn’t for anyone hoping to live in the lap of luxury. If you’re looking for lavish nights out on the town, look elsewhere.
  • Be prepared to be at the whim of semester deadlines. – Whether it’s the grad student’s own work or their responsibilities teaching undergrads, dating a grad student means living by the syllabus and its due dates. You may think the mid-semester lull will be a great chance to catch up with your date, but it’s just as likely they’ll be stuck in their offices grading undergrads’ essays.
  • It’s possible you’re not interested in what they’re studying. – It’s possible you love your grad student date’s personality but find their academic interests a total snooze fest. That’s not an impossible hurdle to overcome, but it definitely makes it harder to be supportive when you don’t understand half of what they’re talking about.

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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.