Dating in business school…

So I read this article back in October about dating in B-school, and it was oh so familiar. There were essentially eight rules of MBA dating that went as follows: 1.) If you weren’t single when you arrived, you will be by Thanksgiving, 2.) For two years you will work hard but have a very good time, 3.) Women are scarce and therefore in demand. Men are a plentiful commodity, 4.) In the dating world at large, an MBA helps a man, but not a woman, 5.) Everything, including romance moves much faster in b-school time, 6.) People will warn you not to date someone in your section. You will do it anyway, 7.) You will attempt to have a secret relationship, and you will fail, and 8.) No matter what you think, no matter what people tell you, this is solemn business.

Now for some reason this article really entertained me and I proceeded to show it to some of my classmates who were dating, and each one of them thought it was dead on. B-school is like this crazy vortex where everything feels like it’s been happening for longer than it actually has. I feel like I’ve been in school for years when it’s actually only been 8 months, and dating is no different. The class of 2010 has several couples, and it wasn’t until I became one of them that I realized for myself how getting a date in B-school is really not as easy as I thought it would be. Out of 101 entering students 76% were men. I came to Tulane with the decision made that I wouldn’t date a classmate… too risky, what if there’s a bad break up, the list of bad possibilities goes on. So I started school with my nose in the books ready to make some A’s. Then, as much as I love my classmates, a few months later I decided that I wanted to go on a date, and not just out to dinner with 3 of my fellow classmates. That’s where things got tricky. I started to do the math and realized that out of those 76 guys a good deal were either married, engaged, or in serious relationships, and out of the 24 girls none of us were really getting any dating action. So, against my better judgment I tried to branch out and date guys in other graduate schools, to disastrous results. I ended up right back at the Freeman School. The difficult thing about dating in B-school is that no one outside of B-school really understands what you’re going through. They don’t understand the workload, or the pressure to find an internship, or the bond that develops from doing managerial accounting at 1 am with your teammates when all you want to do is sleep. To my pleasant surprise I realized that one of my classmates was actually pretty much perfect and we started dating in January. Now comes the even more difficult part. How do I manage the personal life and the school life when the personal life is in the school life too? The answer… actually surprisingly easily. There were some ground rules set, like arguments from home don’t carry over to school, and no kissing or holding hands at school. But there was also a lot of let’s just see what happens, and three months later I’m still liking what I see. My advice for those that dare to venture into B-school relationships; think of school as work and your decision to date your classmate is the same as a decision to date a co-worker. Don’t do anything to embarrass yourself or your significant other, be honest with yourself about where your relationship is going, and if you want to keep it private, don’t tell anyone… not even your professor.

Amina