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Maintaining a romantic relationship in Nursing School


I am 19 years old and will be starting my first year in the RN program. I am doing a 2 year associates program at the moment. My best friend/potential boyfriend is going to a University 3.5 hours away from me. How do you think I can juggle a relationship with him and still keep up a relationship with my family (whom I live with still). I also dont have a car yet and I don't have a license (im working on it). I heard people tell me not to date him because it will cause our relationship to suffer...

HappyWife77, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology RN-BC and FNP MSN student. Has 21 years experience.

Focus on your studies. Who is to say you guys won't meet other people during and after school? Dating and nursing school should not be a priority focus. There will be time for that after school. Neither one of you are even the person you are yet to become. Good luck in school.

Nothing says you have to give up your relationship. Is doing nursing school and trying to maintain a relationship at the same time easy? Of course not. But if you two are committed to each other and have lots of respect for one another it will be easier. Having someone who not only supports your decision to be in school, but also understands the amount of work and time it takes is essential. Good luck with both!!

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

You are young. Take it from someone who was engaged and living with her boyfriend at your age, focus on school. Do well in your prereqs and get in to nursing school. Do well in the program. Get a job and live on your own for a while. Date many different guys and have fun!! I say this from the bottom of my heart. Become an independent, strong woman and find someone who compliments you. I got married at 22. I was way too young. I'm now 38, divorced, and going back to school. I gave 15 years of my life away to someone who did not support me or my dreams. I am very happy in my life now, I just would have done things differently.

I think most of my answers consist of time management. Obviously, most of your time will be dedicated to school and your studies. This means less time for socializing overall. I do not think it is impossible to have a long distance relationship. However, you have to be realistic. Nursing school will increase that strain on your relationship. I think you should talk about your relationship and expectations. Clearly, yoy going to visit him isn't an option since you don't have a car. But indicate that your time will be limited and you may often be frustrated from school so your phone calls may mostly consist of ranting. He should be understanding and supportive od you. Like I already said, I do not think it is impossible, but you will both need patience and a lot of understanding for each other's situation. Good luck!!

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

First off, you need to respect him and his choices. It's not easy maintaining a relationship through nursing school, let alone with someone that's 3.5 hours away. Like the others, I'm not saying you must give up this relationship. I went to school and the woman who is now my wife went to a school that was 3 hours away and we're still together 21 years later. Another woman, who has been a best friend of mine for 22 years, we're more like family. We might not speak to each other for months but when we talk, we pick right back up where we were.

Personally, I wouldn't push the whole romantic relationship thing on either of you until after you both have finished your studies. It just adds a whole different level of complexity to the situation. You both will do a lot of changing and maturing during this time and you both will be different than you are now. Yes, the core of you will be the same, but you'll also have a very different perspective on things. You both need to expect this and embrace the changes or you'll get to the "I have no idea who you are" stage and won't spend time learning about how your friend has changed.

Also, big thing, you accept your friend for who he is now. Accept him for who he is and who he has become the next time you see him, and every time you see him and hopefully he'll do the same for you and maybe along the way he'll grow to have similar feelings about you as you do about him and the beginnings of a very strong, long-term relationship will get under way.

And if it doesn't happen, you haven't lost anything. You'll still have your best friend!

A lot of people say that long distance relationships are impossible and I know so many people in the past who broke up because one or both partners were moving away for school. I can tell you that I have dated my boyfriend since high school (we started dating the summer before going to university) and are still together and so it was long distance for 4 years and we were four hours away. It was extremely difficult thats for sure. Its important to have communication and keep making dates (Skype dates etc). If you are both dedicated to the relationship it will work, that being said it is a lot of work and both people really need to be in it. Even if you call the other person just for 2-10 min per day its still something :-) you don't need 3 hours every day right.. so although nursing school can be demanding you can still manage your time to do other things and that will actually improve your overall mental health :-) but I wouldn't worry too much, just like others have said number one really is your studies and if this also happens to work out then thats just a bonus ;)

It's hard but then again it's not hard. I am in an accelerated nursing program and my boyfriend is 12 hours away at college on a basketball scholarship. It's hard because you want to see them and spend time with them, it's not hard because that time you could possibly be spending with him you can be studying! We set aside specific times for FaceTime dates and we text throughout the day. If he supports your dreams he will understand. Two years will fly by! It also makes your relationship stronger and you two will appreciate each other more. I wouldn't worry school comes first right now!

verene, MSN

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

Time management and commitment. I went to university about 4 hours away from my BF and managed to do well in school, keep in touch with family (5+ hours away) and still have a bit of a social life. Don't build your entire life around maintaining the relationship - particularity at the expense of other relationships or school, but also don't give up on it, if you want to stay committed you can. Communication is very important, make sure you can talk through priorities and set aside both time for the communication and be accepting of when things don't work out. My bf and I had "our time" to talk each day, but there were also times where I'd call him up and say "I'm not going to be able to talk today or tomorrow - major exam coming up - hope you understand." Fortunately he was very understanding that both of us needed to focus on our schooling and careers if we wanted to have a long-term future. For me both the relationship and school worked out and that bf and I have now been married for 5 years.

Well you aren't even dating yet, so why worry? Nursing school is only 2 years. If your relationship is meant to be, then it will be. Focus on school so you can be successful in the future & allow him to do so as well. Use technology to keep in touch with him.


Specializes in PCU / Telemetry. Has 9 years experience.

If the relationship is meant to be, it will survive nursing school. Enough said. You are worrying too much about it, seriously.

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