M: This guy sent us a message to consult about his relationship concerns. “My girlfriend is in her third year of med school. I’m in my fourth year of law school. Because we hardly have time for each other, we’ve been fighting. At times, it’s a cold war. It’s still war. Are we just going through a phase or is it already time to quit?” I hardly think this is a war, hot or cold. They are both busy with their respective schooling. Medicine and law are courses that are hardly a walk in the park. It is grueling, challenging, not to say physically and mentally draining. All the reading can take a toll. Those taking up medicine have duty in hospitals which at this time of the pandemic, makes it more difficult. So, having no time for each other is not really about feelings but maybe about schedules. He should understand. Love life sometimes has to take a backseat to medicine or law.
DJ: Looks like both of them are caught up with study load and the relationship is on the back burner. If they aren’t going to take control of their circumstance, it might be just a matter of time before they’re headed for a breakup. There are still ways to connect even if their schedules are packed. Does he respect her? Does she respect him? Expressing gratitude by complimenting her and continuing to use basic manners is a good start.
M: While the guy must surely know by now that in one case, the Supreme Court has quoted that “love has reasons of its own which reason itself does not know,” he can know more or less what are the reasons why their relationship is going downhill. They say love is spelled “t-i-m-e.” If they don’t have time for each other then, of course, their relationship is bound to be affected. The fights are normal. Even those not in med or law school who are in relationships fight, so how much more for two busy individuals with a lot on their minds? Maybe this is a time to take a break from each other so you can focus on school. Maybe it is a time to hang on and see where this goes. Or maybe it is a time to sit down, talk and be honest with each other. The fighting is a result of lack of communication and lack of time. If there is lack of love, then I see that it will be better if they end their relationship amicably.
DJ: Before quitting on each other, I suggest that they compare their schedules first. Assess if there are still gaps that they can both have to spend some quality time together. Eating a burger and fries or having a cup of coffee before they head to their school priorities is still time spent together. Give her handpicked flowers. Leave her notes. These are thoughtful substitutes for the time they lack. These are ways to communicate that he’s walking the extra mile. Even occasional emails or text messages make a difference just to let her know that he’s thinking about her.
M: They say law is a jealous mistress. Medicine has its own challenges as well. If they find themselves drifting apart, it is probably because they no longer share the same interests, or they developed other passions related to their respective fields. At the end of the day, the day will end! They will finish their courses, take the bar or medicine licensure exams. Until then, they have to find the balance between being in a relationship and navigating med and law school. Their journey together doesn’t have to end. They just have to decide to set sail in the same direction.
DJ: Law school and med school will soon pass. They’ll graduate and secure the bar and the licensure exam soon. Knowing that what they’re going through isn’t likely to be a permanent situation can be helpful and give both of them the encouragement to pull through. Time may not be on their side but keeping the love alive is possible for two people who want to make a relationship work. Time is always right when shared with the right person.