LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

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pkt63
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LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby pkt63 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:02 pm

Looking to connect with students maintaining a long-distance marriage or committed relationship while in law school. My husband has a great job at home and we don't want to give up his income, especially in this economy. But home has only a medicore law school and it seems a shame (to both of us) to settle. So, strong chance I'll be moving on my own...

Anyone else in a similar circumstance and interested in sharing how to make it work?

dakatz
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby dakatz » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:06 pm

I'm not married, so perhaps my situation is different, but I've been dating the same person for 5 years and have always been within 20 minutes of her. Being long distance (about 5 hrs apart) for law school hasn't been a problem at all. I am so swamped with work that its not like I would have free time to interact with her during school anyway. We still chat on the phone each day for a little while, and she comes to visit about once a month. I should qualify this whole thing by saying that neither of us are needy or clingy. We don't get upset if we go a day without speaking, nor does it bother us if we go a month without seeing each other. Is it tough? Yes. But it doesn't hinder our lives at all. It all depends on how strong the foundation of your relationship is. I would never be able to do this if we had just started dating recently. But 5 years is long enough to develop the trust to make it work. I know MANY people in my school who make it work just fine.

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mez06
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby mez06 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:07 pm

pkt63 wrote:Looking to connect with students maintaining a long-distance marriage or committed relationship while in law school. My husband has a great job at home and we don't want to give up his income, especially in this economy. But home has only a medicore law school and it seems a shame (to both of us) to settle. So, strong chance I'll be moving on my own...

Anyone else in a similar circumstance and interested in sharing how to make it work?


+1

Danteshek
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby Danteshek » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:08 pm

I'm doing it. I live in Los Angeles and go to Loyola. I met a girl 10 years my junior in DC this summer while I was working for the SEC. We are getting engaged before the end of the year. It's actually quite nice. We both can work on school and we text everyday and talk on the phone or skype every other day.

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vissidarte27
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby vissidarte27 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:15 pm

Not in law school yet, but I am in a long-distance relationship and making it work.

I live in Chicago, she lives in Atlanta/Charlottesville. I travel internationally for work and she spent the last semester in Japan and we've had just about every crazy time-zone configuration you could think of (Chicago to Japan, Munich to Japan, London to Atlanta, Calgary to Charlottesville, etc), but we still manage to make it work. We talk on the phone, text, and Skype is our very best friend. Even at the height of the crazy, we still Skyped two or three times a week.

I'm visiting her tomorrow and again in a couple of weeks. It's hard, but doable.

dudders
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby dudders » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:17 pm

Plan Skype dates into your schedule. Talking is a lot more fulfilling face-to-face (even if digital).

That and do your best to go into school with realistic expectations (on both sides) of what being in law school is like. Sometimes you'll be writing a memo for 12 hours in the library, and a brief "hey, how are ya" phone call is all you've got time for while getting more coffee. 1L year will also turn you into a socially awkward person who has nothing but law school to talk about. It's best to be prepared for that in advance.

pkt63
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby pkt63 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Thanks, dakatz (Edit: and everyone else...wow!), that makes me very hopeful.

If you don't mind sharing more, have you ever/do you worry about making any decisions NOT to do certain things at school that would potentially advance your career prospects because it could negatively impact your relationship? Like, not applying for certain clinics or externships or moot court or programs abroad? Do you think it might impact your prospects for summer employment and actual jobs because you may be more geographically restricted? Basically, I'm wondering how much one might be confronted with a career vs. relationship decision. I know everyone will handle it their own way...just wondering if it is right to be worried. I mean, especially going to a T14 or T6 school....you don't go there to do it half-ass....but it's not that simple, either.

And of course, any other tips on the logistics of law school and how to prepare a partner and maximize both, etc etc...

dudders
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby dudders » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:20 pm

dakatz wrote: I am so swamped with work that its not like I would have free time to interact with her during school anyway. We still chat on the phone each day for a little while, and she comes to visit about once a month. I should qualify this whole thing by saying that neither of us are needy or clingy. We don't get upset if we go a day without speaking, nor does it bother us if we go a month without seeing each other. Is it tough? Yes. But it doesn't hinder our lives at all. It all depends on how strong the foundation of your relationship is. I would never be able to do this if we had just started dating recently. But 5 years is long enough to develop the trust to make it work. I know MANY people in my school who make it work just fine.


This too. If you have a solid relationship, and are already trusting and independent, it'll work out. If someone is needy or dependent, things will probably be rocky.

1L is so busy sometimes I'm glad my boyfriend lives across the country. Right now I miss him, but I'd feel more guilty for not spending quality time with him and resentful of my workload if he was here.

dakatz
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby dakatz » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:21 pm

Oh yeah, I should absolutely add a point that some other people have mentioned: Your significant other MUST be prepared for the changes that you are going to go through and be willing to work with you and adapt accordingly. There most certainly will be days when you just don't have time to speak. There will be days when you stress and vent over law school stuff. There are times when you will be uncharacteristically argumentative for seemingly no reason. Also, there are times when you will be able to talk about nothing but law school since it is essentially your all-encompassing life. All of the above can be very frustrating to someone not in your position, and your significant other needs to be warned of these things so that he/she knows not to hold it against you.

Danteshek
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby Danteshek » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:22 pm

If you are serious about this person you should probably have the marriage discussion before you do long distance. You could also consider preparing a document setting out the expectations for both parties. It's important to talk about all the issues that could come up.

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NoleinNY
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby NoleinNY » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:24 pm

I've noticed there is a vague threshold you need to cross in order to make an LDR work in law school. The ones who make it work are the ones who are married, engaged, or have been dating for a long time. Of course, this is only from a 1L perspective; maybe it's easier to work it out as a 2L or 3L.

formerbiglawpartner
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby formerbiglawpartner » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:33 pm

There are worse things than not being together during law school. Law school is unbelievably demanding and that can be hard for someone else to understand. This is anecdotal information, of course, but of all the couples my spouse and I knew during law school (we did not start dating until after graduation), all but one ended in divorce. I actually think a long distance relationship probably may have a better chance.

09042014
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:47 pm

Make sure you have a plan about when you are moving back together.

Also, it isn't cheating if someone else sucks his dick if you aren't. 1 Desert Fox on Relationships §1.06 (2011).

Danteshek
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby Danteshek » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:14 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Make sure you have a plan about when you are moving back together.

Also, it isn't cheating if someone else sucks his dick if you aren't. 1 Desert Fox on Relationships §1.06 (2011).


Unassailable authority

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Cupidity
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby Cupidity » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:16 pm

After 3 years, long distance for law school has been a benefit for our relationship. It's going to suck for the next year, but it'll be worth it.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:24 pm

I will be embarking on this come fall with my girlfriend. I love her, but she understands that I can't pay $40,000 a year at UM when I am getting a $10,000/year instate scholarship at FSU. The rest of the schools in Miami are awful. We will be about 6-7 hours away and I hope I can escape once a weekend every month to see her. Does anyone have any words of encouragement? On the plus side, I have a solid judicial internship lined up in Miami for the 1L summer, so we will definitely have that. Thanks for any insight.

Edit: I know I'm not in LS until fall, and I apologize if I'm not allowed in here, but help and encouragement from those who are doing it goes a long way!

Stephanie13
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby Stephanie13 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:48 pm

I guess I will post for encouragement. I am a 1L and I have been doing long distance with my bf for all of this year. We had been together for only a little bit over a year before deciding to do this but I don't regret the decision at all. It is definitely true that your 1L year will be very busy with studying and also getting to know new classmates. I think that even if my bf and I were in the same city, we would not be able to spend that much time together except for maybe on the weekends. Communication is key and so is flexibility. Your SO must realize that you will be very busy and must be able to understand that. I also agree with the above that law school pretty much becomes your life so your SO must be prepared to or understanding enough to listen to you rant and whine about law school.

I think it is definitely doable! But understanding and flexibility is key. If one person is not 100% into the situation, it is likely to fail. Also, it is important that neither person is overly jealous. This is key for any long distance relationship but it can be especially difficult in law school because it will be important to get to know your classmates and if jealousy is an issue, that will be hard to overcome in a long distance relationship. There will the desire to try and keep tabs on where your SO is or vice versa and I think that that can be a slippery slope.

Also in terms of limiting your job search or deciding to forgo study abroad options for the sake of the relationship, I believe that this is a personal decision/sacrifice. If you decide to limit yourself on where you go or what markets you target for employment, then that is something that you need to weigh in terms of the importance of your career versus the importance of your relationship. I would say that is a common issue in any relationship, regardless of whether it is long distance or not. There is no right answer here.

It is also good to have a goal for when you will be back together again. Nothing is worse (in my eyes anyway) than facing an indefinite long distance relationship. Having a timeline of when you will be back in the same city again makes long distance more tolerable since you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, to be cliche. I say that this is important because it stinks to be the only one making sacrifices for the relationship, for either person. Maybe this is personal to just me, but it is important to know that my bf is willing to move here, but I know that it is important to my bf that I am also willing to do the same.

Wow this was long. Sorry!

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iminlstrick
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby iminlstrick » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:49 pm

I'm a 1L at a T6 in a long-distance, international relationship and we make it work swimmingly well. We both are busy and have our own lives, and we look at it as practice for the future when we both plan on having international careers. Remaining your own person always is a fundamental value we both share, so I would agree that LDRs work best when both people are independent and not clingy/needy. Surely I have my moments of FML I need you right now etc etc with 1L, but they pass and he does not judge me for them. Frequent-flyer mile membership programs FTW and Skype will become essential. Small surprise gifts don't hurt either. Trust is key. Best of luck!

Edit: re career -- perhaps my advice will differ from the "Do what you want to do" line, because while I am at a great school and am blessed to have the opportunity, I also seek balance in life and thus do not feel any pressing desire to have a top job at a top firm with top hourly demands. I do keep my SO in mind when career searching, to an extent, but we do not limit each other as to where we wish to go. We just try our best to find a happy medium that satisfies our work goals while allowing us to get closer together or be together.
Last edited by iminlstrick on Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:53 pm

Thank you to both of the above posters. What you said was definitely encouraging. It will be a lot easier for me as I will be in my 1L and constantly busy while she is in the middle of her undergrad. Given that it is a 6-7 hour drive to see her (assuming we don't meet halfway!), is it realistic to think I could drive down a few times a semester to see her? She already said she will do the same for me.

td6624
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby td6624 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:21 pm

dudders wrote: Sometimes you'll be writing a memo for 12 hours in the library


honestly who actually does shit like this

annnyway

I'm a 1L, about three years into a relationship that has pretty much been consistently long distance. The current distance is the most it's been save a 4-month period when I was out of the country (driving is not an option now, and driving was easy for the first 2.5 years). We have managed to see each other every month. We talk on the phone every day and text or skype chat pretty consistently throughout the day. It's hard, but as long as you don't let law school consume every second of your conscious life (which I really don't think is necessary, but then again, what do I know), you can make it work if you want to make it work. That's the thing though. I think sometimes people don't really have a desire to make it work and they try to do it anyway because ending it would be messy and difficult.

td6624
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby td6624 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:22 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote: is it realistic to think I could drive down a few times a semester to see her? She already said she will do the same for me.


Absolutely. If you have any time management skills at all you'll be able to clear out weekends without much difficulty.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:30 pm

td6624 wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote: is it realistic to think I could drive down a few times a semester to see her? She already said she will do the same for me.


Absolutely. If you have any time management skills at all you'll be able to clear out weekends without much difficulty.


Thanks. If nothing else, knowing I can see her will give me a damn good incentive to get all my work done :). It will be easier for me than her because she works and I obviously won't be, and I think I nice weekend on the beach would do wonders for me in just about every way possible.

pkt63
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby pkt63 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:37 pm

td6624 wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote: is it realistic to think I could drive down a few times a semester to see her? She already said she will do the same for me.


Absolutely. If you have any time management skills at all you'll be able to clear out weekends without much difficulty.


Would you say that includes extra-curricular stuff like journals, moot court, clinics, etc? Or just studying?

My husband and I are going on 15 years (since we first dated, not married!), so we've been through a lot, just not this particular challenge. I'm thinking I would try to get something "at home" for my 1L summer....and that of course, coming from a T6/T14 school back home (big city/medium-ish market, mediocre law school) I would be able to get the cream of the crop in the way of local summer experience (not sure if I want that to be a firm, PI, etc etc, yet). so I can be home for the summer and get great experience for the ol' resume.

Totally solid logic right? :P No...seriously, is this a fool's dream?

td6624
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby td6624 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:44 pm

pkt63 wrote:
td6624 wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote: is it realistic to think I could drive down a few times a semester to see her? She already said she will do the same for me.


Absolutely. If you have any time management skills at all you'll be able to clear out weekends without much difficulty.


Would you say that includes extra-curricular stuff like journals, moot court, clinics, etc? Or just studying?



I mean I'm just a 1L and not top 10% or anything so there's no reason to trust me but I'd say yes. Unless obviously there is something scheduled over a particular weekend.

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SherlockHolmes
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Re: LS w/Long Distance Relationship?

Postby SherlockHolmes » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:48 pm

+1 on the whole.

My new favorite thread. I've been with my fiancé for seven years and we'll be getting married this July, after which I'll be headed to law school (where at is still undetermined). Ideally, she would move with me but obviously I can't just ask her to quit her job and move to a new city with no gainful employment. So the prospect of a long distance relationship for at least the first year is a legitimate possibility. All of the above posts have been helpful and encouraging!




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