Tag Archives: relationships

Dating in Academia: Part Deux

Dating in Academia: Part Deux {New Faculty}

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It seems that dating a nerd gets a lot of hits. No, not those hits, but web hits from my wordpress stats manager. Let’s keep it up to snuff shall we?

In honor of the ridiculous amount of traffic this first post on dating in academia garnered, I decided that I was indeed a masochist and that this should be a several part series. Part two anyone?

I’m fortunate enough to have some bad-ass, awesome, intelligent lady friends. And “male” friends who are colleagues as well. Instead of just making this a pro-feminism post (but believe me, I’m all about it), I asked the duddddddes for their take. Strangely, we’ve not dated any of our single, male faculty friends. Life is easier when we can commiserate together with drinks after 5 p.m.

Male faculty:

“I tried dating a woman. She was not in academia. She had a kid. Both of those things were fine. She failed to recognize that in search of tenure, I didn’t have a ton of time all of the time hang around waiting for her. She kept lying, stringing me along, even to the point of kissing me and then saying “don’t do that again, but I liked it.” Mixed signal anyone? I get that finding childcare can be tough and respect that, but then found out that her kid was with the other parent for a solid week and she never mentioned it. I dropped that like it was hot. It was a hot mess.” ~paraphrased over friday drinks.

Female faculty:

I made the mistake of dating a grad student. I thought he could handle things. Until the day he said, “if we stay together, you can just get me a partner/spousal hire.” Motive (and deal breaker) revealed. Peace out bro’.

Female faculty:

I tried dating a guy. I appreciate how forthright he was with me, but he didn’t appreciate how quickly I broke it off after he let a major deal breaker out of the gate. Three weeks in he says, “so, you can just move {up here} and work for {obscure, small, rarely hiring college} so I can live close to my mom and dad.” EXCUSE ME??? I tried to get to the bottom of this fierce desire to live close to mom/dad but the only reply was, “i need to live near them, i will sacrifice having a fulfilling career if i can see them several times a week.” Which he was, he was not getting work. He complained about it daily, but his parents are healthy and very active, his other siblings had moved for jobs, and he clearly said, “you’ll just have to drop everything you have going on if this is going to work.” No, this isn’t going to work.

Female faculty:

I matched with a guy online. We started chatting through the service. It turned into a “what should I do with my career?” talk. I felt like an admissions counselor. I have no trouble talking future self with people, but not men in their mid-30’s who are trying to woo me, it felt like an 18 year old with his mom in tow.

If you have an awesomely, horrific dating story in academia, email me: domesticatedacademic@gmail dot com. I’ll post it. Yes I will…..We have to have a *little* fun don’t we?

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Turning Off the Turmoil

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I have a friend who is recently single. Her husband woke her up on a Saturday morning to let her know he was unhappy and he moved out. Their break up has been done over social media, email, texts, and rarely ever in person. My friend proclaimed to me a few days ago that she “f*^g hated facebook and her phone.” I told her to shut that crap down. Immediately. I recommended that she not respond to her soon-to-be-ex unless he wants to man up and she needed to woman up and confront the situation in order to end it.

As professionals and human beings, we NEED to separate ourselves from the devices we’ve become accustom to having. A friend and I ran a 5k this fall. I run intervals and she said she would try to run a little bit. She ended up checking her phone the whole time. I had jogged ahead of her and turned around to check on her only to see her looking at her phone. I was pissed. I screamed, “get off your god damned phone and live the life that’s right in front of you!!!! i’m right here, look at all these people running with us, whatever is in that phone can wait 45 minutes.” She didn’t get off her phone, I ran the course and waited another 30 min. for her to finish. Miraculously she crossed the finish line without her phone in her hand but in her pocket.

Social media, email, and everything technology related can be hard to stomach. The spoken word is so powerful and the range of other non-verbal cues that come with it are far more important than the message itself sometimes. As someone who researches facial cues and non-verbal behaviors, I can say with some amount of certainty that these cues drive us. A flat facebook message or email does not get across any of the truly important aspects related to the communication: the human connection. Email is great for business, for seeing how the kids are, for confirming flights, and scheduling meetings but rarely is it a great medium for someone’s joy, laughter, tears, heartache, or range of motions in between. Facebook is wonderful for sharing photos, puppies, babies, more babies, and your latest life experience but the only true way to connect is to communicate. Emoticons help but are less than two dimensional.

As our semester winds down and we begin to feel the emotional onslaught that comes with the end of a term, I urge you to check in with yourself and turn off your devices. Take a two hour break during the middle of the day. Stop working before the sun goes down and get some vitamin D. Stop pushing your emails, facebook notifications, and everything in between. Turn off the turmoil in your life and turn on the relationships you have with the people sitting in front of you. Your heart will thank you. Besides, you can always check out everyone’s Thanksgiving feasts later and black friday deals next week.

Your online addiction may be adversely affecting your life more than you think. I enjoyed the tidbits this article provided and have made my own steps to calm down my technology use to balance home time and work time. I do enjoy reading books on my iPad and playing Angry Birds, but have learned to turn off notifications and sounds when I’m busy, even if busy is watching TV or when I’m with friends, enjoying what I’m doing, and avoiding my digital life. After reading the HBR article about online addictions, I took my own stock and reflected on what I did and didn’t do. Here’s what I do:

  • I turn off my ringer in the mornings when I work. I work best during this time and do not want to be disturbed by texts or calls.
  • I continue to carry a good notebook with me for meetings. If my mind wanders and my laptop or iPad is open, I’ll stop paying attention to the meeting.
  • I break up my days with exercise when I can. Working out in the middle of the day helps re-energize me for the long afternoons. It doesn’t happen every day but I take advantage of it when it does.

This is what I can always work on:

  • Impulsively checking. Ugh. Sometimes I catch myself doing it and then I think, “stop it, it’s the weekend/night/not email time.”
  • Setting aside time to check in with myself and write. My writing/research writing efforts need to be amped up. I can’t help but admit that technology hinders that productivity and focus.
  • Stop letting Pavlovian pull suck me in. Must. Stop.

I’ll keep working on it if you will. As a new faculty, it can be tough to balance all of your job responsibilities and your real life.

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