I am no expert in dating a law student. However, as I am a committed partner to one, I think I can share a thing or two about it.
I met Tina (my law student girlfriend) at a time when she thought law school and her lawyer dream were all that mattered to her.
Back then, I was a bit hesitant to woo her. Being the busy working law student that she is, I knew she had too much on her plate.
Nevertheless, I knew all along pretty much what I’m getting into. I was well aware of the possibility that getting her to date would mean seen-zoned Facebook messenger chats and SMS. Not to brag, but your guy right here was then equipped for a series of hits and misses.
Eventually, with fervent prayers and after asking permission from Tina’s parents, we became official. However, I was too naïve not to realize that things don’t get easier once you date a law student.
And if I’m being honest, the long courtship was actually the easiest part.
Here’s how our relationship looked like in our early years as a couple
Tina was in her second year in law school when we started dating as a couple. While studying, she had worked several jobs and wore several hats – a college professor, defense writer and analyst, administrative officer, and national security specialist. She’s a very hardworking educator and public servant. And until now, I still couldn’t fathom how she was able to do well in her law studies without sacrificing her work as a government employee.
Just like her, I am a graduate studies student. I was finishing my MA thesis when I met her and worked the same jobs. We even became colleagues in the same field and government office. I also taught college students (up to this day), although in a different university.
Having a glimpse of our lives as individuals, you might think that it’s impossible for career-oriented people like us to have a blissful, rewarding, and stable romantic relationship. Even more, you might be wondering now how I was able to stay in love and be in a relationship with someone who appears to be too busy to love another human being.
Well, I have to admit that I also had apprehensions of my own during the early years of my relationship with Tina. I was a bit unsure if I can keep up with her lifestyle, much less get her time and attention fully – all to myself. Fortunately, and through God’s grace, I was able to stand by her through it all.
Loving and dating a law student is challenging yet FULFILLING
Tina is my first (and my last) girlfriend. So, imagine how difficult it was for me to handle a relationship with “zero experience”.
Surely, loving a sleep-deprived, overly caffeinated, dead tired, career-oriented, and occasionally grumpy law student had given me both the challenge and maturity I never thought I’d have. But being with her gave me the much needed growth for me to become a better person and, hopefully, be the best husband for her in the future.
Now, for those of you who constantly ask me about how on earth I was able to stay in love with a law student even when she seem to have nothing much to give, here’s my take on it:
In dating a law student, be the partner who’s always there, especially when he’s at his most vulnerable
Law students appear fierce and tough-looking to people because it’s something they have to do to cope with what they’re going through. However, that doesn’t mean they are impervious from emotional breakdowns. Unfortunately, most of them actually have a lot of these.
There was this time when we were in our favorite fast food chain when Tina suddenly cried over a bucket of Chicken Joy. This happened after her grueling Remedial Law exam. She’s the type of person you’ll never see crying (except over a dog movie) and is actually one of the toughest people I know. But at that particular time, she broke down in public and didn’t care less.
While it hurts me a lot to see Tina during her bad times in law school, her struggles became my own source of strength as her partner. Her plight as a working law student gave me the resolute to stay and be there for her no matter what.
Even if law students often tell people that they put “readings before feelings”, I know, deep inside, they long to be understood, loved, and taken care — even at their lowest. So, love your law student partner despite his imperfections and occasional law school-induced grumpiness. Always choose him in spite his vulnerability.
Make some adjustments; it’s not that hard and bad, believe me
I love Tina so dearly to the point that I’m willing to adjust my time and a few aspects of my lifestyle with hers, should the need arises.
Accordingly, I find ways to be more productive while she’s studying or in class. Whenever she’s busy, I would revise my thesis, write articles for online publications, or tweak my Powerpoint presentations for my weekend lectures. There’s so many things to do apart from complaining that your law student beloved has no time for you.
Time is of the essence for law students. So, I respect her time and her priorities.
Never hesitate to do small acts of love for them – they’ll love and cherish it
Surely, law students appreciate even the little things you do for them. So, I try to go out of my way to show my love for Tina.
One thing I love doing for her is cheering her up whenever she felt demotivated. Also, I enjoy commuting all the way from my workplace to her law school. This way, I can bring her snacks or give her moral support for an intense oral revalida. I can also comfort her after a nerve-racking exam. I don’t mind getting home late, so long as I see her happy and safe.
Communicate with candor and without hesitation
Law students are trained to be objective and logical. Thus, never hesitate to speak your mind when you have to.
Need I mention again that your beloved law student’s life is toxic? Well, this is a reality you’ll have to constantly deal with when dating a law student. As such, it’s always best to tell them what you want, need, or think straightforwardly.
Lastly, refrain from mind games and drama. Trust me, law students have no time for these.
In dating a law student, true love makes a lot of difference
Always be the person your law student partner chose to love in the first place. Love him at his best, but even more at his worst. Doing this will surely make a difference in his life.
I know God had written a law school love story for an average guy like me for a purpose. For now, I still don’t know what it is.
But, one thing’s for sure. Everyone deserves to be loved wholeheartedly and unconditionally — law student or not.
All about the guest writer
Jumel G. Estrañero is a defense and security analyst and a university lecturer in the Philippines. He has completed the Executive Course in National Security at the National Defense College of the Philippines and has participated in NADI Track II discussions in Singapore (an ASEAN-led security forum on terrorism). His articles were published by Eurasia Review, Global Security Review, Geopolitical Monitor, Global Village Space, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Manila Times, Malaya Business Insights, Asia Maritime Review, The Nation (Thailand), Southeast Asian Times, and Global Politics. He is also one of the authors of the book entitled Handbook of Terrorism 2019 (Philippines); Disruptive Innovation: Duterte Legacy (Political, Economic, and Security Reference); and The Palgrave Macmillan Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies 2020 (Springer Nature). His specializations include geopolitics of the South China Sea, counter-terrorism/insurgency, cybersecurity, peacebuilding, strategic policy, and intelligence.