How Law School Makes You a Lousy Date
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
Sure, we’ve all heard it. But do we really ever believe it?
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Haraya Penrose tosses a cold drink on every lovelorn law student: If you’re enrolled in law school, you probably won’t find true love. In fact, you’ll probably compile the same dating track record as Carrie Bradshaw or Frasier Crane (and that’s not a compliment).
Let’s face it, it’s February. If you skated through the holidays, you’re bound to smack into the Valentine’s Day blues. Yes, it is a time of reflection and regret, of loves lost and losers kept. It is the time when you wonder, “Has the world passed me by?” and “Should I settle?” Sure, your pet savors all of your affection, but you still can’t shake those nagging doubts (or your parents’ phone calls).
Last year, we featured a post on how to date a law student. There, the author argued that certain lawyerly traits—such as being confrontational, controlling, and distracted—turn dating into a zero-sum proposition.
But could law school itself be the cause of so many nights spent downing Margaritas and playing fantasy football? Here are Penrose’s arguments in favor of this position:
- Law Students Live in a Cave: “And that cave is made up of jurisprudence, law provisions, terror teachers, and excruciating exams. Law students rarely have time to interact with the world outside… Law students are deeply focused and obsessed with the things that make up their lovely little cave that they find no interest and energy to go outside. They rarely meet new people so they usually mingle with each other and interbreed.”
- Law Students Don’t Have Time: “Dating is a chore because it should always be scheduled with studying. When a law student is not doing anything, he or she is studying. In other words, studying is the default, not breathing. Sure, they let loose a lot of times… but these let-loose moments are timed and scheduled…Because even when law students party, at the back of their minds, they are thinking about the workload for the next day.”
The phenomenon of not having time exists even with law school couples, who don’t go out on dates but go out on study dates. The possibility of romance also grows when students “study together.” Flirtation and seduction are squeezed into study groups, and sexiness is measured by how eloquently one can recite a case. Clearly, law students have so little time because of the academic workload that they have to multi- task to survive (study-eat, study-flirt, study-date, study-drive, study-shower). So if you are in the way of studying, you are, simply put, in the way.
- Law Students Have Priorities: “Every day is a logic game, connecting provisions with another, making conclusions. Classes are warzones where teachers fire questions and students are expected to fire back correct answers. This kind of environment has engineered law students to see through BS, lies, and inconsistencies. Law students have little patience to weave through the mysteries of humanity. Like reading an exceptionally long Supreme Court decision, law students immediately want to get to the facts, issues, held, and ratio.”
Despite making a compelling case, Penrose ultimately blames students, not law schools, for their romantic woes:
“The struggle to find that special someone is found in the halls of every building… Law school can amplify some aspects that make it hard to find that elusive true love, but it’s not the problem.
Given a chance, a law student can love someone with the same level of diligence and intensity he or she dedicates to the study of law. That is, if that law student also realizes that he or she should also make time, get off his or her high horse, and realize that there is also life outside that legal cave…. it’s about compromise and balance.”
Ah, so there’s hope yet. But be warned. As every 2L can attest, law school is a jealous partner. And “compromise” and “balance” just isn’t in his vocabulary.
For an additional take on law school romance, check out Above the Law’s “Did Love Survive Law School?”
Source: Thought Catalog
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