Dating another grad student
This is not just icky—it is highly damaging to the profession.
For despite the handful of happy families that result from professor/grad student couplings, the practice has an overwhelmingly deleterious effect on the academic community.
(Just count the times this author uses the word “hero.”) Thus, the master/protégé dynamic cements power differentials that are simply too pronounced to create a healthy relationship, Not to mention the fact that grad-student/faculty relationships literally ruin careers: When a student and faculty member start sleeping together, rarely is it a well-kept secret; often, the student becomes a departmental pariah.
For one thing, watching your partner follow their dreams can make you resentful—or it can make you focus more on your own ambitions. “When I got my acceptance letter, my boyfriend got inspired to make new strides in his career.
It doesn’t work out like that for everyone, but both of us are motivating each other to go farther.” It works even better if both halves of a relationship are obsessed with the same thing.
Comforting them when they are feeling inadequate (when undergrads or professors yell at them, or when they realize how everyone else is smarter than them)4.
Sometimes not getting to spend quality time together (when they are going through crunchtime)5.
Many grad students such as myself are fraught with insecurities about their abilities, and a special someone has to deal with this.