Dating academics

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In order to join, potential users are screened and selected based on their education and professional history. Bradford became interested in online dating after becoming single following the end of a five-year relationship. She had no control over who could view her profile, including potential business connections, bosses and coworkers. She also felt like she had no idea who the people she was being matched with were. There was no context to their profiles — just their name and their photo. And so, The League was born.

Love In (and Out of) Academe

This way the app can ensure your profile is not visible to your professional connections, while at the same time giving potential matches a better idea of who you are as a person based on your education and professional experience. Bradford hopes the dating pool represents many different industries. The main thing is you have to bring something special to the table. But we are going to be expecting you to have accomplished something in your professional career to compensate for that.

That to me is a just as impressive, if not more, than someone who went to Tier 1 university. Each community is capped at about 10, Krista White, 23, lives in Silicon Valley, California and works in public relations. She studied theater at Columbia University. She has been on the waitlist for The League since February.

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He too lives in Silicon Valley. Daniel Ratcliffe, 25, also did not have to wait too long before making it into The League. I was like No 11, and I thought: I am not sure what their criteria is for accepting members. For some, however, this match has problems. A tenure-track professor I met told me she hated dating outside of academia -- if only because she did not feel valued.


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She simply got tired of defending her career. Her husband, a contractor, resented her university-funded travel; this difference of opinion brought much tension to the relationship. She also told me that he does not understand her at-home work. The time between semesters becomes a battle as he pressures her to make repairs on their classic Victorian house while she is desperately trying to read new textbooks, rework syllabi, course outlines, and assignments -- all while writing to publish. And the resulting tension can be devastating to a relationship.

This is not the only place where academics and their non-academic spouses do not agree. A liberal arts professor I know dated a man who worked as a marketing manager with a large, successful printing company in the area. And a sense of being able to give back rather than take helped her through some non tenure-track years. For successful non-academics, status may be measured by a bank account -- which frustrates academics. But opinion about academic and non-academic spouses seems to be split squarely down the middle. I have colleagues past and current who swear by their academic loves. A strong bond often develops among professors -- to some it makes sense to seek a partner who suffers and celebrates the same issues.

The demands of the job, combined with research and papers, can be daunting. Academic partners also seem more focused on career -- and often have similar interests when it comes to politics and social lives. And I suppose it could be coincidence, but my second husband [an academic] not only loves those things, but also encourages me to see independent films, visit the local art museum and go to poetry readings. And although a non-academic spouse could have these interests, it is sometimes more likely that an academic spouse will have them.

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Academics are big readers, too. Those who read books, papers and publications in their own industry often also read for enjoyment -- or simply to broaden their horizons. Two humanities professors I know are co-authoring a paper; they are husband and wife. One poet I know often runs his work through his wife before he talks to his editor; although her specialty is social work, she often catches small inconsistencies -- and, even better, she really understands his body of work and how that reflects the man.

Having a spouse or loved one at a conference or workshop not only can be a bonding experience, but can also lead to discussions that may result in a much-needed lesson for class, or a paper to be presented at a later conference.


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Yet there may be tensions. The ABD may feel that their Ph. And finding jobs that allow a couple to stay together is a near-impossible task. A new colleague took a position with our university four weeks before the semester started. His wife, on contract to teach at a campus 2, miles away, is now desperately trying to land a position in the same area.

I sense that he feels isolated. Although he has cultivated some acquaintances in his new town, he doe not feel as though his experience is complete without his life partner. The long-distance academic marriage is often an awkward union at best. At its worst, the situation will literally kill the marriage. One instructor friend who specializes in distance learning says that personality, priorities, values and ability to communicate are the deal-breakers -- not what one does for a living.

I think that she is right. Just as there are some absolute clods in academia, there are some wonderfully accomplished, smart and interesting people working for government or private industry. With friends in and outside of academia, I feel as though I am taking advantage of all that the world has to offer. Cutting one group out seems overly focused and elitist.

And in our nation, which seems to value entrepreneurialism and individualism at all costs, narrowing the field of human contact seems unwise to me. Be the first to know.

Love In (and Out of) Academe

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