Gaining admission into business school is an exciting time that can be accompanied by difficult decisions. For people in relationships, the decision of whether both partners should move to a new city often arises. There are a ton of factors to consider when making this decision (e.g., career goals, immigration constraints, distance) and each couple must make the decision that is right for them. When I was admitted to Chicago Booth, my husband, Jatinder, and I carefully weighed the pros and cons and ultimately decided that he would stay in Minneapolis while I lived in Chicago.
Each couple that chooses to maintain long-distance relationships while in business school has a unique experience. Key in that experience for us has been making the time we do have together a priority. As I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times by now, you will be busier in business school than you ever could have imagined. Given the large number of demands that I face, I must prioritize my relationship with Jatinder. I find time to speak with him every single day, although the lengths of our conversations vary with my workload. Our conversations are a great source of emotional support, guidance, and fun.
We are lucky in that the Minneapolis to Chicago flight is short and relatively inexpensive, so Jatinder is able to visit me every 2-3 weeks. I plan in advance for his arrival by clearing my schedule and completing my coursework. I treat his visits like vacation time in which we can explore Chicago together. We never run out of new restaurants to try or events to attend. I’m also fortunate that Jatinder is invested in the Booth community. He has become friends with many of my classmates and often meets up with students with interests similar to his own (e.g., entrepreneurship) when he is in Chicago.
Does it get tough? Yes. Of course, I wish my husband could be here all the time. However, our approach to maintaining our relationship works for us. Furthermore, I know of many couples that are thriving with one partner in business school despite even greater distances. In the end, the decision of whether both partners should move to a new city is truly personal. There is no one right way to go. If you are going to live separately from your partner during business school, my advice is to make your relationship a priority and designate time for maintaining it.