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Professor/Student Situation....What are we?


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Old 29th March 2017, 11:44 PM   #1
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Professor/Student Situation....What are we?

So, I am an undergrad and am finishing up my second semester in college (I am 19, almost 20. Older for my year). During my first semester, I chose to take a Gen-Ed course that required a lab. The professor for this lab became such a cliche. Adjunct professor, so no tenure. Young for his position, 27/28 if I had to take a guess (he left grad school in 2011 if that helps.) Cute, but not to die for. However, I've always been attracted to older men. Therefore, I had a thing for this guy for day one. Now.. the actual story:

Prior to the first day of class, I had trouble accessing his information online. Without knowing anything about his age, appearance, I emailed him asking for help. Didn't know how professional to be, so I kept it super formal. After about 10 emails and a quick trip to the Rate My Professor page, I realized that this guy was young, easy going, and not someone i needed to be too formal with. We eventually figured out my computer issue, and the days-long conversation before classes began ended with friendly banter. I was excited to see who he was.

So fast forward to the middle of the first semester, and things are insanely chill. Because this course is Gen Ed, it's not my speciality. We quickly sparked a friendship; common interests, flirty jokes throughout class, would go out of our way to talk to each other during lab. Nothing out of the ordinary, however. I just had a crush. At this point I could only tell that he gave me more attention than others. Towards the end of the semester, I needed some help creating my next schedule. (keep in mind this was not my best subject and this guy gave me a B+, for no reason.) He was so willing to help me and told me exactly when to put my next class down.. so that I'd have him again one final time. So during the break, before the spring semester, I realized that my randomized schedule did not allow me take him. I figured it was worth a shot, so I told him that I didn't get him as a professor, awaiting his reaction. Long story short, he enrolled me into his class through the department...regardless of it being full and off limits to other students.

So, now to the real stuff. The semester begins and there is already a different vibe than the last. He knows he helped me, I'm super appreciative, even more attracted to him. The flirting is almost out of hand and at time so obvious that I'm worried others would notice. He even shot me an email before the first class to "remind me of class tonight" (it's a night course.) So one night.. feeling risky, I send him a email telling him about my day. Something short, telling him I did well on a lecture quiz and that I owed him one. He responded quickly, telling me that he's keeping a list of his favors. I didn't respond to that, not wanting to drag it out and be that annoying student. However, later during the night, he emailed again. Only this time to tell me about a local food discount at a place he knows I love. I tell him that he must listen more than I thought he did. He replies "mmm.. maybe a little. You should check it out."

At the time, I didn't know how direct I could be with him. What if I ruined it by making assumptions, ya know? I'm pretty mature for my age. The conversation continued with a few flirty emails only for me to eventually say "see you next week?" trying to leave him wanting more. It seemed to offend him, as if he was hurt. I joked and told him I didn't want to interrupt his night. Fast forward a few more weeks, and we're emailing after almost every class (ends at 9.) He'll ask me how my weekly tv/wine night is going... I'd ask what his plans were. One time he said "I was drinking downtown, you missed me by 10." I wanted to reply something flirty, but I'd been drinking myself. My response made nearly no sense and the next morning I sent a joking email back, saying that wine and emails seemingly don't mix. He thought it was funny and we joked about it to the side during class. At this point, though, I though I'd missed my chances by not taking a further risk with him. Maybe he was only going to say things like that twice you know?

So one night I tell him "Hope I didn't keep you too long after class." (We hung around to talk about our break plans). "Nah, I enjoyed chatting" he said. Only to send another saying "And I didn't mind..." I was asleep by then and never replied. The next few classes consisted of more sexual tension than usual. He'd wait until no one was looking and we'd stare for minutes. Usually I break it off to prevent anyone from noticing. Fast forward again and I take a gamble and make an excuse to see him. I ask if he could print me out something since i ran out of prints myself, and he says sure. We make a time to meet, but it falls through. He apologizes and reschedules two different times. I'm left wondering what I did wrong and if I screwed up.

When we get to class, he seems to be worried and embarrassed about blowing me off. I stay calm and act as normal, except less talking .we were taking a test. When we leave that night, I email him. "You must have really not wanted to see me this week, ha." jokingly. He never answers. and I'm only more worried about then. The day before out next lab (a full week later) he emails me back. About three paragraphs explaining why he had to cancel and bail, telling me about how sick he'd gotten, etc. It started and ended with, "It had nothing to do with not wanting to see you." I felt terrible. I thought maybe he'd taken my email as a diss? That I was rude. I sent a long response back, apologizing. Telling him to let me know next time and hoping that we were alright. He answers and gives me a very simple response, "Nah, we're good. I just wanted to explain. I don't get my feelings hurt easily, btw." At this point, I am very confused. What does this mean, I thought. Is he trying to seem tough?

The last thing that has happened was odd. One night, an hour or two after lab, (it was 11) my friends and I go to a local sports bar. For a drink and food. As soon as we walk in, I spot him at the bar. He's with someone so I look away quickly and walk behind him to be seated. (I don't believe he saw me.) We order and I am flustered, so eventually I get up to go into the restroom. As I open the door, I run into the TA for our lab. I say excuse me awkwardly, and begin to wonder if she's with him... (I wasn't too concerned, she's on the awkward side and doesn't seem his type. They never talk much in class, but she is older. It's a common thing for TA's and Prof's to hang out after/before classes.) Still shocked, though, I go to sit back down. When I look up, they're both gone. Later that night, I email him.

"So, I wasn't sure if it was you tonight. I was out with a few friends grabbing a bite to eat." He replies the next morning, "Perhaps..where do you think you saw me?" I tell him. He says "Yeah, I was there grabbing a few beers. My TA said she saw a student, but I didn't ask who. You should have said hey."

1, It might me calm down knowing that he wasn't being shady about being out with his TA. 2, he made sure to note that he didn't ask who it was. Meaning that if she said it was me he wouldn't have left? I don't know. I took a gamble and responded "Yeah, I ran into her at one point. I saw you with someone and didn't want to interrupt. Hang around longer next time and I might." I was trying to finally be forward to make up for missed opportunities. He never responded, but the next week at lab he acted normal; flirty and with long gazes. I feel like I'm not forward enough in person but I only feel like he trusts and respects the fact that I'm not. Im assuming that's why he's even interested in the first place. So, what do I do? Do you think my chances are gone (he does not seem like the type to just want a quick student ****)? Do i wait until the semester is over and ask him for a drink? Do you think he will do something then? Or should I try saying something risky in person for the first time when I catch him online during lab (we mostly guide ourselves so it'd be easy to do..)

I'm not sure what my goal is here. I just am interested in him, would be down for a hookup, but also wouldn't mind seeing him outside of class to just talk life. I know he'd been down for the same thing. I just need advice on how to play this out, if he's lost interest, etc.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 30th March 2017 at 4:22 PM.. Reason: added paragraphs ~6
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Old 30th March 2017, 12:01 AM   #2
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Look...

You are almost 20, just ask him out already.

And if you want to just get laid I am positive that he would be down for that. I mean if he is single, you don't think you would be the first classroom hottie that he has slept with?

I mean, not offense, but just stop the drama and go for it...
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Old 30th March 2017, 12:16 AM   #3
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I have to respectfully disagree with the response of the previous poster. If you have any respect for this professor you will not put his career or reputation at risk while he is your teacher. You also risk having your grades and character being questioned by the university.

His hot/cold behavior indicate that he is concerned about crossing a line with a student. He is still young so he might not have the experience dealing with ethical boundaries.

The right thing to do would be to wait until you are no longer his student, without any ethical conflict of interest.
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Old 30th March 2017, 12:23 AM   #4
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She is freaking 20 years old...

She is freaking 20 years old...

I complete disagree with Scarlett.O'hara. You are young, if you dig him have a fling. If not let it go.

I mean come on...
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Old 30th March 2017, 8:16 AM   #5
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Wait until the semester is over and your grades are in. Until then, fantasize madly and enjoy it.

In some jurisdictions, teacher/student is still actually illegal even if you're over 18 (it depends on exactly where you are and you don't need to tell the internet that). In others, it's legal but it can get the teacher fired and possibly banned from his profession.

There are also risks when it comes to your schoolwork being affected. Even if the professor is completely well-meaning and would NEVER take it out on you, a romantic fling that goes badly can leave you feeling so awkward and embarrassed that you have a hard time dealing with him in close quarters afterwards and that can also screw up your grades.

Just wait. It's only a few months, right? If a few months delay makes you lose interest it wasn't much of an interest to begin with.
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Old 30th March 2017, 10:31 AM   #6
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I'm sure I'll get some flack for this, but when I hear about professor student physical relations with the stereotype 40 year old professor and 18 year old student, it just comes across as kind of skeevy. Especially since the professor has grading duties (and therefore the power dynaic) to do with the student. And all (or almost all) US universities prohibit this, so if the professor is found out, he (or she in some cases) could certainly be disciplined, maybe fired.

With this OP's age span, I don't think the age difference is so much of an issue, but the rules of the University still apply.
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Old 30th March 2017, 10:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by somanymistakes View Post
Wait until the semester is over and your grades are in...
...then ask him out.

When I was a TA, a first year student started hitting on my pretty hard. I told her I couldn't go out because I was her TA and that was that, or so I thought. Then after class on our last day she pulls some flowers out of her book pack, hands them to me, and says "you're not my TA now!"

Flowers! ..lol..
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Old 30th March 2017, 10:43 AM   #8
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Ask him out after the semester is over. What he is doing now is not appropriate and could possibly get him fired. I think he didn't want to meet you to make copies because he didn't trust himself alone with you.
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Old 30th March 2017, 11:08 AM   #9
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Ask him out after the semester is over. What he is doing now is not appropriate and could possibly get him fired. I think he didn't want to meet you to make copies because he didn't trust himself alone with you.
I thought the same, thanks for the input. I guess I'm just concerned with over-analyzing the situation and making a move and it not being reciprocated (even though he's definitely in his own way shown the interest.) I just wanted to include all of the details so everyone could get the full picture!
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Old 30th March 2017, 11:10 AM   #10
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Absolutely don't even toy with the idea to ask him out if you're still in his class/lab. He can lose his job if he gets involved with an undergrad student.
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Old 30th March 2017, 11:14 AM   #11
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Absolutely don't even toy with the idea to ask him out if you're still in his class/lab. He can lose his job if he gets involved with an undergrad student.
I agree. I guess I'm just concerned with losing his interest, considering his indirectly told me where's he's drinking at night, etc.. possibly implying that I should come. Each of those times I didn't make a move to join, wanting to be sure that was his intention. I guess my thought process was, "If he's willing.. maybe I should be too." Thoughts?
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Old 30th March 2017, 12:21 PM   #12
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Sure you're both adults, but I can almost 100% guarantee that the college or university you attend considers there is a power differential between the two of you, one which might negatively impact you and your success at the university or bias the results you get in a way that creates a negative work environment for other students. In other words, these types of relationship affect the professor's ability to evaluate bias-free.

This doesn't mean you can't date. This means that if you do date, he has to declare it to his department chair and abdicate the right to evaluate your work. Now, most professors will not do this for one simple reason: they would lose professional credibility.

Once you are no longer his student, then you revert to being both adults on equal footing. Right now, you are not.
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Old 30th March 2017, 12:55 PM   #13
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I thought the same, thanks for the input. I guess I'm just concerned with over-analyzing the situation and making a move and it not being reciprocated (even though he's definitely in his own way shown the interest.) I just wanted to include all of the details so everyone could get the full picture!
From what you have said, it does sound like he might have a little crush on you. Any teacher worth their salt knows it's inappropriate to have even a friendship with a student. Teachers have to keep hard boundaries. When I was in college and went to a male professor's office, they always kept the door open, so there wasn't even a hint that something untoward might be going on. What he has done so far is inappropriate and could get him in a lot of trouble if anyone found out, so that is why I say he must like you if he's willing to risk his job. Because that is essentially what he is doing.

Again, I would just wait until the semester is over, and maybe ask him if he wants to meet for lunch or something to celebrate the semester being over. Something benign like that. If he jumps at meeting you, that's a good sign. If he blows you off, then he's probably not interested.
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Old 30th March 2017, 1:43 PM   #14
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From what you have said, it does sound like he might have a little crush on you. Any teacher worth their salt knows it's inappropriate to have even a friendship with a student. Teachers have to keep hard boundaries. When I was in college and went to a male professor's office, they always kept the door open, so there wasn't even a hint that something untoward might be going on. What he has done so far is inappropriate and could get him in a lot of trouble if anyone found out, so that is why I say he must like you if he's willing to risk his job. Because that is essentially what he is doing.

Again, I would just wait until the semester is over, and maybe ask him if he wants to meet for lunch or something to celebrate the semester being over. Something benign like that. If he jumps at meeting you, that's a good sign. If he blows you off, then he's probably not interested.
Thanks a lot for the input! I completely agree. There are only about three weeks left in the semester, so I'll act as we typically do and then send something along the lines of what you recommended after we're through. Wish me luck!
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Old 30th March 2017, 1:45 PM   #15
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Hopefully this prof. knows dating a student is a no no.
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