This is a guest post by Leon Harris. Leon Harris is a writer for PUA where you can find great tips and advice about the art of seducing your partner.
If you pay any attention to current events, you probably know that student-teacher romantic relationships are a bad idea. They almost always end in heartache (and sometimes imprisonment). At the very least, such a relationship will likely inspire jealousy and even disgust in your peers, a social situation you may not be too keen to deal with. However, there are times when two people are fated to be together, and you should never turn down a chance at love just because other people may not understand. So if you find that you are attracted to your professor, and the feeling is mutual, you may want to follow a few guidelines when you choose to start dating.
1. Keep it private. Most college campuses have rules about fraternization between students and teachers and the gist of it is that such relationships are verboten. In some cases, starting a relationship with a professor is only out of the question while you’re in their class, but many campuses outlaw such coupling altogether. If you’re caught, you could face suspension or expulsion and your teacher could face job loss. So if you’re serious about dating a prof, you’d better keep it to yourself.
2. Wait until class is over. Allegations of impropriety could arise if you begin dating a professor while you’re taking their class. If you get good marks, people could question whether you were graded on merit or…other criteria (in essence, others might be tempted to speculate that your grade was based on preferential treatment because of your relationship). In short, dating a teacher while taking their course is a big no-no.
3. Start on equal footing. When you enter into a relationship with someone who you would normally see as an authority figure, the dynamic can easily carry over into your private life. However, you don’t necessarily want to be seen as the “child” in the equation. This person is going to be your partner, not your superior. So don’t get in the habit of deferring to the professor’s opinion or letting them make all the decisions for the relationship. Be assertive early on to avoid finding yourself in a disparate situation.
4. Question your teacher’s motives. If you find that an older professor is actively pursuing you, stop to consider why they would do such a thing. You want to believe that you are smart, funny, and attractive, but the main thing you have to offer a person who is significantly older than you (and probably smarter and more experienced) is status. By dating a student, a professor may gain self-esteem and garner the envy of his colleagues or friends. Do you really want to be objectified in this manner?
5. Question your motives. You also need to take a minute to consider what it is that you’re looking for in the relationship (and what you’re avoiding). By dating someone who is more advanced than you (in their education, their career, and their life in general), you will have a mentor that can not only be with you romantically, but who can also play the role of a parent, offering a feeling of protection and safety that your fellow students couldn’t hope to provide. But if this is your reason for dating a professor (be honest, it’s probably a part of it), then you are simply avoiding the hard work of starting your life and embracing independence. This will be detrimental to your progress as a person in the long run.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out some of Leon’s other work at College Being: