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Friendship with Teacher?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Dorkasour, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Dorkasour

    Dorkasour Active Member

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    I’ve been browsing the website for a while now and it’s been very helpful. You’re all very kind.

    For around years known my professor, who has aspergers. I took two of his classes at my college (I am 28 btw) and I got along with him really. We have a lot of things in common, talked often in class, and we made fun of each a lot.

    In class he would look at me a lot, smile and seemed quiet comfortable around me. Even though he has a very difficult time being social he’d talk with me more than the other students. One afternoon we even sat down together after school ours and played his favorite video game which is my favorite memory.

    Close to the end of the year I had to emotionally prepare to say goodbye because he was my professor and that was the last of my required classes with him. As a gift I asked all the students to write down a nice message for him as good luck in a notebook.

    However, after class ended he has been engaging a lot more with me on twitter. If he thinks I am upset he reaches out to me. He even asked me to visit him during class hours and he asked me questions which is something he hadn’t done before. He is also open about his personal life: has told me about his ex-wife. His insecurities with talking to new people, etc…

    I am starting to care about him a lot and even now I am starting to form feelings for him. I guess I am confused because he was my professor and I don’t understand the boundaries of our relationship?

    Have you guys ever been in a position like this and been confused?

    P.S, I don’t know if I identify as NT or not. I miss some social stuff. and obviously I should understand something about this and I don’t.
     
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  2. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    It's common for professors to view "traditional" students (coming out of high school) as kids, but view the non-traditional students more like the adults they are. There's no rule that says you can't be friends with your professor. A romantic relationship might be considered unethical but only if he's teaching a class you're taking.

    Close friendship is confusing. It's the emotional intimacy that seems so threatening, in a society where we've been conditioned to ignore our emotional selves, or at least to save it for the therapist's office.

    Aside from which, society has forgotten how to be friends; the "new" model of friendship is to keep a harem of 25-30 disposable friends who serve specific purposes; it's absolutely psychopathic. Thanks, social media, for making "normal" and "sociopathic" closer and closer to being the same thing.

    I'll admit, I've developed strange feelings for other men to whom I've been close; not sexual interest, not romantic feelings, but a feeling that could only be summed up by the statement "I love my friend and I care about him." I find emotions difficult to navigate period, but I figure that if I know what it isn't, then I'm free to simply "feel" and enjoy it if it is good.
     
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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Such boundaries may be first and foremost determined by any existence and explanation of general fraternization terms and conditions in his employment contract.

    Perhaps something to look up online if accessible without ever consulting him personally.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
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  4. Dorkasour

    Dorkasour Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply Judge, would you mind elaborating? I read the policies online and there is nothing that objects having a friendship with a professor. I've not told him I have feelings for him, I sort of assumed that was off the table because he used to be my professor?

    What I mean about boundaries is that I don't know if I can talk to him like a friend, "example: Wanna hang out sometime?" or if I continue looking at him like a professor?

    can those lines be blurred? Oh my gosh I just feel overwhelmed, haha.

    I think you're somewhere on the same page as me, possibly? In my head I guess I am thinking "what is expected in society" v.s "what feels right for me?"

    I guess I can just be patient and see where things go?
     
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  5. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    I would ask him if he has feelings. This happened to me in a similar setting. For TWO YEARS, I was toyed with. I wish I had asked him how he felt earlier.

    Don't let it go on if you get feelings for him.
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If your intent is merely to be friends and nothing else, why not? If in his mind it doesn't violate any terms or conditions, nor his own attitude about how or who he socializes with, I don't see a problem with that.

    College professors can have friends too, apart from colleagues. Though I'd think all of this must be contingent with you not being his student again either. If he does turn you down though, I wouldn't take it personally.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
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  7. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    Being friends with an ex professor is fine. If he was still teaching you it might be an issue (potential conflict of interest with marking and such) but since you are no longer taking his classes you can treat hi like a normal friends, since you are both adults. Just approach him the same way you would approach any potential friend, and see how he reacts. I've become good friends with one of my old uni lecturers, as we now work together.

    However, if you are thinking about more of a romantic relationship, it would be wise to wait until you have graduated, as there are most likely rules about relationships between teachers and students, regardless of your age. Doesn't mean you can't be friends in the mean time though! This is what my parents did, dad was one of mums lecturers, so they waited to start dating until she graduated.
     
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  8. Dorkasour

    Dorkasour Active Member

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    Did your mom and dad talk about it before she graduated?
     
  9. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    No, but their situation was a bit different from yours, in that he taught her all the way through her degree, and the age difference would have made it more dodgy to talk about it while she was a student, as she graduated when she was 20 and he's 10 years older.
     
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  10. Dorkasour

    Dorkasour Active Member

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    Hey so I decided to sit down with him and discuss this topic with him. It went really well! He told me he sees me as a student more than a friend because of school policies. I am a bit bummed out because I got along with him really well and was hoping we could hang out but we set down some boundaries so....

    I guess I am still optimistic that we can still be friends in the future? He was really kind about it.

    It's so funny I am posting in a love reedit but having a hard time even being friends with this person I care deeply about! Hahaha!
     
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  11. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Some male and/or female students may develop crushes on their Teachers, but it's about as appropriate as a 10 year old at a Burlesque House.... As I recall I had a crush on my French Teacher about 30 years ago, well as daft as it sounds she had kind of a Gomez/Morticia Addams effect on me when she spoke French, although I didn't start kissing her arm lol.
     
  12. Dorkasour

    Dorkasour Active Member

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    Heya, I wanted to give you guys a small update on this.

    Our relationship has actually grown since our talk. A few days afterwards he e-mailed me and said that he felt good about our relationship. Since then we've talked more. He actually e-mails me now without me e-mailing him first asking me questions and sending me articles that might be helpful to me.

    Being patient and understanding seems to have been the key thing to working it out. I am excited to see where this takes me whether it's friendship or something else. It just takes time.