Saturday, September 20, 2008

Attracted to one of my Student

I am a university lecturer teaching adult learners (18+ age). The problem is that I have become very attracted to one of my students. The is an advertising course and the student in question is very talented and very motivated. He works with me a great deal and we also text each other, often until 2am, and chat via myspace every day. Primarily we talk about the work and advertising in general, but also other things. we have both acted as sounding boards for respective problems and we get on extremely well.

We have been working late, often until 10- 11pm and saturdays until about 8pm. On a recent educational visit to New York this student knocked on my bedroom door at about 10.30 at night and we ended up going for a walk until 3.30am. I crave talking to him and the contact we have. Nothing untoward has happened, although I have told him that I feel we are spending too much time together as I am becoming very, very fond of him and can't bear to think of the summer break when I won't see
him. He brings me cuttings from magazines and newspapers he thinks I may like and has recently bought me a bottle of wine from a vinyard with special relevance to us both. I have asked him how he feels and he says he likes me and enjoys spending time with me.

I am 39 years old and sadly he is just 19. I am sure that I am falling in love with this boy, but does he feel the same?? We work well together, but really I feel that we are spending far too much time together for it just to be that. Often his sessions should finish at 12 noon, yet he will stay to work with me until 8pm.
What do you think?
Do you think there's more there than just him liking me as a friend?

He may like you as more than just a friend; that's not the point. The problem is that first- since you are his teacher- there is an ethical issue here; it's not ethical for a teacher to get involved with a student, so you'd have to wait till he's finished your course or he has to find a different teacher. But that's not even your biggest problem. The real difficulty is the age gap in this particular case; a big age gap in a relationship (10+ yrs) can cause problems when it reflects a big difference in EXPERIENCE between the two parties involved (as is the case here).

Someone who's 19,has not had the same experience as someone who's in their late thirties. At your age, you've had enough experience to know when 'Mr Right' comes along. He hasn't had enough experience to know who his Ms. Right is- let alone settle down with her. So please be realistic about this, so you don't end up getting hurt. It's hard to fight feelings but you have to in this case- unless you are ready to accept that the chances of this turning into a lasting relationship are extremely slim.

If you'd been 49 and he'd been 29, it would have been much easier: He'd have been experienced enough to know what he wanted. But he's not ready to know and he'd only be fooling you- and himself- if he said otherwise. So, try to avoid spending so much time together and look for romance outside your professional life.

Good luck!!!

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