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Thread: My professor wants to date me... help!

  1. #1
    MissJaneDoe

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    Unhappy My professor wants to date me... help!

    So I find myself in a rather complicated situation. One of my college professors, whom we will call "Jeremy," has taken a liking to me. I took a class with him and did well, so I agreed to work as an assistant with him last semester. It became evident throughout this semester that he had an unusual and unprofessional fondness for me... texting me to say hello, awkwardly pointing out he is single, placing a lingering hand on my shoulder, and, finally, asking me to go out to eat with him. The semester is now over but the flirting hasn't stopped: he still texts me, recently asked me out again, and finally - here is the new complication - has sent me a friend request on Myspace.

    I would normally ask someone to leave me alone, but the problem is that Jeremy is a professor in my major and I will very likely have to take another class from him. Here is the further complication: he is best friends with the head of the department, so I cannot complain to the head either. I do not want to give him a rejection talk when the situation would be so very awkward in the months I would be required to see him.

    I feel so angry that I worked so hard to do a good job as an assistant, rightfully earning a good recommendation and reference from Jeremy, and I am afraid I will be forced to throw this away if I have to reject him.

    Here is my question: I can handle the rest of everything until I graduate, but I do not want to accept him as my friend on Myspace, allowing him more access to my personal life than I want. I am torn between just ignoring the request (and accepting the possible awkwardness that would ensue), and accepting the request (which I do not want to do, but perhaps it is worth it to avoid how awkward things would be given the close contact I will likely have to have with him in order to graduate in nine months).

    Please help!

    Sincerely confused in Oregon

  2. #2
    Creative

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    "There's a high likelihood that I've mistaken your intent, but I just want to be clear and make sure that you know I don't see you in that kind of a way", and then ignore his friend's invite and act like nothing happened next time you see him. You never know, maybe your friendliness have caused this misunderstanding in the first place. So you have to tell him what it really is.

  3. #3
    Ammy
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    You could probably ignore the friends request. Is it like Facebook where a person can't see anything about the profile unless they are a friend? If so, how will he even know you logged onto myspace and saw his friends request? You could be like me and have an account but only log on once every 6 months?

    Oh it's an awkward situation! Hope everything works out for you!!

    Ammy

  4. #4
    Blue Streak
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    You know what you want to do. You are right. Just do it. It is best for your current and your future. Period. Move on.

  5. #5
    coyote1980
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    ^^second that

    Before you do it though, make sure you have some evidence(of him making moves on u) .
    It might come in handy later(Hope NOT though)...

  6. #6
    Blue Streak
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    You know in your heart what is best for you. You know what you need to do. It really is that simple. So you gotta deal with him in a few months when you grad. So what? You really think that will be of main priority to you come that time frame?

    For some reason, I though my prior post #4 was deleted.

  7. #7
    AnotherBrokenDoll
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    Have you thought of being honest with him? Just telling him how you feel and that you are sorry that you don't feel the same but you feel a little awkward with the constant persistance?

    If his a decent guy he'll probably be a little embarrassed and ignore you for a while. I doubt he would fail you on purpose - if he is a decent guy.

  8. #8
    coyote1980
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnotherBrokenDoll [Register to see the link]
    Have you thought of being honest with him? Just telling him how you feel and that you are sorry that you don't feel the same but you feel a little awkward with the constant persistance?

    If his a decent guy he'll probably be a little embarrassed and ignore you for a while. I doubt he would fail you on purpose - if he is a decent guy.
    The problem is we don't know that for sure.

  9. #9
    Lucy__lou
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    It really sucks that he's put you in this position.

    I would be so angry. You haven't really given us much of a guide as to whether his unprofessionalism comes from wanton disrespect, or cluelessness, or outright abuse of power or what, but here's some suggestions. they may or may not be appropriate or wise.

    THE NO SYMPATHY APPROACH

    Best case scenario that I can think of is that you confront him on his behaviour. List all the things that he's done which cross the line of professionalism, and tell him how angry you are (if you are that is) that he's put you in this position where you feel like you have to be nice to him because of the power dynamic, and because you need him as a professional reference. Tell him that from now on, you expect him to treat you professionally like all other professors are expected to with their students, and that he'd better not sulk because he brought it on himself and you shouldn't pay a price for his mess up. And that he should not try to cross the line with any other students in the future because it's not fair.

    If you did this, it would not give him any chance to try for sympathy. He would be faced with the knowledge that if he didn't snap out of it and start treating you with professional respect that he will be damaging your career just the way all the policies predict it will when people in positions of power try to cross the line with people in positions of less power.

    THE SYMPATHETIC APPROACH

    Kindly tell him that you got his friend request, and that you don't want to be communicating on facebook, or in any way other than professionally, and that you have a rule of keeping a line between your personal and professional life, and that you really value him as a professional contact and don't want to do anything to lose that. Ask him point blank if he has a crush/feelings for you. If he tells you how he feels, hear him out, sympathise, tell him you're flattered, and sorry that you don't feel the same way, but also tell him that you wish he'd kept it to himself, because it's not fair for him to put you in this position. Check in with him (as many times as necessary) to see that he's strong enough to continue on with the professional relationship that he owes you (because you've done nothing wrong).

    So basically, confront him, and either let him know he's not going to get away with subjecting you to his unprofessionalism and won't put up with any sulking, or be nice and clear, so he will have no excuse for being upset at you.

    I'm sorry you've been put in this situation. I think some people in power don't realise how they can sabotage innocent people's careers by being selfish.

  10. #10
    CaptainPlanet

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    You shouldn't have been his assistant. You shouldn't have accepted the offer. Did it not seem unusual just offered the position to you. Be more careful in the future. You need to take care of yourself and not rely on others to do it for you or eventually there will be no one there to help.

    You need to deal with the consequences of your actions on this one.

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