Post

In Love With My Professor

I know that I'm older than a lot of you here, but I am just as confused.  I've been in love with my graduate school professor for over a year now.  This is a bit of a long story, and I don't know if anyone will read it, but I need to get it off my chest and this seemed like a decent way to do it.

I met my professorlast winter when I was attending a different school.  He came in to guest lecture our class two times a week from January-end of May.  The school was just a one year certificate school for animation, and I was looking to apply to grad school and get my masters.  My parents have never been too thrilled with the whole art school thing, so they told me I could only apply to one school, and if I failed to get accepted, that I would have to give up my dream of becoming an animator and do something "useful".  I finally settled on a school to apply to, the best one in the area.  When I first heard that we were getting a guest lecturer after Christmas, I was not too thrilled.  From what I had heard about this guy, he was really uptight, and what he would be teaching us was going to be tedious and very technical.  I expected him to be a stuffy old man, but when he got to class that first day, he turned out to be in his mid-late 30s and adorable in a very geeky way.  I also found out that he was a professor at the school that I had decided to apply to.  I was becoming increasingly worried that I wouldn't get into grad school and I would have to give up my dream.  Some of my classmates suggested that I show the professor my portfolio, and if he liked it, kindly ask if he could put in a good word for me.  It took me almost a month to build up the courage to do it, but when I finally asked, he kindly agreed.  It was another two weeks before he had the chance to look at my work, but when he did, he ended up saying some pretty disappointing things about it.  I left school early that day, and went home in tears.  After that, I avoided my professor like the plague, half hating him.  A month later, after I had gotten over that harsh critique for the most part, we were showing him some of our work that we were doing for a large-scale end of the year group project, when he picked some of the shots I had worked on out of our film and began praising them and wanted to know who the student was that had worked on them.  He made some small suggestions, and then told me that my work was near professional level.  After that incident, my crush was rekindled.  In April, I heard back from grad school and found out (during my professor's class, no less) that I had been accepted.  After that, he became very interested in talking to me, asking what classes I was planning on taking, where I was from, what I had done as an undergrad.  We also discovered we had a similar (and slightly morbid) sense of humor.  He helped me figure out how to register for classes, and what I needed to do before I arrived in the fall. That summer, I decided to take a stab at meeting someone else to get over my infatuation.  I joined a dating site and met my current boyfriend.  At first, it was exciting and I enjoyed dating him.  This excitement did not last very long though, once I got back to school and saw my professor.  All the old feelings came rushing back, and I felt more alive and inspired than I had in months.  I saw him several times last semester, each time he seemed interested in what I was doing at school.  Around November, one of the few people I told about my crush suggested I friend him on Facebook, since he friends students at my school.  I did so, and he never friended me back.  He didn't reject my request, he just sort of left it sitting there.  It seems silly, but I was crushed.  I decided to give him some space and focus on my work.  Finally, about a month ago, I had started thinking that maybe I should try talking to him for the first time since before Thanksgiving.  I saw him in the lobby of our school, so I went over to say hi.  He seemed pleased to see me and asked how school was going.  I told him that my animation skills had greatly improved, and to my surprise, he smiled and said "Well, you were already very good, so I can imagine how good you are now".  I was stunned, especially since he is not all that free with praise.  I saw him once more, just the other day, when I went to ask for help with something having to do with my thesis.  He offered some suggestions and told me that I should email him questions and motion tests to get his opinion over the summer.  We then left school together, chatting, joking, and gossiping like old friends.  When it was time for us to go in different directions, he gave me a half-smile and said "Well, I guess I'll be hearing from you this summer," and went on his way.  I stood there, feeling happier than I had in months (it had been a difficult semester), and excited about working on my thesis.  

I know that I have a boyfriend, but I don't feel anywhere near as strongly for him as I do for my professor.  I've had several boyfriends before, and I've never felt this way about anyone before.  I've been upfront with my boyfriend about my feelings, but I still feel guilty.  On paper, my boyfriend is perfect.  He understands me better than anyone else ever has.  He stays up late with me when I have a lot of work and makes me cups of tea to keep me awake.  He has been nothing but kind and supportive, but I just don't feel the same intense chemistry with him.  I know that in the next year, I'm going to have to make a hard decision about my relationship.  In the fall, I'm going to be in my professor's class again, and it's sounding like I may see him at school this summer when I go in to work on my thesis.  I know I can't date a professor, it's in the school handbook, but it's driving me crazy.  In a year I'll be graduating and unless I get closer to him, I may never see him again.  The other thing is, he's still at least 10 years older than I am, and possibly more like 15.  He will probably only ever see me as a student, not a mature adult.  On the other hand though, whenever we talk about things other than school, there is definite camaraderie.  I'm just at a loss about what to do right now.  The few friends I have told about my feelings are thoroughly fed up with the subject.  Two of them think I'm crazy.  Anyway, I know this story may seem boring and wordy compared to others that are on here, but I'm thankful I finally have this off my chest.

CityRain CityRain 22-25 12 Responses Apr 28, 2011

Your Response

Cancel

I went through this too. In 2011 as well! With it being 2014 do you still think of him?

What happened in the end?

same situation, I can relate with you.

You are a student and he is a stickler for the rules. Plus huge age gap too. Do you get the feeling that he likes you too and is careful? Do you think that you can wait until after graduation to talk to him about this?

I am going through the exact same thing. I am ridiculously in love with my lecturer too. He is in his late 30's, about 18 years older than me. But anyway, I really can sympathise how your feeling and searched for stories like this to see if there was anyone else out there feeling this way. You sound like a lovely, intelligent young woman who is good at the areas that he teachers. This alone would impress him, not to mention your personality. I think it is quite likely that he feels the same. Many people will tell you that he doesn't, simply because they think the whole teacher/student thing won't work. Only you can read the signs, and only you can see his body language. You are the best judge. I deeply sympathise with you and hope you find a way to be happy, with or without him. Feel free to inbox me if you'd like to chat further. Good luck

I've been there. I fell in love with my professor too and we are 15 years apart. I didn't like him at first, but I need help and went for tutoring one time. That's all it took for me to fall for him. I had felt a small connection with him and a went a few more times for help on my work and we kept chatting. It turned out he liked me too and we actually dated while I was still his student. We were both mature enough to keep it in the closet. The thing is that if he likes you, he will seek you out. If you like him, try to be his friend. That's what I did and one day he just kissed me.

He doesn't like you back.<br />
<br />
<br />
D:

I have a crush on my course teacher. He;s gorgeous and I am older than you. I'm late 20s. I am afraid he'll never look at ME twice because I am mature compared to the young callow students he also teaches...I'm attractive and I look young, BUT I am old compared to them. He's just so cute, however I am not attracted to him solely because he is a professional or a teacher. I just think he's funny, cute and shy! I certainly am NOT in love, and I don;t think you are either. He too, can be moody and unpredictable and that turns me on, nothing like a bad boy huh but hey, his job could be on the line, so think of that, too, as I am doing, I;d love to kiss him, but it's not going to happen. I do not want him to lose his job...

I have totally been there...multiple times...and may still be there now. <br />
<br />
Reflecting back, I realize that a lot of those intense infatuations were because I was depressed/unhappy about some other part of my life and also had very low confidence in myself. So, yes, I use this "relationship" as a coping mechanism for my depression.<br />
<br />
As one of the other posters has pointed out, it's total power dynamics. I yearn for approval by them. A smile, a kind word, some acknowledgment of my "talents" and I am psychotically and obsessively smitten for days...weeks...and in two cases, years. <br />
<br />
In fact, I haven't been able to sleep in the last three nights because of a simple conversation with my prof-crush last Thursday. I keep replaying every excruciatingly painful detail and driving myself crazy by cursing that damn student-prof rule. <br />
<br />
Anyway, even now, I realize that it's not love (although it feels like it) as much as it is my starved self-confidence. But I still can't help it.<br />
<br />
I also think that professors, like fastandslash, like to have their egos massaged by their younger admirers...to the point that they are willing to actively lead them on, but only to crush them once the students make a real attempt to make a connection. <br />
<br />
You see, professors are not gods, as I naively like to imagine them to be. They are human beings and as such, are susceptible to human flaws. You have to realize, as I am trying to make myself realize now, that your professor is not perfect and is just as clumsy as you and me. I think that along with power dynamics, a part of this phenomenon is rooted in the tendency to idealize the professor, especially a difficult, critical professor who carefully and systematically parcels out praise to reel in vulnerable students.<br />
<br />
I see that it's been a year since you posted this. I would love to know how your situation progressed.

I totally agree with what you have said. I think part of my crush on my professor is linked to my weak emotional state. It feels like something more, but it probably is just in my confused mind. If only we knew how to stop our thoughts from doing things like keeping us awake... &gt;_&gt;

You sound quite dopey. Have you ever read ANYTHING about factors influencing attraction in human beings? You are more attracted to the power this man has over you (you feel crushed when he criticizes you, elated when he praises you) than the man himself. It is like if he ever loved you, it would prove you were worthwhile. I am here to tell you that is not what romantic partners are for.<br />
<br />
None of the things your professor has done or said indicate that he feels anything for you aside from professional respect. <br />
<br />
I would say to break up with your boyfriend, because I think you are too selfish and stupid to deserve him, but the fact that he puts up with you means he is a dumbass too and you deserve each other. So whatever, I dont care.

Ah, the Facebook rejection. Been there, done that. :D Although in my case, I didn't really want him to "friend" me in the first place; I'd like to get to know him, not a computerized version of his sometimes personality.<br />
<br />
Now, normally I am on here to discourage all those who are teenagers and always going after their teachers, but you both are consenting adults. The age gap is large, but workable. You share interests.<br />
<br />
As an adult and not a child, you are entitled to be responsible for your own actions, as you probably know. However, in this situation, there is very little to lose if you do decide to pursue a relationship with him, whether it be carnal or "proper", so I think you can choose for yourself.<br />
<br />
Have fun!<br />
<br />
:D<br />
<br />
Cheers,<br />
<br />
FastSandslash

i am around your age and i still have feelings for a teacher so i know how you feel.i dont know how to cope and have been feelin like this for many years. im here if u wanna chat