It's More Than a "Simple Girly Crush". I seriously have fallen for my professor. Now what do I do?

I am not a 17 or 18 year old girl fresh out of High School. I am an older, seasoned, returning student in college with currently almost 2 continuous years under my belt. Despite this I am running into a situation entirely new for me. I have seriously fallen for a younger professor I have classes with at my current college I am attending. Yes I am attracted to his intellect and maturity like many that fall for their instructors, but it is more than these features I find endearing about this man. I have been struggling throughout a class I have with him to move past this attraction, however I have been unsuccessful despite the massive effort. In fact, my emotions continue to grow for this professor. I desire to know him more as the individual he is outside of the classroom.

I know the issues and stigmas with these types of relationships developing. Such topics even mentioned are looked upon as nothing other than being a massively bad decision and not to be considered. Essentially forget it and move on asap mentality, or it is only an authority figure crush. This is not the case here and no matter what professors are humans likes us students. There is of course the ethical issues that cause the rift for good reason, but should this be the final word no matter what? First I would never want to jeopardize his career, since I care for him and he is great at it. He very clearly has passion for his subject, as well as has a clear high regard for morality and ethical matters. For these reasons I would never consider initiating interactions outside of school while still attending that campus. I am however noticing oddness-es in our interactions in and out of the classroom. If it had been someone else not in his position I would be fairly certain there was something they were thinking and feeling but trying to hide. This is how he acts around me.

Some examples of actions that he is doing which are different then with other professors that favored me as a pupil are some of the below:

*When their is small group discussions or partners you can clearly tell he is mostly listening to the group I am in. It is usually when I am talking I noticed. Another classmate mentioned when I commented to her about this focus on our group all the time when we discuss class material (I cut out the focus on me more directly when I asked her) she agreed saying she has noticed and thought it was a bit odd.

*When we are waiting for him to start class or are leaving and I am talking to class mates as are other in the class he is clearly ease dropping on my conversations and tends to overly project being overly focused and not looking over. I wouldn't think anything of this if I hadn't caught him actually glancing up and looking away when I caught him, or when I caught him looking out of the corner of my eye or he was in vision range of who i was looking at while talking to them.

*He when he looks over the class during lecture it he does gaze over a me a bit more. Its not overly obvious but he does.

*He acts awkward outside of class for a professor when have I talk to him. This is over curiosity about things not relating to class such as my class schedule or classes I will be taking. He would not stop digging once for info even when I told him I already signed up for classes. He didn't seem to register it even though I tried to get him to save his time by saying so twice. He also has repeated personal details that were brought up when talking to him. An example of this would be I am an older student, which he asked again rephrased. It was as if he hadn't expected that  and had little reaction in his voice which is odd when re-verbalizing something you didn't know that you weren't expecting with minimum effect on your voice in some way. I am not usually pegged out as being an older looking students I am roughly 10 years older than the average student. I am roughly no more than 10 years younger than him when most are closer to 20 years, since I am in my mid-late twenties and he is in his mid-late thirties.

*He has begun to look and lock his gaze on me more, and even smile sometimes in class. He then seems to try to be a bit distant in the hallways around other students, but this drops when I stay after to ask him a question or stop by during office hours. Its his out of place shy, almost bashful, and boyish mannerism such as when making a discreet praise comment to me that threw me off especially.

I am sorry this is such a long story but I am torn with my feelings when I am usually good at keeping them balanced. This was not meant to sound obsessive, but I wanted to provide detail. Many seem to assume too much with this too fast with out knowing the details which are not the general cliche circumstance thought of in students being attracted to their teachers/professors. I don't tend to get random frequent serious crushes or fall for guys often. As a matter of fact this is only the fifth time in my life. I know these emotions can skew my perceptions on this, but from what I have seen I would say there is a chance for interest to truly be there from this professor. This uncertainty plagues me since I genuinely like him as a professor, as well as when he is in his more causal not professor but a human reactions that gleam his real personality. Maybe it is the fact I am not the typical still not able to drink googly eyed female student he has to deal with as a young professor and able to leave this campus soon. If he has an interest I know he will not indulge in them while I am a student.

I am wanting to major in his department topic for one, and with one semester (two max if i opt to) I will have to transfer to a larger campus. Is it wrong for me to want to get to know him better on campus before I have to transfer? I would really like to continuing talking to him after I transfer, as well as outside the school context since I do want to get to know the real him outside of the classroom. There has actually been school activities I wanted to get involved in that I avoided since he would be involved or there. These feelings were rather uncomfortable at times since I couldn't do much about them, and I figured distance maybe best. This approach may have not been best since I have more questions now than answers. Despite this his interactions are warming little by little as are mine towards him, but always within what is appropriate which is a good thing. He is single and not married as am I. I know I can play it calmly and coolly until I graduate, and building a better student/professor friendship may help with answering this question I have about if he likes me but is having to hold back. It seems rather silly and not right that if I like him for me to not see if I can find out how he may feel through appropriate interactions, and if its mutual carefully pursue it after I am finished at the campus he teaches at. Any thoughts on this would be great since I know what I want to do. I just feel a bit unsure due to all the backlash you hear regarding this type of topic.
GreenThumb85 GreenThumb85
26-30, F
1 Response Dec 13, 2012

this topic DOES get backlash. But one thing I can say, you're of age, unlike 98% of the people that write in this group. It sounds like he's into you. And I love the fact that you pay attention to details haha. It's important. but uhh i'd definitely get to know him. if you guys talk, the whole situation should get less confusing. communication!

Thank you for replying and being open minded. I do pay attention to the details with anyone I find vaguely interesting. The way they move, dress, talk, how they smile and how often, books on their shelf, passive comments that clearly relate to what means to them.

Some did say that developing a student relationship with a professor will cause him to limit it to that and not see anything vaguely romantic. This sort of makes me feel caution about trying to get to know him better in the school setting. However if I don't I do not think there will be as much likely interest in speaking with me after I am done attending here. Any thoughts on this?

Also what stood out in your mind about this that made you agree he seems interested? I am always.

I do the same exact thing. If theres someone I'm interested in, I pay attention. very close attention. I know my guy's make and model of his car, as well as the license plate number... ahh well thats bordering creepy :P oh well. hmmm... i actually disagree with having a relationship with a teacher limits it to that. It really depends on the person. and how you act. if you act like a human, with thoughts and feelings and opinions and stories about the real world, then i think it will develop further. It has for me. not romantically, just more friendly and casual. which is good.
what made me think that he may be interested is the fact that he looks, and stares. I know that i tend to stare when I see someone i like. Same with most others. if you notice that he looks at you differently, speaks to you differently, it means something. I think you should just be casual with this whole thing. since you're older, maybe that has something to do with it.