It's A Cliche, But I Can't Help ItI am a 30 year old junior visiting professor at a large university. A few weeks ago a senior colleague asked me to mentor one if his doctoral students, a lovely 24 year old lady. We have spent probably ten hours a week or so together... half of the time working on the mentoring she needs, and the other half just having some lively (and lovely) conversation.
This lady is smart, brilliant actually. She's sweet, funny, insightful. Not to count she is also gifted in the looks department. I have developed a crush on her. A BIG ONE. Each time we meet (normally three or four hours at a time) it is evident to me I like her more and more. It feels good to feel like a teenager with his first crush all over again.
This week she is all tight up with presentations, class papers, etc, and I won't see her until maybe Friday, if at all. I am being so unproductive the last couple of days. I am just thinking about her ALL THE TIME. I can't get her out of my thoughts. It's torturous, but in a good way.
I must admit I am a bit troubled to whether to act upon this crush. On one hand, I have the strong feeling that the crush is, at least in part. Sometimes, we are deep in theoretical conversation (our field of expertise), and out of nowhere she asks about something in my life. She tends to smile more than I would expect her to when she's around me.
Contrary to what most people think, it is not against the rules of most universities for faculty and students to intermingle, romantically or otherwise, as long as there is no conflict of interest, and in this case there is not. Our mentoring is voluntary and completely ungraded.
But I fear that if I am wrong with respect to her feeling like I do, and I make an advance, she may go along because she feels I would not help her otherwise. I would hate myself if that happens.
Still, I would love to see her before Friday. Even if it is just to see her smile.