Dating a professor in graduate school
“He was also a bit older and his maturity was really refreshing (since in high school I was in a relationship with a guy who was going nowhere and was so immature).” Avery started wearing V-neck shirts and makeup (which she never wore normally) to attract her TA’s attention.
(The fact that there is not an equivalent word for men with a negative connotation is a discussion for a different post.) Whether one chooses to attack the more global issue of perception of women or the local issue of protecting the woman's and the department's reputation is a personal choice.Student/professor affairs are nothing new; Martin Heidegger and John Nash (the subject of A Beautiful Mind) both had infamous relationships with students.Similarly, in 2010, UNC-Chapel Hill professor Monty Cook resigned after it was discovered that he had been sexting with a student.I'd like to flesh out my thoughts on the matter a bit more here.My basic stand was, and is, that whether or not a relationship within a department is a good idea, the common wisdom seems to advise women away from such relationship far more strongly than it does men.When Avery* took a sociology class her freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill, she was interested in the subject matter—but she found herself way more interested in the cute TA who taught it.
“He was an interesting guy with a lot of the same beliefs and values that I had,” she says.
But this is true of any academic pair, even those to get together as undergrads and manage to make the relationship work through grad school and post docs.
On more cynical days, I fear the only way for ladies to escape this sort of doubt is pair up with a non-academic.
But these relationships are also banned at most schools, which makes them dangerous… Could a student/TA or student/professor relationship ever work out?
We talked with two relationship experts to figure out why collegiettes and professors start relationships, the dangers involved in such relationships, and if they could ever actually be healthy. For those of you whose professors are older than your parents and wear really unfortunate suspenders, you might be wondering why any collegiette would be interested in pursuing such a relationship.
But soon after, the conversations got more personal.