I Dated a Professor in College, and Here are the Risks I Had to Keep in Mind
1. Hiding and being extra private
Getting excited to attend your class because you know your professor is charming, and they give you butterflies every time they talk to you is a scenario that's probably familiar for most. I still remember when I was in college, I had a huge crush on my History professor that my friends would take pictures of the way I looked at him at every discussion! It was embarrassing, yet everyone supported me since it was just a crush. But when it becomes something more, is that something that's considered wrong and even dangerous?
Historically, professors were allowed to date their students. Some even displayed their public affection on the school grounds, but rules began to change around the 1970s when more and more females entered the academia. Since then, many schools have started prohibiting a student-professor relationship. In the present time, there are no formal indications about professors dating students anymore, but it has been an unwritten rule that everyone follows, making this kind of relationship, once it exists, taboo.
Still, an institution cannot fully control their professor and student's decisions. So what does happen in a student-professor relationship when it crosses the borders of romance? Lis, who was dating her professor when she was in college, shares some of her insights from her own experience. In the four years that she spent in accomplishing a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Arts in a university, she was able to hide her relationship from everyown. While she does not regret dating her professor, she does admit that being caught is something that she was regularly worried about. If you want to know more about the risks of this kind of relationship, here's a rundown according to her first-hand account:
One of the things that had helped in hiding her relationship with her professor from the school council is the fact that they were very lowkey with their relationship. "Generally, this was something that I preferred in everything that goes on in my life. We both were very private, so I guess it wasn't that hard for us to keep it from everyone at school. Even our closest friends didn't have any idea about us!"
One of the most crucial things that Lis had to understand was to not give in to the pressure of picture-perfect relationships around them and online. By being private, you can't hang out with your boyfriend the way your friends do with theirs. You can't post photos of you online which has become a trend among young couples today. "Through the lens of social media, our generation is being subconsciously forced to upload #relationshipgoals posts," Lis says. Luckily, she doesn't feel the pressure to be like other couples her age. "I date in private now and don’t feel the need to update people on my friends' list, and it honestly feels healthier that way."
3. A challenge to your moral compass
While she was happy during their relationship, Lis thinks that a student-teacher relationship is frowned upon for a reason. Being private can lead to hiding, and hiding can lead to lying. "Honestly, I don't think people should consider having one unless they put in some thought to it, like biases, ethics, and moral compass, which are great factors to consider before having one. And all of these could put a toll on the both of you! Not to mention the possibility of facing big consequences while at it."
Just like any relationship, you two need to be in the same line of thinking for it to work. Although she's younger than her professor, she did learn a thing or two in making it work. "You can never truly enjoy a relationship like this if you two are not mature enough to understand and accept for it to work."