Originally Posted by km34
I've never really understood why it's okay for professors/instructors at colleges and universities to have close, personal relationships with students but it generally isn't well accepted if they are close, ROMANTIC relationships. I mean, does the fact that you love someone romantically impact your impartiality in professional arenas more than loving someone like a sibling/son/daughter/other family equivalent? Baffles me...
Haha, you know... I was just searching my school's website for a student-teacher dating policy (I figured "dating" wasn't the word they'd use, so I was searching variations of "student teacher relationship") and... I've yet to find one (maybe our school doesn't have a policy??) but it sure looked like they were telling me to go for it. Every mention of "relationship" was something like "...encourage faculty to built strong relationships with the community..." or "...allowing students and instructors to form close, supportive relationships..."
Well, I thought is was funny
Seriously, though, I can see how there are differences... mainly, if there're two relationships going on, "student/teacher" and "child/parent" are fairly compatible... the obligations from each relationship might be tugging in different directions, but I don't think they'd really be "conflicting". In both cases, the teacher/parent does what's right/in the best interest of the student/child, and the student/child deals with it.
When it's a romantic relationship, it's supposed to be two peers on even ground. Sometimes you have to respect what your partner chooses, even if you think it's the wrong choice. That's where a "conflict of interests" comes in- as a teacher, you have the authority and the responsibility to overrule your student if necessary; as a partner, you can talk it through but ultimately your partner decides. If the line between being "the teacher" and being "the partner" gets blurred, even a little, it could be a huge problem.
In the same way, as a student, I respect and defer to my teachers(& other faculty at my school)... if that ever spilled over, even a little, into a partnership, I wouldn't be advocating for myself the way I need to.
(Let's just pause here for a minute... I'd like a cookie, and if that sounded "very mature" and "maybe you really have thought this through" I'd love to hear some encouragement.
Okay, moving on now.)
Like BP said, there are usually official channels to go through to have relationships acknowledged so that A could protect himself HOWEVER he is already married, so more than likely the college isn't going to accept it since it would not just be a student-teacher relationship, it would be an extramarital one (which, let's face it, most people are going to label an affair even if it isn't).
Yes, I expect they will. Which is one reason I'm glad to be on a poly forum where I can share the whole story...
What do we do about this? If we start a relationship, and if we decide we want to go about it "the right way" by informing the college... how should we react to the poly-hurdle?
I don't know how this works... do they give "special permission" to allow the relationship, or is it already our right to pursue a relationship, and informing the college is the proper way to cover our bums?
If they don't have veto power to begin with, I can't imagine them having veto power because it's extramarital. I can imagine them doing everything they could to stand in our way, but in theory we would have the upper hand, right?
I also understand your desire to push through with it no matter what if A and/or E make a move, but you have to wonder if A is thinking clearly. If you are willing to rush into something saying "screw the consequences!" why wouldn't they? Crazy NRE sweeps everyone, so while he may be willing to risk professional credit right now, is he going to feel the same way in a year? Two years? Do you want to risk him having serious consequences to be with you and then regret it? You've got the right idea about talking, talking, and talking some more to make sure you're on the same page, but I just wanted to throw the possibility of him regretting it (not necessarily regretting YOU, but regretting impetuous action on a relationship with you) out there. Is that a hurt you are willing to risk?
I got happy, just thinking about being wanted so much that A's not thinking clearly. *giggle*
Right! Serious issue to deal with here. Right.
No, I don't want that to happen. I don't want to be the cause of that, I don't want it to happen, I don't even want to risk it. I want
to do this the right way. I believe that we have every right to pursue this relationship, and I'm willing to jump through whatever hoops are necessary to have it recognized as such. Of course, if A & E want any sense of privacy, that'll limit the options some, but I'll let them reign me in when we talk this through.
I guess the problem comes when we have to compromise... between privacy and advocacy, between doing the accepted thing and doing what we want, between the practical thing and the right thing... possibly between doing what I want, and what A wants, and what E wants, although hopefully we'll be close to the same page...
I don't know, I don't know where I'd draw the line. On any of it. But I swear up and down that I'm trying to figure it out, that I won't just throw the consequences out the window.
Another think you may want to make sure they are aware of is you inexperience in dating as an adult. The less experience you have in serious, adult relationships the more likely you are to make mistakes. This isn't a bad thing, it's just the way it is. Experience brings the ability to cope with things more effectively. Luckily, you are reading up so you should avoid some of the mistakes or at least be able to handle them a bit easier!
It's actually nice that you pointed this out... I'm very much buried in how young and inexperienced and naive (well, maybe not so much that, lol) I am... but you're right, it's not a bad thing. It's just another thing, another thing to think about and talk about and remember.
There are a lot of issues here that you need to figure out for yourself, let them figure out for themselves, and then talk about and all of you figure out together! I wish you luck... I don't envy your position.
I'm not so upset with my position, though... I think it'll work out. I'm still waiting for some... sign... the "things are escalating" was short-lived, everything dropped off and I'm suddenly confused. Of course, my mind is going a mile a minute with all this stuff to think through, so it feels like "forever" but I guess it's only been a couple days since the last borderline-flirting.
is the more frustrating part right now- still not knowing if this is all in my head. I know all this other stuff is important... but it's not such a big deal, if someones love me
All this advice is definitely part of the process, but in the end I'm sure we'll figure it out.