What To Do If You’re Crushing On Your College Professor

In college, you’re bound to have one or two college professors that are a fine specimen of a man, or woman (as Shelby said), who inspires you, challenges you, and is invested in your development. With all that in mind, it is totally common for college students to develop crushes on their professors. I’m sure it’s even happened to you. It’s happening right now on campuses across the country.

  • I have a fedora-wearing, Youtube-using, subtly funny, culturaly aware, effortlessly classy, extremely knowledgable former graduate professor for Music of the US. My life just got a little more awesome. – yogabbagabbagail
  • I have a mega crush on my music theory professor. Yeah, it’s going to be a good semester. – chazndave

So how do you deal when you’re crushing on your college professor?

  1. Recognize it’s totally natural. When the person in front of the room is instilling in you a passion for learning, giving you attention, validation, and acceptance, crushes can bloom. It happens when professors are hot. It happens when professors aren’t particularly attractive. Sometimes it’s physical, but a lot of the times it’s about attention. Which leads us to…
  2. Re-think your crush. Tiffany was seriously crushing on her professor and said, “It’s not about sex, really.  It’s that I want to be inside his head. I want to be near him, I want him to talk to me for hours, I want him to focus just on me and I want to sit next to him and soak up everything about him.”
  3. Think of it from your professor’s point of view. Darren, a college professor, says this: “I’ve got a few women in a few of my classes who have crushes on me, and one or two of them have been flirting with me pretty heavily.  I try and have good boundaries with them, because I’m only an adjunct. I don’t want to lose my job, and besides, I do very much want to be a professional in and out of the classroom.”
  4. Consider student/teacher relationship rules. Chances are, your college has some consensual relationship rules in place prohibiting an intimate or sexual relationship between student and teacher.

While your college professor may be your favorite fantasy, it’s a good idea to maintain healthy boundaries. As Karen told a heartsick college student crushing on her professor, “I’m certain your professor would appreciate your maintaining appropriate boundaries and professionalism in the context of the professor/student relationship.”

Time to spill. Have you ever had a crush on your college professor? What did you do?

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About Sarah Ward

Sarah is a social media manager and image consultant originally from Vancouver, Canada. After executing her first makeover in the seventh grade, she has been helping people look and feel their best ever since. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga, shopping on Etsy, and watching Grey's Anatomy.

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  • I had a huge crush on one of my psychology professors. Luckily, I had the sense to know from the get go that that was all it was ever going to be. He was married and one of the things I liked about him was that he was very dedicated to ethics and doing the right thing. If I had ever thought there was a chance he’d step out with me, I probably would have lost interest entirely. Also, it wouldn’t have won me points with him if I’d flirted with him while being perfectly aware he was married. So, I made a point to keep my interactions with him friendly, but professional and, even though I could have interned in his lab, I took an internship with another professor instead to avoid tempting situations. End result: it worked out fine. He was a great mentor and I learned a lot from him without introducing any awkwardness that might have impeded the relationship. I still indulge in a “what if…” fantasy occasionally, but overall I’m over it. Crushes are like colds. They seem like a big deal when you’re in the throws of one, but if you take care of yourself and wait it out, they go away and you hardly even notice.

    Comment by Kaylee — June 14, 2011 @ 8:10 pm
  • Kaylee, thanks for sharing this experience of yours. You absolutely took the high road by keeping it professional and avoiding potential tempting situations. I know what you mean about being attracted to ethics — I think a lot of the time we’re attracted to the things that we want to have or be. Couldn’t have said it better than you did about crushes!

    Comment by Sarah Ward — June 16, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

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