This post was submitted anonymously.
Okay, let's make one thing clear. I'm not one of those sad, pervy middle-aged women making pathetic passes at fourteen-year-old boys. No! I'm 28 years old and I teach an ESL (English as a Second Language) class at the local university.
One of my students, "Karim" (like I'd tell you his real name!) is 22 years old and from India. I am incredibly attracted to him. He's handsome, intelligent, intense, kind... and so hot. Seriously! Our relationship is absolutely professional. In fact, I sort of go out of my way to avoid him because I don't want to betray the fact that I am in lust with him. Plus, a teacher having a relationship with a student is a one-way ticket to unemployment.
The teacher orientation last year made that crystal-clear to all of us. The head of the ESL department stood up in front of all of us and said: "While I realize that many of our teachers are quite young and our students are adults I want to make this quite clear: ANY SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A TEACHER AND A STUDENT WILL RESULT IN THE TEACHER'S EMPLOYMENT AT THIS INSTITUTION BEING TERMINATED!" Bam! Right. I get it.
Since that meeting there have been complications. First, Karim has just graduated from the university so he's no longer a student there. Second, I'm kinda having some difficulty pretending that this crush is going away. For one thing, Karim has been sending me strong signals that he wants a relationship with me. At first I thought it was wishful thinking on my part. The smiles, the eye contact... nah. Handsome guys do that to every girl regardless of whether they're attracted to the girl or not.
Two times during the semester Karim asked me if he could meet up with me after school at a cafe for "tutoring and English speaking practice." Both times I referred him to a colleague for tutoring instead... and Karim never called the guy for lessons.
During graduation I congratulated Karim and shook his hand. He immediately drew me into a hug for a rather long time. Whatever. Then, afterwards, I got an e-mail from Karim asking if I wanted to meet him for coffee. I said "Sorry, bit busy now. Would love to talk to you later if you want to! Let me know how post-school life is going for you or if you need any teacher recommendations." He said thank you. Then, just two days ago, I found this letter in my inbox:
"Hello Ms. Smith!" (Not my name, but you get the idea) "How are you? It's Karim. Life for me is going very well. I miss class and school though and I miss you. Can I ask you a question? I want to date you. Is that okay? Sorry about the bluntness, but I think you are very beautiful and a wonderful person. Maybe it is awkward for you. If so, I am very sorry. Would it be okay if we date? Maybe I can have your cell number? Please write me back. Yours very truly, Karim."
So I'm not going to lie. I am flattered and elated that Karim skipped over a class of gorgeous college girls to ask me for a date. I want to date him so badly, BUT... this is weird. I just spent the last eight months teaching Karim, instructing him, correcting his homework, correcting his tests, being in a position of authority over him.... and now I'm going to be his girlfriend? The thought is so strange for me.
I've asked my friends for advice. All my guy friends say, "Yeah, go for it. Jump his bones." All my girl friends are more cautious. "How well do you know this guy? This might still do damage to your teaching career. The other teachers will talk even if he's not a student anymore." One girl said that Karim might just be playing me because he wants a greencard. I really hope that that's not the case....
So I'm torn. I desperately need advice. Suggestions?