Is It Completely Inappropriate to Pursue a Much Older College Professor?

QUESTION: I’ve always been attracted to men who are way older than I am, and I want to know if that’s appro­pri­ate, espe­cially con­sid­er­ing that I’m very attracted to a cer­tain col­lege pro­fes­sor and wouldn’t mind man­ag­ing to find a way to be in a rela­tion­ship with him.

CHELSEA SAYS: To answer the first part of your ques­tion, it’s not at all inap­pro­pri­ate to be attracted to older men or to seek out rela­tion­ships with them. I know a lot of women who will only date an older man, and I can’t say I blame them. Aside from just being more mature, older men are usu­ally in a bet­ter place in their life; they’re finan­cially sta­ble, more secure with them­selves, and know what they want in a relationship.

I find that older men are also usu­ally more expe­ri­enced and atten­tive than the younger ones, who are still focused on their own needs and wants.

That being said, I think there are a few things to take into con­sid­er­a­tion when it comes to pur­su­ing an older man who also hap­pens to be a pro­fes­sor. Is he one of your pro­fes­sors, or just one that works at your col­lege? The only rea­son I’d say to tread lightly in this sce­nario is because it can back­fire. For exam­ple, if word gets out that you’re in a rela­tion­ship with your much older pro­fes­sor, you’re not only risk­ing his job, but it could also cost you your education—depending on your school’s pol­icy, you might get kicked out. You’re also going to be putting your rep­u­ta­tion on the line, because let’s be hon­est, not every­one will under­stand that this rela­tion­ship devel­oped sim­ply out of attraction.

Then there’s the mat­ter of whether or not this older man is even into dat­ing younger women, let alone a stu­dent. The last thing you want is to make a move and he not only shoots down your advances, but reports you.

If you’re really set on start­ing a rela­tion­ship with this older man, I think you should scope it out first. Try arrang­ing some one-on-one time with him—under the inno­cent guise of need­ing extra help, of course—which will give you an oppor­tu­nity to get a feel for him and see if there’s any chem­istry between the two of you. Then, if you think there’s still rela­tion­ship poten­tial there, I’d drop some hints to show him that you’re inter­ested, but ulti­mately let him make the first move.

TRENT SAYS: I’m not going to lie to you. There were a cou­ple of uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sors I wanted to date. Sadly, they weren’t inter­ested in me (totally their loss), but if they had been, I’m fairly cer­tain my issues with impulse con­trol would have become a reality.

When it comes right down to it, there are con­se­quences to every­thing we do. Even if your col­lege pro­fes­sor has full tenure, chances are really good he wouldn’t want to jeop­ar­dize his career for a relationship.

No mat­ter how hot and both­ered you are over him, it might be worth your while to at least wait until you’ve got your final grade. That way, no one will ques­tion whether or not you really deserved that A+.