Home > School and Learning > By Grade > College > College Life > College Student in Love with Professor

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

College Student in Love with Professor

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I'm a 20-year-old junior in college and I've been talking online with my 53-year-old professor a lot. He started hinting that he was sexually interested in me. At first, he said that he was just teasing. One day, after class, we kissed and talked about having sex. He's never forced this on me in any way. He says that he wants to be a lifelong friend and that I mean a great deal to him. He also says that I'm mature for my age and that we just had an instant connection. If it wasn't for his obligations (he's married and has kids) and his age, he said he would marry me.

I'm in love with him now. Still, sometimes I think that maybe he's done this kind of thing before or that he will in the future. He said that he has only cheated once on his wife, to whom he's been married for almost 20 years. Is this a mistake?

A: I can understand your emotional conflicts regarding your relationship with your college teacher. You're both flattered and confused. However, this teacher should be removed from his position and it's up to you to report his wholly inappropriate and unethical actions to the college administration and assure that no other young woman will fall victim to this man. No college instructor should ever engage a student in this blatant sexual and manipulative manner. He is forbidden to do so in a morality clause in his contract. Additionally, a 53-year-old married man's pursuit of a 20-year-old girl is unhealthy at every possible level. He is toying with you and your vulnerability by using his position as a trusted teacher to lure you into this totally imbalanced and unsavory affair.

As infatuated with him as you may be, do you respect yourself and what you are doing? Please use your doubts and your suspicions that he has manipulated other girls like this before to inform your actions. I understand that you might not want to get this teacher into trouble or to cause yourself embarrassment by reporting his inappropriate behavior, but I would appeal to you to take action so that this stops. Through his sexualized behavior with you, he has demonstrated that he should not be in a position to associate with young women on a college campus.

I am sure that your college's counseling service, your parents, your friends, and family members will rally behind you to support your stopping this man's continued abuse of his female students. This is not a romance or a great love, as much as you might want to conceive it as such. Break off all contact with this man. Thanks for being courageous when it seems easiest and safest to do nothing.

More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


8 Epic Emoji-Themed Crafts, Activities & Recipes
Check out the best emoji crafts, activities, and recipes! They're perfect for an emoji-themed birthday party or anytime you need DIY (and screen-free!) summer activities for kids, tweens, and teens.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

10 Free Summer Learning Worksheets
Print these free printables for preschoolers and kindergarteners to help your child's mind stay sharp until September!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks