Approaching someone of a higher "status" (21)

1 Name: TW : 2007-11-13 02:27 ID:7O335Xay

So, I'm interested in a guy in my philosophy of science class, but he's a PhD. (and a professor at my school in a different area than my major) auditing the class and as a sophomore undergraduate I'm a bit hesitant to approach him directly, if at all. He has a lot of the same interests as me and we have a great time talking after class; the age difference isn't too daunting either (he just got his PhD. about a year ago), but I'm scared to just ask him out, he is a PhD. after all. Should I even be thinking about going after a professor? I really don't know what to do, my best friend keeps telling me I should just go for it, but I really hate the idea of going into something where I don't know the outcome... Help?

2 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-13 02:40 ID:cIgrNoYh

Let me see if I have this correct: this guy is a professor teaching a class that you attend?

3 Name: TW : 2007-11-13 02:45 ID:7O335Xay

No, he's auditing the class I'm in (taking the class, not for credit). But he is a profesor at my school in a completely different department than my major so the probability of my having a class taught by him is very low.

4 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-13 02:52 ID:cIgrNoYh


Well, that's good to hear, given that relationships with authority figures are never a good idea, for a bushel of reasons. The biggest problem you'll encounter is
the age factor -- I assume since he's a PhD and you're an undergrad sophomore that there's likely a 6-10 year age difference between the two of you.

I'm sure you're already aware of the special considerations involved in a relationship with such an age disparity, so I won't lecture. Really, as long as you know what you're potentially getting into and there are no authority issues to deal with, I can't see why you shouldn't give it a shot.

5 Name: 4 : 2007-11-13 02:56 ID:cIgrNoYh

Oh, and I should also mention that discretion with respect to this matter qould be a very wise idea. Even if there aren't any authority conflicts between you and the professor (seeing as how you're in separate departments), the school administration may not see things the same way.

Until you graduate, you should make sure that word doesn't spread, or your fledgling relationship could get sunk right quick.

6 Name: TW : 2007-11-13 02:59 ID:+6Pk9qoj

Actually, age disparity has really never been a problem for me. In fact, both I and my parents have pretty much always figured I'd end up with a guy around 10 years older than I. If he was just 10 years older and just some guy I knew I'd be's the fact that he's a professor that kind of intimidates me. I mean, I feel like I can't just be like "hey, let's grab some coffee and talk about the Timeaus some more," because like...he's a professor? I dunno. It just makes me hesitant.
Or maybe I'm just being a weenie. I'

7 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-13 03:11 ID:S8mHuRwa

"So, I'm interested in a guy in my philosophy of science class, but he's a PhD."

...the fuck?

"So, I'm interested in a guy in my Spanish language class, but he spent a year studying abroad in Spain."

"So, I'm interested in a guy in my computer hardware class, but he's had three years of experience making computers in the real world."

"So, I'm interested in a guy in my economics class, but he's a successful multimillionaire."

What the fuck is wrong with your faculty of reasoning, young lady?

8 Name: TW : 2007-11-13 03:22 ID:+6Pk9qoj

Hahahaha. I see your point. But, still, him having a PhD makes him intimidating to me and not as easily approachable.
Okay, am I just being a total wimp here? Maybe I am. You just might be absolutely right.

9 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-13 03:30 ID:cIgrNoYh


Well, if it helps, think of it this way: a person with a PhD is just like anyone else who's successfully completed grad school, only with a slightly more rigorous and specialized course of study.

I wouldn't say that you're being a wimp, but you'll probably feel better once you appreciate that the professor is an ordinary human being, same as you. Just follow standard dating protocol, keep it discrete, and you'll be fine.

10 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-13 03:33 ID:cIgrNoYh



Bloody homophones.

11 Name: 43 : 2007-11-13 05:53 ID:t2ibgLXT


How come he gets to be a professor straight after concluding his PhD?

aren't you confused about the meaning of being a professor?
or is it that humanities is so trivial that anyone can get to be a professor?

Just talk to him, he is as human and fallible as you and me are. We were all born bald, ugly and crying. He's nothing special.

Also, I know it's irrelevant to this thread but I hate humanities with all my might.

12 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-13 07:52 ID:S8mHuRwa

OK. TW, this is No. 7 here. I still think I'm correct, but I'll be a little less sarcastic in this post here.

The only possible problem that there could be with trying to get involved with this guy is if there complications because, say, he's teaching your class, or because he's, for example, the brother of the guy teaching it. It's possible that, wherever it is that you happen to live, it would be questionable even just to get involved with a faculty member of the university or college, regardless of how distant their position/department is from the teacher/department with which you are associated.

However. You said yourself that he's not teaching the class. Chances are he's not related to the teacher, either. And even IF your university is that freaking paranoid about people working the system by having friends in high places, the chances that it would cause any trouble for you are probably minimal. That's IF your university is that paranoid.

I only know what you've shared with us in this thread, but it seems to me like you're just intimidated by both the fact that he's probably more capable than you (which is simply because he's taken more classes than you, you realize) and the fact that his Ph.D. automatically marks him as academically superior.

These are not things that should get in the way of romance.

I guarantee you that if this man is going to take a liking to you, he's not going to care if you don't also have a Ph.D. If he does, then he's a douche and you shouldn't be with him anyway. It may be true that he possesses a higher status than you in the world of academics, but I highly doubt that he would let his Ph.D. play much of a role (if any) in determining who he gets romantically involved with.

Besides, if you don't try, then you'll never know. It's not like the man is married or already has a girlfriend. It's not like you're cheating on anybody, since you don't have one, either. You've got nothing to lose, because even if he does reject you, and even if it IS for some retarded reason like "You don't have a Ph.D. like I do," there will be absolutely no lasting negative effect on your life. It's not like it'll prevent you from continuing your education or from getting a good grade in your class or anything.

And that is why, in my humble opinion, you should hit on the man.

13 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-13 09:20 ID:YbpErrk1

Honestly, what good is a Ph.D in philosophy? He's excellent at sitting down and doing absolutely nothing? Doesn't sound very intimidating.

14 Name: 43 : 2007-11-13 12:25 ID:Heaven



15 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-13 12:37 ID:XwG/smPf

you've got to get over the whole ph.D thing. it doesn't make him any better than you or anyone else. All it means is that he has spent a lot more time studying than you have. He's just as approachable as anyone else.

16 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-13 13:01 ID:PkqePmqA

>>15 has a nice point.

Once you get over considering him "higher" than you (which he fucking isn't, he's just older)...

fuck him! see how it feels, and proceed accordingly.

17 Name: TW : 2007-11-13 13:59 ID:CYPr/CwY

Just by the way, the PhD is in protein folding: biophysics. This guy is just so incredibly awesome that he has audited enough classes to have a masters in humanities.
And thanks for the advice, it all sounds pretty right to me. It's just a matter of me actually getting the courage to implement the advice.

18 Name: Kurono : 2007-11-13 14:12 ID:sV31Ow4N

You should go for it. It kind of sounds like you're hitting it off. Everyone is right in saying that it just means he's more educated than you. You should go for it! Good luck.

19 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-28 00:17 ID:0ciwSrGz

It sure has been a long time since the last post....
I wonder how things went.

20 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-28 01:46 ID:yqCCPVAd

If she didn't return I'd assume she doesn't need anymore advice so success.

21 Name: Secret Admirer : 2007-11-29 11:07 ID:Heaven

or he was an axe murderer!

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