General Dating Questions/student suddenly starts chatting with me
Good evening Larry,
My name is Nicholas. I am 33 years old and work in a health professional school. I am attracted to a 26 year old student. She is in one of my current classes, which will end in March 2013.
She asked to be friends on facebook (I do have other students that are friends there). As this past quarter ended, she commented on her page about the difficulty of her final schedule. I posted a "sad face" picture on her comment.
On Thursday of her finals, she started messaging me on facebook, mainly about her classes and the tests. On Friday after finals, the messages became more frequent and she suggested we exchanges numbers and text instead.
We chatted consistently the entire weekend. A few comments were made that gave me the idea she may be interested: "I'm at home, want to come out" and "I need a cuddle buddy" and "I'm a good girlfriend" and "why don't you have a girlfriend". She may have been drinking when making these comments, and I may have misinterpreted these statements.
On Sunday, I was having lunch and she texted "bring me some." This may have been inappropriate, but I asked if she would like me to meet her and out to eat. Her response was "maybe when I get back from the Christmas break" (since she lives in Los Angeles). After thinking about it, she said she was very surprised I asked her out, and wanted to know my intentions.
I explained that since she was my student, I thought about asking her out after the class ended. However, at this point, I just wanted to go out and talk (I have spent time with other students outside of school both male and female). Her response was "I would like to get to know you, but you have direct control of my grade."
My question is about proceeding from this point. It is Monday night and we have continued chatting. I may not have been completely clear with my intentions, but she also never gave a direct answer. I am very confused with all this texting, and am not sure if I am misreading the context of the messages.
Thanks for taking the time to read,
Let me tell you from personal experience that, in the interest of your career, you need to remain as friends until she is no longer your student. Don't delete her. Don't make suggestive remarks. Don't do ANYTHING that could be interpreted as you coming on to her or punishing her for not dating you. You already went too far by suggesting you go out so you need to be in damage control now. I assure you, regardless of how much she likes you, she has every single comment you've made to her saved somewhere...just in case. Once there is no chance that she is one of your students again, all bets are off. Have at it. Mark my words though, if you pursue her now, you have about a 90% chance that you will be changing your career path. No one is going to hire someone who was fired for sexual harassment of one of their students. You may also check your local laws because it's a felony in most states for a teacher of higher education to be dating one of their students.
I'm not trying to scare you with all this, but I went through it twice and even continued dating one of the girls who never complained. All it took was my boss finding out about it. I've seen it happen to no less than 1/2 dozen others and every one of them regretted not taking our warnings.