Ask Nicci: Prof's advances throw woman for a loop

By
From the May 3, 2012 edition

I am 26 and am getting my masters at a local university. A professor (whom I find attractive) recently asked me to meet him for a drink and I am tempted. Normally I wouldn't hesitate, but since he controls my grade, I'm worried about what'll happen if things don't go well. My girlfriends tell me to just go out with him. Am I being a prude or should I just go with the flow and see what happens? —Anonymous

Ever heard the phrase, "Never mix business with pleasure"? What may seem like a fun, frivolous fling now could be a life-altering game-changer in your immediate future. Regardless of the outcome, serious consequences are at play here that you need to strongly consider.

I question his scruples. If your professor is legitimately interested in pursuing you as a potential girlfriend, and not a casual conquest, he will be willing to wait until next semester when you are no longer his student. I strongly suggest you graciously decline his initiation for a drink. Explain that while, yes, you are flattered and interested, you prefer to keep things professional while you are his student. If his intentions are pure, he will understand and patiently wait. If it is meant to be, it will. If not, add this to your long list of life's lessons you are continuously learning from. In the meantime, I know plenty of great guys in Columbus who won't adversely affect your career or future.

I recently started my first job after graduating college. I can afford to golf more and go out to better places. I'm making new friends and meeting women. I really need to ditch my old roommates — they're embarrassing and think they can latch on to my new friends. These guys are still doing the same old thing. I've moved on. —Bill

Two lessons:

1. Reality check: You are who you surround yourself with, no matter what. You may be ready to move forward with new experiences, but these people were part of your life and you chose that. In the future, when you aren't being so selfish, you will be appreciative of your past. Remember, these were your friends; don't ever discount that.

2. Don't be a jerk. Your old roomies probably are struggling with finding jobs too, so don't try to be a life coach. Just be supportive and respectful. If you can't sit on the front porch couch and drink every night anymore, be sure to explain yourself. No need to be arrogant. Your friends may be a week away from their first jobs, too.

∙ Nicci Sprouse is the owner of a local dating service. Send your questions about love and relationships to infoasknicci@gmail.com. Or get in touch through her website, asknicci.com.