Re: I think a married man is attracted to me...help?
It's not uncommon for people to sniff each other out sexually in the course of their day. You can't do anything about what he thinks, or how it comes across in his facial expressions. The fact that he touches you gives you the opportunity to set boundaries. You can simply state, hey, hands off, Professor so and so. You can also keep your distance and use body language to take control of the situation, despite him being the prof and you being the student. For instance, don't sit down in his office, and keep yourself between him and the door. Look at your watch or phone to obviously keep track of the time you spend interacting with him. These are all power moves. As he is attracted to you, and not vice versa, you have the power in this situation. All he can do is give you a bad grade. If you don't deserve a bad grade, he can't even do that. Now you probably need to find someone else to take classes from, because you can't really rely on his feedback to fuel your professional/academic progress.
I suppose I'm lucky, I have a relationship with my client/boss. So anyone I work with on any project team isn't going to waste my time and energy at work trying to even think about getting into my pants, not that they know, but people just instinctively *know*, they figure this stuff out. My mentor is my client's business partner, and will be supervising my work. I know I can count on him separately to support my professional and academic achievement, since he's the one who introduced me to my boss/client in the first place, on a professional level (he overshot his target...)
Anyway, as a woman you need to pay attention to the dynamics of power. You have to accept that people are going to be sexually attracted to you in your place of work or studies...I mean, you're sexually attractive, and don't go censoring yourself in order to try to solve the problem that way. Just acknowledge it and make sure you use the knowledge of that to stay in charge of your own career and life. Don't become confused by thinking you have to 'allow' anything to happen in the way he interacts with you because of your status. Remember, you're the one who can file a harassment charge if he touches you after you tell him it's hands off. You can follow-up with the hands-off statement by pointing to your head and shaking some papers in front of him, like, this is what I want you to be concerned about...how to get this (head) to here (papers...) results. If he's the sort to place the blame on you, saying you dressed a certain way or whatever, tell him to get over it, or to go teach in a seminary.
I wanted to add, too, that I'm an adult student in an academic setting where people's feelings and beliefs are discussed, so there is a lot of thought exchange going on...whereas in my other work, there is a lot of data, but it's about thoughts, just other people's...hence the underlying power dynamics of your situation, are more common than you think...it's just that you're not framing the situation in the right paradigm in order to give yourself an edge. Anyway, I have a couple profs who are really fond of me, one I have no clue if he's married or not. Maybe he fantasizes about me, and I get that it's not just about me physically, it's because periodically I spit out some essay that he's particularly impressed with, and really, grammar gets him going...a student like me doesn't come along every day. To my credit, once I take care of my business concerns this afternoon I'm taking my Shakespeare stuff over to the library and probably going to spend three hours giving this guy the full attention he deserves...on my last paper. :-) He'll be nowhere near me. lol. I just want him to live in a world where a student really cares about a paper and doesn't fake it. Faking an academic paper is to me the same as faking an orgasm, and as I told my boss last night, I can't fake anything. Let's face it, academic study is focused on the mind, and the mind is a beautiful thing. The same mind that churns out papers and essays and projects is the same mind that allows you to have a full blown orgasm and enjoy the pretty Christmas lights in a quaint historic New England seacoast town. I'm just saying, don't expect a prof to look at you, to know your mind so thoroughly, and to not have fantasies. Your job is to keep him fully occupied in reality with producing work so that his fantasies cannot deviate too far from reality.
In effect, take your head out of the gutter, and his will follow!
I talk to my mentor about Argentine Tango...fencing, literature...he's 67 but honestly, in some respects I am like an office pet. Nothing wrong with that. If you can handle it, it allows you to have a cozy office life where you don't have to have your guard up. Accepting affection and admiration where it's due is an art form. You don't have to put out, there's no obligation. But protesting that it shouldn't exist is just not realistic at all, and to whose benefit?
Last edited by Homemaker_Numero_Uno; 12-09-2012 at 12:47 PM.