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The situation is a little bit sticky, and I have a feeling I'm not going to like what I read, but that I'll need to. The post is a little long, but I feel the details in it are important for your feedback.

Nonetheless, your perspective will help me put a stop to my lovesick overanalyzing.




I'm a 26-year-old INFJ woman, and while I'm more F than T I'm not the biggest F, however it would seem that way over the past couple months because of my smitten-ness.

The guy I fell for is my science professor in his mid forties, and obviously INTP. When he first walked in, he was withdrawn and his hair was unwashed and unbrushed (he washes it everyday now). He was almost immediately attracted to me - I'm a quietly beautiful woman and I'm also modest, withdrawn, and intelligent (at least introspectively so).

I understand that student-professor dating is improper, and so I prepared a very logical letter outlined for the end of this semester to give to him, describing that I would be interested in associating with him being that the semester would be over, being that I'm a 26-year-old woman, and that I had no intentions of being unethical, manipulative, intruding, etc., and that if he declined I would understand (along with my phone number). The school policy is that student-professor romance is *discouraged* and the professor may risk being reported to the school by an unhappy student or whatever, but even that intentionally vague policy is I believe referring to student-professor who are currently still *in* that student-professor context, not to mention a student who is likely younger than 26, not to mention a student and/or a professor with consistently flirtatious tendencies. I don't believe these apply to him or me. He also knows that I am 26.

I now have second thoughts about handing him my logical confessional letter at semester's end, and here is where it got sticky. It just so happens that I'm in a phase in my life where I am working in my confidence in school, but I'm actually a very resilient individual. I endured a lot of abuse growing up - sexist alcoholic dad and anxiety-ridden Chinese immigrant mother, both of my sisters had tried to commit suicide at one point. When I was 21 I sat down with a pile of introspective books, and realized I could think for myself. I was even recommended to take the Wechsler IV IQ test by the school forensic psychologist who was qualified to give it, and discovered I was a high 152. I am intelligent and capable, and getting back into school to pursue my ambitions. Most people who meet me think that I was raised in a middle-class home with reasonable parents who showered me with support, discipline, and affection (couldn't be farther from the truth).

Said INTP professor has seen my anxiety-ridden self in the lab exams (yesterday I froze with fear for 30 minutes staring at a problem), and wondered if I was stupid. He assured me that I wasn't, and that it was anxiety. He also explained to me that he struggled with something similar when he was in school, and pushed himself through college despite low self-confidence in school. I was near tears, embarrassed, and fidgety (great) - knowing he is an INTP I gave my all to contain my tears with only some success. I think he knows that I'm very intelligent and competent (albeit a bit awkward and shy, though I also have sudden bold/confident moments around him). When I walked away he said, "Carry on, Mary!" (not my real name).

At first, he was speechless around me multiple times, frozen with inability to speak. Other times, I caught him stupidly smiling at me. In lectures, he implied a few times he was single. Considering how intuitive he is he also knows that I'm smitten, but I didn't try to make it obvious (a bit hard to know what to do with yourself when you are nervous and he walks by).

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, he seemed to completely shut me out. Yesterday in class, he started talking about this graduate student working on her PhD who he was working with previously, and in the very same lecture he mentioned that his dad really wanted him to pursue a medical degree and he said, "I didn't want anything to do with that, I don't want to deal with people," (knowing that I'm aiming for a B.S. in psychology who wants to go to med school for psychiatry. This pushing away all seems very deliberate to me, rather than unconscious). When I mentioned to him that I took a qualified test with an IQ score of 152, he said, "That's a good score, oh you're definitely capable in the labs. I don't believe in IQ though." I emailed him after class yesterday asking if he was ever going to collect the labs, then thanked him for pointing out that I may have anxiety in the labs rather than stupidity or incompetence. He simply replied (with the following specific words): "Unless I say otherwise, I will not be collecting any of your labs. They are, as you figured, for you to reference and study."

Then he signed it.

This weekend I am licking my wounds, and I have second thoughts (if not already concluded) that I will not deliver my letter to him, and will keep my distance for the sake of my wounds and for the sake of his space until the semester is over.



My questions include (but aren't limited to): does he still like me but has concluded what is practical, and would he consider my letter at the end of the semester? Is it because I look young for my age (people usually think I'm 19)? Did he not expect me to reciprocate his feelings? Did I become too obviously smitten eliminating the mysteriousness factor, causing him to be bored? Is it because I revealed a happily smitten gentle & polite NF rather than the cold NT sarcasm and quick wit? Does my interest in analyzing people (psychology) scare the #*%! out of him considering the obviousness of his speechless stupor episodes? Did his NT self conclude that a potential relationship is overall impractical? Or, is he just being a withdrawn NT and I'm reading too much into it? (even though he seems very aware of my sensitivity and tendency to pick up on almost everything). Does he hate me? Have I made a bad first impression so far, I suppose by TRYING rather than minding my own business and keeping my head in the books and discussing ONLY the science topic in a confident manner (rather than my stupid INFJ insights on efficient study tactics)?

You don't have to answer all of these - just the ones you think are relevant. The long list is reflective of my stress.

Regardless, I feel I've violated a boundary of his based on his sharp senses (using my own sharp senses and him becoming aware of this), and whether he likes me or not or is interested in a future relationship or not, I intend to be much more distant and reserved when possible to provide him space. I don't want him to think I am manipulative (which I'm not). My outlined letter for him at the end of the semester may or may not still be delivered to him, but I am so hurt that I may simply lean toward no and move on once I don't have to see his face twice a week for 1-5 hours at a time.



I appreciate your help,
Distressed, Lovesick INFJ student
 

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Whoa.

I think I could say a lot, but I will just tell you this --- do not give him the letter. No.
 
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Omg. The professor thing, lol! I have to admit being a Katherine hepburn fan, that flick where she's like, "oh professor" and swoons .. Totally gets me silly. :p I was so mad when she ended back with her bafoon husband and rejected the professor. She was totally ENFJ in that flick :p

sorry. I'm a jerk and didn't even read the op. I guess I just chalk it up to the fact that "the professor" is sort of a cliche fantasy for thinkerish people.
 

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Read it.

Emphasis on the word 'fantasy' in previous post.

I'm sorry about this situation you're in. Try to take solo time away from your thoughts. Absorb in a moment like camping or something outdoors to clear your head. Then go back to the issue.
 

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How much like an INTJ are you? Your writing style looks so much like this other INTJ I "know." It's just fascinating.
 

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Didn't read everything, though a man in his mid-forties probably has his life figured out. This means he is likely married, or has a long term relationship with someone else. His initial interest in you is likely due to your interest in him. You can deliver your letter to him, if that makes you feel any better. He will likely not reply, or at least not be interested in pursuing you for a relationship. Hope things work out well for you.
 

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You plan on a long acdemic career, a really hard workload, all in an environment where gossip abounds and people hardly ever forget. Might as well put it on facebook. All well and possibly good, but you are going to have to get a lot of people on your side going through all your schooling. That is your public life.
Find a private life separate from that and keep it private. He has nothing that 95 percent of all adult males don't have. This is an issue you must avoid in professional practice - Prince of Tides was chick movie that doesn't happen with successful professionals.

He can think a number of things if you pursue this. The least harmful is that you are niave and immature. He could think you are angling for grades, whatever - using him.

Long ago one of my coworkers told a story about his former place of employment. It was an engineering firm, mostly men engineers and women secretaries, typist, mail room -
One attractive young lady arrived one morning all abuzz that she would soon be engaged. Her 'intended" got word of this and tried to get that stopped. An uproar erupted. The young man was called into the office oh the personel manager, himself an engineer. They sat quietly while the manager pondered what to say. Finally, he begain, in context but not verbatem:

"I do not know if you promised to marry her or not, nor what may have prompted you to say that. I don't want to know. I have a mess on my hands and I hope we can keep both of you here. But as a word of advice, when you go grocery shopping, don't get your bread and your meat at the same store."
 

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Perhaps I am the young and naive one, but I don't think it should matter whether he was your professor and you were the student. If the age range is reasonable, and you truthfully feel drawn to him, I would pick the right time and go for it. I'd also suggest not questioning every possible detail. As tempting as it is to find those answers, and contrary to your gut instinct, you don't actually need to have those answers in order to proceed in the situation.

Pay attention to your own judgement, and take into account what actions it says is suitable, but also recognize what are worries, and act despite those worries when you realize it is a worry based in fear of rejection rather than fear based on valid concerns about the situation itself.

To me, it seems better to be true to yourself, "fail", and learn to move past that, than to have this regret that hums in the background of your mind because you never pursued that which you found amazing and beautiful.
 

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I think you should drop the whole thing and move on. If it has caused you this much stress so far, it can only cause you even more as time goes on. There are many other people out there to find a connection with. Don't let your academics falter because of some irrelevant relationship. Move on and find another.
 

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As someone who's taught college classes, I'm having some difficulty with the fact that you seem to believe your professor communicated personal things specifically to you to you via his class lectures. if I'm understanding the story correctly.

Whatever the case - I would say no, don't give him the letter.
 

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I'm a bit confused myself even with all that you've shared. I think you're probably reading too much into this but even if you're not, I don't think a relationship with him would be wise.
 

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You seem a bit too hesitant about this... Honestly, it seems to me like your gut is saying no but your mind is telling you that it's okay because he doesn't go by his feeling as often as you do. It also seems like this Professor of yours isn't very interested in you that way. Gawd I feel like an a hole for typing this, but it's just my opinion. If you really like him that much, maybe you could wait until you graduate and then "accidently" run into him or something. I've been on the opposite end of this problem, and regardless of where you are, teacher-student relationships are usually discouraged. Some colleges even forbid professors dating students at the college not even in their courses. At this point in time, and as uncertain as he seems... It just doesn't seem worth it to me. Best of luck in whatever you decide, though.
 

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It's hard to give advice because I don't know everything about the situation. I don't know you. From your post it sounds like you have a crush on your professor. From your story about your past it sounds like you might have father issues because growing up you felt unloved and were not treated well by your father. In my opinion (I'm not a psychologist and I don't know you at all so this is not worth much) you need to focus on healing and growing as a person before you even begin to consider a relationship with a man.

I am basing this off of my own experiences. I have become emotionally involved with men who were older than me or not right for me because I was looking for the love of a father since my own was critical of me growing up.

I could be wrong about this, but I think your crush on your professor is a sign that you are lacking love, support and affirmation. You need to look for that love, support and affirmation in in a non-sexual place. Find friends, get involved in a community of people your own age, find love, support and affirmation from them. Go to a counselor and talk about your past. Examine yourself. I think you would be doing yourself a huge favor by not getting involved in a messy situation that may only hurt you and drag you down further. You need to be with people who can help and support and build you up. Again I would strongly counsel you to find this in a non-sexual place.
 

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I tried to read most of what you wrote, but it was difficult to follow in certain areas. I think you might be over-thinking things way too much. Your professor probably has a lot of students to deal with, so it's unlikely that he is being critical of you or thinking negatively of you (I mention this only because I get the feeling you're worried about coming off as unintelligent or unsure of yourself in his class).

Do not hand him any form of a letter! DO NOT.

The only thing I would do in this situation is hand him a short note that took a maximum of thirty seconds to write with your number on it IF and ONLY IF he has shown a screaming sign of interest by the end of the semester.
 
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