26 June 2008

Should I have a relationship with my tutor?

Hi, I have a tutor and we get on really well. Recently he has been texting me in a very flirty and sexual manner. I really like him and he wants me to meet up with him. Should I start a relationship with him? He’s not my teacher in school, only my tutor outside of school.

Dee Gamme

Hi Becky,

Thank you for your question.

The fact that this person is only your tutor may not be an issue. However, if he is much older than you or has been hired by your parent or legal guardian, it isn’t very different from if he was a teacher at your school.

I realize that some people have peer-tutoring, which would make you relatively close in age. If this is the case, perhaps it would be acceptable to start a relationship. Nonetheless, you have to realize that dating your tutor could put your studies at risk. And what if you break up eventually or have any arguments and fights? This could make your tutoring situation quite awkward, if not intolerable.

In addition, if your tutor is quite older, both of you could get into serious trouble. If your parents are opposed to it, they could ban you from seeing him. In such a case, it would probably be helpful to speak with a parent or older person from whom you seek guidance, before taking any sudden decisions.

If you should decide to pursue a romantic relationship with your tutor and he is from a tutoring agency, he could potentially lose his job if news spread that he was dating one of his students. If he is completely independent, maybe his loss of job would be less serious, but it could ruin his reputation if he tried to get new students. A potential solution would be to find another tutor with whom you will not have any potential romantic relationship.

On the other hand, though it is an unpleasant thought, regardless of your tutor’s age, if he makes a habit of flirting with his students, perhaps you could get hurt. What if he has several girlfriends who used to be or are still his students? All at once! There are people in the world who prey on those who admire or trust them. If he tries to pick up all his students, he is up to no good.

Do you know any other students that he tutors? If so, try asking them some questions to see if he flirts with them too. Whether he has feelings for you or not, he is crossing the line of professionalism. If, in the end you come to understand that you belong together, it would probably be best to end the tutoring sessions, just to be on the safe side.

Good luck and don’t hesitate to contact us again if you have more questions,

Dee, for AlterHeros