College Q&A: Can I Date My T.A.?

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Hi Girls! So here’s the deal. I’m taking a few classes this summer, you know, trying to get some stuff out of the way. I’m in this one class and I have a really hot T.A. The class is small and since there aren’t many people on campus, I see him everywhere. We started talking at the bar the other night and ended up hanging out for the entire night and even getting late night food together. When I woke up the next morning (don’t worry – I was alone) I felt really awkward about the whole thing. He’s my TA! Buuuut, I also think I kinda like him. And he’s only my TA for a few more weeks. (Though there is a chance I might have him again in future Comm classes….) He pulled me aside after class yesterday and asked if I wanted to grab lunch later this week and I don’t know what to do. I want to, but I feel like it could be super messy. What do you think? Is starting something with a TA a terrible idea?

GPA Girl
Ooh, tough one! We don’t have TAs at Grinnell (it’s a really small school), so I guess I have a hard time imagining why this would be so awkward. From my perspective, though, dating your TA wouldn’t really be any different from dating anybody else in your class. You’d still have to see the person regularly, deal with the morning walk of shame, play the avoidance game if you ever break up, etc. True, this guy has the potential to become an important player in your academic life because he might be helping you out with your classes in the future, but honestly, so what? If you like him, go for it. Remember that you’re in control. If the relationship doesn’t work out and you don’t lose your temper, you can get away with an amicable breakup and still be friends with him. Don’t let the fact that he’s your TA hold you back.

Busy Bee
Mmm, as I read this story I could feel myself liking him as well. No worries, I won’t steal your man! Anyway, I completely understand the complication of it. Being a hopeless romantic myself, I am going to tell you to go for it – AFTER this semester ends. I’m not sure if you’ve responded to him yet about lunch, but I would suggest telling him this: “Hey hot T.A., I would really love to grab lunch with you later this week, but here’s the catch. I have a cute lil’ crush on you, but would like to wait until the semester is over before we act on this. What do you think?” I know that sounds like a death sentence to say, but trust me, it’s the way to go. That way, he won’t butcher your grade because he thinks you blew him off. At the same time, by postponing the hangout until after finals will ensure that your peers won’t think you’re the girl who slept with the T.A. to get an A – even if you didn’t. Don’t worry about what his response is, though; I’m sure he has a crush on you as well! Just trust me on this one: do not go out with the T.A. while he is your T.A. Oh, and don’t worry about future classes! Take care of what you can in the moment…you never know what good can come of this.

Party Girl
Oh my gawd, yes. This sounds like a fantastic idea. I mean, he’s only your T.A. for this one summer class (which ends really soon), right? Regardless of whether you’ll see him in the department again, this situation sounds like awesome being handed to you on a silver platter. Take it! If you don’t, you’ll regret it. There was a young professor that I spent a couple years trying to get on and, unfortunately for me, there was no silver platter (and he turned out to be gay, but that’s another story). If you’re worried about the relationship (or hook-up) ending badly and then seeing him around all the time…well, that’s college. You hook-up, you date, you break-up and then you see them everywhere. Messy is a way of life on a college campus. It sounds like you genuinely like this hottie, so stop trying to talk yourself out of it. Get it, girl!

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