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'Do I need to worry about my boyfriend's friendship with his female professor?' UPDATED 2X

'Do I need to worry about my boyfriend's friendship with his female professor?' UPDATED 2X

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Every story has at least two sides.

"Do I (28F) need to worry about my boyfriend's (24M) friendship with his professor (25F)?"

My BF (24M) became friends with his former professor (25F), sometime last year - I don't know what to make of it. They seem to be friendly and talk consistently every week, and from what he tells me, it's usually very surface level.

Sometime last year after the course ended, my bf, his professor, and some of his male classmates went somewhere to eat together. My bf brought up that he was going to be attending an event (plastic modeling show), and his professor showed interest and invited herself to the event and asked if she could stay at his airbnb with his friends. My bf and his friends were all OK with it.

I unfortunately couldn't attend the event, but from what my bf told me, he and a few of his friends met up at their airbnb. That same day, his professor comes to my bf's airbnb and tagged a few of her girl friends along (I believe they all stayed in the same place). The next day, they go to the event, went to a bar afterwards and got drinks.

A lot of them (except my bf) got pretty drunk and my bf took the liberty of being the designated driver for his professor and her friends. His professor won some model kit from the event, and even in her drunken state, asked my bf if he could stay up with her to work on the kit together.

From what my bf tells me, nothing else happened that night.

After the event, everyone from that group created a group chat and they continue to plan and talk about future events together.

Since then, my bf and his friends had met up with his professor and got to meet his professor's fiance at an anime convention and it sounded like they all got along well. His professor continues to express interest in other events and it sounds like she may be attending another event with my bf and his friends in the near future. I trust my boyfriend and don't think he is hiding anything from me.

Honestly speaking, I think it's hard for me to understand their friendship as it is his professor. I've had a conversation with him on this, and he's let me know that I have nothing to worry about. I would like to hear other's opinions and see what ya'll think of this friendship? Is this something I need to be concerned about or is it really nothing? Thank you all!

Not long after posting, OP shared a small update.

*Edit: the professor was my bf's former professor. She is classified as an adjunct faculty and works as an accountant as her full time job (which explains why she is a young professor).

*My bf has not graduated college yet and is still a student at his university.

The internet was quick to share their advice.

happyprocrastinator wrote:

You should go to one of these events with them. I don’t understand why you are not being part of it.

OP responded:

I do struggle with social anxiety so it makes me uncomfortable to be sharing a space with a lot of unknown people. I am hoping to go to the next event though since it's local.

Altruistic_Two6540 wrote:

I don’t like it at all. Not so much from his side, but from hers. Her social interest and engagement with students is grossly inappropriate and unprofessional. Staying at their Airbnb?! Getting drunk and staying up with them when she stays with them. And then continued socializing.

She has no concern for boundaries. Sounds like she’s absolutely loving it. This isn’t just a female friend. It’s his teacher. Presumably not an actual professor, because that’s too young. I don’t know how long his course is, but if it’s for a long time yet, I’d ask him to keep the friendship at a minimum.

OP responded:

I'm totally with you - I am also quite confused of her choice of "friends". I am not sure why of all places, does she choose to share an airbnb with her former student and to be drunk with them. She is classified as an adjunct faculty, so she is a professor but is part time (she works full time as an accountant). The whole situation feels weird to me.

individualeyes wrote:

You seem kinda hung up on the professor part but if he's not in one of her classes now and won't have to take one of her classes again then it's not that crazy. If a kindergartener is 6 and his teacher is 7, I wouldn't be too surprised they might become friends.

That is not to say I think this is ok, because I don't. Everything could be above board but I would also be at least a little uncomfortable if I were you. How can someone be a professor at 25?

OP responded:

Yeah, the fact that she was his professor is what is weird to me. Like this is not just a friend he made in class, this is a person who held a higher position above him. I currently work in higher education, so this situation just strikes me as uncomfortable, for sure. She is an adjunct faculty so she is a part time professor (works under a contract).

marxam0d wrote:

You say “his professor” what is their specific academic connection? She taught him once years ago and now they’re roughly equals and friends? Or she’s his primary support for a PhD? Or what? You shouldn’t generally worry someone has friends but student/professor relationships just generally shouldn’t happen and are a sign of poor boundaries.

OP responded:

The first option - she taught him last year and now are now friends. He is no longer in a course with her. I totally understand how it's possible for students and their professors to be friendly, but I've never heard or seen of a friendship where you consistently talk and hang out together so casually.

A month later, OP shared another update.

Update: my boyfriend and I had a more heart-to-heart talk regarding his teacher and he recognizes that it crossed some of my boundaries. He believes that she may be behaving the way she does because when she hangs out with her fiance's friends, she gets bored with them (and may possibly be seeking attention from other people?).

Several weeks later, my boyfriend had a conversation with his college instructor regarding their friendship and told her how I didn't feel comfortable of their friendship and how he thinks they should keep communication at a minimum. She brought up how she understands because her fiance also had an issue with how she chose to share an airbnb with my bf.

She mentions to my boyfriend that she sees him as a brother and that's why she feels really comfortable with him, but that she will try to respect my boyfriend's wishes of keeping conversations at a minimum. Well, even after that talk, she continues to still message my boyfriend weekly on random life updates.

And because she is also part of my bf's chat in discord, one of his friends invited her to attend another plastic modeling show (it occurred recently) and dinner. Since she accepted the invitations, I chose to attend as well so that I could personally meet her. The dinner occurred first and it was very uncomfortable because she practically ignored me the entire night.

When she joined us at the table, she greeted my bf but didn't say anything to me (even my bf noticed and got annoyed, but then introduced us). She got increasingly drunk throughout the night and was saying random stuff about my bf to his friends like "he could've been the best student in my class but it's cause he missed some assignments" and "[bf's name] gave me a 5 star review on rate my professor!"

She ended up not going to the show, but my bf had a chat with his guys and they told him that they want to respect my feelings too and make it a guys' night next time. I would like to hear other's opinions and see if you also think she is acting suspicious?

The comments kept coming.

Beck2010 wrote:

She wants to do the no pants dance with your bf. She may only be an adjunct at his college, but she is crossing professional lines. She’s crossing personal lines, too. Obviously your bf sees what’s going on, and it’s awesome he has told his friends not to invite her in the future.

But has he stopped communicating with her? Because he really needs to. Again, she’s only an adjunct but he is still a student. Based on her juvenile behavior, she could attempt to sideline him. Worst case scenario, but it has happened.

OP responded:

I wouldn't be surprised if that is her intention cause there's def some shady people out there. I agree, she is crossing some professional and personal boundaries, and I think it's quite unusual behavior for any teacher to act like that. Yes, he has stopped communicating with her. She was consistently messaging him until last week...so hopefully she got the memo.

mpressa wrote:

She’s definitely got a crush on him

Also good on your bf for standing his ground and taking initiative w/o a ton of prompting from you, it should be bare minimum but we’ve seen too often how they don't.

No_Activity9564 wrote:

Quick note: her talking to others about your boyfriend’s assignments is an ethical violation. Add that to her other behavior and he could get her fired. He should definitely report her.

Dimalen wrote:

I'm sorry but what the hell? Did your boyfriend really blamed you for their limited contact? Who in their right mind says 'my gf thinks boundaries are being crossed' and s-t like this? It should have come from him, from his point of view. He shouldn't have involved you in this.

Eight months later, the professor jumped on with her side of things.

"Why am I (25F) always portrayed as a dr-nk? Maria (25F) was dr-nk!"

I am the aforementioned “professor” in a post about me related to posts in subreddit. I decided to post a response after this event was brought up again with a mutual, Maria. We’re both hanging out as I type this.

She and I have both hung out with “boyfriend” (Bob) in group settings and think there are definitely two sides to this story. My main gripe is being portrayed as a drunk and a man-stealer. Below is the original Reddit post that I found while browsing one day.

Also, someone did find me after reading this post due to how specific it is. I am responding paragraph by paragraph so you do not need to read the original post, feel free to.

"My bf (24M) became friends with his former professor (25F), sometime last year - I don't know what to make of it. They seem to be friendly and talk consistently every week, and from what he tells me, it's usually very surface level. Sometime last year after the course ended, my bf, his professor, and some of his male classmates went somewhere to eat together."

"My bf brought up that he was going to be attending an event (plastic modeling show), and his professsor showed interest and invited herself to the event and asked if she could stay at his airbnb with his friends. My bf and his friends were all OK with it."

I was an instructor for one class/semester that BF (Bob) attended. I have no say or sway at the school and have not taught since then. I taught a class related to my profession. I did not get to know Bob personally until after the class was over. On the last day, he expressed that I was a great instructor and gave me a miniature he built as a show of gratitude.

I also made miniatures (a different type though) and was intrigued that someone else was into this hobby. We stayed in touch. Later, I invited a few students for a meal (girls and guys) and the boy students were the only ones who RSVP’d yes.

Bob did mention an event. I did not invite myself, I said me and my friend Linda were interested and may go too. Later on, Bob invited me to join their group’s airbnb because I was looking at hotels. A previous event trip fell through for my and Linda’s friend group and I felt bad she couldn’t go on a trip in the USA before she had to go back to her home country.

This trip was to replace that experience. Bob invited us to the airbnb and Linda and I shared a room with 2 beds, Maria ended up coming on this trip as well, which the group was also okay with, and stayed in the same room with me and Linda.

"I unfortunately couldn't attend the event, but from what my bf told me, he and a few of his friends met up at their airbnb. That same day, his professor comes to my bf's airbnb and tagged a few of her girl friends along (I believe they all stayed in the same place). The next day, they go to the event, went to a bar afterwards and got drinks."

"A lot of them (except my bf) got pretty drunk and my bf took the liberty of being the designated driver for his professor and her friends. His professor won some model kit from the event, and even in her dr-nken state, asked my bf if he could stay up with her to work on the kit together. From what my bf tells me, nothing else happened that night."

Respectfully, I had one cocktail and then his friend bought everyone a shot. That was the extent of my drinking. I wasn’t drunk, Linda wasn’t drunk, and no one else in the group ended up being dr*nk., Maria was though. Maria underestimated how strong the drinks were and she was the DD and we did not have enough time to sober up once she felt the alc-h-l hit her.

She couldn’t drive, I didn’t want to drive her dad’s car, and Linda doesn’t have a US driver's license. Bob offered to drive the car with me, Linda, and Maria back to the airbnb. The other car was driven back by his friend who was not dr-nk and drove sober.

At the airbnb, Bob asked what I would do with the model kit I won, I said i am not familiar with this type of miniature and so I would sell it on Facebook marketplace. He said it was actually easy to build, he had built that one before, and he could help me build it right then as all their tools for building were still out on the table. I said he didn’t have to but he insisted and I accepted his help. I was also still not dr-nk.

Next to us in the living room, Maria and 2 of the guys were watching Ouran High Scool Host Club and Cowboy bebop. We all stayed up until 2AM building or watching anime. For half of the trip, me and the girls split off and did our own thing. We did not stay with the group the entire tip because our intent was to piggy back a small girls weekend while also seeing the event.

"After the event, everyone from that group created a group chat and they continue to plan and talk about future events together. Since then, my bf and his friends had met up with his professor and got to meet his professor's fiance at an anime convention and it sounded like they all got along well."

"His professor continues to express interest in other events and it sounds like she may be attending another event with my bf and his friends in the near future."

"I trust my boyfriend and don't think he is hiding anything from me. Honestly speaking, I think it's hard for me to understand their friendship as it is his professor. I've had a conversation with him on this, and he's let me know that I have nothing to worry about. I would like to hear other's opinions and see what ya'll think of this friendship? Is this something I need to be concerned about or is it really nothing?"

"*Edit: the professor was my bf's former professor. She is classified as an adjunct faculty and works as an accountant as her full time job (which explains why she is a young professor). My bf has not graduated college yet and is still a student at his university."

Bob and his group went to an anime convention. I and my friend group also went because I was not aware there was one near me until Bob mentioned it. My friend group, I thought, got along well with his friends and it was a great first con experience. I and a few of my friends expressed interest in future events.

I think she is hung up on this professor titleship but I was an instructor whom students called professor but I was very clear this was a side gig and I was had a career.

I was never in any position of power at the school, I was a contract employee used to fill an open course section at an undesirable time. For the majority of the time I knew Bob, we were equals who were only 1 year apart in age and shared a similar hobby.

I respect that they view my actions unprofessionally. I did not view it as such since I was no longer an instructor and have not been since. I taught a 4 month course one day a week. I would not be friends with an 18-22 year old I had nothing in common with.

"Update: my boyfriend and I had a more heart-to-heart talk regarding his teacher and he recognizes that it crossed some of my boundaries. He believes that she may be behaving the way she does because when she hangs out with her fiance's friends, she gets bored with them (and may possibly be seeking attention from other people?)."

"Several weeks later, my boyfriend had a conversation with his college instructor regarding their friendship and told her how I didn't feel comfortable of their friendship and how he thinks they should keep communication at a minimum. She brought up how she understands because her fiance also had an issue with how she chose to share an airbnb with my bf."

"She mentions to my boyfriend that she sees him as a brother and that's why she feels really comfortable with him, but that she will try to respect my boyfriend's wishes of keeping conversations at a minimum."

I did not know it had crossed any of their boundaries at the time until the phone call. I treated Bob the same way I treated all of my friends but I do understand and respect that not everyone has the same view of friendship. My friend group went through a period where we would talk about going to stuff and then no one does any work to follow through.

The event Linda and our friends were going to attend that never happened is a good example. I didn’t want lazy friends being the reason why I did not experience things. Bob did follow through on going to things. My husband’s concern was that it was a group of guys we had not met yet in person and we were all girls.

I told him that if I thought any one of them was giving off weird vibes, we would immediately leave and get a hotel. As for the phone call, he did call to tell me basically the same and my understanding was that we should talk less because she does not like the closeness. At the time, we were messaging every day and I did make an attempt to reduce the frequency to once a week.

"Well, even after that talk, she continues to still message my boyfriend weekly on random life updates. And because she is also part of my bf's chat in discord, one of his friends invited her to attend another plastic modeling show (it occurred recently) and dinner."

"Since she accepted the invitations, I chose to attend as well so that I could personally meet her. The dinner occurred first and it was very uncomfortable because she practically ignored me the entire night. When she joined us at the table, she greeted my bf but didn't say anything to me (even my bf noticed and got annoyed, but then introduced us)."

"She got increasingly dr-nk throughout the night and was saying random stuff about my bf to his friends like "he could've been the best student in my class but it's cause he missed some assignments" and "[bf's name] gave me a 5 star review on rate my professor!"

"She ended up not going to the show, but my bf had a chat with his guys and they told him that they want to respect my feelings too and make it a guys' night next time. I would like to hear other's opinions and see if you also think she is acting suspicious?"

One thing left out is that during the phone call between Bob and I. I asked Bob if his GF would want to ever talk to or get to know me, or all 3 of us hang out, and he said he asked her and she said she did not want to do that and she was uncomfortable at the thought of meeting me.

I did stop messaging him frequently and only did so once a week to ask how his job search was going and to let him know the status of a big event in my life. I thought that was what was requested, less interaction, not no interaction. Maria and I went to this dinner because everyone from the airbnb trip was going to be there (Linda did not go).

What is not mentioned is that Bob and the GF arrived 40 minutes into eating. They arrived when I was away from the table. When I saw them after I returned, I nodded and said “hi”, not specifically at Bob or her.

I did not address the hi to either specifically because (1) GF does not like me and him talking and I didn’t want to disrespect that by talking to Bob in front of her (2) she said she did not want to talk to me or get to know me previously and I thought she still felt that way. I learned Bob and GF thought I only said hey to Bob but I didn’t direct it to anyone and I was trying to play it safe.

At that point, I knew she had social anxiety and was against meeting with me to get to know me previously, so I thought I was respecting her boundary by not talking to her. Had I known she came to personally meet me, I would have tried to talk to her. After learning why she came, I was surprised she did not try to start a conversation with me or Maria.

As for the drinking, except for them, since they arrived late, everyone had 2-3 drinks already because it was happy hour. Me and Maria made friends with the bartender who gave us discounted cocktails. I ended up buying a drink for GF so she could get the discount and then pay me back.

It is true I said those jokes but I was not the one to bring them up, they were said in jest, and these were jokes already made in previous interactions. Later that week, Maria called me to catch up and mentioned the dinner.

She commented that GF made no effort to get to know us and thought GF went to monitor him and me. In essence, she ignored me and Maria and Maria and I ignored her. I did not go to the show because I had a prior commitment.

As mentioned in her post, I did view Bob as a brother. He lived similar experiences to me but I felt like he was where I would have been had I not moved out from my parents when I did. I wanted to see him professionally thrive and accomplish his goals of getting a car and moving out as those were things I strived for but had already attained.

As for the 5-6 times we met up, it was in group settings and he met all of my friends and my husband as well. This post, to me, makes it seem like I was always hanging on to Bob but there were many instances of me and my friends breaking off to do our own thing. My husband and Linda’s husband were both okay with us going to the airbnb at the time and later on met and got to know Bob too.

Each time we met, if I drank, I had 2 drinks and one time I had three. I am not sure how Bob told these events to his GF so it may just be lost in translation but the only person who ever got dr-nk at a meet up was Maria and it was once. I do not agree with her stating that I was constantly dr-nk for each meet up or always asking/inviting myself to things.

He invited me and Linda to join his airbnb group (i asked if Maria could also join us), I did ask to join his group for another event until my friend group arrived (which included my husband, Linda, and Maria), and his friend invited me to the group dinner (Maria attended). To this day, his GF has never said a word to me or Maria (she did not say hi, only waved to us), nor us her.

When I offered to order and bring her cocktail from the bar, I believe Bob was the one who responded to my offer. I only found out about what she was thinking via this post. Linda, Maria, and I haven’t talked to Bob since, this was a cathartic write with Maria as it is very jarring to randomly find a post about yourself and then also have someone find you from that post.

Commenters had a lot to say to the professor.

Flynn_JM wrote:

For me, it was Bob agreeing that you were being inappropriate to the point that he called you and directly asked you to limit your contact with him. You then rudely don't say hi to either of them at a dinner when everyone else does? Until you decide to tease Bob about the period you were his teacher? I'm not shocked the gf and Bob were super uncomfortable with this situation.

The professor responded:

Sure that is a fair assessment. I said hi in both their directions because I did not want to address either one individually just in case it made them uncomfortable. I left the table to go to the bathroom and when I came back, they were there. Hindsight is 2020 and I can say that I should have talked to them since it is now clear she attended the dinner to meet me.

I had thought not talking to them after Bob asked me to limit contact with him and not talk to his girlfriend was respecting their boundary. I am going to update my post though to note that I did not initiate those jokes. A guy at the table mentioned it first and I confirmed/ribbed his bit.

Neacha wrote:

To me it is understandable that she is feeling some kind of a way.

The professor responded:

Yes, agreed. They can decide what they want to do allow in their relationship and Maria and I both believe it was likely going to head this same way regardless.

MysteriousMaximum488 wrote:

There is always two sides to these stories: The jealous SO and the other person.

The professor responded:

I think it was just bad communication but it seems that I was expected to somehow know she came to the final dinner to get to know me but all I knew was that (1) she rejected getting to know me in the past, citing she was uncomfortable, and (2) she did not try to talk to me or my friend at the dinner for the entire 3 hours we were all present together.

Dancing_on_tables wrote:

Is it just me that feels like neither the girlfriend or the “professor” was wrong in this? To me it seems like it’s all bob. Everything the girlfriend said was what had been retold to her by bob, her ideas of what happened were given to her by bob, since she wasn’t there.

And obviously that’s given her some nasty feelings. However bob is also going to OP (professor) saying “oh sorry lol my girlfriend doesn’t like you” to OP wanting to meet her, especially when OP went to the dinner thing to meet her anyway.

And yet in the girlfriends post, please correct me if I’m wrong, I can’t fully remember, she doesn’t mention that part of the conversation, and while that could be her purposefully leaving that out, it could also be that bob never asked her in the first place?

To me it all seems like Bob is trying to get the best of both worlds, keeping his partner and someone he may also like separate and lying to keep it that way. I might be interpreting this all wrong but that’s how it seems to me.

Sources: Reddit
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