Unhealthy Infatuation?

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
idk anymore
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Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by idk anymore »

So, for quite a while I've had a thing for one of my teachers. I feel like that's a pseudo-normal thing, but idrk. Regardless, my attraction for them has developed into me holding legitimate romantic feeling. This fantasy is obviously entirely unrealistic, not to mention illegal, and I know it's only going to lead to pain for everyone involved if I ever act on it in any way. Context, I am 16 she is 25ish.

So, this teacher runs a unified sport team, and I am the manager of said sport team, so she gave me her phone number. We were already very friendly, and, as I understand, multiple other students also have her phone number for no reason other than to have it I can only assume it was given to me for the for the purpose of the team, however, in less than a week, it devolved into talking about random shit like a pair of friends might. Every time my phone goes off I check it just as I would for a major crush. I feel like this has become a deep infatuation one I have tried and am incapable of shaking.

Whenever I think about this i feel awful and I have a history of being unable to keep these sort of feelings to myself. Please help
I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole.

~Morgan Freeman
Carly
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Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by Carly »

Hey idkanymore -- I think it's really cool that you're in touch with yourself enough to identify this situation as something that will be hard for you to navigate. Up top I wanted to just acknowledge that, everything else about the situation aside, it just down-right sucks to have a crush you can't or shouldn't act on. I'm sorry you're having to feel that right now.

It sounds you already know this would be an inappropriate relationship to have with your teacher. Beyond the age difference being illegal here in the US, there's a power imbalance between a teacher and student, even if that teacher is not treating you poorly and if you're talking like a couple of friends would. As difficult as it may be for you to ignore, I don't think acting on this is in your best interest (or your teacher's). If you're looking for advice on how to hit the breaks on it, I would start by putting up some boundaries around communication. Maybe limit your texting to only team-related stuff, or maybe consider not communicating out of school at all if it's possible. If you want to go this route, I think reviewing Be Your Own Superhero would be helpful, just in case you find yourself in a situation where she texts you outside of those perimeters or any others you set for talking with her. If you communicate your boundaries and your teacher does not respect them, this is a very big red flag. You also said that she has given her phone number to multiple other students for no apparent reason beyond "just to have it"- to be totally transparent, for me this is illustrating a concerning problem with her boundaries already, even if the motive was friendly.

I also want to pass on a link to Two Probably Not-So-Great Pursuits, an advice post by Heather from a while back in which someone wrote in with a very similar situation to yours. Their advice to the reader is the same as mine is to you: don't go for it. Here's a really good bit of advice from the article that I think might be especially helpful to you:
We can just enjoy crushes for what they are without trying to make them into anything else. We can even use them to inform us about what we find attractive, and what characteristics we may be looking for when we're in the position to potentially pursue relationships with people that start off with us on similar footing -- and sound ethics -- not in funky and problematic power-imbalances like doctor-patient or teacher-student.
Does this resonate with you at all, idkanymore? I'm glad you could trust us with how you're feeling, and I hope this helped a little bit.
idk anymore
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Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by idk anymore »

Yes, it does. Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

I agree it is a boundaries issue that I've always found somewhat alarming as my mother works at a school and has always been pretty vocal about the importance of maintaining a student teacher relationship, and nothing else. However, it's always been a problem that I've sort of enjoyed if that makes sense.

I'm really not excited by doing this as my teacher has been a really great emotional resource when I've needed to vent in the past, due mostly to the fact that my friends are shit and the only reason they are my friends is I have no one else and you just have to settle when you go to a small high school. However, I know this is for the best for everyone.

Thank you again for the resources and support!
I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole.

~Morgan Freeman
Carly
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Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by Carly »

So glad to hear that helped, idkanymore. I feel comfortable sharing with you that I had a few bouts with what you're feeling when I was high school myself. I totally get what you're saying with "it's always been a problem that I've sort of enjoyed." You might know what the relationship is supposed to be like and be aware that it's crossing lines, but you enjoy feeling like someone is interested in you, your life, and what you have to say. Especially when you're not feeling like you can connect with other people in your life, it's not exactly easy to just go find someone else to take that place.

Let us know how it goes whenever/however you set these boundaries, and if you want any help sorting them out and phrasing your feelings beforehand. If you ever want to talk about what's going on with your friends and your frustration with that, we are all ears.
idk anymore
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Location: Epping, NH

Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by idk anymore »

I guess the boundaries I'm going to set and steps I would take to establish them would be this...

1. Say that we should stop texting about unrelated stuff. If there's nothing bad going on here, this shouldn't be a problem.

2. No more always eating lunch in their room. Everyone I know may be doing that, but there are other places and I hope staying away from them will help me.

3. No more being part of teams only because they asked me nicely and I enjoy attention. Again, separating from them, and that team is already pretty toxic but that's a separate issue.

4. Sitting in my spot during classes with them as opposed to being part of the 3 kids that sit directly next to them behind their desk.

5. Don't sign up for classes just because they teach them.

6????. Try to avoid fantasizing about them. Idk what I should be doing about that since it feels like it's out of my control.

Is there anything else I'm missing that you think I should do?

It causes me pain to think about this, much less put it in writing, much less actually act on it, but it needs to be done.
I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole.

~Morgan Freeman
Emily N
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Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by Emily N »

Hi idk anymore,

I agree that this is a hard step to take! But, the fact that you wrote out all of the boundaries you want to set shows that you have already put a lot of thought into this decision and what is best for you, and that’s very admirable. Something I like about your list is that you have a lot of control around many of the boundaries you are setting. In regards to number 6, I also encourage you to be kind to yourself in the process! If the fantasies are bothering you, hopefully they will also decrease as a result of the other boundaries you are setting.
idk anymore
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Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:22 am
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Preferred pronouns: He/Him
Sexual identity and orientation: Pan, mostly
Location: Epping, NH

Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by idk anymore »

Thank you!

I just completed step 1, and got back, "sounds good!"

All I can really say is, wow, that hurt say more than I thought it would but it's what I was expecting and it's what is right.
I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole.

~Morgan Freeman
Mo
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Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by Mo »

You're doing the right thing, even though it's painful. It is a bummer that you're having to step up and be the one to set better boundaries with this teacher; that should be her responsibility as the adult in this situation. Be extra kind to yourself for a bit, and I hope the hurt you're feeling from this can fade soon.
idk anymore
not a newbie
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:22 am
Age: 16
Awesomeness Quotient: I have a pretty good sense of humor
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: He/Him
Sexual identity and orientation: Pan, mostly
Location: Epping, NH

Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by idk anymore »

Update ig: I've slowly been erecting more and more boundaries with my teacher as time has gone on. I was getting kinda creeped out at first as they became more and more resistant to me pulling back by continuously guilting me about it, but I eventually made it clear that that was super not okay, so that's stopped.

They continuously tried to draw me in to doing stuff in a non guilting way but I continuously removed myself from those situations and whenever we aren't doing something in class I do work somewhere else.

The season for the team is over, and they asked me why I wasn't at school one day when I had a dentist appointment which, while it kinda pleased me, also freaked me out and crossed the boundary of no random shit. So I basically said that I was going to delete their number and they should to as it could easily come off to other people as grooming, so that solved that ig.

So, yeah, things haven't been going as well as I hoped. As I look back on this, more and more red flags are being raised to the idea that some not so great stuff might be going on, but I have trouble believing that's possible because low self esteem. I don't want to totally disappear immediately out of nowhere because if nothing is happening that comes off as really weird and I still have the rest of the semester with them as my teacher.

None of this has seemed to make anything better. In fact, I've felt progressively worse about myself and because I made poor decisions regarding a knife, I wasn't willing to go to the hospital to have my broken rib examined because I didn't want people to know. So thats been a fun time. So, idk if Im doing this wrong or if I've missed something but I'm not feeling better and I'm at a loss as to what I'm supposed to do.
I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole.

~Morgan Freeman
Sam W
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Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi idk anymore,

It sounds like you've put a lot of thought and effort into creating and maintaining your boundaries with this teacher, which is a really, really good step in all of this. You mention that you don't want to totally disappear immediately, since they're still someone you have class with, but it sounds like keeping your interactions with them to only the ones that need to happen for that class fits pretty well within the boundaries you've set.

I'm sorry that, even with all the steps you're taking, you're still feeling crummy. I will say that when we have to let go of or adjust a relationship that was getting us a lot of positive attention, we can sometimes feel a dip in our own emotions because we'd gotten used to how that relationship was making us feel. That can happen even when adjusting the relationship was the sound call.

Have been able to get care for your rib since then? And have you looked into or developed any safety plans for if you're inclined to make those same choices regarding a knife again?
idk anymore
not a newbie
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:22 am
Age: 16
Awesomeness Quotient: I have a pretty good sense of humor
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: He/Him
Sexual identity and orientation: Pan, mostly
Location: Epping, NH

Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by idk anymore »

Thank you, I appreciate your empathy!

As well as I can and I have always had safety plans but they can never be 100% full proof. Only so much can be done, honestly.
I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole.

~Morgan Freeman
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7572
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
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Re: Unhealthy Infatuation?

Unread post by Sam W »

You're welcome, and I'm glad talking here has been at least a little helpful. And I'm glad you have a safety plan in place; even if they're not fool proof, they can go a long way to keeping you safe (though, if you notice there's a recurring point of failure in a safety plan, that may be something to raise with a mental healthcare provider or hotline).
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