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Regenerative Christine

Crossing academic/professional boundaries?

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I am a 27 year old woman who is volunteering for local government. i have recently been in correspondence with one of the higher ups (who happens to be single and 10 years older than me)-despite his position, i do not work directly under him. 
 
He has really been helpful in assisting me with potential research projects I could do for my upcoming grad school thesis. We've had several meetings so far and I just wanted some to gauge whether it is unusual or not... hmm..is this guy attracted to me or is he just really nice and wanting to help me with a thesis project?? He's usually been giving me little assignments to complete, and when I finish them up, I typically set up a 'meeting' with him. So here's the breakdown so far: 
 
First meeting - very professional and in his office 
 
Second meeting - have lunch at a local cafe and then head back to his place (all within walking distance). gives me a tour of his house and we hang out there for about an hour 
 
Third meeting - head directly to his place for lunch where we have leftovers, lets me know that i'm welcome to come over whenever i want. we sit outside and hang out for about an hour. 
 
What do you guys think? Any similar experiences? 

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the fact that he took  you to his house and showed you around the place does suggest some personal motives, but obviously you'd know better than me.

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I'd say he's interested in both helping you out..and you. Meeting at his home more than once and giving you the offer to come over anytime sounds personal to me. But, it also sounds like he's trying to gauge whether you're interested.  

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Hmmm....Yeah, I think that he's trying to see if you're interested. I wouldn't make any assumptions though. A smart faculty member wouldn't necessarily do this with a new student - as there is a potential for a lot of trouble to happen. With that said, I know faculty with these relationships with their student (strictly 'professional', in the way that it's not a romance or anything), but these faculty are also married (not that married people don't have romance affairs). 

 

I wouldn't come out and address it, but if you're uncomfortable, and get the vibe that it's more than a professional invitation (and you don't want that), then I would just make it so that your next meetings are on campus. That can be nicely and easily done without addressing anything head on!

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My guess is that you already know the answer. Most 27 year old woman's radar is pretty good.

 

Could be you are sending out signals that you're interested as well - since it's generally a bad idea to keep going back to some guys house to hand out if you're not looking to invite a more personal relationship.

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So long as the professional assistance isn't predicated on the personal interest - I don't see a problem.  You don't work directly for him and you are volunteering.  Of course the advice "Don't shit where you eat - " is always relevant, in the case that you do ever want to eat at this agency (should you pursue a romantic relationship with the guy).

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