Dating in academia
When pressed, I said that I’d also feel guilty keeping him from his quest for a wife. Academics frequently think they’re “all that” as my students like to say. If a professor also needs ego-feeding, there will be trouble in their partnership outside the office.
Later he told friends in common that he agreed it was the best thing to do; he didn’t see that much in me. And that sense of entitlement gets us into all sorts of trouble. "It’s as if he wanted me to applaud for him every night when he came home," confessed my colleague’s ex-wife.
"It’s just so much easier," she told me over a latté, “I finally feel like I count for something.” Others I’ve interviewed have confessed that professors have a way of making them feel like “mere mortals” rather than peers.
And many of these non-academics have more than one college degree, a vast life experience, and vivacious personalities.
"Believe me, I was impressed by his dissertation, his presentations, his research, his papers -- even his thoughts -- but at some point I had to ask myself, ‘What happened to me?
He talked about the Navy and his route; I talked about classes and my family.
By the end of the night, I stepped from his Pontiac feeling a bit sad.
On the phone the next day, I got honest and told him that I didn’t think we had enough in common.
After I cried, I lay in bed that night, hands and feet unfeeling, staring at the ceiling.
I guess I’d known that interviewing out-of-state would put pressure on us; what I didn’t know was that it would immediately end the relationship.