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Sex + Relationships

Real Live Law School Guy: How to Date a TA

You might remember me from my college days as HC’s Real Live College Guy, where I advised on picking up college guys, detecting cheaters, and what never to talk about with a guy among many other pressing college guy-related issues. Well now I’m a grad student—a law school student. Though love and law are feared by everyone, I’ll put down the memo pad for a moment to continue sharing my wisdom to help collegiettes™ everywhere with slightly older guys and their love life (not legal) dilemmas.
I am a freshman and am crushing on my TA (Teacher’s Assistant). He is a first year grad student. I am really interested in getting to know him. How should I go about getting to know him? Would it be weird to ask him out? How should I ask him out? -Risky at RI
RRI, this is dangerous territory. At least at most schools, it’s not allowed. If you two are caught, he will most likely lose his job and/or be asked to take a leave from school. At worst, even expelled at your hands. The beauty of it all is that you really are in the clear at most schools—the student in the student/TA relationship isn’t typically “blameworthy.” So, you really have nothing personally to lose by trying, but I would highly suggest waiting until the semester ends. I understand, though, college is short and waiting even a few months can feel like forever, so here is the how-to…
Platonic Contact. You can’t ask him out directly. A friend of mine once noticed a student trying to get a little too close to him. He wasn’t exactly thrilled about the prospect of ruining his future law career over her, so he brought it up with the head professor and had her moved to another class. I don’t think that is exactly what you want to happen. Therefore, you need to make sure to keep things VERY platonic. A few tricks are clichéd, but they really work.

  • Ask for extra help. Tell him you understand the material (you don’t want to be the dumb girl), but would like some clarification on some of the finer details. If he loves the subject he’s teaching, he is going to love teaching you more than the basics you’re learning in class. Tell him you’re interested in learning more about the field or even specifically what he is studying. Set up a meeting in a library or coffee shop. Make sure, however, that everything stays under the premise of academia.
  • Find him studying. This is the best trick by far if you can do it without being the “creepy” girl. Every GSG (Grad School Guy) studies somewhere. As long as it’s not his apartment, this will work. It’s even possible to email him and ask him if you can meet him somewhere “tonight” for a quick question. Suggest you’d be happy coming to wherever he is. You might get lucky and find his secret studying spot. Nothing screams platonic like a library or two people studying near each other. Ask him your question and then go sit down in the same room or building, but make sure he knows you are there. When you’re getting up for a drink, offer him one. If you’re really lucky it will get dark and he might try and offer you a safe walk home. You could even push it by asking if he wanted to grab a snack or something on the way out.

Ideas such as these always work. After the initial “breaking of the classroom veil,” it becomes more natural to see him in a non-classroom setting. Try and have as many of these casual hangouts as possible until it becomes obvious that he’s interested (possibly a few weeks). If he starts turning down coffee breaks and all extra help sessions, it’s probably a good sign that he isn’t too into you. Otherwise, it’s time to make a move. Unlike the regular world where guys are supposed to make the illustrious “first move,” this is your moment in the spotlight. Unless he doesn’t care about his job or prospects in academia, he won’t EVER make a real move in case you turn him in. So this is your opportunity to shine.
Ask him the famed question: “What do you think about students and TAs in relationships? Do you know any?” If he starts to ask why you’re even asking, it’s probably safe to respond with a “well… I wouldn’t mind a secret one, could be fun!” or something along those lines. Good luck, but keep in mind the only downside for you is moving to another class and potentially breaking any chances with him after class ends. So, why not?

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