Although many people start dating in high school, it is college where we get real dating experience. We meet lots of new people in college, so there are plenty of guys/girls to choose from. But sometimes we fall for staff members such as resident assistants, and that's when the problems begin. Here are some tips for dating an RA.
A resident assistant, also known as resident adviser or simply RA, is a student who serves as a leader within a residential community. RAs are sort of counselors for undergraduate students who live in their building, they are responsible for enforcing residence policies and creating a safe environment. It is quite easy for a freshman to fall for their RA who helps them adjust to college life (and is totally hot). However, dating an RA has some pitfalls you need to be aware of. We offer you some tips for dating a resident assistant.
Check out your school's dating policy. Each school has its own policy concerning relationships between students and staff members (professors, TAs, RAs). In most schools, it is forbidden for RAs to date their residents. Relationships between RAs and students who don't live in their building are usually not forbidden, but they are often frowned upon.
The reason for this prohibition is clear and simple: as staff members, RAs are in a position of authority over their residents. They have power they might abuse. However, the rules were created to protect both residents and RAs. For example, if a student had a messy break up with their RA, they might file a harassment claim out of revenge.
Wait. If you have a crush on your RA, you need to wait and see. If it's just a crush, it will go away as soon as you meet someone else (as we have already said, college offers plenty of opportunities to meet new people). A simple crush is definitely not worth the risk. However, if the feelings don't go away and become stronger each day, you can try dating provided that you will be extremely careful.
Get to know them as a person. Go on at least several casual dates to make sure that a) there's more to it than just unresolved sexual tension, b) your really like each other and have common interests and c) you are willing to make your relationship work despite the risk.
Think again. Both of you have much to lose. Your RA has a huge impact on your living experience, so if you break up, things can get really ugly. And the RA can lose their job and have their reputation ruined. If you really have a connection, you might want to postpone things until you are no longer their resident.
Have a serious conversation. Before staring to date, have an adult conversation, weigh the pros and cons of having a relationship and discuss possible consequences of your breakup. Discuss the possibility of swapping floors the next semester, so that you will be no longer living on the same floor.
Keep it low. Rumors fly fast in college, especially when something unusual is going on – for example, a resident dating an RA. People will talk anyway, but if you don't put your relationship on display, they will talk less.
Remember that their job comes first. Being an RA is a very demanding job. Most RAs have crazy schedules and are responsible for a lot of things. Besides, their privacy is often violated. You need to be ready for this.
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