For the entire first semester, I heard nothing about it, and then at the start of my next semester, my department chair (different from the coordinator who hired me) called me into his office under the pretense of wanting to review my class assignments.
He barely glanced at my assignment descriptions and instead launched right into, “Now I really hate to ask you this, but is it true that you are dating one of our students? My mind reeled wondering what on earth he was talking about (I have a girlfriend, but she’s a grad student at another college) and it took me a couple of seconds to realize that he must be thinking about my sister.
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| It might help to look at this from your friend’s perspective — it must be pretty awkward for her.
Short of grabbing a bullhorn and announcing to the campus that the girl in question is my sister who has never taken one of my classes, what can I do to preemptively combat these rumors, considering that I thought I had already spread the nature of our relationship far and wide?
Also, do you think I’m being overly paranoid about this?
You need to try to reassure your friend that you would never bring her into a breakup.
She could also be feeling protective of her brother’s feelings; telling her how that you really care about him can make her feel better. Agree to not do any major PDA in front of her, in case that grosses her out… Promise her that you’ll set aside time for just you two without her brother being around, because she could be worried that she’s going to lose you to him.
She probably wants you to dump her brother because she’s worried about how the relationship between you two is going to effect relationship with both of you.
For example, if you have a messy breakup, she’s going to feel like she has to choose a side.
What if the folks in those departments, whom I barely know, have heard rumors about my dating a student and their decisions about placing me are colored by those perceptions?
What if a new department chair or adjunct coordinator comes in and hears from a new batch of students that I’ve been seen slipping cash to a female student?
” Frankly, if appropriate, you might also mention it to your classes at the start of each semester, which I think you could do in a joking way that would still get the point across.