Ask Annie: I matched with my TA on Tinder. What should I do with my feelings?

Nicholas Anastacio | Graphics Editor

Dear Annie,

I matched with a TA from my big lecture class on Tinder, and we’ve been chatting. They don’t know I’m in their class, and I’m starting to catch feelings. What do I do?

Lovestruck in Lecture

Dear Lovestruck in Lecture,

You have stumbled upon the dreams of campus romance novels: connection with a (hopefully hot) TA. Imagine watching them lecture the class on molecular synthesis, knowing the real chemistry lies between the two of you. Romance authors would spin this into a New York Times bestseller or a highly read Wattpad romp. Connection is so rare, and life is so short – you should go for any chance you find, even if it defies the traditional student-TA hierarchy.

In this pursuit, both parties dive into murky administrative waters. GW prohibits TAs from engaging in a “sexual or amorous relationship” with students enrolled in their course. Punishments range from a written warning to termination of the employed party. Thankfully none of these actions will ruin your academic career – and looming consequences make any rendezvous extra spicy – but do not discount these cautions, especially as a relationship with you may have long-term effects on the TA’s career.

If you don’t want to disrupt your academics, you should also consider the friction of dating the person who enters your grades. How would you feel if after sharing an intimate moment with your partner, they pull up Blackboard and enter a bad grade on your latest assignment? Would receiving criticism about your Chicago Style formatting during dates infringe upon more hands-on formations?

After weighing the administrative and academic complications on your end, it’s time to take the next step. Inform the TA that you are a student in their course before you go out with them. Without proper time to process the reality of the situation, you might put them in a tricky spot without warning, killing the first date mood. Your TA should know the truth – and the potential consequences – ahead of time to establish a consensual relationship.

Jenna Baer | Cartoonist

Secrecy and boundaries are the keys to success here. Cross off some spots on your D.C. bucket list and choose an off-campus location to start your rendezvous to keep your budding relationship out of sight. Bring sunglasses to class if your eyes water at the sight of them, sleeves rolled up, pinning an expo marker against the whiteboard. When you really need to take notes, pull up the PowerPoint on your computer instead of directing your vision to the front of the lecture hall.

As for boundaries, apply the Vegas approach: what happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. Just because you are with the TA doesn’t mean you can slack on your coursework. Apply yourself to the course material like you would any other class, and who knows – maybe you will impress your new admirer with your knowledge.

While dating a TA comes with its share of academic and administrative hurdles, each obstacle pales in comparison to the roaring passion that will materialize outside of the lecture hall. The next time you play “Never Have I Ever,” you would win every round with a story like that!

All the best,
Annie <3

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