Hanging out with a professor, without it being weird

There’s a professor at my school who is a really neat guy, really smart and well-read and interesting. But I think he’s the lonelist man in the world. This is his first year at the school, and he’s not from around here, and he just seems lonely to me. I see him on campus Saturday nights, walking around or the light will be on in his office. He always eats alone at the restaurants around campus. He goes to almost every campus event, and whenever he sees me, he’ll always strike up a conversation with me, sometimes based on the stupidest subjects. But I think he’s awesome. I really want to invite him to do something, but not in a remotely sexual or romantic manner. And I think he’d enjoy going out and having something to do, especially with me, 'cause I’m really awesome, too. But how can do this without it being really weird?

How about with some of your fellow students, ask him if he wants to go to out to eat or something?

I like hanging out with my professors.

Do you live at home? Perhaps you could invite him over for dinner. If not, invite him to a fellow’s student’s house.

Dr. Brett would sometimes have us history majors over to his house. We’d have pizza, or sometimes he and his wife would have deli trays and stuff, and we’d sit around, discuss projects for the history department, or current events or something.

I’ve hung out with professors before, but in those cases, they initiated the get-together, and it was usually at their houses, so there wasn’t that date-like “What to do?” thing.
I like to idea of getting some others students involved.

Yes. That will make it seem less like a date, and more like hanging out. And plus, since you said he seems lonely, he might really appreciate a group of friends, and the camraderie and such.

I think your insight into your own motivation is poor. You should leave him alone, because if he really is lonely, he won’t be able to keep up this charming undergraduate I’m not actually interested we’re just friends game, and it’ll be just teasing torture.

I’m interested in this, because in high school I had a really cool teacher. Our personalities were really compatible, and he’s the only teacher I would ever want to see again outside of school. However, he was fairly young (late 30’s, though he looked younger than that) and attractive, and tons of girls at school had crushes on him. I didn’t feel that way–he was married at the time, and is just a couple years younger than my mom! :eek: Even though it’s been 4 years since I was his student, I’m afraid he would read more into my desire for friendship than what I’m intending and therefore try to keep his distance.

I once had a student who would come by my office and regularly chat. Just talk, that’s all. Door open, sitting across the office.

I got a lot of not-so-subtle inquiries about what was going on from my fellow faculty. Many probably assumed something was going on anyway.

If we were to have gotten together outside of school, it would have been presumed to definitely been something else by one and all.

I would strongly advise developing such a one-on-one relationship outside of school. It can cause Big Problems whether anything inappropriate goes on or not. Stick to groups only.

Thanks for the advice, kids. I’m still unsure, just 'cause I don’t want to look bad, and I don’t want him to look sleazy. I mean–I just think the guy’s cool.
I should mention that I’ve never had this man as a professor, and I most likely never will just because of the way my schedule works out. Does that make it better or worse?

Lots of academics are loners but it doesn’t mean they’re lonely. So I wouldn’t worry about him too much.