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can a mentee fall in love with their mentor?

By July 29, 2008How To

I find my blog stats wildly interesting. Through my own, I found that someone landed on my site after searching this question: ‘can a mentee be infatuated with their mentor?’ Presumably, I came up in the search results because I have written about mentors and mentees, though I haven’t tackled this particular situation. But, it’s an interesting question…

And the answer is yes.

You may or may not know this, but I hold over 500 hours of yoga training and teacher certification. Incidentally, this training provided me with quite a bit of information on this issue. Because be it mentor/mentee, teacher/student, doctor/patient, etc…this is a real issue for many people.

It’s natural for the mentee to imagine themselves or to actually become in love with their mentor. This mentor, afterall, has all of the information, has found success, is living the life the mentee yearns for and exerts a sense of omniscience, power and control – over all situations.

Because the mentor holds the power, I believe it is the mentor’s responsibility to maintain the boundary, not abuse their position, and act like a real person. There is a wonderful book called Ethics of Caring: Honoring the Web of Life in Our Professional Healing Relationships by Kylea Taylor, featuring a Foreword by Jack Kornfield, that I highly recommend. Yes, I realize that it say’s ‘Healing’ Relationships…and they are speaking to yoga teachers, doctors, healers, therapists. But sometimes I am all of those things to my clients. Marketing your business and self-promotion are intense, they require growth, risk-taking and a real and internal look. Maybe they don’t define ‘healing’, but they do incorporate critical points in the process of transformation and development. Anyway, my point is this book will be helpful if you’re in the ‘mentor’ roll.

If you are in the mentee, student or patient roll and you are struggling with feelings for your ‘mentor’ or if you feel that your ‘mentor’ is being inappropriate in any way, please get help and support. Talk to someone that you can trust or call the RAINN hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673). 

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