DEAR ABBY: I am a teacher with a dilemma. I have taught for 10 years and connected with thousands of former students. With the Internet and social networking, I am able to keep in touch with many of them. I enjoy knowing what they're doing in their college careers and beyond.
One student I've kept in touch with recently admitted his romantic love for me. "Kyle" is now in his 20s and on his own. As his teacher 10 years ago, I'd never have dreamed of this happening. What's difficult is I think I reciprocate those feelings. I never expected the man I connect with most to be a former student, but Kyle is an adult and I know him as such.
I'm not sure what to do. I'm aware of my professional boundaries as a teacher and would never cross those lines with a student or minor. What do you do when your former student is an adult, you live in a small town and you're drawn to each other? This could be the love I've been waiting for my entire life. Would it be totally inappropriate if I followed my heart? -- WONDERING IN WYOMING
DEAR WONDERING: No. Because Kyle is an adult, and when he was your student there was no flirting (I presume), I see nothing unethical about pursuing the relationship. However, if your romance becomes fodder for gossip -- and it very well might -- you should be prepared to relocate.