Need help reconciling a crush on a former teacher from 10+ years ago that never fully went away.
4 months ago
So obvious throwaway, even though this is something that's super common and happens to a lot of people, but that I still feel a sense of guilt and discomfort dealing with anyway.
In middle school I had a huge crush on one of my teachers- he fit the bill in terms of the kind of men I was (and still am, to an extent) attracted to: tall, thin, fair skinned, slightly older; had a fairly chill, nonchalant personality and a deadpan sense of humor. I was absolutely infatuated with him. He was a cool teacher and had a terrific personality that made talking to him easy for me.
I never tried anything because even then I knew it was wrong (my being a minor, not to mention the power imbalance between a student and teacher being beyond inappropriate) and it would just make things awkward. I actually tried to keep it under wraps, but as is the case with most teachers dealing with a student crush, he probably suspected something at some point. I can't say for sure, anyway. Regardless, he still treated me with respect and was overall a good-natured person to talk to in between class periods. There was even a time when he let me borrow his copy of an album from a band I liked, which he happened to like too. (It was probably nothing but to my teenage self I was *beyond* smitten. Of course I didn't make it out to be at the time)
He was single, had never married, and didn't have any kids that he would talk about. This had always been a point of intrigue to me, just because I'd (at the time) assumed that at that his age, he would've settled down by now. Even now it still makes me a little curious I suppose.
Fast forward a few years, I landed a position working as a part-time secretary at my former middle school through a program my high school hosted to help students get jobs. It was here that I was able to see him occasionally, and even then I found myself still being infatuated with him. The several times I saw and talked to him during my time there, I'd feel myself turn into a puppy love-addled schoolgirl all over again. It didn't help any that he'd playfully poke fun and just generally make lighthearted banter with me on occasion. It was all in good fun on the surface, but of course it just perpetuated my feelings towards him.
That brings us to the present. Throughout the years it's been more infrequent that I'd think about him, but once in a while it spontaneously and very intensely resurfaces, and I find myself desperately trying to look for him online again, hoping to find something about how he's doing now. He was notoriously suspicious of social media of any kind (can't say I blame him tbh). All I've been able to find is public record stuff from those info aggregator sites, like places he's lived, possible relatives, etc. From what I've found, he's in his early 50s, he appears to still be single, and he might've moved to a different city or state entirely. (I know these sites can have inaccurate info all the time but yeah.) One thing I know for sure is that he doesn't teach at that middle school anymore.
With that said, I should emphasize that I wouldn't dream of trying to actively contact him. I realize it's creepy enough going to these lengths to find any information about him that I can, so I'd rather just deal with this from afar and not bother him or anything.
I'm more than certain he doesn't live in the same city anymore, and I've come to grips with the fact that I'll probably never see him again. I'd be content quietly nursing this crush in private and acknowledging that it's fine to have as a fantasy, but because he's off the grid, I can't find a single photo of him to remember him by. Nothing anywhere. My memory's not great and I sometimes have to concentrate really hard just to remember what he looks like. I have a nagging suspicion that this could be a contributing factor as to why I can't seem to move past this, or rather, why I can't stop thinking about him.
As if feeling like a weirdo stalker wasn't bad enough, I'm in a long term relationship with someone I love, yet I feel too guilty to talk to them about it. We're both secure in our relationship but that doesn't stop me from feeling guilty anyway, simply because of how intense this crush still is more than ten years later. (I'll admit it kind of borders on sexual at times, which is another reason I feel guilty.)
So... yeah. I have no idea what to do with these feelings since it's obvious they're not going away anytime soon, or maybe even at all. I don't know how to deal with the fact that what leaves me confused and unfulfilled is not having something tangible to remember him by, or at the very least, an update on how he's doing.
**TL;DR** Have an unrelenting crush on a former teacher and I don't know how to cope with it in a way that isn't weird