I’ve mentored extensively. I’ve had mentors.
A mentor is someone who has experience and/or expertise the mentee desires to learn, can benefit from and each are amenable to said learning.
That’s it. Don’t make it more complicated than that.
Each retains their own – mutually respectful – agency throughout.
Mentor-mentee is not master-slave by any means, for any reason.
(If the relationship enters that zone, you’ve got an emotionally sick mentor: get out.)
Mentor-mentee is not a precursor – foreplay if you will – to a romantic relationship.
(If the relationship enters that zone, you’ve got an emotionally sick mentor and possibly also mentee: get out.)
Mentor-mentee is also not a friendship.
Can a mentor-mentee relationship turn into a friendship over time?
Possibly … again, if both are amenable and that same respect is PURPOSELY embedded into the new friendship.
If either party is in a rush to turn a mentor-mentee situation into a friendship: again, get out, they’re emotionally sick.
(I’ve experienced that particular issue quite a bit in the distant past while in my mentor role with requesters: that and upstaging attempts were root causes of the *few* failed situations.)
Normally, later, after the mentee has grown into their own understanding independent of the mentor: the mentee may desire to ‘seed’ an essentially new relationship – a friendship – from the time shared with their mentor. That can go very well: if both enter such together, willingly. (I have a rare number of friends who were mentors to me: I still respect & cherish them. Some in my past were mentors only, as it should be. I wish them well.)
The handful of times I’ve been mentored: I’ve always found ways of my own accord to return value back to the mentor.
Why? Because I’m not pathetic* … I sought no handout (see below post).
When each mentor-mentee situation parted ways, each left with a (voiced) sense of satisfaction, balance & good will.
A good mentor can be invaluable at key transition points in life.
Choose well, each.
(Being a mentor is one way of ‘pushing open a door’.)
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