Well...if you want answers from senseis, I'd suggest either calling, writing, emailing, or cornering after a class or seminar. I can think of several (and so can you) that either live in the local area or frequently travel here...and somehow I don't imagine you being too shy
As for partners, I'd go with the answer you've already made: most of us know how to tactfully avoid those we'd rather avoid. If it is unbearable during a technique, a quiet excusal to rest/drink water/use the restroom/tape your ankle etc is fairly reasonable. If it seems like the other is getting a complex from you avoiding them, or certainly if they ask if you're avoiding them, you could always be honest and say you're having some personal issues you are dealing with...if they are nice Aiki people, they will understand and do their best to stay out of your way (if you have the attraction) or thank you for letting them down gently and move on (if they have the attraction)...better than all that tension I think.
Oh, and for all those who are now thinking "hmmm, she avoids me on the mat" it is just because I don't like you