Re: Poll: Should an aikido instructor date a student of theirs?
I think it can be done "cleanly" so to speak but one would have to be careful. Many pitfalls here. The most important thing is to be open with the folks from the dojo so evryone knows. Don't make it some secret, people get more upset later when they find out that you haven't been straight with them.
The second thing is to be very careful about favoring the new partner either on the mat or especially off the mat in the running of the dojo. It may be that you will be in a successful long lasting relationship, in which case over time, it will be natural for ones partner to be involved. But I can't count how many times in have heard about some relatively junior person throwing his / her weight around based on the fact that they had the Sensei's ear because they were the "partner of the moment". K.O.D. Kiss of Death for morale at the dojo.
My own partner does Aikido, we met on-line a year ago and we are as happy as can be, but she continues to primarily train with her own teacher, my friend Kimberly Richardson Sensei, just so we don't run into problems. Sort of like the old advice about not teaching your spouse how to drive.