I Think My Doctor Has a Crush on Me, But I Don’t Want to Look Foolish By Asking


I met this wonderful man at physical therapy, whom I noticed from the beginning was attracted to me. The problem is he is my physical therapist. Soon, he started flirting with me, and I followed the lead. Although he has not been direct, the way he looks at me suggests he is interested. During one of my therapy sections, when I asked him if he wanted to go to lunch with me, he replied, “I wish I could go” and then became very serious. I felt so stupid afterwards. However, several times since then, he suggested that I should head to the lake after my appointment. I know he goes to the lake regularly.  

Is he suggesting I go there to meet him? Should I ask him directly if he is interested? I don’t want to look desperate but I think he is worth the risk.


Dear Dalia,

Worth the risk? What risk?

That’s the lesson of today’s blog.

“The only risk is the one not taken”.

Do you realize that men take that risk every single day? That it is expected that they are the aggressors? That it’s their societally ingrained job to introduce themselves to women and set themselves up for rejection?

I’m not even saying that I have a problem with it. I just think that risk and rejection is something that many women could stand to experience themselves. Something about walking a mile in another man’s shoes comes to mind.

Why struggle to figure out “what he’s thinking” when you could just, I don’t know — ASK HIM!

From the hints that the doctor dropped, it sounds like he is interested in you, but doesn’t want to conduct personal matters on business grounds. That line about going to the lake sounds a little more creepy than enticing, but hey, if that’s how he rolls, it’s up to you.

But it would seem like the most authentic thing to do — and this applies to ANYONE in this situation — is to have an authentic conversation. Women love the concept of this, yet struggle with the execution.

Why struggle to figure out “what he’s thinking” when you could just, I don’t know — ASK HIM!

Let’s play the worst case scenario back to you:

“So, Dr. Feelgood…would you like to have a drink after work one day?”

“A drink? But why? I don’t need more than five minutes to help you rehab your arm.”

“Oh, I just thought that you–“

“I’m sorry. Really?”

“Yeah. With the whole lake thing, it sounded like you might be–“

“No. I can’t fraternize with my patients, although it is flattering. Now back to your tendon…”

I mean, honestly, Dalia, how much worse could it go? How much are you really losing by putting yourself on the line? If you have such a low threshold for embarrassment, you can get another physical therapist, but so what?

If neither of you take action because of fear of rejection, NOTHING HAPPENS. And what’s worse? Knowing that you like each other but don’t have the guts to do something? Or having a two minute uncomfortable conversation?

There’s no reason for you to show up at the lake and hope he’s there.

You’re an adult. He’s an adult. Try having an adult conversation.

I’ll bet you both like it.

Join our conversation (50 Comments).
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  1. 21
    Real Ist

    Well, obviously the previous comment was made by the flirtateous doctor- perhaps so that his wife could read it- and justify that he “wasn’t flirting” – Obviously – he is wanting to meet you at the lake. I guess I have answered my own question as to wheter my doc was flirting with me!!

  2. 22

    I seriously would not go.   Nope.   But nothing ventured, nothing gained.   (Except that…..this is a job where many individuals have to be careful about their reputation – as do nurses and doctors).

  3. 23
    any dk

    You already asked him out and he said no. He’s just flirting!

  4. 24

    Going out with a patient is a great big fat no-no for someone in his position. It would mean him risking his licensure, which I’m sure he has invested years of his life and a lot of money to maintain, so he would have to REALLY like you to go that route. And yes, most physical therapists are indeed doctors with years of education under their belt.

  5. 25

    So I have a crush on my mom’s doctor. I think he has a crush on me too! Met him twice and he keeps trying to impress my mom. It is adorable and I would love to get to know him more (assuming that is legal and not something that would put his license at stake etc) but I’m too shy :/ I have never asked a guy out in my life and I’m not exactly that young. Phew!!! I GUESS will have to see how this plays out since I can’t get him out of my mind (and that usually never happens!)  

  6. 26

    I only like cute doctors.   If anyone, man or woman, is homely or something not so cute,it would not make me feel better.   I go to docs to feel better al biet dentist, etc., so my eyes are highly visually connected to my brain/heart.   Just enjoy them for the moment you have them.   Sometimes taking it further dissolves some of that innocent joy.   
    Another thing, I am older and have the double whammy of not wanting to call a much younger guy to ask if he is turned off by my age.   I’m 62.   He is 39.   We had one highly intimate time, but now I’m insecure.   Knowing that high confidence is attractive I feel self-sabotaged.   
    Another guy, almost bullied me into sleeping with him.   At the last moment, I was over-come with my past relationships that bore down the same feeling.   I said, no, that’s okay.   He called back revisiting his credentials…all that…and still I said no, thank you.   Since then he seems to be much more personal.   His line of work defies being outwardly human.   I also write lots.   His work just the opposite.   I feel I give too much just in words.   How’s that for silly?   
    WE have to let go of strings that attach.   Recognize those that must be cut.   Follow the gut and heart.   We know when it won’t work, yet the gamble of winning affections beyond the physical is a huge puzzle.       I want to just smile, shine on dis-belief, and work toward a healthy mind set.   

  7. 27

    I can’t understand why all this flirting seems to be happening with Physiotherapists?? What are they doing to encourage these feelings in their patients, must be something to do with the training and a need to make money.   It happened to me too. He came on very strong and I fell for it.   It was constant flirting, hot and cold mood swings from him (the Physio), wanting affection or attention from me (verbal), deep long stares with a big smile on his face. It got too much for me, the confusion and flirting as well as financially, so i left. I felt like I was having a relationship with him in the Physio session and I felt like I was going crazy. I did ask him if he wanted to do something together after it finished and he said no “cause of the work ethic thing”.   Which sucks because it was like he lead me on for ages and then just dumps me, so now I have to get over all this. It’s so unprofessional and it should not of happened, at all (the flirting etc).   He is aware if a client is showing feelings, flirting etc. He is aware of his own professional boundaries, which he obviously never used with me. I have never felt so used, confused and lead on by a health professional before like I did with this guy. I expect this from a guy at a nightclub, but not my Physio or a health professional, who I’m paying for. The mind boggles how many others he does it too.   It’s just awful for the patient to deal with as well as physical pain. I don’t have a good opinion of Physio’s now. Someone mentioned about them doing the hard sell, like a used car salesman. That’s my opinion now too. Just don’t go to someone of the opposite sex or preferred sex gender cause they will probably hit on you, lead you on, take all your money and then say no thanks it’s just a work thing. Better still just stay away from the dodgy Physio’s all together and you’ll keep your sanity then.

  8. 28

    So my mom’s doctor had been flirting, giving looks and hinting or so I thought. This was going on for the past 2 to 3 months so when I came to this blog, I took the initiative and sent an email message (didn’t have his number). Well now I feel stupid because no response after 4 days! Now I feel everything I saw was just an illusion?! Lot of self doubt…ughhhh

    1. 28.1

      This is a doctor.   Don’t assume he even reads his own emails without them being screened by somebody else.   What I mean is this may be more of a professional email address that he has given his secretary access to with the instruction to weed out the junk emails so that his time isn’t wasted.   What are the odds that you give an email like yours of getting past a woman who may also have an interest in him, and may even be sleeping with him?   Just a thought.
      Also, even if it is a personal email address, you would be surprised how many emails he may get, and he may again have somebody screening them for him.   Maybe, maybe not.
      Then there is just the plain and simple chance that he simply hasn’t seen it.
      So here is what you do.   Print out the email you sent.   Take it with you next time.   Then, simply ask, “Did you receive my email?”   Do so with a pleasant smile, and ask in a soft tone…not demanding.   He may look at you and say, “You sent me an email?”   Or he may say that he did, and either let you know that he can’t date you, or he may say he was happy to receive it and that he was looking forward to talking to you on the next visit.
      The point is, don’t assume the worst just yet.

      1. 28.1.1

        Great advise Evan. Thank you for your response. Whenever we meet, we do talk about personal lives so I felt comfortable to an extent and sent an email to his personal account but there is a possibility that he might have not received it due to his or mine account settings (I used one of the social media that filters emails from those who are not friends). Now that time has passed, I feel less uncomfortable because I did what I felt I had to. I am a grown a** woman after all and my email was extremely simple, short and friendly…just thanked him and asked for coffee! I think I made myself sound like a frustrated teenager earlier but I am very close to that profession myself and knowing the limitations….you forget doctors are also people. There are laws and ethics at national level and then different ones for work place….so if his job comes before other interests, I respect that. Doctors spend half their lives learning and then saving lives for rest of their career. I’m glad I’m not on his priority list. IF I see him again, will see what happens.  

  9. 29

    I think my dr was flirting with me. He told me to get undressed from the waist down and he would be in. Then he started playing with the soap squirting it everywhere he said sorry I’m a little soap happy. Then he looked at me and then told me I can call him any time I want!  

  10. 30

    I legitimately don’t understand this advice. It seems like the rest of the time Evan is telling women not to do anything…he’s telling this one to ask. Ugh.  

    1. 30.1

      @Tiffany, I don’t get it either.   I thought Don’t Do Anything was Evan’s golden rule.   What is different in this case?   Evan – can you explain?

  11. 31

    I can’t believe you think he is interested in you by saying to you “you should go to the Lake” after you asked him to lunch which probably made him very uncomfortable. All those years in med school and you actually think that he will risk loosing his licence for you?   There is a major power imbalance between a doctor and patient. Most doctors are turned off by the thought of their patient that way. You know its like sleeping with family. That turned off point said. Of course doctors are humans and can think you are attractive but its rare that they are actually feeling sexual feelings for you.

  12. 32
    Krissie Cox

    I agree, I’ve been hit on by married doctors, doctors with girlfriends, married colleagues at work and it’s just a crush or they just like you a lot. It does not mean that they would like to take it to the next level…dating

  13. 33

    Hi guys

    I had a massive crush on my doctor. And I told him. It ended in complete disaster with him telling me I need to find another practitioner. Not what I thought would happen.   I can  live with the outcome because that’s a risk I was prepared to take. When you really like someone it can be consuming and wastes a lot of energy.

    The worst outcome was that my children are also patients and have been since they were born. So because of what I did, I have to find them a new doctor now and I’m riddled with guilt over that because they had such good care and were so looked after.

    I  think it’s important that if you’re thinking of doing this. you realise it’s probably not going to end up how you’d like. The chances of a happy   ending are slim to none.

  14. 34

    Sounds very complicated.   But it’s good to know we have all gone through this. We are all, after all, human beings with feelings, despite the professional boundaries placed before us.

    I have  a huge infatuation I guess you would call it with my doctor. I am considering writing him a note and telling him, and letting him know that I can no longer be his patient because I have developed feelings for him that are not appropriate as his patient .. then tell him that I will be transferring my records to another doctor, and telling his staff that I found a doctor closer to my home to save on commute time.

    I was thinking of sending it to him after my last visit to him in February– losing some weight, and dressing to the nines so that at least he will know what hes missing if he says no :).

    I imagine doctors get this all the time — it feels humiliating to be so attracted to a doctor; it makes us vulnerable and open to hurt but its better than carrying a torch and feeling rejected all the time.   It gets exhausting for us emotionally and can create guilt for having feelings for them which is also exhausting…

  15. 35

    I’m a female physical therapist, and because of the personal time spent with the PT, and the physical contact that comes with manual therapy, it’s easy to get very personal with conversation and more. It is the PT’s job to be professional.   I make it a point to encourage my patient to talk about themselves and have the focus be on their healing.   Sometimes healing comes from talking about stresses and stuff, which help release muscular tension.   I don’t encourage PTs to talk about themselves too much because the therapy is about the patient and their needs.   The patient is in a weak place, that’s why they are there, to seek help, and it’s the PT’s job to help them and keep the boundaries up.   If the PT is over stepping their boundaries, they need to be aware that they are.   Your PT is giving you mixed messages because they are conflicted by desire and professionalism.   Sadly, you, the patient will then have to mark the line even though it’s his job.

  16. 36

    I am very much in love with my physician of 16 years.   We’re both in our 60s and we have a great relationship.   I sometimes think he has feelings as well; he tends to touch me on the arm, he stares at me when he doesn’t think I can see that. He hugs me hard at the end of our appointment.    He asked me to call him by his first name.   I have been thinking of transferring my care to another MD before this gets out of hand.   We’re both married to others long term so I know there is no future there.   But oh, how I wish it was possible. I’m so much in love.

  17. 37

    I definitely began experiencing transference, developing a crush, with my physical therapist (OTR) not long after our first meeting. At one point however I saw a shift in him. Suddenly it seemed like he was becoming keen on me as well. Shyly complimented my beauty, started opening up more etc. I tried to tell myself its nothing but counter transference. He is simply reflecting the crush I’ve developed on him. I know he’s happily married, and I know I’m in a particularly vulnerable place. Just enjoy the subtle flirtation. Nothing more will come of it.
    Try as I might to not think anything of it…. as a few others said it kind of started messing with my head. In the back of my mind I realized I was CONSTANTLY thinking of him. And the thought of not being able to develop an actual relationship with him made me sad. Not to have an affair but not even friends made me feel like it was just another superficial cordial relationship that just disappears once I’m discharged. (Clearly I’m still in a vulnerable place) . Our time is nearing an end and he made a comment that even sounded like a break up “its not you. I really enjoy your company” (there’s only so much we can do with this particular injury). Because of my strong attraction along with the fact that I’m very introverted I don’t dare ask if we can somehow stay in touch afterwards but I do intend on sending him a thank you note and small gift for his help as a form of closure.

  18. 38

    I was surfing the internet & saw this.. & thought wow maybe I’m not crazy after all. I’ve been going to PT for my neck for 6 weeks and he has truly helped me with my pain. The first 2 to 3 visits I wasn’t even sure if I even liked the guy , he was kinda hyper & talking and said ok “your a pretty lady.” I thought hmmm I’m not a stupid school girl . Then after several more sessions , it hit me that I was thinking about him and couldn’t wait for the next session. He is 20 yrs younger than me and that’s what is the craziest thing ever! I’ve been married for 20 yrs and NEVER had this situation happen before. I’ve had PT before on other body areas with both men & women, gone to many different drs over the years and I tell you NEVER has this happened before. I have a friend that said it’s the handling of the neck with all the nerve endings that could do this & also definitely transference thing . He talks very sweet to me & jokes around and has several times lingering touches& smiles. but again that could just be his PT method . We have several things in common we talk about & laugh but HOW IN THE HELL did this happen . ???? I’m not some lonely misguided individual, I’ve been around back in the day . It always seems he likes to see me and the PT has very close contact. I’ve been told to cut it off right now , because it is a stupid crush but again could it be Counter transference and is that something that is really real ?? I was never a fan of Freud . Is he just looking for the client/money thing ? I’m telling you this is so far out of character for me. As another person stated, I feel like we are friends and I feel sad thinking it will be over some day.
    If my husband came home & told me this happened to him I I would freak out so there is NO WAY to discuss this with him. And yes I love him & respect him . I need help !! I would never act on anything either

  19. 39

    Some posters are leaving ignorant, funny, lighthearted and joking comments about the issue posed. This is NOT fun in any way!

    Some years ago I was working with an attractive PT with a sports background. Early on he exhibited signs of having a crush on me, lots of staring at my body when we weren’t working together. Unlike other PTs I had before, he hadn’t shared that he was married. His fixation on staring at my body was scary. He began massaging my glutes with a vibrating massager behind closed private rooms and I realized he was trying to arouse me. He would seem very disappointed when I would not react as he expected and leave swiftly st the End of each session. These massages injected a lot of sexual tension in the relationship. I realized he wanted something to happen that I wouldn’t permit and was trying to seduce me. It also became clear to me that he was probably doing this to other female clients and getting different results. The situation went downhill from there with me putting a boundary up and not entertaining his compliments. He then yelled at me at the next session and released me as a patient. He was holding back tears as we were shaking hands and saying goodbye. The situation was very emotionally charged. I share this to illustrate how some natural attraction can develop between a practitioner and a client working together over months and the importance of professional ethics. These situations are real and people can be harmed.

  20. 40

    Thank you Sky for your comments. Wow you really had a tough situation. I’m wondering if some PT’s can’t help themselves and get attached too. We are human and have natural desires etc. Touches on the body can be electrifying. It’s still going on with me but I fight it every time I go which is less . I’m really trying to keep it all under control. His friendliness is hot and cold. I’m trying to get a handle on my feelings. It’s truly baffling .. these things don’t happen to people like me. I thought maybe it’s just me but my gut is telling me something else. I guess I need to run from it ..but there is some weird payoff here and it’s totally got me reeled in. But I won’t act on it .

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