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

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.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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