I told my doctor I love him

Then he canceled my next appointments! What if I never speak to him again?

It’s not uncommon to fall for your doctor, says our elder. But it’s time to find a new physician.


Dear EWC

My problem is a bit unusual since the man who I have strong feelings for happens to be my doctor. I have been seeing him for over four years and have developed a close relationship with him. It has been a little closer than a doctor and a patient. He is married and well past retirement age. In the last four years, he has given signs that I mean more to him than a patient. Then, I wanted more with him. On a recent visit, I told him that I loved him and he told me that he thinks of me. I had an appointment with him last week that had to be canceled because he has been ill. He has been out ill for about a month now. My next appointment was in November. His office called me last week to tell me I would have to see another doctor there as he will not be returning in November. They told me they do not know when he will be back. It has occurred to me that he may not return at all. 

My question is, whether it is right or wrong, if I really was important to him other than a patient, and he took this seriously, wouldn’t he have reached out to me himself to tell me he was, okay? I have been very worried about him since this is a very prolonged illness. Also, if he does not ever return, I just can’t bear the thought I’ve never speaking to him again. He has been my emotional support through some very difficult times for me. Would he have contacted me if he took this seriously? Please do not criticize me, I just need advice. Thank you.


DonM replies

It sounds like you find yourself in a difficult situation. Establishing feelings towards a doctor, therapist, teacher, etc. is a relatively common experience. I think his response to you when you told him you loved him is telling. His response of, “I think of you…” is rather innocuous and was not a statement of reciprocity, but could be interpreted in many ways. The fact that he is now not available to you is also telling. He may be “sick”, or he may not be. For someone who is of retirement age and married may not want to risk all he has established for someone he doesn’t know well. Providing emotional support for someone is part of many jobs, physician included, and it doesn’t mean he is interested in a stronger relationship. Physicians, lawyers, teachers, therapists are all required to provide emotional support to the people that they deal with. The problem is that it can be misinterpreted by those for whom they provide it for.

I really think that you need to find a new physician and refrain from any urges to contact him. If he wanted to pursue a relationship with you, he would have contacted you and clarified what he felt. Individuals in the “caring” professions often do not want to cause any further pain to those they deal with professionally. I know that can be painful to think about and admit, but I would guess that this is what is occurring here. I know that if you care about him, you probably don’t want to harm him, his marriage, or his reputation. Again, I’m sorry you are in this situation.

I hope you find some of this helpful and I wish you well.

Article #: 491884

Category: Dating/Relationship

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