Expert Advice About Doctor Patient Dating

doctor patient dating

Have some questions about doctor patient dating? So did this reader. Check out our dating coach's advice.

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Reader Question

Hello Dating Coach,I need some professional guidance here. There is a lot more detail to this, but long story shortened...

Several months ago, I acquired an eye condition that required seeing an ophthalmologist until the condition is treated. I was extremely interested in my ophthalmologist from the day I met him. I also work in the healthcare field and am very aware of the unwritten rules and boundaries of the physician-patient relationship. I have not acted on my feelings of interest because of this. However, I have noticed subtle displays of body language that indicate he is also interested in me. (I've been reading up on body language since this began.) Also, during an eye exam, in casual conversation, he shared with me that he is a single parent. (Single) He even called me to give me his cell phone number in case I needed anything while he was out of town for the Christmas Holiday. At some point, there were rumors around his office that we were dating. He approached me about this during one of my exams to clear the air of those rumors while a tech was in the room to hear and witness him clear the air and put the rumors to rest. My eyes are healthy again (I was being treated for the eye condition for the past 3 1/2 months), I will no longer be his patient...except for once a year eye exams. How can I discretely, tastefully, and appropriately let him know that I am very interested in dating him?

Please advise, Hollie

Expert Reply

Dear Hollie,

Flirting is such a powerful way to connect with people. One is that people have a positive feeling towards you when they think you like them or when they think you have a lot in common with them. This is because we all feel good about ourselves when someone shares our point of view, values or interests. We also feel good about ourselves when we feel that the other person we're talking to likes us, which makes us like the other person more. This is why flirting has such a positive effect on people.

A safe way to approach the doctor is to use "friendly flirting." You can do this by creating an opportunity for yourself to talk with the doctor. Try calling and speak to him at work, either to ask him a question about the follow up treatment of your eye, or to thank him for the great care he provided you. When offering a compliment be specific about the behaviors he and his staff provided, for example you could start the conversation with an opening such as: "I just wanted to personally thank you for the great medical care you provided me during a very stressful time." Then offer him some specific behavioral examples of how he and his staff provided quality care. You could close this part of the conversation by saying, "thanking people is a personal value of mine and I think it is too often overlooked in today's society." This will give you an opportunity to change the subject by talking about the values he teaches his own child or how sometimes it may be difficult to teach children values in a fast-paced society, etc.

The point is that you are encouraging him to share information with you about himself. Knowing that he is engaging in a conversation when he may be busy, you can end the conversation by saying something like, "I know you are probably busy right now and I have so enjoyed talking with you. Would you be interested in meeting sometime for coffee?" If he too is interested in you, he can accept your offer or make a counter proposal.

On the other hand, it is possible that the medical care your doctor provided was not beyond what he provides all his patients. It could be that he is just an extremely caring professional. He could have given you (and other patients) his cell phone number because he wanted you to have a direct way to reach him during the holidays when he would not be in the office. Given managed care, this type of service is rare today. If this were to be the case, it could also mean that while you are reading up on body language, there is a possibility that you are misreading his verbal and non-verbal communication.

Whether this doctor is or is not interested in you beyond being his patient, you'll never know unless you're willing to take a risk and go for it. The worst thing that could happen is he turns you down and you feel embarrassed. No one has ever died from being embarrassed. On the other side, he too could be interested in you and by asking him out, you give him permission to explore a potential relationship with you. So I say… GO FOR IT!!!

~~Lori

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Expert Advice About Doctor Patient Dating