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Re: Crush on psychologist in training

Posted by estrellita on April 17, 2008, at 19:48:07

In reply to Re: Crush on psychologist in training, posted by biogirl23 on April 10, 2008, at 16:06:41

> Estrellita!
> You are in my head--everything you're expressing is how I've been feeling about my psychologist-in-training. While we only saw each other for about 6 weeks (trying to get over a rough breakup and all the baggage and self-doubt that came along with it) I developed a crush. An intense crush. Now it's been about a month and I'm dying to seem him again.
> I don't know what to do. I want to let him know somehow but to be honest some of the other posts were pretty harsh and scared me way off from doing that. But it seems that they were just trying to be honest, therein helpful.
> I certainly had the same thoughts as you as far as feeling like the crush was reciprocated. Obviously though, that may very well not be true in this case.
> I guess I have to let it go, it's just safer to hold on to it for now. (You know, *having* someone instead of no one--even though you don't actually *have* that person at all. Know what I mean? Maybe not, lol, not sure if I even get it.) That's part of the reason I benefited from therapy in the first place--I place a lot of my self-worth and self-esteem as being dependent on men. Not cool. Also, it's turning out to be pretty inconvenient. :)

Hey, biogirl - I think we're definitely in each other's heads, or each other's shoes at the very least. And yes, I know exactly what you mean when you say that holding onto something like this feels very different than not "having" anyone at all.

In fact, in my reading about this stuff, that is one argument against not having a relationship with a (former) therapist. Some researchers have written about how clients keep a mental version of the therapist in their minds for 5-10 years after therapy has ended. Thus, a real-world relationship would get in the way of having this "mental" relationship that is ongoing even after therapy has stopped.

I really, really hate this idea and any other that says I shouldn't be able to pursue someone just because he was my therapist. BUT, I will also concede that I have mental (imaginary, I guess some would say) conversations with people I know - I do this a lot. And yes, therapists I've worked with are among the people I have these dialogues with. So I think it's actually a valid concern, not doing something to destroy this resource that continues to exist years after the actual therapy has ended. Yet at the same time I hate the idea that just because I met someone as therapist/client, that means I can't do whatever I want once therapy is officially over. (And yes, I realize that relationships are two-sided, but this is all strictly hypothetical...)

I so commiserate with what you're feeling. I don't know if you're the same way, but personally I have had some very intense crushes over the years, though these have lessened as I grow older. Still, when they hit, they hit HARD, you know? And it feels like there's just no way to satisfy that longing. Really, it's a bizarre mixture of pleasure and pain at times. For me, it sometimes takes a looong time (think years) for crushes like that to fade, and sometimes they never go away completely. I hate admitting that, because it sounds so...I don't know, LAME. And other crushes don't linger at all.

In thinking about which ones have lingered and which haven't, it does seem like getting to know someone (even in a 5-minute conversation) can help me get a really good read on whether they'd still be attractive if I knew them better. Sometimes all it takes is a dose of reality to kill a crush. The problem with therapists is that they are actively working to ensure that you DON'T know anything real about them, which serves to fuel a crush or desire to know more on the part of the client.

So, for example, I'd had a crush on this random guy I'd see from time to time, for something like 6 mos. or maybe a year. I decided I just needed to talk to him and find out if he was still someone I was interested in. We talked for maybe 10 minutes, and I walked away knowing that, while he's an interesting and good-looking dude, he's not someone I'm interested in getting to know on a romantic basis. And it was a relief to finally find that out.

With this therapist, I am explicitly prohibited from doing that. Just like before my conversation with the other guy, I remain interested because I don't have any other information to go on. He could tell me something about himself in 5 minutes that might convince me he's not for me, but that's never going to happen and that's frustrating.

I know all the reasons for all of this and blah blah blah, but when it comes down to it I just feel so mad, like screaming IT'S NOT FAIR!!! Maybe I don't WANT to put my own wellbeing above my interest in some guy! Maybe I'm tired of being restrained in my interactions with other people, and maybe I don't want to dissect that very thought in therapy. All of my thoughts around this seem always to end up in a tangled mess.

So yeah...basically, it sucks. I'm not sure what you could do to make your crush go away...I know they fade over time, but sometimes it's a long wait. Maybe you'll run into him someplace and see him doing something that makes him look really bad...? Ha ha. I hope it's going alright with you, anyhow.

Personally I hate hate hate knowing that the end of my sessions will be here before I know it and that in all likelihood I'll never see or hear from him again. And that thought just makes me feel like blocking all feelings so I won't have to hurt - but that's exactly what I'm supposed to be learning to STOP doing in therapy. Hm. But every week I learn a little more about him (even though it's within the context of therapy), and I like him that much more. Lately (and again, I hate admitting it) I keep thinking about being able to sit close to him - like right next to him, maybe putting my head on his shoulder. I don't even know if I'd WANT to do that if I "really" knew this crush is marching on, dragging me along behind it, and I don't get a chance to stop the parade and find out if there's even a reason for celebration.

So I sit there and restrain myself, have to make eye contact with him which just about kills me (he has gorgeous, huge eyes), and keep trying to stop thinking about touching him or knocking off the whole therapy thing and meeting up for dinner and a long walk afterward.

Okay, I've thought about this enough for one day. Thanks for your response, and for letting me vent back!





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