1 Plan to spend many nights and/or days alone. Depending upon his or her profession, your honey may be pulling midnights in the ER or have to rush out in the middle of the night to deliver a baby. Being on call is commonplace for many doctors, so it may well be an experience of half finished events and interrupted sleep unless you’re dating a 9 to 5 specialist.
- Be comfortable attending events or meeting friends for dinner sans your doc date. For at least the initial years, being a doctor is typically not always a 9 to 5 position. He or she will often be called away to attend to an emergency and your dinner plans or evening with friends will have to continue without your doctor date’s company. It’s vital for the sake of your relationship and your sanity that you’re comfortable in your own skin to continue with your plans and not just stay home––or worse, start fretting––just because he or she can’t make it. It comes with the territory, so get used to it early.
- Go with the flow when plans change. A rigid plan maker won’t survive in a relationship with a busy physician. Learn how to go with the flow and if plans change, avoid getting upset.
2 Realize that your doc’s patients come first. As hard as this is to imagine, it may be your birthday but your doctor boyfriend or girlfriend has a very ill patient who needs his or her attention. You will need to make the occasional sacrifice so that he or she can go to work from time to time. Understand that caring for others is part of his or her job. Don’t get jealous or defensive when he or she has to rush to the side of a sick or needy patient. Realize that caring for others and having a good bedside manner is not just part of the job––it’s the whole reason why your beloved chose to embrace medicine and help others.
3 Learn to deal with job distraction. If he or she is “on call”, there is no way you can insist that he or she turn off the cell phone. Understand that you’re sharing your doc boyfriend or girlfriend with patients and be okay with this reality.
- If the ringing phone is truly annoying you, consider asking him or her to put it on vibrate or a less annoying ringtone.
- Avoid making a face or rolling your eyes when his or her phone rings––even if you’re having a fight. Part of dating a doctor means that you can be interrupted any time, any day.
4 Don’t make him or her your doctor. It’s human nature to want your physician boyfriend or girlfriend to check out every pain or twinge you experience. Do you want your lover to look at your body clinically without any appreciation, in an impersonal way? That’s a hard mental flip a doctor has to make in order to treat someone he/she loves. Also, if you’re constantly asking for free medical advice, it may become annoying and create the impression you’re a hypochondriac. Remember that one of the number one rules of dating is to leave a little mystery, especially when it comes to pap smears and piles. Your doc date would rather all medical talk got left at work.
- Don’t try to outsmart your doc date with popular science knowledge. You might have read the most fascinating treatise on treating the latest ‘flu but unless you’re also medically trained and retrieved that information from reputable medical sources that your doc date would rely on, don’t pretend you have all the answers. By all means seek to hold intelligent conversations about the social costs of pandemic ‘flu outbreaks and your ideas for better developing country medical access but don’t pretend you know how to actually treat anything.
- Ask for a referral if you’re truly worried about something. If he or she has checked that mole and thinks it’s okay, but you’re still obsessing, ask for a referral and go to your usual doctor or a specialist.
- Don’t expect him or her to treat you for every issue. Many physicians won’t treat family members because they feel as though it’s unethical. Don’t expect that because you’re dating a doctor, you’ll automatically receive 24/7 care. Go on the assumption that you will continue visiting your current team of doctors and possibly ask for his or her opinion from time to time if needed.
5 Realize that you’re not the only one who wants to date a doctor. Whether you set out to land a doctor or it just happened that you had a connection with someone and he or she turned out to be a doc, chances are there is a sea of people out there very interested in dating a doctor too. Instead of getting jealous or going on the defense, now is the time to generate inner strength, confidence and independence so doc-fans won’t upset or bother you.
- Be yourself. You may notice that other folks may fall over themselves at a party to talk to your doctor boyfriend or girlfriend or act overly solicitous at a dinner party. Don’t seek to compete by playing their game––chances are, your doc boyfriend or girlfriend can see those people for who they are. Spend more time cultivating your own wow factor at events, or finding something more interesting to talk to people about than the fact you’re dating a doctor.
- Remember why you are together. He or she may love your fierce independence or sense of humor––most likely the elements that attracted him or her to you in the first place. Remember that you’re a unique individual and that your doc is not dating you because you put him or her in a position of power.
6 Make the most of vacation times together. When your doc date can truly get away from hospital or medical practice and not be on call or even responsible for giving advice, it’s usually vacation time. Plan to get away from your usual place and travel so that you can have him or her all to yourself. Go interstate or overseas and stay disconnected from the usual day-do-day routines. This will give both of you plenty of opportunity to spend quality time alone and to learn a lot more about each other.
- Naturally, as with any date, don’t be pushy about going somewhere. Raise it as an option to see if your doc date would like to go somewhere together during his or her vacation.
- Be prepared for the possibility of a volunteering holiday somewhere challenging. If your doc date loves volunteering, you may need to hop on board and pitch in too. It’s more fun when you’re both involved.
- Although dating a doctor (for the sake of dating someone who is a doctor) may be fine in the beginning, if you feel as though this relationship is getting serious, consider why you’re really dating this person. If it’s because of his or her job, it may be time to say goodbye. An entire relationship cannot be built based on someone’s job or perceived prestige. We are often find ourselves attracted to the people who have qualities we have simply not discovered in ourselves. Those qualities need to be lived out in your own life and not projected onto someone else. This certainly doesn’t mean that no one can date doctors (or ministers or politicians or any other person in a power position.) Be aware. The draw to the power will definitely wear off. It will be sad if that happens after you have children. You will still need to find those qualities you love, in yourself. If you do, you will not be so attracted to someone else who exhibits them. You will be more “free” to choose love that is not based on your own needs.
- Be understanding when he or she is called away for work; however, don’t become a doormat. When work is not calling, put down your foot and insist he or she be present.
- Learn from the outset not to be dependent on having him or her at home at night in order to sleep. After several months or years of dating, you may be sharing a bed. However some people find that they can’t sleep well without their “co-pilot” and will stay awake or sleep poorly until he or she arrives at home. One of the biggest problems with this is that when he or she finally gets home from being on call, bed is the first place your doc will head (as the sun comes up). Unfortunately for you, it may be time to head off to work, take charge of the kids (if you have any later on) or simply be ready for the day.
- Accept it as part of your doc date’s personality if he/she is constantly full of medical advice and lifestyle suggestions primarily based on medical evidence. Some doctors really get into their work and once involved, may worry about your health in particular because they’re so aware of everything that can go wrong. Some doctors do this and others don’t, it’s common either way.
- Allow space for your doc date to unwind––don’t presume that just because he or she is off duty that you can drag him or her off to a dance festival all night. Just as you like to wind down after work, be considerate of your doc date’s need to do this too.
- Be considerate of dating stuff-ups on the behalf of your doctor friend. It is a well recognized fact that smart people often spend more time on achievements than on developing relationships, and thus may experience a harder time getting dating “just right.” If you’re more comfortable with the relationship side, help him or her to discover ways to make good connection and to feel comfortable. If you’re both uncomfortable, help each other. And if you’re both great with dating, lucky you!
- Never ask your doctor boyfriend or girlfriend to do anything that could jeopardize his or her job, such as writing unlawful prescriptions.
- Don’t force yourself on him or her during work hours. If you’re feeling slighted, you may have the urge to just show up at the hospital for some attention. Not only will you annoy the hospital staff, you could be putting patient’s lives in danger by trying to distract your boyfriend or girlfriend from work. Moreover, it won’t take much of being pushy to create distance between you and to have your date wondering if you’ve got what it takes to cope with his or her career choice.
- Don’t think doctors are rich. On the contrary, physicians often make less money than their accountants. There are many docs who don’t have paid vacations, have huge student loans to pay off, have to provide entirely for their own retirement plus pay to educate their children. The glorious money days of medicine are pretty much over.
- Medicine is about caring for sick people and if sick people make you want to gag, date an attorney. You’ll be hearing one side of phone calls that can be pretty unpleasant.
- Do not ask your doc date to recount his or her day unless he or she offers to. Pushing for exact details can cause your doc date to feel really uncomfortable––the day may have been difficult and he or she doesn’t want to disclose anything about the experience. Moreover, never ask your doc date to breach patient confidentiality; that is sacrosanct. Get used to not knowing all the nitty gritty details and be grateful for small miracles.