A few years ago, I had one of the worst breakups I’ve ever gone through. It left me devastated, depressed, and completely broken. I decided to go see a therapist to help me work through things. Unfortunately, I ended up falling for him and things got complicated.
- It was my first experience having a male therapist. I’d seen a few therapists in the past but they’d always been women and at first, I felt a little odd opening up about my relationship and my breakup to a guy. As a self-proclaimed “girl’s girl,” I’ve always had tons of girlfriends to confide in and not many platonic male friends. Once I started talking to him, I realized it didn’t feel any different telling him about it and I was able to open up.
- He was more than just a good listener. He never made me feel like I was exaggerating or dramatizing the situation, and anytime I made a comment that I worried was making my heartbreak a bigger deal than it was, he’d stop me and assure me that my feelings were valid and that I had every right to be hurt. He truly made me feel safe and less crazy.
- I opened up about more than my breakup. After a few sessions, I started to feel so comfortable around him that I was able to discuss other areas of my life with him. After giving him so many private details and being vulnerable around him, I was nervous to talk about anything else like my family, friends, and school. Still, it wasn’t long before I was confiding in him about everything else that was going on in my life.
- It just felt good to have a guy care. After a little while, I found myself looking forward to therapy more than any other time of the week. I always wanted to make sure I looked cute and even if nothing new had happened since the last session, I was still excited to see him and talk to him. That’s when I realized something a little more than therapy might be going on here. I ignored it though because it just felt so amazing to have a guy actually listen to what I had to say and comfort me about everything that seemed bad in my life—especially after I’d had so many terrible experiences with guys in the past.
- Then my crush intensified. I’d developed real feelings for him. Sure, he was hot, but it was more than that—I liked his kindness, his patience, his intelligence. I had all of the typical crush symptoms and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Even my mom caught onto my feelings when I repeatedly gushed to her about my therapy sessions. Inside, I was starting to freak.
- I worried how my feelings would affect my progress. I wondered if I should stop seeing him. As much as I looked forward to our sessions every week, I was terrified that I was about to have my heart broken all over again. We had made so much progress and I was feeling so much better, but what did my feelings for this guy mean? Were they even real feelings or was I just substituting him for my ex? I knew that whatever happened, I couldn’t go back to the dark place I’d been in before.
- Somehow, my feelings for my therapist and my ex equaled out. It seemed like a disaster at first. I was anxious and losing sleep over my breakup, then anxious and losing sleep over my feelings for my therapist. Just when I thought everything was going to fall apart, an odd feeling of peace came over me. As soon as I was able to just relax and let my feelings wash over me naturally, it wasn’t a problem anymore. Feelings or not, I could still talk to and confide in my therapist. It was almost as if my feelings for him acted as a distraction and allowed me to forget about my ex—not completely, of course, but enough to where I finally started to feel normal again.
- When therapy ended, our contact did too. Eventually, we made it to our last session together and my therapist told me that we couldn’t have any more contact with each other. He told me that it was against policy for him to have any relationship with me outside of therapy even if we were just friends because it broke the wall of confidentiality and was a conflict of interest. It made sense and I understood, but I was still a little sad. I knew that I would never see him again and that was that.
- While admittedly unconventional, it worked wonders. To this day, I still don’t know if my feelings for him were real or if they were just a way for my heart to heal faster. Obviously, a romantic relationship with a therapist is not something I would actually encourage since it can complicate and possibly jeopardize the process of healing that you’re going through. However, I’m strangely grateful for the feelings I developed for my therapist. Believe it or not, this weird crush I had reminded me of how good men can be, even if he was just doing his job counseling me. He had a wonderful heart, and it made me realize that there are still good people out there and we should remain open to them instead of letting the bad ones close us off to love and happiness.