Dear Tell All: I don't know how it happened, but I'm totally crushed out on my therapist. I've always really liked and respected her, but have recently found myself very physically and emotionally attracted to her. I feel totally blindsided, especially given that I have never actually fallen for a woman before. (I am a gay man. I'm almost never sexually attracted to women, and other than an experimental threesome in college, I've never felt enough of an attraction to a woman to even consider having an intimate relationship.) So it never occurred to me to have my guard up, and now I'm mortified. I need a therapist to help me talk about my therapist!
Telling her is completely out of the question because 1) I don't want to creep her out, 2) am terrified that she'd ditch me and 3) would be afraid that even if the first two didn't happen, it would screw up the otherwise excellent therapeutic relationship. So what can I do?
Crazy for You
Dear Crazy for You: You're right: You need a therapist to help you with your therapist. Well, I'm here for you. I'd like you to lie back and tell me a little more about that steamy threesome...the one in college...in excruciating detail. Please.
Of course you like your therapist. I'm sure she's patient, understanding, empathetic and insightful, but remember, that's her job. She's probably far less appealing in everyday life, especially in the bright light of the morning, with bits of last night's chewing tobacco stuck in her teeth.
I think you should sit tight for a few weeks until you figure out whether or not this crush is going to go away on its own. Keep in mind that there are different types of crushes. There's the fleeting crush you get for the cute guy behind the meat counter as he lovingly wraps your rump roast...which is quickly forgotten when you notice the hottie giving out samples of Nut Clusters. Then there is the deep, enduring love that I will always feel for Madeleine Albright.
If your therapist crush is here to stay, then you really shouldn't continue seeing her. Despite what you think, it's not a healthy therapeutic relationship. So you can either leave on your own or tell her about your attraction. If your therapist is any good at all, she'll immediately recognize the conflict of interest and drop you as a client.
Either way you're going to lose your therapist. But if you tell her, at least you'll get this off your chest and give her a chance to respond. She may have some good advice for you, or at least be able to recommend an unattractive replacement who won't stimulate your libido.