Dating a psychologist comes with lots of preconceived notions that should be sorted out early in a relationship. While it’s true that you’re technically dating a doctor, psychologists usually aren’t medical doctors but they are trained therapists. And since a psychologist’s job is to help people work through problems it might often seem like they’re “working” on you when that’s not the case at all. That’s the problem with the preconceived notions about dating a psychologist.
However, while the cons are more self-evident, there are a lot of great things about dating a psychologist. Once you have an understanding of what to expect you will have everything you need to make the most of your relationship with a psychologist.
Things to Know About a Psychologist
Clinical psychologists have a PhD, which technically makes them doctors. However they did not complete medical school and so they don’t practice medicine. Psychiatrists have medical degrees and that’s why they can diagnose and prescribe medications to their patients.
A “therapist” is a term that loosely encompasses psychologists and psychiatrists as well as people with degrees in counseling and therapy.
To obtain their psychology degrees, psychologists go through a bachelor’s and master’s program and then complete a PhD. They don’t go to medical school (usually, though it’s possible) but they can practice in a hospital or medical office setting. They also have their own practices.
It’s important to remember that just because they’re in the helping profession and they help others to work out problems in their lives, a psychologist isn’t perfect himself. Dating a psychologist without being aware of this can be cause for massive disappointment if you think he has it all together in all aspects of his life. He probably doesn’t. That’s where you come into the picture.
Pros of Dating a Psychologist
How many times have you wanted to be with someone who listens to your problems and gives you honest feedback and advice? While you shouldn’t expect to receive counseling from your psychologist significant other, she’s a great person to talk with after a rough day at work or while dealing with a personal challenge of your own.
Psychologists are trained to listen and they do it actively and passively, so while you might just be rattling off the things that happened during the day your partner might be listening for areas where they can help.
On the flip side, it’s important to be there for your psychologist partner as well. They deal with lots of stress at work and might need to decompress after a long day in order to give you their full attention. You need to be able to take on the role of listener for her, too.
Part of being a psychologist is helping people work through challenges in their lives. When it comes to their own partners they are just as patient and understanding. If you’re snappy after a frustrating day at work, he will understand the underlying issue and not pick a fight over it.
Invested in the Health of the Relationship
There’s a joke about relationships that one partner always wants to talk about feelings and emotions while the other doesn’t. When it comes to dating a psychologist feelings and emotions will always be a part of the conversation. Some people are oblivious to problems in their relationships. While it’s possible that a psychologist can be so busy he might miss the signs, it’s more likely that he will see problems and want to address them directly.
There is no “beating around the bush” when dating a therapist or psychologist. They are trained in sniffing out evasive responses and so it’s important to be open and honest about the health of your relationship when there are problems brewing.
Cons of Dating a Psychologist
They’re “Always” Analyzing Everything
This is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s easy to see why someone dating a psychologist might feel like he’s always analyzing your every move and making judgements based on what he sees. On the other hand, when she comes home from a day of seeing patients the last thing she wants to do is work some more. And there are other times when he’s not really analyzing you but you think he is. It can be a big mess.
This is where being confident comes into play. It might feel like he is analyzing every move and you have to either get past it, ask if it’s true, or realize that this is more about your preconceived notion than what’s actually happening.
Some psychologists will analyze everything and it’s on you to either shut it down if it bothers you, or find a way to deal with it.
Your Friends Will Want Their Advice
When you go to a BBQ with friends, don’t be surprised when your friends start asking for advice. It could be advice about dating, marital problems or problems of another nature. But knowing you’re dating someone who might have answers will mean that she’s fair game for questions. It happens to medical doctors all the time.
You Can’t Hide Anything
Some people don’t want to talk about their emotions all of the time. When they have bad days at work, some people just want to let it go rather than hash out the details.
Being with a psychologist is a double-edged sword here because they know when people are hurting and they know when people are suppressing their thoughts and feelings. If something is bothering you, expect to be asked about it. If you don’t want to talk about it, they might not want to accept that because they are trained to help.
This isn’t a bad thing, but it can be challenging for people who aren’t inclined to share details of their lives all the time.
Scheduling Can Be a Challenge
Some psychologists work in hospitals, some work in outpatient clinics and others have their own practices. As a result, schedules vary. Private practice psychologists often have evening hours to make appointments more convenient for their patients. While that means they have some flexibility in their schedules for you, it also means that they will schedule patients at any time and that will take them away from time with you.
Dating a psychologist isn’t for people who lack confidence. You don’t need a shrink, you want a romantic partner. If you think he’s judging you all the time – even when he isn’t – then the relationship won’t work. That means you have to be equal to the task.
Be ready to push when you need to set boundaries and make time for your needs over her patients’ needs. Remember, she might be a psychologist but she’s not a mind reader, so as with any relationship it’s on you to speak up and make it clear that you need something. Thankfully most psychologists make wonderful romantic partners because they’re good listeners, and that can be worth any of the struggles you might encounter.
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