Dating as a doctor should be easy, right? It’s every mother’s dream to for their child to marry a doctor (if their own child isn’t a doctor already!), so you’ve already got a leg up on dating world competition. But we all know that any aspect of the dating world is easier said than done.
Long hours, being on call, and finding someone who wants to know you for you and not your earning capacity can be tough hurdles to jump. It’s a noble line of work, even a calling. But it’s not one that lends itself to a lot of time to linger out in the rest of the world. Not to worry—we’ll walk you through some tips that will step up your dating life, stat.
1. Avoid Dating Patients
This one should be obvious, and your state and employer’s regulations will likely dissuade or forbid you from dating patients, but treat this as a non-starter. Despite countless rom-coms turning medical emergencies into meet-cutes, your vow to do no harm requires strict social boundaries.
No matter how flirty a patient is, anyone you’re treating is off-limits. Still, there are plenty of people who will revere your position and will be interested in someone like a doctor, who by the nature of their profession are caretakers.
2. Weed Out the Hangers-On
While most people are looking for love as they date, there are definitely people out there who are more interested in your earning potential than your personality. It doesn’t matter if your job as a physician at a non-profit city clinic, some people hear the word “doctor” and assume it means hefty paychecks.
The good news is that those people will be easy to spot. Everyone likes a nice meal, but be on the lookout for hints of gifts, suggesting extravagant travel, all without offering to throw in for the check.
3. Don’t Work Off The Clock
This one sounds a little silly to an outsider, but you know it’s happened more often than you’d like: You’re at a party and someone wants advice on how to handle their indigestion, or if they should worry about a rash or mole.
You’ve learned how to navigate those awkward situations on your own, but unlike a party where you can slip away under the guise of another drink, a date may try to pull the free medical advice trick during dinner. Keep your boundaries in place. You’re allowed a pleasant dinner out where you’re not required to soothe a stranger’s hypochondria. Keep a short list of app-purpose referrals to take the pressure off and let your date know you’re there for dinner and drinks, not a diagnostic exam.
4. Manage Expectations
Being a doctor means long hours, ducking out of parties early when you’re on call, and often being exhausted on your days off. Part of treating potential partners with respect is letting them know how much time to give, and the kind of relationship you’d like to have. No matter how much chemistry there is, if your date is looking for set plans and relaxed nights in, you may or may not be able to accommodate.
Be up front about what your schedule is like, the frequency of time off, and whether or not that’s likely to change. While you don’t owe a stranger your life’s story—and they may not want to hear it just yet—it’s important to be open and realistic with your dates about what you have to offer.
5. Consider Dating Another Doctor
Who better understands the stress and demands of a doctor’s life than another doctor? While this can be counterintuitive—double the exhaustion, double the rescheduled dates, and highly scheduled—the shared experiences of being a doctor just may bring you and your date closer together.
And you may be one of those people who loves to dig in deep on a topic. Dating someone with similar knowledge and educational background is a great way to scratch an intellectual itch. Just make sure you have more to talk about than just your jobs.
6. Reserve Time To Date
Easier said than done, right? But if you don’t devote time to dating, it will be just another life event that you’ll put to the side in favor of work. If meeting someone is a priority to you, treat it like it a priority. Even with only one or two solid, confirmed days off in a week—let alone a month—you can still reserve time to have lunch or dinner with someone new.
If you meet someone you’d like to get to know better, they’ll be all the more impressed that you made the effort to carve out time for them. So pencil in some time to get to know someone new and see what happens. Put away the excuses. You can’t know until you try.
7. Dating Sites Are Your Friends
You’ve chosen a high stress, high-pressure job that doesn’t often allow for downtime. While an organic, in-person meeting is what almost every person hopes for, it’s just not as common as it used to be. By creating a profile on one of the best doctor dating sites or app, it allows you to put your best foot forward. You can provide well-lit photos where you show off all of your hobbies—not just your job.
You can also easily narrow down singles by hobbies, education, and location, which can take a lot of the pressure out of dating. The added bonus? You can take everything at your own pace. If you don’t have time to message, it can wait. If work gets extremely busy, you can deactivate your profile and wait until your schedule opens up. There are so many apps and sites to use that you’re bound to find one that works for you. You may even find you like more than one.
However you choose to proceed, know that it’s only a matter of time before you find the love of your life—someone who’ll understand and respect your work.