Hi Lucia,

I have a crush on my female doctor. We have met about 12 times for 10 minutes each time due to a health issue that needs regular attention.

She is soft-spoken, asks me personal questions, compliments me on occasion and always shakes my hand. I’ve noticed that she has not been wearing her wedding ring for the last four months, and has not brought up her husband in casual conversation.

I mentioned in passing that a female friend had invited me to a wedding in South Africa, and I asked for her opinion on a South African restaurant (she is South African). She replied in a very enthusiastic manner, and even asked to see the girl’s photo.

I can't do anything -- and I will not do anything -- because of the doctor-patient relationship, but I feel this lady has potential. What should I do?  -Thomas

Hi Thomas,

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that since you need to see her on a regular basis, you can slowly get to know each other better, since she is obviously quite willing to have  personal conversations in the office.

The fact she is no longer wearing her wedding ring is a good sign, since most women only stop wearing it if there is a separation or impending divorce.

The bad news is, of course, that while she is your doctor, you can’t date her.

I would suggest you be the one to casually bring up her husband. If there is a holiday coming up, you can ask, “Will you and your husband be doing anything special for Easter?” Watch her facial expression, especially her eyes. Even if she doesn’t say they are not together, her face may tell a different story. She may even say, “We’re currently separated."

At some point, if you feel there is enough interest on her part and she is only “technically married,” you can let her know you’re interested in her, and would be willing to find another doctor if she would be willing to go out with you.

Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net. Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net. Listen to Lucia live every Sunday at 3 p.m. PST on latalkradio.com. Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.