‘The Good Doctor’: Will Shaun Ever Get Over Lea?

In The Good Doctor Season 3, Episode 18, appropriately titled “Heartbreak,” Shaun is struggling to come to terms with Lea’s rejection. His last interaction with Lea has us wondering if he will ever recover from what happened between him and Lea. Will Shaun be able to focus on his work? Will his other relationships suffer? Will Shaun ever get over Lea?

Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (also known as “Dr. Romance”), psychotherapist and author of Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today, weighed in on how to move forward after experiencing unrequited romantic interest. She also gave Shaun some relationship advice.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What is the best way to respond to someone who admits they do not share your romantic interest?

Paige Spara and Freddie Highmore on The Good Doctor | Kailey Schwerman/ABC via Getty Images
Paige Spara and Freddie Highmore on The Good Doctor | Kailey Schwerman/ABC via Getty Images

Tina B. Tessina: Back off, be friendly, keep in mind you can’t force someone to like you. Focus on being friends, make sure your behavior is appropriate to friends, and give the person a chance to know you better. They might change their mind if they get to know you, but you’ll push them away if you try to force it. Focus on other people.

CS: How can you move on after a rejection from someone you really like and want to date?

TT: Accept your disappointment, turn it into a learning experience. Consider whether you focused on the wrong type of person, someone who’s just not a good match for you. If so, start re-evaluating what you think is a good match for you. Put your energy into work, hobbies, friends, family and projects, back off from dating for a little while, until you get over your disappointment.

Next steps:

  • Do put it in perspective. If you’re rejected, it hurts, but count your lucky stars. You can’t have a relationship if the other person is not really interested.
  • Do understand that there were reasons, and they may not have to do with you. You can’t know what the other person is thinking, so don’t make it up.
  • Do try to learn from the experience.

After your initial upset, review the dynamics of your connection with the other person and analyze what went wrong, what you could have done differently, and what you learned. There’s no need to give yourself a hard time about it, just process the information so you don’t repeat mistakes.

CS: When is it best to keep your romantic interest to yourself?

TT: When the other person is dating someone else or in another relationship. When you don’t really know the other person and have no idea how they feel about you. If it’s an awkward situation, like work, make sure you have developed a connection before you ask, and ask outside of work. Asking someone at work is problematic, because you have to see them again, so be sure you’ll get an affirmative answer (the person already indicated they want to get to know you better) before you ask.

CS: What advice would you give to Shaun, who now has to see her every day?

TT: Shaun has autism, so he’s missing a lot of social cues. This makes it difficult for him to negotiate relationships in general. He needs to understand he made a mistake and let go of his feelings for her. It isn’t love if both people haven’t signed on. Shaun needs to treat Lea like a colleague, and forget that he’s in love with her, because he isn’t really. He’s just fantasizing.

Read more: ‘The Good Doctor’: The Meanest Things Lea Has Said to Shaun So Far

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