At times, dating can be an exhilarating mood-lifter; at other times, it can be extremely anxiety-provoking. When it comes to healthy dating it’s helpful to have realistic expectations, clear boundaries, and a whole lot of patience. Discussing the ups and downs as well as your dating goals with a therapist is beneficial too.
It can take several dates to know if someone is right for you. Unless there are obvious “red flags,” if you like the person and feel chemistry, it’s useful to get to know the person for a while. Know, too, that it’s OK to pause your dating search for a while. There is nothing wrong with being single, and it can take several years to find “the one.” Try not to compare your journey to that of others’.
If you struggle with mental illness, dating can be especially challenging. You may be more sensitive to the sting of rejection, or take longer to recover after a blow to the self-esteem. Being open about who you are and what you need in a relationship is vital. You don’t need to discuss your mental illness on the first date, but it’s wise to bring it up sooner rather than later. If the person you are dating isn’t OK with your mental health, they are probably not the one for you.