Dating Can Be Tough — How to Take Care of You, According to Psychologists


Attending to your mental and emotional health is always a great idea, but some situations in life call for giving yourself a bit more TLC than usual. One such time: when you’re on the casual dating scene. Though “casual” dating might sound carefree and lighthearted, sometimes, the very element of casualness can make the process surprisingly stressful.

Here’s why looking for love — or even just for fun — can take a toll on you emotionally, plus tips from mental health experts on staying grounded.

Why Casual Dating Is Emotionally Taxing

So you want to get romantic but not necessarily get serious? Casual dating is probably your best bet. Just be aware that low-strings-attached relationships can be more emotionally fraught than they look in rom-coms. Even if you’re going for casual, your heart is still involved.

“Dating, in general, can be stressful because it often involves a lot of emotional investment,” says San Francisco–based Caleb Birkhoff, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “It’s easy to develop expectations and become emotionally invested in someone. It can then be challenging if you find out that the relationship isn’t going to work out or that you had a different experience than they did.”


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