But, for Lynne, who was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and other mental disorders at 19, dating invariably ends in disaster.
But about a month ago, Lynne began seeing a 53-year-old man she met through a dating Web site designed specifically for people with mental illness.
While you may never see any hints of rabbits being harmed by man, there are a few other signs that he’s just not that stable: He’s really thin skinned and can’t take a playful jab.
No one likes to be criticized unfairly or in a harsh way but when it comes to playful comments about a hair being out of place or slip of the tongue, there are some who can’t even laugh at themselves.
"I've been single most of my life for that reason," she said.
Elizabeth Barrett, who created the site with a partner in Denver, Colo., said she observed from her work with people with mental illness that those in strong relationships are more likely to thrive. "They tend to stay out of the hospital." Couples in which both partners struggle with mental illness can share their experiences and help keep each other out of trouble.
Here are some things to think about when it comes to getting into a relationship with someone with depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD or similar mental health conditions: As mentioned above, it is likely that you have already encountered someone with mental health problems in your dating life.
Lynne had someone to spend Christmas and New Year's with this year. "It's been a long time since I've been with anybody for the holidays," the 50-year-old Albuquerque native said recently.
"That was different." Many people find dating stressful.
"You have somebody to throw your ideas off of." Barrett, 30, has worked with the mentally ill in a variety of settings, including the Bernalillo County jail and an Albuquerque psychiatric clinic.
She now works in several New Mexico schools, from elementary through high school.
But when it comes to talking about potential partners, most people don’t mention how to approach dating someone with a mental illness.