Though meeting a could-be-someone-special for another round of happy hour drinks can be fun and engaging, helping you to learn something new from a stranger, the whole process of dating can be frustrating. Especially if you’ve been looking for something meaningful for years without much luck, you might start to doubt your self-worth and worry that you’re never going to find the long lasting love that you crave. While dating is part of the process of getting to a long-term relationship or marriage, it’s important to take stock on your emotional state of being and check-in to gauge how you’re feeling.
“Some people gauge their sense of self, or more specifically self-esteem, on whether or not they are involved with someone, or that others are expressing interest in them," psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC tells Bustle. "They take a bad date that does not go further as personal faults that exist within themselves, instead of considering the fact that the two of you may simply not have been a good match. What we feel, we attract. If we are feeling low and negative about ourselves, we invariably meet people who feed that. If we radiate self confidence and a strong sense of self, we attract people of a like mind, and who will treat us with the respect we deserve."
Here, experts help you understand how dating impacts your mental health and how to protect yourself: