"If you have a mental illness that will affect a relationship, it's much better to be honest about it so you can decide if someone is going to be worth your time and energy," she says.

have a mental illness, the fun of dinner and drinks and the chemistry between the two of you can be dwarfed by worrying over how your date will react when you open up about your condition. Wait too long, and you run the risk of her feeling misled. " data-reactid="12"First dates are supposed to be exciting -- but when you have a mental illness, the fun of dinner and drinks and the chemistry between the two of you can be dwarfed by worrying over how your date will react when you open up about your condition. Wait too long, and you run the risk of her feeling misled. Molly Pohlig, a 36-year-old New Yorker, has depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder -- conditions she says have made dating difficult in the past.

"Several people were taken aback," she says, "and I've had some relationships or dates end pretty abruptly because of it."written about dating with a mental illness, is that many people have not had any experience interacting with someone with mental illness.

"Mental illness, however, is often something people are ashamed of, or are worried will be a deal breaker, and so it either comes up right away or not at all," she says." data-reactid="18"When to bring it up.

Relationships are primarily about compatibility, says April Masini, a relationship and advice columnist who runs the website Ask April.

"The trick is knowing yourself, being honest and choosing a partner who is the same, and with whom you mesh well over the majority of the time you spend together."Remember -- their response can change.

Pohlig says her condition makes her impulsive, which has caused her to bring it up on the first date.

"All they've seen are TV shows, and they think that if you say, ' I have a mental illness,' it means you're a psychopath."" data-reactid="14"The issue, says Pohlig, who has written about dating with a mental illness, is that many people have not had any experience interacting with someone with mental illness.

"All they've seen are TV shows, and they think that if you say, 'I have a mental illness,' it means you're a psychopath."National Alliance on Mental Illness.

"Most people with mental disorders are undiagnosed and untreated," he says, "so many are already in significant relationships without either partner knowing."therapy, you shouldn't worry that you won't be able to make a relationship work.