We’re not saying you should unpack every detail of your personal trauma with a newbie before the apps arrive, but if you’re in therapy, intel shows that it can actually work to your advantage to—casually!—mention it. Before you start coming up with reasons not to, know this: A Hinge study found that 86 percent of singles are more likely to go on a second date with someone who referenced on date one that they see a therapist, but only 7 percent of people are actually comfortable bringing it up. That means there’s a big gap between the thing we all think is attractive and the people who take advantage of it...so be one of them?

Here’s why it works and why you should hop to.

laura harrier on the cover of cosmo

A Commitment to Self-Improvement Is Legit Sexy

Obviously, dating someone who’s in therapy isn’t a magic cure-all for any relationship problem ever. But knowing that they’re actively working on improving themselves? Attractive as hell. It means they’re more likely to be self-aware, emotionally resilient, and open to problem-solving and adapting, says clinical psychologist Rebekah Montgomery, PhD—all super-desirable qualities to have in a partner. And someone who’s willing to prioritize bettering themselves, not to mention being open about it, will probably be more likely to bring the same productive energy to a relationship.

“I really appreciated the vulnerability,” says Elaine Hunt, a 28-year-old communications coordinator in Brooklyn, of a recent first date with a guy who Went There. “I figured it meant he’d be a better communicator.” Needless to say, he got to date two.

It's Kind of a Vibe Check

The sooner you bring up therapy, the sooner you can gauge their reaction. If they are weird about it or pry in a way that feels icky, then it’s up to you to decide if you’re interested in seeing them again. (And by the way: Only you can decide what level of curiosity you’re comfortable entertaining, and it’s okay if that level is literally zero.) But if they are supportive and treat it like they’d treat any other cool new thing they discovered about you, then you know they’re worth your time. A mature partner will react to therapy in the same way they’d react if you told them you go on a weekly run to get out some stress. Both are valid forms of self-care, period.

mental health issue bug

Plus, it might help them open up to you even more. Transparency invites transparency. Hinge director of relationship science Logan Ury describes it as a hook: “If you’re presenting a very polished exterior, there’s nothing for anybody to grab on to. But if you show them the little cracks in your shell that you’re nervous to share, suddenly there’s something for them to hold on to, making it easier to connect.”

Take Cindy Ferreiro, a 29-year-old marketing director in Miami, who met her boyfriend on Bumble: “After I opened up about my therapy journey, he opened up about his. To this day, he says my honesty was attractive and it made him want to pursue me more.”

Bringing It Up Doesn’t Need to Be a Whole Thing

It can be as easy as a passing mention of something you recently talked about in a session, says sex therapist and psychotherapist Todd Baratz. You don’t need to overshare, and you can peg it to something relevant to another topic you’re discussing. That can sound like, “I was talking about work-life balance in therapy and...” when you’re already discussing your interests and hobbies. Maria Avgitidis, CEO of Agape Match, suggests mentioning it as part of your weekly routine, like: “Mondays are Bachelorette night, Tuesdays I have Pilates, Wednesday is therapy....”

By opening up, you’re telling your date you’re a safe space for them to do the same. What’s hotter than that?

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Veronica Lopez

Veronica Lopez is the sex and relationships editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers and edits stories about single life, dating, relationships, sex, identity, and more. Previously, she was the sex and dating editor at Elite Daily. Follow her on Instagram here and on Twitter here.