• According to a recently commissioned study, 27% of Americans find that someone being in therapy increases their likelihood of pursuing a romantic relationship with them, while only 12% find it decreases their likelihood.
  • Men (28%) are slightly more likely than women (25%) to date someone who is currently or has been in therapy—though this means a quarter or more of both genders view therapy positively.
  • The research cites that Millennials (51%) and Gen Z (38%) are more likely to pursue someone romantically if they have attended therapy, compared to Gen X (18%) and Baby Boomers (7%).

Thriveworks recently commissioned a study investigating whether a potential romantic partner’s therapy status would impact the likelihood of a respondent pursuing a relationship with them. According to the results, some Americans are much more likely to enter into a relationship with someone who has attended therapy, seeing it as a relationship “green flag” — a kind of positive character marker.

The data also shows which demographics are swayed more or less by the idea of a partner who attends therapy, as well as which remain relatively unaffected.

Is Attending Therapy a Dating Green Flag?

According to this survey, over a quarter of Americans (27%) say that someone being in therapy makes them more likely to pursue a romantic relationship with them, while a considerably less proportion of respondents (12%) say a prospective romantic partner being in therapy would make them less likely to pursue them.

Interestingly, over half of respondents (61%) state that it would not impact their interest levels, for worse or better, to learn that a prospective partner had or is attending therapy. As the stigma around therapy continues to decrease, we see that most Americans see therapy as a positive marker in a potential partner, or do not care one way or the other, rather than viewing it as something negative.

Study says 27% of people are likely to pursue someone who has been to therapy, 12% are less likely to pursue them, and 61% are neither more or less likely to do so.

When it Comes to Partners, Is Attending Therapy More Important to Men or Women?

Those who identify as men are slightly more likely than women to date someone who is currently or has been in therapy (28% vs. 25%). However, a quarter or more of both the men and women surveyed asserted that someone attending therapy would make a positive impression on them, suggesting that therapy could be an influential marker for both men and women as they look to pursue a romantic relationship.

Different Generations Are Much More (or Less) Likely to Value Therapy for Partners

The study showed that knowing a potential partner attended therapy has varying effects on different generations. 

A significant portion of Millenials and Gen Zers stated that they feel that a prospective partner having been or currently attending therapy is a dating green flag. Millennials are the most likely generation to pursue someone romantically after discovering they were either actively or had recently been in therapy (51%), followed by Gen Z (38%). 

However, the likelihood of therapy being a dating green flag drops dramatically for the older generations. According to results, only a small percentage of Gen X (18%) and Baby Boomers (7%) would be more likely to pursue someone romantically because they had been in therapy. 

However, therapy attendance wouldn’t necessarily dissuade them—it wouldn’t make a difference for 72% of Gen X vs 78% of Baby Boomers.

28% of Gen Z and 51% of Millennials see therapy as a dating green flag, while 18% of Gen X and 7% of Baby Boomers think the same.

City vs. Rural: How Where You Live Impacts Your View on a Potential Partner in Therapy 

There are also notable differences in opinion when it comes to location. This survey found that 45% of people who live in cities see therapy as a green flag in someone they’re seeing, making them twice as likely as suburbanites (19%) and four times as likely as those in rural areas (10%) to have a positive view of potential partners who have attended therapy. 

Interestingly, people in the suburbs as well as rural folks are most likely not to care either way about a potential partner’s therapy attendance (68% and 77% respectively), though those in cities are almost half as likely as the others to be ambivalent (44%).

There is little difference when it comes to being less likely to date someone who goes or has gone to therapy, with numbers across rural (12%), city (11%), and suburban (13%) areas being about the same.

45% of people in cities are likely to see therapy as green flag, while 19% of those in suburbs and 10% of those in rural areas are likely to do so.

*This study was conducted by Wakefield Research and commissioned by Thriveworks in November 2023 through an online survey of 2,000 US Adults.