Dating after an eating disorder

7 Truths About Recovering From An Eating Disorder - mindbodygreen

Mia Findlay is a body image and eating disorder advocate and told The Hook Up that having an eating disorder made her believe that her appearance was her only self worth. For someone to give me a compliment that's based on my physical appearance is not as welcome than being told that I'm really interesting or funny or kind. That holds a lot more stock for me. Try to Download directly All Programs People Schedule.

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Dating with an eating disorder By James Findlay. Wednesday 2 August 9: Getty - Jutta Kuss. Share Facebook Twitter Mail Whatsapp.

If you or anyone you know needs help with an eating disorder: Before them, like many, I was very secretive and ashamed of my disorder. Recently, that relationship has ended and as hard as it has been, re-entering the dating world has proven to be even more difficult. I find the concept of dating awkward and uncomfortable, regardless of mental health concerns.

Dating with an eating disorder

In a way, dating encompasses everything I tried to avoid through my eating disorder: Opening up about my disorder has provided me with so much empowerment, but there is always a fear that lingers about disclosing within new relationships. A fear of disclosing too soon, or that the person will belittle me, not understand, or no longer be interested.

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At the same time, if I want to show this person my best self, that includes showing my strength in being open and honest about my past. Going from having a partner who knew everything, to trying to open up to a new possible partner about such a personal topic as my disorder has been hard. Society often stigmatizes eating disorders and makes it so incredibly difficult to open up to people.

RecoverED and Dating

My old fears of being judged, which were one of the factors in the development of my eating disorder, are suddenly rushing back. A part of me wants to avoid dating altogether and just keep my recovery to myself. However, another part of me, the part that I have spent so long rebuilding in recovery, knows how beneficial it is to have support and to be open about my disorder.

Treating an eating disorder like a laughing matter or using dismissive language is troubling and triggering.

Treat your recovered or recovering partner the same: Honor the illness for what it is, offer what support you can and advice only when asked for it , and give them time to feel the feelings. Leave the advice to the professionals and, as an intimate partner, just be a shoulder to cry on. This, too, shall pass. So it stands to reason that you must treat your relationship with someone who is recovering from an eating disorder in the same way.

Weight and food are, like the weather, easy targets for starting cocktail party conversations — because everyone has to eat. Moreover, we build entire tribes and identities based on our diets and workouts.

Think about it this way: However, you can learn to express your excitement by channeling that energy into something you can do together , like a movie night or a trip to a karaoke bar. Guilt and shame about food may drive your partner to feel like they need to hide the behaviors from you — and eating disorders multiply in the darkness. To avoid this, keep your observations to yourself.


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The recovered individual gets to find his or her own path and learn how to become comfortable eating around others, one strange meal at a time.