I have been fortunate enough to have been in two very loving, positive and supportive relationships for the majority of my life so far. I am grateful for the lessons, love and laughter each relationship brought me.
Earlier this year, my partner and I made a terribly difficult decision to part ways after four years. He was such a crucial role in my recovery. He was the first one to push treatment on me and he was an absolute superhero through therapy, treatment, and recovery. Our love was deep and dynamic, but complicated and overwhelming. We decided we both needed time to heal. I needed time to discover who I was- without a boyfriend, without an eating disorder.
So, I threw myself into the dating world. I needed to find myself. I was drawn to the idea of simply talking to others, hearing their perspectives and seeing my reaction. I felt like I could discover who I was. Mind you, I have never dated as I have been in a relationship since age 15…
I’ve actually had some pretty major insights into my automatic thought processes but I’ve also had some pretty awkward moments. Dating is tough, dating in recovery is like major tough. I could write an insightful and inspiring blog about my experience or….
When my mom calls to ask how my day was and I’m stressed AF trying to find something I don’t feel like a whale in for my date in 45 minutes.
Sometimes dressing up is fun, others times it’s a shitshow. It’s usually a shitshow.
When he starts talking about how much he loves meal prep and #fitness.
Since I’ve started my recovery journey, the fitspo lifestyle has been super triggering. I used to be a protein junkie and could talk about lifting for hours. I always wanted a partner who was super committed to lifting. Now it’s a red flag for me I think.
When he comments on how much food I ate.
Yup, this happened. He told me I had the “appetite of a man”. I ended it quick. BTW, it was a salad.
When he and his friends made a bulimia joke and I knew I should have stuck up for mental health and myself and educated them, but I also felt extremely awkward and wanted to crawl into a hole.
yeah, that sums it up.
When he starts discussing the calories in my drink and suggests a skinny version instead.
Why? Why do you need to bring up the calories in my meal or my drink? Hard no there. Just stop. Let me live my life.
When I’m having a bad #ED day and just want to isolate but he wants to hang out.
I haven’t disclosed my eating disorder to anyone I’ve dated so far. I’m public about it so they probably knew about it but I never was ready to personally share it. Too soon. So when I was having a shit day, I had to either make up an excuse or rally. Generally, I make up the excuse.
Trying to act cool with him touching my waist but low key freaking out because I’m having a terrible body image day.
When he makes a negative comment about another girl’s body.
Why do we still think it’s okay to comment on people’s bodies? At least not in a negative way. I don’t have time to be with a dude like that. Next.
Agreeing to a new cuisine for dinner but immediately hearing a million food thoughts.
The fun part of dating is going out of your comfort zone. I think dating in recovery just adds a lot more comfort zones to overcome. I’ve been pretty positive about the experience. I’m sort of following a “say yes to everything” rule to ensure an open-mind while I discover who I am or what I like.
When your eating disorder comes up on the 3rd date.
I think it’s important to tell your partner about your eating disorder when you are ready. I am public about it on my Instagram, but I don’t feel the need to share it personally with someone I am dating, not until it’s serious. I’m sure that’s partly due to fear, but I think I’ve just really enjoyed learning who I am without the eating disorder involved. I’ve enjoyed someone not worrying about me. I’ve just been having fun for once.
When he assumes you’ll want a salad and a low cal cocktail on the first date.
I try to practice a strict “no salad” rule when I go out to dinner. Weird I know. But for years that’s all I got, it was a safe meal. Now I try to challenge myself, all of course while enjoying a nice gourmet salad every so often. I don’t need a guy restricting me to it once again.
When he is into your recovery body.
Real talk, it’s been so freaking empowering to hear compliments- can’t lie. For the longest time, actually even today, there’s the belief that I can’t be attractive unless I’m thin. I’m no longer super fit either so it’s been scary to date with this different* body. When he is into it, it’s awesome and I feel like a goddess.
*different meaning happier & healthier body of course! 🙂