Dating Someone with an Eating Disorder: What You Must Know
Dating someone with an eating disorder can be challenging. I know every single one of my past relationships was affected by my eating disorder, and while there are undeniably things I could have done differently, there are also things I wish I'd been able to articulate to my exes to make the relationship easier.
Understand, I am not here to make a comment on whether the strategies I'm about to share would have saved any of my past relationships from ending, but I do know that there are a few things my exes could have done or said to help me — help us — have a healthier relationship.
De-emphasize Physicality When Dating Someone with an Eating Disorder
When dating someone with an eating disorder, emphasizing the way people look can hurt more deeply than you might think. Forget about not staring at someone else other than your partner, in my opinion, it's best to keep any comments on physicality to a minimum. I get that everyone is human and that we all are aware of appearance, but if you're dating someone with an eating disorder, he or she is hyper-aware of his or her physicality and doesn't need to be reminded that people can judge others based on it.
Obviously, this means that you shouldn't ogle other people, but it also means that you shouldn't focus on your partner's physical appearance either — even if you are praising it.
When a boyfriend told me I was beautiful, it only cemented the fact that beauty is what mattered. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that you can't tell your partner he or she looks amazing, but you should tell your partner all the other things you cherish about him or her: intelligence, humor, charm, wit, kindness — praise all these other traits in your partner and in other people you admire.
Help your partner see that he or she is not his or her height, weight or warped reflection in the mirror. Help your partner see who you see — your partner is more than the sum of his or her physical parts.
What do you wish your ex or exes had known about dating someone with an eating disorder? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Ghadery, H. (2020, July 14). Dating Someone with an Eating Disorder: What You Must Know, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, January 15 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2020/7/dating-someone-with-an-eating-disorder-what-you-must-know