Dating a former anorexic
Leave the advice to the professionals and, as an intimate partner, just be a shoulder to cry on. (And if it doesn’t pass, then please remind your partner to call a therapist or qualified professional for help.)Changing your language and your lifestyle in order to be someone’s partner is an inconvenience – true.But if you’re a heavy drinker, and you to date a recovered alcoholic, you learn to stop suggesting dates at the wine bar.Dear Partner, You probably didn’t think that the text you sent last night about your Crossfit personal record might be a problem.You also probably had no idea that I’d spend hours dwelling on the offhand comment you made about eating too many calories at lunch.That said, it doesn’t get you off the hook if your partner has disclosed an eating disorder to you.Think about it this way: Casually talking about your diet, your weight, or your workouts can be as triggering to an eating disordered partner as casually telling a rape joke in front of a partner who has been raped or sexually assaulted (and I’m going to make the bold assumption that you’re not the kind of person who thinks it’s a good idea to casually make rape jokes in the first place).
In recovery, your partner will hopefully have learned coping skills and/or developed a support system.
And it might not have occurred to you that telling me I’m perfect as I am when I’m feeling less-than-perfect might not be as constructive as you thought it was.
Dear partner, I understand that you don’t understand what it’s like to have an eating disorder, and I want you to know that you’re not trying to trigger me.
In other words: If you require nightly trips to the pub where everybody knows your name, don’t date someone who is working the twelve steps.
There is a fine line between having your partner’s best interests in mind and playing the food police.
But if you really want this relationship to work, we’re going to need to talk about my eating disorder recovery.