National Eating Disorders Association

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Worried in an ldr

Me and my boyfriend have been in a long distance relationship for about a year and 5 months. He has always been insecure about his appearance and weight but never to the point where i’m really worrying about his well-being. During the past couple days, he’s brought it up to me about how he “doesn’t deserve anything because of how he looks”, and that he should “stop eating at all until he’s skinnier”. i’m obviously extremely worried about him and i’m not sure what to do. i want to support him but i don’t want him to develop an eating disorder as that’s really unhealthy and hard to get out of but he doesn’t realise that. i’ve done my best to support him so far and he is really adamant on doing it.. and in a ldr, it’s really hard to support him from here. i’ve told him to talk to his therapist about how he feels and what he’s thinking, and i hope he does as they can actually help him. is there anything else i can do? i’m really worried about him.

"Not good enough."

Oh brother, it's the curse of the " good enough" thing !! This is a theme that runs through all of eating disorders it seems.

Connected to it are themes of self-discipline, personal accomplishment, sense-of-self, and "the comparing thing", where we instinctively compare ourselves to others, as well as "worthiness". All of which tend to get narrowed down to the "good enough" thing.

You are right in asking him to talk to his therapist about all this. On the surface it can seem to be about weight and eating, whereas it's actually about a long list of deeper issues instead.

Self-acceptance, and are we a good person who's worthy of a good life ? These really are some legitimate existential questions, and to narrow them down to some numbers on a scale is really not doing them justice.

To help him…it's always been my feeling that if we can let the person know that we have an idea about the sorts of thoughts that they may be struggling with, on some of the deeper levels I mentioned, that actually can be felt as helpful by the other person.

Things like eating disorders can be awfully lonely, so to know that someone else "get's it', or at least that they are trying to…there can be some comfort in that I believe.