National Eating Disorders Association

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Opening up to a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Hi all,

I am now weight restored, and continuing recovery from anorexia! I have been feeling pretty good most days, am on medication, and pretty regularly seeing a therapist and dietitian. I have been going out a little more, being more confident with myself and met someone! He's a really sweet guy and we've talked non-stop for about 3 months now and seen each other a few times over the span of about a month. I want to tell him about what I've been going through, some days can still be hard for me, but I really don't want to scare him off because I know that this illness can put a lot of strains on a relationship. Anyone have any ideas or opinions on when to open up, or how to do it from personal experience?


While I personally have never

While I personally have never had to do something like this, I think that, from what you've said, he seems like a good guy. I don't think that you need to feel a rush to tell him, but I do think that eventually telling him is a good idea. I guess it depends on how serious you think things are so far. It's up to you really.
As far as situations and timing go though, if he suggests going out to eat for you next date, perhaps that would be the best time to tell him. I'd also suggest telling him in person; that way you can immediately explain to him what an eating disorder is and tell him that you are well into recovery. You can dispel any myths surrounding eating disorders that way.
With that said I'm glad to hear that you found someone that you're interested in. I really do hope that things go well. Best of luck.

I agree with Adage!

Hi redfoxgal!

I am so glad to hear that you are staying strong in your recovery! That is such an inspiring story and you should feel proud of that accomplishment!

In regards to the new guy you are currently seeing, I believe being honest with him is the best route to go. He does appear to be a good guy from what you have said and from my own personal experience, I opened up to my boyfriend about my history with an eating disorder after dating him for about 3 months, as well. He was very supportive about the situation and he explained to me that he was happy I told him about my experience. At the time, I had been in recovery for pretty substantial amount of time but I felt like this had been such a huge part of my life at one point, that I wanted to be honest with him about it.

Let us know if you need anymore help speaking with him about the situation or how the conversation went! I wish you the best of luck with that! I know it can be a difficult topic to discuss with someone (especially someone who you’re dating) but if he really likes you, he will stick by you through the good times and the bad times!



Hey guys!!!

Just wanted to give an update...I really appreciated the experiences of Adage and Erin Patricia1. We are still together and going strong! It's been about 4 months now that we've been actually dating, and I had originally just told him that I had difficulty my freshman year of college. My school was huge and difficult, so that was understandable. However, he knew something was up and asked me about a week ago what else had happened, and I couldn't lie, so I told him. I was so scared because everyone treats you differently after you tell them, you know? But I remembered you guys saying that it is better to share, and when I did he gave me this great big hug with no hesitation or fear or thinking at all. Just words of encouragement and love and simply having someone to be there. It was the perfect response and we went to dinner after and I didn't notice anything different than usual! It was the perfect response and I feel so glad that I listened to you guys, it is so relieving! I would love to hear more from other people about their experiences opening up about ED to their loved ones!


I'm overjoyed to hear that things are going so well. Your boyfriend really sounds like an amazing guy! I had a feeling things might turn out like this - you sound like such a sincere person, and you described your boyfriend as such a caring guy. It sounds like you'll be able to rely on him as a part of your support network which is wonderful.

As for continuing in recovery, NEDA has a lot of great stuff
There's the proud 2 be me campaign:
NEDA's tumblr:
As well as stories of hope

I'd also suggest checking out the posts of the user birdie22. She posts a lot of good stuff up on the Maintaining Recovery board. Thank you for updating us, and I hope to continue to hear good things from you :)



Hi redfoxgirl,

I was actually in teary eyes when I read your update. This is beyond happiness when your boyfriend hugged you and you felt the care and love from him. I am so glad that nothing has changed.

Keep it up and be strong :)

Thank you Marytim!

I still really struggle with it sometimes, I know I still have a long way to go before I am recovered. But I want to get better so badly, for my family, for me, for him. We have been together 7 1/2 months now, and still going strong. I generally eat the best when I am with him, makes me feel very normal! Not everything is perfect, but when is it ever with an eating disorder? I hope that you are well and stay strong too!