National Eating Disorders Association

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Shaina28
Struggles with dating/eating in public/unmeasured foods, etc.

Sometimes dating becomes tricky because I can't eat in front of people or unmeasured foods. I can hardly eat in front of my mom. If I am in a situation where I have to eat something I can't control, I essentially eat as little as I can get away with. I have issues with my body as well, but I think the eating part is the most immediately obvious. I try so hard to avoid mealtimes and problem foods. How have other people dealt with this? Did you wait until you were more recovered and emotionally healthy? Would you share this with a significant other (I would feel bad doing this, but it would be obvious something was off, and I wouldn't want said person to think he's the reason for my discomfort). It is hard not to resent someone for getting in the way, to be honest, and I would hate to do that. I hate how quick this turns people into roadblocks and stressors. Thoughts? If I am still struggling with many aspects of my ED, is it problematic to start a relationship in the first place?

iwanttolive
Shaina28

Hello. I am glad you posted. I was in the middle of responding and lost all of it, which happens to me frequently which is frustrating so this is take 2. I was saying how I understanding what you were saying. I then was talking about my own recovery. I was very ill. I was hospitalized over twenty times and then the halfway houses and day programs. One doctor gave me a zero percent chance of recovery. I am now going into my six month of recovery. I have not used behaviors even though I have been dealing with tremendous stress. I used to be terrified of eating in front of others. I needed to know everything that was in the food, how and when it was being served, had mine made up special if I didn't like how it was being made. I had my tricks as to how to hide the food. Dinner was the worst. But now I am about six months into recovery. I can eat anything I enjoy, as there are foods I don't like, but not related to the eating disorder. Now back to you. First, I hated going out to eat. Or going to other peoples houses. It was scary. I would eat as little as possible in front of people and go home and eat some more. Just didn't want others to see me eating, as you said you have problems with. I want you to know recovery is possible. Do you have anyone to talk with about this? Are you seeing a therapist or nutrionist?

It is my personal belief that going into a relationship it is very important to let your partner know about your difficulties in the beginning. Honesty is very important, for me, and sooner or later your partner will eventually find out. It is also a life threatening illness which usually gets worse without help. Others may have another view, but this is mine. A relationship can not flourish if things as important as an eating disorder are not brought out into the open. SO I hope my response helped even a little bit. I wish you the best and hope things get easier. I hate this insidious disease. It's objective is to isolate steal life and control its victims. We have to stand against it and say no more. Again, I hope you found some of this helpful. And always remember, recovery is possible. iwanttolive

lylaa
Same here

I'll be honest I don't have much advice but I can tell you that you are not alone. My boyfriend knows a very tiny bit of what I'm going through so I feel very alone. His grandfather is going through a lot of medical issues which has meant that I have been having to go to a crazy amount of family dinners which I hate. I try to be there for him and his grandfather but it is hard when I can't focus on conversation during dinners. I can barely eat in front of him let alone a bunch of family members (and many I haven't met which just make it worse). To be honest this stupid disorder has made me want to end this relationship which is hard to think about. Ive been dating this guy for a year which may not be long to some but for me it is. I have told him there is a lot he doesn't know and when I'm ready I will tell him. My only advice is to be honest with your partner because I know it would make my situation so much easier. If you are just going on a date and you don't know the person well maybe try going to the movies or doing activities that don't involve food until you are more comfortable with the person. And since dates usually revolve around food like an example would be dinner and a movie, to get out of that I say I only have time for the movie or I can't stay out late I have to work in the morning. Wish I could be more help, good luck!

lylaa
Same here

I'll be honest I don't have much advice but I can tell you that you are not alone. My boyfriend knows a very tiny bit of what I'm going through so I feel very alone. His grandfather is going through a lot of medical issues which has meant that I have been having to go to a crazy amount of family dinners which I hate. I try to be there for him and his grandfather but it is hard when I can't focus on conversation during dinners. I can barely eat in front of him let alone a bunch of family members (and many I haven't met which just make it worse). To be honest this stupid disorder has made me want to end this relationship which is hard to think about. Ive been dating this guy for a year which may not be long to some but for me it is. I have told him there is a lot he doesn't know and when I'm ready I will tell him. My only advice is to be honest with your partner because I know it would make my situation so much easier. If you are just going on a date and you don't know the person well maybe try going to the movies or doing activities that don't involve food until you are more comfortable with the person. And since dates usually revolve around food like an example would be dinner and a movie, to get out of that I say I only have time for the movie or I can't stay out late I have to work in the morning. Wish I could be more help, good luck!

Shaina28
Hey, thanks for this. If you

Hey, thanks for this. If you don't mind me asking...you said he knows a tiny bit? Did you talk to him about it at first or did he realize/ask? I recently met someone who's so nice and patient, but I don't want to bring him into this. But I don't want to draw attention by avoiding food. And even if I were to try around him, I feel like I'd resent him for losing my control over food or potentially gaining weight, and I hate to do that.

Shaina28
Also, please don't answer

Also, please don't answer this if it makes you feel uncomfortable, but have ED-related problems made it difficult to be close to someone- emotionally, physically, etc...? I recently moved to a huge city, so much of dating is meeting in the city, which involves commuting. It's a lot harder to avoid food in that kind of time frame. I used to be able to date and kind of avoid food when I lived in a small city and had control over my time and schedule.

lylaa
sorry for super late reply!

I have been out of town for a bit and haven't checked this site recently. My boyfriend and I were friends for awhile before this and I told him I had a secret and thats why I didn't want to date anyone at all because it came in between every relationship I had. Long story short I dated him anyways and told him that the secret has to do with my eating and weight. Every relationship I have been in either my boyfriend started to notice or his family did. I don't think any of them thought I had an eating disorder but they would make comments about how I'm never hungry or that I have no meat on my bones. One mom even joked with her son saying I was anorexic, which I nervously laughed off. My boyfriend is super super supportive of me though I do want to tell him because he is there for me and letting me take my time with things. So I really do believe that if you get close enough with someone they will notice so telling them some of your issues (maybe not the whole thing until you are ready) will help, but also tell them there is more that you would like to tell them someday

lylaa
Forgot to say

Also yes it is hard for me to be close to someone both physically and emotionally. My boyfriend is super good with me tho he doesn't push me at all. I just feel so distant sometimes that it actually makes me laugh thinking about it. I don't know why but I find it funny that my boyfriend thinks he knows me super well but he doesn't know the biggest part of my life and I'm so fake with him sometimes because of it. Like he still believes in the whole "I'm not hungry" and I don't think he's faking it like I think he actually believes I'm not hungry even tho he hasn't seen me eat all day. I know his nativeness is my doing and I do want to tell him everything because it is tiring having to keep up lies after awhile

chunkymonkey68
Thats part of the reason i dont date much too

I know how that feels. My dates are my pairs of tennis shoes and socks, and outfits for walking in.....I feel ya. Good luck in recovery too.