Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Boy

We've been dating for a few weeks now. (FINE I guess he gets a letter. From now on, boy shall be known as S.) He has taken me to several nice restaurants, bought me fancy chocolates and candy for my birthday, invited me to his fraternity formal, and generally behaved like a perfect gentlemen at every turn.

So...WHY am I so conflicted? Part of it is just me - I suck at relationships. The very thought of being in a relationship freaks me the hell out. I have this fear of losing my me time, which is generally spent on food/running/schoolwork-related shenanigans. I'm not spontaneous, I hate being the center of attention, and food-centric activities make me crazy - so, not exactly conducive to forming healthy romantic relationships.

Also, the friendship-to-dating transition is tricky. Since I've known S for a couple of years now, we've sort of skipped over the "getting to know each other" phase. This has created an awkward dilemma for me; namely, how much do I reveal about the anorexia? He knows a little bit, but I've implied that it isn't really an issue anymore. The more time we spend together (read: the more meals we eat together), the more it feels like I'm lying to him.

There's another sort of secret issue that I'm not sure how to articulate. It's going to sound crazy selfish and cold, but here goes. Basically, the eating disorder still takes up a HUGE portion of my brain, and there's not a whole lot of extra space in there. The calorie-counting, fat-phobic obsessions are always there, always nagging at me, and I don't know how much energy I have left for a relationship. Sometimes I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water as is, and I can't imagine adding another person's feelings into the mix. I can't promise that I would be able to put the relationship above my disordered regimen, and I can't promise that I'd want to.

I like S a lot and, commitment issues aside, I can see myself  being with him longer-term. But if it came down to him versus the eating disorder, I'm not sure which one would win.


  1. This is tricky but I can totally understand and relate to the issue at hand. I think it is important to open up the communication so try to find a good way to explain the anorexia to him (easier said than done but I like this video: then just be open to talk about it with him and make sure he knows that. At the same time don't let it dominate your relationship aka don't let it be the only thing you talk about. Reassure him that he has no responsibility - relieve some pressure by telling him that he can't make you better and that's not his job, when people hear about something like this the automatic response is to want to fix it but it's not that simple and this kind of thing can't be fixed in a very straight forward way unfortunately! If he wants to help (which I'm sure he will) just tell him that he is already helping by being there to talk to about this stuff. :) it'll be ok, I just know it

  2. Oh wow do I understand what you mean. I had the exact "but where will he fit in" doubts when I first started dating M. I have to say, though, that for me personally being in a relationship has been a HUGE recovery booster, because it gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself in new ways (making time, connecting with someone, breaking routines, etc) and to see how unbelievably rewarding that can be.

    I think that it has to be a somewhat gradual process--no one expects you to move in with him right away, but you can make small changes over time that will fit him into your life without it feeling like an overwhelming shock. And a gentleman that understands you will be understanding about that. I went from rushing home from dates at 10:30 so I could get my pre-bed workout in to staying a week or so at a time with my boyfriend and leaving wanting more. Believe me, if I can make that kind of change, ANYONE can.

    Anyway not trying to make this about me, just sharing that even someone that tends to get as stuck in a rut as I do can make something like this work. And above all else, you deserve to give yourself a chance to let something like this in your life. Give yourself a chance to let someone cherish you, to let yourself connect with someone, to try out how it feels to give more of yourself to another person than to the disease. You have worked so damn hard at recovery, and should be able to enjoy rewards like this. Letting the ED push out relationships will always be less than what you deserve.