How To Pursue Romance if You Have an Eating Disorder

Navigating romance can be difficult, but having an eating disorder can make it even more difficult.Trying to hide your eating disorder symptoms can make emotional vulnerability, communication, and trust more difficult.You need to put your recovery first.Prepare for romance by boosting your confidence and self esteem, and cultivate a strong relationship by being honest and open with your partner.

Step 1: If you are ready, ask.

If you are honest with yourself about your eating disorder, you will know if you want to pursue romance.Do you know if you need to take care of yourself?Romance may not be a good idea right now.It might work out well if you are pursuing romance.Are you getting treatment for your eating disorder?You should do this before you start dating.Are you following your exercise and meal plans?You might be ready to pursue romance if you commit to your plan.How are you feeling?When you feel depressed, anxious, or stressed, it's a good idea to pursue romance.

Step 2: Take it slowly.

People with an eating disorder have a tendency to start romantic relationships too early in their recovery process.If you start a romance too fast, you may be replacing one addiction with another.In the early stages of recovery, romance, relationships, and intimacy can become a substitute for an eating disorder.If you want to look for romance, you need to reestablish relationships and build new ones.If your romantic interest likes you, they will be okay with taking it slow and getting to know you as a friend.

Step 3: Stay focused on your recovery.

During the first year of recovery, people with an eating disorder are discouraged from pursuing romance because it can become a distraction.Make sure you keep your focus on recovering from your eating disorder if you want to pursue romance.Attend your therapy sessions.If you want to pursue romance, don't skip sessions.If you want to hang out with your crush, don't skip the group meeting.You should stick to your routines.Recovering from an eating disorder depends on them.Do not stay up late to talk to your romantic interest.

Step 4: Practice dealing with life's difficulties.

There will be times when you feel anxious or stressed as you address your eating disorder and pursue romance.If you don't know how to approach a romantic interest, you may have a hard time sticking to your recovery plan.You will be able to handle the stress of pursuing romance and dealing with an eating disorder if you practice strategies.You can meditate on a regular basis.It's possible to calm your mind and body to cope with stress.Practice deep breathing.Breathing slowly while you count can help you relax and relieve tension in your body.

Step 5: Increase your self-esteem.

People with eating disorders may have low self-esteem.You need to feel good about yourself in order to battle your eating disorder and pursue romance.List your positive personality traits, skills, hobbies, and interests.Pick two or three words and write them down on a sticky note.You can either post the note somewhere or carry it with you.Positive self-talk can help you.Use the words from your list in the mirror to compliment yourself.Tell yourself, "I'm brave, kind, good at playing the sax, and romantic."

Step 6: Open yourself up.

Eating disorders can leave you feeling isolated or cause you to avoid social situations.You cannot pursue romance if you are isolating yourself.If you want to pursue romance and have an eating disorder, you need to open yourself up socially.Accept invitations from family and friends.You don't know who you will meet at the event.If your sister invites you to her softball game, go.There is a chance you could be in the stands.You can volunteer for a community organization.You will be giving back to the community, supporting your recovery, and possibly meeting a new romantic interest.You should spend time with them one-on-one if you have a romantic interest.They could be invited to a football game or out skating.

Step 7: Show your confidence.

People with eating disorders can show signs of low confidence.If you are confident, you will be able to successfully pursue romance.When you introduce yourself to a romantic interest, look in their eyes and smile.If you see someone that catches your eye, stand up straight, walk up to them, and say hello.Give your partner some space if you are in a relationship.Don't be clingy or needy, it is great to spend time together.If your partner spends time with someone else, be confident that your relationship is secure.

Step 8: Be who you are.

If you don't change yourself for romance, you can pursue romance if you have an eating disorder.Don't use romance as a reason to have an eating disorder.Trust that you are fine.You don't have to look a certain way to have romance, and you have a lot of great qualities.You could say to yourself, "I can have romance without changing myself."If you want someone to love you for all of your great qualities, tell yourself that you don't have to lose weight.It's possible to say, "I want a romance where all of me matters, not just my weight or size."

Step 9: Don't let your boundaries get in the way of setting and sticking to them.

People with eating disorders might have had difficulty with other people overstepping their boundaries.You may feel like you don't have control over your life because of the lack of boundaries in your relationships.Boundary setting will eliminate your romantic interest from overstepping them.Tell your romantic interest what you have in common.You don't have to be sexual just because you're pursuing romance.If you are on a date and the conversation turns sexual, establish your limits upfront.You could say, "I'm okay with hugging and cuddling, but that's it."You could say, "I don't like when you demand that I do something."

Step 10: When you are ready, close your disorder.

You have the right to tell them about your eating disorder if you want to, but you have to be honest with them.How much you tell your romantic interest is up to you.You don't have to tell your life story on the first date if things are getting serious.You could say, "I want to let you know I have an eating disorder" after you've hung out a few times.Your romantic partner might want to know how long you have had the disorder.It is okay to not answer as well.You might say that it is too personal.We should talk about a more neutral topic for a while.

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