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Dating someone with an eating disorder


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Hello all. I recently found out the my girlfriend has bulimia. She didn't tell me this, however; we are both members of the PostSecret site (neither of us knew that the other had an account) and I happened to find a post of hers stating that she has bulimia, along with the statement "it's easier to deal with the pain than recover".


I really do care for and I am always there telling her that she's beautiful, amazing, etc., which I completely believe. But now that I know she has an ED, I'm afraid that I'll be on the "lookout" for signs and symptoms and whatnot. I'm kind of in a pickle because I don't want her to know that I know something that she wants to keep secret, but I still want her to know that I support her and will always be there for her (though I'm pretty sure that she already knows this, she might not know that I'll also be there for her in terms of her ED). I'm also concerned because I don't think she'd really look for help. It also brings up another issue because when I didn't know about the ED, we were both happy, which we still are, but now it'll be harder when I know that she's still hurting to badly inside.


What can I do? For those who have dated people with an ED, how did you provide support? And for those who have/had an ED, what would you like your significant other to do?


Thanks in advance. =]

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well you cant change what you know so i think (not having experinced an ed) you should talk to her about it and see what she would like to do and how she feels about all of it. try to show her you are there to open up to and that she doesnt need some sort of help but some strength. I think the idea of an ED seems to be one that might depend on feeling helpless. get her to workout with ya and do more with you or maybe read up on diets something positive to help rid of the negitive impact. Health diets not weightloss ones. focus on body health not image. I hope this helps with something or generates some ideas. GL





Er, no.


Eating disorders portend of deep psychological issues, and are not solved by working out or reading a diet book.


People with eating disorders need to seek very specialized treatment, mostly benefitting from in-patient services, but some can get good help from regular out-patient services and support groups, all depending on the severity, of course.


Sadly, if your GF is not willing to get help, then no amount of support or encouragement from you will make a difference. These things don't go away on their own, and tend to worsen without treatment.


Your only real option is to confront her with it.

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My advice would be to "find out" around her. Set some meals up or something, or have a friend overhear her in the girls bathroom and have a talk with her and say either that you've noticed somethings odd.. or a friend mentioned some concerns... and see if she wants to talk. Warning though, its her deep secret.. she may hate you knowing and try to change the subject.


Alternatively you could invent a previous girl friend or best friend who had an ed, and just bring it into conversation at some point, so she knows you care, and understand that stuff.. she might be spurred into telling you...


when you say she has bulimia, did she say she had been officially diagnosed?

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