I mentioned on instagram that I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. We had been dating for a few months. He “loved” me. I am glad that I had the experience. He did not do anything wrong. He treated me extremely well. But this relationship taught me so much.
–I need to date people without mental illnesses/eating disorders of their own. I found this quote by Meggy Wang: “mental illness provided a kind of definition to the way I chose who I wanted to date. The way I understood it, only another person with a mental illness could understand my unique situation, and as a result, I wound up with a lot of troubled partners.” My boyfriend was in recovery from bulemia (we actually met at the ERC in Denver last year). At first I thought that this would be a great thing because he would know about my weird anxieties. But it was not helpful. At all. I will not go into specifics, but being that close to someone who is struggling turns on the “competitive ED” voice in my head. I also felt more like I was babysitting him rather than dating him. I have spent so much time living with my mental illnesses that I am craving time with other people.
–I am not comfortable with being intimate yet. I did loose my virginity to this boy. Is it fun? No. Did I feel anything? No. But I did it because I felt that he wanted to and that I felt that I should. As time went on, I began to feel more and more anxious over things as small as hugs with him. This is something to work on, but at the moment I am NOT ready to be that revealing.
–I need to time to live up to my OWN values. So much of the past 2-3 (and more I guess) years have been dedicated to doing things that are not things that represent my values (ED behaviors, self harm, isolating, fighting with my family, etc). Our values weren’t necessarily the same, so I felt like I was spending a lot of time doing things because I felt like I should, rather than because I wanted to.
–I need to love myself first, but allow someone to love me. This kind of goes back to all of the above. But I’ve realized that I need to put myself first. I cannot let someone tell me they love me right now. Because I do not believe them. And it’s not fair for someone else to have to explain why they love me multiple times a week just because I am too self conscious. I also have a huge huge huge problem with money. Being a gentleman, my ex always bought whenever we went out to eat or did an activity. Which caused me huge anxiety. Maybe I should have let him spend money on me, but I do not feel like I deserve that. The whole money issue just caused me too much anxiety that I can’t deal with at the moment.
I’ve realized through this relationship that I do not need outside approval or someone else to tell me that I am beautiful.
I could keep going, but I do not need to put up everything about my ex and I’s relationship on the internet. I am so thankful for the experience to have had my first relationship. I have learned so much but above all: I have learned that I am not in a healthy mindset for a relationship.
Have you made a relationship work in recovery?