4 Truths About Dating After Rehab

Dating in 2015 is hard.

Dating in 2015 in NYC is hard.

Dating in 2015 in NYC while recovering from an eating disorder… even harder.

I could write short stories over the love affairs I’ve had in my life. Spain- Ireland- Germany- UK- Camping- Work Office- Subways- you name it, if I’ve set foot there- I likely have some tale of love and heartache that accompanied that experience.

Airports around the world have been covered in my tears as I’ve stood countlessly in the security line- waving goodbye to the 8-week “love of my life” that was standing on the other end.

2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years- doesn’t matter, I’m a love whore at whatever length of time. *Cringe, sorry Ma*

To be fair, it’s not actually love. It’s idealization, because duh, that’s the best part, right? It’s the non-commital. The daydreaming at your desk, pretending to know the future actions of a person when all you’ve ever spent with them is a night on a tarp.

I crave the heart-pattering, smile-inducing, neuro-transmitting 2am talks. The mutual friends who wink when they pass you talking. It is my personal heroin when I realize that another person is committing their night to being nearby me. I crave the instant attraction- the game of locking eyes till one gives in and comes over.

I love the moment you know it’s something.

And I love the feeling that you are free to leave if it changes.

In other words, I love the beginning of things.

 

The long-term commitment of relationships are often lost on me. It’s not on purpose (much to the popular belief of my family), but it is sub-conscious.

BUT….BUT… THE VALIDATION* My mind whirls when things get serious. ONE PERSON TO VALIDATE MY EVERY NEED. IMPOSSIBLE, my brain has always panicked.

Recovery is a lifelong process, sure, but what they don’t reiterate is that you’re still going to be the same person once you’re out of rehab. You are not cured of fundamental habits; but more you are  just now made aware of them… and it’s your choice how you choose to learn from it.

I’m still not an ideal partner yet- it’s true. But, I also countless times set myself up for emotional tantalizing and torture by becoming involved with someone who I know isn’t going to treat me the way I want.

Some might call it karma (no doubt some exes of mine call it this), but I frankly think it’s me ignoring the reality of the situation… which is almost always ”THEY JUST AREN’T THAT INTO YOU AND YOU CAN’T ACCEPT IT.”

That being stated, here are 4 truths I’ve learned about dating in recovery… They’re honest, blunt, and my mother will likely hate reading this, but recovery is owning your truths and then learning from them. And these are mine:

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