Dating: What are Your Standards?


So, in Smelly Men I’ve Dated (Part One) I shared a bad date story where a guy chose to walk two miles to a movie date with me. When he arrived the combination of minimal deodorant and wearing loafers with no socks created a foul odor that made sitting next to him in the movie theater… unpleasant. I spent the first half of the movie, avoiding his advances as he tried to put his arm around me. During the second half of the movie, seats opened up in front of us and I got up and moved. (Note: for those asking… after the movie was over, I walked out with him, waited for him to use the bathroom and spent time discussing the movie before parting ways. He didn’t ask why I moved seats and I didn’t tell him).

The post wasn’t meant to be deep or anything. I have lots of crazy dating stories and I love sharing them with you, but one comment on the post has me thinking. The commenter said:

Dang CeCe, I know dude was funky but did u really have to get up and move seats? That must’ve been a major blow to his self-esteem.


Dating is hard. Dating as a Plus Size Princess? Well, that has its own challenges. When it comes to self-esteem, sometimes I have to be a little selfish and put my self-esteem first.

PSP’s are often devalued because of our bodies. When it comes to the dating game weight affects how we’re approached in bars (if we’re approached at all), the types of messages we get online (do sex propositions even count?), what is expected of us in the bedroom (that rumor that big girls “do more” in bed just wont die). Then to add insult to injury, people are shocked when we turn down dates because the unspoken rule is that a Plus Size Princess should “take what she can get”.

For many of us, dating  becomes an overwhelming task of maintaining optimism and trying not to go crazy.

I think we’ve all dated someone who we weren’t 100% excited about just because it felt nice to have someone giving us romantic attention. It can become tempting to look past things just because a guy is interested in you. This is where standards come in.

We all have set standards in different areas of our lives, It’s easy to have standards in the areas where we are confident in our value but its difficult to set standards in the areas where we feel insecure/vulnerable about what we’re worth. I’m good at my job, so I have no issue setting a specific salary standard because I know my value. But in dating I may find myself setting standards and then letting things slide because the value of a Plus Size Princess is always being questioned.

Setting standards is hard, and I’ll be honest… once you set standards, you will date less. But we know that quality wins over quantity every time. Here are some examples of standards I’ve set and adhered to in my dating life:

-Do what you say you’re going to do. (I don’t want a guy who says “I’ll call you tomorrow” and then sends a text a week later.)

-Don’t rush for the physical (If your focus is getting me into bed, its hard for me to believe you want anything more than that)

-I won’t date a smoker (I just can’t)

-I put my best foot forward for you, I hope you do the same…

If a guy is trying to put his best foot forward, would he walk two miles to a movie date with no socks on and only a smidge of deodorant? If he was meeting Kim Kardashian for a movie date, do we think he’d risk getting all sweaty before sitting in such close quarters with her?

If anyone’s self-esteem was bruised it was mine. His actions showed that although he wanted to see me. This guy wasn’t concerned with the way he presented himself to me for the first time. If a man doesn’t meet my standards, I will not try to change him (that’s another post altogether) but I can change myself. I can remove myself from situations that aren’t right for me, and that’s exactly what I did when I moved seats.

Plus Size Princesses, have to do a lot to keep our heads held high in the dating game. Setting standards and sticking to them is hard, but in the end it actually helped my dating self-esteem because I stopped going out with guys who didn’t value me. I would encourage us all to look at the different ways we may be compromising our standards so we don’t hurt someone elses feelings.

I hope this doesn’t sound too harsh, but… it makes no sense to devalue yourself to spare the feelings of someone who doesn’t see your value.

Thoughts? What are your dating standards?

  • melissa

    CeCe, Love this post! Great reminder! I once had a first date with a dude that wore just t-shirt, jeans, and athletic sneakers to a nice dinner (along with being rude to waitstaff). I declined to see him again. People told me that I was being shallow, but my thoughts were exactly the same. I spent time getting dolled up and I really thought a guy should put effort in as well–basically, thought he put his best foot forward, too! Thank you for this post and reassurance that it’s okay to have standards!

    • CeCe Olisa

      That’s not being shallow… you should not be required to “raise a man” ya know?

  • Sherry

    This is such a great post and I’m tempted to send it to every friend who has ever questioned why I’m ‘so picky’ and to every loser guy who had attempted to date me! I learned early on that the ‘take what you can get’ mentality will only lead to frustration and disappointment, so I am content on waiting for someone worth my time.

    • CeCe Olisa

      Ha! You should… people dont realize how those “picky” comments are really them projecting what THEY think we’re worth… smh

  • Curvily NYC

    I am so mad someone asked why you moved. SMH, basic grooming is not negotiable. Great post in general too, but that is CRAZY!

    • CeCe Olisa

      lol… sometimes we need to remind ourselves (and eachother) that we deserve better!

  • Kurves

    Agreed. Your standards are non-negotiable, after all why set them if you can’t adhere. All of us Ladies Must have standards regardless of the size of our feet, but they have to be realistic and No to smokers is realistic! Thanks for this post.

    • CeCe Olisa

      Realistic is important. I am very specific not to confuse standards/non-negotiables with preferences :-)

  • Rebekah Jo

    Seriously is this what it’s come to? You should have suffered through the funk to spare his self-esteem? I think not. Have a little self respect men and make sure you don’t stink!!

  • Crown

    I wrote that comment and I just want to add that I in no way was insinuating that you should lower your standards. When I read the story, I really was thinking about how I would feel if my date literally refused to sit in my presence if I made an unfortunate mistake of not being as “fresh” as I should.

    For me, it was more of a question or whether you should treat others how you’d prefer to be treated. For me, I would have spared his feeling for the night and probably let him know in a compassionate, respectful way realizing that we all makes mistakes.

    However, I feel you if you just didn’t have the patience for it and just didn’t want to be bothered. So many times folks don’t bother being compassionate to us PSPs so I can understand not feeling like returning the favor. But personally, I like to rise above what others would do.

    • CeCe Olisa

      Hooray, I was hoping you’d chime in!!! First, thanks so much for the thought provoking comment :-)

      I didn’t think you were suggesting that I lower my standards, but this post was more insight into “why” my instincts were to just get up and move.

      I think patience was the main thing for me… living in NYC I date a LOT and I’ve been through a LOT so sometimes I’m a little more “cut throat” than others might be. Patience is a virtue though, so I’ll see when I can tap into that more when it feels right.


  • Ann

    Like Sherry below, I too have to listen to the “You’re too picky” comments from some friends. Funny thing is, those friends are the ones who have settled themselves and now I have to listen to them complain about aspects of their partner they don’t like. But their partners haven’t changed, they’ve been that way since they met them. Why do they expect their partner the change to meet their standards now if they didn’t come originally packaged that way?

    I don’t settle for half a friendship, a half cleaned home, a half completed project at work, a car that runs half time… why should I settle for half the man I’m worth being in a relationship with.

  • celia74

    I agree with the LW. If it were me, I wouldn’t humiliate my date in that way by deliberately getting up and moving to another seat and continuing to watch the movie. Honestly, I think there were more gracious ways of handling that — claiming a sudden migraine, for instance, or a stomach ache, or some reason for excusing myself from the theater or the date altogether.

    When I think of having standards, those, to me, are big things. My standards are about having the same values and the same goals in life. When I first met my fiance, I thought he was totally cute. And then I realized one of his front teeth was slightly discolored. Not in an unhealthy way, but just slightly different from his other teeth. Now, my 19 year old self would have immediately dismissed him (probably rationalizing it as it must be a sign of poor hygiene or laziness when in fact, it came from a childhood operation). But I am so lucky I met him when I was 24; if I hadn’t agreed to go out with him because of a tooth, I would have missed out on the love of my life.

    My theory on first dates is that they should quick and respectful. Now, maybe this guys was deliberately thoughtless in meeting you in the state that he did. But, knowing men in the way I do, there’s a high probability that wasn’t the case. I think there’s a good chance that he was nervous about going on a first date and wanted to go on a long walk to clear his head; he probably didn’t even think about what that would mean in terms of footwear-to-sweat ratio as he probably doesn’t go for long walks in loafers often. Men just often don’t think of these things in the way we do. I mean, Kanye does actually date Kim Kardashian and just look at the fashion choices he’s made on some of their outings. Or maybe he was sweating because he liked you so much and didn’t know when would be the right time to hold your hand or put his arm around you.

    Honestly, Cece, it seems from your description like you really weren’t that excited about this guy even before the date. And that’s fine. But I think in that situation the goal is to either 1) not go on a date in the first place or 2) get out of said date as graciously as possible instead of making what would normally be an awkward experience an excruciating one. I mean, he probably has a sister or a good girl friend who called him up to ask how his date with the cute blogger went; how would you react if your best guy friend told you his date left and moved down a row without any explanation?

    • CeCe Olisa

      Your comment made me add a detail to the post that I didn’t think was relevant before: After the movie was over, I walked out with him, waited for him to use the bathroom and spent time discussing the movie before parting ways. He didn’t ask why I moved, I didn’t tell him. When he texted me later that night, I responded and just let things naturally fizzle.

      I’d rather remove myself from the situation for the last hour of the movie than lie… so for me acting quickly in the moment, that was the most gracious option I could come up with :-)

  • Missmaam

    Dear Cece – I’m a 35yr old single PSP and confidence has been a major issue allllll of my life – growing up and hanging out with a skinny sister and cousin, I always felt looked at as the “big one” in the crew….. but I digress….. finding your blog a couple weeks ago has been great!! it’s a good feeling to hear similar stories and experiences.
    I learned a few years ago that if I don’t put a value on myself nobody else will and even though I only date here and there, the quality of men has gotten much better (their commitment issues are a whole’nother story, lol) but I agree with your post 100%

  • Missmaam

    I also wanted to add, I’m kicking myself for missing the curvy girl speed dating event yesterday – will you be doing a post to let us know how it went?

  • Alicia Kirkland

    Ce Ce I don’t know where the rumor started but your right its one of the biggest
    rumors. Plus size women can turn down dates. No we don’t have to take whatever. Even then women should follow this rule. Our self esteem values etc should come first. With that said bad hygiene shouldn’t be accepted by no one.

  • vanessa jackson

    We’re just like anyone else, we have standards and values that shouldn’t be changed because of our size. Respect is respect and self respect should always be first. My standards have changed as I’ve gotten older. Certain things I put up with in my younger days, I definitely wouldn’t now. I can’t stand a lazy man, one who can’t make plans, a smoker, a man that can’t pull himself away from the sports channel every once in a while … I can be flexible with my standards but their other strengths have to be quite strong for that to happen. Great blog as always

  • Tikeetha Thomas

    I love it. I think you eloquently state that you should have standards and you shouldn’t have to settle because you are a PSP.

  • Belated Bloomer

    I think every girl should have her own set of standards. And while some of those things are negotiable, she has every right to hold onto those that are more of her “prerequisites.” :)

    I, for one, felt bad for you rather than the guy, because I think it’s just respectful to make sure one looks presentable and un-smelly when going on a date.


    aka The Belated Bloomer

  • Ms. Sonjay

    WOW CeCe. Lady I like your style. All too often those of us that are plus size falter when it comes to what we want, or how we feel, because of how it may make someone else feel. Now, I’m not saying I disagree with the Crown, but what I am saying is that we spend so much time worrying about how our actions will affect/effect others that we negate our own feelings.
    I’m a seasoned Plus and I maintain those standards that suit me. I have a sister who once told me, after I turned down a date with a guy she thought was so great – “you got some nerve!”. She went on to remind me of my social status as a tall, overweight, single mother…and while I don’t work my neck or snap my fingers, I managed to let her know that my standards were not up for debate. Presently I work with young girls on self-esteem and etiquette. I love it when a shy, or pushy, PSP joins the group and leaves with a sense of self that is much stronger than the one she joined us with.
    Loving the fact that you love you. It’s an absolutely great way to teach others how to treat you.

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  • Smart Alex

    I love this post…well, I like all your posts actually. I love this blog, because it is like a snapshot of certain parts of my life. Any way, I think it’s lame “big girls” aren’t “allowed” the same liberties as skinny girls. I know…I know…I’m not trying to whine, but what’s the difference? If I have a dating preference, whether I’m a 2 or a 24, it’s my prerogative! *in my Bobby Brown voice* to do what I wanna do and to date or not date that person. I truly get sick of all the stupid double standards I have to deal with on a daily basis–first as a woman, second as black, and then third as fat. OmG! Enough! On the count of three how about everyone worry about their own dating lives instead of being so nettlesome in other people’s affairs. Ok, I’m done with my mini rant. Thanks.