Dating as a Plus Size Princess can be… interesting! Here I’ve chronicled all of my dating adventures here from online dating as a big girl, to the “BBW” club scene in NYC. Hopefully reading my stories will remind us that it is possible to find love at any size.

No, My Boyfriend Isn’t “Settling” For A Plus-Size Girl

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

So, my boyfriend is skinny and I’m definitely not. But, one of the hardest things about being in a “mixed weight” relationship is other people and their opinions (and projections). While I don’t often hear comments about my weight when I’m alone, I do get a very strong message about my weight in the context of my dating life. The message comes in many forms, but it’s always the same: “You do not deserve to be with him.”

Sometimes, the message is delivered via a flirty waitress at a restaurant who smiles at him while scribbling my order — it’s straight out of a movie. Other times, the message comes from a smiling face that says, “You’re a VERY lucky girl…” Is that a backhanded compliment?

Before I met him, people warned me — both implicitly and outright — that because I opted to only date the men I found attractive (novel idea, right?), that I was a “superficial fat chick.” They said if a guy was attracted to me, I should be grateful! But, I didn’t listen. I kept my standards high started dating a Dwyane Wade look-a-like.

No, My Boyfriend Isn't Settling For A Plus-Size Girl

Body politics and dating are very tricky because people have opinions on who should be dating whom, but most of these opinions are often built on myths and judgments they subscribe to — even though they’d be too embarrassed to say them out loud. One myth is that only thin people are attractive. For some people, “fat” is synonymous with “ugly,” — I’ve been called “fatandugly” before, almost as if it was one word.

Another one? That a woman must be smaller than the man she’s with. If he’s dating a big girl, he’s settling. Why don’t we ever give big men a hard time for dating slender women? Or vice-versa? What if he’s head-over-heels attracted to her? What if their emotional connection and understanding of each other is breathtaking? Should he pass that all up because she’s fat?

These crazy myths will have us thinking we don’t “match” with certain people even if they’re interested in us — what does that even mean? As a big girl, I work so hard to manage my body image issues and I work even harder not to let those issues ruin my relationships. 

I’ve seen too many of my Plus-Size Princesses convince themselves that they’re not worthy of certain types of guys, when that’s just not true. I don’t care what you look like, if Channing Tatum is interested in you, there is something attractive about you, so please grab a dress that hugs your curves and do what you need to do. 

Most of us are sitting here with so much love and positivity to give, but instead of focusing on our beauty, wherever it lies, we absorb all the snide remarks and snickers from insecure people and let that dictate our dating decisions. When a girl tries to hit on my boyfriend right in front of my face, I can internalize it and say it’s because I’m too fat for him. Or, I can understand that women who go after other peoples boyfriend’s — right in front of them, no less — might be insecure that they don’t have someone of their own.

As I mentioned in this post, some of us have a bad habit of embracing the negative things we hear about ourselves. It’s easy to listen to the single people yapping about who we shouldn’t be dating because of how we look, but when we find someone who embraces us as we are, we owe it to ourselves to embrace them back.

I brought this topic up to my Dwyane Wade doppleganger the other day — in the context of us as a couple. “You know some people think we… don’t match,” I said. “Yeah,” he replied, “they’re probably wondering how I convinced you to date me.”

My original post can be found on Refinery29.com

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Why Do we Love Getting Dating Advice from Single Men?

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Question: Why do we love to get dating advice from single men?

Why Do we Love Getting Dating Advice from Single Men.jpg

I feel like we’ve all seen too many episodes of The Bachelor because somehow, we’ve put guys who can’t commit on a pedestal. Suddenly it feels like the dating scene is full of this 25 to 1 ratio of women are clamoring to unlock the hearts of the nearest man and when these men decide they’d rather keep sewing wild oats, we walk around like its our fault. We weren’t “something” enough to make them commit.

In general, it seems like we blame women for being single but we never blame men for not growing up/settling down– why?

A lot of this is happening on the internet, where there is a trend of random single men who love to dish harsh dating advice to women. Mostly saying what women are doing wrong in their dating life. These men say things like “How a woman dresses determines how I’ll treat her!”, “Don’t expect a man to pay for your dates!”, “Only loose women carry condoms!” and then there are those who reminisce publicly about their cheating. Its often posed as a cautionary tale, but I think they just enjoy reliving past conquests.

From what I observe, women eat this advice up. Its constantly being shared and retweeted and I’m not sure why.

I see dating panels and advice columns from of single men, “reformed players”, men who have never been married, men who have caused the break up of their families and then found love agan, etc. and for some reason we have a laundry list of questions for them as if what they have to say is the holy grail of dating advice.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking– aren’t these the very same types of men we’ve all been hurt by?

Men who can’t commit have somehow set things up so that women feel we’re not good enough to lock them down. Instead of thinking, hmmm maybe he needs to grow up and get it together. I refuse to believe that these men have never met a woman who was relationship/marriage material, but for some reason they keep letting those girls get away. But that’s shouldn’t be our problem!

Maybe listening to single men and reformed players makes us feel like we’re getting inside the heads of the men who we couldn’t make it work with in the past, but I’m wondering why we want to figure those men out in the first place.

To me this is like taking a class on how to befriend a bully. If someone is a bully, I have no interest in seeing what makes them tick or what I did to make them treat me badly. Instead, I’d go in search of kind hearted people and befriend them.

When a woman is single and has an opinion on dating we’re quick to shut her down, but some of my best dating advice has come from single women who have been hurt before. I’ve listened to some of the mistakes/missteps they’ve made and have been able to avoid the same heartaches that they endured.

When it comes to relationships, I tend to listen to married women more, but I don’t think we should discount the advice of single women when we’re dating… especially if we’re going to hang on every word that single men say.

…Thoughts???

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

I’m Single… What am I Doing Wrong?! | Plus Size Dating | Love & Relationships

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Dear CeCe,

For some reason I have the worst luck dating. For some reason, EVERY guy that makes a pass at me only wants me a “pillow buddy” or his friend on the side. I feel like I deserve to be the main chick. I dress conservatively, am well educated, am active in my community, work out regularly, have my own money, & keep myself up. Could there be something I have been doing for the past 10 years that has me screwing up my dating life?

P.S. Tried dating online… yea, same deal. All the guys just wanted me as a random hook up. I assure you the pictures I posted werent suggestive. Please help me! -DN

Hi DN,

Thanks for being patient while I gathered my thoughts on your letter. Hopefully some of the other PSP’s will chime in with their advice too!

I really wish I had a magic trick to sift through all the troll-ish men out there, but for me it was really time, staying in the dating game and keeping a diverse social roster that got me dating quality men.

 I do have some thoughts on what to do while you are single/navigating the dating game, so I made you a video response. Do you ever notice that many women who have been married for a while speak wistfully about their single life. Wishing they had done more while they had time/freedom?

Being single was really hard for me. I spent the first few years of my twenties, frustrated because I didn’t have a guy to spend time with. Then when I was like 25, I shifted my thinking and became grateful that I had extra time, love and talents that I could share with others in a variety of ways.

I think I’ve been trying to rush through being single instead of making the most of this portion of my life when my time/money/responsibilities are mine to work with.

Questions that are coming up for me during my single/unmarried time are:

  1. Are there people around me who could use my time/gifts/talent?
  2. What can I do now that I might not be able to do when I’m married or a mom?
  3. Is there something specific I’m supposed to be doing before I meet someone?

I’ve been doing my best to answer those questions and live my life accordingly. From there, my life has taken me to many unexpected places and in a lot of ways, me tapping into that is what attracts Robert to me.

I think you’re on the right track and I definitely don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. My main advice is to not let any of the love in your heart go to waste, there’s someone out there who needs it.

xoxo,

CeCe

p.s. Ladies, do you have any additional advice for DN?

 

Single What Should I do

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Plus Size Dating: Words from Maya Angelou…

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

I want to be as beautiful as I can be—to MYSELF first. THEN to whomever has the SENSE to see me. -Maya Angelou

When the news of Auntie Maya’s passing hit yesterday, so many quotes swirled around the internet… but this is the one that spoke directly to my heart.

Loving myself is hard and never ending work. I never get it 100% right, but I’m getting better at it. I’m getting better at bouncing back from failure. I’m getting better at seeing a number on the scale and moving on with my day no matter what it says. I’m getting better at not defining myself by my relationship status… I’m getting better, but I’m still a work in progress, we all are.

The exciting thing is that as I love myself better, the people around me love me better too.

What if seeing ourselves as beautiful is the key to being beautiful? What if how we see ourselves is reflected in the eyes of those we love? What if we stopped faulting ourselves for not attracting certain people, but instead understood that they had no sense!

I think I’m going to write this quote on the mirror in my apartment… lets read it again… Rest in Peace Auntie Maya. xo

Maya Angelou Plus Size Dating

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The Time I Accidentally Catfished Someone…

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

I was standing in the parking lot of Target when my phone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognize, but I was 17 so that was more thrilling than it is now.

“Hello?”

“CeCe?” the phone cracked in my ear “its me… Daniel!” He spoke again, “DBoone81?” I knew exactly who we was… my jaw dropped.

I Accidentally Catfished Someone PlusSizePrincess.com.jpg

I met Daniel in a chat room on AIM one night with my best friend, Holly. Somehow, Daniel and I had formed a tight friendship. We lived in different cities, but we’d spoken weekly via instant messenger and sometimes on the phone since my Sophomore year of high school.

Based on the crackled phone connection, I knew where he was but I asked anyway.

“I’m in Iraq,” Daniel said. When Daniel enlisted, I was one of the first people he called. “I’ve been thinking about you a lot, I miss our chats…”

Suddenly I was a ball of nerves. Even though I was 17, I knew what it meant when I guy used a precious phone call from Iraq to call you and tell you he missed talking to you. This was a big deal, an honor even… and a gesture that could transition our relationship into something more.

I liked Daniel, but he and I had never exchanged photos. I knew that he was 6’1 with blond hair, he knew that I was 5’10 and Nigerian, but I never mentioned my size during our talks. “plus size”, “fat”, “big girl”, I wasn’t comfortable with those words yet and it always seemed like they would ruin the moment, so had I never uttered/typed them.

But as I stood in the Target parking lot, chatting with Daniel, my size was all I could think about. Did he know he was using his international minutes on a big girl? I could see the romantic moves he was working to create… but I knew that the 5’10 Nigerian girl he was imagining at the other end of the line didn’t look like me.

Standing on the axis of “my size shouldn’t matter” and “but I know it does” was too much for my 17 year old self esteem to handle. I toyed with the idea that maybe I could lose a whole bunch of weight before he got back from Iraq and actually BE the fantasy in Daniel’s head, but I knew better…

I made an excuse to rush off the phone. I started letting days/weeks pass before I’d reply to his emails. Eventually, we stopped speaking. I had let Daniel down gently, “saved” him from falling in love with a fat girl, stayed true to myself and kept the fantasy he had of me squarely in tact.

Fast forward a few years, I’m 23. I log into my newly acquired facebook account and there’s Daniel name in my friend requests tab. I guess the pull of fantasy CeCe was too strong and he had looked me up. I was 5’10, Nigerian and plus size… turns out he was 6’1, blond and lanky/awkward.

He ruined it… I thought to myself, as I clicked “accept”.

I get so frustrated with the constant parade of plus size people misrepresenting themselves with skinny photos online, but in some ways I understand it. “My size shouldn’t matter, but I know it does” is a hard pill to swallow. “What if they see me and they’re disappointed?” is a tough question to ask. For me, it was better to find someone who liked me for the totality of who I was are than to let someone project their idea of a physical perfection onto my personality.

Other than the friend request, Daniel and I never communicated on facebook. No messages, no “liked” statuses. The lack of communication was a subtle version of the rejection I was trying to avoid. When Daniel saw what I looked like, he didn’t even want to rekindle our friendship, but that’s more of a reflection of him than me.

I’ll be live tweeting Catfish this week, follow me on twitter @CeCeOlisa!

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

When Insecure Men Make Us Insecure: My Response to LOUIE on FX “So did the Fat Lady” Episode 3 Season 4

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

When I was a sophomore in high school, I developed a crush on a nerdy freshman, with big teeth and braces who everyone called “Hee-Haw”.

I should start of by saying that I was a big girl who managed to defy all teen movie stereotypes: I was popular at my California high school, invited to my share of exclusive parties and I was asked to every prom.

I don’t know about you, but my high school was a funny place where the social “hierarchy” was quietly established and then followed without question. So when the crush I had on my little “Hee-Haw” became public, it shook up the status quo and two things happened.

1.) A popular upper classman who I was friends with, pulled me to the side after seeing me holding hands with Hee-Haw. “So, are you telling me you want to become… a ‘She-Haw’?!” he asked, running his hands through his hair. It felt like he was warning me that people would see me differently if I decided to date someone like him. I just laughed and explained that my crush was cute and funny and if that made me a ‘She-Haw’, oh well.

2.) A few unpopular (but skinny) freshman intercepted my little Hee-Haw as he made his way towards me and my crew during lunch. They pulled him into a corner, whispered and giggled while looking at me. It felt like they were warning him that people would see him differently if I decided to date someone like me. He broke up with me the next day.

I was secure enough in my popularity to date a guy that all of my friends made fun of, but my Hee-Haw was too insecure in who he was to date a fat girl. Oddly enough, being liked by a popular Plus Size Princess put Hee-Haw on the map and within a week he was dating a skinny girl who had never given him the time of day before.

I, on the other hand was emotionally bruised. He liked me until people found out… he liked me until people told him he shouldn’t. Better to date a skinny girl who used to ignore you than a fat girl who liked you when no one else did. That lesson stuck with me for a very long time… and it wasn’t until seeing this scene below from LOUIE on FX that I began to understand why I never became a She-Haw.

Before we look down our noses at my Hee-Haw for not being a strong enough teenager to publicly date a fat girl, I must examine where my crush came from in the first place. I actually had three senior boys who were interested in me (or maybe it was the DD boobies that came with my plus size body), I liked them too, but would never admit it. Instead I chose to pluck a Hee-Haw out of high school obscurity… why would I do that?

High school can be a fascinating social experiment. If physical appearance is social currency, then being overweight can put you into social debt.

 

Did I feel that my popularity and status was enough to get me invited to parties, but not enough to get me the boyfriend of my choice? Did I choose a Hee-Haw because deep down I thought my social status made me an upgrade for him even though my weight was a social liability?

Did I choose an insecure guy… out of insecurity?

The Hee-Haw was the last guy that I expressed interest in, his rejection stayed with me for a long time. When I moved to NYC for college and guys began approaching me, they were always very attractive, which was the last thing I expected (more on that in these posts: “Can a Big Girl Date a Hot Guy?” and “Superficial Fat Chicks and other Myths“).

As Sarah Baker states in her honest monologue, hot guys have nothing to lose if they date a big girl, they’re still hot. Its the insecure men who can’t handle it… its the men who are unsure of themselves that wonder if dating a big girl confirms that they aren’t as attractive as the next guy.

Unfortunately I spent too long letting insecure men make me feel insecure.

But here’s the deal: My job is to work on me, ditch the high school social games and place value on who I am at any size.

I can play the insecurity blame game, or I can keep it simple and know that when I’m confident in who I am I attract men who are confident in who they are… and that’s hot.

When Insecure Men Make Us Insecure My Response to LOUIE on FX

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail