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More To Love teaches plus size women how to learn body-acceptance and end dieting for good. 

{My Curvy Life} Want A Loving Relationship? Start Here!

Rachel Estapa

Fall in love first

Fall in love first

{This is the second article in a new series running through October titled “My Curvy Life” featuring body-positive guest bloggers sharing personal stories on body image, daily life and various  plus-size perspectives. To submit your work to the series, read my blog requirements here}The key to a loving relationship? Loving Yourself By Dionna Humphrey

I started to write this after a particularly challenging week (let’s be honest, challenging SUMMER) for my dating life. To say I was disheartened would be an understatement; I felt down and out for the count. Not because I felt as though I’m not worth finding a fulfilling, loving relationship, but that for some men, THEY think plus size women don’t deserve to find a fulfilling, loving relationship and treat women accordingly.

And you know the saddest part about that? Many plus size women have come to accept and believe that.

I’ve got news for you—that couldn’t be further from the truth. And here’s why: you ARE beautiful. You ARE smart. YOU ARE fun, engaging, vivacious—all the things these little dings to our self-esteem attempt to contradict.

If I would’ve read or written this article 10 years ago I might not have believed it. Because so many plus size women are conditioned not to. Everywhere we look, we are being told we are less than. We can’t shop in the stores because retailers would rather have us hiding at home behind our computers, we can’t indulge I the occasional treat without wondering if someone is judging us the way they might not our skinny friends, and we can’t find a decent partner who will see all the beautiful qualities inside and out that we possess, whether we’re a size 8 or a size 18. It’s no wonder we’re confused!

A funny thing happened when I began my journey to love myself, love my body, love my hair—love all of me: I no longer defined myself by others, including my relationships and dating experiences. I no longer said to myself, this guy is no good, but there may not be anyone else so I’ll stick it out. I no longer thought, this guy is going out with me because he thinks big girls are easy so I should give up the goods before I’m ready.

When you are ready to accept and believe that there’s nothing wrong with you and who you are, you are truly ready for love.

But being ready is only part of it; maintaining this body/mind positive attitude is a long time commitment. We all have those days, particularly when we have these moments that have the potential to knock us off our game.

But another amazing thing happens when you come into your own and learn to define your own destiny: it becomes easier to bounce back from these moments. And eventually, they are a thing of the past. Instead of looking at a bad date or relationship and accepting the blame, you know that this person cannot truly appreciation what a magnificent person you really are because you know and live in the truth that you are.

Dating can be fun, and when you find someone with whom you have a connection with, it can be amazing. The one thing you have to remember is, it’s possible. It’s possible to find love at any size. Nobody is perfect, and your potential partner won’t be either. But when we let go of all the baggage of body shaming, of questioning who we are and what we have to give and what we deserve, we CAN and WILL find love. And if you’re not ready, that’s also ok! While you’re assessing/re-assessing whether or not you’re in a place to date and find love, take this time to begin your journey of loving yourself. It can be a long one, it can be a painful one, and it can be one that will change your life for the better.

I’m still on my journey, and every lesson, setback, etc. is an opportunity to continue to learn and grow and love who I am. I just turned 39 and I am better than ever. And to say that—and believe that—is worth everything to me. Trust me, it will be to you too.

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Dionna

Dionna

Dionna Humphrey is the owner of Body Conscious Beauty, a style consulting business serving clients in the Washington, DC area and beyond. She’s also a contributing editor to the online publication, All Things Fashion DC as their plus size contributor. You can engage with Dionna/Body Conscious Beauty on any of the following social media platforms:

Website: www.bodyconsciousbeauty.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/bodyconsciousbeauty Twitter: @StylebyDionna