Real Talk: I Hate That I Hate That My Boyfriend is Skinnier Than Me

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By Alexandra Cioppa

In 2013, Adam Levine was named sexiest man alive. And from a strictly objective point of view, sure, he’s a good looking guy. Personally, I’ve never found him all that attractive. Whenever he comes up in conversation (and surprisingly, this is quite often), I always say, ‘yeaaahhh I guess he’s cute but he’s just so skinny, I feel like I might crush him’.

This has always been a weird fear of mine. I could trace it back to this episode of CSI I once saw as a pre-teen where the woman accidentally rolled over and smothered her sex partner to death. I could also get into the fact that hitting puberty made me as a curvier and in a pivotal point, my self-consciousness stuck with me for life but let’s not get Freudian here. I’ve just always felt like I needed any guy I was seeing to be bigger or at least, as big as me.

 

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Without getting weird with you, I love my boyfriend. He’s one of the best people I know and definitely my most favourite person (because I don’t personally know Beyonce). When I met my boyfriend, I thought he was cute, in like that dorky haircut-ish kind of way. He wasn’t my typical type. I mean not only did he not have a beard but he was slim. Like Adam Levine slim. On our first date, I couldn’t help but start to feel anxious and awkward as I slurped down pho.

On our first date, I looked at his slim hips, which made me jealous that my own were wide.  I wondered if he could tell that when I ate, I got a double chin from the side. When we walked down the street, I wondered if people beside us were wondering what such a good looking, thin guy was doing with a big girl like me.  But he was great. I really liked this guy.

I’ve always thought that if a guy liked me, then he liked my body. Before dating my boyfriend, I had never felt awkward with my own body when it came to sex. I knew what I looked like. I mean, I didn’t have the physique of Doutzen Kroes but what the eff did I care? But as his very thin thighs graze me, I still can’t help but picture that old timey black and white video of King Kong attacking a building when it comes to sex.  When he puts his hand on my stomach, I think about my rolls of fat. When I change in front of him, I picture him immediately zooming in on the stretch marks and cellulite.

It’s hard to have sex when you have a million thoughts running through your head, half of them being: “I wonder what angle my boobs look best at”. It’s hard to be intimate with another person when all your energy is focused on keeping the angle of your thighs right so you don’t get cellulite. Figuring out how I can cover my chubby stomach in a strategic way with sheets is all consuming. Sometimes I don’t even want to have sex because I know I will a catch a glimpse of myself stripping down in a mirror. I wish I could let go, I wish I could get out of my head but it’s difficult and makes me retreat into myself.

After sex, cuddling is pretty much just anxiety inducing. Maybe it’s Disney’s fault but the fact that I am larger than my boyfriend makes me feel less feminine. I want him to be able to pick me up. I want to see my thin hands in his large, rough ones. I want to be the cute little spoon to his big one. Instead I feel like I’m the ladle against his teaspoon. This just isn’t how it’s supposed to be, I think. It’s not how it is.

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But then: who says I am supposed to feel or be any way? I hate that I feel less than. I hate that I feel disconnected from my boyfriend and I hate that I don’t feel like myself. I know that a person’s weight has no bearing on who they are. I know that love isn’t only based on how someone looks. I know that my negative thoughts are only coming from me and I have become obsessed with them.

Aside my hindrance to my sex life, my thoughts make me feel generally like a crappy person. I’m a hypocrite that tells my friends about the dangers of fat shaming and then fat shames myself in my head. I judge myself based on other people. And being jealous of your boyfriend’s hips? It feels pretty pathetic.

After months of getting’ down and immediately cringing when my pants come off, I realized that I was exhausted of feeling this way. It’s incredibly tiring coming up with plans to hide your body and eventually you run out. I mean, I’ve already used the ‘I’m really cold in here, can I keep my hoodie on excuse’ way too many times.

Going from just “really, really liking being under the blankets” to being bare and brave all out in the open is difficult and scary. At the same time, never having good sex again is also scary. There came a point where I had to decide what was more important: feeling crappy or just trusting myself and a partner and owning my body. Knowing that your partner loves your body is powerful, it can make you feel great and sexy but knowing that you love your body is really what makes you feel sexy.

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Comments

  1. Renee says:

    We are the lucky women who’s man thinks we are beautiful and perfect weather we are 80 lbs or 800 lbs. You’ve got to try to see him in the same way. I struggled with this for years and still occasionally have doubts but realizing he sees you as a beautiful woman makes the difference most of the time. On my “fat days” this is harder so I sometimes have to do the visual version for myself.

    • alexcioppa says:

      Yes, definitely some days are harder than others. There are times when I feel really great and others not so much, I’m getting there!

  2. Interesting article; I’ve definitely felt similarly & scrutinized myself in the past as you have.
    The big question I had at the end was: where does your boyfriend & his thoughts & feelings fit into this?
    As in, what dialogue have you two had on this topic?
    I know all the adoration & attraction in the world can’t help a person work through their very personal demons, but I wondered if he knows what goes on in your head? Often, the pressure of silence we place on ourselves can be so shame provoking!
    Perhaps if this was something you guys could talk about (which you may already do, who knows) he could be alongside you through your fears & judgments, & working together you could get to a balanced, more self-accepting place?
    I’ve learned that partners often love to be there for us!
    Thanks for sharing your struggles with this, I can absolutely relate & appreciate that you’re giving voice to this!!!

    • alexcioppa says:

      I have spoken to him about this before and he read the piece before it went up. It’s funny because I don’t think he would ever even assume that I would have these thoughts. I think he was genuienly surprised the first time I brought it up. It helps to have support, to have someone in my corner for sure, I think what I realised was that just as negative outside opinions can be irrelevant, so can positive ones and the only person who could change my thought process was myself.

  3. Ashley says:

    Love this. I have the same skinny 110 pound boyfriend, and I’m over here like hey get taller or gain weight 😛
    I’m taller and way bigger than him. Thanks for sharing I love this! (:

  4. Sam says:

    Ugh I feel the same way. I have never dated a man who was skinnier than me and it was somehow comforting. When my boyfriend of 6 years and I broke up last year, I started dating my true soulmate. He is the most amazing person ever and I feel blessed to be with him, but most importantly, he feels the same way about me and we just love being around each other. I have to stay on a very restrictive diet in order to control my blood sugar (namely, I cut out as much carbs as possible, with once in a while special occasion treats followed by self hate and feeling bloated and disgusting, but glad for the ice cream or pizza). My boyfriend dutifully cut his carbs down to help me keep from feeling deprived, and immediately lost what little tummy he had, and he went from being 10 lbs heavier than me to 5 lbs lighter than me in about 2 weeks! It was very discouraging for me, and although I *know* I need to have a better self image and this has nothing to do with our relationship or why/how we love each other, it does make me hate him just a tiny bit and also feel jealous and a little worthless. I know this is part of my problem from having issues with eating my whole life, issues with insulin resistance and gaining weight very easily in spite of diet and exercise, and he is one of those metabolically gifted people and it has nothing to do with who we are, but all the same, I judge myself anyways :( I just wish he could get a little fat when he eats ice cream, just a little!!!

  5. Morgan says:

    Wow! You honestly took my thoughts right out of my head. You wrote, I almost feel like about myself. That so me when it comes to my relationship and body issues. Especially during sex…now I don’t feel so alone. I’m getting better at owning my body because my boyfriend would get frustrated. He always complained how I never let him touch me and how I’m always hiding my body and said that he just wants to grab me anywhere without me freaking out because he loves my body and I’m just making him feel like shit when I cover myself….making him feel like I don’t want him to touch me and that’s not AT ALL what I’m trying to do. It’s all me. ALL in my head. I need to get over it lol. Thank you so much!

  6. Et says:

    Just don’t let him see this article, it will crush his self esteem. Being skinny for a guy is just as painful as being fat is for a woman, plus it comes with physical dangers.

  7. cr says:

    Thank you so much. I needed this. I have been so insecure with my image and intimate life with my boyfriend. Sometimes I just feel like he is discussed with my body because I am. I still have issues with changing and getting undressed in front of him because I don’t want him to see my body because I wouldn’t want to. I don’t want him to feel me. Its a bad problem know.