Dating a Guy Shorter than Yourself


Dating experts repeatedly state that the best relationships are those that are built around shared values and mutual interests. And yet physical attributes have always played a significant role in the choice of a partner, especially conventional markers of attraction like a tall frame in men and a gorgeous hair in women. So if you are a woman and find that despite hitting off well with your date, the guy shorter is than yourself, here are few things you can keep in mind.

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Understand where the bias comes from

Popular media in America and other western societies almost invariably represent the average happy couple as comprising of a man who is slightly taller or at least of the same height as his female partner. Opponents of such popular cultural representations call the phenomenon height discrimination whereby men of shorter height are represented as being less successful in their professional and romantic lives as compared to taller men who have women and job promotions falling at their feet. Whether such representations have any basis in reality is open to debate but the fact remains that media images have a strong influence on actual dating trends. So you hear tall women complain of not getting ‘suitable’ partners to go out with while less than tall men speak of women giving them literally the short shrift. Once you understand that notion of desirability of men depending on their height owes a great deal to artificial media constructions, you will be better prepared mentally to go out with your boyfriend even though he does not tower over you.

Goes back to the past

Contemporary society has actually evolved from a strongly patriarchal one in which boys were brought up to believe that their role is to act as the lord and master of the family and when girls were likewise conditioned to accept that their ‘destiny’ is to bow to the will of their male partner. Successive generations of such thinking gave way to cultural predisposition where there was little chance of men literally or figuratively accepting women as their equals, much less of looking up to them. In fact in some traditional cultures which continue to be explicitly patriarchal, such constructs of masculinity and feminity still survive which is why men marrying women taller than them in these societies is largely unheard of. However since you live in more egalitarian times and an equal society, there is no reason for you to surrender a potentially good thing to discriminatory notions of the past. Be thankful that you live in a place and age where women can literally stand tall without the necessity of taking any guy’s support and where she is not bound by unequal ideas in her choice of a partner.

Evolutionary reasons no longer hold water

The most widely accepted reason though for the female preference for taller men seems to come from evolutionary science. In primitive times, when survival of individuals and indeed the species depended on physical strength, females naturally looked for partner who would be best able to provide food and shelter for them as well as protect from enemies and the hostile elements.  In other words, men who were healthy and physically fit as in being tall and muscular were most desired by women as mates. With successive generations this predisposition got strengthened with the result that women now seem to be genetically wired to choose men taller than them. However conditions which influenced choice of a mate several millennia ago are no longer relevant.  In these times, the more resources a male partner can command, the likelier he is to ensure the successful upbringing of his family and clan. Therefore attributes like enterprise, wealth, and intelligence are now more desirable rather than physical traits like height. And though women may still find tall men sexually attractive, they will not necessarily choose to have a relationship or a family with him. So if you feel that your partner despite lacking a few inches has potential for social and material success as well as bears personality traits like kindness, generosity and a sense of responsibility, then short or not, you should definitely give him a chance.

Many famous people are doing it

When dating someone shorter than you, take heart from many famous couples where the woman towers a good couple of inches over her male partner. Leggy model and singer Carla Bruni gave no thought to the French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s diminutive stature when faced with the prospect of being feted as the first Lady of France. Likewise Hollywood heartthrob’s Tom Cruise’s phenomenal material and professional success proved a far stronger magnet for actress Katie Holmes who stands a good couple of inches over her partner. Thus while cultural and evolutionary predispositions still reveal a tilt in favor of taller men as dating partners, when it comes to meaningful relationships, financial success and personality traits often edge out height and other physical attributes as the winning combination.

Take practical steps

Now that you are convinced that a guy’s shorter stature is no big deal if he makes you happy and comfortable, you can easily adopt some style tips which minimize the height difference between you two. Admittedly all women love their heels, but in your case, you may have to keep off the stilettos especially when you are out with your partner. Choose sandals and pumps which also look elegant without adding the height. Then again avoid wearing longitudinal stripes or dresses of single color which may emphasize your height to your partner’s disadvantage. Color blocking is a great way to go and is now in fashion or in casual wear you could pair your jeans with a long top. However when you are out with your date, remember not to slouch or walk behind your partner. These are marks of a lack of confidence, both in yourself and in your choice of a partner.

Finally though the decision who you wish to date remains with yourself. If you are a tall woman yourself and don’t relish the prospect of a short date, don’t go that way at all. You don't owe any favors to a guy who's probably dating you because he likes your looks: you should like how he looks too, and if short guys don't appeal to you, don't waste their time or yours.  By the same counter don’t dismiss someone with whom you have really hit off just because dating a guy shorter than you, looks weird. If you have no problem with your boyfriend’s height, no one else should have.