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Would You Date a Man Who's Shorter Than You?

Updated on February 28, 2018

My husband and I were at a friend's party when someone commented on the fact that I was a little taller: "I'd never marry a woman taller than me. Taller women look "too alpha" next to a shorter guy." He said it proudly, standing next to his petite wife who was smiling in agreement. Looking back, sure - it was a stupid remark from a narrow-minded moron, but it made me think.

I'm 5'7'' and I'm aware that most people perceive me as "tall". In fact, I enjoy it. Being a tall leggy blond kind of worked out for me, although when I was younger, I felt a bit awkward about it, hence the slouching habit. But I never really considered my height a disadvantage.

Am I missing something? Is there a tall woman bias? Are taller women considered less feminine and more "manly" perhaps?


To be clear, I have no prejudice the other way around. I've dated shorter guys. I've dater older guys. I've dated weird guys. I've dated snarky cerebral assholes - I'm pretty democratic in my dating approach (which is not the same as being indiscriminate). I've even dated a Republican. Once. By accident.

Kidding, lighten up. I would never date a Republican!

The point is, we can all be swayed by a pretty face and a good body, but a person's physical characteristics should be secondary to who they are and how they make you feel. Personally, I just dated people I was attracted to - those I found interesting, stimulating, mysterious, charming. Granted, also not the best approach - but at least it wasn't based on some stupid superficial attribute, like height.

So if you think you're too short, too fat, too hairy or too bald: know that the right person won't care about your height or weight or what you look like, because she'll be fascinated with your mind, your spark, your kindness, your sense of humor - everything that makes you YOU. And hopefully, you'll recognize that person when she/he comes around.

Real ladies are frail and demure. If that's what you believe, go back to 1800s.
Real ladies are frail and demure. If that's what you believe, go back to 1800s. | Source

Still, I must admit that my gender is consistently prejudist against shorter guys, and short men in general.

"Like most animals, we're wired to associate height with power," so short guys...get the short end of the stick, excuse the awkward pun. What's worse, women are enforcing the notion that a guy has to be taller more than men do! Really, ladies?

I've heard women say with the same certainty as the party moron that they would NEVER date a shorter guy because they want to feel "frail" and "tiny" next to a guy, to know that he's bigger and stronger than them, so he can protect them. Similarly, guys often profess a preference for "shorties". This is infuriating to me.

Why would you want to feel small and frail? Why are women conditioned to be helpless and seek the man's strength and protection? Are we simply destined to be 'the weaker sex'?

I'm so sick of this pseudo-romantic notion of a 'damsel in distress'. You know what's romantic? A man who's not threatened by my strength, my intellect, and certainly not by my height. In exchange, I promise not to care about your height, the apparent lack of six-pack abs, or that bald spot you're trying so desperately to camouflage.


Think about it: how many short men became assholes to women because they were rejected so many times, or teased growing up? Consult your Ian Fleming, if you don't believe me:

“Bond always mistrusted short men. They grew up from childhood with an inferiority complex. All their lives they would strive to be big - bigger than the others who had teased them as a child. Napoleon had been short, and Hitler. It was the short men that caused all the trouble in the world.”

Do we really need more Hitlers in the world?

Scientists say that tall women are the biggest threat to humanity. Watch out!
Scientists say that tall women are the biggest threat to humanity. Watch out! | Source

Conversely, how many tall women harbor insecurities about their height, or give up on relationships altogether? And how many short women are tired of being patronized and infantilized because they are seen as cute and adorable, and not much else? Being a "shorty" can be a pain in the ass, too.

Ladies (and gentlemen), remember this: height is not something a person can control. It's mean and superficial to reject someone based solely on their height. To admit it and to even boast about your height "standards" in public is callous and idiotic, and speaks volumes about your character.

So can we all just shut up and get over our height hang-ups?

I understand that everyone has their preferences, but there is a fine line between preferences and prejudices. Find it.

Your Opinion

Do You Think a Man Has to Be Taller Than a Woman?

See results

© 2015 Lana Adler


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    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      4 years ago from California

      Frank, thank you for taking the time to share your story, and your views. You've obviously well-informed on the subject. I think this is the longest comment I ever got!

      I've heard male comedians speak of the same thing - how women who in their 20s wouldn't have given them the time of day were suddenly interested as they got older and realized they were now competing with younger women, and guys who were "below" them before are now desirable dating options. I'd like to think that at least part of the reason why is because we get wiser as we get older, so superficial things like height or hair or weight become less important. However, it's probably not the reason.

      In any case, as I expressed in my article, selecting mates based on height (or age for that matter) guarantees that you'll miss out on someone great. And yes, I wish women were less fixated on the proverbial alpha male, just like I wish men who become reasonably affluent or financially secure later in life weren't excluding women their own age from their dating pool. But guys like you, embittered, it seems, after years of rejection, are determined to give women the taste of their own medicine, so the vicious circle continues...

    • Happy Moment profile image


      5 years ago from The Eastern Bypass

      My short funny friend usually tell me that short people are good because they will look down upon you. He gives me an example of Zachaeus the short man in the Bible. Height for me doesn't matter. It is what is within the skull matters.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      5 years ago from California

      Thank you thank you Mel, you lucky 6-feet tall son of a gun! So you ARE the gentle giant I always suspected you to be :)) Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing!!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      I thoroughly enjoyed your beautifully written rant. I am 6 foot 3, so if I ever dated a woman taller than me she must have been the queen of the Amazons. If that's another stereotypical female height reference I apologize. My wife hovers around 5 feet, so I must be one of those domineering brutes who like them short, cute and cuddly. Seriously though, I'm such a softie my wife can push me over with her little finger. Great hub!

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      5 years ago from California

      The stilettos are evil, created by some evil men in some secret underground laboratory :-) They're painful to wear, and there is something circus-y about them.

      I'm glad to know that there are men like you Marty, who are not intimidated by tall women, or by powerful women for that matter. My concern is more about the women than the men. The research shows that it's the women who care more about the height difference than the men. I think it's an outdated trend and it shouldn't be encouraged. Thank you for the comment!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm short 5'-5 and I've never had much of a problem with being short. I love women tall, short, plump & skinny. I've never been intimated by other's height. I grew up as the shortest among my male friends, but was never teased or bullied because of my height. As far as dating, I've been married too long to remember dating, but I did and still have many tall women friends. In this time of serious gender bending, LGBT prominence, I don't think height is a big concern in relationships. I grew up around powerful women and enjoyed their company. As I distantly recall I never dated any needy helpless women. They all stood on their own very well without male assistance. I do have some prejudice against 5-7" heels. I hate to see a 5' tall woman eating soup off my head while wearing stilettos.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      5 years ago from California

      Thank you Larry! In our day and age it really shouldn't matter.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great hub! I know height matters to some folks, but it shouldn't.

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      5 years ago from California

      And I openly admit that my gender has more height hang-ups than men do. It's a bloody shame. But since this article started with a comment made to me by a man, I'm addressing the men, as well as the women.

      Clearly the men and the women can learn a lot from you and your wife! When I wear heels, I'm also considerably taller than my husband, but who cares, besides people with huge insecurities? Thanks for the comment!


    • dashingscorpio profile image


      5 years ago from Chicago

      Actually if a guy considers a woman to be "hot" he doesn't care how tall she is. In fact I've seen a lot of articles on women who prefer not to date women who are shorter than them!

      Some women are just as picky about men's height as men are about women's weight. LOL!

      I'm 5'11 and my wife who use to model long ago is 6ft. You add some 3" heels to her and we're not even close in height! ha ha

    • kalinin1158 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lana Adler 

      5 years ago from California

      Lol Bill that's what I'm talking about :) It's more fun this way.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I was so busy laughing at the Republican joke that I missed the rest of the article. :) I guess this does matter to some people. Me? I was just happy that any woman would date me. :)


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