Does Size Really Matter? When Height Differences Pose Dating Pool Dilemmas

Keeping Him on His Toes: Some girls feel uncomfortable dating boys who are shorter than they are.

Keeping Him on His Toes: Some girls feel uncomfortable dating boys who are shorter than they are.

Sammy Hardy ’11
Staff Writer

Keeping Him on His Toes: Some girls feel uncomfortable dating boys who are shorter than they are. | Photo by Annie Nelson '11The bell sounds, and their eyes meet from opposite ends of the hallway.

They race toward each other, ready for a joyful embrace after an unbearable lunch period of separation.  But as they part from a brief hug and a kiss, he is the one left lingering on his tip-toes.

There are couples in school with a significant height difference between them. But now, after some girls have bucked the idea that their man needs to be taller than they are, there are a few couples where the girl is the one bending down for a kiss.

The age-old stereotype of a taller guy standing over a small girl has changed recently, and a guy dating a taller girl is no longer made fun of.

As of now, many of these dating myths have been abandoned. Many girls and guys have no problem dating someone taller than they are.

However, the atypical combination of a short guy and his taller girlfriend is seldom depicted in romance novels or movies.

Usually, the leading man is just as tall, at the very least, as the leading lady.

So what makes dating a shorter man so taboo, or such a dating “no-no?”

There is a precident among girls that they want a big man, someone who can protect them. With a bigger and stronger boyfriend, girls can feel more secure.

The days of pepper spray and women’s defense classes have now approached, however, so it would seem that dating a taller guy would be no longer necessary for a woman’s protection.

For some reason, though, be it Hollywood ideal or a passed-down belief, most girls are hesitent to go out with a boy that is shorter than they are.

At Staples, girls are undecided on whether dating a shorter guy is socially acceptable.

Avery Vogt ’11 agrees with the stereotype that “girls want  a big man.” However, unlike most of these girls, Vogt found her big man in a guy who happened to be shorter than she is.

Vogt herself is dating Jamie Altschuler ’10, who is a few inches shorter than she is.

How many inches, exactly, is debatable.  While Altschuler persists that the difference “might be one inch, maybe one and a half,” Vogt begs to differ. 

“It’s about three or four inches,” she said.

“I felt weird about [dating a guy shorter than me] in the beginning,” Vogt said.

But even though neither of them are bothered by the height discrepancy, they sometimes hear troublesome comments from friends.  “Girls think it’s weird,” Vogt said.

Altschuler says that “guys like it and think it’s cool” that he dates a girl taller than him.  He references Victoria’s Secret models, and how their boyfriends “must be shorter than they are.”

But at Staples, many girls maintain the Hollywood standard that their leading men must be taller, if only by a few inches.

This dating myth has been around for a very long time.

“I look for a guy that’s taller than me,” Blaney Rotanz ’12 said. “I think I would feel uncomfortable being taller than a guy that I’m dating.”

Some students believe that there is no denying science, since boys are naturally taller than girls.

“The only reason guys date short girls is because girls aren’t taller than guys. If every girl was 6’4”, then it would be different,” Logan Miller ’10 said.

The issue of dating a shorter guy seems to often be averted by shorter girls.  “I don’t really look at the height problem because I know I will be significantly shorter than [most] of the guys I date,” Holly Stewart ’11 said, who measures at a small 5’2 ¾”.

Other students expressed that they don’t think height discrepancies matter in high school relationships.

“It wouldn’t be weird if they both like each other,” Sam Reiner ’12 said.  “It shouldn’t matter.”