So Buzzfeed’s got a piece up on tall women dating short men. I’ve wasted most of the morning reading the posts and accompanying comments. A few of may favorites? Not wanting to date shorter men is sexist, Jezebel comments where all these 5’10” women are talking about how hard it is to find taller men, and the Guardian piece where the author admits that 5’10”, while tall, isn’t freakishly tall.
As a member of the freakishly tall female clan (6’5″ in my bare feet), I find all this endlessly fascinating. While I understand what the 5’10” shorties mean when they say they just want a tall hunk of a man to curl into, I can’t help but snort in derision. It’s so snotty, I know. But come on, are the six-foot men really that hard to find? Every guy I know claims to be 6 feet tall (which makes me anywhere from 6’5″ to 7’2″ depending on the man).
I have always, always, always, always dated men shorter than me. I don’t have a choice really, there aren’t a lot of men taller than me. Plus, growing up a taller woman was never that weird. My mom is 5’10” and on his best days my dad might reach 5’7″.
So it was never weird to date shorter guys. In fact, I never even dated someone taller than me until I was in my late, late 20s. I discovered two things:
1.) Height cannot be the only thing you have in common, sadly
2.) It’s weird dating someone taller. I’m used to being the tallest person in the room no matter where I go. Always. So when I’m around someone taller than me I have this constant feeling that someone is reading my newspaper over my shoulder. It’s disconcerting.
While I would like to sit up here on my high horse, I cannot deny that I have rejected men for being too short. I am not comfortable dating a man who is close to a foot shorter than me. Is that sexist? Perhaps, but I don’t care.
That being said, dating a shorter man has more to do with the individual guy then some arbitrary number. I’ve been with 5’10” men who have made me feel like the most attractive, beautiful creature to ever walk the earth, and I’ve been with 6’7″ men who have made me feel like pond scum. I’ve realized, much too late in life, that the way he makes me feel is much more important then what people might think when they see us together.
So why don’t we see more tall women with shorter men? I think it all comes down to self confidence. Shorter men don’t approach tall women because they are sure they will be rejected, tall women don’t approach short men for the same reason.