I’m no supermodel skyscraper, but I fall into the “tall girl” category at 5’8” and have always towered over the majority of my friends. Maybe I always felt like the odd one out for being the tallest, but height is something I just can’t help.
No one seems to take into account how tall you are—except when it comes to your love life. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve talked to girlfriends about dating, and one of them has said something to the tune of, “it must be so much harder for you to find a man since you have less of them to choose from,” meaning, of course, that I shouldn’t even consider men who aren’t my exact height or above. I’ve also heard many ladies say—and I was once guilty of this myself—“I like him a lot, but he’s shorter than me.”
When it comes down to it, I think that this mentality is totally ridiculous. But looking back, it was just an idea that I had mindlessly agreed with when I was younger.
If you look around at the majority of couples, it isn’t the norm for the woman to be the taller one in the relationship—and if they are, someone is bound to have something to say about it. Why do we think this is so weird? Is it just because it strays from traditional gender norms?
It begs the question: in a relationship, how much do physical differences REALLY matter? Naturally, being attracted to your significant other is key—but at what point does this sort of fixation become shallow?
Would you really write a guy off just because you think you might look strange to others as a pair?
I’m 5’8” and have been dating a guy who is 5’7” for almost a year. Granted, this is only a height difference of one inch, but friends have still pointed it out many times. When I’ve brought him up, I have often been asked questions like, “isn’t your boyfriend shorter than you?” or “does that weird you out?”
My boyfriend insists that a couple with a one-inch height difference does not count because it isn’t a drastic discrepancy, and therefore I have no standing to know what being part of a couple with a strong height difference is really like.
But I disagree.
While our height difference isn’t a big deal, it’s definitely still noticeable, and others have asked us how we feel about it.
I’ll totally admit to having had all the awkward girl-who-is-taller-than-her-man thoughts and concerns when we first started dating:
“Should I just throw away all of my heels now?”
“Celebrities totally do this all the time, so it’s fine, right?”
“Are our pictures going to look awkward?”
“Maybe I should slouch?”
“Does he think this is weird?”
I quickly had to tell myself to throw detrimental thoughts like these out of my mind, because a physical difference shouldn’t be the main focus. My boyfriend and I were friends for years before we started dating, and if I was comfortable wearing heels around him then, what should stop me from feeling the same way now?
I’ve come to love taking ownership of the fact that we’re a quirky, outside-of-the-norm couple. Being the taller woman in a relationship doesn’t have to make you feel awkward or uncomfortable. Your relationship should never be based on what other people think about it, especially when it comes to your looks. Your physical appearance should make you feel empowered, confident, and self-assured at all times. Inner beauty, right? Well, relationships have inner beauty as well.
Maybe it’s time to put your heels back on and start casting your gaze downwards in search of your next man.