Everyone likes a tall man; there’s tons of research to prove it. Of a 2009 study, the journal Evolutionary Psychology says, “Male height is associated with high mate value. In particular, tall men are perceived as more attractive, dominant and of a higher status than shorter rivals, resulting in a greater lifetime reproductive success.”
That same study found that “Tall men reported greater relationship satisfaction and lower levels of cognitive or behavioral jealousy than short men,” and that short men engage in different “mate retention behaviors” than tall men. According to Alan Au, client relations manager at the clothing boutique “Jimmy Au’s For Men 5’8″ and Under” in Beverly Hills, the “mate retention behaviors” of short men are precisely why you should date them. As part of a case for dating short guys, he says, “Considering lifelong companionship, shorter guys may be the better choice. If it holds true that shorter men don’t have as many dating opportunities, if nothing else, I think shorter men would try harder to be funny, caring, empathetic, honest, hardworking — and just be a gentleman. In that case, the rationale might be that they are more loyal.”
Short men may be loyal, but women who marry them may not be. According to Evolutionary Psychology, “The female preference for tall partners may present an increased risk of desertion or cuckoldry (paternity by another male) to shorter men.” But, Au notes, the historical and even evolutionary preference for taller men may be misguided. He says, “A healthy 160-pound, 5-foot-5 man is going to be a stronger protector than a healthy 160-pound, 5-foot-11 man. It’s been well documented, pound for pound, shorter men have greater endurance, stronger muscles, faster reaction times, faster body movement and are less likely to break bones.” Plus, he adds, “Shorter men live longer. Shorter men have lower incidences of cardiovascular disease when comparing taller men with the same health conditions.”
Short men may be known for their “Napoleon complex,” but as Chiara Atik wrote in a 2012 post for the HowAboutWe blog The Date Report, “A short guy willing to go out with a girl who’s taller than he is is confident and probably ok with his girlfriend upstaging him. He’s not too hung up on appearance or machismo. This is a good quality to have in a boyfriend.” She also notes, “the general consensus from women seems to be that guys who don’t necessarily feel the most attractive will often work much harder in bed, whereas the Don Drapers of the world, who are used to being wanted and pursued by women, focus more on the act of receiving pleasure than giving it.” (Actor Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper on “Mad Men,” is 6’2″.)
Blogger Jeanna Barrett – who is going on 50 dates to food trucks (my kind of girl) – says in this post that short guys make great dates because they “are a more comfortable hug height and fit like puzzle pieces in your arms.” I understand where she’s coming from. While I’m not sure that dating a guy who is several inches shorter than me would work for me (I’m only 5’4″), I do prefer guys who are around my height or just a little bit taller … and yes, for puzzle-piecing purposes. I joked recently that, “When it comes to relationships, the guy has to be taller. That way he’s always looking at you from the angle you use in your selfies.” But the truth is, when a guy is too much taller than me, I feel like every hug and prolonged conversation hurts my neck.
Women, would you date a man who is shorter than you? Men, do you prefer to be taller than the woman you’re dating?
Photo credit: Flickr user misocrazy