By Daisy Buchanan telegraph.co.uk
It hasn’t been a good week for gentlemen of small stature. New research has shown that being short can increase feelings of inferiority and incompetence. Other findings show that shorter people earn less, and perhaps most significantly, it is thought that tall men have an easier time of it when they’re looking for love.
Sadly, I’m overwhelmed with anecdotal proof confirming the results of the last study. I’ve lost count of the number of female friends who have stroppily flung their phones down on pub tables, wailing “I hate online dating, I hate it! Why can’t I find someone?!” when, after a little probing, it becomes clear that the “someone” they’re searching for needs to be 5”10, minimum. Theme parks have less stringent height requirements than some of the single women I know.
To be fair, I used to be one of them. When I went on my very first date with the man who is now my boyfriend, I remember being a little taken aback by the fact that, in my modest two and a half inch heels, I could see clearly over the top of his head. We’d met on Twitter, so all I’d had to go by was a 5mm square picture of what I have come to know as his “nonplussed face”. There was no opportunity to specify a preferred size, as you might do on Match.com or My Single Friend or John Lewis, when you’re ordering duvets.
I’d amassed a collection of subconscious prejudices connected with height. Was he going to have a Napoleon Complex? Would he be less confident, less at ease with himself and less successful than a man who stood up at six foot? Looking back, I think my problems were mainly to do with my own insecurities. I’m no giant, at 5”7, but I’ve been that height since I was 12, and when the other girls around me seemed delicate and petite, I always felt a bit ungainly. It took me a long time to feel feminine on my own terms, but being on the arm of a tall man did the trick. Fine feminist I am.
Apparently, height is one of the most commonly lied about attributes on dating sites, and I know plenty of women, myself included, who have complained when a date turned out to be six inches shorter than advertised. But who can blame guys for trying it on when we’re so fussy that if they told the truth, they might not get any matches or messages at all?
Very occasionally, in my online dating days, I’d encounter men who would be ultra specific about a preferred hair colour, body shape or breast type, and be outraged. Surely you’ve got to be horribly shallow and creepy if you’re basing your requirements for long term happiness on cup size? But it seems far more common, and far more acceptable for women to rule out romantic suitors because they don’t measure up in feet and inches. It’s a damaging double standard, and one that women need to address if they’re looking for love, otherwise they might find themselves staying single for a long time.
It’s no wonder that some shorter men might seem defensive about their size when the world is so keen to tell them it wishes they were a little bit taller. If a guy can be confident and at ease with himself in spite of this, he’s definitely worth pursuing. I can’t think of any disadvantages to dating a shorter man, only plus points – for example, you can kiss each other without any major bending and stretching, and you can pinch his Converse (although this might deter shorter men from going out with taller women, especially women like me with massive feet).
If single women make one dating resolution for 2014, I think they should give a shorter guy a chance. You might end up looking down a lot, but your odds of finding The One can only go up.
See more at :telegraph.co.uk
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