Height differences should not hinder a good relationship
Many moons ago, I wrote a column about a recent breakup experience saying that with about 20,000 guys on MSU’s campus, there was bound to be one who was taller than me and cute at the same time. Oops.
I mean, I did find someone, and he’s great. He buys me pizza, lets me use his oven to make cookies, tells me I’m pretty and respects that I’m a feminist — there’s really not much more a girl could ask for.
The catch, if you could call it one, is that he’s about a head shorter than me.
Red flag, right? Because it’s super weird to date a guy shorter than you, or a girl taller than you.
That’s what I thought, too.
Statistically, shorter men make less money and are less successful in relationships than their taller counterparts. (Don’t worry though, he’s a premedical major. Holla.)
Listen, though. You don’t need to limit yourself to a “type.” There are potential partners out there that would make you incredibly happy, but you’ll never find them if you narrow your vision only to those who look a certain way.
Now let’s get the most pressing questions out of the way: No, I don’t care that he’s shorter than me, not anymore. Yes, we do get weird stares. No, it’s not weird when we kiss or hold hands. Yes, it is funny when he gets in my car and has to move the seat forward. Actually, it’s really funny.
I remember when he initially expressed interest, and I told him to call me if he grew six inches. Harsh, I know, but I suppose hard-to-get works even when you’re not actually trying.
As time went on, I realized that it took a lot of confidence for him to approach me and that he genuinely liked me for who I was — big hands, fart jokes and all — so I gave it a shot.
Originally, I’ll admit I didn’t see it getting serious. I had just gotten out of a serious relationship, so the last thing I wanted was another one — and especially not with someone shorter than me. The shame!
I wanted to be independent and explore the world around me, take advantage of my college years, be a happy free bird and all that jazz. I was also adamant about not dating someone shorter than me. What would my family think? My friends?
Our society tells us that couples need to be a certain way in order to be compatible. It tells us to completely ignore an entire group of people, based solely on physical attributes.
It took some soul-searching to realize that doesn’t matter. People who truly, deeply care for you, who treat you the way you deserve to be treated, don’t come around often.
When I told my five older, also tall siblings I was dating someone who was 5 feet 9 inches, none of them told me it was weird — not even my sister, who is notorious in our family for speaking her mind, regardless of how rude it might be. They all said, to some effect of, “as long as he makes you happy.”
If I had followed that rule, I would have missed out on having someone I can honestly call amazing, who I can play video games with, and talk to about anything. I wouldn’t have anyone’s hoodies to blow snot bubbles into when we’re watching a sad movie and the dog dies (damn you, Marley & Me).
Be with whoever you want. Tall, short, man, woman, who cares? As long as you’re attracted to them and they treat you right.
If people give me weird stares or whisper, “she makes him look so short!” behind me when I’m walking to my table at Red Lobster, I stand up a little bit straighter.
There’s not much I can do to change others’ impressions of me, but I have control over how I perceive myself. It’s a work in progress, but ignoring society’s expectations by dating someone I’m told I shouldn’t has made me infinitely more confident.
And I got a boyfriend who has flames on the side of his Chevy HHR out of the deal too, so life’s pretty good.
Emily Jenks is the features editor at The State News. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.