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Yes, guys, size does matter

Posted on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 in dating, Honesty, Relationships, Self image, Singles

Sara and I were at the coffee shop, watching the parade of men in Lycra-bike shorts cycle by, when a 30ish couple walking past arm in arm caught our eye.

Not just because they were attractive, but they were lopsided; she had a good three inches on him, and she was in flats.

“Could you do that?” Sara asked me.   

“Wear flats? Nah, I hate them.”

No silly! Date a short guy.”

“I have dated short guys.”

“And?”

“And … they’re short.”

“Well, doh. I mean, was it awkward?”

I immediately flashed back to a Match date I had a few years ago. He looked adorable in his pictures; he was quite a bit younger but he wrote me the sweetest e-mail. This was back in the newly post-divorce days when I was easily flattered by a younger man paying me any attention. Then I looked at his height on his profile — 5 foot 7. Two inches? I (gently) fended him
off for a while — I’m too old for you! — but he was (gently) persistent.

So, we finally agreed to meet (I wore my lowest heels, a pair of practical pumps; ugh!). I walked into the restaurant and he was already there, seated. Then he got up to hug me hello; 5 foot 7 my ass! He was maybe — maybe — 5 foot 6. On a good day.

He barely made it to my chest, and while that may or may not be a bad thing, there isn’t much there to get excited about. I have other body parts that I tend to play up more.

I tried to stay focused, but the whole time we were together, there was a little voice inside my head: No f@#king way! Not very kind, I know, but at least I was being honest (just as I am about dating fat guys).

Still, I’ve gone out with guys who were a tad shorter than I am, or around my height, and to answer Sara, yes, it was somewhat awkward. Not in bed, mind you, which can be very forgiving of such things. But I’m a woman who loves her stilettos, and it feels weird if I’m towering over a guy. There’s something about being in the arms of a man who’s taller than I am that feels comforting, and that makes me feel more feminine.

So, am I a heightist?

Yes, and I’m not alone; lots of women are heightists.

But, I’m an equal opportunity heightist — I wouldn’t want to date a Yao Ming, either (even though research has shown that tall people are smarter).

However, I did once purposely seek out a tall guy on Match — but not for his, uh,  intelligence. It was about the same time in my life as Mr. Short Guy; I was newly divorced, still trying to figure things out and looking for something “casual” — you can read into that what you want. And, there he was, all hunky 6-foot-8 1/2 inches of him. I figured, well, all things being equal …

  • Does a person’s height matter to you?
  • How much taller/shorter does he/she have to be?
  • Is it a total deal-breaker?

Photo © olly – Fotolia.com

Bring on the comments

  1. Jenni says:

    I’m only 5’2″.. guys LOVE that I’m short. It apparently puts me in the “adorable” department.

    But being that I’m so short already, I just can’t date a guy shorter than I am. I prefer them to be at least 5’6″. Or else it just bothers me, I don’t know why.
    .-= Jenni´s last blog ..Cha-Ching! [$] =-.

  2. Steve says:

    @Jenni

    Your point is moot. At 5’2” you would have to WORK to find a guy who is shorter than you 🙂

  3. Steve says:

    Taller people may be smarter, but one of the positive sides of the “short guy mentality” is that they apply themselves more and get more results.

    Loads of underachievers are out there who will tell you about how intelligent they are and many of them are right.

  4. Steve says:

    I had/have so many head trips in my life.

    I am thankful that height is not one of them since I am at 5’11”.

    I’m free of the “short guy mentality”, which I find a bit ugly, of having something to prove.

    I have maximum flexibility with the height of the women I date. I’ll go up to about my own height.

    At about 5’7″ women begin to feel tall,long,sultry and sexy to me. I also adore petite perky women 🙂

  5. Linda says:

    It is not a total deal breaker, but yes, I prefer taller men. I’m 5’7″ and if he is my height or shorter, then well, I just feel huge.

  6. dadshouse
    Twitter: dadshouseblog
    says:

    I’m a shortist! I love short women. I’m only 5’10, so if a woman is 5’7 or taller, we sort of don’t fit when walking arm in arm, or spooning, or whatever else. Plus, shorter/smaller women are easier for me to toss around in bed. And I do like me some tossing…
    .-= dadshouse´s last blog ..Grey’s Anatomy – Okay For Teens? =-.

  7. Mike says:

    When I was in NY most women were in the low 5 foot range. Since being in Virginia I have to admit most of the women I’ve dated are about 5’6″. It was weird at first but I got use to it. I had one friend who was 6 foot and she was difficult to look up to. So I would say no one taller than me.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Bad Math =-.

  8. Jim Everson says:

    Weight can be a deal breaker for me, but I’ve never cared about height.

  9. Kat Wilder says:

    New blog posting, Yes, guys, size does matter – http://tinyurl.com/yjpmrjx

  10. BigLittleWolf
    Twitter: BigLittleWolf
    says:

    Love this post! Not a problem I have, but I am in my own way a “heightist.” At 5’0″ I find I prefer men 5’9 and up. And many a 6-footer and over has scooped me up and carried me off (to my delight). Hey… everyone needs a hobby. Dr. Ruth says so! (And I tower over her.)

    But the real deal breakers for me? Smart and funny. Without that, no go, at any height.

    🙂
    .-= BigLittleWolf´s last blog ..What ever happened to. . . Dr. Ruth? =-.

  11. KC says:

    Good evening Kat Followers….
    Height…. Love em Tall and lean or short and perky… I like the look of a tall woman on my arm. I’m 6′-1″ and don’t have a problem with a woman being taller than me very often but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. Tall woman = LONG LEGS… throw in a great set of breasts… and I’m a happy man. As for short, well a shorter woman, IE, 5′-2″ or so… they fit well in my range. A fit, 5-2 and I can pick her up and hold her or lay on my back and watch her… love that!
    Now WEIGHT.. that IS an issue with me, I’ve always dated women that were into taking good care of themselves weight wise. A woman that starts off in great shape and then gains 30lbs is a problem for me. I’m not saying that I haven’t dated a plus sized woman, I am right now, but she didn’t start out small and get large, she is just a bigger woman, more meat, bigger breasts, a little bigger butt… but she’s also VERY pretty and she knows how to use ALL of that body of hers… makes her very appealing to me.
    Extra skinny… I tend to bottom out in them and that causes some discomfort for them… but, if it doesn’t bother them, I can work with it. LOL
    Always enjoy our little discussions… (smiles)

  12. VJ says:

    I’ll save you the drama and hopefully too much excessive verbiage and just send folks to your previous ‘too fat for me’ older post here:

    http://blogs.marinij.com/katwilder/2009/07/too_fat_for_me.html

    The height discrimination actually has more of a positive biological basis, but it’s pretty ingrained in many women almost everywhere. And I’ll repeat what I said there: “Unless & until people come to value men & women more for their innate character, intelligence, wisdom & moral strength and not just their outside beauty & youthful good looks & vigor, they’ll keep on making the same classically ‘tragic errors’ with their ill considered & perhaps foolishly short term choices. Naturally too”.

    If you’re ‘done’ your reproductive careers? There really isn’t any logical or ‘biological’ reason for such persistent discrimination, well other than catering to your own prejudices. Which of course we can always imagine as being much more fun & amusing than actually discovering the rest of humanity that is less than 6′ tall. That would easily include more than half of it. But hey, no, you need not actually ‘befriend’ any of those short miscreants either!

    But there really is a whole ‘nother world out there waiting to be discovered and explored, people. It’s amazing to see time & time again supposedly educated, ‘liberated’/’liberal’ & ‘open-minded’ folks consistently defend their simple bodily biases. We all know that smaller men are weaklings that just don’t last long like Joe Rollino, right? You’d probably not give the man the time of day had he asked perhaps.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/nyregion/12ironman.html

    Yeah, that’s the ticket, just what the world needs more of right now. More rank unthinking prejudice based not only on how you look, but a few spare inches ‘missing’ somehow. Not the ‘content of your character’, but how dark your skin is, how tall you are, and what strange twisted Western aesthetic you might be trying to satisfy. Never give up your heels gals. We all love the scenery no matter how much it hurts & what damage it might be doing. Yeah. The healthy Cali life.

    Yeah I know, you ‘just can’t help yourself’. Probably true too, and you & we are sadder for that realization. Cheers, ‘VJ’
    .-= VJ´s last blog ..Where’s Kat? =-.

  13. Edgar says:

    I like to look a woman in the eyes and not have to scrunch too much to kiss her, so I usually am attracted to women in the 5’8″ – 6′ size (I’m 5’10”). If she wants to wear heels, I can wear some of my shoes that have some height to them, so we’re still within a couple of inches of each other. I’m of the same mind as Dads, but I guess I must pump more iron, because I’ve never found it too much trouble to toss around someone of your height, Cat.

  14. brian says:

    Not being gay the only problem I’ve had with short men are as bosses who suffer from shortman complex
    Napoleon types
    Heavy drinkerrs with several divorces (compensating?)and dupliciuous shamless self promoting backstabbing corporate types

    As for the ladies
    Short is fine (can’t see the bald spot on top of my head)
    Tall all I can think of is long legs
    Mmmmmm

  15. Wombat
    Twitter: kissnblog
    says:

    Way better to be up front about this kind of thing, Kat. For instance, I always ask women if they’re spitters or swallowers.

    Before we go wine tasting, that is. I have strong preferences in this area.
    .-= Wombat´s last blog ..I think she made a pass at me. =-.

  16. mvgrl says:

    I agree with Jenni, (1st post)
    I’m 5’4″ and petite, and seems to attract big, burly athletic guys, especially when I go swing dancing, i hold on for dear life as we dance because they always end up flinging me up in the air and clearing out the dance floor. I do have a great time (haven’t been dropped yet).
    I went out with a guy who was about 5’6″ ,and it was nice to be almost the same height, especially during a good kissing session! however, a taller guy is nice when I put my head on his chest, and feel a pair of big strong arms holding me.
    Dating someone shorter than me?? not going to happen.

  17. Lagunatic says:

    My husband is shorter than me.
    We blame it on low knees.
    It’s not by much, though – only 1/4 inch or so.
    It’s fun to tease him about it….and watch him run to the closet to put new lifts in his shoes.

    He doesn’t really do that, you know. I hate to make him seem insecure or something.
    He walks instead.
    .-= Lagunatic´s last blog ..Gelatinous goo. =-.

  18. VJ says:

    [Yeah, I don’t know why my comments regularly ‘disappear’, but here it is again]:

    I’ll save you the drama and hopefully too much excessive verbiage and just send folks to your previous ‘too fat for me’ older post here:

    http://blogs.marinij.com/katwilder/2009/07/too_fat_for_me.html

    The height discrimination actually has more of a positive biological basis, but it’s pretty ingrained in many women almost everywhere. And I’ll repeat what I said there: “Unless & until people come to value men & women more for their innate character, intelligence, wisdom & moral strength and not just their outside beauty & youthful good looks & vigor, they’ll keep on making the same classically ‘tragic errors’ with their ill considered & perhaps foolishly short term choices. Naturally too”.

    If you’re ‘done’ your reproductive careers? There really isn’t any logical or ‘biological’ reason for such persistent discrimination, well other than catering to your own prejudices. Which of course we can always imagine as being much more fun & amusing than actually discovering the rest of humanity that is less than 6′ tall. That would easily include more than half of it. But hey, no, you need not actually ‘befriend’ any of those short miscreants either!

    But there really is a whole ‘nother world out there waiting to be discovered and explored, people. It’s amazing to see time & time again supposedly educated, ‘liberated’/’liberal’ & ‘open-minded’ folks consistently defend their simple bodily biases. We all know that smaller men are weaklings that just don’t last long like Joe Rollino, right? You’d probably not give the man the time of day had he asked perhaps.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/nyregion/12ironman.html

    Yeah, that’s the ticket, just what the world needs more of right now. More rank unthinking prejudice based not only on how you look, but a few spare inches ‘missing’ somehow. Not the ‘content of your character’, but how dark your skin is, how tall you are, and what strange twisted Western aesthetic you might be trying to satisfy. Never give up your heels gals. We all love the scenery no matter how much it hurts & what damage it might be doing. Yeah. The healthy Cali life.

    Yeah I know, you all ‘just can’t help yourself’. Probably true too, and you & we are sadder for that realization. Cheers, ‘VJ’

    Updated with advice from Lori Gottlieb, that should apply to any serious LTR:

    http://www.wowowow.com/relationships/why-youre-wrong-about-mr-right-deal-breaker-marry-him-lori-gottlieb-437867

  19. VJ says:

    [Yeah, I don’t know why my comments regularly ‘disappear’, but here it is again]:

    I’ll save you the drama and hopefully too much excessive verbiage and just send folks to your previous ‘too fat for me’ older post here:

    http://blogs.marinij.com/katwilder/2009/07/too_fat_for_me.html

    The height discrimination actually has more of a positive biological basis, but it’s pretty ingrained in many women almost everywhere. And I’ll repeat what I said there: “Unless & until people come to value men & women more for their innate character, intelligence, wisdom & moral strength and not just their outside beauty & youthful good looks & vigor, they’ll keep on making the same classically ‘tragic errors’ with their ill considered & perhaps foolishly short term choices. Naturally too”.

    If you’re ‘done’ your reproductive careers? There really isn’t any logical or ‘biological’ reason for such persistent discrimination, well other than catering to your own prejudices. Which of course we can always imagine as being much more fun & amusing than actually discovering the rest of humanity that is less than 6′ tall. That would easily include more than half of it. But hey, no, you need not actually ‘befriend’ any of those short miscreants either!

    But there really is a whole ‘nother world out there waiting to be discovered and explored, people. It’s amazing to see time & time again supposedly educated, ‘liberated’/’liberal’ & ‘open-minded’ folks consistently defend their simple bodily biases. We all know that smaller men are weaklings that just don’t last long like Joe Rollino, right? You’d probably not give the man the time of day had he asked perhaps.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/nyregion/12ironman.html

    Yeah, that’s the ticket, just what the world needs more of right now. More rank unthinking prejudice based not only on how you look, but a few spare inches ‘missing’ somehow. Not the ‘content of your character’, but how dark your skin is, how tall you are, and what strange twisted Western aesthetic you might be trying to satisfy. Never give up your heels gals. We all love the scenery no matter how much it hurts & what damage it might be doing. Yeah. The healthy Cali life.

    Yeah I know, you all ‘just can’t help yourself’. Probably true too, and you & we are sadder for that realization. Cheers, ‘VJ’

    Updated with advice from Lori Gottlieb, that should apply to any serious LTR:

    http://www.wowowow.com/relationships/why-youre-wrong-about-mr-right-deal-breaker-marry-him-lori-gottlieb-437867
    .-= VJ´s last blog ..Dear Margo: When the Lightbulb Goes On! =-.

  20. Kat Wilder says:

    Jenni — I totally understand the cute short thing; I always wanted to be cute and short, not the tall gawky one in the back of the line.

    Steve — There are more than a few guys shorter than Jenni (right, Jenni?) As for sultry women, yes, there is a size at which that happens, right between too short and Amazon woman.

    Linda — A lot of us are right there with you.

    Dads — Tossing? Hey, have I somehow missed that in the “101 Ways to Have Sex Before You Die” or Position Of The Day listings? Crap!

    Mike — Those NY women may be short but they act big, if you know what I mean.

    Jim — You are an open-minded guy , within limit.s of course. Weight? Total deal-breaker for me.

    KC — Not all tall women have long legs (things tend to be proportionate), but they’re longer than short women’s legs, sure. If your gal knows how to work her stuff — which all of should know how to do — then it’s a very good thing indeed!

    Edgar — Oh, yes; I’m very tossable! No pumping iron required ..

    Brian — LOL! Yes, short people can’t see the issues with our hair (or lack there of). Good to find the positive in everything!

    Wombat — You are quite the devil, aren’t you. So suggestive! Must be an Aussie thing …

    MVgrl — Ah, the strong arms. I had one of the most erotic moments of my life with a short guy (and I totally forget about that when I was writing this post — how did that happen!?!) who had the most amazingly wonderful buff arms. Those arms are attached to all sizes but, yeah, taller. It’s yummy.

    Lagunatic — No use in having someone with an “issue” if you can’t remind him/her about it, now is there? And if he/she doesn’t have one, we can always create one for ’em …

  21. Kat Wilder says:

    BigLittle — hey, sorry, for whatever reason your comment went into spam. I agree; if he’s not smart and/or funny, good luck. However, those alone don’t cut it, either.

    VJ — same with yours — you went all spam on me. Now, nothing wrong with “valu(ing) men & women more for their innate character, intelligence, wisdom & moral strength.” I would never even consider being with a man who didn’t have character, intelligence, wisdom and moral strength. never. Ever. Would rather be alone. But, if I’m not attracted to him, he’ll be my friend — not my lover.

    And, I make no excuses for that. Sorry to disappoint you.