At five-foot-eight, I don’t need heels to stand out. However, for years, I lived in them. The problem? I was easily taller than most of the men I dated. While that is something quite a few women can expect in heels, it was honestly a minor annoyance for years. Don’t get me wrong- I have no problem being a tall woman. However, it has always been awkward dating whenever I WAS wearing heels. If a guy was close to my height without heels, I would have to bend down to kiss him (awkward). I was used to seeing men being taller than their partner- virtually all of the men in my family (besides one uncle) were taller than their wives. In the media, traditional couples consist of a taller man and a shorter woman. It’s simply what we’re used to seeing- whether for better or worse.
I’ve broken my “no men shorter than me” rule twice and regretted it. Once was in prep school and the other was in my early twenties. Both were rebounds (which is never a good idea). They were two relationships where I was treated terribly. While a lot of men do have a weird complex if they are shorter than average, people can be unsavory regardless of their shape or size. If someone is a jerk, does it matter what they look like? No. However, it took me years to realize that this is why I had an issue dating men who were shorter than me and was a breakthrough. It wasn’t necessarily about how we looked together. Instead, it was about my insecurities from those two relationships that occurred very early in my dating life.
If you listen to Her Fab Life’s Youtube channel, she often talks about how pretty girls were usually nicest growing up because they started dating early, were usually bullied and weren’t always treated well. In all honesty, this is accurate. Around middle school, I transformed from Little Miss Sunshine’s clone to the tall, smart, pretty girl who had guys all over her. Either way, I was bullied frequently. To make matters worse, two relatives verbally abused me about my weight growing up so, I had my fair share of body image issues for many years. Even at my thinnest, I was always curvier and fluctuated between hourglass and pear-shaped. While it doesn’t happen anymore, I was the subject of sexually rude gestures and remarks for many years. That didn’t help.
Around the time I started dating, during my freshman year of high school, my self-esteem was a mixed bag. On one hand, I was good at hockey, music, writing, and a good student (besides math). I had guys all over me and always looked great. On the other, I was a teenager whose beloved father was sick (and ultimately passed) and wanted someone to love her. I had to be tough and grow up earlier than most. I was used to taking care of others and would put the other person on a pedestal instead of truly being equals.
It’s hard to write this. However, the background is necessary. So, two toxic relationships with men who had “Short Man Syndrome” and body image issues about not wanting to be bigger than my partner in any way led to this absolute aversion to men who were shorter than me. At twenty-nine, I’m finally realizing that my body image issues could be what’s kept me from dating some great guys and potentially finding Mr. Right. It may sound ridiculous to come to this realization but, it was mind-blowing.
With that being said, everyone has physical dealbreakers that they just can’t stand. For me, it’s excessive body hair (on myself and others). While I admit that it’s weird, I don’t like the way it feels when I’m cuddling with a partner. If I have excessive body hair, it will keep me up at night until I shave or wax. Some women love it- I’m just not one of them nor will I judge them. While I’m a sucker for a thick head of dark hair (dark skin is a bonus too), I’m not picky at all when it comes to looks and don’t stick to a “type”. When it comes to body hair, I’m just not into it. But, I wouldn’t immediately write off a guy for it either. If he’s a kind guy with a good heart whose goals align with mine, he’s a keeper regardless of what he looks like. I would rather date a guy who’s a few inches shorter than me and is a sweetheart than a guy who’s taller than me and a total turd.
It’s fair not to want to date someone shorter than you. However, it isn’t something you should be hung up on unless it is a huge dealbreaker and you could not be attracted to him. For me, it isn’t an issue anymore. As long as we are close in height and he doesn’t have a complex about it, I’m open to giving him a shot. My advice would be to ask yourself why that hits a nerve. Are you truly not attracted to someone or is there a deeper issue that you need to sort out? Either way is fair but, don’t play yourself.