Shortage of respect and tall expectations mar the dating world

My boyfriend is perfect for me in almost every way; he’s loving, supportive, intelligent, funny and all around an awesome guy. However, most girls wouldn’t even consider him. Why? He’s less than 6 feet tall. It’s become an odd trend; women proclaiming on various social media platforms that they refuse to date someone shorter than 6 feet tall. For some reason, it is deemed acceptable to criticize a man for his height.

When I first met my current boyfriend, I was immediately drawn to him. Being a teenage girl, naturally, I was eager to gush to my friends about him. Their response was unexpected; instead of the usual encouraging banter, they responded with a slew of negative comments, “Why do you like him? He is so short. I only date guys who are 6 feet tall. You should find someone who is taller.”

I was devastated. Why couldn’t my friends see what I saw? I didn’t understand the dilemma — the height disparity between us wasn’t major; he is 5-foot-6-inch and I am 5-foot-4-inch.

The trend of girls posting about guys under 6-foot has been around for quite awhile, I thought it had died down until my friend joined Tinder and guys were advertising that they were 6-foot or over. Now, granted, Tinder isn’t a dating app with much depth involved, but I thought it was odd that it was something that is a major determining factor in our dating lives. 

However, in a study done by Michael O. Emerson and George A. Yancey called "Does Height Matter? An Examination of Height Preferences in Romantic Coupling," 48.9 percent of women respondents only wanted to date tall men and 13.5 percent of men only wanted to date shorter women. If you want to friend-zone a man or woman who may be an awesome person simply because of their height, then be my guest, but you are inhibiting the mutual respect that should be present in dating. 

It’s 2015, and traditional gender roles still play a major part in heterosexual attraction. Society is confined by the idea that in relationships the man must be taller than the woman, but why? We have moved past such outdated thinking. Gay marriage has been legalized, yet we can’t help by stare at a couple in which the man is shorter than the woman.

Of course, not everyone is attracted to the same thing; I get that. But even physical attraction isn’t so limited. Beauty comes in every shape, size, color and yes, even height.

Height is not something we can control, as much as we’d like to believe we can’t just strap someone to a medieval rack torture device and make them taller. If we want mutual respect between the sexes, then we should stop criticizing people for something that they can’t change.

Reach the columnist at or follow @lindsayaroberts on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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