Monday, 7 December 2009

The Single Life: The Long and The Short of It

I've recently started noticing an unusual trend.  I'm seeing more and more tall women out and about with shorter men.  Not necessarily short men you understand, but men who are shorter than the women.  I don't know if I've noticed it more because I'm a tall woman myself - 5' 9" in my stockinged feet - or because it's just, well, unusual. 


Of course we're more used to seeing famous couples where the man is extremely rich shorter than the woman,  and perhaps the idea is now filtering down to the rest of us.   But is it becoming less of issue because of couples such as President Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni, or the newly engaged Jamie Cullum and the statuesque Sophie Dahl?  I don't know, but recently I've seen several couples walking hand in hand, or linking arms, and looking very much like a couple where the woman has been significantly taller than the man. 

I'm not sure if I'm just a little bit jealous of these couples because it's something I've struggled with in the past.  All of my former boyfriends, including my ex-husband,  have been taller than me except for one who was - if I wore flats and didn't stand too straight - just slightly shorter than me. But he was also a charming and funny Irishman who dismissed our height disparity with the words "Ah, sure, we're all the same height lying down..." 

Aside from him I've shied away from shorter men yet I'm still not sure of the root of the problem.  My problem. Social conditioning that says the men should be taller than the woman?  Undoubtedly.  My insecurities about being so tall?  Definitely.  Fear of being ridiculed?  Possibly.  The fact that shorter men (along with the tall ones) show absolutely no interest in me?  Ah, yes....

If the situation presented itself would I consider having a relationship with an older man?  Yes.  A younger man?  Yes.  A man from a different background or culture?  Yes, although it would probably depend on the differences between us. A shorter man?  Hmmm......not sure.  No, I am sure - I'd prefer not to.  So what does that tell you about me?  On second thoughts, don't tell me...

I have to also say that my pet peeve is seeing very petite women with extremely tall men - for god's sake, leave them for the tall girls!!  Where's your sense of sisterhood? 

I'll leave you in the very talented hands of Randy Newman who has a more controversial view than me, but all the same I think I should write a disclaimer here - I love short people.  Some of my best friends are short.  I just don't want any short men in my bed.  (Although the phrase 'beggars can't be choosers' springs to mind here.)


8 comments:

Emily O said...

I'm an inch taller than my husband and obviously much more in heels. I used to wear flats all the time but now I don't think about it all. Just very used to it I guess! His family are all quite small, mine are quite tall. One of our sons is small for his age and the other tall for his age. A complete mix! I think 'small man syndrome' definitely exists for a minority of short men - you probably want to avoid those!

Audi said...

Interesting -- I've always been attracted to men who are about my height, or even a little shorter. A big height difference in EITHER direction just feels weird -- I hate feeling childish and small next to some towering giant of a man, but then again I don't exactly like the feeling I get when I loom over one of my tiny asian coworkers either. Mark and I are exactly the same height; in heels I look a bit taller, and I'm just fine with that.

Heather said...

strange, isn't the things that attract and repel in the opposite sex?

Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP said...

Have to admit all my partners have been taller than me. I did once go out with a man who was 6'7" and I'm 5'7" and it felt stupid - it actually put me off him.

Smaller - hard to know - never tried it, but might for the right guy!

BNM said...

I am taller than my husband too and his mother asked him if he'd wear lifts for our wedding photos!
He didn't, just stood on a higher step at chapel door!
I have found it very hard to date taller men (I am 5ft11) and the only man I've met was a rugby player in Uni who was a fun time guy!
I have dated shorter men than my husband (he is 5ft8) but that went disasterly!!!
BNM

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

I'm the same height as my husband, so he's not the biggest fan of me in heels, but then again, he's got used to it.

I wouldn't get too hung up on being taller - Some of the hottest men are short...

Iota said...

I'm the same height as you. I always said "taller than me" was an absolute pre-requisite in a man. Then I married someone who is exactly the same height. I'd love to wear heels more often, but I prefer not to tower over him.

Rosa_Lingerie said...

Just found this and love it! I am 5'11" and love heels so am usually 6'1 or 2". Impossible to find tall men or if you do they want a petite girlfriend (very annoying!)Age (57) and height are all against me in the dating game! Cant quite see myself with a small man.
Rosanne