When it comes to dating preferences, women most often list height as a leading preference in determining attractiveness and interest in a potential partner. It’s fine to have dating preferences, but is the height preference hindering the modern woman’s ability to select a great partner? Are women being unreasonable and unrealistic about height expectations and what tall men bring to the relationship?
Here’s a quick history lesson about why women like tall men. Our team of professional matchmakers have done the research so you don’t have to. Studies show the one thing you’ll find on the majority of women’s perfect partner wishlist is… (drum roll, please) …a tall man! You’re probably not surprised that over 50% of women like dating a tall man. But why do women prefer dating a tall man?
The short answer (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) is the taller you are, the safer she feels.
The long answer is that men have evolved to be stronger and better at protecting their families, and women believe that being taller makes men stronger. Physical protection was an important factor to consider in selecting a life partner. But times have changed and so has the type of protection we need from our men. Despite all the violence we see, humans are actually safer than ever. We live in a more peaceful world than our ancestors.
Sure, dating a tall guy has its advantages, like having someone to reach high shelves for you. And how about receiving kisses on the forehead as he looks down at you or lifting your arms to wrap them around him. The warm feeling of being held by a tall, strong man provides comfort and a sense of security to many women.
But does the desire to date a tall guy go beyond physical attraction and security? Why women prefer a tall romantic partner is a combination of evolutionary preferences and the social constructs we’ve established as a society about height. People view short men as less successful and less healthy. While tall men are perceived to make more money (economists call this the “height premium”) and be more educated. But views can be distorted. There’s plenty of shining examples of successful short men.
Take it from our team of industry experts who share their advice aimed at helping our members improve their dating lives and find love – there’s no denying that height discrimination is absolutely a thing when dating.
According to one survey and every conversation with a woman we know, “tall” is considered 6 feet or taller. 76% of women report feeling most comfortable in a relationship where the man was taller. However, research shows-just how tall he needs to be- varies. While men are satisfied with women slightly shorter than them, women prefer to be much shorter than their male partners. 25% of women surveyed said they prefer their guy to be 4 to 6 inches taller and 11% said 6 to 8 inches taller was ideal.
Alright, let’s do some math because the math aint mathing. If 76% of women prefer dating a tall guy and 6 feet or taller is considered tall, how many tall men are there for women who prefer them? Here are the tall guy facts. Only 14.5% of all men are 6 feet or taller. Even more striking, in the general U.S. population, 3.9% of adult men are 6’2″ or taller. We’re no mathematicians but no matter what formula we use, the answer is the same. There’s simply not enough tall men for every woman who prefers them.
The average height for men is 5 feet, 9 inches. Ladies, think about the math and the facts the next time you turn down a great guy because he’s not tall. Because statistically speaking, not all of you will end up with a guy who’s 6 feet tall.
While there’s no dating site for women who like tall men, check out the CarpeDM blog page for all things dating and relationships tailored for the professional single like you.
If dating someone the same height as you or dating a shorter guy seems inconceivable to you, there are a few things we encourage you to consider.
Does height matter? As professional matchmakers, we talk to a lot of women about their ideal partner. The two most common reasons we see as to why women love tall men are physical attractiveness and security.
If a tall man is your dating choice because it’s a determinant of male physical attractiveness for you, by all means, continue dating them. Physical and sexual attraction are key components of a healthy relationship. So we don’t want you out here dating someone physically unattractive to you – that can be detrimental.
However, if you want to date a tall guy only to feel physically secure, allow us to challenge that thinking.
And when you’re ready head on over to our Black Women Deserve series on Attracting the Perfect Mate where CarpeDM Matchmaker and emotional intelligence coach, Erin F. Darden, helps you create reasonable relationship goals by delving into the important dealbreakers we overlook.
From an evolutionary perspective, it has been theorized that taller men are more likely to protect their families from physical threats. However, taller men do not offer a unique advantage unless they are also more intelligent and faster. So, height does not always provide security. Instead of including a certain height on your list, include “physical safety.” Dating a shorter guy (and dating a guy shorter than you) can absolutely provide you the same security. Protecting you from threats includes emotional, psychological, and mental security. He doesn’t need to be tall to provide these securities.
Whether a man is short, tall, or in between, ask yourself… Does he protect my wellbeing? We know a lot of shorter men who hold their own. In fact, have you considered that shorter men actually excel at security and protection in relationships because they’ve had to overcome not appearing to be physically dominant? #ShortKingsNeedLoveToo
While media images of women and men with certain characteristics are widely used to influence social attitudes and dictate the determinants of male physical attractiveness, it is worth noting that these standards are just as harmful as the ones imposed on women.
Along those lines, women’s seemingly modern superficial reasons as to why women are hung up on dating tall guys could be closely related to society’s beauty standards imposed on both men and women. Could unrealistic height standards for men be a contributing factor in a disconnect between men and women in dating?
We’ve talked about the “Gender War” in a previous blog post and shared our thoughts on why there is a Black gender war between black men and black women and how it’s contributing to why Black relationships fail.
Dating a big and tall man will make you look petite next to him; however, dating a guy shorter than you may have the opposite effect. It’s common among women to feel like they look bigger when they stand next to a short man, which can trigger body insecurities due to the pressure women feel as they are often told they should be a certain size.
Understandably, we want to feel confident and beautiful when we stand next to our man; who doesn’t? But instead of looking for a guy to give us that confidence, we need to feel good about ourselves.
As black women, we’ve been facing size discrimination, colorism, texturism, and many other types of discrimination based on our physical appearance throughout our entire lives. These are no different from height discrimination. Dating to find your ideal partner has to be about more than dating someone taller than you. Kindness, mutual respect, and a shared vision for the future will have a more significant impact on your relationship than height or size.
Check out what green flags to look for in dating in How to Succeed in Your Matchmaking Journey – With Expert Matchmaker Brooke Fitzpatrick.
There’s a hard truth that might be more difficult to accept for some of us. WE ARE ALL BIASED.
Bias is an inclination of temperament; it doesn’t always have to be rational –– in fact, it rarely is –– and it’s deeply ingrained in our psyche. Some biases are implicit, and they often respond to deeper fears or desires we aren’t fully conscious about.
These unconscious biases can have a massive impact on our dating choices. When dating, you can overcome unconscious biases by asking yourself and answering honestly: “Do I like him, or is he just tall?” “Does he use his height as a character trait?” “Am I excusing bad behavior because he’s physically attractive?” “Is he meeting my physical needs but neglecting my emotional and mental wellbeing?”
Unconscious biases even determine how likely we are to avoid dating someone physically unattractive or how prone we are to mind the gap regarding height differences between ourselves and a potential partner.
Needless to say, the dating characteristics we find attractive or unattractive in a potential partner are completely subjective. Maintaining an open state of mind and actively looking to overcome our biases is key to looking beyond physical attractiveness basics and finding a partner that meets or exceeds our expectations in a healthy long-term relationship.
We shared CarpeDM’s Five Dating Tips and Trends for 2023 and tip #1 is to set realistic expectations. Check out the post for more details.
Taller may be hotter. But should height matter in a relationship? The answer is: No.
While having preferences and feeling attracted to specific characteristics and traits is inevitable, other factors are significantly more impactful when it comes to romantic relationships.
We’ve answered “why are women obsessed with height?” But it’s safe to say that height is just at the surface of a much deeper issue that has little to do with physical attractiveness and a lot to do with confidence, self-esteem, and other psychological and emotional needs.
If you’re challenging yourself and re-prioritizing your list of dating preferences after reading this, we’re proud of you! Remember to include dating characteristics that really matter in building a healthy relationship like not “he must be 6’2” but instead “he must provide security.”
At CarpeDM, we are on a mission to transform the online dating experience and help you form meaningful connections, establish healthy relationships, and find a partner that meets your needs. That’s why we encourage our members to work on themselves and keep striving to be the best they can be, regardless of society’s outdated beauty (and height) standards.
Ready to create your dating profile? Create your CarpeDM profile and once your application is approved, you will meet with a personal matchmaker who will learn about you and your dating needs and curate matches for you. Our community includes the most eligible singles in some of the best dating cities in the US. If you’ve been searching for matchmaking in Washington DC, or Black matchmaking services in the DMV, look no further!
Don’t be shy, apply today to meet someone amazing!