It’s Time To Drop Your Height Filters And Stop Ruling Out Shorter Men

There are about five million memes out there about how women will overlook basically any toxic quality a guy has as long as he’s 6 feet tall. He could live at home with his parents, have no job, smell, treat you like garbage, cheat on you, and basically be a total scumbag, but if he’s got a bit of height on him, hoo boy, he’s a keeper. And while the humor is largely based on extremes and most women aren’t quite that shallow, studies have repeatedly shown that we do, as a whole, prefer men who are at least three inches taller than us. However, it’s time to stop ruling out shorter men once and for all.

Look, it’d be ridiculous to say that aesthetics aren’t important, because they are. We all have our preferences when it comes to our partners’ physical type, and that’s okay. But filtering out men just because they couldn’t moonlight as NBA players isn’t just silly, it’s also seriously screwing you over, romantically speaking. After all, only 14% of American men are 6 feet tall or more, meaning you’re literally excluding 86% of the male population. I don’t fancy those chances, do you?

If you’re still not convinced on dating a shorter guy, here’s why you should consider it.

  1. Being less than 6 feet tall doesn’t automatically make a man short. For instance, the average American man is 5’9″ which isn’t short at all. In fact, that’s still considered pretty tall, especially considering that the average height of American women is only 5’4″. Do you really need to be so picky? That’s still enough of a difference for most women to feel that whole “being hugged by a big strong bear” sensation they’re after, right?
  2. Short men can be really, really funny. Think Kevin Hart (5’2″), Seth Green (5’4″), and Josh Hutcherson (5’5″). There’s also Elijah Wood (5’6”), Martin Freeman (5’7”), and Daniel Radcliffe (5’5”). Pretty sure all of these phenomenally successful guys have more to think about than their height. If a guy makes you laugh, how short or tall he is isn’t actually important whatsoever. Nobody wants to be with a guy who’s 6’5″ and doesn’t understand the punchline.
  3. You don’t have to wear heels. Heels might look cute, but they’re the absolute worst and kill your feet. If you’re dating a shorter guy, you can ditch the twisted ankles and have a comfortable, casual night out. Put on your favorite Chelsea boots or even those new Sambas you picked up and feel relaxed, stylish, and not like you’re going to have blisters at the end of  the night.
  4. They’re less likely to divorce. Sociologists at NYU combed through decades’ worth of data and discovered that short men are 32% less likely to call it quits in their marriage than taller guys. If you’re looking for a stable marriage, a shorter man might be able to give you everything you need for marital bliss. (Plus, the same study discovered that they tend to make more money than their taller counterparts, if that matters to you).
  5. Evidence shows that shorter people live longer. Slate also reports that they’re less likely to have heart disease or be diagnosed with all types of cancer than their taller counterparts. That’s not to say that they’ll always be in peak health since lifestyle still plays a major part, but it’s worth considering. After all, who doesn’t want a healthy partner?
  6. Short men will probably take you on amazing dates. They know they’re short, and they know that you might hold that against them. So, when they take you out on a date, they’re more likely to try really hard to show you how attractive they truly are, inside and out. You’re bound to have a fun and memorable time on your first date.
  7. They’re more likely to like you for you. When you give short guys a chance and go on a date with one, you suddenly realize how true this is. They’re likely not as focused on the superficial stuff. In fact, they’ll probably find you at your most attractive when you’re in your natural state. They know what it’s like to be judged on traits they can’t control and they tend to look a bit deeper.
  8. Height doesn’t equal success. In our heads, we might see Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome as being a CEO at some company that reeks of sex appeal. However, short men are driven and are dead set on proving that height doesn’t make any difference in the professional world. (Of course, this could result in a Napoleon complex, which is a bit of a nightmare, but assuming you can avoid this, please do!)
  9. Cuddling a short guy? Amazing. It’s like you’re snuggling up with a big stuffed animal instead of climbing a tree like a koala. Besides, when you’re laying down, you’ll hardly even recognize a difference in size between you anyway (if one really even exists), so there’s nothing to worry about in that department.
  10. It’s incredibly hypocritical to filter out shorter guys. You would be (rightfully) offended if a guy refused to date you because you were overweight, or because you had brown hair or scars from an accident. These things have nothing to do with what kind of person you are, and the same goes for a guy’s height (or lack thereof). If you don’t want to be judged for superficial things, you shouldn’t do it to guys, either. Give short guys a chance — you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill