It’s all about confidence
So what can we do to get over our height hang-ups? Whether you’re pushing five feet or seven, it all comes down to one simple concept: self-confidence.
“[Height] will create a problem in the relationship if both people aren’t comfortable with who they are,” Wanis says. We’ve all heard of the Napoleon complex – men who aren’t so gifted in the height area will sometimes over-compensate by being overly aggressive and dominating. That’s when height can really create a problem.
But if both partners in a relationship are secure and comfortable with themselves, then it follows that height shouldn’t be an issue. Sophie, a junior at Mount Holyoke College, has learned to value other traits over height. “Ever since high school I have been taller than many of my fellow peers and I'm so used to that. My boyfriend is a few centimeters shorter, so when I wear heels I look like a giant compared to him. But I still wear them no matter how much he complains, and I am still dating him! I like him just the way he is, and I wouldn't change his height.”
It’s hard to deny that height in relationships is something we all notice and sometimes look for. But as logical, smart college women, we don’t have to be ruled by social norms. “We can make our own choices as to whether we want to follow that or not,” Wanis says. It’s all about confidence – for both the man and the woman. “I'm a tall girl and I used to be self-conscious of my height, but now I see it as a positive. Whether it’s attractive to guys or not depends on the individual and his confidence level,” saysAlex, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill.
More and more women are realizing these days that height doesn’t need to be a deal-breaker – or even a factor at all. “Just because a guy is short doesn't mean he's unattractive by any means,” says Valentina, a sophomore at Syracuse University. “It's all a matter of personal preference.” For every woman who refuses to date a man under six feet, there’s a Nicole Kidman who isn’t afraid to own her lanky stature and maybe even throw on some killer heels when she feels like it.
Like Alex, I’ve learned to accept – even love – my extra inches and the perks they bring. Getting over my personal height insecurities wasn’t an easy process, and I still have moments where I wish I could just blend in to a crowd for once. But the first time someone asked me about my height and I straightened my shoulders and said those five simple words, it felt wonderful to know I had finally let go of that awkward middle-school mindset and embraced who I am.
So for all those tall girls out there, it might be worth a shot to try lowering your dating standards a bit (literally, I mean). There could be a whole world of dating possibilities out there that you’re missing out on. Plus, as Feinstein says, “The short guys are typically better husbands because they don't get women as easily.
College women across the country
Patrick Wanis, relationship expert and celebrity life coach
Patti Feinstein, America’s Dating Coach