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Tall Women and Short Men

"I couldn't help but notice your husband is shorter than you." It's an observation with an implied question behind it of, "How do you handle that?"

Since I’ve been married, there are a few questions people have started asking me about dating. A few even came up during Pursuit 2014. Here is the first of two common questions people ask me about dating and marriage. I’ll write about the second one next week.

“I couldn’t help but notice your husband is shorter than you.”

This one doesn’t really come in question form. It’s stated more as an observation with an implied question behind it of, “How do you handle that?”

If you saw me during the last day of Pursuit, you probably noticed it, too. It’s ironic because when I was younger, I told myself I wanted my husband to be taller than me. That became a challenge when I was taller than most of the boys my age in high school and college. I got so used to people being a little shorter than me that I stopped noticing. And when I stopped noticing, I stopped caring.

I always let people in on a little secret: I find taller people intimidating simply because I’m not used to it! They laugh, but it’s true. I’m used to scrunching down in photos to make myself more level with my friends. Sometimes in our pictures, Josh looks taller than me, and it always happens by accident (or habit).

For a while, I worried about things like engagement photos and how those would look with my being taller. It turns out I worried about nothing because the poses our photographer chose for us worked perfectly! And in some of our wedding pictures, you can’t even tell.

Girls, if you’re dating a man shorter than you, and guys, if you’re dating a taller woman, here’s some advice: Laugh about it and move on.

Some days Josh and I notice our height difference more than others. Sometimes I’ll look at him and tell him, “You’re really short today,” and he responds with, “You’re really tall.” Sometimes he speaks up first. And then he puts his arm around me, and we let it go. If you don’t let it bother you, it won’t.

I asked Josh how he coped with the height difference when we first started dating. We met online, and before we met in person, we had a discussion about our heights. I knew I was an inch or two taller than him going into the “just talking” stage of the relationship.

He weighed in:

“Over time, the height difference just becomes more and more natural. Where it may begin with awkward hugs, it’s just a process of learning to interact with that person just as you would learn to converse with them. We all can adapt to these physical differences and learn our partner through time. It’s a process.

“We have to overcome our pride for these physical things and be open to what God might have in store for us. From my experience, God is always trying to stretch my perspective and works in ways that challenge me or that I wouldn’t expect. We all have to be open to God changing our hearts and perspectives even when it comes to our preferences in a potential spouse.”

It’s not worth forsaking a great relationship because you’re worried about what other people might say. As a disciple of Christ, your worth and your beauty are defined by your identity in Him. Traditional couples where the husband is taller than his wife are not guaranteed success. The relationships that last are centered on Christ with a more inward focus on the hearts, not outward appearances.

Would you be comfortable dating a taller woman or a shorter man? What are some of your tips for coping with height differences in relationships?


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About the Author

Amy Kessler

Amy Kessler interned with the Boundless team in 2011 and is a journalism graduate from Biola University with a minor in biblical studies. She has experience in newspapers, magazines, blogging, social media and online content management. Amy lives in California where she works as a marketing assistant for a community college district and blogs about her spiritual life. She enjoys playing tennis, experimenting with HTML, and discussing marriage and relationships.

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