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My boyfriend is six inches shorter than me (when I’m in heels, which I always am) and it’s not a problem, guys
I didn’t really think dating a short guy was a thing, I just knew that I wasn’t going to do it. ‘That’s my dealbreaker,’ I would drunkenly say to people while at uni, when I was really wise in the ways of the heart. ‘It’s just weird.’ Of course, that meant within a couple of years I was going out with a guy who was significantly shorter than me (six inches when I’m in heels, to be exact). And still am, three years later. Dealbreakers are bullshit.
Recently, there have been studies claiming that short men divorce less, do more around the house and make better husbands. While surveys like this are as bullshit as relationship dealbreakers – my boyfriend is crap at most domestic activities, and who knows if he’ll divorce loads or not – I’m glad that science has stopped crapping on short dudes. Even if it is sort of patronising. What do you mean, short guys can actually make good boyfriends? Are you joking? Is this a joke? Wow, my mind has been blown, etc.
Still, there are a few things you’ll only know if you’ve been in the unique position of dating someone shorter than you. Such as…
It took exactly two weeks from the point we started going out for me to forget about the fact that my boyfriend is significantly shorter than me. I remember the time frame, because he was doing a gig (he’s a comedian) and me and my best mate went to watch. Afterwards, when he came off stage and nipped outside for a cigarette, my mate said, ‘Awww, he’s so small!’ and I re-remembered that yes, he’s quite small. I’d forgotten up until then, because, as you’d expect, the height difference doesn’t really make any real difference at all. Three years on and people still comment.
The questions are usually along the lines of, ‘What does it feel like?’ (The same as if he were taller.) ‘Do you wear heels?’ (Yes.) ‘Does he mind you wearing heels?’ (No.) ‘God, I couldn’t do that.’ (Is that a question? I don’t know how to respond to that.) Now, I don’t usually mind, but occasionally I get quite pissed off and snappy. His mate, for instance, once came onto me by highlighting my boyfriend’s height and talking about how he himself would go to the gym all the time and happened to be 6ft. I think the phrase ‘real man’ was used. I think the phrase, ‘You’re a c**t’ was also used, by me.
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2. The short man thing is pretty sexist, when you think about it
Perhaps the questions and comments are a patriarchal hangover from a time when men were expected to lift girls onto horses and joust for their honour. Well, my boyfriend can lift me every which way, although I’ve never seen him joust (and surely it’s all dependant on the height of the horse?), but back to the point: this warped attitude that tall guys = protective is a bizarre one. Firstly, what are you, an Edwardian? And secondly, my 5ft 7in (ish) boyfriend is way better at batting off creepy guys in clubs than my 6ft something ex was (despite the fact that I’m perfectly capable of sticking up for myself, obvs). When we went out last time, guys who tried to dance with me were met with my boyfriend trying to kiss them on the mouth. He also once forcibly pushed a dude out of a bar for feeling my arse.
3. You’ll have to prop him up on nights out
Ah, yeah. When you’re both drunk and he’s at boob height, a short man will keep falling in between your boobs when he’s too drunk to stand up. Partly because you’re tall enough to support him, and partly because it’s an excuse to put his face in your tits. People tend to find this endearing, especially those with tall boyfriends, because it looks like you’re really caring and maternal. Signs you should push him off include: sudden motorboating while giggling, giggling, and saying ‘boobies’ while giggling.
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4. He can also prop you up on nights out
Interestingly, height has literally nothing to do with strength. I’m slightly beanpole-esque and my boyfriend is built like a tank (a nice tank. One that looks good in boxers and gives good hugs), which means that when I can’t stand up, he can bulldoze through crowds while supporting my weight. Also, don’t challenge a short man to a wrestling match because all their strength is quite compact and you’ll get winded.
5. Short man syndrome is a thing
But it’s no more of a syndrome than I have for being tall. People always say they’re intimidated by me, and that I come across really icy cold like a stalagmite, and when I ask why, they talk about my height. Also, when I go to parties and spend ages on my hair, nobody effing notices because they’re too busy referring to the fact that I’m sooooo tall – which is why I sometimes tend to slouch, or loom silently over people in the shadows. Like Slenderman. At least the so-called short man syndrome is entertaining; my boyf is essentially a duracel bunny in human form and doesn’t really give a shit about his height. When I went to take my shoes off to kiss him on his birthday last year, he said, 'No! I like you in heels. I feel like Tom Cruise in the late ’90s.’ What’s syndrome-y about that?
6. You won’t actually give a shit
It doesn’t even enter my conscious mind anymore – apart from when my editor says, ‘Let’s find someone who has a shorter boyfriend than them to extol their virtues,’ of course.
When I wear heels, I can put my arm around his shoulders and walk with a sort of moving human beanbag. When he picks me up while we’re crazydancing in clubs, he usually drops me on my head, but it’s always highly amusing. When he is sad, he curls up next to me in a ball with his head on my chest and it’s the cutest thing ever. He’s never asked me to get things from the top shelf because he can’t reach, nor do I need to take off my shoes to give him a snog. He is a bit short, yes. Just like he is a public schoolboy posho and a film addict and can make a nigh-on arousing homemade guacamole. It’s just one of the many things that make up who he is, and why I’m going out with him.
When people say, ‘Oh God, I could never do that,’ I want to tell them that there are so many worse things a boyfriend could be. Violent, for example. A prick. A woman-hater. A racist. A mummy’s boy. An advocate of flip-flops worn with socks. If you genuinely think that a man being shorter than you is a total dealbreaker, then you need to take a good hard look at yourself and stop being so goddamn immature. Look, I did warn you that I can get a bit snappy and defensive sometimes.
7. He’ll kill you if you write an article about the fact he’s short and publish it on the internet
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