Vitality

Overlooking The Perfect Man: 5 Science-Backed Reasons Shorter Men Lead To Happily Ever After

Man on tip toes
The prince charming that may lead you to happily ever after may just be under 5-foot-9. Jason Rogers, CC BY 2.0

Most women can describe the perfect man in three words: tall, dark, and handsome. Height is perceived as a show of capability, strength, and power, which in theory makes a woman’s ideal mate. However, women who decide to tip the scales in favor of shorter guys are not getting the shorter end of the stick.  

The average American man, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is 5-foot-9, 195.5 pounds, and has a waist circumference of 39.7 inches. Still, many women scoff at the idea of dating shorter men, dismissing their other attributes, especially in New York City. The likelihood of a man under 5-foot-9 being contacted by a Manhattan or Bronx woman online is a scant 1.2 percent, with Brooklyn coming in with a paltry 2.4 percent response rate, according to a study conducted by the dating site AYI.com, which analyzed 50,000 interactions over two months.

Women’s preference for taller men stems from an evolutionary perspective that taller men generally tend to be healthier and better providers. The reasoning behind why our ape-like human ancestors began walking upright and why women like taller men has to do with the cavemen days. Men who were first to be upright on two feet had an advantage over those stuck on all fours, meaning they could hit harder and hit downward, giving standing men a clear advantage, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. For women, it wasn’t about winning a fight but about who could defend the resources and family.

Despite the influence evolution has had on our natural preferences, it’s time to go against the odds and see why dating shorter men may actually lead to happily ever after.

1. Fully Committed

Shorter men are more likely to be committed in relationships and eliminate an ounce of infidelity you may suspect. A study by New York University (NYU) found shorter men — those below 5-foot-7 — are significantly less likely to get divorced than average and tall men. Although they have an 18 percent lowered rate of marriage due to the social stigma of height and masculinity, when they do marry, the divorce rate is only 32 percent. Moreover, they are likely to share housework, performing eight hours and 28 minutes per week. These men prove to be committed and handy.

2. Financially Stable

Nowadays, both men and women are the breadwinners at home, sometimes with women making more than their partners. However, shorter men (79 percent) tend to be more financially stable than their significant other, earning a higher income, according to the same NYU study. This is compared to 70 percent of average men, and 71 percent of tall men who make more money than their spouses. It seems short men “make up” what they lack with higher income. This means couples can have more disposable income on hand.

3. Live Longer

Men who are on the shorter end of the height spectrum actually live longer than their taller counterparts. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found shorter men were more likely to have a protective version of the gene FOXO3, which has previously been linked to a long life. This gene is involved in insulin signaling, suppressing tumors, and protecting cells from oxidative stress. Now, it has also been linked to shorter stature and body size in other animals, and in humans. A shorter spouse can pass this protective gene onto your offspring.

4. No Height Bias

Men are found to be less preoccupied with the height of their partner than women are, regardless if the woman is taller. A study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that although both sexes preferred relationships where the woman was shorter than the man, women were more likely to enforce the norm than men. Men liked being taller than their partners, but they didn’t care about the height difference as much as women did. So, tall women, forget about the social stigma behind the taller woman-shorter man dynamic and embrace your shorter partner.

5. More Sex

Women who scoff at the idea of dating a shorter man are missing out on one very important thing — lots of sex. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found size does matter, and not in the way you think. Researchers found heterosexual men having the most sex were ages 25-29, less than 172 pounds, with a normal body mass index and waist circumference, no history of cardiometabolic disease, and guess what? They were shorter than 5-foot-9. It may just be the shorter the man, the more frequent the sex.

Ladies, remember good things also come in small packages. 

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