The Long And The Short

Traditionally, the accepted height differences between a couple is that the man is taller and the woman shorter. My parents were a classic example of this with a foot difference between them. In Indian arranged marriages the first check point is height and inevitable parents of a tall girl find it difficult to get a groom taller than their daughter.

This rule is strangely enough adhered to both by girls and boys. Mills and Boon romances talk about a tall dark handsome hero as the dream figure for the heroines. This is perpetuated by social traditions and customs. When there were child marriages, this norm was sometimes negated as the girl would shoot up after puberty while the boy would remain short or remain an average height. The differences in height was accepted but with a bit of raillery from relatives and neighbours.child marriage

Once the marriages began to be fixed when the boy and girl were in the teens or early twenties, the boy being taller became a necessity.

Nowadays, there are quite a few couples who choose their own partners. A few do not mind differences in height and tall girls do not mind shorter men. Of course, women who select partners of the same height or slight differences rue the fact that they have to forgo wearing heels!!

Here are some statistics…

The average woman is eight percent shorter than her male partner.

  1. In one survey, about half of collegiate men said that their date had to be shorter and nine out of every ten women said they would only date taller men.
  2. Online dating women or the ones in search of a partner calculate how tall they are in their highest heels, add a few inches for safety and then filter out men who fall below that height.
  3. Height prejudice can be so telling! One guy changed his height on his profile from his real 5’4″ to an average 5’9″. Guess what, the responses to his profile doubled.

There are any number of celebrity couples in the West, especially in Hollywood who are happy with this situation. Women are gradually accepting that some great relationships can be achieved with shorter men.

Take it easy on the stretching exercises!

A preliminary study says that shorter men actually make better partners:

  • They take on a greater share of housework.
  • They earn a higher salary
  • They are less likely to get divorced.

So next time you see a tall woman with a shorter partner, bite your tongue before you say….The Tall and Short of it!!

The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Rummuser, Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
This entry was posted in Current Events, Life skills, Women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Long And The Short

  1. Maxi says:

    …take on a greater share of the housework
    …less likely to get divorced
    Sounds good to me, Padminii.
    blessings ~ maxi


  2. rummuser says:

    Quite how your brain works has always been a mystery and this approach to a difficult subject is proof of that. What a take! I wish that I had been shorter than your manni. May be I would have made more money and also been a better cook than I am.


  3. Dun-Na-Sead says:

    I love your take on this.
    And the fact that you’ve done so much interesting research.
    As for me, I’ve never willingly worn flats for a man in my life,
    (I’m relatively tall) but I did once have a very tenorish tenor steal my shoes and hide them before I went on stage, so that I spent half an evening kicking a hoop skirt and a long trailing hem out of the way. (Our wardrobe lady finally found them in the back of a closet, and after the break, I spent the rest of the evening standing as close to him as I could get. And very very straight.)(The love scene could have been written by Mel Brooks)


  4. padmum says:

    I loVe the droll anecdote. I too used to be on the stage till chronic laryngitis and asthma…reaction to the dust ..sent me off stage…but I still love to dramatise stuff! Thanks for dropping by!


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