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12/05/2012 12:43 pm ET Updated Feb 04, 2013

What Is It Like To Be in a Relationship in Which the Woman Is Taller Than the Man?

This question originally appeared on Quora.
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Answer by Eva Glasrud, Gender Psychologist and Play Expert

Depends on the girl. I totally don't even care. I only care how tall his brain and his heart are. I've dated guys as small as 5'8 and as tall as 6'5, and never really cared about anyone's height, except in passing.

I mean, it's NICE when the guy is taller. People who are tall are more likely to be into the sports/activities I'm into (or at least to be good at them). And also... it's sort of nice to FEEL like a girl sometimes. Like when social dancing. Or like if they can pick you up or throw you in the air or do something you can't.

In a similar vein, for tall women interested in sports (as a lot of us probably are -- our height helps us be better athletes) competing with someone taller is generally more exciting. Whether we're playing sports or I'm just trying to leap over his head, it feels a lot better with a tall man than a short one. When he's smaller than me -- whether he's my boyfriend or any other competitor -- there's just less joy in the victory.

But height itself is definitely not that important. What's important is that, if the woman IS taller (or even equal height), the man isn't all self-conscious about it. A lot of men aren't really man enough to date a taller woman. They don't like it if she wears heels. They worry what people think. They worry about being emasculated. They never let the girl pay or drive or do the traditionally masculine thing.

And maybe for some guys, this is a way they end up being, rather than how they started out. When a tall woman dates a shorter man, people notice. And they comment. People who aren't in the relationship assume that the height difference really bugs the couple. Which could totally be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So basically, dating a shorter man is almost exactly the same as dating a taller one. Except when they're shorter, they might be less good at physical stuff than you are, and people say stuff like, "I can't believe you're dating someone who's shorter than you!"

But to be fair, it would really bother some girls. I don't completely understand why. It might be related to the evolutionary psych theory that women can never have status on their own except through the men they're dating, so dating a bigger or more powerful man is better. Or that forming a real connection with someone special is less important than how tall the person is. Nescio.

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