Teased for being taller than boyfriend

Originally Published: June 23, 2000 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: May 31, 2012
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Dear Alice,

I have a boyfriend that I love so much but everyone teases me about him because he is three inches shorter than me. I know I shouldn't be worried about this, but it just bothers me to think people can't accept the fact that I am going out with someone shorter. Even some of his friends say, "Aren't you taller than him?" and I will say, "Yeah, just a little," and they will be like, "Isn't the guy supposed to be taller than the girl?" They won't say it in that form, but you know how people say one thing that really means the opposite? That is what they do. I am not thinking about dumping him because he is shorter or anything, but why do people say this, and does it matter that he is shorter?

Thanks,
Taller than B/F

Dear Taller than B/F,

Many, many couples are out there where the female partner is taller than the male — especially in this age of platform shoes and high heels! Maybe your friends are giving you a hard time because:

  • They have insecurities about their own height 
  • They are jealous of your relationship
  • They have narrow-minded views about how men and women are supposed to look and behave
  • They are intimidated by you because you are tall and elegant
  • They hold notions that height = power. With your head above your boyfriend's, they may think of you as challenging the idea that women are not as physically strong, smart, or opinionated as men
  • They are curious about how you and your boyfriend kiss, hug, and are intimate
It's also possible that your peers are teasing you because this is their way of making conversation. Sometimes when people feel awkward, or are having trouble finding things to say, they'll resort to mocking and joking — shifting the focus from them to you. If their underhanded remarks are really bothering you, it's totally okay to say something about it. Some ideas to try include:
  • The straightforward approach: "Why do our heights matter to you? We'd appreciate it if you stopped with the jokes."
  • The jokey approach: "Well, you know what they say about short men and tall women..."
  • The "get lost" approach: "I really don't appreciate those comments. [Your boyfriend's name here] and I are really happy. Can you give it a rest?"
You can also talk with your boyfriend about how their remarks make you feel. They probably bother him, too! Together you can make the point that your relationship is great, and that you don't need or want your friends to give you two a hard time about your difference in size. If your friends don't get the idea that their comments are upsetting to you, and stop, then it may be time to re-consider whether hanging out with them is really worth it.
Alice

P.S.: If you can get a hold of Cher, or search for some of her interviews from the 1970s, you'll no doubt find some other ways to think and talk about this height differential thing. As you may know, she was partnered personally and professionally with singer Sonny Bono, who was a full head shorter than she, and that doesn't include her hair.


April 24, 2012

510392
I have been with my wife for 32 years (married 27) we were frends in school. Then got close. Am 5-6 she5-9 and very hot. We love each other and are best frends That's all that mathers. Marry...
I have been with my wife for 32 years (married 27) we were frends in school. Then got close. Am 5-6 she5-9 and very hot. We love each other and are best frends That's all that mathers. Marry your best frend

November 9, 2004

20818
Hey Alice,

That's comforting to read. My boyfriend is 5'6" and I'm 5'10". I've always been self-conscious about my height, but he loves me for who I am and I certainly love him! So yeah, at least...

Hey Alice,

That's comforting to read. My boyfriend is 5'6" and I'm 5'10". I've always been self-conscious about my height, but he loves me for who I am and I certainly love him! So yeah, at least your bf still has some growing to do, and even if he doesn't catch up, like it's been said already, who cares! People are ignorant as a whole and it only matters how you and your guy feel about each other.

September 26, 2003

20505
Alice, To the girl in the topic teased for being taller than boyfriend, don't sweat it! I am 5'11", my husband-to-be is 5'4"! We love each other, so we don't care what other people think of us, and...
Alice, To the girl in the topic teased for being taller than boyfriend, don't sweat it! I am 5'11", my husband-to-be is 5'4"! We love each other, so we don't care what other people think of us, and yeah, I am a bit older than him, too. But, you're still young, he will grow, and even if he doesn't catch up to you, who cares? Guys like tall leggy women! (Or so I've been told by numerous men consoling me for feeling bad for being so tall.) I have NEVER dated a man taller than me, because I was 5'9" in the 6th grade! There wasn't much left if I was only going to date taller guys!