Dating With Dwarfism

Illustration for article titled Dating With Dwarfism

5 interesting facts we learned from Anna North's Buzzfeed piece on dating with dwarfism and other conditions that lead to small stature:

1. Experts believe that little people are just as likely to marry or have long-term relationships as average-sized people, but it takes them longer, due to prejudice and the simple fact that there aren't as many of them out there dating:

[Leah Smith, vice president of public relations for Little People of America (LPA)] says about one in every 30,000 people is born with some condition that leads to small stature. So even if you grew up in a big city, there may be only two or three other little people in your age group - and since families who have children with dwarfism often connect, "the likelihood is you grew up with them, and they're like a brother. It doesn't mean you can't date, but it's harder."


2. A lot of relationships between little people start at LPA conventions, and thus continue over long distance.

3. Way more women attend conventions than men, which means that straight women who get lucky "get glares." And it's not because there are more female little people than male — some say it's because women are more comfortable talking about their condition.

Kara Ayers, a blogger and therapist who has written about the experience of parenting as a little person, says she thinks girls who are little people may be more open to going to conventions and talking with other little people from a young age. She and her husband both have the bone condition osteogenesis imperfecta, which affects their height, but growing up, he felt "too cool" for conventions: "He's glad his parents took him but he wasn't the one asking to go." She says adult men, too, may have less interest in being part of a community of little people.

4. Women stay away from little people-specific dating sites because they're wary of fetishists.

5. According to the LPA, Dating average-sized people used to be looked down on, but now it's much more common; Smith estimates that about half of little people end up with average-sized partners.

Little People Face Challenges When It Comes To Dating [BuzzFeed]



Little person who has dated here.

RE: #3, it's also true that, in our culture, it's vastly more socially acceptable for a female to be shorter than her male partner than the reverse. Both men and women inculcate this prejudice, which means that LP men or even short men in general, in my experience, are far more likely to limit themselves to only women shorter than themselves or think it's weird or emasculating to be in a relationship with a taller woman. In the case of LP men, then, that dramatically shrinks the dating pool. It's also a source of constant frustration for my tall-woman friends, who either labor under the prejudice themselves and think there are no men out there tall enough for them, or would happily date shorter men if the men would just get over it.

Whereas I, since I'm the only little person in my family, never went to conventions, didn't even know about them, and just started dating guys in high school as a short chick. (Probably worth mentioning here that I don't have osteogenesis imperfecta or any of the 'tells' of a LP; if I'm in heels most people don't even twig.)

I can't say I 'don't see height,' the same way I'm sure my smallness is part and parcel of what the men who have been attracted to me are attracted to. But I could, and definitely have, been attracted to men my height or smaller. I have an inch or two on Peter Dinklage, for example, and if he was into it I'd bang like a screen door in a hurricane.