Marrying a Smaller Dude Might Be the Shortcut to Happiness

Illustration for article titled Marrying a Smaller Dude Might Be the Shortcut to Happiness

An ongoing study is making a case for tall lady/short fella couplings. The new research out of NYU and the University of Michigan suggests that tying the knot with a man who's shorter than you could potentially mean greater longterm relationship success.

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Still in its preliminary stages, the study — conducted by sociologist Dalton Conley and Ph.D candidate Abigail Weitzman (both of NYU) — used research from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (University of Michigan) to observe how a man's height might affect the way he behaves in relationships. What they found is that, while shorter men (classified as 5'7 and under) were less likely to get married overall (marrying at a rate 18% lower than average or tall men), they were also — if married — less likely to divorce. The short men in the study divorced 32% less frequently than men who were average-to-tall. There's a catch, though: According to Weitzman, this could be because women dating shorter men are more likely to break things off before getting married. (We'll call it a "pre-divorce.")

In happier news for smaller men, Conley and Weitzman's research is a pretty hard sell on the benefits of shacking up with a shorty.

From the New Republic:

[Short men] do a greater share of housework: On average, they perform 8 hours and 28 minutes per week of housework—constituting about 28 percent of the total—compared to 7 hours 38 minutes for average men and 7 hours 30 minutes for tall men. And they're more likely to be the breadwinners: Conley and Weitzman estimate that 78 percent of short men out-earn their partners, compared to 69 percent of average men and 71 percent of tall men. Although other research has suggested that taller men earn more—perhaps because of employers' biases—they didn't find evidence of income disparity among the different height groups. Tall men may be, in Weitzman's words, "aware of the status that is conferred by their tallness"—which might make them less motivated to pitch in at home.

Adjust your online dating profiles accordingly, ladies — although fair warning: When looking up photos of celebrity couples to use for an image on this post, I found that practically every single one of the taller woman/shorter man couples (Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) are now divorced. Maybe relationship angst doesn't have a height bias after all!

Image via Getty.

DISCUSSION

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yvanehtnioj

Tall men may be, in Weitzman's words, "aware of the status that is conferred by their tallness"—which might make them less motivated to pitch in at home.

Ding ding ding! Some tall men — especially guys who got tall young and have reaped the attention that comes from height for the entirety of their dating lives — seem to have this idea that they're unicorns of incredible value, and you're lucky to be on a date with them. I once had a fully peculiar-looking dude tell me twice in the first three minutes of talking to him, "I know I'm an attractive guy," on the basis of people looking up when he walked into the bar. What you are is 6'8", buddy.

It's hard to frame this in a way that doesn't sound like I think dating someone who doesn't tick all of the socially-approved-looks boxes is charitable (obviously I don't), but if you've been passed over for shallow reasons, you're probably more likely to be aware of/appreciative of the fact that your current partner isn't a shallow asshole, at least not in that particular sense. And if you're aware of and appreciative of your partner's good qualities, you're probably a better partner for it.