Are Standards Shallow?

Earlier this week, fellow blogger (and mastermind of Musings on Life and Love) Dennis Hong accused me of “getting shallow.”  I told him that I’m not getting shallow, that I have always been shallow when it comes to my taller-than-me-in-heels requirement.

Although the majority of my female readers rallied to my defense (thanks ladies!) I’ve gotten a lot of flack for this over the years.  Ironically enough, most of it has come from my younger brother who, up until his senior year of college, hardly ever ventured beyond the likes of the well-endowed blond.  (So yeah, obviously he’s in a position to tell me I’m being shallow.)

As it turns out, my railings against eHarmony and their associated collection of vertically-challenged men caused quite the ruckus.  And it got me thinking: when do personal preferences cross the line between having standards and being shallow?

The responses to Tuesday’s post were pretty well split across the gender divide.

Grey Goose, Dirty wrote “I’m 5’10″ tall (6’1″ in heels)… I certainly don’t need any help feeling like an Amazon woman as I tower over my date, so although I have ‘lowered’ my height requirement to 5’10″, I refuse to date anyone shorter.”

My cousin Jenn wrote “When you look at a room full of people, there are certain things that attract you more than others. For example, blondes, butts, green eyes. Height is just one of those things.”

My friend Debbie (a fellow dancer and Roehampton grad) wrote, “AMEN SISTER! As a fellow 5’9″ fabulous female I say ask for what you want! We are allowed to have preferences for other parts of our lives. Why not this? Why is height any different from religious preference, location, education, or any of the other crazy questions on the list?”  Well said, Debbie!

Wordsofsoia confessed that her past boyfriends were 6’7″ and 6’3″ and that height is a major prerequisite for the so-called “High Heel obsessive.”  (By the way, she’s from Perth so if I’m still single this time next year, I am so moving to Australia.  I’ve never dated anyone above 6’5” here in the US…)

Sarahnsh added that prior to meeting her fiancé, she’s always dated shorter guys and “obviously those relationships didn’t work out.”  Finally, in response to Dennis’s comment, my mom (a self-confessed “poacher”) pointed out “I don’t believe “uggo” or “fatty” is synonymous with short as an insult, but that is just my humble (and short) opinion.”  You go, Landlord!

(I’m trying to ignore your comment Freud, Jill, because it has since occurred to me that Freud would have a field day with my “experiment” if he were still alive and I’d rather not consider myself worthy of psychoanalysis 🙂 )

As for the men (h&hs, Dennis and Ted), there were the usual counterarguments of the double standard that enables women to “have standards” whereas men can only be “shallow.”  My favorite part was when Dennis added, “Just to play devil’s advocate, from an evolutionary perspective, breast size, waist-to-hip ratio, facial symmetry, and overall body size all have a TON of practical aspects.”

Ok, so yes, technically speaking he’s right (I did major in history as an undergrad) and my male readers have a point: there’s definitely a double standard—but for the first time in history, we women haven’t gotten the short end of the stick so maybe we should reap the rewards of this particular inequality while we can?

In the meantime, I’m left wondering: when does a standard become shallow?

Your thoughts greatly appreciated!  (And thanks again to everyone who weighed in on Tuesday’s debate.) Last but not least, don’t forget that tomorrow marks the start of “My Single Male Friend Friday” so be sure to check back in the morning for a male perspective…

202 Responses to “Are Standards Shallow?”

  1. Katie

    Okay, I successfully avoided commenting last Tuesday, but since it’s been brought up again, I can’t resist. To me, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s shallow or not. As a woman, I can understand perfectly well the physical appeal of a taller man, just like men can appreciate the physical appeal of a woman with a nice figure. But where I get worried is that you basically say you will automatically rule out someone who doesn’t meet a certain height requirement. And that just seems silly.

    Of course you should have standards – standards that reflect what kind of man you want in your life. He should be kind, thoughtful, intelligent, whatever the case may be. And yes, physical standards DO play a part because you have to be physically attracted to someone in order to have a good sex life. But do you really think that a 5’9″ or 5’10” guy is going to be SO physically unappealing that any other standards he meets – even if he meets all of your other standards – are automatically null and void?

    Look at it this way: if George Clooney (who’s a self-professed 5’11” but is more likely 5’9″ or 5’10” when compared to his 5’10” friend Matt Damon and 5’11” friend Brad Pitt) came knockin’ on my door, I can’t say I’d turn him away based on his physical appearance (even though my husband is several inches taller). So unless a guy has a severe case of “Short Man Syndrome” – where he feels like he has to be a cocky little bastard to make up for his lack of height – I say give the shorter guys a chance, ladies! You could really be missing out on a whole slew of wonderful men.

    Maybe I’d feel different if I were a tall woman. But here’s the thing – your desire to date extremely tall men mostly stems from the fact that you don’t want to feel awkward – like you stand out because of your height. It’s not really about the guy at all, is it? But when it comes to finding a truly special partner, should it really matter how you “look” to other people?

    Oh, and one more thing (because this isn’t quite long enough, haha): If you ask men, who are usually very sensitive to height, being called “short” probably IS synonymous with a woman being called “fatty” or “uggo.”

    • cafetisa

      Katie, you totally hit the nail on the head! Obviously everyone has certain factors which theyare attracted to (or not), but by ruling out anyone under a height limit (or hair colour or career) means you could miss out on meeting the most amazing partner!
      My fiancee is slightly shorter than me, so yea, I don’t wear heels everyday – but he is the most amazing person I have ever had the privilege of knowing! Also, apart from everything else that makes him wonderful hes comfy enough in his own skin that he doesn’t care if I wear heels or not!
      So I totally agree with having general standards, but if you close your eyes to everyone else it might just be you who misses out… And if a relationship doesn’t work out with a shorter guy, it wasn’t his height that killed it! Attitude and perspective ladies 🙂

    • atomiclumberjack

      Saw this featured on the WordPress main page, and thought I’d read it. I think people who accuse others of being shallow are merely being hypocritical (but aren’t we all sometimes?).

      I think my girlfriend of nearly 5 years is beautiful, and she is quite honestly. Does that make me shallow?

      It’s the ladder of love: first we meet someone whom we find physically attractive, if that’s one of our personal requirements. Then, if we can, we find their ideas attractive. Finally, we build with them a personal world based on memes, inside jokes and past experiences. That’s how older couples can still be in love without necessarily finding each other physically appealing (although many do).

      Maybe there are some armchair philosophers out there who say real beauty is on the inside, but there are many types of “beauty.”

      “She is a BEAUTIFUL person” vs. “She is a beautiful PERSON.”

      Of course, there are other culturally-transmitted ideas of attractiveness such as the ‘tall, dark and handsome/beautiful’ person seen in movies. I’d say those notions are valid, simply because in order for media (movies in this example) to effectively market them, the audience would need to be predisposed to receive that image.

    • Lauren

      Woops my comment relates to this but I forgot to add that I agree with Katie about not ruling someone out automatically. But I should also add that I once dated someone 4″ shorter than me, and while we had a fantastic time together and dated for a month, it was the feeling of leaning down to reach him during our first standing kiss that killed the attraction in that relationship for me (and going in I’d never cared about height before). Granted, I was a teen, but since then I’ve always known height was important for me (and I’m short!).

      So maybe don’t rule guys out for just height, but don’t beat yourself up if the attraction isn’t there.

  2. robfreund

    Hm… I too have held off on commenting about this, but since there’s a whole blog post on it, how can I resist? 🙂
    On first glance, my inclination is to run into the hills, waving my arms over my head screaming “Shallow double standards!!” (probably because I am a handy hobbit-sized 5′ 9″.) However, if I’m honest with myself, I think we all have ‘standards,’ shallow though they may or may not be. While some may embrace that fact, and others heap coals of condemnation on it, we’re all prone to it simply by being human. We all have preferences and tastes; we all have attractors and detractors in a PSM (as you put it).

    What perhaps causes a standard to be labeled shallowness is (in my admittedly unprofessional opinion) two things: 1) how vocal someone is about their standards, and 2) how many standards a person has. Case in point: I may be partial to brunettes more than blondes, and as long as that is internally guiding my preferences, we don’t have a problem. As soon as I start saying, “I like brunettes. I don’t want to date that blonde girl.” to someone, they can take that and run into the hills, screaming, etc. etc.

    Additionally, one or two standards (I like to think of them as ‘ideal attractors’) means you know what you like/want out of a spouse; having 50 standards to sift one PSM from another suggests that you may be cultivating some shallowness (that’s such a harsh word though). It may be that you aren’t giving the world a chance to surprise you with someone truly special, because they don’t meet your prerequisites. It may also be the case that you simply have a very specific emotional scaffolding for what is or is not appealing to you. Either way, YOU decide what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not.

    On an additional (and, I promise final) point, I think it depends a little bit on the quality of the standard. Are we dealing with a preference centered on similar likes and dislikes? Ignorance vs. culture? Paycheck? Height? Weight? Hair color? My personal standpoint is that certain factors have more weight to them than others. For instance, I may like brunettes over blondes, but I would much rather marry a blonde woman with an amazing personality and good chemistry than I would a brunette woman with a horrible personality and zero chemistry. Hair color has a lesser weight for me than personality, and so on. I think it’s the same for everyone, but the standards, the weights, and the outcomes differ accordingly.

    I’m certainly no expert on this, but these are just some of my musings on the subject. 🙂 Take it with a grain of salt.

      • Ted

        Whoa.. I got a shout out! Nice!

        I think after everything is said and done, with all the comments zinging away, I am more curious with ” ‘My Single Male Friend Friday’ “

  3. chauffeur

    Preferences when making friends, acquaintances, or just someone to know casually is being shallow. But on a dating site where the ultimate goal is a possible L.T.R., there are so many people to choose to meet or go on a date with, you need to have some way to shorten the list. I.M.O. you cannot “discriminate” by height, hair color, etc when it comes to being friends, co-worker, neighbors, and casually associating with someone, but I believe it is acceptable to have some “deal breakers” when it comes to a P.S.M. Were I in the mkt. I would never consider becoming involved with someone too conservative. Maybe my loss, but still my prerogative. Yet I could be friends with a conservative, Still, I would not want to date one. So I say OK to Kat’s choice or standard on this one, She has many shorter friends, and probably conservative friends too, But for a P.S.M., you gotta have some criteria of what is or is not acceptable to you. Just I.M.O., L.O.L.
    B.T.W., I am pretty sure, height is her only “deal breaker”, I think we are all allowed one or two, (possibly shallow), requirements. Even in court, a Lawyer is allowed to dismiss a few potential jurors, “just because”.

  4. Are Standards Shallow? (via After I Quit My Day Job) « Philadelphia Stories Weblog

    […] March 3, 2011 Are Standards Shallow? (via After I Quit My Day Job) Posted by Marc Schuster under Uncategorized Leave a Comment  Earlier this week, fellow blogger (and mastermind of Musings on Life and Love) Dennis Hong accused me of “getting shallow.”  I told him that I’m not getting shallow, that I have always been shallow when it comes to my taller-than-me-in-heels requirement. Although the majority of my female readers rallied to my defense (thanks ladies!) I’ve gotten a lot of flack for this over the years.  Ironically enough, most of it has come from my younger broth … Read More […]

  5. jedwardswright

    I didn’t meet the love of my life until I was forty, and I almost passed on him because he didn’t meet some of my more superficial standards.
    Tall guys are a dime a dozen. Guys who are thoughtful, respectful, gentle, trustworthy, affectionate and hard-working are hard to find (and those things are sexier in the long run). If you discover such a jewel, don’t let him go, because your mistake will be the next smart woman’s blessing!

  6. Mikalee Byerman

    Here’s my take: our standards are our standards, however shallow or deep they may be. We GET to have them, and we get to look for people who meet them.

    For me, being 6 feet in stature, “tall” is definitely a standard for me. Does that make me shallow? Nope…just makes me conscious of the fact that I don’t want a guy on tippy toes when he’s kissing me. 😉

  7. deldobuss

    This is coming from a gal who married her high school bf at 18- so take it with a grain of salt:

    I think external standards like height should be flexible. If you automatically disregard a guy just because he is shorter without getting to know him- that is shallow. If you prefer guys that are taller, but are flexible and more interested in character and not stature, then you are good.

    If you meet an awesome guy that happens to be the same height as you, or one inch taller, would you be willing to forgo heels for a while until you don’t care anymore? Or is height really that important that you will settle for a taller guy? Or wait, and wait, for one to show up?

    Or think about it this way- maybe tall guys don’t want to date someone that is 3-4 inches shorter than them and has to wear heels just to catch up! (ok- that is prob made up but there might be guys like that)

    BTW- my husband is 5’9″ and I am 5’8″ and it works beautifully

  8. Grey Goose, Dirty

    Technically, I would call any sort of physical requirement superficial and not shallow as I well know that height alone wouldn’t attract me to someone if they had a horrid personality 😉 You really can’t change who you are attracted to. If you like tall, you like tall. If you like blonde, you like blonde. It’s not to say that if you met an amazing man on the street one day that had every single quality that you’re looking for aside from the height, that you wouldn’t seriously consider him, but being as internet dating gives us the chance to set a preference, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.
    I think a truly ‘shallow’ person would go out with someone purely based on physical attributes regardless of the fact that all they are is ‘attractive’ on the outside. I certainly don’t think you fit into the category of dating someone based only on their looks.
    There’s nothing wrong with liking who you like. 🙂

  9. jollyjam1

    I think it is OK to have standards and one can set those where ever they want, but I think that the whole subject is indicative of what is crazy about the dating scene. (For full disclosure I am married, but remember fully the craziness of my dating days.)

    Check out Henry Cloud’s “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping” for some good advice on how to reduce the stress of dating.

    • Kat Richter

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’m attempting to read a book a week this year so I’ll definitely at it to my list!

  10. jaredblakedicroce

    Honestly, the best advice i can give to you is this:
    Lose your personal preferences.
    If you have a penchant for a specific trait in a person, and only that trait, you are experiencing tunnel vision — broaden your horizons. Let people surprise you! Let them make a fresh impression! Allow your life to deviate from your expectations… Otherwise, what’s the point really? You will just keep re-living past experiences over and over ad infinitum.
    If life truly is the road, not the destination, than try to take another path — you already know the one you’re on too well 🙂

    • Kat Richter

      But I’ve always been one of those destination-minded people 😦 Of course, this has always been my downfall too so thanks for the advice- I think I might just give it a shot!

  11. sportsjim81

    Well, this is the first time I’ve come across your blog so let me begin by saying congrats on the Freshly Pressed publicity. As far as this topic goes, it is something near and dear to my heart as a below average height male. I stand 5’7″ on a good day. By “good day”, I mean any day where everyone I come across is shorter than me, therefore giving the illusion that I am taller than I really am. In fact, I only grew to 5’7″ after high school where I spent the majority of my 4 years hovering around the 5′ mark. Did it affect my relationships, or should I say lack thereof? I believe it likely did. On the other hand, I find that I have the same general requirement of the opposite sex. I have always preferred girls who were shorter than me. My wife, who stands in at approximately 5’4″ barely meets this threshold but in heels, we’re nose to nose.

  12. michaeleriksson

    (Re-submit due to timeout.)

    Katie’s well-written comment sums up much of the issue. Notably, what tends to annoy men is the strictness of the guideline: There may be men who are non-negotiably unwilling to date someone with e.g. a too small cup-size—but they are a very small minority and almost all men look at the overall impression. In contrast, that women have rules like “I never date anyone shorter than 6 feet.”, “[…] who earns less than 70 Gs per year.”, “[…] who drives a car like that.” is far more common. (I will not go as far as to say that they form the majority, but at least among younger women it is a minimum of a large minority.)

  13. gojulesgo

    Feel free to use me as a case study. I’m 5’8” and a heel-o-holic. I thought I was going to marry a tall, lanky, blonde-haired, blue-eyed fella, that is, if I ever got married at all. I was sure I’d never wind up dating my now-husband because of his height, but color me corrected! We’ve been together 8 years and he’s 5’5”, brown hair, brown eyes.

    Height is a very sensitive topic for most vertically-challenged men, but as long as they have confidence, you can usually bridge the gap (pun intended). My hubster is the most hilarious, sensitive, smart, talented and adorable guy around. It helps that he can lift me with one arm, too.

  14. B.C. Young

    Personal preferences are one thing. But if you specifically ignore someone and don’t give them a chance because of your preferences, I believe you are then on the verge of shallow.

  15. ryekatcher

    If you have prerequisites for your other half- go for it but be open to a change in your views. It is not shallow to wish for someone to have a specific height, hair color, eye color, skin color, or even to have an aversion to types of finger appearances. We all have to desire something and that is how we find what we love in every aspect of life. However, it is only shallow if it becomes set in stone and shelters our minds.
    If we were to meet someone at a party and spend the whole night talking, enjoying every second- would we turn them down due to their not meeting a requirement. If we would give them a fair shot at a date and the “thing” would still bother us- it is real and not shallow.
    Upon setting our types on internet dating websites- we must have something to look for to be set up closer to our desires. For that it is not shallow. It is the first step in internet dating.
    As long as you can safely tell yourself that you would never be the one to do as follows: you are NOT being shallow;
    You meet a wonderful man and love being with him in every which way, BUT you cant follow through with it because you have Rules and his height/eyes/skin don’t match them so you must end the relationship.

    If you are that person, I don’t want to point fingers, but you may be shallow. Best of luck with the tall men. I DO like tall men very much as long as they are not lanky and scrawny- call me shallow 🙂

    • Kat Richter

      You make a good point about setting criteria for online dating, and truth be told, I’m generally willing to compromise on my “rules” if I find myself actually enamored of someone.

  16. Claire

    I will admit I’m fairly average-sized as a woman, so whilst I’ve always had a “taller than me in heels” rule myself, it hasn’t ruled out a large proportion of the population!

    I think I prefer a guy to be taller than me entirely based on my own habits and upbringing – both my brother and my dad were 6′ and above, so I’m used to being around tall men. Equally, I’ve always had it drummed into me to be careful and aware of the dangers facing women going places on their own. I know this can lead people to scream “sexism!” and so forth at me, but with my father being a police officer, often I was aware of the consequences of forgetting these dangers.

    I like to think I can handle myself. I’m a red belt in Tae Kwon Do. But even I admit that I feel a little bit safer and a little bit more relaxed when I go out with my boyfriend, even if he is only a scant fraction of an inch taller than me in my heels, because he feels a bit like a human shield. But that’s entirely based on my own insecurities. I have been attracted to men who were shorter than me before, but that makes them pretty darn short, as I’m not quite 5’6″.

    Shallow would be saying you won’t consider someone because they’re too pale (as one of my colleagues has done), or because they’ve got bad knees or something.

    • saratoday

      I’m 5′-2″ and never dated any men over 6′-0″. In fact, I preferred men 5’10” and shorter (The Husband is 5’9″). I hate having to lean my neck back to talk. Also, tall men rarely ever hit on me. I don’t think that makes us shallow, just practical.

    • Kat Richter

      If my memory serves me correctly, red belt is just one away from black, right? I wouldn’t mess with you 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  17. The Compulsive Writer

    I love your historical take on the social place of women in history…your right! I’ve written a few short stories focusing on the role of gender on my blog. I am trying to be well rounded but if I am not careful, the feminist writer in me will come out. but really, is there anything wrong with that? haha! I love your post. Made me laugh!

  18. shoutabyss

    As a “man” (and I use that term loosely) I once did an informal study on personal ads 15 to 20 years ago. I used a major metropolitan newspaper as my source. Notably because it allowed a very small amount space for each ad. It was a lot like Twitter in that regard.

    A high and alarming percentage of the “Women Seeking Men” category referenced three prominent factors.

    1. Economics. (Well off, financially secure, etc.)
    2. Height. (Tall or even listing a specific measurement.)
    3. Some physical characteristic about themselves. (Voluptuous, curvy, busty, etc.)

    I didn’t bother to check the “Men Seeking Women” category but I imagine I would have seen similar results.

    For some strange and unknown reason our society places value on a physical characteristic like height. Check out the average height of CEOs and Presidents sometime. (While you’re at it, check out their race and gender, too.)

    Says Wikipedia: “A record of the heights of the Presidents of the United States and presidential candidates is useful for evaluating what role, if any, height plays in presidential elections. Some observers have noted that the taller of the two major-party candidates tends to prevail, due to the public’s apparent preference for taller candidates.”

    And if you believe that graph on Wikipedia, this is decidedly a growing trend. (Excuse the pun).

    The average male in the United States is 5’9″ tall. The average CEO, on the other hand, is 6′ tall. They got three inches up on the rest of us. That is not coincidence.

    “Even more strikingly, in the general American population, 3.9 percent of adult men are 6’2″ or taller. Among my CEO sample, 30 percent were 6’2″ or taller.” Source.

    Is a standard like a height requirement for dating “shallow?” I’d guess you’d have to count me as a “yes” on that.

  19. ournote2self

    I’m 5’8″ and when you are trying to find a man to date, I think it’s only normal to want a guy that’s taller than you. As I would assume a guy wants a girl that’s shorter than him. I want to feel safe in his arms and I can’t do that if Tiny Tim is standing on a step stool to kiss me. You’re right…some guys like blond’s, I like tall men! There’s nothing wrong with that. 🙂

  20. Carl

    When you first mentioned your height requirement for PSM’s, as you call them, I was slightly perturbed. I believe that most of the “Standards” that people have in regards to relationship, and to an extent in what is considered “attractive” are construct of society or of our own mind. I am 22 years old, and I have never been in a serious romantic relationship, not by choice, but because things have not fallen that way so far. For a long time I have had a burning desire for someone to share my life with, my version of a “soul mate”, as it were. That burning desire has and sometimes still causes me to project feelings and desires onto people that I meet. This projection muddles what are real emotions, and what are merely projections. In order to truly and authentically understand the emotions that I read off of others, and feel toward others, I have to understand my own emotions as much as I can. Something else that I recently learned, and that most people struggle greatly with, is accepting that I can not understand why I am attracted to someone. We live in a culture that wants answers to everything. Everything is supposed to be very clear-cut, very “black and white”, as it were. Emotions are not that simple. I can not tell you why I am attracted to someone. I can tell you things about them that I find attractive. I can tell you things that they do that I like. But I can not tell you why I feel attracted to them and not someone else with similar characteristics and personality. Recently I have been learning to accept that I can not understand why I am attracted to people, and to accept that and acknowledge that I am attracted to them and then work with that.
    We live in a plethora choice culture. There are so many different varieties of basically the same items. Advertising tells us to go out and get the latest and greatest new thing. Old items are thrown away instead of being recycled or repaired. Advertising tries to create a “Universal standard of beauty” that messes with the self-esteem of many people. I believe that this has spilled over to interpersonal relationships as well. When problems arise in a relationship, many people choose to ditch the relationship and find a new one, as opposed to doing the work and dealing with the pain that is sometimes necessary to sustain and strengthen a relationship. I think that dating sites, with their plethora of choices, and sometimes limited authenticity, exacerbate this problem. In the past, when marriages were often about money or status, or arranged, people who often barely knew each other were thrown into a situation, and often with the support of their family, they tried as best as they could to make it work, and often did. A long from the musical “Fiddler On the Roof” illustrates this point well.
    “Do I love him?
    For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him
    Fought him, starved with him
    Twenty-five years my bed is his
    If that’s not love, what is? ”
    Many people, women in particular, have unfortunately been hurt by people close to them in their lives. This often results in people keeping “One foot out of the door” in a relationship. They have a backup plan for if the relationship does not work out. They are emotionally guarded to try and prevent being hurt like that again. While their efforts might be somewhat successful, there are also things that are lost in that sort of relationship. I have been strongly attracted to several people over the years who did not feel the same way about me. This was painful, and sometimes it took me a while to “get over them.” I still choose to not be guarded with my emotions because my experience has shown me that I have to be emotionally vulnerable in order to build the depth of connections that I desire towards people.
    I think that people create “Standards” and “checklists” in order to find what they think is the “perfect” soulmate. The experiences of myself and many others suggests that this is counterproductive. We meet thousands of people during our lives. Most we meet merely in passing, and quickly forget. Others we become acquainted with. A few we become good friends with. Someday we meet “That special person”, our proverbial “soulmate.” Out of those thousands of people, it is impossible to predict who that person is going to be.
    When we choose to enter into a romantic relationship with someone, we are also choosing to not enter into a relationship with anyone else. I believe that there is more than one person out there that I could marry and spend the rest of my life with, and I would be happy. When I meet one of those people, and hopefully marry them, by choosing to enter into the relationship I am also choosing to not search for those other people. I am choosing to take advantage of the good thing that I have already.
    I think that the most important things for you to do is to allow your values and beliefs to be tested. You currently feel that you can not date someone who is shorter than you are. I would encourage you to allow this belief to be challenged. Perhaps you will find that it is true. It is also very likely that you will find that it is more of a construct of your own mind, and of society. You may have a preference for men taller than you, which is totally understandable; however, you might find yourself attracted to someone shorter than you because of the enumerable other factors that play into attraction towards someone.
    You have mentioned several times that physical attraction is important to you with potential dates. This a valid position; however, I also believe that chemistry is more important. Although I feel them as separate emotions sometimes, sexual and romantic attraction are connected, whether we care to admit that or not. I believe that being romantically attracted to someone enhances the sexual attraction that you might not even realize exists. In the context of a long-term relationship, factors such as someone ability to handle conflict, their ability to balance their own needs and desires with those of their partner, and the level or friendship that exists are all far more important than how tall they are, whether or not they are in a lucrative profession, or whether they spend a lot of money on dates and gifts.

    • Kat Richter

      Well said as always Carl! I’ve ended each of my previous relationships because I realized they were going to take more work than I wanted to put into them. I’m hoping that some day I’ll find someone who’s not perfect– taller than me OR short than me (although obviously I’d prefer the former 🙂 )– and when we hit those inevitable bumps in the road that I’ll feel like working through those bumps because I know the end result will be worth it. (And I’m hoping the same for you!)

  21. ferkung

    It’s shallow when that’s the only thing that tears you apart. But I’m ugly, and short at 5’8, and male. I find some of the comments interesting that there are times to be shallow and not.

    So you’ve broken up solely over height? Good for you. Hope you missed a good one.

    • Kat Richter

      Umm… actually I’ve never broken up with anyone because of their height (or income, or car, or lack of car, etc.) but thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  22. Cooking with Alison

    I’m a tall female as well, and when I was younger, I set height requirements for partners as well. But over time, I threw out the requirements list and for the past 7 years I have been with a man who is only 1 inch taller than I am without heels. Although neither of us is oblivious to the fact that I am taller than him when I wear heels, it has not affected our relationship. And I can’t imagine myself ever wanting to be with anyone else.

    When I hear about people setting “high standards” for any physical attribute, I worry that they are limiting their own chances of finding happiness. It’s not a question of whether or not it’s shallow. Everyone is entitled to having preferences, but to set limits for such attributes means that you’re probably focusing on the wrong things. Shouldn’t we instead be focusing on the importance of qualities such as, honest, trustworthy, respectful, understanding, sincere, etc.? We should set high expectations for these and we should be going around looking for indications of character. Like I said, it’s not a matter of whether or not someone is shallow, it’s a matter of how to find happiness in life.

    But having said that, I just want to throw it out there that the opposite is true too. A lot of heterosexual men refuse to date women that are taller than they are. Some might even say that they would never date someone that would only date people of a certain height. So the standards go both ways.

    • Kat Richter

      Very true! A few people have pointed out that for every height requirement there’s a corresponding “short” requirement. Thanks for your comment!

  23. Dennis Hong

    As I mentioned yesterday, my problem isn’t necessarily that people are shallow. Hey, it’s reality. People are shallow. And, in fact, there are plenty of biological reasons for it.

    One issue I do have is the double-standard. If women are allowed to be shallow, and it’s in fact okay for women to be shallow, then men should be allowed the same privilege.

    The greater issue, though, is that these so-called standards (or shallowness, if you wanna call them that) are simply the evolutionary result of our desire to produce strong, viable offspring.

    So, if we allow for shallowness, should we also allow for behaviors such as infidelity or promiscuity? Because those two are also the evolutionary result of our desire to produce strong, viable offspring.

    Yes, I’m using a slippery slope argument. But, where do we draw the line? It’s okay to want a tall mate? It’s okay to want a mate with large breasts? But it’s not okay to cheat on them?

    My personal take, as I mentioned in my monogamy article, is that we should acknowledge our animal instincts, but also realize that our animal instincts don’t always lead to the best decisions from a societal standpoint. And if we believe that we are better than the animals, maybe we should make an effort to not behave like animals.

    • fireandair

      “The greater issue, though, is that these so-called standards (or shallowness, if you wanna call them that) are simply the evolutionary result of our desire to produce strong, viable offspring.”

      I’m less convinced of that than I used to be. We’d all be 9′ tall and blond if that were really such an advantage as we make it out to be. Let’s face it, there are a lot of stumpy-legged, flat-chested, short, hairy-lipped women still running around after a million years of evolution. SOMEONE’s spreading those genes, dude. 🙂

      • fireandair

        Yes, but all that means is that this “evolutionary advantage” junk isn’t really the case. If those genes survive, then they are fit and fine. QED.

      • Dennis Hong

        When we’re talking about fitness, we always talk about small advantages. That’s how natural selection works, and that’s why there’s still diversity in the population. It’s rare that one trait conveys such an advantage that it ends up out-competing every other trait to the point of extinction.

        Just because you see individuals who have a lower fitness does not mean that the advantage isn’t there, so your conclusion is fallacious.

      • fireandair

        Dude, I’m sorry that you seem to have a problem with this, but if a set of genes is still around after a million years having babies and carpeting the planet, that set of genes is fit. Period. Don’t be so bitter about not getting the cream of the crop — after a million years, it would indeed have died out if it weren’t adaptive.

        The fact is that what’s adaptive changes. There is diversity not because a million years isn’t long enough to wait out small advantages, but because of diversity of environment and diversity of other partners. What is beneficial to one partner looking to balance out their genetic shortcomings may offer no benefit to another partner.

        Bottom lines, those genes are fit or else they wouldn’t be here. They are fit somewhere, and they are fit for someone. There is no one crop and no one definition of cream. If the blonde chick doesn’t want you, then you just don’t have the genetics SHE needs. Someone else is a better genetic fit for you. Sorry.

      • Dennis Hong

        What makes you think I’m bitter, or that I have a problem with this? You’re the one who seems to be getting bent out of shape here.

        If you want to debate evolutionary biology, I will engage you to the end of the world. However, I strongly suggest that you actually know what you’re talking about before you try to debate someone who does know what he’s talking about.

  24. girlonthecontrary

    Sure- it’s a double standard. So it goes. Dating rules are arbitrary and personal. It’s not about logic. Attraction isn’t logical- it’s biological- we crave what we crave. Which is to say, screw double standards. Is it better to date a shorter guy who you aren’t completely digging just so you avoid double standards? Methinks no.

    • Kat Richter

      You make a good point! It’s like when you’re trying so hard to PC that you end up causing greater offense in the long run…

  25. Liz

    I am 5’4″ and my husband is 6’5″–so I completely get your post. I have dated men of varying heights, but am always drawn to men over 5’10”. It’s not shallow, it’s our personal preferance. You wouldn’t say spmeone is shallow for prefering impressionist art over cubism–it’s just a personal preferance. Seems pretty obvious.

  26. makingup3000

    But what if it’s Tom Cruise or someone super gorgeous, uber rich, or famous and is the nicest person in the world who loves you to pieces that comes knocking on your door. Would you turn him down because he’s 5’6″? Just wondering. You just might overlook their shortness then.

  27. countoncross

    You can have all the prefrences you want……but when you fall in love with someone it is usually not what you would expect. 🙂

  28. Chris

    Consider this parallel scenario:
    “As I mentioned last month, the matches they’d been sending me went from bad (big nose) to worse (long nose).  And yes, I know I shouldn’t be so hung up on the nose-length thing but I can’t help it.  It’s one of my non-negotiables, and a guy is allowed at least a few less-than-rational demands, isn’t he?  I mean its not as if I’m asking all of my Potential Soul Mates to take up baroque dance or eighteenth-century costuming.”

    Disclaimer: uggo, fatty, and other inappropriate adjectives are not synonymous to  being a “rhino”.

    I also have a standard for the kind of writers and authors I’d like to follow the work of, and that standard definitely excludes those who are cognitively-challenged, insensitive and ignorant to the consequences of publishing certain opinions to a mass audience. Good luck with your book about us, Books, and Britain. I, for one, am not looking forward to it like the previous agents and publishers you failed to impress.

    • Landlord

      I am short, feisty and pretty confident, so I am not in the least offended by this debate, especially as I am cognisant/cognizant of the underlying humor and self-deprecation that Kat uses throughout this blog.

      MY list of Short People Attributes: (I’m really good at all of them)

      *On long trips you can stretch your legs up on the dashboard.

      *Being able to jump from the front seat to the back seat easily to retrieve
      food, toys, etc. for the children traveling with you.

      *Not frightening small children and dogs.

      *Being able to circumnavigate thru crowds easily and quickly (especially at concerts and festivals to see the stage, although you are then in danger of
      losing the taller half of the party)

      *Finding great hiding spots when playing “Sardines.”

      and finally, my greatest feat:
      *You can crawl thru the dog door when you’ve forgotten your keys 🙂

      Tall people don’t be sad, there are really good things about being tall, too! 😉

  29. shinypigeon

    I met and have subsequently moved in with my man, who I met online. And I set my settings to 6ft and over.

    As someone who is 5’11 in flats (that’s 6’3 in heels) height is an issue for me. I spent most of my day towering over teenagers (I work with young people), my colleagues, professionals and my friends.

    We went to a wedding recently, where I wore heels, and I towered over all the guests, our friends and my other half (who is 6ft). I can deal with being a ‘Glamazon’ when I’m on a peak of confidence. I love walking into a club in 4 inch heels, and being able to see my friends across the heads of a crowded room.

    But when I’m feeling vunerable, I want someone who can scoop me up, kiss my forehead, and hide my gargantuan height with their own. I want someone who can make me feel feminine, and for me, the way I get that is by being with someone who I have to tilt my head up just a fraction to see eye to eye.

    It is totally ok for all, for men and for women, to have types. I like strong facial bone structure. Does that make me shallow? No, because ‘him indoors’ likes large rears. (Lucky for me!)

    • charlywalker

      I would love to run with people that are looking UP at me all day…..

      spread the humor:

  30. fireandair

    Sorry. I like short. I’m 5’8″ and to me 5’6″ is the perfect male height. Tall guys make me feel like I’m going to get snapped in half, and once you’ve had an elbow planted in your gut with 300+ pounds on top of it, you realize that short and slender is DAMN NICE. Those guys have stamina, and frankly, you can swing off a chandelier with one of them with no fears of getting crushed.

    Seriously. I’ve had relationships with larger guys, and it’s like being pinned under a bus. Give me a small, slim guy every single time.

    At least, one that can handle being shorter than the woman in a relationship — which is not often the case. Their height is not the problem — their attitude about mine often IS. While I don’t mind if he’s shorter than me in stocking feet much less heels, most of them DO mind. So while I vastly prefer small, slim men, I’m aware that most of them would dump me the second they spy someone who is one inch shorter than they are.

  31. amanalynn

    Hi! Great blog btw
    Anyway, height requirements is in no way being shallow. Being a girl myself, I think it’s important to feel secure and protected when in the arms of a man, however, if the man is equal height or shorter then that feeling is no longer there. AND most girls feel it’s important to date a man who is taller than them when wearing heels.
    Plus, I don’t think anyone is shallow when it comes to choosing a partner. You have every right to be picky when it comes to someone you want to be with, otherwise you won’t be happy.

  32. oldancestor

    A guy who is otherwise a good catch but gets dumped because he is not tall enough = lucky not to be stuck with someone so shallow

    That said, I’ve known tall men who were lonely and short guys who had to beat all the women off with sticks.

    Being a 5’9″ male, my observation is that tall guys have an initial advantage, but having charm and a sense of humor is what wins a woman over in the long run.

  33. fireandair

    BTW, standards are not shallow … depending on what they are. When you aren’t very experienced with dating or life in general, you will hold to standards like “he has to be this tall” or “he has to make this much money.”

    After you’ve been around the block a few times, you still have standards but they are things like, “He has to be excited by the world and have a few artistic hobbies,” “he has to be patient and kind,” “he has to appreciate the fact that I spend a lot of time at the piano,” and “it’d be great if he knew how to cook.”

    Trust me, the physical matters, and if it’s a tossup between a patient, sweet guy who is 5’6″ with pale skin, black hair, and a trim figure who can cook and play an instrument versus a patient, sweet pudgy, enormous horse-sized blondie who can cook and play an instrument, the first one will win out with me in a New York minute.

    But the patient and sweet parts start becoming more and more important once you realize that, even if the guy is the most beautiful little creature you’ve ever seen, the relationship will still completely collapse if he’s a short-tempered, unartistic little prick who can’t handle being seen with someone taller than he is.

    Having those sorts of “standards” about looks and money doesn’t make you shallow. It makes you young, and inexperienced, and yet to learn what really determines the success and failure of a relationship. Everyone envisions landing a Hollywood heartthrob or a supermodel when they are in their 20s and hasn’t the slightest idea what makes a relationship really work well yet.

  34. cdewine21

    Unless you walk through life with a Blindfold, there is ALWAYS going to be some sort of “shallowness” because we are always judging people to some degree, on what we see. If you are looking at a potential L.T.R. you have know you are going to be waking up to this person everyday, you are going to spending more time with them than anyone else, you have to like what you are going to spend so much time looking at. You wouldn’t buy a piece of art you HATED and post it up on your living room wall would you?? NO!! You can call it shallow or you can call it knowing what you want! Everyone is allowed a few make-or-breaks.

  35. Maki Lane

    I am part of the tall and high heel obsessed. At 5’9 most people think I’m much taller because I’m never seen in less than a 3 in heel! I prefer to still look up at a man when I’ve got heels on. I’ve dated men who were 5’9 – 10 and our demise had very little to do with our height. Granted, I don’t know if I’d date a man who was shorter than 5’9, but thats personal preference just like blonde hair or long legs! Men have TONS of preferential requirements, but then take offense when women have their own!!

  36. J Roycroft

    Everyone has standards. Sounds like the issue might be a lack of maturity. If, when you turn 30, you still need someone else to decide for you whether or not you are shallow, then maybe you are in fact shallow. Congrats on FP.

  37. Lakia Gordon

    I think standards are ok 🙂 In the end, when love has its say, the standards will probably go out the window 🙂

  38. Mr. Salk

    Women innately understand that men have fragile egos and prefer shorter mates. They politely pretend the height-differential standard is their own. Thanks.

  39. loonyduck

    Well, to be honest with you we chose our partners and, according to science, our attractions are based on who will make a better mate and a stronger genetic future. Appearances, also according to science, have a lot to do with that- someone tall, muscular, with a full head of hair and no smoker’s cough (just an example here!) might just match perfectly with a tall lady for biological and genetic reasons.
    Frankly I don’t think it has ANYTHING to do with being shallow. I refuse to date anyone shorter than myself- I’d even go as far as to say I’ve never been attracted to anyone even my own height. Probably because I’m 5’7, but I think you see what I’m getting at.

  40. sarahnsh

    I always thought that I wanted to have a guy really tall because my family is tall, I was always the tallest girl in my class and my brother is especially tall. My grandfather was too, and that is part of the reason why I don’t wear heels. I feel too much like a huge amazon woman and I’m around 6 foot something with even just slight heels on.

    Every single guy I dated was definitely shorter than me by a couple of inches. With having my fiancee who is a few inches above me it feels a lot more secure to be in his arms and I can’t deny that I just ‘fit’ better when we hug that my head fits in his chest rather than the other way around.

    Of course, there is a lot more than just height being in his favor. He is also kind, giving, loving, quite the hopeless romantic, and we seem to have the same outgoing personality and the other standards besides physical appearance are important to me. I don’t trust that easily, so guys have to jump through a few hoops of fire to get to be with me and I don’t think that is a bad thing at all. He passed all the tests and ended up winning me in the end.

  41. charlywalker

    Shallow is something you find in the kiddie pool.

    Wear the heels……just don’t date them….

    Spread the humor:

  42. damon corrigan

    You mentioned 3 words that caught my attention – preferences, standards, and being shallow. Which is really a phrase. But don’t distract me. -grin-

    I am a guy, and I am 6-3. Honest.

    Being shallow is one of those phrases that people toss around when they see a person make a decision about something or someone based on something that they perceive to be trivial to them, without knowing or caring about the fact that to the person whom they are judging (now who is being shallow?) they mean a lot.

    A person makes a list of standards or preferences based on things important to them – and if others aren’t, at the very least, willing to acknowledge the importance of these standards and preferences, then they are the ones being shallow.

    Preferences are optional attributes. Standards are required attributes – deal breakers, if you will. They have nothing at all to do with being shallow or not. Don’t let anyone try to con you into thinking that your standards or preferences – particularly in a potential partner – are trivial or worthless. Only you can decide that.

  43. Evie Garone

    I can understand personal preferences…I don’t think there is anything wrong with them…but some day you may be alone waiting for a six foot man. Why is it we’re set in Western mode that the man must be taller? Does it REALLY matter? I think there are African societies where the woman is bigger and it works in their culture…so if you are comfortable in WHO you are and you are open to really meeting the personality it shouldn’t matter…that be said, I understand having & setting parameters for a dating service…but in reality you should be open-minded, it really doesn’t matter, you can still wear heels, if you are comfortable in YOURSELF, who cares if people look, accept the attention!

  44. hunterpinehurst

    There is no shallow when you are looking to be attracted to someone. I do notice men get cranky when they realize a woman might reject them because of their looks. But physical attraction is just as important to men.

  45. Kat Richter

    My goodness- what a day to be Freshly Pressed! I woke up this morning and thought “Sh*t! I have only an hour till its Tummy Tango Time (I teach creative movement for a non-profit and my preschoolers LOVE our Tummy Tango dance).”

    My next thought was “Double sh*t! What the heck am I going to write about today?” 🙂

    So, THANK YOU to everyone who has stopped by thus far, and to everyone who’s been contributing to this very… er… lively debate! I’m just starting to read through everyone’s comments now (I was trying to read them on my Droid en route from North Philly but the bus ride was entirely too bumpy) so I’ll promise I’ll start responding ASAP!

  46. Ashley Nicole Summers

    Standards are crazy important in relationships. It doesn’t matter if they are physical, emotional or professional based – they are your standards and you shouldn’t have to defend them. It’s like ordering at a restaurant. Some people may like the spinach salad as is, but you might specify no bacon, extra cheese and dressing on the side. There’s nothing wrong with the original salad, you simply find it more appealing the way you like it. You’re entitled to your preference regardless of if your dinner companion finds you difficult and picky. In fact, other restaurant goers might prefer your individualized salad too. Why is it different then and somehow “wrong” to apply your feelings to finding a person to spend THE REST OF YOUR LIFE with?

  47. Joan

    I’m 6’4″, Hubby of 25 years is 5’8″ or something. I’ve dated taller, but only Hubby makes me laugh that hard, only Hubby GETS me and encourages me to be me.

    Sure, standards are okay, and what gets your motor running is an individual thing, but try not to limit yourself. Be open to ALL possibilities and quit worrying about what other people will think.

    Besides, when you’re horizontal, who gives a rat’s ass!

  48. fuzzy9kiwi

    It’s okay to have preferences, but if you don’t give someone who is slightly different from your image of a desirable person the slightest chance, that’s shallow.

  49. Jennifer Avventura

    Wicked post! Ha. Five foot eleven pipping in here! Ha. It was tough as a kid and I still get pointed out as the TALL one. If I’d been good in math probably the brainy one. We are all different and need to aceept that, and others need to accept our desires when searching for beauty.

  50. ifUseekAmy

    I’m *lucky* to be 5’2″. Even though a guy 5’6″ is taller than me, doesn’t mean that I don’t prefer someone over 5’8″ (which btw, when I was actively doing online dating, was my height minimum). I don’t think that makes me, or Kat, or anyone else shallow. Also, as many people are stating, it’s a mere preference.

  51. munchkn

    I’m sorry, this will sound horrible, but short men just don’t do it for me! Which is why I, 5’7″, have a 6′ boyfriend…

  52. Mike Wachsman

    Standards as a GUIDELINE are not a bad thing … we like what we like, right?

    However, as someone above stated, when you begin disqualifying candidates due to their lack of certain requirements then it does come off as a bit shallow. I often felt I “clicked” more with brunettes than blondes, but I never said I wouldn’t date someone other than brunettes.

    I’m 5-6, and for the longest time I had trouble finding suitable women to date because they were taller than I am and, like you, had height as one of their “standards”. I would often become friends with them, but I apparently wasn’t dating material. I considered that their loss.

    Prior to meeting me, my wife generally dated tall guys (well tall to me — 5-10 and above), but said that’s usually just how it worked out. She didn’t consider height as a pre-requisite for dating, and is glad she didn’t because had she done so we never would have married.

    I guess I would simply say that standards aren’t a bad thing to have, but be careful who you are leaving out as you might be passing up the love of your life.

  53. lecarter

    I so with you on the height “requirement”. I don’t think it is shallow at all if you are being clear and honest with the other person. I wish I had learned to “trick” e-harm sooner…they were feeding me short guys too. Luckily I also found my fiance (who does happen to be 6’2″). There are so many individual characterisitcs that one analyzes when scoping out a mate. I guess some people may find citeria like “employed” or “non-smoker” shallow as well since it takes people out of the running. Good for you for being upfront and honest about your perferences.

  54. Wink'd

    You need to be attracted to someone.

    So of course we have standards. You wouldn’t (hopefully) date a murderer, because something in you (hopefully) finds that unattractive. To a much lesser degree, this is true about dating others. You’ve got to be attracted.

    And why settle, when there are so many very, very deliciously attractive dates out there? ;D

  55. checkitrdb

    i love it! a few weeks ago i thought i had a guy tall enough to wear my platform heels out with, boy was i wrong. i could see right over the top of his head, i had the overwelming desire to use him as a lean-to all night. tall gals in sexy shoes unite.

  56. micah

    You’re asking the wrong question.

    There’s no single right answer to the question “Are standards shallow?” Its like asking, “Is beer good?” I would say it is, but others would disagree with me. Some might look at beer consumption from the point of calorie intake and say its bad. Others might look at someone who brews it and has a successful business around and think beer is good.

    I think a better question to ask is, “Are the standards I have set for myself helping me obtain my goal.”

    In the case of beer, I drink it with my friends and it brings me good feelings with great friends in a social environment where I converse and connect with people. If, for example, I were an alcoholic and drinking beer is an outlet to escape feelings which leads to impaired judgment and bad consequences, the beer does not serve my goal in leading a happy and long life full of rich relationships.

    Back to the article… you don’t really need a tall guy, what you need is love, satisfaction, fulfillment, etc. If you like tall guys, there are plenty around you, and they lead you to your goal of having a fulfilling relationship, then Id say its a great standard. If the opposite is true, then you either need to move to the island of tall guys, or change your standard.

  57. Tannis

    If you’re short, you’re short (maybe it’s cause I’m from a family of pygmys). I can understand women wanting to be shorter than the men they date, or whatever. But I ask, why? Is it because we’ve been trained as a gender to want to be protected? Do we feel safer when we are the smaller of the two? I don’t know, it feels to me like this “double standard” or “preference” actually does our feminine strength (or whatever) more harm.

    Anyhow, if you need to be with a taller man, that’s up to you. But don’t discount the shorter guys with good educations, who work hard, who have a lot to offer with their killer personalities. Don’t women actually open the box to make sure the product isn’t broken instead of just buying the prettiest one? Buy a stool. What’s the big deal? I’d rather date a decent short guy than a tall one who tortures animals.

  58. morefuckingopinions

    Shallow, to me, means treating physical traits over personality and compatibility. I wouldn’t even hide my tastes behind the “standards” label. Is it shallow to only date people you are physically attracted to? I think being attracted to someone is a hugely important part of a relationship. So if I am only ever attracted to tall men, that’s not shallow. (I have only been attracted to men who are taller than me, but I can forgive them if I’m in heels)
    If you had a short male friend who you were attracted to but you refused to try a relationship for fear that you would look odd in public, that’s shallow. Being honest about what turns you on isn’t shallow though, that’s different. What’s the difference? I suppose what’s shallow in that scenario is that you’re worried about what other people would think, or how you would look in photos together… but it’s not the same as saying “my taste is tall men, I find them attractive”.
    It would be shallow to have a great one night stand with a shortie (horizontality is truly the great equaliser!) but refuse to date him or introduce him to your friends.

  59. petitepaumee

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, again!

    So I’ve been watching this debate from the sidelines as someone who knows you well in person and therefore knows that shallow and you are not two words that go together.

    It seems to me that a lot of the controversy is stemming from your choice of words. I think this has been mentioned in the comments above, but for me the word ‘standard’ has more of a moral ring to it; it’s more character-related than apt to describe something you can’t influence, such as your height, eye color, skin color etc. Standards, for me, are moral standards, and nobody likes to be told they don’t match those. What I see as more personal/instinctive/evolution-based is what I would term ‘preferences’ (given I am not a regular on any dating site so I’m not sure of the terminology used –this is simply how I understand the words themselves).
    I think it feels worse if someone thinks they fall short of your ‘standards’ than if they simply don’t match your personal ‘preferences’. In the first case they may feel you are implying they aren’t good enough because they don’t meet some ideal; in the second, you’re just saying you don’t think they are right for you because you wouldn’t feel comfortable around them.

    On a final note, we are all entitled to our preferences and likings, but you might be missing out on some great guys. Being rather on the tall side (although hating heels) myself, I can understand where you are coming from, but I just went out with a 6’11’’ awkwardly lanky guy… and some short guys really pack in enough charm to make up for the missing inches (shallow or not, that’s what I’ve experienced).

    • Katie

      Wow, the whole “standards” vs. “preference” clarification is a really good point. Who knew choice of words could make such a difference??

  60. Hilary Clark

    I happen to be a vertically-challenged woman (5’0″) and prefer tall men. My reason for this used to be that I wanted any children I might have to have a fighting chance at some height. Years of short jokes took their toll. Now that I’m of an age where I’m pretty sure I’m not having kids, I have the luxury of reconsidering my height requirement (but I doubt I will). Instead, my requirements include having a JOB, a CAR, and a PLACE TO LIVE. Can anyone tell my last relationship was an epic fail??

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!!

  61. spiritinquire

    I don’t like the word ‘standard’ here because I think it implies that anyone who doesn’t meet the height criteria is subpar. That being said, I don’t see anything wrong with women preferring men to be taller than them. There is usually a biological reason why you are attracted to one type over another. I think it’s just fine to pay attention to that, so long as it’s really based on what you like and not what mass media tells you you should like.
    As for double standards- is it really a double standard? I’ve also heard of short men who don’t want to date tall women, not only tall women who don’t like short men.
    Be with someone you’re attracted to, end of story.

  62. Tannis

    It’s about quality, not quantity honey. And I’d say maybe your standards/preferences might have to do with why you’re single enough you can actually fill a blog about dating.

  63. Misty

    Ah, I’d love to hear more tall guys answer this question.

    I think height is in “preference” but passing over a guy because of height is a turn off for attractiveness for taller women.

  64. Ascentive

    I think that there is a very fine line between standards and just being shallow. The main difference I think is how we use those ‘standards’. I’m 5’8″ so its nice to have a guy that is taller then me. But that does not mean I look down on guys that are not taller then me. Rather some of my best guy friends are shorter then me (and I don’t make fun of them being taller or shorter). It gets shallow when we start determining someone’s worth as a person based on the physical, rather then who they are as a person.

    Great Debate, I really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments!

  65. JM

    A standard like this becomes shallow as soon as it has little to do with your own true desires and is almost solely related to what you believe others think should be sought.

    I am not an inch taller than 5’7″ and have no problem with your preference. If you are not comfortable with a guy who is shorter then there is absolutely no reason to push the issue. You, I, and everyone else have preferences when it comes to dating and nothing should be out of bounds.

    I love dating women who are taller than I am am, or at least my height, as I find slim, tall, fit women very attractive. I have only once dated someone who expressed any discomfort about wearing heels with me and she quickly got over that when she realized that I had no issue with having her next to me…in fact I asked her to wear heels rather than trying to wear flats. I wonder if there is often a confidence issue between men and women who are taller. They somehow feel inferior and this is something that people notice, especially women, in the way they then act. I suggest those guys re-evaluate their situation…tall and beautiful women versus sitting in the corner pretending you didn’t see her walk by…which makes sense to you?!

  66. Pixel Splatter

    Enjoyed reading your post! I think shallow is when you take it to an extreme. When dating you’re gonna wanna find someone you’re compatible with mentally, emotionally, and physically. Everyone has a deal breaker (and for some, height is a big issue, which is valid especially if its an issue that plays either a big role in your life or impacts your self esteem). However, one would caution that you shouldn’t be too hasty to throw a good thing away just because it doesn’t fit quite perfectly into the plan we have each dreamed up in our heads. So superficial in my opinion is when you get to the crazy phase and it’s going to take a different shape and concern different things with every person.

  67. Renee Davies

    Men do not particularly appreciate feeling effiminate around women and women do not particularly appreciate feeling masculine around men. Tall women with short men creates that enevitable effect on many women. If the girls wants hers taller, let her have him taller.

    I mean, even scent is said to come into play when pairing onself to the opposite sex. We could say that’s kind of shallow too, but it may just be good old instincts.

  68. uforicfood

    I’m with the others who believe that it is shallow if you automatically disregard a man because he does not meet your height requirements.
    The thing is – you could be missing out on meeting the most wonderful, sweet, generous, supportive man, simply because he is too short!
    My own relationship experiences have highlighted to me that you should never be too quick to judge. On paper, I wouldn’t have considered going out with my now boyfriend, who showed his interest on a dating website. But, I decided to think outside the square and my goodness, I am so glad I did because I have met the absolute love of my life.
    The reality of it is – sometimes we just don’t know what we want and need until we find it. Finding it requires an open mind and heart.
    Your a great girl Kat – I just don’t want to see you miss out on that!

  69. threecharms

    Why is shallow such a bad word? Shallow refers to the lack of depth of something, which is what looks (height) is. I haven’t read anything here that says one is *exclusively* shallow (… unless that was in Tuesday’s post? I’ll do my homework). If you only look for tall men at the expense of any other quality, you find you get what you get and it might suck for other reasons, eh?

    Height is a shallow assessment, true. So what? That, in conjunction with deeper requirements, makes for a well-defined mate/ friend/ lover/ partner/ whatever search.

  70. Taylor

    Having standards is neither shallow nor superficial. How strict or flexible those standards are will vary from one person to the next. If a potential partner does not meet certain standards, there is a good chance that you’ll be unhappy in the relationship. Really, it is merely a question of whether or not a person can jettison certain standards and still remain happy in a long term relationship. If height, for what ever reason, is a clincher, so be it. Shorter men will simply have to accept the fact — much like the way in which women (unreasonably so, in my opinion) accept a plethora of male standards (like weight, beauty, fashion).

    Another excellent question to raise is what motivates these standards, like height in men, or weight in women? What informs our conceptions of beauty? What is driving our desires?

    It seems that our standards are not innate, but rather, dependent upon our historical context. Although that doesn’t make them any less real, it does cast certain standards, like weight and height, into doubt. While it may be true that a physically strong and tall man was advantageous, for both food and security hinged upon the man’s strength, now, those traits are not practically desirable. Much like the way in which extraordinarily skinny women, who are our culture’s model of feminine beauty, bear no practical advantages (other than the practical advantage for those who wish to perpetuate patriarchy by encouraging women to be physically weak).

    For those who are not fond of your standards: they will simply have to date someone else.

  71. Queen of Hearts and Modern Love

    I’m 5’9″ and I have never ever dated anyone taller than me. My boyfriends have always been exactly my height or an inch or two shorter. I have a height preference, I just prefer them shorter. I’ve never been attracted to a taller man and I really can’t say why. I think a preference towards tall men is only shallow if it’s about how his height makes you feel– smaller, lighter, more feminine– as one person commented, she didn’t want to feel like an “amazon”. Tall women really need to accept their own height and THEN figure out what they’re attracted to.

  72. theskinhorse

    Whether we’re calling it standards or shallowness, I think it what is most important is honesty regarding one’s desires. If you know that someone under 5’9 (or someone with a waistline over 36”, with missing teeth, with excessive body hair, with fill-in-the-blank) won’t do it for you, there’s no reason to put yourself or that person through a painful experience of “trying to see past it.” Relationships can be difficult and complicated enough as it is (and you’ll be sure to find some other things out that you may not like as well). Why go into something already knowing you dislike it so much?* A deal-breaker is a deal-breaker, whether it is regarding physical appearance, behavior, attitude, cheesecake preferences or spirituality. Individuals have different priorities, and there will always be more people to judge an individual’s priorities. Judgment is judgment. It doesn’t matter saying you wouldn’t date someone with red hair vs. saying you wouldn’t date someone that was too shallow or judgmental to not date someone with red hair; they’re just different priorities and personal values.

    *Note: I’m not preaching that a couple should split as soon as there is a difficulty or one finds something in the other that’s less-than-ideal. I’m just saying that a couple will have a better start if it is not already complicated with the task of “overlooking” something. Either you can work with a particular feature or you can’t. It is most important to know that detail regardless of what the neighbors or coworkers by the water cooler may think, especially if it is a feature that is not subject to change.

  73. thefengshuidiva

    EVERYONE has standards. Now whether they are high or low that is up to the person who lives by those standards. How low someone can go depends on their willingness to accept less. What are you trading off for the other. Everyone has a price to name…but what is that? It is different for each and everyone. It is boils down to what you can live with? So why settle for less, I say?

  74. Lalilights

    I don’t think it’s shallow at all, I am 5’5″ and I like a good 5’10”. Why? Becuase, I guess in a way I like to feel like I have a man by my side and since when you are growing up (and in your case it’s an every day thing) I use to be taller than the boys and they all seemed silly. Yet of course, height does not define how much of a man a male is (we’ve all met our share of morons and know this for a fact) Yet, some sort of “protection” wouldn’t hurt any girl. I’d hate to feel like I have to stick up for my 5’4″ boyfriend.
    Oh, and if by “shallow” you mean “having a preference”, then we are all shallow.

  75. rtcrita

    You use the term “personal preference.” You use “standard,” too. As a personal preference, I don’t see the problem. We’re talking about dating. It’s like if I say I like ice cream (men), and if you give me the choice of vanilla (under 5’10”) or strawberry (5’10” and over) and I choose strawberry, it doesn’t mean I don’t like vanilla. It just means I prefer strawberry over vanilla. I like vanilla, too, but I PREFER strawberry.
    So, if you’re out of strawberry, and I really, really want some ice cream…guess what? I’ll take the vanilla and be happy!
    You have a right to your preferences, because only you know why these preferences are important to you. I don’t think that makes you shallow. And, even if you had “preferences” that were shallow, again, that’s on you. It might even be your loss — but it’s still YOUR loss, no one else’s.
    I’m sure you’ve considered already the possibilities of bending or expanding your preferences. You never know when the right guy will come along and make you think, “Maybe…I don’t know, just maybe…” and you might change your mind.

  76. Maggie

    I get the double standard. I would also never date anyone shorter than me; then again, it’s not too hard to find guys taller than me because I’m 5’3″. Someone can call me shallow for it, but I don’t think of it that way. It’s simply a preference, just as breast size, hips-to-waist ratio, etc. are simply preferences for guys. Whether a guy who prefers big boobs and a tiny waist is called shallow or not, that’s still his preference and chances are, he’s not going to change it because a woman called him shallow. So why should we change ours?

  77. SpinnyLiberal

    I don’t believe you’re being shallow. We all have our preferences. Or maybe I’m shallow because I think men should be taller than women. For me, it’s aesthetically more pleasing. Glad I don’t have to worry about it, though. Since I’m 4’10”, height requirement is a non-issue. 🙂

    Tall women in heels is sexy as hell. I think it exudes more confidence than the slouching in ballet flats look. I hope you find your tall drink of water. And keep rockin’ the stilettos.

    Congratulations on being FP, BTW.

  78. Mr. Salk

    I’m taller than Lincoln and oblivious.
    Everyone has a deal-breaker height cut-off. Regardless of the personality or success of a little-person, most regular-size-people (I’m losing an embarrassing struggle with political-correctness) wouldn’t graduate them past friend-stage. Everybody wants to hang their jacket on a peg somewhere between 5 and 8 feet. There is no standard.

  79. D.A.S.

    As a guy that stands 6’2, I’m glad women judge by height. I’ve never met one who thinks I’m too short or too tall and it’s kind of nice there are that many less guys out there as competition.

  80. halfwayto50

    I think it’s one thing to have standards and it’s another to demand perfection. One of my good friends hasn’t dated in YEARS because, I feel, she’s looking for perfection. Unless you’re perfet, don’t demand it in others. Check yourself before you wreck yourself!

  81. hautescience

    My mom has warned me since I was a pre-teen “Never date a shorter man, because you’ll fall in love with him and you’ll end up like me”, meaning happily married to a much shorter man. I think her comment was meant as a joke considering she has a wonderful marriage of 27 years, but I also think she wanted to take that piece of advice to heart. So I’ll pass that advice on to you – if you don’t want to marry a shorter man don’t date one, because he could end up charming the pants right off you (figuratively and literally), and you could end up happily married with a short husband and the possibility of short children.

  82. amanda

    having skipped reading most of the comments (hey, there are 99 of them!) i will fully admit that height was, and always has been, a major requirement for me. and i’m only 5′ tall. but here’s the thing: i’ve dated men who were closer to me in height (read: 5’5 or shorter) and they were always skinny. like, hipster my-jeans-won’t-fit-you skinny. and this would make me feel uncomfortable and fat (i’m what you’d call “well-endowed”). so rather than feel really crappy about myself and date a guy who wasn’t much taller than me, i held out for the really tall ones. like my boyfriend. who is 6’1. strangely, he’s skinny as a rail, but i don’t notice. maybe because the whole height thing balances it out?

    kat, consider changing coasts! we’ve got tons of tall guys over here!

  83. Harold

    I am 6-0 and my wife is 5-1 we make and made it work! 6 kids, 3 oldest boys are close to my height other son and 2 daughters to early to tell, but first daughter is petite.

  84. Fayth Night

    The standard only becomes shallow when you absolutely refuse to date outside of the standard. Using your height standard as an example, say there was a guy you met and you were into him, but then you found out that he was 5’5.9″ (and your standard was 5’6″), so you stopped all further contact with him, that would be shallow.

    You have to be somewhat willing to “look outside the box.” Example: My fiance has dark brown hair and hazel eyes, but when I was in high school I swore that I would only ever marry someone who had dark brown hair & dark brown eyes. (height isn’t an issue for me, seeing as I’m 5’2″)

    Standards themselves are not shallow, but refusing to be flexible with those standards is shallow. You want to find someone who will make you happy, standards aside.

  85. TweeCo

    I m 5’5″ I want to be taller when I was young, but now I kinda want to be shorter because people always think short people younger

  86. Jennifer

    Wow. What a stir you have here on your hands. A few points I want to address. 1) aunt Chris is taller than uncle mark. They will be married 39 years in June. When you meet mr right that’s it. 2) Brian is only 4 inches taller than me. It works. He loves it when I tower over him. 3) you only posted about one of your criteria. Height. What about eyes. Money. Education. You didn’t remark on them. 4) trust me. After 16 (!) years together height isn’t an issue any more. We have other things. 5) have a glass of Pinot. Move on. Those who are criticizing you are really just jealous. You are beautiful smart and ” he” is out there. It’ll happen. You are young. When it’s time you’ll know. Just remember to send me a wedding invite. Love you!!! Xxoo j

  87. Laurie Holman

    The whole requirement thing is tricky when it’s online as opposed to 3-dimensional dating. If you automatically rule out someone under a certain height before meeting him, as many before me have pointed out, you might miss out on someone who can truly make your toes curl. I don’t tend to find overweight men attractive, and that’s pretty much a deal-breaker on a dating site when I look at a guy’s photos. But in 3-D, I have occasionally been known to be wildly attracted to someone who has a few extra pounds. When you see someone in person, sometimes other factors like personality and general cuteness override that trait you usually consider to be a deal-breaker. In general, I think you have to go with your reaction when you look at a guy’s photos. If it’s “oooooh,” then it’s a go. If it’s “yechhhhhh,” then it’s not.

  88. Kat Richter

    Thanks, Jenn. I did think about Aunt Chris and Uncle Mark… they could have done worse! And I’m definitely all over item #5 from your list (except it’s soy milk hot chocolate with a wee little splash of Godiva white chocolate liquor instead of pinot) 🙂

  89. shenanitim

    I find it strange that this is an issue. Having height requirements doesn’t make you “shallow,” it just means you have standards. As long as you don’t carve it in stone, everything should work out fine. People dislike how you’re rating others on things they have no control over. That’s called “life.”

    Personally I dislike those strange “bug-eye” sunglasses that people wear. Am I less “shallow” for disliking something that’s not genetic.

  90. Katie

    I realized that I didn’t want to date ‘short’ men any longer when I got tired of them always looking straight into my cleavage and making comments like “I just LOVE to climb Mt. Everest!”. I’m 5’10” and married a man just under 6′. Is it shallow? Who cares! I know it is a lot easier to dance with someone at least my height!

  91. Lauren

    I agree with your cousin– there are certain things about a person that turn you on or off. It’s not shallow to be turned off by something. The line between standards and shallow exists where a person’s potential mate becomes viewed as more of an accessory than a person. “Would I look good with them? Would I feel good being seen with them in public?” *that* is where shallow starts.

    Preferring to be the one leaning upward into a kiss is NOT shallow. It makes us feel feminine and graceful! It would only be shallow if you wanted to be shorter because of how it looked to others instead of how it felt to you. So chin up, pun intended! 😉

  92. elenamusic

    Fabulous post!

    I’m a 5’10” female, and I have dated shorter men, and although I would get over it, the guys would have problems or OTHER people would have problems with the relationship. After a while it got old. I prefer dating guys my height or taller. I’m tall, it makes the guy uncomfortable dating someone taller. Then it starts making me feel like I shouldn’t be dating him.

    I think it’s stupid for girls who are 5’4″ and won’t date anyone 6’0″ or under. I’m tall, so at LEAST be my height, but for shorter girls, you can date anyone, and they go for the same guys “I” want to date.

    But, it’s been proven in statistics that the taller a male is, the more likely he’ll make more money, BY THE INCH. Also, most CEOs are 6’0″ or taller. So, I think there’s a social status thing with being taller. I know I get looked to often in a leader role because I am tall.

    Thank you for bringing this topic up to light, as it is something I deal with.

    • Kat Richter

      Haha, I’m with you on the fact that short girls should leave the tall ones for us 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  93. YouNxt

    Bottom line is – people have to be honest with themselves. There’s nothing wrong with having standards,no matter how specific those happen to be.
    On another note – if you’re into really cool fashion blogs please check out a great blog put out by model/blogger Ania B
    Hope you like 🙂

  94. GFS

    You go girl! It is not necessary to be deep and philosophical at all times. In personal matters such as this…suit yourself. The heighth thing is an issue for me also. lol

  95. 1nalo

    well, u have quite a few comments here, so i’ll be brief…move through this life lead by your heart & you can’t go wrong. when you meet him, you’ll know & some of your preferences, standards, or whatever you choose to call them, will fade away. your heart will connect you to the right person, but you have to keep it open…good luck!

  96. llh3685123

    Some things do not need too care, as long as he meets your taste! You like it!

  97. derralyn

    I think that until people can honestly admit that they don’t have shallow thoughts over any area / belief in their lives, there’s very little to argue over in this article.

    That being said, I like men who are taller than me; it makes me feel safe, protected… And it helps having someone around who can see over people’s shoulders. Does it make us shallow to say that there’s a purpose, a belief, a desire for a man to be taller than us for reasons such as these? Because if Kate knows what she wants and can justify her reasoning (whether your worldview aligns with hers or not), then surely it’s not shallow? Dare I say it, perhaps it’s because she actually has the capacity to know what she wants!

  98. thegingersguidetolife

    Not at all! If you don’t know what you want how are you ever going to get it?

  99. sarah

    Instead of having a height requirement, you should have a no- a**hole requirement.

  100. Ellen Rhudy

    Yeah, it’s shallow; but it’s no worse than the height requirements a string of guys have had over the years that cut ME out of the running. I’ve been out of the states almost two years now, and maybe when I get back in another year things will have changed – now that they’re in their mid- to late-20s all those 5’10” guys who flat-out told me I was “too tall to date” will have realized the shallowness of their own standards.

    that said, i don’t understand the idea of having standards like this when it comes to dating. By natural inclination I may be most attracted to guys who are around my own height (i may be the rare tall girl who likes guys my size, 5’9″, or a little taller), but it’s not something I look for or think about when I meet a guy. At end, it’s about how I feel when I’m with him. If I am happier with him than I am without him, if I feel like I’m a better person because of this other person, I don’t really care HOW tall or not-tall he is.

  101. sassystephb

    ahhh.. the joys of dating.
    Clearly your only standards can’t be breathing and human. ( Although I read about some dude who was caught “making love” to a dead deer ( road kill lover or something horrendous like that was the title.)) Men have their wishlist for their ideal girl so why can’t girls have theirs? I have pretty rigorous standards for the men ( and occasional ladies) I date.
    I’m only 5ft5 so my “taller than me in high heels” requirement isn’t so ridiculous. Most of the men I’ve dated have been taller than me. I’ve loosened my standards on looks ( as i have loosened my belt buckle.. lol.. i figure if i can be a fatty so can he) I am a bit of a snob… no dummies need apply. and all of these standards are in place to insure my happiness. I think it’s only shallow when your standards for others ONLY pertain to the way the look or dress. You might as well date a cute serial killer. ( Yeah, I am always on the extreme end.. sorry >.<)

    oh! and free word of advice. Don't advertise your wishlist. People will conform and you will be fooled. You know what you are looking for.. he just has to know that he isn't it.

  102. bernharderb

    I agree with Kat’s premise that men ought to be taller in coupling.
    Last night after a meeting, we grabbed a drink, a noticeably tall couple walked in, and immediately one of my colleagues said, “look at that with heels she’s a foot taller”. He didn’t read this blog.
    Kat only comments on visual verification, other senses come in to play for instance smell through pheromones, and hearing through talking. High pitched squeaky voice anyone?…

  103. th3bt

    I am 5’3. I have been overlooked ( no pun intended) my entire life. Never bothered me. I play soccer and my freshman year ( 4’6) the coach put me on 3rd string junior varsity, because I was too small to play, even though I was good enough. Even then I knew it was his problem and not mine. 9 months later at the Maine Olympic Development Team tryout I was one of 18 players selected from a group of over 200 boys ( 4 of the nonselected played on the varsity team at the aforementioned school). I was still 4’6. I switched schools the next year and became a varsity starter for a better team. I don’t mind getting passed over because of my size because I know my other attributes are more important. As a short man I think you are right to have your preference and I don’t think it is shallow. I hope you find what you want. I know I always do.

  104. Indian

    sassystephb is right, don’t advertise your ‘whitelist’ .. Plenty of guys (AND GIRLS) pretend to be something they’re not just to land their catch. Give it a few weeks or even months and you’ll they’ll decide they’re unhappy because unknown to you, they are pretending to be someone they arn’t. Then they’ll either leave or they’ll stop pretending and you’ll find out they wern’t the person you thought they were.

  105. Ninja Kristin

    Hmmm where to start? I think that having a height requirement when looking for a significant other isn’t shallow. How different is it from looking for someone with a particular hair color or religious idea? It isn’t. It is a bit of a standard. However, if you think about it. If women were to say that they would date any man, no matter how tall or short, then they would be perceived as whores and sluts. Women have to have high standards because we are questioned about our moral standards if we don’t.
    I’m a bit of a chubby chaser. I love looking at men that have totally ripped bodies and whatnot. But the farthest that I’ll pursue is for a fling. I’m not quite sure as to why I like chubby men, probably because I like their hugs, but does that make me anymore shallow than women who will only date ripped bodied men? or men taller than them?

  106. Ariana

    Let’s get real here.

    My husband is 6.2″and I’m no snob to shorter men having dated the height gamete: 6.3″, 5’5 1/2 , 5’10”, 6.1″, 6’0″. Being 5’6 myself, I’ve towered over two of my boyfriends when in heals and while I didn’t like being the one to place my arm over their shoulders, I wasn’t uncomfortable or self-conscious about it. They were.

    Put political correctness aside, people. This isn’t about missing out on the one, this is about knowing what you want.

    The truth is that there is something phenomenal about being wrapped in the arms of a man whose chest you fit into, who’s head dips as he gazes longingly at your up-tilted head and pulls you up for a mouth-watering kiss.

    Some people are repulsed by body hair, other’s by pug noses, close set or wide set eyes…while others love those same characteristics in a mate.

    Non of it is shallow. It’s about personal preference and what turns you on, because believe me, you want to be turned on for as long as you can by the person you’re with otherwise what’s the difference between them and any other friend?

    Raw sex appeal is a quintessential requirement of a romantic relationship. It’s the sole characteristic that distinguished a friendship from a courtship.

    So if height lends to sex appeal for you, and you start without the sex appeal on the grounds that you’d be missing out on someone terrific, what you’re ultimately saying is, I can do without the ardent desire that certain characteristics illicit in me and have a fling with a friend and call it a day.

    Do this, and eventually – sooner than you think – when you pass a man on the street that meets that sought after height a little part of you will be thinking about how it would feel to be with that as you hold your little man’s hand.

  107. Marie

    Some ‘standards’ we make up for ourselves directly relate to what makes us comfortable. Whereas eye colour, hair colour, etc., might be what we usually find more attractive, something like the height of a person can make someone uncomfortable with themselves. I know alot of tall women who don’t like dating shorter men–not because they find these men unattractive, but because they themselves feel unattractive with those men. If we’re shallow, it seems to be more commonly due to vanity rather than simple preference.

  108. Thundercows

    In my opinion everybody are judging everybody based on their looks.
    Your brother was defensive because he figured out that women judge him as he does to them.
    If you look to groups of friends you will usually find something visual in common: Whenever it is an expression, where do they shop for clothes, etc.
    There is a traditional belief about the height of the people- if they are tall, they usually tend to pay more attention to details. They usually more friendly and nice (tend to show love in deeds and not just in words).
    I say that because my current bf is very tall and my ex was as short as me. Both of them are good people in general, but the last (and the tall) takes a good care of me and not just of himself.

    Tell me guys if I’m wrong.

  109. michaeleriksson

    I have followed the comments for a while, and I fear that many in the “this is not shallow” camp miss the point. In the odd case, I even have the impression that the comment is mostly a making of excuses.

    For instance, there is nothing wrong with a woman wanting to feel feminine wrapped in the arms of a tall, strong man. Indeed, I have often had an eye out for petite girls for just the reverse of that reason. However, there are at least two hitches with using this as an argument:

    1. Life and relationships are about far more than hugs. Anyone requiring tallness based on how hugs (and similar activities) are enjoyed, is either being shallow or is involved in a shallow relationship. (Note that I see a distinction between these cases.) Such a criterion is non-shallow when it is a scale tipper, but shallow when it is a requirement.

    2. It is not a given that a valid reason is present generally, just because it is present in among some people. On the contrary, one of the most common motivations (in my impression) is the highly shallow concern that a too short guy gives the wrong impression in public…

    As an aside, there is no actual law that women must wear heels and I would actually, personally, prefer if women wore more normal shoes. Unless you happen to be unusually short, just forget the heels and take a man who is taller when you are both in socks. (For that matter, one of the most attractive women I know of is “Kate” on the TV series “Lost”—with minimal make-up, a less-than-fancy hair-do, wearing sneakers, jeans, and a t-shirt. She actually grew less attractive when in more fancy clothing in a few post-rescue episodes. Just some food for thought…)

  110. PCC Advantage

    I don’t think that having height requirements is shallow…I agree with what some of the other posters have said that it’s just like any other preference on your “want list”! To be honest, I think I’ve only ever dated guys who were at least 5’10” or taller. Almost everyone in my entire family is quite tall, so tall people are just what I’m used to.

    So, all that being said…great post and good on you for bringing up the subject! 😀

    • Kat Richter

      Thanks! I never dreamed this post would inspire so many comments but it certainly seems like lots of people (of varying heights) have something to say!

  111. Katerina

    I’m 5’8, and have an endless love for incredibly high heels.

    I have never dated anyone shorter than 6’4. It isn’t a conscious thing, and only after reading this post did I realize that I really only go for taller men. I guess I’m just not as attracted to shorter men! I haven’t turned anyone down strictly based on height, but it must play a part in my decision making process.

    I believe that it is just a matter of personal preference, and is no more shallow than the rest of the things we do.

  112. jillfeyka

    I too, am tall (5′ 10 without heels). With the exception of one man, everyone I have ever dated (or married, in the case of my husband), has been shorter than me. It seemed to bother me a bit when I was younger but as a grown woman, not at all.

    Naturally, I would not feel comfortable with any male less than 5’8″, thus admitting to a height standard of sorts as 5’8″ tall. I do think it depends on the person and how they feel, but really, I wouldn’t consider it shallow. Just make sure you consider the person, before the height.

    Good post. Congrats on becoming FP!

  113. agirlajeepandahouse

    It is an interesting question. I had that requirement for a long time… and then I saw him across the room. I don’t know what it was, I was hit by a ton of bricks, he looks nothing like the other guys I have dated he is short… ok well he is 5’6″ (my height exactly) there are some other things that I didn’t usually go for either, but again, something hit me. Had I been so stuck on my “requirements” I probably would have never met him or talked to him. But something struck me and I wanted to know him.
    We are not together at this time, but I tell you what, I believe he is the one for me and if we end up together great and if we don’t… well I will meet someone else and move on but always thank him for getting me out of my own way. Sometimes we stop ourselves from meeting and falling for someone because they don’t fit our outter picture. It is what is on the inside that is most important.
    As for wearing heels… I still wore them when I wanted to, as I am not an every day heel wearer. I was never uncomfortable wearing heels with him.

    • M

      Agh finally a lady with some sense to go for a guy that was her height and she didn’t balk like so many other women at his height. Men see it all the time with women these days doing the disgust ugh emphatically NO cause he’s your height and you demand that he be at your minimum of 6′ but even then you want him much taller even though your all of 5’1″ to 5’5″. This is EXACTLY what men are talking about to open your DA*N minds up ladies. Just like this lady, keep your minds open to the possibility. Your guy’s almost certainly is not going to be AT ALL what you picture in your mind. I have to say men are FAR more open minded when it comes to women, a lot of men contrary to women’s belief that all men want the super skinny (near anorexic) blondes is not true for the most part. Most men like women that are in shape (not fat), (not hefty), but is at least healthy and yes most men like women with boobs. Boobs and fat can be changed!!! Height cant!! I know this is going to ruffle a lot of feathers lol with women but I think a lot of single women these days are starting to turn into pigs with men’s height and their ginormous requirement “lists”. I think more women are pigs more so then men these days.

      Most men don’t like or find small A or B size boobs attractive, to (instant turn off). Also against many many women’s argument even though it’s sometimes hard and takes more time for some, fat can be lost where height is height is height… Can’t physically change height, we are what we are. That’s what pi**es a lot of men off is a lot of women are so pigeon holed on something such as men’s height that’s out of human’s control where as weight can be lost some people have to work harder at losing weight then other but still none the less it can be lost.I think a lot of men want women to at least have something on their requirement “list” that isn’t so shallow such as height cause our height is our height and can’t be changed. Men just want women to open their minds and be OPEN to the possibility like this lady. I myself am not short, i’m roughly 5’10”, i’m not bitter. Just sayin keep an open mind.

      • M

        This comment from this commenter sixthirtythree is exactly what pi**es so many men off is when women say comments like “Still, I refuse to give up my standards of finding a man taller than I am at 5’8.” The word REFUSE to men is just like someone scratching their nails down the blackboard at school. That one word instantly turns men off and men hate it so much that it actually hurts women’s chances even with those tall guys she so badly wants cause that word REFUSE to men makes women come off as so negative.

        Even if she doesn’t say the exact word REFUSE there is an aura that comes from those women and makes men run away. That one word REFUSE from women something with men can just detect those type of women and it’s just like when women say they can detect and have that sense when men are in a bad mood, when men don’t even show they are in a bad mood, it goes the same way with women that use the word REFUSE. But at the same time men aren’t saying at all to just go with any guy but what men are saying is don’t simply refuse him cause he’s exactly your same height, maybe an inch shorter than you or maybe two or three inches taller than you don’t simply reject him cause you have this 6′ ++ guy in mind. Just like the commenter agirlajeepandahouse, it sounded like she was in the same boat as the commenter sixthirtythree having that refusing attitude but agirlajeepandahouse took a chance and went for him and by reading her comment she obviously fell for him. Women like sixthirtythree have to open their minds, stop using the word REFUSE/REFUSING and if he’s your same height or an inch or two taller than you go for him and you may be completely surprised.

  114. sixthirtythree

    No, standards are not shallow. Why date someone beneath your requirements. Women get what they don’t ask for and then whine for the next 20 years about how unhappy they are because they guy they married isn’t such and such, in this case, taller than they are, which upon reading my words on the screen, do seem a bit shallow.
    Still, I refuse to give up my standards of finding a man taller than I am at 5’8.

    Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

    • jedwardswright

      No, standards aren’t shallow. In fact, I highly recommend that every woman has some.
      There is such a thing as shallow standards though.
      I “whined” through almost 20 years of marriage (regrettably), because I didn’t believe in divorce at the time, and was determined to take my marriage vows seriously. He was taller than me.
      Unfortunatly, he was also morally bankrupt in many departments, and couldn’t be bothered to work at our marriage. That is the kind of thing that makes for a miserable marriage, not the comparative heights of a couple.

  115. mybakingempire

    Nothing wrong with personal preferences, some might see it as shallow, but I think it’s just being realistic! Everyone has their own idea of attractive, and that isn’t anything new with the advent of online dating. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going for what you want in all areas of your life, rather than trying to be PC or whatever you want to call it. It’s like someone else posted above, you wouldn’t be called shallow for only seeking out people of similar religions or ethnicities to yourself!

  116. Lady Be Kind

    Standards should be seen as guide lines. And every writer and artist knows that once you understand the guide lines, great art leaves open the possibility of breaking the rules.

    If your preferences are tall guys or leggy blonds, excellent! Just be open to different possibilities. It’s a disservice to yourself to not open up and experience diversity.

  117. slowsimpleconscious

    i think preferences are natural, and not really shallow because it’s hard to change them. standards to me are shallow, especially if you stick rigidly to them. i am almost 6 footbarefoot and am conscious of my height so would always have said i’d never date someone short. my boyfriend is probs technically a few inches shorter but we’re basically face to face which also has it’s advantages!

  118. benaughtyfree

    Richmond-Windsor dating – I need more and more
    I just moved here after a couple of yearsa being away and am looking to expand my social circle 🙂 I’m not looking for any drama. Ultimately, I would love to take thingx slow and get to know you at first and see how things develop. I don’t want to force something that isn’t there, but would love to take the time to find out.
    Simone HOLTZ

  119. Clinton Seeber

    You asked the question “Are standards shallow?”. Kind of a trick question. Asking about “having standards” in general isn’t really an honest question. We have to answer based what standard it is and what it pertains to in order to give an honest answer. In short- not all standards are shallow, but your “standards” are. Hope that helps.

  120. Admiral Snyder

    The word “standards” relates to social issues in general while body features relate to personal preferences. If you subsume height as “standards” then you’re definitely shallow and it is telling about your lacking capacity to think things properly through, if you admit that’s your individual preference (p.ex. in order to feel “secure”) then this is an honest answer.


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