Does height matter in a relationship? Or are men needlessly worrying about not being tall enough to succeed in the dating market?
While the importance of height certainly differs across cultures, most people would agree that height does matter to both women and men, but in different ways.
- Tall girlfriend and short boyfriend
- Tall boyfriend short girlfriend
- Tall wife short husband
- Tall husband short wife
- How much taller should a guy be than a girl?
Why does height matter to women?
Height matters to women because most girls prefer guys who are physically bigger than them so that they look feminine, petite, and cute and can feel protected by their man.
Taller men are seen as more physically attractive
The first reason (and likely the main reason) why height matters in a relationship is that being tall actually enables a man to enter into a relationship in the first place.
In other words, while there’s certainly more to a good relationship than height and physical characteristics, the male-taller norm might be a prerequisite for some women to enter into a relationship with a man.
This isn’t all that surprising since research shows that women generally prefer a large height difference between themselves and their other half.
One study showed that women who had a bigger height gap between themselves and their husband were the happiest of all. 
On a hard-wired evolutionary level, taller males might be seen as capable of providing stronger, healthier offspring that are more likely to survive and thrive.
Taller men earn more money
Taller men tend to earn more money than their shorter counterparts, meaning that they’re capable of providing more resources for their spouse and family.
Some research suggests this is because taller people have a higher cognitive ability.  But it could also be because taller men are seen as more desirable candidates for employment.
While many women earn their own money these days and have very successful careers and businesses, a lot of ladies still like a man that has a successful career of his own because it shows that he’s a capable man that can provide for his family.
Taller men have a higher social status and are seen as more dominant than shorter guys.  This interpersonal dominance might be one reason why taller males are typically able to secure higher-paying employment than their shorter rivals.
So does height matter for getting a good job?
It sure seems like an advantage, but there are definitely exceptions. I mean, many successful entrepreneurs are pretty average in terms of stature.
Still, a lot of men will naturally admire taller males because of their impressive stature, meaning that these taller guys are likely to have a higher social status (which could be seen as highly attractive to women) compared to their shorter counterparts.
Taller men are stronger and more protective
Many women like the feeling of being protected by their tall boyfriend, and they love being held in his strong arms.
And while shorter guys can certainly be strong and protect their lady, the protective instinct might be more natural for a taller man, which could help to create a more complementary relationship dynamic (protected vs protector).
Since taller men are typically stronger than shorter guys, they may once again be seen as more desirable due to having a broader bone structure and a wider, more typically masculine physique.
Does height matter to men?
Men don’t typically place the same importance on height as women. While most males want to be tall themselves, they’re not particularly bothered about the precise height of their partner.
That said, most men do prefer women who are shorter than them so that they can feel strong and protective. Indeed, a lot of men would feel very self-conscious if their other half towered over them!
Some research suggests that taller women do better than shorter women in the marriage market.  This was an Indian study, so it might not necessarily represent other cultures that well.
Other research suggests that men prefer women who are only a bit shorter than them, and it also reinforces the common belief that a lot of women like guys who are much taller than themselves. 
So, do girls care about height more than men? Almost certainly, and usually, they place more importance on the stature of a partner than other physical characteristics, according to some research.
Conclusion: Why do girls care about height so much?
So, does height matter to women in a relationship? Yes, most of the time, it does. To what extent it matters depends on the culture, the particular woman, and the other aspects of a relationship or potential relationship.
In summary, height matters because taller men are seen as more attractive, better resource providers, and more socially dominant.
- Sohn, K. (2016). Does a taller husband make his wife happier? Personality and Individual Differences, 91, 14–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.11.039
- Case, A., & Paxson, C. (2008). Stature and status: Height, ability, and labor market outcomes. The journal of political economy, 116(3), 499–532. https://doi.org/10.1086/589524
- Stulp, G., Buunk, A. P., Verhulst, S., & Pollet, T. V. (2015). Human height is positively related to interpersonal dominance in dyadic interactions. PloS one, 10(2), e0117860. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0117860
- Smits, J., & Monden, C. W. (2012). Taller Indian women are more successful at the marriage market. American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council, 24(4), 473–478. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.22248
- Stulp, G., Buunk, A. P., Kurzban, R., & Verhulst, S. (2013). The height of choosiness: mutual mate choice for stature results in suboptimal pair formation for both sexes. Animal Behaviour, 86(1), 37–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.03.038