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The height report

Posted by Robin Abrahams  May 27, 2008 07:42 AM

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If you read "Miss Conduct," chances are also good you read "Coupling," the Globe Magazine's back-page feature about love and romance. If you haven't, though, check out "Short on Love," this Sunday's rant by a 5'6" man on his dating difficulties. (He's happily married now.)

Men have more unrealistic expectations about women, looks-wise, than women do about men. I don't think that's even a point that can be argued. But I hear Mr. Keene's keening pain. See--after that last blog post, I figure I may as well have no secrets from y'all--I'm kind of perverted.

I really like short guys.

I'm average height--5'5"--and I've never had a serious relationship with a guy over six feet tall. I've been attracted to a few, now and then (if the chemistry is there, "type" doesn't matter so much) but overall, short is my forte. Maybe it's because of a preponderance of jockeys on my mother's side. Short people are my people.

Besides, I never wanted a protector--I wanted a partner. Mr. Keene writes:

Perhaps we can persuade more ladies to abandon their rather primitive desire for height in their men and give the short guys a closer look. We're not living in medieval times or the Old West. Women don't need a tall guy to protect them from the bad guys, and if they need to reach things on the top shelf, they should get a step stool.

Word. I like a guy I can look in the eye. I like a guy I can kiss standing up without getting a bad crick in my neck the next day. I like a guy who keeps the whiskey and teabags and interesting books where I can reach them. I feel safer with a man who knows that he needs to be aware of his surroundings than with a big doofus who figures his bulk will protect him. (Not all big guys are like that, obviously, but I've met more than a few doofi.) A fellow graduate student who was shorter than I am and weighed about as much once told me, proudly, about breaking up a fight in a Boston pub--he got in between two galoots about to beat each other's brains in and shoved them apart, and one of them looked down at his wee self, laughed and said, "It'd be like hitting a girl!" and everyone relaxed and had another beer.

A guy who can do that? That's a cool guy, in my book. That's a real man.

I wish more women felt that way. For the sake of all the cool short guys out there, and the general principles of body acceptance and feminism and basic fairness. But until heightism goes away, ladies, use it to your advantage. If you've been looking for love in all the wrong places, maybe it's time to start looking down.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at

Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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