When it comes to finding the perfect partner, everyone has their own list of qualities they would like to see in their significant other. One of those aspects is height. But according to a new study, perhaps we should reconsider our expectations.
An international team of researchers studied people’s preferences for the height of romantic partners. Their sample consisted of more than 500 people between the ages of 15 and 77 from Canada, Cuba, Norway and the United States. Participants were shown simple drawings of male and female bodies indicating height and were asked to choose their preferred height for a partner of either sex.
The study revealed that men, on average, prefer women who are not only shorter than them, but also 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) shorter than the average height of women in their countries. And women, in turn, want men to be taller than them, and indeed 2.3 centimeters (0.9 inch) taller than the average height of men in their countries.
For men, there was also a curious difference in preference based on the length of the relationship: they preferred more petite women for short-term relationships compared to longer-term commitments.
However, it should not be forgotten that physical height preferences are observed in many different cultures. The study found that these preferences can vary depending on the length of the relationship. It was also found that this was only observed in female height preferences.
“These results provide preliminary evidence that in addition to partner preferences for other physical traits related to partner quality, such as masculinity in body, face, and voice, assortative height preferences do vary according to expected relationship duration,” the researchers noted.
Thus, this study may help people reconsider their expectations of their ideal partner’s height. It may be worth looking at other qualities that may be more important for long-term relationships.