Tall Women and High Heels: Dating a Shorter Man

We say if you love em, wear em!

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As a tall woman, if you limit yourself to only dating taller men, you shrink your potential dating pool by about 80 percent or more. As tempting as it is to make height a hard-and-fast requirement, doing so really sells yourself, and a lot of great guys…well, short.

That's not to say that dating shorter men won't invite the occasional awkward moment. Societal stereotypes dictate that in heterosexual romantic partnerships, a man should be bigger and taller than his female partner.

While open-minded, kind people know that size is hardly an indication of compatibility, you might encounter jokes or comments that are in completely poor taste. Even when you know the judgements of others should have no bearing on your relationship, it's not unreasonable to try and make accommodations to avoid the conversation altogether.

You might decide that as a tall woman dating a shorter man, you won't wear heels. But is that fair to you? Is it anti-feminist, even?

The truth is, you can't answer this question in a broad and sweeping way. There is no one right answer for every tall woman! Tall means different things to different people, and some women are five inches taller than their companion while some are only one or two inches taller. How you feel about your body in relation to your partner (and how that affects what you wear) is entirely personal.

That said, you can ask yourself a few questions, imagine potential scenarios or make some minor compromises that could make you and your man feel great when you're out together.

1. Ask yourself: If you were going out with friends or a taller man, would you hesitate to put on your favorite heels?

If the answer to this question is a swift "No," then there's really no reason to compromise for your shorter man.

This man should (and probably does) love you the way you are and loves you the most when you feel best about yourself. If you feel best in your heels, wear them with confidence and trust that your date is just elated that a bombshell such as yourself has chosen him.

2. Does the idea of towering over your date bother you?

The choice to wear heels or flats in this scenario is actually not about your partner—it's about you.

What makes you feel comfortable, sexy, relaxed and beautiful. If it doesn't bother you, wear whatever shoes you want! If it does? Then wear flats! As we said above, presuming you're not dating a total buffoon, this guy knew what he was getting himself into, and clearly admires every inch of you. Any man whose insecurity is sent into overdrive around a taller woman is not the man for you.

3. Try wearing shorter heels.

If you've got a serious amount of inches on your boyfriend, date or husband and it bothers you but you love heels—you could consider switching out a striking four inch heel for one that's only 1.5 or 2 inches. A stacked or kitten heel will still give your legs a bit of length, but won't boost you up that much higher.

Keep this in mind: There are so many gorgeous, confident, powerful and successful women who happily and boldly date men who are shorter. Take Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban for example (as well as her former paramour, Tom Cruise).

Chrissy Teigan is taller than husband John Legend, Helen Lasichanh is taller than her musician husband, Pharrell, and model Coco Rocha is much taller than her husband James Conran. (Check out more celebrity women who are taller than their men on Elle.com.)

The fact is, the decision to wear heels should hinge solely on your own comfort with the idea, not on the comfort of the guy you're dating. No fashion-loving female should feel obligated to give up the shoes she loves for a guy who isn't confident enough to love her in them.