What Is The Optimal Or “Perfect” Height Ratio And Difference For Couples?

coupleheightSomething strange I have found from looking at boards and forums on the internet is that the subject of the relative height of the standard heterosexual male-female couple is brought up quite a few times.

The google search term I used to search with was “Couple Height Difference” and the results were amusing and slightly interesting. Most of the results were to show me some of the crazy height differences between celebrities and other famous people from the website Frisky.com, CelebBuzz.com, and other media websites.

The pictures of some of the most extreme celebrity couples’ height differences include some common couples. They are

  • Jessica Simpson and her football player husband
  • Hayden Panetierre with old bf Wladimir Klitschko who was a professional boxer
  • The very quick marriage of Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman
  • The equally quick marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphreys
  • Fergie and her husband (whose name I forgot)
  • Shaq and his current gf who goes by the nickname Hoopz
  • Kobe Bryant and his wife
  • Eliza Dushku and bf Rick Fox
  • Lamar Odom and the other Kardashian sister
  • and a whole long list of other celebrities

Others like this forum question HERE posed on the dating website PlentyOfFish.com generated around 200 replies with everyone having their own opinions, personal baises and views being expressed. A lot of women wanted to throw their point of view in there.

Some common thoughts are…

  • The man must be at least 4-5 inches taller than the girl.
  • The ideal height difference is around 7-9 inches more for the man although the cut off is to be 5 inches taller.
  • The man must be so much taller than the women that the girl can lean her entire head on his shoulders.
  • The man should be taller than the girl
  • The man must be taller then the girl in high heels by around 3-4 inches.
  • The man must be at least 6 feet tall, the cut off point.
  • The girl doesn’t care how tall he is
  • The man doesn’t care how tall the girl is
  • The man prefers the girl to be shorter than him
  • The man prefers the girl to be around 2-3 inches shorter than him
  • The man has a thing for tall girls
  • The girl thinks tall men are sexier and give them more of a chance.
  • Some joke about how the issue of height is negated when people get the horizontal position aka having sexual intercourse, sex, coitus.

From the forum called ENotAlone.com a poster writes about this issue and wonders whether the couple’s height difference can be too extreme. It seems that tall men are divided on their preferences. Some tall men prefer their female partners to be petite and others like someone closer to their height to avoid neck pain when bending down for the kiss.

On a more fun note HERE is a tumblr blog which features pictures of couples where the height difference is reversed from the standard where the girl is taller than the guy. A guy would comment there that at 6′ 0″ he was rejected by a girl who was 4′ 10″ for being too short. Really???

However let’s get back to the original question, “What is the optimal or perfect height difference or height proportions for a standard heterosexual male-female couple?

The answer is deceptive since everyone has their own preferences, baises, and opinions. It seems that the majority of women would like their potential male romantic romantic partners to be at least taller than them, especially if they are more on the short side. For taller females, the opinion for the type of guy they are interested in results in a bipolar distribution.

Tall women either are really cool and okay with the idea of dating someone shorter than them due to the issue of the numbers game itself or they are very adamant that they must be with someone at least taller.

The majority of men seem to prefer at least intellectually the idea of a shorter female although I have found from reading more forums on dating websites like PlentyOfFish.com that there is a great number of men who might have some sort of fetish or “thing” for tall women. There is even a website on the internet dedicated specifically for men who are on the shorter side for women who are on the taller side. It is appropriately entitled TallWomen.Org. I have no opinions or issues with the website.

Many other forums would bring up this issue too like Soompi.com, Yahoo Questions,  SimilarMinds.com, The Student Room, StraightDope.com, AsianFanatics.com, BPS Research Digest, AsianFanatics.com (again)and a few other sites. From only glancing at these new resources it seems the general opinion for some people is that the height difference should be around 4-5 inches.

Of course we should try to be more scientific. From PubMed study ” Variable preferences for sexual dimorphism in height as a strategy for increasing the pool of potential partners in humans” the researchers state in the abstract that..

“In addition to absolute height, a possibly important mate-choice criterion may be relative height, i.e. the extent of sexual dimorphism in stature (SDS = male height/female height) between oneself and a potential partner. Here, I demonstrate that people adjust their preferences for SDS in relation to their own height in order to increase the potential pool of partners….”

So it seems that maybe the relative height between the male and  female could be more important than the absolute heights. The study found that from the group of subjects being measured, the average height of the women was around 5′ 5″ while the average height of the men was around 5′ 11″. The results showed that the people judging their potential partners chose the height of their partner due to the relative height of themselves. The results also showed that from comparing 3 types of relative height ratios/difference in pictures of couples, none of the selectors chose the have the couple where the female was taller than the male.

The researchers writes, “The mean heights for those who chose the pair representing the mean SDS in the population (180.4 cm for men and 167 cm for women) were almost equal to the mean heights for the two sexes in the studied group.”

This means that the summed and than averaged out numerical value for what statistical software has come out with is not that women who are 5′ 5″ would prefer men who are 5′ 11″ which would suggest a 6 inch height difference. The right concluded perspective is that the optimum height difference may not be a difference but a height ratio, or height proportion. 5′ 5″ is 65 inches. 5′ 11″ is 71 inches. 71 divided by 65 gives a value of 1.0923 or 1.09. It seems the “perfect” average SDS as the researchers call it is for the man to be around 9% taller in height than the girl. At least that is what the science says.

But as always, everyone is different in their taste and desires. To each his and her own.


26 thoughts on “What Is The Optimal Or “Perfect” Height Ratio And Difference For Couples?

  1. annom

    I think you are way to obsessed with height maybe you have pschollogy problem ,Good looks are far more important to girls i am medium height 5ft 10 and would be confident i could win date with girls over 90%of taller men based on excellent looks physique personality etc also this cut off point is nonsense statistical average male height is a real 5 ft 10 (Amir Khan is perfect example of my medium height ) not this (5 1 -6ft)self reported bullshit that counts for nothing .it seems to me that short girls and generally short men are unattractive medium and tall general preference for taller medium height no problem at all just short have big disadvantage .

    1. admin

      I do have a psychology problem. That is the only way for a person like me to stick to this type of research with this much dedication.

      If you think you are good looking, so does 90% of most men. That is known as a cognitive bias.

    2. Kayla

      Lol you’re 5’10. Most girls won’t look twice at you and by the looks of it, you don’t even know how to spell. I wouldn’t date you since you are short AND you think you’re soooo attractive. Pics of gtfo midget.

      1. shaune Guillermo

        I’m not going to defend him, however your comment needs some thought.You said “most” girls.I am 180 cm 5 feet 11.Now I’ve just looked at all the recorded height averages for men in the entire world. I will tell you this, firstly there are nearly 200 countries that make up our planet, and the top 4 tallest countries in terms of the average man, (the most common height you would see on the men in any particular country) all the top 4 being northern European or Scandinavian In then my height would be the average male in all but Holland which is just above 6 feet on average. So if me being 5 feet 11 or 180 cm makes me as tall as the average guy in the world in all but one of the top 4 countries, that means “Most” women as you said certainly would look at him in regards to his height as in most countries he’s above average height.I suggest you stop talking for others.Now if your an exceptionally tall girl by the worlds averages, maybe you have a bias opinion and I can understand that, however what I not to highly probable is that there are millions upon millions of much more beautiful woman than yourself who would look at him in regards to his 178 cm stature.He wasn’t tactful to start off like that however you also need thing putting back into perspective little girl.Nothing worse than an illogical woman displaying feminist traits in her thoughts. Hopefully now you understand height better and your place better.Good day

      2. Dave

        What a stupid thing to say – that a guy 5’10 is short. The average height range of American men is 5’8-5’11. Its ludicrous to say that this guy is short. Your post smacks of stupidity, Kayla. BRADD PITT is 5’10. Maybe you’re too good for HIM, too – LOL!

        And so what if the guy says he’s good looking? Maybe he actually is. I’ve had girls tell me I’m handsome all my life. What am I supposed to do – never mention it when its true just so it won’t rub people like you the wrong way? That’s almost as ridiculous as your post claiming that 5’10 is short.

        “I wouldn’t date you since you are short.” I’m sure that’s breakin’ the guy’s heart. Its pretty arrogant to presume the guy would even want to date you in the first place. What’s YOUR attractiveness level, anyway? Its probably a hell of a lot less than you THINK it is – as is the case with a lot of snotty, overbearing girls that think they’re great. What a RIDICULOUS post. Grow up and stop thinking you’re sooooooooooo appealing that the guy would automatically even WANT to date you. You’re ridiculous.

    3. Sanjeet

      You are asshole, Avg. Indian height is 5’5″ and you call yourself short for 5’10”.
      You must have done masters in Idiot behavoiur and paychology.

  2. annom

    ok i fair enough no offense i apologise probably about 85% i am just concerned this issue might be detrimental pschological to people like yourself others e.g compaing height with everyone in the street obsessive i am keen height seeker i believe we can achieve this i achieve 1 inch adult height but i try and do it in a positive way im probably far from perfect in my approach stature is important attribute but not be all end all you obviously achieve positive side to this like this website height but you would be much healthier mentally emotionally if you could solve any pschological issues . If average male height is 5ft10in and average female height is 5ft 7 in then 3-3.5 inches difference could be considered a normal ratio difference this 5 -6 inch min you talk about would be nice but this is extreme difference ratio between tall men short women start at these figures not this min acceptable difference must starts at average ratio difference thankyou.also who is to say men dont care about female height i prefer girls that meet this 5 ft 7 average height shorter girls can be big turnoff .

  3. Sarah

    I dont ever comment on articles that I read doing weird personal research. But I thank the poster for writing and sharing this article, a lot of detail and thought went into this. I think the previous replier also has psychological problems and has no room to be trying to belittle the writer when he himself seems to have some arrogant, asinine characteristics. His cockiness contradicts his personal theory that he can get any girl he wants because most women I know, including myself, would never associate themselves with an overtly confident douche.

  4. J

    I am 5’3″ and struggling to find love. I don’t see there being anything really off putting about myself except my height or a well hidden frustration over being this height. Girls are interested in me but will draw the line at romance. In my teens/twenties I had my fair share of flings, maybe because girls were experimenting, im a nice guy and reasonably good looking (i know, i read the bit about cognitive bias) but now I have hit the ‘settling down’ stage of my life, my taller counterparts have left me for dust, now all married with kids, which is what I also want and am looking for. I look at these guys and I see baldness, obesity, stupidity, unkindness, impatience, poor hygene, egotism and a whole plethera of other personality problems. Height is clearly the least attractive of male traits from where I’m standing (insert short perspective jokes here ;))
    If I am to follow your height ratio figure, the only girls interested in a guy my height would technically be classed as dwarves. And yes, i see the irony of not finding a dwarvish girl attractive because of her height! Also I notice that the majority of men prefer shorter women. So am I in the 1 percentile group of men looking for the 1 percentile group of women, that are in demand by the other 99% of men? This makes my odds of romance mathematically very small!

  5. Bruno

    Nice collection of work. I am 5 ft 8. And actually like my height. I do know that girls generally prefer a taller guy. Not much I can do about that. But it is not only girls. Guys have more “respect” for taller men. Oh well. Funny how a 6 ft 3 inch tall unemployed bald dude with a beer belly can get more attention from girls than a short six figure professional with a six pack and good looks. I should go back to Italy if this really bothered me. But, when you talk about what makes a women tick, one should never get bothered by such things, for even they don’t always know why they feel as they do. Get a real problem guys, c’mon.

    1. negin

      If u have a good figure and nice face,girls will interest in u.no girl likes a bald,beer belly tall guy.they like handesome guys

    2. negin the persian

      But you are wrong,no girl wants an unemployed,bald,beer belly guy,even if he is soooo tall.if you are athletic and six pack,the girls like You.trust me,i am a girl,most of tall men have skinny legs and zero talent in bodybuiliding.believe me

  6. TheTwin

    Bottom line, if a woman has feminine dominant energy, she will desire someone who makes her feel small. If a man has dominant masculine energy, he will want a woman who is smaller to evoke his protective/provider nature.

    BUT, there are examples of woman and men who have this base energy reversed, and they will bend the stats and might prefer the opposite of what is presented above.

    For me, I am 5’7″ and I can say, by far, the absolute best sex was a toss up between a stacked 4’11” and a gorgeous 5’0″ girl. They just felt “right” to me.

  7. Multiplexo

    A small height difference is optimal. 1-2 inches I prefer. 4 inch height difference is reasonable.
    Average height difference means nothing about optimal height difference. At smaller height differences, It is easier to have sex and kiss.

  8. Kone

    Am short and i have made peace with it, am just a mere 1.61cm. Honestly it does at times affect ones confidence when it come to that department.

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  10. Mark

    See the issue is that I’m a 6’10” male, so if I follow these trends a girl would have to be 6’4″. I tend to like taller girls though, but shorter girls typically like me more.

  11. Asian girl

    A guy is approximately one head taller than his Girl Friend encouraged (evolutionary) a longer lasting relationship, far beyond marriage.
    usually..A girl wants her BF to be a head taller then her. she can just look up at him.. i think it’s really adorable when couples do that…where in Asian love Dramas and movies.

  12. elephant

    my boy friend is about 180cm and i’m about 160cm . i always have to tiptoe to kiss him. When I hug him, I think I fit perfectly on his shoulder..i think it is more romantic ..ha ha …i’ve seen this so often in movies, dramas..

  13. Frank Johnson

    In an apartment complex that I lived in Houston, there was a loose knit collection of about 10-15 singles. We would meet at the pool on the weekends, and have informal parities. If one person knew of a singles event, they would inform the rest, and whoever wanted could attend. I even dated one of the girls in the group for a short time.
    In the group, was an attractive girl named Heidi. She was a degreed professional in the oil business. And you couldn’t miss her. She was 5’11”, blonde hair, with blue eyes. She had broad curvy hips and an hour glass waist. She, needless to say, she got the attention of single men.
    One Saturday, I was catching rays and drinking beer with some of the other guys at the complex pool, when one man I knew walked up to the group of us. He stated that he had proposed to Heidi, and she had turned him down. He approached us in the off chance that someone might know Heidi and put the good word in for him with her. Sometime later, I was at a different pool in the same complex. There was a water polo game in progress, one man with a boom box was playing about 10 feet from me, and about 10 feet in the other direction were two girls from the group talking about how Heidi had rejected two other guy’s marriage proposals. I wasn’t getting all the details of the conversation due to noise at the pool and that fact I didn’t really care, so I don’t know if the two girls were jealous of Heidi getting the attention of these two men, or if these women were mocking these guys as losers, due to Heidi rejecting them. But what this proves is Heidi was getting the attention of single men.
    Fast forward 12 years, one child and one divorce later on my part. A friend wanted me to join a dating agency. He would get a bonus if I joined, and I could join at a discount. I said before I join, I wanted to see what the single girls in the agency looked like. I was given a binder of women 30-34 years of age. In the binder, were pages of women. At the top of the page, in about 1 inch high letters was the girl’s name, then below that a 2″x3″ photo of her and below that 3 or 4 paragraphs that she wrote of herself. I started looking, and I could not have been page to page 7 or 8, when I noticed the name Heidi. I took a good look and it was her. I quickly scanned her paragraphs. I remembered a phrase of one sentence, it read, “34 years old, never married, no children.” I thought how could this be? I knew of three men who wanted to marry her, and in the 12 years that had passed since I last saw her, there must have been more. How was it possible she never married given all the advantages she had? What dating parameters did she employ that failed her so miserably that resulted in her being a childless spinster given all the physical advantages she had?
    In in a social setting, if she were not the most desirable girl, she certainly was one of the more desirable girls. And I am here to tell you Heidi could have had absolutely any guy she wanted, and I mean any guy. And if a poll had been taken by the single guys in the complex who would be the childless spinster of the complex, Heidi’s name would not have been at the top of the list. What had she done with her life? How was it possible she never married? Did she think at the age of 34, she would have a bigger and better selection of single males than when she was 24?
    I suspect in her 20’s, she had a male qualification list as long as her in inseam, and if a male were lacking any of these parameters, the guy was rejected. She kept saying no to men, until there were no men to say no, to.
    I also suspect that since all during her early years, she was used to getting plenty of male attention, and assumed the future would be like her past. Why would it change? And in her years 17-26, she most likely was the crème de la crème. But as she entered her late 20’s, much to her dismay, there were lots of younger girls, many prettier and more approachable, meaning shorter. At 5’11” she was taller than 99% of the women, 80% of the men and at 28 years of age, older than 95% of both men and women in a single’s bar. She stood out like a sore thumb due to her height and age.
    How her story ends? I don’t know. I didn’t join the dating agency. But it was Heidi’s actions and Heidi’s actions alone that made her single. She wasted her youth and fertility using extremely flawed dating parameters that she created and refused to change these parameters in spite of years of obvious failure.

    Albany, NY.
    I was taking a training class in Albany, NY, in the year 2000. A co-worker was looking over a singles web site on a computer during a break. The site allowed you to read, but to write, you needed to join the site. I remember seeing a photo of a girl 21, who looked marginal at best. We’re not talking about some curvaceous model with a beautiful face, but a rather plain girl. She was 6’1”. She said in her introduction that it would be hard for you (the reader) to believe that she would most likely be alone this weekend. She claimed to be a wonderful person, fun, outgoing, friendly. She stated she was tall, VERY tall. And “shorties need not apply.” How is that for a condescending attitude concerning a man’s height? And you wonder why, shorter men are reluctant to approach a taller woman.


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