Update 7/11/2013: I am proposing a term to describe this phenomena where I suggest the theory that most people who ONLY desire to date tall individuals of the opposite sex (this also applies to gays) at some conscious or unconscious level wish to be tall themselves. They feel lacking in this area of their life which they can’t do anything about and have no control over and try to compensate or even OVERcompensate for their own lack of stature by looking for someone who is not exactly opposite of them, but compliments them so that their own PERCEIVED defects may be covered up, and will not be passed on to their children.
I term this phenomena “Complimentary Mating Strategy” with a focus on “extreme height discrepancies within mating partners”.
The person is consciously or unconsciously looking for a person who can make their insecurities be relieved and weaknesses to be hidden.
This will affect people who have low self esteem and no self image of themselves. No matter how much fame and glamour they have and people telling them they are a good person, if they have the internal voice inside of them which is causing them to have a bad image of who they are, they will choose this strategy which I am going to coin in this post called Complimentary Mating Strategy.
The old idea that people are attracted to their opposite is false and NOT true.
The other idea that people look for someone like them is NOT ALWAYS true, but sometimes true, and only true when they have a good self esteem and have a good self image of who they are as a person. That strategy is probably healthier from a psychological point of view, since the individual already has a good self image, but I would propose that for many people, if not most people, at their core, they secret perfect life partner and mate is a person which will be based on the Complimentary Mating Strategy.
This phenomena will not just explain why short men go crazy over tall women and short women go crazy over short men. This will also explain why say the less educated female/male would always be looking for an overeducated male/female to marry and date to make themselves feel worthy and a good enough person since they have insecurities over their own intelligence. This is also why a financially weak person would only look for a rich person to marry and not settle for anyone except the super rich.
Something that sort of crossed my mind just today while I was doing something else was to think back to a statement made by my gf recently about the fact that not only does she like tall men to date, but also that she wants to be taller herself. It would seem that in the recent few days, she has started to express that idea in a more frequent fashion. If we are riding on an escalator, she would get one step higher so that we are at least within reasonable eye level. Interestingly, I can think from the top of my head the fact that 95% of all the females I have known in my life have expressed the desire to be taller or wished for a taller boyfriend/husband.
I propose the psychological conjecture that “People who are short themselves and only choose to date tall people of the opposite sex are probably secretly desiring to be tall themselves“.
There is a well known pop psychology idea that often in life, the person we become attracted to is neither similar to us in terms of traits or personality or completely the opposite, but who compliments us in terms of characteristics and traits.
This suggest that many, if not most people may not be looking for someone who is like them, or opposite to them, but a person who can fulfill the areas of deficiency which they feel insecure in.
It is well known that females in general prefer taller men, but how can we explain the fact the BOTH short and tall females prefer taller men but for men, their preferences are dimorphic in nature, with some liking petite girls and others like them tall and “amazon-like”.
There is one generally well accepted principle which is that for most heterosexual based human couples, the male is taller than the female.
It would seem reasonable using general principles to say that girls who are tall want tall men, but especially men taller than them. a girl who is 5′ 10″ would probably want a man who is at least 6’1″ – 6’2″.
For short females, one would accept that they would want average height males due to having a good height ratio but that often does not seem to be the case, but also choose the tall males. So both a girl who is 5′ 2″ and another girl who is 5′ 10″ will both choose the male who is 6′ 2″, not the average height male who is 5′ 9″.
As a guy, who has had his share of conversations with women, who are the selectors of mating partners, talking about the issue and role of height towards initial attraction towards men, I have never found the reasons, rationalizations, and justifications shorter than average females give on why they also choose the tall guy reasonable, at least the ones which suggest a sociological or cultural basis. I suspect at this point the issue is more primitive, and anthropology. Sure, there is always an element of culture and society which will influence our biases, beliefs, and values but the preference towards taller individuals by a large percentage of any ethnic group suggest that it is instinctual.
So why do shorter than average girls/boys seem to go crazy over the taller or tallest individuals of the opposite sex?
Note: It seems that also in same-sex dating dynamics, height is also just as important, at least among males.
The easiest answer would be that they are insecure about their height and want to overcompensate for their lack of stature by choosing a mate who can have the size (and possible genes) to compensate and overcompensate for their lack of size if they should eventually choose to (or accidentally) have children.
I know plenty of people who are crazy about height (me included) and insist that tall stature is a huge factor on their choice in dating and mating. I personally may be crazy on doing the research but as a heterosexual male, I am not that picky about my partner’s size too much, although so many people, but especially females have big hang-ups about that.
However, I woud like to take that guess slightly further and say that it is possible that the women who are shorter than average secretly wish to be tall themselves. Not only for the women, but also the short men who seem to prefer to only date tall women.
Anecdotally, I have heard short asian males secretly say that the ultimate trophy girlfriend or wife is to get a tall white female. I have heard short asian females try everything to meet tall white european men. Of course those types of interracial dating dynamics can be just an issue of race, but I would suspect that it is more likely a size reason. I have heard of short females reject extremely successful, rich short males who are even surgeons for unemployed, broke men who lack social skills who are tall since it seems that height and first impressions are so important. Mating with a doctor will have its advantages in terms of financial resources but that can not be translated to the offspring unless that is an inheritance. Great genes in terms of lower risks for cancer, good eyesight, tall stature, and no signs of baldness is far more permanent and is something that will always stay with the offspring, no matter how bad their professional lives and career are. If all we are are carriers of genes, and all of life is an elaborate mating dance, wouldn’t it make sense to try to find the most “fit” opposite sex individual we can to mate with?
However, how can we then explain the desire for so many short men wanting to dating tall females? Evolutionary, the result we expect is that short men would want to be with shorter females to keep the ratio between the couple reasonable. However, it seems that the reasons for shorter men can be both a sociological and evolutionary one. I would suggest that short men also are hoping that by dating and mating with tall women the height gene from the mother’s side will be passes on to their future children than their own. In addition, tall females have been looked upon for a very long time in most ethnic cultures for being “beautiful’ and graceful and are admired greatly. It seems that if a short male succeeds in getting a tall girlfriend, they get a huge ego boost in showing her off like what is known as a “trophy girlfriend” or a “trophy wife”. The concept of the trophy girlfriend or wife is that the romantic partner is not just for the other person to enjoy, look at, and admire, but also for other people to look at, admire, and maybe even become envious or jealous over (hopefully).
Humans have this desire to always be comparing themselves with other people and want to be better off than their peers to make themselves feel better about themselves. This need to make the ego feel big and strong is very strong in humans. From getting the tall girlfriend, the shorter male maybe feels like he has won some type of cultural game or mating ritual in terms of “one-up-man ship” where he bested his peers. If a person has a better looking girlfriend/boyfriend, it is something that the attention seeking person would try to flaunt around to make themselves feel better. I would guess that very few husbands/wives or girlfriends/boyfriends are willing to admit this but if they could have a genie and a wish to change their significant others in terms of changing something about them in terms of physical appearance enhancement, they would do it but would never say it in public due to fear of being reprisal and condemnation. Of course, that wish from a genie would more likely go to do an appearance enhancement on themselves than the other person.
Again, the idea is that we are more likely subconsciously choosing mates on who we think in our reptilian brain would make our progeny stronger. We are looking for our complement, the other half of us who we want to be with. They have the qualities we dont’ have, and probably can never have. So the next best thing is to make sure our genes and children will have the physical qualities that we will never be able to have, no matter how hard we try and work.
Anyway, this post is to really just throw another conjecture on how people think which could be completely wrong. Just my thoughts for today.