Your Height May Determine Who You Date — But Not In The Way You Think

Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile.
Are you taller or shorter than your S.O.? As it turns out, your partner's height may have influenced why you got together in the first place. A recent study suggests that, due to our genes, we tend to be attracted to — and thus date — people who are about as tall as we are.

For the study, published in Genome Biology, researchers analyzed the genotypes (or collections of genes) of 13,000 heterosexual couples. They found that 89% of the genetic variations responsible for determining participants' heights also influenced their height preferences in potential partners. Translation: Not only do our genes determine our own height, they also may affect which heights we find attractive in others. The researchers claim this is why we often prefer partners close to us in height.

Previous studies have found that height certainly affects who we're attracted to — heterosexual women have been shown to prefer taller men — but this study offers a more nuanced perspective to how height factors into attraction of the opposite sex.

Hopefully, this news will come as a relief to those who are insecure about their height, whether they feel they're too tall or too short for the dating pool. Sure, we might be predisposed to consider height when looking for a partner, but the ideal doesn't seem to be as rigid as we once thought. In fact, a 2013 study about heterosexuals suggests that short women and tall men prefer large height differences, while tall women and short men prefer small height differences. So there might not be an ideal height for pairing off with the opposite sex — it could just depend on our genetic predisposition (and socialization).

As for the current study, the researchers stated that their findings could be used to predict the height of someone's partner with 13% accuracy. But if there's a major height difference between you and your partner, don't worry. You're not going against your genes; you two are just exceptional — as we're sure your love is, too.

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