True Story: I’m 4 Inches Taller Than My Husband

This is one of many True Story interviews in which we talk to people who have experienced interesting/amazing/challenging things.  This is the story of Cadence and Eli, their marriage and their height difference.

Tell us a bit about yourselves!
Cadence: Hi! My name is Cadence, I’m 32 years old and I’m originally from a
small town in Iowa. I live and work in Minneapolis where my husband,
Eli, and I own a photography business
I love sharing meals with friends and family, perusing design on
Pinterest, running, and travel. Luckily I get to share all of that with
Eli (except for Pinterest, he doesn’t dig it as much as I do.) I’m
currently dreaming of a trip to Scandinavia and scheming of ways that
Eli and I can live abroad during the winter months.
Eli: I grew up in St. Paul, CC in Iowa. We’ll move to that side of the river
and start a family sometime coming up here. Right now, we’re in
Minneapolis, though, being married we don’t go out so much as we used
to.

How tall are you guys?
Cadence: I used to say I’m 5’10” and 3/4. Now I just round up to 5’11”.

Eli: I’m 5’7.” So Cadence has 4” on me. When we stated dating she always wore heels out, so it was 6” or so.

How did you guys meet?
Cadence: We met nearly 5 years ago at First Avenue in Minneapolis. At the time,
I was going dancing there every Saturday night. One night, I ran into
several friends who happened to be there with their friend, Eli.
Between the noise and the constant dancing, we didn’t get an opportunity
to talk that night but we were definitely making eye contact. I was
really interested in him (his hair! his eyes! his rave-like dancing!) so
the next four Saturdays I ditched my weekly dance habit and kept
inviting our mutual friends out. I kept hinting that they should invite
“whomever they wanted” hoping they would bring Eli, but they never
picked up on the hint. On the fifth Saturday we bumped into each other
at a photography/fashion event supporting our mutual friend. We spent
the entire night talking, he asked for my number, and two years later we
were married.

Eli:We had both been going there just about every week,
but had never seen one another – you know, because I’m short. smile:) 
The night we met we had a mutual friend that was there and pointed
Cadence out to me. I was totally into her, but wasn’t sure that she was
interested. By the end of the night, I broke off from the group, not
waning to be TOO into her. Happily, she found me to say goodnight. I was
going to be back next week to find her! I was back there for a month,
all lone-wolf style looking for her. When I finally did see her again,
it was a total surprise at a photo event a month later; I was elated. My
inner dialogue was literally “YES! CADENCE IS HERE!” We spent the
whole night together, and within months I was confident that I wanted to
marry her. There are pictures from that night somewhere. Cadence was
crouching down in all of them; she has since stopped that. smile

Before you met each other, what were the heights of your previous
partners?

Cadence: Everyone was pretty
close to my height; I’ve never been with anyone who’s much taller than I
and some were definitely uncomfortable if I wore heels.
Eli:
First tall lady – It’s not like it’s a fetish or something, gawd.

Were you at all put off by the height difference?

Cadence: I was never put off by our height difference. In the beginning, it
wasn’t something that I really noticed–I think I was too head over
heels for him to give it much thought. Since I was wearing heels the
first two times we saw each other and he still asked me out, I was
fairly certain it didn’t bother him. However, we never mentioned the
height difference so it kind of felt like the elephant in the room until
one of us made a joke about it one night.
Eli: I was a bit insecure about it for a while. I felt like it reeked of a
Napoleon Complex, heck, maybe it does. Whatever. Now, she’s my wife and a
great partner how am I going to complain about what package that comes
in?

Do people ever comment on it? How do you respond?
Cadence: My friends tease
me sometimes but it’s certainly not in a hurtful way; we’re able to
giggle about it. I feel strangers stare at us just a little bit longer,
especially when I’m wearing heels. There was one particular time we
were in an elevator in Las Vegas and I heard a woman stage whisper,
“She’s SO tall!” I had imbibed in a few cocktails that evening so my
response was probably sharper than it needed to be.

Eli: Nobody ever comments to me. I’d give ‘em a look.

Are there any challenges to dating someone whose four inches taller/shorter than you? What are the benefits?

Cadence: We’ve never really mastered the art of slow dancing and I can’t wear
his jeans as “boyfriend jeans” (but he could wear mine, I suppose).
There are times when I feel vulnerable and I want to feel dainty and
small…but those moments of insecurity are usually fleeting; Eli makes
me feel strong and beautiful. As far as benefits, Eli tends to be much
stealthier than I am so it certainly helps when we’re shooting weddings
together. (I’m hoping our kids get his mad gymnast skills.) And, of
course, I can reach the top cupboards in the kitchen–which is where I
hide all the good stuff.
Eli: I’d say the only challenge would be getting over a mental hurdle if you
had one. People are wired to like and look for some particular things
in mates though, and if it’s a ‘deal breaker’ for somebody than I guess
that’s that.

What do you guys think when you hear people talking about height as a ‘deal breaker’ for who they’ll date?

Cadence: I can’t imagine ruling out an entire segment of population just because it doesn’t fit into a socially constructed norm.
Eli: I don’t think I’m quite qualified to be giving much dating
advice. But, I’d say that too many ‘deal breakers’ and a person is
liable to wind up alone or struggling to make their partner into something
they aren’t.

What advice would you give to tall ladies/short dudes who are dating?

Cadence: Embrace it–and laugh a lot.
Eli: Keep it real.

Thanks so much for sharing!  Do you guys have any questions?  Do you have height hang-ups about who you date?

50 Comments

Anonymous

Totally agree with the mentally constructed hurdle part. My boyfriend is like an inch shorter than me and it's definitely not really a thing if you don't want it to be. People might notice it, but only because the "norm" of tall man-shorter woman is still strong, but then again who cares about that?

I thought of it a little at first, but then concluded that it wasn't worth being that superficial when i had found a guy i was into. Four years on, i'm really happy I decided not to care.

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Anonymous

I'm 5'10" and my husband is 5'4". He and I embrace it and it actually has worked well since I am the breadwinner. I lead our marriage and it works together perfectly. Wearing heels s a hoot! lol

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Anonymous

Completely agree with this. As a tall person especially a woman it is silly to limit one's options solely based on height. Unfortunately not a lot of guys are okay with being with a woman taller than them :/

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Anonymous

I am 5'11 and my fiancé 5'6 or 5'7. ????? Never thought my i will be marrying someone that short, but guess what, He is the most amazing guy I have ever met sooooo far. Nothing to do with the tall men I dated. ladies, you may need to check out shorter guys you may not know what you are missing. I feel feminine with him, he treats me like a queen. What else a woman need?..lol.. I am thankful everyday for him and I will never trade him for a taller guy.

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World Traveler In Training

Growing up, I don't think I knew any couples where the woman was taller than the man, but now I know quite a few. In fact, now that I think about it, a lot of the long term couple I know have the lady as the taller one. I wonder if height is less important now or it's just a coincidence?

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Jessica R.

I'm also married to a man 4 inches shorter than me. We used to get comments here and there in the beginning, but we never seem to get them anymore. Maybe it's because we don't notice any more and we're so comfortable with and in love with one another. Loved reading about another couple in our shoes!

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Anonymous

What a great looking couple! My dear friend is taller than her fiance. They look great together and have chatted a bit about the height difference, but it's not a big deal.

I have a height requirement. I'm being honest. I am 5ft5, but my father and all my male cousins are 6ft plus. I've dated three men: 6ft 1, 6ft 2 and 6ft 4. I just am not attracted to men who are shorter than 6ft. Not for me, and I get frustrated when that's an issue. It's only an issue for women to say they have a look they prefer, men on the other hand can have all sorts of physical preferences. But when a woman says, "I'm just not attracted to shorter men" I'm suddenly "picky, rude, judgmental." Alright! Lose, lose.

Another friend of mine is married. She and her husband are both shorter, I believe he is 5ft 6– not sure. He knows I prefer taller guys and loudly asks anytime I mention someone I'm interested in, "how tall is he!?!" I get it, it's hard to be a shorter man when there's a premium for taller men out there. However, one thing he loved about his wife before they became an item was how petite she was. So interesting.

Rant over, so glad they are living their love story and kudos to anyone else who doesn't care. I just do.

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Anonymous

I understand exactly how you feel, because I used to be the same way. I'm also pretty petite and only dated really tall guys, like 6'2" to 6'5". Then, I met my love. He's short like me and it's amazing how much you realize the height thing really only ever was a mental thing. At first, I was unsure about his height and spoke with some girlfriends that have short husbands, too. They helped me to realize what I was just beginning to notice–short guys often have amazing personalities and are really driven, while so many tall men skate by on their height alone.

Anyway, I really enjoyed hearing the story of the couple in this feature. Such a good-looking pair, too.

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lauren claire | rebuild (health + home)

Interesting topic! I had one boyfriend in college who was probably 5'7 or so (I'm 5'5), but generally all of my boyfriends have been 6 feet or taller… except the one that I'm now engaged to! He is just fractions of an inch taller than me. If you were to ask me to describe my dream guy in theory, I'd say tall, thin, dark eyes/dark hair, and here I am head over heels for a blue-eyed, blonde-haired guy of average-height and an athletic build. The heart wants what the heart wants…

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Elise

Ooh this is a really interesting topic! I'm 5ft 10 but like to wear heels when I'm out…and the one thing I couldn't compromise on is height of a partner, he has to be taller than me! Not sure I'd call it conforming to society rules tho, I think its just a personal preference :)

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Jessica

Love this! Having watched the two of them as a photography team and partners at a friend's recent wedding, it is so crystal clear that they are in love and perfect for each other in every single way. Love them!

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Amanda

Proud to say I witnessed their budding love and the height thing was never an issue but made for good laughs. They really are a perfect match. :) A guy did make a jerky comment on the street one time when we were out but we all wrote him off as a sad lot, laughed about out and moved on.

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Anonymous

I'm really glad you posted this! I am a 6ft tall woman and always get told to stop wearing heels or I'll "Never Find A Man" – too bad I say, my shoes are fabulous! Now I will direct people here!

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Brandon Wells

I had a long term relationship with a young lady who had 2 inches on me. She got to wear my "Say Yes to Michigan" t-shirts, and I got to be the small spoon. One vote for height disparity being a "mentally constructed hurdle".

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Whit

Great interview! This reminds me of my favorite quote from Miranda July's book, "No One Belongs Here More Than You":

"People end to stick to their own size group because it's easier on the neck. Unless they are romantically involved, in which the size difference is sexy. It means: I am willing to go the distance for you."

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Mo Adore | Morag Lee

They look so beautiful together and sound so in love! I'm a pretty average sized lady but I've dated short guys, average sized guys, 6ft and over guys, and I have no preference. Actually if I did have a preference I'd say nearer the same height as me – I don't think taller automatically makes a guy more attractive.

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Sara Jane

I'm six feet tall and always look for towering tall men to date. Short guys tend not to be interested in me, they said I'm too intimidating, while tall men like tiny petite women. At least the ones I want. It's pretty frustrating. The only shorter guys I dated made it such an issue, we stopped seeing each other.

Gah.

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Anonymous

i m man. i m only 5.5 but i am ready to go with 6ft tall girl. i get attracted towards taller girls. why so, i dont know. but there is defenitely an attraction of tall girls. do you get attracted towards short boys?

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Anonymous

It is a pity that short guys dont get interest in you, you are marvellous. I sincerely belive you will get man of your dream…and a short man will always love you and take care of you 200 %…so if u ignore the height..you will be benefit

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Ashley Snipes

Hey eli… did ou ever think that people hated the way you look with your wife, Im like 5'10 and my bf is like 5'5 and we get made fun of everyday and i don't care about the size and or height but i can feel that he does..

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Ashley Snipes

Hey eli… did ou ever think that people hated the way you look with your wife, Im like 5'10 and my bf is like 5'5 and we get made fun of everyday and i don't care about the size and or height but i can feel that he does..

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Love and Coffee

I'm exactly four inches taller than my boyfriend. Dancing is difficult, but we laugh about it. One thing I do not like is that people don't recognize that we're a couple when we go out together. Since dating him, I've finally learned to stand up straight, and to be proud of myself.

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Tina

Love love love it! Such a sweet story! I'm 5'10 and sort of seeing someone who is maybe 5'7. I struggle because my last boyfriend was 6'7! However, I have never been treated more kind and loving in my lifetime of relationships. We have an added issue…I'm also ten years older than him! Yikes. He doesnt care about either factors.

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Little Bill

I have to say that having a late growth spurt was an interesting thing because I went through puberty being 4'9 until I hit 17 somehow went from 4'9 to suddenly 5'10 in what seemed like less than a year. I recall feeling strange about dating short women because even the short girls had always been taller than me. I loved tall women and that didn't change at all, although my height did!lol I have dated women between 4'9 -6'6 married a 5'7 gal who always wore heels making her closer to 6 foot and I am 6'1! Love has no boundary's except the ones we create ourselves!

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Little Bill

I have to say that having a late growth spurt was an interesting thing because I went through puberty being 4'9 until I hit 17 somehow went from 4'9 to suddenly 5'10 in what seemed like less than a year. I recall feeling strange about dating short women because even the short girls had always been taller than me. I loved tall women and that didn't change at all, although my height did!lol I have dated women between 4'9 -6'6 married a 5'7 gal who always wore heels making her closer to 6 foot and I am 6'1! Love has no boundary's except the ones we create ourselves!

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Lucky

i am 5'9 and my love is 5'4 (though i feel he is shorter) On our first date, I cannot lie I felt completely awkward and wanted to remain sitting the entire time lol. 2 months later I realize he is the most manliest and confident guy I have been with. There is nothing my man doesn't do and I'm glad I didn't let something like height potentially ruin what is an awesome relationship.

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VoiceOfLove

I'm a dating and relationship coach and I applaud Cadence and Eli for looking at the qualities that make a relationship work and last! The way someone treats you and makes you feel about them and your relationship is what really matters most! Not their height or looks!

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James Mutaha

A'm 5'2"and I wouldn't mind dating or marrying a woman who was even a foot taller than me.Actually the shortest woman I've dated is 5'5".What matters most is not how someone looks on the outside but how he or she is on the inside.

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Anonymous

Tanx for sharin ur story with us I'm actual taller than my boyfriend wen we first met he proposed to me bt I culdnt take him serious bcs of the height so I jst decided to befriend him we hang out alo n he enjoyed my company always bt I stil had a problem with the height bt he wasn't even caring bwt de height n nw today we expectin our 1st baby n planning to get married I must say he's de sweetest guy I've ever met n frm all de previous relationships I've height I gotta say love has no boundries if u realy love each other n hey I'm so head over heels inlove with him lol

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Kyle Dahl

My wife and I are going on 15 years married this year. She is at least 2" taller than me. I encourage her to wear heals when we go out. From day one, the height thing was never really an issue with us. I tried to date taller girls in high school – they turned me down. One in fact told me that I was too short to date. I hardly ever considered dating a girl shorter than me, I LOVE the long legs. She dated guys that were taller than her in high school, she said they were all schmucks. Moral of the story: give it a chance!

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Anonymous

I have been with my wife for 22 years she is 5'11 and I am 5'4. We have always had a great relationship and never let the height difference bother us. She even enjoyed wearing heels out and yes we got looks but just laughed about it. Our three girls are all about the same height as my wife and they just call me their little daddy.

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Anonymous

I am 5'10" and my boyfriend is about an inch shorter. Its not enough to notice if you don't want to, but it's always been an area of self-consciousness for me. And he doesn't talk about it… EVER. So I have to bring it up should I feel the need to talk about it and then I feel SO vulnerable. Which doesn't help when I also feel larger than him. I want to feel feminine and delicate; held. But so often I feel like he couldnt really hold me… I'm too "big" which is the worst thing in a girl's mind. He never makes me feel this way, but I struggle with feeling it…

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Anonymous

We need to promote this idea. Guys should marry only girls who are taller than them. It will be so interesting than the the taller man relationship

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Anonymous

I'm 57 years old and 5'10" and when I was a teenager, it was a big deal if a girl was taller than her boyfriend. It was pretty much assumed that a husband would be older, taller, better educated, more sexually experienced than his wife…in the "Marriage and Family" course I took in college it was called the "Dating Differential". I realized when I was 16 or so that it pretty much depended on the girl's attitude: if a shorter guy showed an interest and asked me out, my height was obviously fine with him. Sure enough, I ended up falling in love with a 5'8" guy…35 years later we're still happily married. Once in a while I'll overhear someone say something like "men are supposed to be taller than their wives"…my response is "Are you prejudiced or something?"

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Anonymous

Just came across this thread, and it genuinely made me smile! At 5'6, I tower over my 5'1 fiancé. I never imagined myself dating a short guy (much less one who's 6" shorter), and didn't believe that such a guy would give me a second glance. I was caught completely off guard when I met my fiancé, who relentlessly pursued me, but was delighted eventually. I knew I would regret not giving him a chance simply because of superficial reasons, so I gave in and couldn't be happier about it. We've been laughed at in public, or gotten rude comments and whispers from strangers, but we mainly get stared at. Sucks that people are like that, but what you gonna do? We just keep truckin'. It's refreshing to read about other couples similar to us, and we hope to be as happy as them as well!

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