I joke that I married him so I could have someone around to reach the top shelves for me.
But, it may be that we met at a time when my hormones were pushing me toward a tall partner.
Stay with me here–this is an interesting one:
Turns out, when you’re in Week 2 of your cycle OR when you’re seeking a short-term romance, you’re more attracted to partners who are taller, according to a 2005 study in the journal Biological Psychology.
Why? Tall mates tend to have healthier genes–which your body finds absolutely irresistible as you approach ovulation in the middle of your cycle. Those blessed with height also tend to have higher testosterone–which often indicates they’re more attractive and have a preference for short-term romances over long-term ones. Perfect if you don’t want someone clingy when you’re trying to break things off.
However, if you’re looking for a long-term mate at any point in your cycle, you tend to gravitate toward partners who are shorter. Not shorter than you, but not someone who towers over you like a basketball center either.
Why? Well, as I mentioned above, height can be a sign of high testosterone. And while that’s great for fertilizing an egg with the best genetic material or having a brief and torrid affair with someone who isn’t going to scribble out love notes to you in the dirt on your car when you end things, it could also mean your tall mate is lousy long-term material since this hormone can rev aggressiveness, reduce commitment to family and up the likelihood of straying.
As a result, your brain tells you to throw the hot giant back and hunt down a more appropriately-sized sweetheart.
What’s interesting to note–especially to me as a relatively compact woman–the shorter women who participated in this study tended to choose mates who were much taller than they were than the average-height or tall women did.
So, how does my own tall husband factor into all this?
To be perfectly honest, when I met Douglas I was in a date-only/no-marriage state of mind. Long-term romances seemed as appealing to me as a colonoscopy.
Which meant the way Douglas towered over me and hugged the top of my head when we embraced was even more alluring.
While I expected us to have a short-term fling, somehow he just stuck around. And stuck around. And eventually ended up becoming my long-term love.
Eighteen years later, I’m really glad he did. Because not only is he a great guy, an awesome cook and my best friend, he reaches all the stuff on the top shelves for me.
And, this is proof positive that even though hormone research suggests one thing–for instance, that my hubby’s height could make him better for a short-term match-up than long-term marriage material–it may not always be the case. Douglas is an amazing husband.
So, despite sharing the intriguing details of this study with you and dedicating much of my waking life to exploring scientific research, I’m ultimately siding with love on this one and telling you to go with what your gut–and heart–tell you to do when choosing a life partner.
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