What if My Girlfriend's Bigger Than Me?

Your girlfriend should feel confident and proud of her height.
... Toby Burrows/Photodisc/Getty Images

Along with the facets of your girlfriend you adore – she rocks an acoustic guitar, bakes a mean blondie, has a tennis serve fit for Wimbledon – there’s one that makes you self-conscious: her size. If her chin can rest on the top of your head when you hug, the two of you may feel conspicuous, or even embarrassed, in a crowd. Fortunately, with communication and teamwork, not to mention compatible senses of humor, you can get past any awkwardness and on to enjoying what really matters about each other.

1 Matters of Size

While it’s true that, on average, girls tend to prefer guys who are taller than them, satisfaction with your own height tends to be tied to satisfaction with your significant other’s, suggests a study conducted at the University of Groningenin in The Netherlands, and published in "Personality and Individual Differences" in 2013. Regardless of where you two fall on the height spectrum for your gender, feeling good about how tall you are can lead to feeling equally at ease about each other’s size. A good start to this process involves having an honest talk about how you each feel about your size.

2 Getting Rid of Size Shame

Before you can get around to dismissing size differences and laughing off outsiders who don’t do the same, you both have to have healthy self-esteem. While self-esteem entails a general sense of feeling good about yourself, its opposite can entail social anxiety and shame, asserts GoodTherapy.org in its “Self-Esteem” post. If you were teased as a child, or recently, about being slighter in stature than your chums – or if your girlfriend has developed a slouch after being called “giant” one too many times – there are probably feelings of unfounded self-criticism that need to be worked out. You can each start this process by intentionally focusing on all that you like about yourselves and pursuing your strengths. If the low sense of self-worth doesn’t start improving, though, it may be time to speak with a school counselor, therapist or at least a trusted family member about the problem.

3 Same-Size Funny Bones

It’s easy to focus on, and get anxious about, obstacles – luckily, it’s also not hard to learn the art of laughing together. Humor is a powerful relationship tool for overcoming the awkward moments that are bound to abound in any new relationship, according to the HelpGuide.org article, “Fixing Relationship Problems With Humor.” Concerning a height difference, humor comes into play as you laugh together at her needing to adjust the car seat you sat in last, or even sharing a private laugh at all the lame jokes and jabs you two encounter. As an added benefit, incorporating humor in your relationship now makes it more likely that you’ll keep things feeling new and exciting in the future.

4 Support at Any Size

Even if you both feel good about yourselves, even if you embrace awkward moments with humor, there may be points when “enough is enough” regarding the good-natured ribbing from others. Show each other support -- considered one of the mainstays of a healthy relationship -- by sticking up for one another, but without aggression. If she’s tired of your friends asking “How’s the air up there?” gently ask them to back off remarks about her height. If you’re both tired of your size difference being in the spotlight, discourage attention to it. When someone comments, respond “What we have in common is more important than that.” If people stare, lovingly put your arm around her and ignore the gawking together.

Jae Kemp has been writing and editing professionally since 2010. In addition to reviewing novels, memoirs and psychology/self-help books for major review services, Kemp has served as a copywriter, commercial and creative editor, and staff article writer.