A 5ft 9 woman has revealed how she and her fiancé are regularly ‘stopped in the street’ because of their height difference, admitting that while she found his short stature an issue at first, she now couldn’t care less.
Sam Espinal, 24, has been with Stephen Di Fede, 32, for almost six years, despite the fact she never initially thought she would date someone smaller than her.
The couple regularly receive remarks and stares when out in public together, due to their six-inch height difference.
Thanks to the social expectation for men to be taller than women, it took them both some time to get used to the fact that Stephen is 5ft 3, but now claim they don’t even notice it - with Sam warning how turning people down because of their height can result in ‘missing out on someone who might be your dream partner’.
Sam, a content creator and event planner from Manhattan, New York, said: "I always thought I could never date someone shorter than me.
"The height difference did bother me a bit in the beginning. I couldn't see myself being OK with it.
"People would stop us in the street to congratulate Stephen for dating a taller woman - it felt a bit weird.
"But as I fell in love, it just went away. I just stopped thinking about it.
"Now I can see people one thousand percent miss out on relationships because they rule people out based on their height."
Stephen, a content creator and dancer, added: "I always expected to have to date people taller than me - if I only stuck with shorter women, I would have a very small group to choose from.
"In a funny way, it brings the humour to our relationship - like when I literally can't reach something high up.
"Other than poking fun and having a laugh on social media, we don't really think about it."
The pair met through work in October 2016, when Sam did an internship at the school where Stephen worked as a teacher.
She originally thought she could never date someone shorter than her, but felt drawn to him, and the two started dating properly in February the following year before going official the following September.
Sam said: "When we got together it was a shock to me and it did take a while to adjust.
"I started adjusting fairly quickly the more I started falling in love. It stopped bothering me and I stopped thinking about it.
"I was insecure wearing heels around Stephen because I didn't want to appear even taller than him."
However, Stephen said the height issue really ‘wasn’t a big deal’ to him, saying he’s been short his whole life, so ‘most women’ are taller than him.
“I came to terms with it a long time ago,” he said.
The couple now post regularly on TikTok (@stephnsammy), often making jokes about their height difference to help normalise it, with Stephen saying it brings humour into their relationship and allows them to ‘poke fun’ at one another.
He ended up getting down on one knee in November 2022, and they now plan to marry later this year.
Sam said she won’t wear heels to the wedding - even though Stephen ‘loves it’ when she wears heels - but that this was nothing to do with height.
"I always wanted to be barefoot at my wedding, even before I met Stephen,” she explained.
Stephen and Sam have urged others not to worry about height differences, as it could mean they miss out on their perfect partner.
Stephen said: "You need physical attraction to someone but if you like everything except their height and you rule them out, you're potentially missing something great.
"If you're automatically disqualifying people, you are limiting your potential."
Sam added: "People one thousand per cent miss out by ruling people out for their height.
"If people just put their guard down and let themselves be attracted to someone they think they might like, it would be so much easier to find love.
"The way you connect with someone is so important - personality is what matters most."
Topics: Sex and Relationships