Jen Juneau
December 02, 2015 10:24 am

We all know that personality trumps looks when it comes to romantic relationships. While looks are usually a big part of what attracts us to someone in the beginning stages of a relationship, how we interact with that person based on their sense of humor, honesty, mutual interests, communication style, and much more are usually the prime ingredients in creating a real, lasting connection.

But just for funsies, let’s talk about the looks part anyway – specifically, which aspect of someone’s looks could potentially lead to a happier marriage. According to a study conducted by researcher Kitae Sohn from Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea, there is a positive correlation between a husband’s height and a wife’s happiness. Apparently, the more a husband towers over his wife, the happier she is.

“Although it has been known that women prefer tall men in mating for evolutionary reasons, no study has investigated whether a taller husband makes his wife happier,” Sohn said.

Of the new study that addresses this gap of solid evidence correlating height difference and marital bliss, Sohn suggested that, “One [reason for its conclusion] is the intrinsic value of height; that is, women simply like tall men, while unable to say why. This is similar to people favouring fatty, salty, and sugary foods without knowing exactly why: such foods are essential to survival but were scarce as humans evolved — hence craving such foods increased reproductive fitness in the past.”

Sohn also noted that the study, which gathered long-term population data from 7,850 married women, showed that the appeal of the tallness factor only lasted for so long, wearing off gradually and completely dissipating by the couple’s 18th year of marriage.

“The long period of the dissipation indicates a powerful impact of male height on women’s psychology, probably prepared by evolution,” Sohn said in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. He also added that potential reasons for the decline in height-difference appeal could be that its novelty just wears off to the point where wives no longer correlate it with strength and attractiveness, or that wives associate the height difference with their youth and decline in their own perceived physical beauty that they believe may have enabled them to marry taller husbands.

Whether the results of Sohn’s study are the result of evolution, societal influences, something else, or a mix of many factors, we can’t say. But we can say that the more science gets involved in the inner-workings of relationships, the more fascinated we are, so keep it coming, researchers.

Related reading:

What I learned from a relationship that was never actually a relationship

Here’s the latest way science is predicting whether your relationship will last

(Image via Shutterstock)

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