Researchers have found that our genes have a role in our choice of partners, and these genes are the ones that determine our height.
But the study, published in the journal Genome Biology, doesn't answer if we date a person of similar height because of our genetics alone or for external reasons. After all, it's hard for a short guy to get a tall girl, so he might go for short girls instead. As for girls, we traditionally don't really entertain the thought of dating someone shorter than we are. Some would say that women prefer tall men because strength or good genes is associated with being tall, even if the truth is that taller people are more likely to get cancer.
The research focused on height as an attractive physical characteristic. To do the study, researchers analyzed 13,068 genotyped heterosexual couples. After making other things constant, they got the male's and the female's height, and found that their physical traits, particularly the height, were similar.
According to the study's press release, "Mate selection driven by one's height is more than just a chance event and has important social and biological implications for human populations."
Implications like what? Like what we find attractive—why we're drawn to traits or people similar to us. Or what will happen to our offsprings—will we raise them properly since we communicate well with our partners who are similar to us? Will your good traits be passed on since your partner has them too? Or will you and your partner's recessive traits be passed down, resulting in disease susceptibility or decreased fitness?
While a similar height may be a defining factor in picking a partner without us being conscious of it (as seen in the study), there are people out there who're into opposites: Tall guys digging short girls, and, less frequently seen, tall girls being into short guys. Still, it goes to show that height is something we look at or look for. The degree it informs our decisions just varies.
Follow Stephanie on Twitter.