A woman who is engaged to a man eight inches shorter has hit back at critics who think their height difference is ‘weird’.
Darlene Marshall, 37, and her fiancé Matthew Cretaro, 46, from New York, are often the butt of the joke due to their difference in height.
But the personal trainers, who are often subject to ‘funny looks’ say they couldn’t be happier.
Darlene is eight inches taller at 6’1 and Matthew is 5’5. But they insist height isn’t an issue and encourage others to overlook it.
Darlene Marshall, 37, and her fiancé Matthew Cretaro, 46, are often the butt of the joke due to their difference in height. Matthew, left, is 5’5, while Darlene is 6’1
She said: ‘Strangers assume we aren’t together because of our height difference, which is silly.
‘There has been a time where a waiter has been flirting with me because he didn’t realize until Matthew put his hand on my leg.
‘All of my family are more than 6ft, so they assumed I should be with someone taller. But once they got to know him – they could see past something so shallow.
‘My favorite is when we meet someone and they look up at me and down at my feet and then look at him and make a weird smile.
Bridging the – height – gap! Darlene admitted she used to be scared she’d never find love because of her height
The pair, pictured, where friends for eight years before love struck. Darlene used to be married, but went through a divorce three years ago
‘They realize how tall I am without wearing heels.
‘To us, height is the least important factor as we are still attracted to one another and share the same values.
‘Strangers stare at us and friends have made remarks such as ‘I couldn’t be with someone taller’ but we just laugh it off.
‘We don’t see our height difference as weird as we are just two people who are in love.
‘Sadly, there is a stigma around height differences – especially in dating.’
Darlene admits to once feeling like she may never find ‘the one’ before meeting Matthew.
The personal trainers, pictured, admitted people sometimes give them weird looks, and often don’t realize they are a couple
Darlene, pictured with Matthew, said she ‘let go’ of the idea that the ‘perfect person’ was waiting for her
The couple, pictured, said short men have told them they feel ‘validated’ when they see their pictures online
She said: ‘I divorced three years ago and began to believe I may never find someone again. Dating is already difficult.
‘I had a hard time finding someone who wanted to date a woman as tall as me.
‘I discovered there is judgement from others who are trying to find a partner using dating apps.
‘There are so many variables to match with, and they think they have to find the “perfect person”. By setting height preferences they are passing on so many incredible people.
‘At one point, I began to accept I may not have the things I want such as a partner.
Darlene and Matthew on holiday. Darlene said people who leave out people of certain heights on dating apps are missing out on incredible people
The pair, pictured, fell in love in 2020 when Matthew took care of Darlene when she fell ill. Their relationship blossomed from there
The couple pictured at home this Winter. Darlene said she was faced with judgement on dating apps because of her height
‘I was willing to let “finding the perfect person” go and become a single mom by choice.’
In February 2020, Darlene fell ill and her friend of eight years, Matthew, cared for her.
Their friendship blossomed and they are now happily engaged despite Darlene being eight inches taller.
She said: ‘When we look at pictures of ourselves we see two people who are happy to be together but others may think we look funny.
‘When I post pictures of us short men comment they are so happy to see it and they feel validated.
‘The quality and value of someone have nothing to do with the length of your body.
‘I hope our story helps people understand the interests, personality and strength of character are much more important than how long their legs are.’
Darlene, pictured, revealed men sometimes hit on her in front of Matthew because they don’t realize they are a couple
Darlene’s own family were surprise she was dating a short men, because they had always pictured her with someone taller
Matthew and Darlene in 2020. The couple are long time-friends and have been together for nearly two years
Darlene said she doesn’t care about the height difference and that Matthew and her do not focus on it