Relationships come with many foibles, from learning how best to communicate to figuring out how to tolerate each other's bugaboos and idiosyncrasies.
But what are you supposed to do when your other half is just... openly lying about something easily provable for seemingly no reason?
That's the dilemma a woman recently posted to Reddit, and it's quite the interesting study of the male ego!
Redditor MonochromePassenger recently took to the Relationships subReddit, a forum for getting advice from others or just vent about the sticky situations with your significant other. And while her issue is certainly no earth-shattering problem, it's a rather interesting pickle.
Her post's title says it all:
"Is there a way that I [23 F(emale)] could address my boyfriend [23 M(ale)] lying about his height?"
"I guess this isn't a serious issue it just bugs me. I am 5'7''. I've been to doctors recently and been measured at 5'7'', sometimes 5'8'' depending."
"My boyfriend claims to be 5'11''."
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Our intrepid Original Poster (OP) goes on.
"He is at least an inch or two shorter than me. My estimation would be between 5'6'' and 5'7''. We met in person, not on a dating app, so I knew how tall he was from the get-go and it's not an issue for me and I've never presented it as an issue. All of my exes are also a spectrum of heights."
"He wanted to prove to me that he's 5'11'' so we stood back to back in front of a mirror, but I stood straight and relaxed and he tensed up his back and shoulders and stretched his neck as long as he could. His arms were stiff from standing so straight. And yes, standing like that he did look a bit taller."
"But that's not a natural height, right? If you have to put in that much effort, I feel like that's not your accurate height."
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Seems like a fair assumption.
She's 5'8" and he's one-two inches shorter so this seems pretty open and shut.
But wait, there's more.
"When we first started dating he said he thought I was like 5'4'' because he thinks he's 5'11''. When I told him I was 5'7'' his face dropped. But he's still adamant that he's 5'11''!"
"I think this is ridiculous."
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But then, her boyfriend took it to a whole other level.
"He brought up being 5'11'' the other day and also said he thought he had Marfan Syndrome. Which a 6'4'' ex of mine actually has."
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Marfan syndrome is a connective tissue disorder that, according to the Mayo Clinic, most frequently results in stature that is "tall and thin with disproportionately long arms, legs, fingers and toes." Which pretty much sounds like the opposite of OP's boyfriend.
We've all known a guy or two with a little size insecurity, but this is really taking it to new heights.
For her part, OP is just as surprised as we are, it seems.
"I'm just incredulous. How on earth does he still think he's pushing 6'?? Is there a way to bring this up in a way that isn't discrediting or hurtful because it does bother me and I don't see a reason to lie or be upset about being 5'7''."
Hard to imagine a way to address this lightly when someone is this insecure about something.
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OP's fellow Redditors were pretty much at a loss, too.
They were far more on the "tough love" bandwagon.
"At this point you just need to get a height chart from Amazon or a tape measure and actually measure each other because this is so silly. I mean can he still deny it when it's right in front of his eyes?" --MarxistMedia
"Tape measures are like $7 on Amazon and seem like the simplest solution. If he refuses to believe the tape measure he's got deeper problems." --HumgryHippo
"He's a grown ass man. If he has issues with his height HE needs to face those issues and insecurities and get over them. He's not a child so don't coddle him with aww baby ofcourse you're 5'11 . That's weird..." --INE232
"The thing is, he has a false belief (or pretends to) that he seems to have invested some ego/self-esteem in. So addressing it is necessarily discrediting, because it's correcting something false he insists is true, and hurtful, because it's telling him that no, a thing he values about himself isn't real."
"You can avoid being unnecessarily cruel, but I don't think you can avoid being unapologetically direct..." --kamikasei
Many other Redditors had no advice at all.
They just found this whole thing weird and hilarious.
"OK, this cannot be real, lol. He's really claiming to be 5'11" when he's shorter than 5'8"? 🤣 damn, are there really men like this?" --Medium-Refrigerator
"I sometimes think men don't realize that it makes a difference when they lie about obvious things to our faces." --the_umbrellaest_red
"Lol this is hilarious, I'm 5'6 and would never claim to be taller than I am. I'm short and it is what it is." --Omaiwame
And plenty of other women had experiences with male height delusion of their own to share.
"I'm a 6'1 woman and I once had an ex who was about 5'11 tell me I was definitely 6'3 because he was 6'1!"
"Dude. You're a big Maori dude. You don't have to be over 6 foot." --jigglealltheway
"I relate so much because I am also a tall woman (5'8) who dates men and they all have seemed to be so delusional about their heights." --ogburgah
"As a woman who manages a bike store and who can tell you your exact height and inseam on sight, I can tell you I see this all they time. Guys who are clearly not the height they state, but whose self delusion, shame or wishful thinking is so powerful they are willing to ask for and buy the wrong size in a 1000$ + bicycle so as not to burst their own bubble." --usernamesake
The lesson here seems to be that when it comes to the fragility of the male ego, some dudes really are head and shoulders above the rest.