5ft 9in woman who towers over fiancé says the couple are constantly "stopped in the street" due to height difference

A 5ft 9in woman who towers over her fiancé says the couple are constantly "stopped in the street" due to their unusual height difference. Sam Espinal, 24, and fiancé Stephen Di Fede, 32, don't get a second glance when they're sat down together. But the pair regularly get remarks, stares and stopped when they're stood side-by-side due to Sam being six inches taller than her 5ft 3ins beau. People even stop and congratulate him on bagging a tall lass. The couple admit it took them both some time to get used to their height difference due to the social expectation for men to be taller than women. But now they claim they don't even notice it and encourage others to open their minds to people of all heights. Sam warned "turning people down because of their height can result in missing out on someone who might be your dream partner". The content creator and event planner, from Manhattan, New York, US, 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." Sam and Stephen met through work in October 2016, when she did an internship at the school where he worked as a teacher. Sam originally thought she could never date someone shorter than her - but eventually was drawn to Stephen. They started dating properly in February 2017. The pair - @stephnsammy on TikTok - became official the following September. Sam said at the start she told Stephen she didn't know if she could go ahead with a relationship - but her mind eventually changed. 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." But Stephen said the height difference "wasn't a big deal" for him. He added: "I've been short my whole life, so most women are taller than me. I came to terms with it a long time ago." It's rare now for Stephen and Sam to notice or be affected by the height difference - because it's their norm. They regularly post on TikTok and make jokes about the height difference, to normalise it. Stephen said it actually brings humour into the relationship and allows them to "poke fun" at each other - like when Sam has to grab something off a high shelf for him. But he said it's just "funny" for them - and aside from that they "don't really think about it". The pair got engaged in November 2022, after Stephen got down on one knee - and they plan to marry later this year. Sam revealed she won't be wearing heels to the wedding - although it's nothing to do with height. Stephen said: "I actually love it when she wears heels. I'm like: 'Wow, damn, that's a lot of beautiful woman.'" But Sam added: "I always wanted to be barefoot at my wedding, even before I met Stephen." Now the pair share their relationship to show people that height differences shouldn't matter. They say one of their TikTok followers reached out to tell them their videos convinced her to give it a go with a guy who was shorter than her - and now they're engaged. Stephen and Sam warned others they might miss out on their perfect partner because they're ruled out too early due to height differences. 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 said: "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."