A student, who is in a relationship with a man seven inches shorter than her, has hit back at online trolls who say she has “lowered her standards”.

Allie Marsh, 21, says she often receives negative comments because she is taller than her boyfriend Gustavo Hernandez, 25.

They share a seven-inch height difference, with Allie measuring 5’9” and Gustavo measuring 5’2”.

Allie, a university student, has been in a relationship with Gustavo, a customer service representative, since May and claims height has never been a problem for her.

The woman, from North Carolina in the US, said: “He’s in a band called Omerta and my friend sent me some of their music and I loved what I heard so I started out as a fan.

“I saw Gustavo and started plotting meeting him so I followed him on Instagram and he followed me back and it went from there.

“My friend told me he was only 5’2” so I knew how short he was before anything even happened.

“The first time I saw a photo of him, my first thought was I want him and the more I got to know him, the more attracted I became to him.

“Height has never been a standard of mine – my ex was shorter than me as well by three inches.

“Height is something that can’t be helped and from the beginning to this day, all I care about is that I’m in a healthy, happy relationship with someone I see a future with.”

The pair met after Allie became a fan of his band and hit it off on Instagram.

Since then, Allie has faced comments from trolls online about their height difference.

She added: “We’re in a long-distance relationship so we haven’t had too many opportunities to go out in public so we haven’t experienced any comments while we’re out and about.

“But, I have had to mute notifications online because some comments do provoke me.

“I purposefully keep the details of our relationship offline so there’s no way anyone is qualified to give an opinion about us.”

Allie said she has received many critics because of their height difference
Allie giving Gustavo a piggyback

She added: “We have a solid group of friends who are happy for us and that support our relationship so I’m never alone in the fight. He’s used to negative comments about his height and it’s not something that bothers him.

“I’ve never been inconvenienced by his height in any way and it doesn’t make him any less of a person – I wouldn’t change a thing about him.”

Allie is hoping to break the stereotype and show women it is okay to date shorter men.

She said: “Height doesn’t make a man – his actions and mannerisms do. I think women who only date taller men do a huge disservice to themselves because it closes them off.

“If you purely refuse someone’s advances because of their height, it’s proof of how shallow you are.

“People have said I’ve lowered my standards by choosing to date Gustavo, but it could not be more false.

“He’s shown me so much love and compassion since the day we met and has never taken me for granted. He thinks it’s badass that he has a girlfriend taller than him!

“I can reach the things that he normally can’t and it means there’s more of me to love as well.

“Half of the women he dated before me have been taller than him; people can run their mouths all they want but he’s not losing sleep over it.”