Most Helpful Girl
Well, I'll tell you what I told a guy friend of mine who's 1.70 m, me being 1,80 m tall and still growing...
(he's 5.5 and I'm 5,9 feet according to google)
"It's not like I dislike short guys... But if I could choose who to fall in love with, I'd choose a guy taller than me. If he's 1,90 m or taller (6.2 feet according to google), that would be even better, as I love high heels and can hardly wear them...
Why is that so, you ask me? Well, because I'm taller than 60% of the guys I know. then 25% of those who are actually taller than me, only have 2 more inches (or less) than me, and I can hardly notice it. And only 5% of the guys I know are actually more than 3 inches taller than me (I only know 3 guys who are my age and taller than me...). So I feel like I'm "one of the guys", I feel totally "masculine", or even more masculine and intimidating than some of my guy friends (not to mention those guys who are slim, petite and totally cute... Ç_Ç )
So having a guy beside me who can make me feel feminine and sexy and girlie and with whom I feel comfortable being with and walking side-by-side is a super bonus, don't you think?
But you can't choose who you fall for, and although I'd like that, it doesn't really matter to me.
I'd be more comfortable and all that with a guy taller than me, but if he's shorter, I won't make him walk beside me with high heels just so I can feel better. I bet he'd be kind of intimidated as well..."
Now, directly answering you: yeah, that feeling of "being protected" is important... And, also, a taller guy is more attractive, because he looks more "proportional" (regarding the theories of ideal beauty), even if you don't think about it consciously.
(Nobody has an internal dialogue like: "oh, he's 8 heads tall, that's so perfect!"... Just like nobody thinks "oh, his/her eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows are so symmetrical!" when someone admires someone beautiful... yet, proportion and symmetry are attractive things.)
Hope that helped. Sorry for size...