Is His Height Really a Dealbreaker?

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Name: Roy
Comment: Dear moxie and those who comment frequently,

Whats a short guy to do?

So here’s the deal, I’m 27 and independent. I am good-looking and look very young for my  age. I am a sharp dresser and funny and charming, people in general adore me. I have accepted these truths after being told this by a variety of people with no relation or bias to me. My confidence is the highest it’s ever been in my life, and I love to build on it every day.

My main insecurity, which does not bug me nearly as much as it used to, is that I am 5’3. I have had women who are attracted to me tell me that they wish I was taller. I feel like in those situations it is them feeling self-conscious about their height, not mine as I don’t mind taller women at all.

My question is: When I’m in a situation where a woman ‘wishes I was taller’ should I call her out on it and make it clear that her height does not make me insecure? Or am I better off looking for women who aren’t bothered by the difference? Or should I just stick to the shorties? Looking forward to your feedback.

Age: 27
City: Boston
State: Ma


A woman who tells you, to your face, that she wishes you were taller is not  a nice person. That’s the first thing you need to understand. She doesn’t really wish you were taller. She’s trying to make herself seem less shallow and obnoxious. You’ll never be taller than 5’3″. That’s just reality. They know that. It’s a fixed escape. By saying to you that they wish you were taller, they’re trying to gracefully (in their deluded mind) exit the conversation.

It doesn’t matter that her height doesn’t bother you. It matters that your height bothers her. She’s not genuinely concerned for the blow to your ego that you might take by being out with her. She’s contemplating the sneers and smirks she will receive by being seen with you.

Unless you have a number #1 sitcom on the air with a million dollar movie franchise behind you, no amount of charm is going to make up for your height. I’m not an advocate of repeatedly shooting out of your league. Should you swear off taller women? No. But they are not your audience. The “shorties” are.  I have to admit that I hear a disdain for shorter women in that sentence. That’s akin to a chubby woman saying she doesn’t like to date “fat” guys. Whether you like to hear it or not, the “shorties” are your target market.

I am a sharp dresser and funny and charming, people in general adore me.

Right, but do you understand that many of those people are probably being disingenuous? While I’m sure there are plenty of people who like you, just by being 5’3″ some people are going to naturally condescend to you thinking they’re doing you a favor. So don’t buy into all of that. That’s no different than the deluded women who go around saying how “everybody” think they look 10 years younger than they are. Most of them don’t. They’ve just been told that they do because people can smell their insecurity or need for attention. It’s not real.

I think a big part of your problem is that you’re taking all this feedback you receive and believing it. You said it yourself. People “adore” you. Orly? Don’t you think if that were the case then some of them would toss their personal biases a side and date you? You want to believe that your personality and charm should make people overlook the fact that you’re 5’3″. The problem with that is that that charm might not actually exist. You’re believing the hype instead of facing the reality of your situation. No good comes from that. The dangers to existing in an echo chamber where everybody tells you what you want to hear is that you end up believing that you’re something that you’re not. If you’re going to repeatedly gravitate towards people who swoon over your charm and personality, you’re going to continue to go up against what you’ve encountered. That being, a bunch of douchey women who pretend to wish that you were taller. Notice how they don’t say that they wish they were shorter. They’re making it about you. They’re telling you in a subversive way that they perceive you to be flawed.

Focus on women that are focused on you. Learn ways to meet women who don’t find your height an issue. That’s where you’ll have the most luck.



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25 Responses to “Is His Height Really a Dealbreaker?”

  1. Robyn Says:

    At least a shorter guy can wear shoe lifts and get a few inches taller without looking like he’s wearing higher heels – although being 5’5″ versus 5’3″ is still going to be much of the same challenge.

    When you’re a woman that is the best part of 6ft tall barefoot, like I am, there’s nothing that can “get you a few inches shorter”.
    I’ve had the same story in reverse – “I’d like/date you if you were shorter” – so many times I’ve lost count.

    All you can do is be the best version of what Mother Nature gave you, and hope that there just may be some one out there that will appreciate you “as is”.

  2. Parenting Says:

    To some degree i think this is an issue for all of us. Ive met hundreds of guys who wont date me because Im not whatever enough: not young enough, not busty enough, not pretty enough, not nurturing enough, you name it. I wish I had it so easy as to have just one shortcoming to zero in on.

    IMO the only right answer to such abnoxious comments as the ones the OP has been hearing is, “I completely agree. Similarly, I wish you weren’t such a mean spirited bitch.”

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Did they really tell you “you’re not busty/pretty enough”? Not that that’s impossible to believe but yeesh, you’ve sure met some assholes, then.

      Totally agree with Moxie that “I wish you were taller” is a really shitty thing to say, code for “I’m a shallow bitch and I don’t care that you know it.” It’s the same as saying, “If only you lost 40 pounds…” Have whatever preferences you want, but keep them to yourself, for Christ’s sake.

      • Parenting Says:

        Oh no, not to my face. I had one boyfriend call me boring, a couple of dates tell me I was “too tall” and for some reason a couple of my relatives who thought my small boobs were a big problem. Lol. Just seems like there is an assortment of reasons to reject me.

  3. UWSGal Says:

    This reminded me of this:

    If the OP is really that charismatic and radiates that much confidence, he should have no trouble with taller women. This is the problem most short guys have, lack of charisma and confidence, not really their height. Though of course who could blame them in our looks obsessed society. I dated guys shorter than me (i am 5’6”). If I was the OP I would definitely want to date a taller woman. You would want to average your height up for the sake of kids, imagine he gets together with a girl who is 4’9” or something, what will their kids look like?

    • sandra Says:

      Are you serious? Who care what their kids look like? Not to mention the fact that women do not reproduce out of charity for men to whom they are not attracted. One of he sicker comments I have ever read here.

      • UWSGal Says:

        Uhm, what? Who wouldn’t care what their kids look like?? Why would you want to genetically disadvantage your kids? Imagine he marries a woman who’s even shorter than him and they have a boy who is in turn even shorter, say 5’2”, and has to endure all this negativity all over again? People are super shallow and will stay that way. This is how undesirable traits get removed from the population over the long run. This is primal, biological thing. It will stay that way, that I will bet money on. So if the OP can get a taller woman to like him through his wit and charm and other compensatory traits (which is possible), he should absolutely go for it that’s what I am saying.

        • Parenting Says:

          Umh you know that we as a society rejected the consept of eugenics circa 1945, right?

          • UWSGal Says:

            You crack me up. What does one have to do with the other? Are you trying to argue with how genetics work, i.e. tall people have tall children etc. (I sure hope not) or with the fact that people to this day and age prefer tall, attractive, fit partners? Isn’t this precisely what the OP’s letter is about? Or what Moxie discussed a lot in prior posts on this blog? If you can agree with both premises, where exactly are you failing to make a connection: attractive people have it easier in life, attractive partner ups your chances of having attractive kids, ergo to ensure that your kids have it easier in life you should pick an attractive partner. Is this really such a groundbreaking revelation that needs explaining and a discussion?

            • Parenting Says:

              You dont understand why its bad to tell a person to marry tall so their children arent so short and have a shot in the world? Ok. In that case do you understand why its bad to tell a person of color to marry white so their children arent so dark and have a shot in the world? These physical characteristics are arbitrary and go in and out of fashion. There’s nothing inherently superior about being tall, blonde and blue eyed and not everyone is attracted to that anyway. Seriously?! Moxie said find your audience not jump on the eugenics train.

              • UWSGal Says:

                Ah ok i get it. It’s not that it isn’t true, it is that you don’t like the fact that its true and you think every person who points out that its true is wrong. Why didn’t you say so from the get go?

                “In that case do you understand why its bad to tell a person of color to marry white so their children arent so dark and have a shot in the world? ”
                I actually had a friend who was “a person of color” (asian) who said TO ME he married a white woman for that specific reason. Personally I stay out of these issues. But don’t think for a second that this is not what’s going on through people’s minds. It is. Again, just because you wish it was different doesn’t mean it is not the reality. Not much here to argue about.

                • KK Says:

                  Wow. Have you heard of something calsoled internalized racism?
                  A short peson marrying a tall person for the sake of future kids is the same basic idea, hatred of the self. And yeah, taller sons might face less discrimination, but is life better for taller daughters? And here is the thing: wouldnt ultimately children be happier raised by parents who self-accepting and who also know that the world is harder for certain people because of their height or weight or skin color.

                  • UWSGal Says:

                    NO i have not heard about it and this is not about race or racism. We all want what’s best for our children. We want best schools, best food, best healthcare we can afford, etc. Somehow stating that is not offensive. But wanting the best genes is? This is arbitrary and hypocritical. Yes, for my child I would want to create as much advantage in the world as possible, and that includes picking the best set of “genes” available and doing all available genetic testing to increase their odds of being healthy and yes, attractive too. YMMV, really…

              • Jesse Says:

                Really? Eugenics? So in your mind every woman who marries an intelligent man because, hey, he’s intelligent and wants her kinds to be smart too is practicing Eugenics? Do you know what Eugenics is? Because it isn’t that.

                If you believe it is, then every woman who ever turned down a guy for sex is practicing a form of Eugenics. Yes, If that was the criteria for Eugenics, then all women must be guilty, because every woman has denied some male some where the ability to procreate based on some subjective reason, a reason that in her mind made that male undesirable.

                So no, choosing for height, intelligence, good teeth is not Eugenics. If it was, then by definition all women would be evil. And that I cannot accept.

  4. KK Says:

    I gotta say that i am not sure short girls are the target audience. I know way too many short women who only want guys who are more than 6′.

    There are plenty of women who DON’T give a shit about height. I also think that being charming and funny gets you so far: just find your audience.

    • Myself Says:

      Yup, some of us don’t give a shit. We’re usually over average height for a woman and have the reverse issue….but seriously….is that the most important thing? A guy’s height? My gender amazes me sometimes with how vapid they can be…..

    • Steve from the city next door Says:

      definitely true. I am shocked at how many short women — 5’3″ and down who have told me I am too short…they need a tall man. I am 6ft tall.

      I have found tall women starting around 5’9′ or so don’t care about height…in discussing with one then GF we concluded that it was likely because they were so used to being the taller one… she often wore heels and was then a bit taller than me.

      Height is such an important thing for so many women…and I would argue most woman. Several years ago I went on tour known for its youngish singles….mine had about 20 guys and 10 women in the single 21 to 35 age range. All the guys 6’1″ and up hooked up on the tour, none of us shorter guys did. I had one shot when maybe if I had played my cards right I could have.

  5. Robyn Says:

    Re: the suggestions on marrying someone taller in the hopes that your children become taller:

    Just because your spouse is “tall”, you aren’t guaranteed that your children will be taller than one or both of their parents.

    There’s this thing called recessive genetics…

    My father was below average height for a man, and my Mom was taller than average for a woman, but not exceptionally tall (5’8″ – same height as my Dad). Many people were quite surprised when 4 of their 5 children ended up much taller than both of them (6′ to 6’2″) and one of the 5 (my sister) ended up being tiny versus her siblings and her parents (5’3″, very slim build, she weighs about 110 pounds soaking wet).

    But when you look at my grand-parents and their siblings & off-spring, you will see a lot of really tall folks & stocky builds, as well as short folks & very slim builds on both sides of the family.

    In my generation of the family,the “tall” gene appears to be the dominant one, but the “short” gene is still there – hence the close to 1:4 short:tall ratio described above.

    • UWSGal Says:

      I know it is actually quite fascinating how this works. I was recently “helping” a friend pick donor sperm (providing moral support really). They give breakdowns of eye/hair color/height and a bunch of other stuff going back 2 generations. Which I gotta doubt how exactly precise that could be (i mean do people really know how tall their grand parents were in their youth?), but if we take it at face value it was quite interesting. The guy she ended up picking was the “holy grail” – over 6” blond blue eyed, super cute. His whole family was all like that – except for one grand mother who was short and had dark hair brown eyes. And he had one sister who also inherited these traits, while all other siblings were like him. So, there is of course a possibility that kids conceive with his sperm will inherit those traits too, especially considering the mother’s genetics. You never know for sure which variation is going to play out, but you know the probabilities, and the probabilities are better with a taller person. But there are no guarantees.

  6. Nia Says:

    I am not going to sugar coat it: a lot of women (some unreasonably so: come on, petite pixies of the world!) would like a taller man. But like many physical preferences, this can be overlooked, or overcome.

    I would focus your search on openminded women, but to be frank, maybe not those over 5’5″, let’s say. This is NOT because no-one over 5’5″ would date you–I said ‘focus’ not ‘limit’. If there’s an amazing goddess who’s 6″, go for it. Just know it’s a long shot—the same way that a 22 year old with an “8 pack” is a long shot for 38 year old, on the edge of plus sized me :)

    Most women are 5’4″ or under. (I’m in the top 5% for women in terms of height, so 95% of women are shorter than I.), and that’s only a one inch differential. Only a very unreasonable woman is going to be upset over one inch. And many women are *under* 5’4″, meaning you’ve got 49% of the population to feel taller than :)

    I personally am pretty open in general. When I was younger and about 4 sizes smaller, I was a bit more open to dating significantly shorter men, because I felt that my more willowy silhouette balanced out the height differential. Now that I’m a size 16, my height of 5’10” in bare feet body makes me feel like Shrek next to a guy who is 5’7″ and 135 pounds.

    It’s really on the body type and overall frame. I like a rough “match”–he doesn’t need to tower over me and make me feel like a Disney Princess. (I mean, that guy is Jason Moama, and he’s taken). Right now my guy is 6″ and about the same weight as me, and that’s just about right. He could also be 5’9 or 5’8″ and I would be totally cool with that.

    I was engaged to a guy last year who claimed he was 5’9″ but in reality, he was 5’6″ at best. But to me, he was attractive and that’s all that mattered.

    A man who’s 5’9″ and stocky makes me feel more comfortable than a slender, toned 5’9″.
    But honestly, that’s my own deal. My own insecurities and stuff.

    There’s so many women out there—women aren’t a monolith. Everyone is different.
    Sure, a lot of women might say no, but it might be about THEM. In fact it probably is!

    So just keep being your awesome self and hone in on those women that are open to dating a same-sized or slightly shorter guy.

  7. Jacqui Says:

    This is dating in your twenties.
    Completely ignorant of what is important (no offence to anyone in their twenties, I was exactly the same at that age). All his good qualities will be snapped up as he hits his thirties.

    I wish he were ten years older.

  8. Margaret Says:

    Having a preference for certain traits, such as religion, hair color or height isn’t shallow, so all of you derisive types should stop throwing stones. As a 5’3″ woman, I strongly prefer men who are 5’9″ and taller. I think short men shouldn’t assume that we shorter women are fair game. I’m often inundated by contacts from short men with whom I have absolutely nothing in common, except height. I find that extremely annoying. It seems desperate, too.

  9. Speed Says:

    A huge number of people will select mates purely on characteristics such as education, looks, and so on. If it doesn’t already exist, it’s just a matter of time before “elite genes” dating agencies emerge.

    The only question, though, is: what are you getting by getting into an LTR/marriage a tall, smart, good-looking, “good-genes” person? Will this person be a great partner for you? Good parent? Maybe. Or maybe he/she will be an abuser, addict, sloth….you just don’t know.

    If looks, height, money, intelligence, etc. were all guarantors of good behavior, we wouldn’t see such high levels of dysfunction (suicide, depression, addiction, etc.) in even the most elite families (you can find one of the earliest researchers at Google X under a bridge in California nowadays, hooked on meth—you can “Google” it, ironically, to confirm that). Or if you like neuroscience, read “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you happy?”

    This is not to say that good qualities aren’t good. Better rich than poor, or attractive than ugly. But in a universe governed by randomness, they cannot possibly be guarantors. I think people are listing all these demands in their profiles—which are now even stretching into genetic background—because they are looking for guarantees. They want to take all the risk and uncertainty out of dating and, to a large extent, life. That’s not possible.

    Anyway, let me go scratch up some funds for “Speed’s Elite Genes Dating Service.”

    Who can argue with the market?

  10. Timothy Horrigan Says:

    It is interesting that the newer online dating platforms don’t let you specify your height (or your matches’ heights) as one of your basic data points— although people can and do still mention their height in their self-description. This is doubtless because about half the male population is below that magic 5 foot 10 number.

  11. Ann Says:

    I am amazed by how many in the comments section are just plain a$$h01e$.

    I’m 5’8″ and I dated a guy who was 5’2″.

    I’m very smart, and very giving and sweet (you can probably tell by the way I cursed everybody out lol), and those qualities are rarer than being taller than me. I realized early on that getting what I most wanted in a man would mean that I couldn’t focus on prioritizing societal stereotypes.

    It probably helps that I’ve always pretty much thought for myself (that’s because I’m SOOOOOOO SMAAAAAHHHHHT)

    I loved what Moxie said about how any girl who would say “I wish you were taller” is a nasty person AND a person who takes her uncomfortable feelings and puts them onto another person like there’s something wrong with them. If the OP is attracted to this sort of women, he needs to figure out why and fix it. Maybe he really is charming. I have no reason to doubt him. But he is going after a jerky, conformist type of woman. He should go for someone who is kind and thinks for herself.

    (I am too old for you, OP)

    Good luck

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