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Only the Lonely

December 24, 2014

I'm a short guy and I need advice. I don't want a small paragraph's worth of advice, like you gave "Below Their League" a few years ago. I need advice beyond "Women like men taller than them, get over it!" I get it. I'm short (five foot two), and most women are taller than me. And women like tall dudes just like I like slender women. Fat women may have it hard, but at least they have their fans and their own sex-object abbreviation: BBW. But where can a short guy go to feel appreciated? Is there an abbreviation or a dating website for us?

Jesus Christ, I'm Lonely

"Below Their League," who wrote to me in August of 2010, described himself as a short, slender guy who was only attracted to tall, butch women. He longed to be held in the strong arms of a woman who could snap him in two—and he wasn't having much luck. This was the totality of my advice for him: "Most women prefer men who are taller than they are. It's a sad, unavoidable fact, BTL, one you'll have to accept (just as I had to accept that most men prefer women), and you'll have to search harder for the lady/lady arms of your dreams. Not much else you can do about it."

I think that advice is solid, JCIL, but I can see why it would be unsatisfying. So here are a few bonus paragraphs for you...

Some big, beautiful women (BBWs) resent their "fans," JCIL, aka "fat admirers" (FAs), as they find the attentions of fat fetishists to be objectifying and emotionally fraught. (Particularly when their "admirers" are struggling with shame and want to date them only on the down low.) But here's why fat women have their own sex-object abbreviation and their admirers have their own websites (both porn and dating): because there's no shortage of FAs. There are lots of guys out there who are into BBWs.

Now, there may be a few women with a fetish for short guys—women who aren't just open to dating short guys but filled with a panty-dampening, crazy-making lust for short guys—but there aren't enough of them to form the critical mass necessary to sustain even one website for short guys and the women who admire them. So it looks like you'll have to redouble your efforts at regular dating websites, JCIL, i.e., "search harder for the lady/lady arms of your dreams."

Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, took a look at the impact height has on the dating and mating success of the site's users. It probably won't surprise you to learn that taller guys have more sex—just one measure of romantic success—but it may surprise you to learn that extremely tall guys (six foot six and above) don't get many more "unsolicited messages" than extremely short guys. And then there's this: "Women six feet or taller are either less attractive to men or are considered too intimidating to message," Rudder writes. "[But] the data also raises the interesting possibility that these tall women are much more likely to sleep with a man who does approach them. Compare the 6'0" woman to her 5'4" counterpart: The taller woman gets hit on about two-thirds as much, yet has had slightly more sex partners."

The takeaway for you, JCIL: Try hitting on taller women.

My last relationship—abusive—ended 13 years ago. I've been single for the last 10. I enjoy my life! And I get to wake up in the morning happy, not afraid! However, I would like to share my life with someone. I have not been asked on a date in years—sad—but I go out to movies, dinner, etc., on my own. Do I have a list? Yes! My love should be happy, be self-actualized, be capable of communicating without violence, and have a sense of humor. I am physically fit, and although I'm not a beauty, I'm pretty enough! I snowboard and ride horses—I have lots of energy for 52.5! But is this it? Am I to be alone now?

Lonely And Seeking Someone

You may very well be alone for the rest of your life, LASS, but you're already doing everything I urge lonely people to do: You're getting out there and living your life, you're being yourself, you're doing shit, you're going places. Happy, active, and self-actualized people are more attractive and likelier to attract mates—so put up a few personal ads and see if there's anyone in your area who wants to join you for dinner, snowboarding, horseback riding, whatever. But more importantly, LASS, always remember this: It's better to be a happy, active, and self-actualized single person than a miserable, sedentary, and the-opposite-of-self-actualized-whatever-that-is partnered person.

I am a straight male who has never been in a romantic relationship. I am not a virgin, but every romantic relationship I've tried to pursue has ended in disaster. A few things you should know about me: While I am not a full-on clinical psychopath by a long shot, I am on that scale and do have psychopathic tendencies. I know this makes me sound like an asshole (and I probably am an asshole), but I am often the smartest person in the room. I wish this wasn't the case. Bottom line: I am extremely lonely. I have trouble relating to people, and they have trouble relating to me. I want to change how I relate to others, I want to be in a healthy relationship, and most of all I want to stop feeling so lonely, but I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't feel isolated. I don't even know where to start. Any guidance would be appreciated.

Alone And Afraid

You didn't mention seeking professional help, AAA, and maybe that's because you fear being smarter than the shrink in the room. But cognitive behavioral therapy is supposed to be an effective treatment for people with psychopathic tendencies. The goal isn't to change you or rewire your brain, as that's most likely impossible, but to change how you approach and interact with people. Also, AAA, a lot of people who are in relationships—even people who find it easy to interact with others—struggle with feelings of isolation. That's not uncommon. And there are tons of people out there who aren't psychopaths (or on the scale) who can describe their romantic histories in the same apocalyptic terms that you do. Get help, keep things in perspective, and borrow a page from LASS's playbook: Live your life, do shit, go places, even if you have to go alone for now.

I am a college student just trying to get through my senior year with some halfway decent grades and a smidge of sanity. As such, I have basically given up the social scene. I avoid sexual or romantic interactions. The problem is, while I recognize that I will have plenty of time for social stuff once I graduate (and some far better prospects available with a degree to my name), the rest of me is having trouble getting with the program. My weekends are a lot quieter and my wallet is more comfortable, but sometimes I can't help feeling lonely. Is there anything in your bag of tricks for this self-imposed hermit?

Losing Out Nearly Everyday

Masturbate daily, LONE, and remind yourself before, during, and after blowing those loads that your isolation is something you chose. It isn't something that was imposed on you by circumstance or height or mental illness—it's also a problem that will solve itself in six months. recommended

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Comments (124) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
What you on about, first letter writer?
A bad workman always blames his tools.
A Man is attractive to a Woman( IMO), if he's got some inner spunk/ sense of play.
Is good of heart. And knows how to enjoy her body. And let's her enjoy his body.
Stop even thinking of height. Stop it as an issue in your mind.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM · Report this
I think that last snippet of advice should be repeated: don't stop masturbating.

You really don't want the engines to freeze up with rust, so don't put yourself up on cinder-blocks. AND, don't get stuck with a single technique that will make you frigid with a partner...
Posted by Polyphemus on December 22, 2014 at 3:33 PM · Report this
seandr 3
LW1: Move to a short country? Get rich?
Posted by seandr on December 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM · Report this
AAA. See, I like you already. And I disagree with Dan. You can rewire ( some of) your brain. My suggestion? You really serious about changing your patterns. Doing some real inner work?
As Dan suggests. Do some therapy. Do psychotherapy though. Not with a Therapist who straight away gets you on drugs. One who allows Transference and counter-Transference to occur in the Therapeutic Relationship. One who will help you thru , in a real and human way..
As well. Go visit a Buddhist Centre. Learn to meditate. Learn about your mind. Your feelings. Your patterns.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 22, 2014 at 3:54 PM · Report this
I have recently been made aware that the female version of "what's your bra size" is "how tall are you". This is foreign to me as an average height male who has never had the subject come up in all of my years dating. The only thing about me that ever kept me from finding partners was a lack of self confidence, not my height. In addition, one of my friends is in the 5'2" range and he has zero problems with the attention of women.

Both JCIL and AAA seem to be suffering from a learned helplessness. I'm short/psycopathic so women aren't interested is just as easily applied to my dick/bank account isn't big enough. The pick up artist community is designed around preying and profiting on that specific insecurity in men that there is something fundamental about them that makes them undesirable to women (leaving a lot of collateral damage in women along the way).

In short, Dan's advice to LASS is exactly what these guys should do. Go do the things that make them OK with themselves, build some self confidence make them selves happy with who they are and their potential relationship partners will increase dramatically.
Posted by MonkeyFetish on December 23, 2014 at 6:27 PM · Report this
freesandbags 6
Have a Merry Christmas Dan. Great advice this year. Keep on taking over the world!
Posted by freesandbags on December 23, 2014 at 7:01 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 7
I am a shallow woman and I don’t find short men attractive right off the bat. But after getting to know them for a while, if they are good, kind, smart people who make me feel good about myself... height is no longer an issue.
Posted by Alison Cummins on December 23, 2014 at 8:55 PM · Report this
LW1-I just want to remind you of this. Wolverine, one of the most sexy, badass, and hardcore comicbook/movie characters is 5'2. How many women want to fuck the shit out of Hugh Jackman? Peter Dinklage is the breakout sex symbol of Game of Thrones. Comedian Brad Williams' sexual conquests are legendary. As long as you are confident, women will respond.
LW3-First stop making excuses for your dickish behavior. I'm also usually the smartest person in any room I'm in. However, just because you are smarter you don't have to be a dick about it. You might also find a group in your area that you are interested in such as history, living history, science, coin collecting, or the collected works of e.e. cummings. You'll be more likely to meet your intellectual equals there. Of course you might just find out that you are a total Sheldon.
Posted by bxtorr19 on December 24, 2014 at 12:42 AM · Report this
Psychopath is not a clinical term, there is no scale to be on. The term has been abandoned by professionals because it's so misunderstood and misused by the public. Instead they invented the term sociopath which has since also been abandoned for similar reasons. This actually happens quite a lot in psychology, the terminology is updated a lot more frequently than in most other sciences because everyone who isn't a psychologist keeps using it to try and sound smarter than they are.

What LW3 probably means is that he believes himself to have some form of personality disorder. Having a personality disorder doesn't make you Hannibal Lecter, most people with personality disorders live perfectly normal lives, and it's all always on a spectrum, but the key to finding a healthy relationship with himself (and thus a healthy relationship to others) starts by getting diagnosed. Illnesses of the mind are just like illnesses of the body, you need to know what you have in order to know how to treat it.

AAA: find a psychologist or psychiatrist that you can trust, you don't have to believe they are smarter than you, you just need to find someone you feel is competent and knowledgeable enough to help you. Then find whatever form of therapy or medication best helps YOU, and don't be afraid to try things that may not work.
Posted by Friendstastegood on December 24, 2014 at 1:08 AM · Report this

I'm married to a 5'1" tall guy and couldn't be happier, and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with his height. Develop your life, meet people who share your interests, and you're likely to find somebody who likes you for you and doesn't care how tall you are.
Posted by mlove on December 24, 2014 at 1:44 AM · Report this
sissoucat 11
@Alison Cummins

I avoid shorter guys because many of those I've met or have heard of, were aggressive, with anger issues ; maybe as a way to get more attention despite their height.

So it would take more than one meeting for me to evaluate a short guy and his actual temper.

But if he was an interesting person with no tyrannical tendencies, and who doesn't worry about his height any more than I worry about my B-cup bras ('the bigger the better' is not a value in my culture ; ancient aristocratic Roman women were berated as lowly commoners, or even as 'cowlike', if their breasts were too large), then I probably would.
Posted by sissoucat on December 24, 2014 at 1:53 AM · Report this
I don't think LONE's problem will resolve itself in six months. Self-imposed hermits who avoid socializing during their senior year of college do not magically transform into fully social creatures upon graduation.

And it is peculiar to expect a degree to open up a whole new world of dating possibilities. It isn't like a college degree--or any other arbitrary measure of accomplishment--flips a switch and suddenly makes a person markedly more attractive, or suddenly makes a hermit sociable.

Having said that, masturbating, and repeatedly reminding yourself that your isolation is self-imposed, is useful advice.
Posted by Functional Atheist on December 24, 2014 at 2:25 AM · Report this
LONE makes it sound like having a social life is an all or none proposition. Of course s/he should masturbate because anyone who wants to should whether or not they're in a sexual relationship or any other kind. That's not really the question or the answer. I'd advise him/her to pay attention to what Functional said above in 12. Not only will LONE not magically transform upon graduation, finding friends and lovers is going to become suddenly much harder. It's going to become harder to meet people to hang out with casually. It's also going to become more expensive.

The standard advice for people who are lonely is to find people you enjoy hanging out with and who enjoy hanging out with you. The standard advice for people who don't have much money is to do enjoyable things that don't cost much money. So: Meet people in classes and where you live. Invite them to campus entertainment type activities like the free movies, lectures, parties. Invite them to share meals at cheap diners. Study together or start conversations based on your opinion of lecturers or current events. If something sexual develops from there, that costs nothing more than the price of condoms.

(Dan seems to have assumed LONE is male, or there was something that indicated maleness that got edited out of the letter. With my condom comment, I've assumed LONE is not lesbian.)
Posted by Crinoline on December 24, 2014 at 3:46 AM · Report this
Ms Cummins - A quarter of a point for an interesting opening gambit. Were you implying correlation, causation, or neither?
Posted by vennominon on December 24, 2014 at 3:48 AM · Report this
I'm a 5'9" straight woman and was disappointed (in myself) when I found that I couldn't get past a guy being shorter than me.

I even dated a few - nice guys, all, but bending to kiss short-circuited something in me that regulates attraction. Time and time again, it was a too much of a turn-off for me to get over :-/

Maybe things would have been different with some short guy out there, but I couldn't make it work. Again - I was disappointed in the shallowness of my libido, but there it is.
Posted by mockingbird80 on December 24, 2014 at 4:08 AM · Report this
#8 - Yeah, but Hugh Jackman is CLEARLY not 5'2", and they obviously didn't get an actor that was actually 5'2" because...well, because they could get Hugh Jackman. So that point doesn't quite work.
Posted by DJDeeJay on December 24, 2014 at 5:49 AM · Report this
To JCIL - interested in dating outside your race? I'm in Toronto - there are loads of Asian ladies, very hot, and I can tell you - their boyfriends/husbands are often not much taller, if at all. My boss is 5'5" - from Asia (China/India/Japan..) - wife is same height and pretty hot. Good luck!
Posted by SlaterPS on December 24, 2014 at 6:08 AM · Report this
My 19 year old son is 5'2". His high school girlfriend was 5' 4". He's single now but seems to have girls who are interested flocking around him in college. Granted, it's not always easy and I worry about his height affecting him in the long run, but he's a great kid, lots of friends (most of whom are 6' and taller!), athletic, good personality, and since there is nothing he can do about his height, he just ignores it. Rather than online dating, where you are immediately judged by looks and stats, join a group or take a class- bookclub, bowling, hiking, cooking - you never know who you will meet! One thing I can suggest (not to sound racist, but) - Asian and Jewish women tend to be shorter (I'm 5' 2.5" and the tallest of most of my friends!)...
Posted by bookaday on December 24, 2014 at 6:09 AM · Report this
To JCIL - interested in dating outside your race? I'm in Toronto - there are loads of Asian ladies, very hot, and I can tell you - their boyfriends/husbands are often not much taller, if at all, than them. My boss is 5'5" - from Asia (China/India/Japan..) - wife is same height and pretty hot. Good luck!
Posted by SlaterPS on December 24, 2014 at 6:14 AM · Report this
JCIL, make the choice to go gay! Or bi!

Although gay and bi men are only a small percentage of the population, we are men -- and men a lot more into "types" and being out about it. Especially gay men.

There was once in my home town a monthly orgy just for very short guys (and their admirers, like me, a slightly short guy).

[for the humor impaired - I know being straight is not a choice; hope you find love JCIL, and the advice about Asia is true, I am slightly shorter than average and it's really a trip, so to speak, when I go to Asia and suddenly am taller than most other men; since I like short guys it's also exciting in more ways than just the travel]
Posted by delta35 on December 24, 2014 at 6:36 AM · Report this
Yep, being 6'4" is pretty good. Tall women love it especially, something about 'feeling smaller' = 'feeling more feminine/sexy' when around me.
Posted by ctmcmull on December 24, 2014 at 6:48 AM · Report this

Just for the record, the "official" height of Wolverine is 5'3". Hugh Jackman is 6'2".

Dinklage and Williams are certifiable little people at 4'5" and 4'4".
Posted by Hunter78 on December 24, 2014 at 7:52 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 23
@12: "Self-imposed hermits who avoid socializing during their senior year of college do not magically transform into fully social creatures upon graduation."

What a silly statement. Self-imposed hermits are usually better off when their reasons for cutting themselves off from the outside world expire.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 24, 2014 at 7:52 AM · Report this
nocutename 24
I have never found that old canard about short men being assholes to be true. In my experience assholes come in a variety of heights. I'm a straight woman, 5'6" and I've dated men ranging in height from 5'3" to 6'5". If I could order traits off an a la carte menu, well, I'd probably order up a man to be 5'10"-6'1" tall (because I like to wear heels and don't love towering over my date), but honestly there are so many more things I care about in a person, that the "perfect" height is pretty much just so much cherry-on-topness. Some of the sexiest men I've ever dated have hovered around my own height, and one was slightly shorter--like a half inch--than me.
Besides, I have this weird phenomenon in which when I'm talking to someone, looking directly at his/her/their face, I perceive him/her/them to be exactly my height.

So if you encounter a woman who writes you off because of her height, shrug and move on. Many will not, as long as you don't present yourself as defective because of it or try to over-compensate for it by being an arrogant asshat. FWIW, I'd totally do Peter Dinklage, and I've never seen Game of Thrones. But I loved him in The Station Agent.
Posted by nocutename on December 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM · Report this
ChairmanOfTheBored 25
JCIL - you need to short circuit (pun intended) the wiring in your brain that is telling you that you are inferior or undesirable. As many posters have already said.... self-esteem is what matters. Most healthy women are immediately turned off when their date (or the guy hitting on them) immediately makes it obvious that he is insecure....whether its height, money, intelligence, sense of humor....etc. Go do something that makes you feel like a badass....challenge another fear that you have (skydive, or drive a race car or something)... and maybe you'll start down a path toward knowing you ARE a badass and aren't just faking it to get girls. Then your height will matter not
Posted by ChairmanOfTheBored on December 24, 2014 at 8:51 AM · Report this
Fortunate 26
Delta is, albeit jokingly, correct. As is Slater.

I totally am into short guys. My partner is several inches shorter than me, and looking over my dating history prior to that at least 75% of the guys I have dated have been shorter. I'm 5'9", so not tall but not short, just average, which means a shorter guy than me would definitely be considered short in general.

I never even realized I was into short guys until my mother asked if I was dating one of my friends. I told her he was straight and asked why she thought we were dating and she said, "he's your type, dark hair and short."

It's kind of shocking to realize that your mother has figured out your type before you have.

However, since then I have dated a fair number of Asian and Latino guys. A lot of people assume that I have a thing specifically for Asians, but the truth is I have a thing for short guys with dark hair, and it just so happens that a lot of Asian and Latino guys fit that description.

So if you are a short straight guy and you are OK with an even shorter woman they are out there, entire continents full of them, and they probably are far less concerned about your height than you are.
Posted by Fortunate on December 24, 2014 at 8:56 AM · Report this
Anyone else think AAA probably isn't a psychopath and probably doesn't have psychopathic tendencies either? A lot of people who feel isolated seem to think they're psychopathic because that's a trendy thing these days, but don't know what it really means. Feeling extremely lonely is not compatible with actually being psychopathic. If their relationships ended badly it could be due to many reasons.
Posted by TheLastComment on December 24, 2014 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays all! Dan's advice for AAA is spot on, however, I think he should have taken up the 'smarter than everyone in the room' issue. Dude, you may *think* you're smarter than everyone you meet but trust me, you're not. There are a lot of truly brilliant people out there but most of them don't go around broadcasting their intelligence to all and sundry. Keep in mind that there are many types of intelligence and while you may be an off the charts genius (kinda doubtful), you can still make it a point to appreciate the variety of intelligence in the world and the different perspectives people bring to the table. It may be a lot less lonely if you step off the self-constructed pedestal you're standing on.
Posted by jujubee80 on December 24, 2014 at 9:50 AM · Report this
As a 6'2" woman, dating on OKCupid was sometimes challenging, but I was always impressed by the men shorter than me who were eager to date me (because they were so few and far between). I've ended up with a great guy, 2 inches shorter than me who jokes that he has 4 inch "ego heels." It's all about confidence, LASS. Most taller women, like most shorter men, realize that height is a superficial requirement that people tend to over-emphasize, and if we ruled out people based on height, we'd be glossing over swaths of great people. Good luck!
Posted by 74Reasons on December 24, 2014 at 10:09 AM · Report this
AFinch 30
Happy Holidays to the commentariat. All the advice is good, particularly for AAA. Newsflash: we're all somewhere along a DSM diagnostic spectrum somewhere.
Posted by AFinch on December 24, 2014 at 10:11 AM · Report this
As a 6'2" woman, dating on OKCupid was sometimes difficult, but I was always impressed by men who were shorter than me who messaged me (partly because they were so few and far between). I've ended up with a great guy, 2 inches shorter than me who jokes that he has 4 inches "ego heels." It's all about confidence LASS, and I think that most tall women, like most short men, realize that height is an arbitrary and superficial standard that people use to date; if we used height as a barometer of who to go on dates with, we'd miss swaths of great people based purely on statistics. I think you need to feel confident and find someone who's confident enough that they don't care how tall they, or you, are. Good luck!
Posted by 74Reasons on December 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Right. Short men aren't *just* unattractive, they're also "Napoleonic," aggressive. Sheesh. Add that to a man with a small dick, and you have a recipe for a guy very few women want. But women are, in my experience, a lot more skilled at making excuses for their physical preferences than men are. A man may grunt crudely that he's only interested in a slender but big-boobed woman, while a woman will lie that if a short, poorly-endowed man has "confidence," or, as men used to say, a nice personality, then he can get all the ladies he wants.

Ah, pure nonsense. I think women are *far* more motivated by appearances than men are. While we have a porn genre for every female body type, age, and race, all the male actors are young, around 6' tall, hyperfit, and have giant dicks. There's much less variation in male models than in female models. Is this because the male porn producers invite the assumed male viewer to always see himself in the video-game-like parody of a male sex actor? Or because the rapidly growing market of female porn consumers always demand the same male look? It's a mix, I'm sure, but from what I hear from women friends about their physical preferences, I'm inclined to think the latter matters more and more. (Female-produced hetero porn also has the same homogeneity of male body types, while gay male porn has a very wide variety of male body types)

Of course there are other body types + gender orientations that have a very small number of people attracted to them (I feel you, very tall women), and that does not in any way reduce the limits faced by short men.

On the aggressive short men: when tall jock-type men are aggressive, I notice that many women first call them assholes, then go sleep with them. Being tall and aggressive is hypermasculine, a turn-off to some but a serious fetish for many women. But when short men are aggressive, it's annoying and comical to most women (viz this comment thread). I think many men have some aggressive tendencies, but women experience and interpret aggressive behavior in tall vs short men very differently.
Posted by wylbur on December 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM · Report this
My brother is, I believe, 5' 3" and has gone only a few months without a girlfriend or wife in the past 40 years. Some were taller than him, some shorter. He is really smart and has a good sense of humor and has had a good profession for all of his adult years.
Posted by Violet415 on December 24, 2014 at 10:30 AM · Report this
nocutename 34
Sometimes we're all lonely. I hope all the letter writers in this week's column find what they're looking for in the coming year. And you, all you SL readers, whether of the Commentariat or the lurkers, and Dan, and all the staff at Slog, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Joyous All The Things!
Posted by nocutename on December 24, 2014 at 10:35 AM · Report this
You know, JCIL, the answer to "there's no web site for that" is to create one. It's not that hard. Who knows, you might start something and create that elusive sex-object abbreviation! :) SHM (short, handsome men?)
Posted by infidel on December 24, 2014 at 10:42 AM · Report this
As someone who has worked professionally with college students at both ends of the process - admission and graduation - I've found that one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to establish now the life habits you want to have later. College trains one to think in terms of hurdles to be overcome - "after this paper/exam/semester/year, things will be different" - and someone who can rationalize that in college will have a very easy time applying the same logic to graduate/professional school or to the early, ladder-climbing phases of a highly competitive professional life. LONE may be an exception thanks to his/her particular professional plans or an unusual level of self-awareness, but college-age kids fall into this trap of endlessly extendable deferment all the time.

There is no easier time to socialize than when your circumstances regularly put you into social settings, e.g. classes and communal dining and all that wonderful/miserable collegiate stuff, and to pass up on that chance for social connection and social learning is to miss an opportunity. There may be a cost in terms of taking one less class or settling for a B, but friends, romances quick or lasting, kindred souls with whom to share inevitable post-college growing pains, and the ability to scale one's ambitions are much more valuable takeaways. Work less, have more fun.
Posted by Alphie on December 24, 2014 at 10:45 AM · Report this
ShifterCat 37
LASS, here's an important piece of advice that I'm surprised Dan left out: try doing some of the asking yourself. It will mean having to learn to handle romantic rejection... but that, frankly, is a skill everyone should learn. By choosing the partner you want and asking them yourself, you increase the chances of dating someone you want, rather than dating someone who happened to notice you.

Also, (assuming you're a straight woman) abusive men tend to look for women who act "traditionally feminine". By taking the initiative, you'll weed more of those guys out.
Posted by ShifterCat on December 24, 2014 at 11:23 AM · Report this
JCIL stop making being short a piece of your identity. Just stop. I know that seems weird, or even impossible, but it's the only way. People sense that insecurity. Learn to make it as unimportant as say, your hair color. I know how this feels, from being a slightly overweight teen. Carrying around an extra 25lbs as a 16 year old sucked beyond belief and since I was 16, it defined my whole identity. Now I get technically it's different because I could of course gone on a strict diet and what not, but why? Every woman in my family has a Kardashian body. I was going to be fighting a losing battle. It took a good 6 months, but I learned to see myself differently. Once that 25 lbs stopped being a focus of how I looked, I stopped seeing it. So did everyone else, or at least I perceived it that way way. Two of the sweetest and most popular guys in my high school were 5 feet tall. One is even in the final scene of the movie Singles, picking up a girl on the plane. It's all a matter of perspective, and you have to change yours. Also, why would you want to be accepted in a fetish sense, if you are really lonely? That's all fun and good, but you are just reinforcing the "shortness is a huge piece of my identity" thing that I think has you stuck. Being short is not a flaw. I am little, but not slender, the word you used. I am not flawed because my body isn't one you might like. You are not flawed because yours is a body that some women might not like. Just a comparison for a little perspective. Also, I don't sense a real chip on your shoulder, except maybe a little jealousy of overweight women:)that was a joke. So not being a dick should work in your favor:) Just being yourself and meeting someone nice who would fall in love with you and never really think about the fact that your short is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE!! Dan says hit on taller women. I say stop seeing yourself as short, and see yourself as 5'2" or whatever you are, and then start hitting on everyone.
Posted by Haven on December 24, 2014 at 11:27 AM · Report this
And happy holidays everyone!!!
Posted by Haven on December 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM · Report this
@32.. Not sure anyone is suggesting anyone getting " all the ladies he wants"..
Of course, tall attractive men are tall attractive men.. Not a whole lot of those around, when you look..
Do Women really worry more about the physical? I've never thought so.
A man who has a rich inner life, enjoys his passions, his interests, looks after his health, enjoys himself as in is fine with his own aloneness, hAs a sense of play... As well as being kind and empathetic- these qualities are what I find attractive in a man.
I've fallen for some physically different men in my life. When I look back the really good looking taller ones had the most work to do on themselves. Because they thought being physically attractive was all they needed. And initially yes, these kinds of guys get the attention.
Hope you guys have a relaxing time over the holidays..

Posted by LavaGirl on December 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM · Report this
actually, LONE, you're not thinking very clearly. college is the last best chance you have for lasting social relationships - they are exponentially harder to find outside of a nice, structured, social environment like college. you meet coworkers - but it's not particularly common to develop a lot of friendships that way. and......that's kind of it. so staying out of the social scene in college because you think you're going to have "plenty of time" afterwards and "much better prospects" with a degree? not only pretentious, but rather stupid.
Posted by me2 on December 24, 2014 at 2:05 PM · Report this
@40 of course you're right, I should have written "all the laydeez..." to make my snark clearer.

Re "tall, attractive" men being rare, well, my sense is that tall is the main part of what most women consider attractive.

More to the point, all mating is a numbers game.* Of course hetero short men can find a woman willing to have sex with them, eventually, but it's a lot harder for short men than for men closer to the median male height (5' 9.5"). Pickups & one-night-stands are largely out for us because in the bar/club/loud party scene, we can't get that first bit of attention, so we are -literally- overlooked. Online dating is also a fail bc we'll get filtered on height. And most friend-referrals are prefaced by "he's so sweet. ok, he's kind of short, but he's fun, really!"

* IIRC, OkCupid found that women basically considered 1" of height equal to $20K in income. So, all else being equal, a guy 5'6" would need to earn $70K more than a median-height guy to be equally attractive.

So sure, we can find partners by shared-interest links, &c., and over the last decades, I always have, eventually. But relative to normal-height men, it takes us a lot longer. We have many fewer methods for finding someone, and we have many fewer choices of interested women.

Props to @24 for dating shorter men.
Posted by wylbur on December 24, 2014 at 2:35 PM · Report this
@42 with friends like those..
So you think you're less of a Man , cause of your height?
Like, as a post menopause woman, I'm " supposed" to just like be a super miserable old thing whose sex is all dried up and I should just shut the fuck up.. Yeah, well..
Sorry that sounds really dreary and boring and they can stick their
Prejudices right up their....
And you should just do the same. It's all in the mind.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 24, 2014 at 3:31 PM · Report this
Merry Christmas, Dan the Man, and fellow bloggers!!

I'm with @6 freesandbags: Dan, keep on taking over the world!

Oh, Dan--such spot on bullseye advice for LASS--thank you and bravo!! LASS--congratulations--you got over the hard part. Now, go out and really celebrate your life. Be happy, healthy and free. This is not revenge.

This is simply taking care of yourself. I know---I was there once, too (and many of Dan's regular readers already know). You GO, girl!

@34 nocutename: Happy holidays and big hugs right back atcha, nocute!
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 24, 2014 at 5:41 PM · Report this
Merry Christmas and Happy Summer Solstice, LavaGirl! Hang ten!
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 24, 2014 at 5:42 PM · Report this
AAA sound like he has some form of autism or Aspergers. Extremely smart, but having difficulty in personal relationships fits Aspergers to a T. My partner has Aspergers, and while he's generally "normal", he also has difficulty with personal relationships and is almost always the smartest person in the room.
Posted by JY on December 24, 2014 at 8:04 PM · Report this
JCIL: I am 5'7" and I love short men. Not as in, I'm OK with dating guys who are shorter than me. As in, I actively prefer and often pursue guys under 5'6. It doesn't even matter if they're slim or heavy, it's the height that I love.

People keep saying "your height doesn't matter," but you know that it does. Women are just as shallow as guys are, and I know a lot of women who just will not date a guy who is shorter than they are. It's baffling to me, but then again, I just am not attracted to guys over 6'0", so, whatever I guess? The point is, yes, some women will reject you for being short, and some women will accept it as "an acceptable flaw." You want a girl who will find your height attractive, endearing, and sexy. I hear you. We exist. Don't lose hope.

I wish I could give you better advice, but in the short-term I'd suggest personal ads (your local indie paper or Craigslist, depending on the size of your city) and the kink/fetish community, if you're into non-vanilla. And if you're on OKCupid, I'd suggest putting it right out there in your proflie -- "I'm a shorter guy and I'm looking for a taller woman who finds my height attractive, not an obstacle to overcome." Best of luck to you, JCIL.
Posted by she_never_did on December 24, 2014 at 9:08 PM · Report this
AAA, I have a lot of experience with people who tend to be the smartest person in the room and people who tend not to be only because they hang out with lots of other smart people. And... who cares? Stop focusing on that. It is so irrelevant in adulthood. Raw intelligence is useful, but it's only one small piece. In a room full of people every single person there knows something you do not. What that is will vary. Talk to them and try to find out. It's about what interests people have.

And yes, it can be a problem when people can't understand the topics you want to talk about. But again, that's not just an issue of intelligence, but of individual talent, experience, and education. Sometimes I can't talk to somebody about a particular topic if they don't have the math skills to follow. Sometimes people can't talk to me about a topic, because I do not have sufficient musical training to follow. But it's not that hard to find something to talk to a person about that you can both discuss. And if you try to find out what other people know about, steer them into their strong topics, you might learn all sorts of fascinating things.

I think people get too pressure in childhood to value themselves based on intelligence and grades (or sometimes athletic ability, which is very different, but causes similar issues), and they don't spend enough time learning to be compassionate or how to value other people. But these are skills you can work on. You're smart, so you have an advantage when it comes to working on it. And even if you are somewhere on a spectrum with psychopathic tendencies, it does not mean you can't improve these skills. You totally can. Get a therapist, work on it, and don't expect instant results. But don't think that you can't.
Posted by uncreative on December 24, 2014 at 10:16 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 49
vennominon @14 — not sure! I don’t feel shallow (who does?) but putting so much emphasis on first impressions is undeniably shallow. But maybe I’m just humblebragging because my point is that my first impressions give way to an actual multidimensional relationship with a human being. I have women friends I initially dismissed as uninteresting because of the way I interpreted their looks, and I had to eat crow as I learned to know them better and discover that they were waaaay more interesting than I am. And there were those male colleagues I thought were so attractive over the phone, who I dismissed as uninteresting when we met and I discovered they were short, then who after two days had me really really jealous of their wives.

Looks are a ticket to an introduction. They aren’t the only ticket, but they are one. If your looks ticket doesn’t get you introductions to a wide range of people then you need different tickets. A lot of guys with limited looks tickets complain resentfully that the only way they will be able to get the attention and interest of a partner is with fabulous amounts of money, but this just isn’t true. There are other tickets. They take patience, they take work. It takes a while for someone to notice that you’re interesting and considerate so you need to be in situations where people have the time to notice. Those situations are your ticket.
Posted by Alison Cummins on December 25, 2014 at 9:43 AM · Report this
1. Good advice. If you sign up for an online dating profile then be completely honest about your height. Going on a date with a guy who says he's 5'8" and realizing he's shorter than my 5'5" just pisses me off because it's a blatant lie and I assume he's neurotic in some way.

2. Also, take a look at your hobbies and see if they attract the sort of person you're interested in.

3. Definitely get yourself to a professional. You may be intelligent but you're apparently not so much so that you recognize the value of empathy and social skills. Unless you're really lucky you're going to hit a wall if you are unable to respect and relate to others.

4. I'd recommend limiting your social activities; if you're getting lonely then you probably have time to grab a drink with a friend you only see once every few weeks. (Or see a FB.) It's fine cutting back but at least you don't turn into a complete hermit and will be able to ease back into being more social later.
Posted by Big Hug Mug on December 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM · Report this
The vibe I got from JCIL's letter was that he really wanted to say:

"Tall men get to have all the casual sex they want. It's not fair! I'm entitled to have lots of sex with goddess-like models too! I should have the right to be every bit as shallow as they are! Don't tell me to get used to it. I don't WANNA get used to it! I want my own website. And I don't want to actually have to actually be nice to women I want to be appreciated just the way I am! I don't want to bother with all that stuff about acting confident and taking an interest in her as a person or developing personality traits that she might find attractive after she's gotten past my height."

Now I could be off base with that, but it's the vibe I caught when reading between the lines. I say that because if JCIL had picked up his head and looked around, he might have noticed all the short guys out there in terrific relationships getting plenty of sex.

Still, I feel sorry for him enough to offer him this advice:


It's a more powerful aphrodisiac than height and good looks. Go out and make lots of money. Then start asking taller women out for expensive dates.
Posted by Crinoline on December 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM · Report this
What exactly does Dan mean by "it's also a problem that will solve itself in six months"?
Posted by wayne on December 25, 2014 at 1:10 PM · Report this
@52 The letter writer claimed to be in self-imposed social isolation while finishing school, and is almost done with school. So, when the letter writer graduates, presumably in May, then the letter writer can be social again.
Posted by uncreative on December 25, 2014 at 2:49 PM · Report this
Mako&Muldrow 54
@51: "Money. It's a more powerful aphrodisiac than height and good looks." So funny!

You know what else is a powerful aphrodisiac? A great sense of humor. Being truly useful around the house - or garage - or garden - or kitchen. Being kind, thoughtful, loyal... The list goes on.

Basically, regardless of height, or IQ, or whatever, these letter writers should try to cultivate the character traits and habits that would make their potential mate(s) value their friendship and then want to invest in them as partners. It actually works.
Posted by Mako&Muldrow on December 25, 2014 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Love, kisses and hugs to you Grizelda..
Boxing Day here.. The weird and wonderful energy all done for another yr.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 25, 2014 at 2:59 PM · Report this
@54, and to be really really good at giving foot massages. And not talking too much. Being a fabulous cook and lover. Geez. Many many skills that one can have that height has nothing to do with.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 25, 2014 at 3:05 PM · Report this
Crin [51],

Excellent. Truth!

Of course, it's interesting so many women confirm tallness is important to them.
Posted by Hunter78 on December 25, 2014 at 6:21 PM · Report this
shurenka 58
JCIL: The vast majority of people have to struggle with at least one characteristic, physical or otherwise, which is a turn off to many potential dating partners. Whether that's being overweight or short, having a mental illness or a physical handicap, having no money or no sense of humor, having a small penis or small tits, having an STD or an uncommon fetish, etc. And on the flip side - there are some people who will be more attracted to you because of that trait. Or for whom it will not matter. Personally, I can say as a woman I prefer partners around my height - aka "short" guys. Though it doesn't make a huge difference either way.

Be glad your "potential turn off" is one that is easily recognizable. This means that you aren't going to waste time with any partner who adamantly will not date short(er) guys. Whereas, for example, someone with a strange fetish will probably have to invest significant time with a potential partner before they can know whether that person is a potential match or not.
Posted by shurenka on December 25, 2014 at 6:50 PM · Report this
Gou Tongzhi 59
If LW1 is still reading this: I am 5'4. My girlfriend is 5'11, blonde, lean-legged, and very busty. Yes, I'm lucky. But she thinks she's lucky to have me! Yes, there is a huge stigma attached to being a short guy. But there are women who are attracted to personalities and brains. Take care of your body. Eat healthy. Exercise. And be charming.
Posted by Gou Tongzhi on December 25, 2014 at 7:29 PM · Report this
"...Often smarter than anyone in the room..."

What's that got to do with anything? If you think social interaction involves nonstop discussion of fermats theorem or something then maybe you aren't as smart as you think you are. Just try to relax and enjoy social situations without dwelling on what a tortured genius you are.
Posted by chi_type on December 25, 2014 at 10:43 PM · Report this
I note that seandr was ahead of me in 3 when he suggested that JCIL get rich.

Now turning my attention to AAA who is often the smartest person in the room. I've noticed that it's often the smartest people who don't realize that there are different sorts of intelligence, but it ought to be obvious that it's possible to be great at math and bad at music, great at vocabulary tests, terrible at poetry. A lot of times, people use "smart" to mean an approach to learning, more of an analytical one as opposed to intuitive. This can be used to your advantage.

Think of a few people you've noticed who are good at relating to people. Think of them as "geniuses" at putting people at their ease. Then with cold calculating intelligent analytical ability, notice what they do. Notice how they ask about other people, remember what's going on in their friends' lives. Notice how they give compliments, how they remember people's favorite foods and serve them. (A memory is part of being smart, right?) Notice conversational tricks. Analyze what went wrong with those previous disastrous pursued relationships, and don't make the same mistakes. At least at the beginning, you don't need to BE kind as much as you need to ACT kindly.

This might sound like I'm encouraging the psychopath in you, and maybe I am, but maybe I'm questioning that diagnosis. (Was it given by a professional, or did you read a few magazine articles and self-diagnose? It would seem that a professional diagnosing would also be giving therapy.) From reading the original letter, I (not a professional) am seeing a number of other possibilities including a spectrum disorder, a personality disorder, depression, really the whole gamut of psychological diagnoses.

With every letter, we're limited only to the information given. With AAA's I'm finding that more frustrating than most. Those romantic relationships he pursued that ended in disaster, I know that in my younger days, "disaster" would have meant "didn't end the way I would have preferred." There was really nothing disastrous about it. I was embarrassed and disappointed, but that was about it. (This tendency to exaggeration is common to teens and early 20s.) I hope AAA will comment and fill us in on some detail.
Posted by Crinoline on December 26, 2014 at 6:03 AM · Report this
Ms Cummins - No disagreement. And at least you didn't, as some people might have done, say it in order to be contradicted.

This backs into one of my points of non-assimilation. I have no particular stake in whatever height opposite-sexer women tend to prefer or make a dealbreaker - at least no stake until it affects the way gay men are treated by society based on a point that plays out entirely differently for us. Height is a very minor point now, but it serves as an example of the type of thing I mean. If I had time now, I'd go into the quasi-legitimate complaint of anti-porn feminists that gay porn often feminizes one partner.
Posted by vennominon on December 26, 2014 at 6:07 AM · Report this
I've been dating a guy for over a year who's on the shorter side, and I hardly ever think about his height. When we first met he approached me, and his inner confidence was evident. As long as you continue to exude confidence and remain true to yourself, your height will be the last thing on a woman's mind.

As for AAA, there are plenty of women who are equally intelligent (maybe not in the same ways as you, but who wants to be with someone who's just like themselves?) When you meet a woman you feel a connection with, listen to what she says, ask her questions to keep the conversation going. If you only think, "I'm smarter than she is" then eventually you're going to place yourself above her, and she's going to feel that imbalance in the relationship, and she'll leave. Only think "If I turn the potential down for anything to come out of this, I could be missing out on an amazing chance to learn something from someone, and to grow as a person"
Posted by Bek bek on December 26, 2014 at 7:40 AM · Report this
Philophile 64
I usually agree with Crinoline's pov but not this week. What could a lonely shortie do to improve his chances of getting a date? About the same as a plain Jane. Yes, get a better job, especially if below median income in the area. But I think that improving social skills and sex skills is generally more effective. AAA could even take a class if he has trouble with social systems analysis; I've met lots of smart people with blind spots about basic social contracts. Game theory and econ exist at the university level, but I'm sure there's negotiation and general business/social classes offered in any large community. I've only heard about more basic social classes (where you learn to show interest in others' expertise and lives, practice eye contact and approach etc) offered for the developmentally disabled, though. For sex skills, straight guys should forget everything learned from mainstream porn, watch things like Mary and Jack's hardcore love story instead, learn the basics of female anatomy and sex response in Scarleteen, and talk to female friends about what they like in a lover. Then when you get a chance to work with a lover in real life, you won't have to rely on trial and error based on a porn repertoire created by angry lonely guys to score a second bedding. Instead, hopefully, you can learn how to verbally negotiate sex, learn what your particular partner needs, and avoid your partner's big turn offs.
Posted by Philophile on December 26, 2014 at 8:45 AM · Report this
Philophile 65
@49 Alison - Awesome post. Brutally honest as always. And so clear.

When deciding whether to sort someone into a sex partner, looks are most important to me if it's immediate. If I'm not very lonely and looking for a quick lay, then I'm most focused on the personality and possible friendship. Friends with benefits are some of the best lovers.

I think it's different with hetero women and men because a) more men than women stop sex after they orgasm and b) men ask for or initiate more difficult or risky sex moves than women. So women need to look for a good personality on a good looking body for good sex. Social skills matter more for our orgasm in this culture.
Posted by Philophile on December 26, 2014 at 9:13 AM · Report this
gueralinda 66
Haven't read the comment thread so forgive me if I'm reposting somebody.... for the short fellow - I have a little advice. I happen to be married to a guy who is exactly the same height I am - 5'4". He is from another country, one where people are generally speaking quite a bit shorter than Americans. I've dated many short men (because I have a thing for guys of this nationality) and it was never a problem for me if a guy was my height or a bit shorter... but I will admit that I tried to date a guy who was only about 5'1" and just couldn't do it. It was more than just height - he was also very slender, clean-shaven, and lightweight and something in my head refused to see him as a grownup and kept thinking of him as a child. I didn't want to - he was cute and sweet and I'd have liked to date him, but my mommy-brain was involuntarily activated and I just couldn't see him as a sex object. My husband, although short, is also stocky and muscular and has a beard. If you have the option, try enhancing your masculine characteristics by putting on a little muscle and maybe growing some facial hair. Cultivate a little swagger. I'm not saying "be a macho dick" that would only be seen as a Napoleon complex. But be unabashedly manly. It's sexy. Good luck - women who will date short guys are out there. We really are.
Posted by gueralinda on December 26, 2014 at 11:37 AM · Report this
AAA -- Intelligence isn't something that is easy to objectively measure. It is also multifaceted. You can be very intelligent in certain ways and dumb as bricks in others. Not all people are intelligent in ways that are readily apparent in casual conversation. Stop comparing what's going on in your mind to what people present in conversation. Also, cultural capital isn't the same thing as intelligence. Everyone knows at least one thing that you don't.

TLDR: Jesus, get over yourself.
Posted by wearsmanyhats on December 26, 2014 at 11:55 AM · Report this
Some English major out there, any English major! Help! What I'm missing here? The straight male psychopath happily tells us he's the smartest guy in the room, then says, "I wish this wasn't the case." Shouldn't that be, "I wish this weren't the case."? Who's the dumbest guy in the room?
Posted by Lee_T on December 26, 2014 at 4:28 PM · Report this
I know a short guy who gets laid often and by gorgeous often tall girls - because he's smart and funny and incredibly confident. Like, verging on TOO confident, but whatever. I actually used to work with him and he's a total nerd - he's not like muscled and tan or anything, more like scrawny and pale - but he dresses well and carries himself well and that's all that matters.
Posted by Mercury88 on December 26, 2014 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Salman Rushdie is 5' 6" and dates hot models like the rest of us buy jeans. Get some game :-)
Posted by DNash on December 26, 2014 at 5:34 PM · Report this
68- LeeT-- Earlier I said that I wasn't a professional capable of diagnosing a mental illness in AAA. Now I expose myself as an English major. As much as I'd love to find AAA's grammar wrong, I'm afraid he is correct. Here's what you're missing:

"The fact that you wish something was or wasn't true means you should use the indicative. You are stating something is factually one way or another and wish for the situation to be reversed. If you were trying to imply something contrary to fact, then "were" would be the way to go."

That's not my explanation. I copied it from the first hit I got when I googled. Let me try to explain it in my own words: Whenever a sentence begins with "if", you have to decide whether to use the indicative (was) or the subjunctive (were). If what you're saying is true or false but clearly one or the other, you use the indicative. If it's in that grey area of truth, if it's in that place where you'd use could, would, should, or might, you use the subjunctive.

AAA, in his arrogance, is stating his superior intelligence as a matter of fact. He's saying that he is the most intelligent person in the room. The rest of us may doubt it, but as far as he's concerned, that's unarguable. He goes on to say that he wishes the opposite, but that doesn't change the fact, and it doesn't make his stated fact conditional. "Was" in this instance is correct.
Posted by Crinoline on December 26, 2014 at 5:55 PM · Report this
Surely shallow women should prefer short men.
Posted by zer on December 26, 2014 at 6:36 PM · Report this
In defense of the problem of being the smartest person in the room... it can be hard to make friends with people if the things that interest you and you want to talk about are things they are incapable of understanding. I used to have that problem in childhood. Fortunately, in adulthood, growth evens out a bit so those who developed in some ways early no longer are ahead of those who catch up later (I did both in different fields, personally), and it's easier to find people who share your interests. Even if you have very academic interests, you can find other smart people who share them. I don't think I could have a satisfying relationship with someone I couldn't talk to about recent scientific findings and experiments. But unless you're in a small town, it's not hard to find people who can do that. And you still need to get over the idea that intelligence is a purely linear thing and learn to value the different strengths and weaknesses of different people. Also, intelligence still is not the only important quality. I'd find a smart man with great scientific knowledge to be repulsive if he also were obnoxious, arrogant, devalued other fields (such as the arts), and didn't have a good sense of humor. Also, a lot of smart people don't pay attention to whether or not other people are intelligent, because they just assume and then steamroll the conversation. I've been bored by a smart person explaining detailed info about how facial recognition works, and I wasn't bored because I couldn't follow, but because he paid no attention to the attempts I tried to make (when I could get a word in) that I already knew the things he was telling me. Poor social skills can help to reinforce the notion that you're smarter than the people around you. People with good social skills aren't trying to prove their intelligence during a conversation.
Posted by uncreative on December 26, 2014 at 7:07 PM · Report this
Of course, short guys could seek out short women. I have two friends around 4"11. One of them married a guy about my height, and he mentioned how much he liked that their height differential made him look taller- literally he said it made them look like his tall buddies and their girls. I'd never noticed he was short until he said that, for what its worth. I am 5"6, which is nice for being able to appreciate a variety of guy heights, but guys who are over 6"2 or so are a literal pain in the neck to kiss. You can't put your arm around them without it looking awkward. Also, you can't have a natural conversation standing up because your heads are too far apart. So, short guys may be less attractive to some women, but other women your height or less might give you an advantage. Think of it in the words of a country song:

Oh, I ain't first class, but I ain't white trash

I'm wild and a little crazy, too.

Some girls don't like boys like me...

Ahhh, but some girls do!
Posted by AllisonM on December 26, 2014 at 7:19 PM · Report this
@71 Google ranking is no guide to grammatical reliability, unfortunately; in terms of traditional English grammar, it actually should be "were". It's a present counterfactual -- what he wishes isn't actually true -- so the subjunctive is prescriptively "correct". That said, the English subjunctive has been terminally ill for a century or two now and the indicative has been taking over most of its uses, so we still can't bash the psychopath for bad grammar.
Posted by zer on December 26, 2014 at 7:21 PM · Report this
I have a theory that while men have a tendency to be shallow about horizontal size (this includes BBW fetishists who wouldn't consider going below, say, 200 lbs.), women tend to be shallow about vertical size. These are generalizations of course, and there are always exceptions. Either way, it's quite unfortunate.

While you're not likely to find a lot of female short guy fetishists, as Dan pointed out, there are plenty of us who are into short guys--even if we don't specifically seek them out. I'm 5'4'' and find that it's difficult to engage in a lot of different activities (e.g., kissing, dancing, 69ing) with guys who are way taller than I am. I can say with all sincerity that I would have no qualms with dating a man who's 5'2'', and all other things being equal, would prefer him to the man who's 6'2''.
Posted by ArchiboldJones on December 26, 2014 at 8:11 PM · Report this
I'm a 5.6 tall lady who has no trouble being attracted to shorter guys. I've never cared how tall they are. I can't be the only lady who is like this, so hang in there, LW.
Posted by MichelleZB on December 26, 2014 at 9:12 PM · Report this
I want to chime in and agree with the people who say it's not about height, but about how you act. One of my prior roommates was a guy who was about 5'2", and he had a lot of trouble with women, but it wasn't his height that was the problem. It was his general cluelessness about how to interact with other people. I remember him telling me about how he demanded that one of his exes tell him why she didn't want to date him, and then angrily defend himself to me when I pointed out that she didn't owe him that explanation. He just acted like a teenager in a lot of ways, and it was really unattractive. That unattractiveness was compounded by his height, sure -- it reinforced the idea that he was a kid. But the problem started with his behavior, not his height.

A few years later my friend started dating a different guy around the same height, 5'2", and let me tell you, this guy has no problem getting women. He just acts like an actual adult. He's intelligent, opinionated, thoughtful of others and projects a mature personality. That makes him more attractive. Height doesn't seem to be a problem for him at all (in fact, my friend is taller than him and told me, "I didn't think I'd ever date someone shorter than me, but he's so great and now I love it!").

So, LW, there are possibilities for you! Yes, it sucks that you have to work twice as hard to get there, but I think that work will pay off in the end.
Posted by pzzz on December 26, 2014 at 10:17 PM · Report this
So here is a question is a guy who is 5'8" short or not? Or is that in some middle ground?
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on December 27, 2014 at 1:58 AM · Report this
Isn't " only the lonely" a Roy Orbison song?
" if my memory serves me well", it is.. What a singer, that guy was..
Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 3:00 AM · Report this
A little different perspective for the first letter:

People call it self-confidence, but actually, the trick is just to ignore everyone who annoys you and thinks that just because you are different, they are entiteled to laugh.

I'm female, bisexual and 6'2" - and have dated everything between 5'2" and 6'6".

And yes, I've gotten a lot of trouble for it all over the years. Get engaged to a guy who's a foot shorter than you and weighs not even half of what you do? Me working construction and him being a cute little goth kid who was also a few years younger than me probably did not help, either. People were having a lot of fun making fun of us - but you just have to laugh with them and crack your own jokes about it. None of this was the reason why we broke up.

Sure, it annoys me that especially many men, but also most tall women are scared of women who are taller than them and won't even talk to me - but I've learned to live with it. If you keep complaining all the time, you will miss the chances you do get, probably also some for friendships - because most people hate hanging around with people who have no other topic than their failed love lifes.

If you wanna talk, email me at madduckblues(at)yahoo(.)de.

Posted by MadDuckBlues on December 27, 2014 at 3:00 AM · Report this
@79; wtf? Jesus.. At times like this, I'm glad I'm a Woman.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 3:01 AM · Report this

Because women don't obsess about their appearance?
Posted by Hunter78 on December 27, 2014 at 3:38 AM · Report this
singing cynic 84
I'm 4'11", married to a guy who' 5'4". He had no shortage of women (both taller and shorter than him) before we met, because he's smart, charismatic, funny, and sexy as hell. I've dated guys as tall as 6'1" and height has little to do with attraction or sexual chemistry for me. There are plenty of short ladies out there for you, and plenty of women who aren't necessarily shorter who won't care about your height. Stop fixating on your height and start working on things you CAN change which will make you more attractive to women - like confidence, humor, interesting hobbies, being a great cook or a great dresser... basically, if you build it, they will come, regardless of how short you are. And maybe don't hold out for a 5'0 woman who weighs 95 lbs - some of us short ladies are curvy because, well, everything is compressed a bit.
Posted by singing cynic on December 27, 2014 at 3:46 AM · Report this
. Hey, Hunter.. You have a good Xmas?
What you doing up so late?
Women, generally, don't obsess about their height. Their appearance- as we know- can be played with.
Height, however, is pretty set in stone..
Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 3:54 AM · Report this
I don't lnow, Humter.. This whole worrying about height thing,
just distresses me. Just gotta put ones mind to other things. Be a good person. Enjoy being alive.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 4:11 AM · Report this
@79: Why, you wondering whether the Short Men's Club will take you?

"Short" is relative... I am 5'6" so I would not say a 5'8" man was short, but a six-foot woman might.

I dated two men who were the same height/shorter than me. With one, it simply wasn't an issue for him so it wasn't for me. With the other, he lied about his height (as if that's not an easy lie to see through) and got really grumpy if I dared show up in heels over an inch high. His height WAS an issue because he was so touchy about it. Advice to the shorter guys: don't make your height an issue, and don't act like tall women (or any women) owe you dates! @58's advice is absolutely perfect. Sure, a lot of us would say "six foot" if assembling our hypothetical "perfect man", but in real life, no one is perfect (and if they were, they certainly wouldn't be interested in me, right?).
Posted by BiDanFan on December 27, 2014 at 5:23 AM · Report this
JCIL: have you tried dating sites that match American men with Asian women? It would give you two benefits: (1) There are lots of Asian women who find American men attractive. (2) Asian women tend to be short, too. Yeah, it's not "going to the bar and picking up a one-night-stand", and the overhead is too steep for anything but a serious long-term relationship. But if you are ready for that, it might be an option.

LONE: Dan's advice sucks. MEET PEOPLE NOW. There is no easier time in life to meet people than in college. You are already taking courses with people, eating with people -- you should be meeting people, both romantically and otherwise. Good friends and a network are valuable for the rest of your life, your grades are only really worth something in getting your first job.
Posted by mother of two on December 27, 2014 at 5:50 AM · Report this

Great Xmas. Family reunion in Ohio. Lots of partying. But always best to be back home in [], tho.
Posted by Hunter78 on December 27, 2014 at 6:15 AM · Report this
@82: Lava, how tall are you? I've known tall women and short women who were unhappy with their height.
Posted by BiDanFan on December 27, 2014 at 6:37 AM · Report this
75- zer-- But look at this statement:

Today is my birthday.

That's a present counter-factual since today is not, in fact, my birthday. It still gets stated in the indicative. Let's make it:

I wish today was my birthday.

It's very much the same thing, isn't it? Why would it switch to the subjunctive?

I do usually use the subjunctive in clauses starting with if, but that's from habit, not from thinking it through. Like most writers in comments sections, I write informally, do my reasonable best not to annoy people, but then don't sweat the small errors. So I agree with you that we can't bash AAA for bad grammar, but that's because, whether his grammar is correct or incorrect in this instance, smart people don't necessarily use perfect grammar in their everyday speech and writing anyway.

Posted by Crinoline on December 27, 2014 at 6:40 AM · Report this
There were 2 big take-aways from this week's column. We must recognize that Dan's readers are much more sexually advanced, enlightened, and free of heel of the oppressive Patriarch than the average citizen. It's therefore very significant that many women here prefer taller men (though there are, of course, exceptions), bespeaking traditional gender roles.

The other was best expressed by Crin [51, 61], which was basically the size most important to women is the wallet. Men don't care whether the babe is an orderly or a star surgeon*. For women the star surgeon is immensely sexier.

*Indeed, men might find the orderly more attractive, as she will respect their income more than the surgeon.
Posted by Hunter78 on December 27, 2014 at 6:50 AM · Report this
@92: Hmm, I wonder why it's "many women" who prefer taller men but just "women" who prefer rich men. Hmm indeed.

"Women" are not one big homogeneous lump. What I took away from this week's column is that, while many women do indeed prefer taller men, many more women don't care enough about height that other factors aren't much more important.
This was a view expressed by women.

The "women want a rich man" cliché was a view that tended to be expressed by men. Low-income, bitter men, who blame their lack of success on their lack of wealth, perhaps. The whole "get some money and women will like you" trope is quite a misogynist view to espouse, when you think about it. It's a belief that all women are gold-diggers and not much more. If you hold that view of women, no wonder your love life isn't doing very well.

News flash: If you're intelligent, sexy, and have a good personality, a lot of us couldn't give a hoot about your height OR your bank balance. And if a woman cares only about your money, move on. She isn't worth your time.
Posted by BiDanFan on December 27, 2014 at 7:08 AM · Report this
^ By "taller men", read "men who are taller than they are."
Posted by BiDanFan on December 27, 2014 at 7:09 AM · Report this
Alison Cummins 95
Hunter78 @92

‘Men don't care whether the babe is an orderly or a star surgeon*. For women the star surgeon is immensely sexier.
‘*Indeed, men might find the orderly more attractive, as she will respect their income more than the surgeon.’

Speak for yourself. The men I know are interested in partners, not obedient sex toys. They care very much whether the babe is an orderly or a star surgeon. Doctors are very likely to marry other doctors despite the fact that they work in environments where the vast majority of the people they meet and work with aren’t doctors. Clinton played with an intern but he married a lawyer.

Also, sapiosexual is an OKC match category.
Posted by Alison Cummins on December 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM · Report this
"Where can a short guy go to feel appreciated?" As a short man, 5'2", I can tell you that younger women are generally shallower and more insecure than older women. Those younger, more insecure women often have trouble dating shorter men and men who otherwise don't conform to the societal norm. But once a woman gets to her late 20s she has usually resolved those issues and is more comfortable dating men who are smaller (or different in other ways). Older women have also got other qualities that you will learn to appreciate.

Dan implies that being shorter is like being gay; your dating pool isn't as big at that of the average guy. If that is what he meant, I agree with it. You've got to keep putting yourself out there and seeing who is interested. And remember, the best way to become a boyfriend is to become a friend.

So if you want to feel appreciated: take care of yourself, be interesting, be a friend, and try to get to know some older, more secure women.
Posted by kkbaloney on December 27, 2014 at 10:39 AM · Report this
74, yes, this. Whenever I start feeling too sorry for short men, and guilty for my preference for tall ones, I wonder why they can't just date short women. What about a nice girl of 5'0 or 4'11? There are plenty of them.
Posted by Green Lizard on December 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM · Report this
Roma 98
15/mockingbird80: I'm a 5'9" straight woman and was disappointed (in myself) when I found that I couldn't get past a guy being shorter than me.

I even dated a few - nice guys, all, but bending to kiss short-circuited something in me that regulates attraction. Time and time again, it was a too much of a turn-off for me to get over :-/

I met a woman six years ago who I really fell for. We had a lot of common interests and shared the same sense of humor. Unfortunately, she was like you in that my height -- as you put it -- short-circuited something in her that regulated her attraction. And I wasn't shorter than her; we were the same height: 5'10". She needed a guy taller than her. It was really heartbreaking but there was nothing I could do about it. We all have things that are turn-ons and turn-offs for us.

I don't know what percentage of women are like you and her -- are you a majority or a minority? -- but I'm sure there are plenty of others like you. As just one example, an advice columnist I follow is also 5'10" and she has repeatedly stated that she would never date a guy her height or shorter, no matter how many great qualities he has and no matter how confident he is (her boyfriend is over 6'.)

A number of years ago, a group of us were discussing this on an online forum. The women who said they needed a man taller than them said the main reason is that they didn't/couldn't feel feminine with a guy their height or shorter. I don't get that -- my sense of masculinity wouldn't be threatened or affected by a woman who's my height or taller -- but I also understand that it's a very real feeling these women have.
Posted by Roma on December 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM · Report this
And it's amusing how many women advise JCIL to be "confident". Confidence is always high on the list of what women desire in men. Are men equally attracted to confidence in women?
Posted by Hunter78 on December 27, 2014 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Roma 100
47/she_never_did: People keep saying "your height doesn't matter," but you know that it does. Women are just as shallow as guys are, and I know a lot of women who just will not date a guy who is shorter than they are.

I'm not picking on you; I just want to touch on the frequently-used word "shallow." I don't see it as "shallow" to care about how a person looks, and I don't think anyone needs to apologize for not being attracted to people who are short or fat or (or tall or skinny or bald, etc.) For whatever reason(s), we're physically/sexually attracted to some people and not to others. My definition of "shallow" would be caring only about how someone looks (or about how much money they have), not caring at all about the qualities of that person that are below the surface.

And I disagree with you slightly about women and men. I disagree that women care about looks just as much as men do but I do think that women care about looks a lot, much more than they are willing to admit. I think that guys are a lot more honest about how much they care about looks.
Posted by Roma on December 27, 2014 at 12:18 PM · Report this
Roma 101
99/Hunter78: And it's amusing how many women advise JCIL to be "confident". Confidence is always high on the list of what women desire in men. Are men equally attracted to confidence in women?

I find confidence in a woman to be sexy but if I'm not attracted to her physically/sexually, then I'm not going to want to get naked with her.

Yes, you're right: women seem to like to tell men that if they are just confident, then any and all women be enchanted and aroused and will practically be begging to fuck them. I see having confidence as akin to showing up to play a game. If you don't show up, we can all agree that you're definitely not going to win so, yes, it's good and important to show up. However, just because you show up, it doesn't mean you're going to win.
Posted by Roma on December 27, 2014 at 12:28 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 102
@27: "Anyone else think AAA probably isn't a psychopath and probably doesn't have psychopathic tendencies either?"

He could certainly use some therapy and an actual clinical diagnosis, the narcissistic "smartest guy in the room" act is going to make him miserable to be around for any potential partners, let alone friends. The current routine is doing him no favors, pretending that there's nothing "wrong" isn't going to help any further.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 103
@75: "It's a present counterfactual -- what he wishes isn't actually true"

An unreliable narrator is internally consistent.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 27, 2014 at 12:36 PM · Report this
. @90; " 5 foot 2, eyes of blue".. That's me. And I've never had a problem with my height. Things are in proportion. Organs are good. Brain , Eyes, legs and arms work. No major ILL health yet. Live in a free country.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Being confident, or just being comfortable in ones own life. Being in one's own life. A confident dickhead, is not very attractive.

Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Roma; wouldn't feel feminine? Not even sure what that means.
The real love of my younger self, was balding and tubby. But he just excited me in a way no man did before. I was young and beautiful, but he didn't want to make a life with me. I was heartbroken.
So to me what is attractive in a man is elusive.

Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM · Report this
singing cynic 107
Confidence manifests in many positive ways in a guy - a lack of insecurity and jealousy, assertiveness, ease, a genuine interest in others because he's not wrapped up in his own perceived inadequacies, a lack in inhibition in relationships and in bed. These are attractive qualities in any person. Confidence is a great catch-all term.
Posted by singing cynic on December 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM · Report this
Roma 108
LavaGirl, I'm sure there are male counterparts to these women, men who couldn't feel masculine (or masculine enough) if a woman earned a lot money than they did or had a much more prestigious job.

Yeah it's heartbreaking when you'd love to be with someone but they don't feel the same about you. (It's not easy to break someone's heart either, but at least in that case you're the one who's in control.)

Posted by Roma on December 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Roma 109
Study: women prefer taller men

Asking open-ended questions in an online survey to ascertain height preferences, researchers concluded that 14 percent of men expressed a desire to date exclusively shorter women.

But when it came to women, nearly half or 49 percent of females said they only wanted to date men who were taller than themselves.

Another reason I've heard/read women give for not dating shorter guys is that "guys aren't interested in taller women." When I've seen this comment, I've conceded that some men don't want to date taller women but that most men don't care. I've argued that height differential is much more of a woman's issue. And this study backs that up.

Here's another study that backs that up: Why Women Want Tall Men

In general, women were more likely than men to think that the man should be taller and they didn’t want to be in a relationship in which they were taller than their male partners. Men liked being taller than their partners, but they didn’t care about the height difference as much as women did.

Posted by Roma on December 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Philophile 110
@92 " There were 2 big take-aways from this week's column. "

1) Hunter would like to believe that you can buy love from more women than hookers. And
2) Hunter can't count. How many posts from women who would not date shorter men, opposed to women who have dated shorter men? Although I didn't add my two cents, I've dated a few 5'2" guys. None made much money but two were very sharp and one excellent dj. I still talk to one regularly decades later. 6' is probably the height that I like best though. And I have my preferred dick dimensions and eye and hair color; that doesn't mean I only date guys who are ideal in all ways. I've never met a perfect guy. And I care more about an exceptional attitude than exceptional looks.

I don't think that anyone is pretending that male shortness is attractive to most women, any more than small boobs are attractive to most guys, but most people can deal with imperfections if there's enough counterbalance.

Yes "mo' money" works for both genders but "get a great job" isn't very helpful advice imo. Everyone wants a great job anyway, I thought.
Posted by Philophile on December 27, 2014 at 3:15 PM · Report this
Hunter, as you know Philo, just likes to throw Granades. Sit back, with a big smile on his face and watch the Women bite.. You're naughty, Humter.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Some men might like small breasts, though, Philo. Dick dimensions?
You're funny.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 3:27 PM · Report this
Philophile 113
@92 Control freaks might want a mate with a smaller salary/less options. And perhaps more control freaks are men but I'm not convinced.

I've noticed a frequent argument of yours, generally that women are not very physically attracted to men, just their money. I've drawn inferences. My deepest condolences.

@111/112 I seem to find it great fun to bat the grenades :) It's all in fun; we're just mysterious disembodied voices to each other after all.
Posted by Philophile on December 27, 2014 at 4:13 PM · Report this

No. I do not accept that men and women play the sex game the same way. Women care about what men can provide them. Men care about the appearance of women. Of course women can feel attraction for men, but for men it's more important.
Posted by Hunter78 on December 27, 2014 at 5:52 PM · Report this
Frankly, as a woman over 6'4", (who once upon a time could leg press over 500 lbs), I enjoy a good man under 5'5". Especially when they're OK with me picking them up.

Is JCIL into getting picked up? (Other than figuratively...)
Posted by accordingtothesurgeongeneral on December 27, 2014 at 5:59 PM · Report this
As a woman over 6'2", I enjoy a good man under 5'5". Especially if they enjoy being picked up.

Is JCIL interested in being picked up? (Other than figuratively...)
Posted by accordingtothesurgeongeneral on December 27, 2014 at 6:01 PM · Report this

Sorry to see you getting smaller.
Posted by Hunter78 on December 27, 2014 at 6:25 PM · Report this
To the first letter writer. My ex-husband was 5'4" My current boy friend, an excellent lover for me, is 5"2". My dad was 5'4" and married to my mother for 42 years until she had a stroke. Then he pined away and died without her 14 months later. As a woman who is 5'1" I can honestly say that having a sexual partner who is near my own height makes a lot of things in bed work that wouldn't with a tall man.
Posted by plants on December 27, 2014 at 7:31 PM · Report this
I'm 5'4" and much prefer men who are 5'3" to 5'10". I rule out men over 6 feet; too hard to walk & talk. I've dated men 5'2", no problem. Nice smell, nice smile, smart, talkative, and makes me laugh -- all more important than height, for men between 5'2" and 6'.
Posted by EricaP on December 27, 2014 at 8:03 PM · Report this
Hunter has a major chip on his shoulder. Going back over the comment list, I find that the women who state they have a short partner/are attracted to shorter men/would date a short guy if he were otherwise attractive outnumber those who say they wouldn't by about three to one. And as for the money issue, when I met my (5 ' 4") husband, he was living in the Salvation Army shelter. I'm not saying there are tons of women who would date a homeless guy - a shelter as a living address.might be an issue for more than a few women. My friends thought I was nuts at the time. But he had just moved here without a dime in his pocket. He was.employed and within a few weeks he had an apartment. I thought it spoke well of his guts to pick up and move to a new city with nothing in his pockets. What can I say, I like the spontaneous type. Sixteen years and three kids later, I'm glad I gave him.the benefit of the doubt. :)
Posted by aimeeday1972 on December 27, 2014 at 8:16 PM · Report this
Hunter; where are these women who want to be provided for and where are these men who will do the providing? This ain't the 50s anymore..
Maybe a certain % of population, go that way. Old rich men will look after young attractive women in some sort of exchange. She puts up with him, he pays for everything. How common is that, though?
Women now expect to shoulder their share of financial load and men expect them too. Even if women wanted to return to the 50s and stay home, the economy has closed that door. Hard for most families to live on one wage. Even after child birth, women expected to chop chop , back out there.
If a woman does stay home to rear the children, if her husbands wage can cover this- she isn't being provided for. She's doing the work of rearing the kids.
You keep your own story close to your chest, Hunter. You make all these pronouncements, but I haven't read any self disclosures from you in the time I've been reading and writing on this site..
Think the only true statements any of us can make is that we got born and we're gonna die. The bit between , people seem to do in a zillion different ways.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 27, 2014 at 8:17 PM · Report this
@121 His wife and the women he cheats on her with, apparently. Hunter seems strongly nostalgic for the 50's. Possibly he still lives there. He says he hired help to raise the kids and keep the house. Not sure if he has a relationship with the kids or the wife, not sure how he has the time between the multiple affairs, having to wine, dine, convince them he's not married, plus all the time he spends on here. And the high powered job and all. Must be a good multi-tasker.
Posted by gnot on December 28, 2014 at 12:45 AM · Report this

Where did I say I hired help?

Please answer.
Posted by Hunter78 on December 28, 2014 at 3:28 AM · Report this
Geez Hunter. Guess the sisterhood's work on you is far from done. I'm always up for a challenge.
Posted by LavaGirl on December 28, 2014 at 5:32 AM · Report this

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