Matchmaker Talks About Whether Height Matters In Dating
Does Height Matter In Dating? Why Women Care & How Short Guys Can Be More Attractive
True story: I once knew a 5’8 guy who was so insecure about his height that he wondered whether he should include it on his dating app profile. “I’m worried if I walk into a first date, she’ll take one look at me and be disappointed,” he said. Sadly, he’s not alone: lots of short guys struggle with self-confidence in the dating realm, and it’s not surprising when you hear countless women claim they have a “height requirement.” But at the end of the day, does height matter in dating? And if so, why are women more attracted to tall men? I’m going to answer both of those questions. Better yet, I’m going to let you in on my tried and true secrets for how you can get around your short stature and draw women in regardless.
Regardless of whether you clock in at 5’6 or 5’9, if your height has been a major source of stress in your love life, we’re going to solve that, stat.
Does height matter?
OK, I’ll be real with you — the research has shown time and again that women are drawn to men who are on the taller side.
According to a 2014 study by Rice University, nearly half of the women (48.9%) only want to date only men who are taller than they are. There’s other research to back this up, too. One 2010 OKCupid survey found that guys who are between 6’ and 6’5 get the highest number of unsolicited messages per week.
The good news? The average height for a woman in the U.S. is 5’4, which is at least a few inches shorter than the vast majority of men.
In other words, a lot of women need to wake up and get realistic if they want to meet a viable partner — or accept being single.
Why do women prefer tall men?
This height preference comes down to a few things: Societal expectations, gender stereotypes, and primal instincts.
According to the data from Rice University’s study, the dominant reasons females cited for preferring a tall partner are matters of “protection” and “femininity.”
“The masculine ability to offer physical protection is clearly connected to the gender stereotype of men as protectors,” says George Yancey, a sociology professor and lead author of the study. “And in a society that encourages men to be dominant and women to be submissive, having the image of tall men hovering over short women reinforces this value.”
Basically, women visually associate tallness with strength and power — two traits that are undeniably attractive when you’re selecting a life partner. This is especially true from an evolutionary standpoint because one might assume that a man’s size correlates with his ability to fight off any potential threats. That said, it’s important to note that taller doesn’t always mean stronger, faster, smarter or more physically capable (so take note, picky ladies!).
Think of it this way: a tall man literally takes up more space than a short one, and that presence not only makes them more noticeable in a room full of people, but makes the women they date feel small, slight, and thus more feminine by comparison.
According to a 2013 study published in Leadership Quarterly, tall men are actually more likely to win not only the popular vote for a presidential election but also to be re-elected once in office. Researchers believe this is because tall men are not only perceived as more powerful but also because they tend to have higher self-esteem.
This is an interesting finding because it demonstrates the real advantage that tall men have — it’s not the few inches they have on their stout counterparts, it’s the confidence their height gives them. A 2018 survey by BodyLogicMD of over 1,000 professionals found that the shorter a guy is, the less confident they’re likely to feel.
The bottom line is, it basically becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re short, you have lower confidence because you believe you’re less attractive — and as a result, your confidence deficiency does actually decrease your attractiveness.
So, how can I own my height and be more attractive?
Repeat after me: I am not my height. Because it’s true! As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder — and what one woman may find less than appealing, another may find totally endearing. This is precisely why I refuse to take on female clients who have a so-called height requirement. I’ll always try to talk them out of it because the truth is, anyone worth dating will be able to look beyond a prospect’s height to realize there are many qualities that matter far more in the long run. What matters more: that a guy is 6’2, or that he’s a great listener, makes you laugh until you can’t breathe, and cheers you on throughout all your professional accomplishments? Most women will admit it’s ultimately the latter — and if they don’t, you probably don’t want to waste any time on them, anyway.
While you can’t change your genetics, you can shift your perspective and work on building up your confidence. I don’t mean developing a Napoleon complex and overcompensating by buying a flashy car and throwing money around — I mean developing real, genuine self-assurance in who you are and what you have to offer. Particularly if you’ve struggled with a lack of confidence (whether due to your height or not) your whole life, this can definitely be a challenging endeavor. Working with a matchmaker like me, however, can mean honing in on all your positive qualities and assets — whether a successful career, a sharp wit, a handsome smile, or an athletic physique — and figuring out how those can give you a major advantage in the dating world. Remember: The height preference is rooted in women’s desire to feel safe, and just because you’re short doesn’t mean you can’t make her feel protected.
Quick question: What do Tom Cruise and Mark Wahlberg have in common? They’re both barely above average height (at 5’7 and 5’8, respectively), and yet they are both considered two of Hollywood’s studliest leading men, playing powerful, masculine characters in countless action flicks. Even Antonio Banderas, who’s largely considered a heartthrob, hovers around 5’8. If you ask most women to guess their height, they’ll usually assume they’re taller. Why? Confidence! And look at Jon Lovitz (5’10), Jack Black (5’6), Ben Stiller (5’7) — all three comedians managed to land drop-dead gorgeous women, despite the fact that they’re on the shorter side. Why? Because a sense of humor doesn’t age, and women honestly can’t resist a guy who makes them laugh.
The sooner you can stop obsessing over your height (and focusing on all your amazing other traits), the sooner you’ll have the confidence it takes to win over the woman of your dreams. Besides — as they say — good things come in small packages.