Miss Information

If I don't reveal my height on my dating profile, am I lying?

by Cait Robinson

Have a question for Miss Information? Email missinfo@nerve.com.

Dear Miss Information,

Starting a new job in a new part of the country, I recently started experimenting with online dating. I created a fairly thorough profile with recent pictures and honest answers. I tried to be active, tried writing long messages and short messages, tried making suggestions for other music and books they might like, tried chatting for a long time first, and tried just asking girls out off the bat. I tried tweaking my profile: "Don't come off like a music snob;" "Don't sound sarcastic;" "Okay, fine, sound sarcastic, but embrace it." But I still got tepid responses, and I started to think it was because of my height. I'm 5'5", and the preponderance of girls with blatant, unapologetic, anti-short-guy messages in their profiles began to get to me. A surprising number of those girls are shorter than me.

I began to get offended by girls' lack of response. Finally, I just deleted my height, and with it income, ethnicity, body type, and all the other "basic facts" I felt people shouldn't be judged immediately on. (I'm very athletic, mixed race — which people can still see in my pictures — and make good money, so really height was the only thing I could be accused of "hiding.") Almost worse, the response was swift: girls immediately started replying, and girls even started messaging me. Attractive girls. "Replies very selectively" girls. 

One of these girls I'm actually very excited about. We've exchanged practically giddy emails for a week, the kind that revel in naive assumptions about how amazingly compatible we are. We're working on setting up an informal date. Here's the problem: she's 5'8'' and she messaged me first, without knowing how tall I am. Is this something I need to worry about? I suddenly feel like I've been lying by not having my height posted. I thought about "warning" her, but feel like that would be expecting the worst in people and coming off as very insecure. And I'm still bitter at how openly heightist girls of the world are. What can I do? 

— Afraid of Falling Short

Dear Afraid of Falling Short,

This is going to sound like advice your mother would tell you, but here it is anyway: the right girl won't care. (Oh, also, call your mother. She says hi.)

If you have a great chemistry, a girl won't care whether you have a lazy eye, a zinc deficiency, or an iron lung. If she's worth keeping around, she'll like you whether or not you can reach the top shelf in the kitchen. If the connection is real, the details won't matter. Get it?

I guarantee you that a short guy with buckets of charisma will go over better with most girls than a tall one who doesn't make eye contact. If you act like your height is a disadvantage, she'll read it on you, and suddenly — poof! — your height becomes a disadvantage. While leaving your height out was an omission, it was not a straight-up lie. She likes you enough to email you all the time without knowing your height, so what should it matter? Stop flagellating yourself, and leave your frustrations with online dating/women at home. Negativity will drag down a date much faster than physical appearance will. 

Go into this date with your head held high (but not "I'm straining here" high). Plenty of tall girls have a thing for short guys, so don't assume you're at a disadvantage. Play up your stengths, be genuine, listen well, and laugh often. As with all dating, you'll have your hits and misses, but don't assume your height is your Achilles' heel.

Dear Miss Information,

I'm a heterosexual man; I'm in my mid-thirties. I recently rented a porno and it wasn't what the cover said it was. I thought I rented one about insatiable MILFs (my favorite type of woman). But when I opened it, it was gay porn. It had some really buff guys on the picture. I'm not sure why, but I put it the DVD player. When it came on, I was mesmerized. I couldn't stop watching. I ended up watching the whole thing and masturbated through it all. It wasn't like when I watch straight porn; when I rub one out, I usually turn it off until the need arises again. This time, all that masturbation left me a little chafed. 

I've never been attracted to men in that way. But I am finding myself thinking about these buff gay men all the time. I have the urge to engage in gay sex and can't stop thinking about it. I have three questions: 1) Should I act on these urges? 2) How do I go about it? 3) Where did these urges come from after thirty-five years? I now think I want to be in gay porn — those men were just so freaking hot! Do you know how I can get involved in this industry?

— Confused, Excited, and Horny

Dear Confused, Excited, and Horny,

Whoa, now. Take a deep breath. There's a lot of ground between "I am turned on by gay porn" and "I want to star in gay porn." So what's going on?

Your letter seems breathless and frenetic, which gives me pause. While I'm all for discovering hidden corners in one's own sexuality, you need to slow down and take your time so you know you're comfortable with what you are doing. Gay sex, like all sex, involves different vocabularies and accents, and jumping in too hastily could prove overwhelming for either you or your partner. 

Here is my big question, though. You say you've never been attracted to men before. Are you now attracted to men in real life, or just the ones on the DVD box? There's a difference between the two. What turns us on doesn't always correspond to what we want in actual life: gay men can enjoy hetero porn, straight women can love lesbian scenes, and none of that changes their real-life orientations. I'm not trying to dissuade you from seeking your big, gay fortune — rather, I want you to make sure what you actually want is a human sexual encounter, full of mistakes and foibles, rather than expecting Big n' Greased-Down XVI: The Reckoning

Assuming you're still on board, and you do want to explore your gayer side, the methods aren't so different than dating women. Go to bars, chat guys up, get their numbers. But, again, I urge you to take this slow: go on a couple of dates and talk to your partner enough that he knows you're new to this. Build up enough trust that you feel comfortable pushing your boundaries with him. Practice safe sex without fail, and allow yourself some space between "I am 100% straight" and "I am 100% gay." With time and patience, it should work itself out.

You may find that porn ignited a gay flame in you, or you may find that you were responding to something else in these videos entirely — the power play, the muscle envy, the sweet techno beats. Who knows. Just keep an eye on the fact that the sex represented in porn is sensationalized. Before you go picking up anybody, make sure you want real sex — and with it, the vulnerabilities and trust it involves — rather than some cartoonish approximation thereof.

Commentarium (85 Comments)

Mar 18 12 - 12:51am

As a woman who's 5"10...sorry to break it to you, but yeah, she'll care. For most tall woman, being short is a deal breaker, because we're so used to feeling out of place by being tall, that a tall man is what we want to feel "normal". Being an inch shorter wouldn't be a big deal, but the fact that she's going to have to incline her head to make eye contact is not only going to make you feel like shit, it's going to make her feel like a giant. Take it from a tall woman who didn't care before, but who hated being restricted to flats and sandals on dates. There's PLENTY of short women out there.

Mar 18 12 - 4:41pm

As a woman who's also 5'10"...that's not always true. I realized a long time ago that I have to look past a guy's height, or else it'll make finding someone great way harder than it needs to be. Like Cait said, if it's right, she won't care. Or, as Dan Savage would say, if she'd reject you for something as trivial as that, she's not someone you want to be with anyway.

Mar 19 12 - 9:24am
Canadian 2

Just to chime in, the barely concealed bitterness toward the "openly heightest" girls reeks of...desperation? Dipping a toe into misogyny? You have a trait that registers as unattractive to many women. So go for full disclosure. You may get fewer messages in your OKcupid inbox, but your real dates will probably be more successful.

Mar 19 12 - 10:03am

Also of note: first dates are so much about first impressions. Meaning that if she's got a preconceived idea of you as being a more 'average' height, her first impression is going to be disappointment. Yes, its her fault for guessing or assuming based on little or no info, but still not a great way to start a date, and you'll have a bigger deficit to make up with your charm and personality.

Mar 19 12 - 8:29pm

I find it ironic that the short guy complains about how shallow the extremely attractive, "replies very selectively" girls are. Really, then go for less attractive, less selective girls. Oh, but that's the answer to the wrong question. His question really is, "How do I get these in-demand girls to make an exception in THEIR selection process?"

Well, LW1, I hate to break it to ya, but a lot of times you can't. Shit happens. You can't go on a site that hosts tens of thousands of profiles, where everyone's sifting through strangers looking for the best they can get, and complain that "other people's" shallowness leaves you with an insufficient sample size of hotties. Unless you've been messaging the "lovely personalities" you've undoubtedly spied through the low-lit or suspiciously-close cropped, you're just as guilty.

You're short, so you have similar challenges as everyone else on there who's not quite tall, cute, thin, or young enough to qualify for the dating site VIP section. You won't necessarily make the first cut for the most discriminating girls. Just like there are a ton of girls on there who probably didn't make yours.

So, get a thicker skin and realize that it's not personal. Or else change your venue to something more three-dimensional.

Mar 19 12 - 10:29pm

I'd chime in that the biggest #1 turnoff for anyone is insecurity. If this person's sweating it already, it's starting off on the wrong foot, regardless of the technicality of his possible deceit. Remember Joe, that dude who got all the ladies on The Real World: Miami? Not saying I do, of course. But if I did, I'd remember that he was probably 5'5 at the tallest, and his girlfriend was crazy possessive of him b/c he was such a charmer. I think his self-confidence definitely trumped his height.

Mar 20 12 - 4:56pm
tall too

I'm 5'10" as well and have definitely dated shorter guys. I don't care at all if they are fun and funny and charming. I do care however, if it clearly bothers them. I don't want to be told not to wear a certain pair of shoes or have some guy comment repeatedly that I really am tall. Yes, I know I'm tall. Anyway, good luck to this guy. You sound great.

Mar 21 12 - 1:57am
another tall lady

I'm 5'9 and being 5'5 would be a deal breaker for me. TELL HER! You may save her and yourself an extremely uncomfortable evening. I've been accused of being shallow by several short guys, but "canadian" hit the nail on the head - it's nice to feel normal next to a guy your height or taller. Girls mature earlier, and I think a lot of taller women never forget how it felt when they towered over everyone. I could get used to almost any conventionally unattractive quality (not to say shortness is objectively unattractive, just going by the author's comments), but I wouldn't go on a second date with a guy significantly shorter than me.

Apr 25 12 - 11:55pm
Marie Wyatt

I'm 5'10 and I've dated guys who were anywhere from 5'2 to 6'5. Short guys can be great too (plus having a boob height face is a good thing to me) and it wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me so maybe I'm biased but I'd say as long as he isn't actually lying about his height and isn't insecure about it it'd be fine, but if the girl is "heightist" she won't be happy but that's fine too, we've all got appearance dealbreakers, I've been shot down because of my tattoos and piercings. I gotta say though I definitely wouldn't be with a guy who was uncomfortable with me being over 6 feet in heels, then again my husband is 6'1 and he was a little shocked the first time I showed up to go out in my crazy 6 inch heels haha .

Mar 18 12 - 1:08am

Cait- think about writing a book- I would love to read it! Your advice is great and so is your writing.

Mar 18 12 - 3:44am
I second that

yes please!

Mar 18 12 - 9:41am
all in favor?

i would love that as well!

Mar 18 12 - 1:13am

I call bullshit on LW2. He knew Dan wouldn't answer.

Mar 18 12 - 2:46am

Agreed! I was just thinking that. There is no way that that letter is real. Spot on for letter number 1 though. Nice job.

Mar 18 12 - 11:45am

That was hilarious though!

Mar 19 12 - 11:12am

Definitely agree. Putting aside the whole preposterousness of the situation, who actually rents pornos anymore? Surely someone who is a regular reader of an online sex advice column would know that there's this thing called the internet, that was basically invented to distribute shitloads of free porn.

Mar 19 12 - 8:09pm

thought the same. dan would call it 'fake'.

Mar 20 12 - 1:17pm

what really gave it away was "insatiable MILFs (my favorite type of woman)". that's what the straight dude-bros are into, right? right???

Mar 20 12 - 1:19pm

that or this was a letter from rick santorum.

May 11 12 - 2:57pm

Yeah, letter #2 reeks of bullshit. I never thought this woul dhappen to me!

Mar 18 12 - 1:19am
tall girl

I'm 5'8" and I say, not all women will care. I wouldn't. But I never really went for the tall guys....always went for someone closer to my own height. So, just putting that out there. My boyfriend now is about the same height as me, and me wearing heels is just a non-issue. If I want to, I do, no big deal. I say, if the girls likes you, she won't care AT ALL. It will just be a fact about you, like your eye or hair color, and part of what makes you you.

Mar 18 12 - 1:24am

i really like short guys. i'm 5'4" and the last guy i was into was 5'5".

Mar 18 12 - 6:13pm

Me too! I'm 5'3" and like guys either 5'5"-5'9" or 6'-6'3". Don't know why. Don't care.

Mar 18 12 - 1:56am

I am a woman of average height and my boyfriend of two years is my same height. I never minded that he was so short. In fact, I like it. The last guy that I dated before I met my bf was 6'4'', and while I found him attractive, there were definite drawbacks. With my short bf, on the other hand, it is much easier for me to initiate kisses. ;-) So, LW #1, go on your date. Cait gave you good advice. If your e-date woman cares about height but likes you anyway, she'll get over it. If she doesn't, then what do you want with her anyway?

Mar 18 12 - 3:43am

Im 5'8" and my boyfriend is 5'5" and all of his amazing personality traits and our chemistry make height a non-issue. The only time it gets weird is if he brings it up. So go on the date, enjoy yourself, and be confident!

Mar 18 12 - 4:41am

My friend is 5'10" and she always thought she wanted a guy taller her than her....until she ended up marrying her husband last month, who is 5'6". You just never know what will happen.

Mar 18 12 - 4:49am

I'm 5'7", and I would kind of care. Wearing heels around him would always make me feel a bit self conscious. At the same time, omitting your height is not lying or being actively deceptive.

Mar 18 12 - 7:13am

I think the comments here paint a definite picture: women who are self-conscious about their own height will tend to place extra importance on their partner's height. Women who don't really stress about their own height generally won't stress about their partner's. Short, tall, it doesn't matter -- it's all attitude.

Mar 18 12 - 9:28pm


Mar 18 12 - 10:47pm
How I see it

I was about to write some dumb long answer, then I read brn's perfect comment!! Says it all.

Mar 19 12 - 2:51pm


Mar 21 12 - 2:17am

what does that say about women who are shorter than average and have a negative attitude towards shorter than average men? It's not all about female insecurity. As a tall girl who likes mirrors I have to ask, what's so wrong with wanting a more powerful partner? People have sexual preferences, that's just the way it is.

I don't have all that much control over who I'm attracted to, but I will say it's nice to see so many tall women who don't feel the way I do. After all, they have no reason to prefer taller guys (though, again, reason has little to do with attraction).

Mar 21 12 - 1:44pm

@But -- you're missing the point by ascribing a nonexistent one-sidedness to my reaction. It was never only about female insecurity, and there is absolutely nothing "wrong" with having and expressing a preference.

The letter-writer expressed a self-consciousness about his own height, which a lot of women responded to by telling him that he was worrying too much about what women might think. I also noticed in the comments that among the women who DID think he was too short to make them happy, they overwhelmingly indicated their self-consciouosness about their own height. It was mostly "I would feel weird next to him" and not so much "he's not man enough to be with me."

I didn't illuminate this observation to cast judgment on anyone, I did it because it's often hard to step outside of our own situations and see the bigger picture. Everyone has their insecurities, and people that aggravate those will have trouble being satisfying romantic partners with the aggravated. However, I felt it would be in the interest of people of all heights and preferences to make the point that while you can't control someone else, you can control yourself, that is, how you carry yourself and the attitude you project AND when you encounter someone who dismisses you based on your height, in general it has little to do with you, and mostly it's to do with them.

Mar 18 12 - 10:13am
5'10 before heels

I think the anti-short guy bias is utterly ridiculous. Are you in DC by chance? Would you like to go out? =)

Mar 18 12 - 10:36am
go for it!

LW#1: My mom is 5'10" and my dad is 5'6" (although i think he's 5'5" now) and they got married in the 70s when you couldn't get my mom out out of her 6" platform shoes. My dad has tons of confidence and never backs down from what he wants and that was super attractive to my mom. I'm 5"7' and I didn't grow up with the typical male-female height paradigm as a rule for me and so it's not a rule. Height is literally NEVER a factor for me when I choose who to date, and I know plenty of women who thought height was a deal breaker and are now in committed, awesome relationships with shorter guys. You should blow this girls mind! If you like her, be confident and don't take no (over something that stupid) for an answer! good luck!

Mar 18 12 - 12:16pm

As a 6'0" woman partnered to a 5'8" man, I can say that for some women height doesn't matter. Of course, that means that I'm an unusually tall woman and I've been on the other side of the heightist coin. There definitely were plenty of men who were intimidated by my height, and I probably didn't get as many "hits" as a shorter woman would have. Actually, when I was single I thought of my height as asshole repellent - most assholes probably weren't interested in me because of their own insecurities, and that was just fine. I've never dated a guy who was taller than me - height just didn't matter. I would go out with you, LW1!

Mar 18 12 - 12:50pm

As a 5'9" woman who has dated both shorter and taller guys (I'm married to a guy around my height now) I'd say height doesn't matter IF she likes you. If she feels no chemistry, she may well use your height as an excuse to write you off. But if you were tall, she'd find another reason so it's not that relevant. If she's attracted to you, height will be a non-issue - not to be crude, but everything's equal when you're horizontal! I'd say don't bring up your height, and certainly don't broadcast insecurity about it. I know that's easier said than done with all the anti-short guy prejudice out there, but being confident and treating it as a non-issue will cue women to do the same. And if a girl or two rejects you for your height, don't let it discourage you. We ALL have traits that someone, somewhere, could reject us for. If you keep looking you will definitely find women (like me) who don't care.

And LW2 is a fakey, fakey fake.

Mar 18 12 - 2:10pm
Great Heights

Another tallish (5'7") woman here weighing in. Height doesn't matter. Attitude is HUGE. If you are apologetic about your height, it is a turn off. If you made ME feel like I should be apologetic about MY height, then it is a turn off. For God's sake, don't wear anything designed to make you seem taller. Just be a cool person with a good heart.

Mar 19 12 - 1:28pm

I absolutely agree. I'm 5'8, and it was only weird to date shorter guys when they were weird about it. I definitely dated guys who were shorter than me, and one of my best friends is about to get engaged to a guy who's at least three or four inches shorter than her. And the heels thing? It's super sexy if a shorter guy is confident enough that he doesn't even care if I wear heels, but honestly, I'm not much of a high heels person anyway. It's definitely all about attitude and attraction.

Mar 18 12 - 3:16pm

It's great to see so many women posting on here saying that height doesn't matter, but I have to say that Nerve attracts a different kind of people, so I am inclined to think this is an example of a self-selecting bias.

Fact is most tall women--which btw I put the number at 5'9 and up-- will PREFER a taller man. People speak of preferences all the time and we don't question them so we think of them as personal rules. But preferences can be put aside when there is a cause (like if you prefer your hot dog with mustard, but there is no mustard and you eat it anyway because you are hungry).

LW1 and countless other examples confirm this.

Mar 19 12 - 2:30am

"Fact is most tall women--which btw I put the number at 5'9 and up-- will PREFER a taller man."

Eh, I know plenty of short women (5'3" and under) who still prefer men who are 6' and up. Honestly, I think it's just a power thing since in our society, height = power, and power (perceived or real) is probably the #1 metric of female-to-male attraction. (Hence the high priority placed on "confidence", which is partly a representation of power.)

Mar 19 12 - 10:14am

I am a short woman and i prefer average to tall men (and women, really). I dont think that that preference is any more bizarre or unreasonable than other elements of "conventionally attractive," most of which impact women more in the dating arena; thinnnes, great skin, thick hair, white teeth, body shape, etc. I think people think height preference is "absurd" because its the standard femail desire ratehr than male. what elements f conventional attractiveness is this guy willing to forgoe?

Mar 18 12 - 3:47pm

I'm 5'5" woman. Every conversation I've ever had with my female friends, regardless of their height, ended with us all agreeing we wanted someone as tall as or taller than ourselves. That said, I never wanted a super-tall guy. My first boyfriend was 6'3", and that was just too big a difference to be comfortable. I also found that nearly every guy online inflated his height by 2-3 inches. Sometimes, their doctors lied and told them they were taller than they were. (My current boyfriend thought he was taller than he is because of this. I think some doctors measure men in their shoes and women in their stocking feet.) Sometimes, they just lie. So, it's also possible that other women are subtracting 2-3 inches from LW1's height and assuming he's shorter than he is. If I were him, I'd think about padding it a little. I doubt I'm the only woman who assumes most guys inflate their actual height.

Mar 18 12 - 3:54pm
Shot, fat & bald

LW1, I went into a relationship(marriage) with this girl, feeling, maybe, I was too fat, got out of it feeling I was too fat, too short, and balding with big ears... so my message to you is, you decide on what to capitalize, either be it your on-line profile or your life. And this can happen to girls too.

Mar 18 12 - 4:21pm

I'm a short woman (5 ft) in amazing shape and pretty. It makes me nuts too that people are so shallow that the first two priorities on people's "are they dateable" list are the two things you can't control -- your age and height. Somewhat get the age thing since more than a 6-7 year difference can be less than culturally compatible. Height requirements are ridiculous! I've been with tall guys and short guys and it makes absolutely no difference. My current FWB is probably only about 5ft 6 but I never noticed until I put on high heels because he's so smart and fun to be with. Anyone who rejected this guy has NO idea what they missed. Anyway LW1 you sound like a good guy and will find someone who likes you for the right reasons. That said, I do sometimes say I'm 5ft2in on my online profile. Nobody's ever noticed the missing two inches.

Mar 20 12 - 4:56pm

Woaha, that's notnfair to say! Just because you don't have a problem dating "shorter" guys, doesn't mean we should all feel that way. By the way, 5'6 is half a foot taller than you, so not really considered short. That being said... I love tall guys. Like really tal. Just how some women love bald men. Or some men love plus sized women. We all have our physical preferences. And we are all allowed to those preferences.

Mar 18 12 - 5:03pm
Lazy b

I think the bias is similar for short men and fat women. It exists, but it isn't the end of your life if you don't let it be.

Mar 18 12 - 5:35pm

I'm 5'6" my wife is 5'9". We met on match.com. I'm the shortest person she ever dated and she's the tallest person I've dated. After we met, she admitted that she wouldn't have responded to my first Email if she had noticed how short I am. By the time she noticed, we had been talking on the phone for a few weeks and I had already won her over with my personality.

Mar 18 12 - 5:59pm

Forget about height, it shouldn't be an issue with someone that you share a genuine connection with. I've dated men from 5'5" all the way up to 6'8". What matters is who they are and how they treat me.

Mar 18 12 - 6:29pm

Oh, Miss Info, I love your sassy ways.

Mar 18 12 - 7:53pm

I'm a 5'11" woman who loves to wear high heels. I say, super models are always married to shorter guys, am i right?
I think rejecting a guy based on height is silly--how often are you really standing right next to each other, compared to sitting/lounging/not even in the same place as you?

Mar 18 12 - 8:01pm

Lots of women say that their wanting a tall guy is merely a personal preference. But that sounds more innocent than it is, because that would imply that there are nearly an equal number of women out there who would prefer a short guy. Most of the time, there's no specific preference for a short guy like there is for a tall guy; if anything, it's merely tolerated or looked beyond. I bet most women wouldn't come out and say "I prefer men that don't have cerebral palsy", or "I prefer men who are not actual dwarves" because they know that only very few women actually prefer these qualities, which make such statements insensitive/offensive to the recipient. Likewise, I also believe that it's offensive to short men to hear of the "personal height preference", who realize that few women, shorter than them or otherwise, prefer their height.

Mar 19 12 - 2:34am

Yeah, there's something a little disingenuous (if not just plain dishonest) about the way that certain women frame their preference for tall men. It's basically the female equivalent of "no fat chicks" -- phrased in more genteel terms, but still every bit as douchey.

Mar 19 12 - 11:50am

That's actually a perfect analogy! Part of the "preference" is born out of societal prejudices, part could be a genuine aesthetic inclination and maybe there's a smidge of biological mate selection instincts thrown in there. Our culture has strong standards of what is considered traditionally masculine and feminine. Being taller and larger than most women is significant to the stereotypical masculine image. And as with the "no fat chicks" mentality, anti-short bias is a socially approved prejudice.

Mar 18 12 - 9:41pm

It's not lying to omit your height from your profile. I think online dating makes the height prejudice worse for two reasons: women assume men are adding two inches anyway so they think you are even shorter than you are, and women on dating sites get inundated with so many messages they dismiss quality dudes for superficial reasons that they wouldn't have passed up in person. Online dating is about presenting the best version of yourself, and if you can get your foot in the door I think a lot of women will be inclined to overlook the height issue.

Mar 18 12 - 10:11pm

As a 4'11'' woman who goes through life pretty successfully, I have this to say about the height issue. Once in a great while someone makes a big spectacle about it at a party or something and it makes me feel bad for about a second, but then I remember how awesome I am and I forget about it. But having lived life on the shorter end of the spectrum I will say this... women who go around viewing men as bottom of the rung dating options because they are a few inches shorter than they are come off as... well I'm just going to say it. They come off as ugly.

Mar 19 12 - 1:40am

I suspect a lot of people use their list of "preferences" to weed through stacks of replies without thinking too hard about them. Some of these people will be the ones who will consider your omission to be a material lie. They are the ones that you are better off well rid of. Others from this group, however, will be the ones who discover what a great guy you are first, and will find that the preference for a tall guy is just that: a preference, not a deal-breaker. It would be a disservice to both you and them to let lazy reply-weeding habits disqualify a perfectly good match over something that isn't in fact a disqualification.

So, downside, you risk annoying a few shallow people for the crime of treating them to dinner and drinks while short. (Oh, the humanity!) The downside of being exhaustively honest up front is that you pre-emptively abort what might have been the best relationship both of you will ever have. Now, which of those is truly the bigger offense?

Mar 19 12 - 2:52pm

LW 1, T nails it, and which course you choose depends on your own willingness to deal with rejection. If you're cool with it, go out with all those "highly selective" hot women, knowing that 90+% of them are going to reject you. If you're not cool with it, weed out the anti-short women ahead of time. You're still being rejected, but at least you don't know about it.

I'm a 5'5" woman married to a 5'5" man, and even though he was honest about his height in his profile, he still faced a fair amount of dating cruelty. One woman got up and left in the middle of dinner, saying, "I just can't do this. I'm sorry, but I can't." Women care about men's height/frame (good that you're athletic) the same way men care about women's weight/frame. We each like the other to be respectively bigger or smaller. There are always exceptions - as I said, my husband and I are the same height, and I weigh ~15 lbs more than he does - but they are the minority of cases and you'll have to work your way through a lot of dates to find them. Good luck!

Mar 19 12 - 3:01pm

Oh one more thing: my now-husband did not show up in my profile search because he was both too old and too short. I showed up in his search because he had broader search criteria. So this is support for T's position; I had written off guys who weren't at least 3 inches taller than I due to social convention, and ended up falling head over heels in love with a smaller man. I'm so glad he asked me out and that I said, "What the hell." ;)

Mar 26 12 - 12:31am

That is a very good point, KH, that omitting the data will open yourself up to a species of personal rejection that you wouldn't otherwise face. I was only addressing the issue of whether it was unethical of the Letter Writer to omit the data.

One mitigating factor is that you probably will have a few email and/or phone exchanges before the first in-person date, to establish a little rapport. This gives you the opportunity to describe yourself in a little more detail, if it feels right to do so. This at least gets you past peoples' default filters, and gives you a chance to introduce yourself that you otherwise wouldn't have. If they ask you about height in these early exchanges, that's probably a clue to not pursue this person, and you have the opportunity to break it off on your terms. Heck, you might even get someone to challenge her own assumptions when called on it.

Mar 19 12 - 3:31am

I bet most of the women corresponding with LW1 already know or suspect he's short if he doesn't list his height. Kind of like they know a guy is probably balding if he just happens to be wearing a hat in all his profile pictures...

Mar 19 12 - 7:33am

If you add 2 inches, that's lying. If she wrote you and your height is not listed, that's not lying. If height is a deal-breaker, she won't write someone who doesn't list his height--or at least she'll learn that lesson in the future. If she asks, you have to tell. If she doesn't ask, she'll figure it out.

Mar 19 12 - 10:24am

You saw some gay porn and suddenly want to be a gay porn actor? Sounds like someone is having a manic episode. I don't mean this snarkily... it really sounds like mania.

Mar 19 12 - 11:31am
Exceed expectations

LW#1- The issue here isn't so much height as it is meeting or exceeding the expectations she's built up. When you meet someone for the first time, you've already created a image of that person in your mind. Disappointment results when the real life person doesn't live up to the fictionalized version. Your height and overall size is going to be part of that picture, as is the sound of your voice, your mannerisms, presence, etc. To the extent possible, you want to avoid dissonance between the image you've created online and you IRL. I would advise sending her a recent and representative picture that gives her some perspective on your overall size. There's no need to camouflage or advertise your exact height as long as the overall image you present is true to life.

Mar 19 12 - 7:04pm

Its amazing how many lesbians still want a taller or as tall mate. I blindly assumed this was a straight thing in my youth. However, I've been proven wrong countless times as an adult. But as you all say, she's definitely not worth it if I just don't fit her criteria. Its really discouraging though since I know most any male would have me in a sec.

Mar 20 12 - 1:44am

as a very tall, straight woman, I've often wished I were at least bi so I could capitalize on this.

Mar 20 12 - 1:49pm

Trading sexualities? Yes please! ;)

Mar 22 12 - 10:43pm

Really? Being 5'10' will get me women? I like short women!

Mar 19 12 - 7:39pm

I used to date a guy who was probably an inch shorter than me. I didn't notice it until he noticed, and then it ate him alive. I never would have cared. He was cute, we could talk about all kinds of stuff, and he was a great kisser. Never got any farther than, thought, because he got obsessed with the height thing. Seriously, if he'd remained cool about it, I never would have noticed.

Mar 19 12 - 7:59pm
hearts and darts

I am one of those woman of average height who definitely has a thing for guys on the short side. Word to the wise, ladies: short guys work harder in bed. It's science.

Mar 19 12 - 9:39pm

What about short guys who have a "fetish" for taller women. I knew a someone where I worked that was like this. Dude was at most 5'7 and he never would even playfully go after girls shorter than he.

Mar 20 12 - 11:57am

A wise man (I think it was Isaac Asimov) once said, We're all the same height lying down.

Mar 20 12 - 4:51pm

Not showing your height on your dating profile is like not showing a body photo.
Not, it's not "lying"... But it's not reveling the whole truth.
I am curvy (not obese... Just hourglass curvy.). If I only showed my (thin) face on my online dating profile, prospective dates wouldn't know what the real me looked like. That's not fair to them if they like the stick thin, flat chested model type...
I've been in this situation before... Went out with a guy I met online without knowing his height... He was my height (5'6). I was kind of pissed. More at myself for not knowing his height beforehand.
I tend to go for very tall guys (6'2++). That's just my thing...

Tell the WHOLE truth on your online dating profile. You'll find someone who loves you exactly the way you are.

Mar 21 12 - 3:37am
not really

Most people can at least keep themselves in a decent shape, curvy or not. Height does not fall within the bounds of choice. While I do let people I know that I'm really short, I do not have to state the exact inches. And I hardly believe all you are truthful with your real weight in numbers either since that's how you want to compare the two.

Mar 20 12 - 5:47pm
Tall Dude

As a guy who is 6'7, I have been with women who were 5'2 to a woman who was exactly my height, and have always been more fond of the taller women. It has not always been because they were taller, but it seems that because they were taller, they have had to develop more personality because of "short" guys overlooking them because of some social standard that dictates that the male is supposed to be taller than the female.
It seems that the tall women really get the short end of the stick in this cituation, and I understand where they are coming from in wanting to have a guy be taller than them because of social implecations. Being tall is not really as awesome as short people think it is. Buying clothes has always sucked for me, shoes have been a nightmare, and lets not talk about vehicles, doorways, ceiling fans and other things of that nature.
Just be confident in yourself, and life will treat you as well as you treat it.

Mar 20 12 - 7:27pm

My mom has about 4" on my Dad so I never thought of the women being taller as "weird".

In the end it's just confidence if you don't care then she won't either.

I'm 5'9" and I've dated multiple women over 6' who didn't normally date shorter, all I did was talk to them like any other girl. Sometimes they might feel self-conscious in heels and I might just make a comment about how much I love their long legs, if you have chemistry and you make the woman secure and beautiful, well you may find yourselves being the same height laying down if you know what I mean.

Mar 20 12 - 8:12pm

I have two good friends who are married and she is 5'9" and he is 5'0". So it happens. People ask all the time if he is her little brother, which must be awkward, but they have been together for 8 years now so it must work for them.

Her and I were quite close and I don't think she ever mentioned his height once.

Mar 21 12 - 8:25pm

As long as you're not lying about your height, I don't see the problem. A friend of mine hit it off with a guy on a dating site who claimed to be 5'5"; she's about 5' 6" herself and loves short men, so this was fine with her. Not so fine when he kept making excuses why they shouldn't meet (while developing an e-mail relationship with her), or when he finally could no longer avoid an in-person meeting and turned out to be about 5' nothing, and horribly self-conscious. The funny thing was, she would have been fine with his real height if he hadn't lied and acted weird about it. I'd guess that short with a chip on your shoulder about how women don't like short (when some do) wouldn't be particularly attractive either.

Mar 22 12 - 2:20pm

I'm not sure I love this idea that whatever flaws you have, a good person (or the "right" person) won't notice/care about them. Some people like tall guys. Some people like short guys. Those people aren't bad people. We're all allowed to have our preferences. Also, did this guy try messaging girls who are not stereotypically attractive? Straight girls are at least socially, if not biologically, conditioned to be into tall dudes. Straight guys are conditioned to be into certain traits as well. If he's failing at picking up conventionally beautiful women, why doesn't he try to go for non-conventionally beautiful girls? Or does he think that hot women should overlook his physical flaws without his overlooking theirs?

Mar 22 12 - 5:08pm

I'm 5ft 6 - totally average and only an inch taller. Your height wouldn't bother me, but I might notice its lack on a profile, think it was because you were insecure about that particular point, and dock you mental points for confidence. You are you. Own it.

Mar 24 12 - 5:58pm

I love short guys!!

Mar 25 12 - 11:15am

Let her know that you are short befoe the date, but in a funny off-hand way. And then never mention it again. Nothing is more annoying than a guy who constantly talks about his insecurities and bitterness.

Mar 30 12 - 7:37pm

To LW1 - Afraid of Falling Short - the advice you're being given is good advice. If you have a problem with your height or nose, or hair color, that's going to get communicated. You are who you are and you can't change your height, just like those women who posted above about their own height insecurities can't change theirs. And to be honest, that could be a source of some of that "height-ism", as well as simple basic attractions.

Something to keep in mind are a few facts: the average height for men in the U.S. is 5'9", for women 5'4". So you are taller than the average woman, don't forget that.

To be honest, when I did the same thing that you're doing, dipping the toes in the online dating scene after moving to a new city, I worried about similar things. I'm not tall (5'8"), am bigger than I oughta be and shave my head due to that old male pattern baldness. So if you toss those things together, you can just imagine how many women have profiles saying their seeking guys talled than I am, or skinnier or with a full head of hair. But instead of running from that I just embraced it - if she's not going to be attracted, I'm not wasting her time or mine. So I'd fill out the profile fields honestly, with my actual height and current pictures and let the chips fall where they may. For me it worked, even if it often took time to get replies or get past the initial contacts phase. I've dated women who were 5 foot even, on up to one who claimed to be "5'12" (yes, she's 6 feet tall)" and she loved her heels too. My current girlfriend of 3 years likes the fact that I'm not so tall that she hurts her neck to talk to me - her height questions were to make sure that I wasn't too much taller than her 5'2".

Apr 21 12 - 12:51pm

I'm 5'10-and-a-bit and what I've found when I'm standing or walking with someone shorter than me — acquaintance, partner, man, woman, whatever — I start to stoop, thinking somehow that this will play down my self-perceived elephant-ness when people look at me. What it really results in is a tallish woman with crap posture. But when I'm standing next to someone who is taller than me I actually straighten up. So, what — shorter people are bad for my self-confidence and taller people are better for my spine? I don't know. It's stupid either way and I'm working on it, but it's my tall-girl hangup.

Apr 30 12 - 4:37pm

Short and tall girls in their teens or 20's from my experience, have the most issues concerning a man's height. They need the tall, "trophy" boyfriend during their youthful years to show off to the girlfriends. It's practically a social requirement at that age. His worth to her is routinely measured on the basis of him being taller when she's wearing high heels. Most women I've encountered standing between 5'0 and 5'5 have serious issues with shorter men. They show a lot of love for taller guys and the most distaste for shorter guys. There are those few short women who prefer to date men at or near eye-level, meaning some short guys are SOL. There are tall women who also have a genuine disliking of shorter guys. Most of them do. Their desires to land a taller or equally tall mate is often stronger than that of a shorter woman. For insecure women of all sizes, having a taller man on her arm means fitting in, looking normal and not standing out as a freakish couple by virtue of society's ridiculous norms. Lots of tall women have a fears of gianthood in the company of shorter people, not just men alone. They dread the thought of being called a mom with her son or a big sister with her baby brother in public with a shorter guy. On the flipside, there are tall ladies who welcome shorter men with open arms. Some even have a fetish for short guys. I've only met a tiny handful of the super tall, amazon variety that are turned on by dating guys nearly a foot shorter. There are very few 6'1, Anna Goldfarb type ladies who prefer shorter guys and find them more attractive than taller guys.