If You Are Short, Fat, Older or An Asian Man, You Must Read This. But Especially If You’re Short.

If you’re a regular reader, you probably knew that I was on the CBS Early Show in July. Appearing with me was one of my all-time favorite clients, Tom Pandolfo. Charming, charismatic, successful, warm, athletic… Tom has it all. The only thing missing in his life is a woman. So, after hiring me as his dating coach, we set to work in rebranding him on Match.com.

We took new professional photos. We had Tom fill out my long questionnaire and submit to an hour of questions from me on the phone. We wrote two new profile essays that were unique, funny and confident. We renamed him “LookMaNoHair.”

And we watched as his in-box filled up with interested women.

You can see what a great experience it was in this CBS Early Show clip:

What I haven’t yet mentioned is that Tom Pandolfo is 5’3″.
Height doesn't define a man as a husbandI didn’t want to mention it for the same reason that Tom didn’t want to mention it in his profile: because it’s irrelevant to anything that makes him a good accountant, husband, or father. Yet his height defines him, since it has prevented otherwise interested women from being interested in him over the course of his entire life.

Height is irrelevant to anything that makes a man a good husband or father.

This instantly reminded me of a story that ABC did years ago on this very issue.

To see if the women would go for short guys who were successful, ABCNEWS’ Lynn Sherr created extraordinary résumés for the shorter men. She told the women that the shorter men included a doctor, a best-selling author, a champion skier, a venture capitalist who’d made millions by the age of 25.

Nothing worked. The women always chose the tall men. Sherr asked whether there’d be anything she could say that would make the shortest of the men, who was 5 feet, irresistible. One of the women replied, “Maybe the only thing you could say is that the other four are murderers.” Another backed her up, saying that had the taller men had a criminal record she might have been swayed to choose a shorter man. Another said she’d have considered the shorter men, if the taller men had been described as “child molesters.”

Lest you think this is an example of reality TV finding evidence to support a story, Tom tried his own experiment last week. Sure enough, few women give a fair shake to a man who is 5’3”, no matter what else he has going for him.

I’m going to let Tom take it from here.

So I tried changing my profile for three days just to see what the difference was between being 5’3″ and 5’10”. I wanted to know if height was the only difference and the constant deal breaker. So I moved my profile from Pittsburgh and posted it for 3 days in a town where nobody knew me (Philadelphia). Here’s what I found:

5’3” in Pittsburgh 5’10” in Philadelphia
Mutual matches 0 80
Reverse matches 12 400
Petite women w/pics w/in 50 miles 45 650
Views in 3 days 11 212
Emails received – unsolicited 0 32
Winks received – unsolicited 2 28
Emails sent out 6 6
Replies received to emails sent out 0 6


This proves, in stark and undeniable terms, two things:…

Life – and people – can be incredibly unfair. We talked about this just the other day. People want what they want. They’re attracted to what they’re attracted to. And no amount of complaining is going to change it.

Oh, and I am one helluva dating coach. 60 unsolicited contacts in three days? Six replies from six emails sent? Come on. That’s pretty damn good!

Okay, I’m kidding about the last part, but only because I’m so serious about the rest of this. Really, it kills me.

Why, in God’s name, is it important for women to stand on tiptoes to kiss a guy?

Believe me, Tom is no “woe-is-me” kind of guy. He’s just been confronted with a very ugly reality that has shaken his confidence in people. And even though we had good initial results, the fact remains, empirically: women don’t want short men.

And although you can feel free to substitute “older women”, “older men”, “heavier women”, or “Asian men”, I honestly feel that nobody gets a rawer deal than short guys.

Honestly, ladies…You can get your own dishes from the top shelf. You don’t really need to feel “protected” from the dangers of suburbia. And why, in God’s name, is it important to stand on your tiptoes to kiss a guy?

So how about it, women? Is there any legitimate reason not to go out with this amazing, amazing man?

Talk to me. I want to hear the truth.

Join our conversation (1,555 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 721

    The “big deal” is that short people are victims of blatant prejudice and discrimination and nothing is being done about it.  That’s the big deal.  And short men face even more discrimination than short women.  In the dating world women are highly prejudiced against short men, and I’m referring to even short women, who, in large part due to the influence of the major media, want men who are disproportionately taller than either average height or tall women want.  Short people are discriminated against in the workplace, locked out of sports, are held back by a REAL glass ceiling, are chosen as targets of social, workplace and street predators, are called names that no recognized group would tolerate, have no recourse legally, and you want to know what the “big deal” is?  Do you think a guy can go waltzing around like a little fool spouting, “Oh!  Good things come in small packages!  Oh!  Am I glad I’m short!!!”  That may be fine for little girls like you, who will only date 6’11” men, and they will date you, because it makes them feel “BIG” but let’s get a dose of reality here, shall we?

  2. 722

    So Starthrower, assuming you were of the perfect measurement, you wouldn’t have given him a chance. How myopic of you.

  3. 723

    Kyth you are assuming and you know what they say about people who assume.  You are looking to be offended by reading something into my remark that was not even remotely intended.  However it will make your day to learn he rejected me which I no doubt deserve.  You’re welcome.

  4. 724

    I’ll be completely honest, I’ve never been one to hit on guys I don’t know.  First off, I’m not that confident.  Second, if I go talk to a guy with the intent to flirt, I stand there gaping like a dying fish.  I let the (small number) of guys come to me.  If they are taller than I am, that’s a plus.  Shorter isn’t a negative though.  If I’m interested based on personality, I’ll go for anyone.
    However, I do get where other people are coming from as a woman of a larger build that comes at 5’7″.  It isn’t the most comfortable thing to be walking next to a man and having their eye level be in my assets.  I also have the issue of being very strong; in high school, I was a thrower in track and field, and to this day, weight training is my favorite way to work out.  I joke with my friends and say, “My only physical requirement in a man is that if we got into a fist fight, I want to lose.  But he’s got to be the type of guy who would never get physical with anyone except out of defense.  I’m so damn picky!”
    Overall, it is nice when a man doesn’t make me feel like She-Hulk.  But that happens with tall, skinny guys too. If the world was perfect, a handsome, smart, caring man who was just tall enough for me to be eye level with when I wear heels would come carry me easily over the threshold.  But the world isn’t perfect.  

  5. 725

    I love guys my height. If a guy is secure enough in who he is, his height (trust me) has nothing to do with his manliness. I am 5’7″ and love guys under 6′. Why? simple. When you embrace a man the same height as yourself, well, everything just seems to line up, or match, if you know what I mean. And I myself, find that hot. A guy who is confident enough to be out with me when I am in heels, well thats hot too. And who even thinks of height when your snuggled up on the couch or rolling around on the floor? Really, all he has to be is stronger than me, (I’m 127 lbs) so thats usually not an issue…can pick me up (again being thrown over a 5’6″ shoulder is no different than a 6’4″ shoulder except not as far to fall when your laughing so hard you fall off). Guys are humans in the body they get. And if a guy is reasonably confident in who he is, size really does not matter.

  6. 726

    I’m a 5’2″ woman and I actually prefer men that are shorter. 5’3″ to 5’6″ is my favorite height range, but I wouldn’t mind someone shorter either. I like guys close to my size because tall guys tend to call me delicate and breakable, which annoys me to no end. Dating shorter men makes it easier to get a good looking one, because less people want to date them, and with both of us being small, we have a lot in common to complain about. Also, hugs are much more personal when your faces are close; I’m sick of being tucked under people’s chins. I’ve actually had tall guys mad at me because I refuse to date them.

  7. 727

    I have hugged many 4’11” to 5’0” women uncomfortably, I am only 5’10”.   I agree with you, sometimes, it seems as if, short, beautiful, available, women, are all our creator made…I think most tall women, stay busy…

  8. 728
    Jen X Yoder

    Re: asian men
    Send them to me.

  9. 729

    I can’t believe that this is still going strong.
    I was comment 373 and the number of comments are still overwhelmingly about height.
    What I want to know about from the author is the incredible generalization of his notion that asian men have trouble dating.
    Either everyone is being politically (racially) correct or perhaps that race really has very little to do with dating.
    Again, I will say that I am 6’2″, smoking good looking (why be ashamed of it when one really is?), educated and successful.
    Because I am Asian, I will have trouble dating regardless of the above?
    In case you think I do. I don’t.

  10. 730
    Anon Ymous

    Men from developed countries with a steady meat supply in their diet should not be very short. Being very short in this society is an indication of bad genes. So short women can date short men. I gave short men a chance anyway, even though I am tall. They were always psychologically unhealthy and gave me a creepy vibe. Finally, short men are sexually unattractive in an undeniable way to me. It is not that women need to be protected for actual physical reasons. It is that women want to be protected for sexual, instinctual reasons. Our biology does not change because suburbia was invented 50 years ago. As the article said, fat, ugly, and older women get the short end of the stick, as do shorter man. However, if you are a short woman, then you should not turn down a short man just based on his height. The height difference should be 1-4 inches, not too extreme.

  11. 731
    Violet Knight

    I’m a 5″0 female and I do not care about height in a man.  I guess I’m in the minority and my height means pretty much every guy is bigger than me.  So to be fair it is a different situation than if I was medium or tall height.  I don’t think it’s shallow for women to be attracted to taller men.  It may be biological and not from the media.  I don’t know.  Perhaps I didn’t get enough of the media influence.  I don’t think I’m “stronger” as the one commenter said.  It came naturally.  It’s simply who I’m attracted to.  There’s pros and cons to tall or short, they’re both fun to me.  I wish I could say that short guys were more awesome in bed, (like the one commentator enthusiastically stated) but that’s a stereotype, people are people.  I’m sure the short guys would probably appreciate that stereotype though.  The only time I found myself wanting a huge guy was when I lived in a really dangerous neighborhood and I thought it’d be best if I had about 5 huge men (tall and heavy) living with me.  But once I moved to a safe neighborhood,  I just love whoever I love.  Someone said they wanted someone stronger than they were.  It doesn’t seem likely to ever happen, but I think it’d be a blast to be stronger.  I had a huge (and beautiful) female friend who used to regularly be physically intimidating to guys when they were out of line, and being with her really made me wish I could do that too.  She didn’t seem any less feminine for doing that, more like angry amazon woman or Zena the warrior princess.  

  12. 732

    Re: Anon Ymous post 739
    I suppose one could look at short stature as an indication of bad genes. I would say that people who lack intelligence or those with a predisposition to disease have even worse genes. Yes, I am aware that many women feel the same way about short men, however I do believe that the more intelligent women do not put much emphasis on the importance of height. I think your post showed some real intent to be hurtful and even the implication that shorter women have bad genes is a bit elitist. But hey this is the internet, that’s your opinion and this is mine.

  13. 733

    Also, about the Asian men; I personally think a lot of Asian men are really attractive. I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t.

  14. 734

    I am a 30 year old guy, 5 foot four, and have always had a little bit of trouble compared with much taller guys when it comes to the ladies but it hasn’t been so bad. If I had been reading this kind of stuff (the comments section here, for instance) since I was in middle school I probably would have grown up depressed and jaded. My only advice to any young guys who may be reading this, don’t read this kind of garbage. It doesn’t help. The people on here couldn’t care less about you personally and are totally  irrelevant your future happiness.  There are plenty of wonderful women in the real world. Worry about being a good person and meeting a lady you like/love- not what other people think of you and her together.  

    1. 734.1

      I have been waiting, Erik. Waiting a long time. I am 4’11” woman. Scrawny too.  Don’t even try to match my litany of woes. You can’t. I am 29 years old and never been on a date or anything. I get rejected from every angle. People only approach me as a short or exotic joke. I am trying to accept my life as it is but of course reading articles like this don’t help. I have good days and bad. Just trying to take my acceptance one day at a time. 

  15. 735

    I’m Nathan, I’m 5 foot 1.
    It’s the biggest problem I’ve had with dating.
    Women find me to be charming, funny and great (Their words not mine) But have later go on to confess that my height is such a huge factor they just can’t get over.
    Oh the Irony.
    As for the Napoleon Complex I’d like to think I don’t suffer from it.
    To be honest I can sometimes see it as the idea crafted by the public so they can label the argument we try to make, everything has to have a label these days. So it fits.
    I’m happy with who I am as a person and as a man, I haven’t found a woman who sees that regardless of my height, which was actually drastically affected by treatment for a life threatening illness. So to say that you’re afraid that you’re kids may be short as well could be completely unfounded, then again every situation is different.
    I will never know exactly how tall I could have been, but if I’d offered 5 foot 5, I would have taken it in a heart beat, because as someone said on here, ” stay within 2 inches of your own height and you’ll be fine” I’m left with five foot 3 or lower. I like small girls, I like tall girls it doesn’t matter as long as they are great people, but I’ve also come into the understanding of how many shorter women love taller men so it’s a bit of short straw no matter how you look at it.
    It’s my burden to deal with, it’s the way I am, just like how people are considered less attractive due to nationality, appearance or what they like.
    If my height is the worst burden I have to carry in my life, I’d have to say I’m doing pretty well. I’m not physically or mentally disabled and I lead a perfect normal life.
    I consider myself lucky, and when I find a girl to fall in love with, she will too 🙂 

  16. 736

    I am 5’10”, and with a shortage of x chromosomed beings…continue the search..the ratio is one out of every ten you meet….

  17. 737

    I am 5′ 7″  and athletic body. I have never had a boyfriend taller than me. I do care more about character and personality than looks. Yes, I know looks is what we check first but actions and attitude is what make an impression to me. If the guy does not care about being taller than me and approaches me , he has a date. In fact my actual boyfriend is about 5′ 3″ so charismatic, lot of personality, and best of all prejudice free.

  18. 738
    A 20-Something Girl

    Well, it’s like what you constantly preach on your blog, Evan. Maybe the short guy needs to lower his search criteria, admit his flaws, and stop looking for the perfect woman. Maybe the few hits on his profile includes older women, or single mothers who are willing to overlook his height for a stable provider. I’m sure the short guys will find someone, once they learn to compromise and be realistic. Just like what you tell the rest of us.

    1. 738.1

      Why cant short guys simply find short women?

      Why should they have to use his “providing ability and stability” to get women?
      Short women don’t have to do that.

      You are indirectly admitting that being short only affects men..not women. And that short men are unattractive to women hence they can only be accepted for their providing ability.

  19. 739

    All i read is about:
    1.- I want wear high heels.
    2.- I never get over my electra complex, i wanna be hug by daddy, like when i was a little girl.

  20. 740

    “Well, it’s like what you constantly preach on your blog, Evan. Maybe the short guy needs to lower his search criteria, admit his flaws, and stop looking for the perfect woman. Maybe the few hits on his profile includes older women, or single mothers who are willing to overlook his height for a stable provider. I’m sure the short guys will find someone, once they learn to compromise and be realistic. Just like what you tell the rest of us.”
    So wait, a 20-something short man with no kids, in shape, and college educated should include single moms and older women. I do not see his female counterparts doing this…

    1. 740.1

      Women’s bigotry is amazing isnt it?

  21. 741

    @Violet Knight,
    So what happens when you meet a guy who is 4’10. Just TELL THE TRUTH: What you really mean to say is that the guy be “short but still taller than you”…

  22. 742

    What you mean to say is “short but still taller than me”, that sh*t again…

  23. 743

    @Michelle, comment 719,
    No, that will not increase their chances, do the real math…

  24. 744

    Paul had me at: “Dominant can be fun in bed.” Hey, being honest here. I’m 5’2″, 46, and currently weigh about 180 (wow, painful honesty there—that is not a minimizing lie; when I’m working out and eating right, I weigh less, but sometimes I slip and have to pick myself back up and get back to a fit lifestyle).
    If I tell you only my good points, I look like a great date and a terrific woman. And I am. But if you look at my straight statistical profile, out of context, you’re going to see a couple of traditional deal-breakers.
    Context is everything. And that’s something I’ve learned from working hard to mitigate my own on-paper deal-breakers. I’ve learned to defer judgment on other people’s potential deal-breakers until I have some context to put that in.
    I think short guys, like anyone else with one of the classic dating “issues,” need to open up and defer judgement on dates who may have an issue on paper. I’m not saying you should “settle.”
    I’m saying if you (for example) don’t like fat chicks, and a potential date is overweight, it still might be worth a couple of dates to find out if overweight is a constant problem in her history or if she has usually taken care of herself and has re-adopted good lifestyle habits. You might find a partner who struggles and sometimes slips but whose attitude towards taking care of herself is what you want, and who is usually within your comfort zone.
    If a woman is losing the weight, once she’s taken it off, a lot of guys are going to want to date her. If she’s losing the weight and isn’t the type to stop working when she gets a relationship, if her history is that this lifestyle effort isn’t temporary, then you may have a window to snap her up before some other guy gets there.
    I’d take the same attitude towards a guy who has had a financial reverse. There are a lot of people with good financial and job habits out there who are hurting at the moment. Their history and habits are more together than their present state. When he gets it back together, there’s going to be a lot of competition for him. Right now? Window of opportunity if I take the time to learn the context before judging.
    My advice would be to date the girls who are responding to your profile and recognize that they will probably have deal-breakers. Take time to find out if the deal-breaker is improved by context. Most won’t be; most will be true deal-breakers. But ultimately, you only need one diamond.
    A lot of short guys have developed un-lovely personality scars in response to the way the world treats short men. The nasty personality scars would be a reasonable deal-breaker for a non-shallow woman. Women aren’t being totally irrational in declining to date very short men. But they are jumping to conclusions without learning the context, and that context could be that the guy really is a great partner.
    So I encourage you not to “settle” in a mate, but to “settle” in a date–at least long enough to find out the context.

  25. 745

    I’ve recently dated a slightly shorter man. I really didn’t care, except I couldn’t get over the fact that he had clearly lied about his height and weight in his profile. If he had been honest I still would have gone on the date, but unfortunately this mild deception put me off. I guess you either risk less interest, but at least people women who are genuinely into you, or you inflate your stats and hope there’s some good ones in the mix when they realise you’ve told a white lie. X

  26. 746
    Anon S

    I’m male, and am somewhere between 5’4 and 5’5 in height.  I’ve used both Match.com and Okcupid.  I have between a 50%-60% response rate on messages I send, and most of my best dates are with girls who chose to contact me.  I am successful, but not wealthy. I’m somewhat socially awkward but quite smart.  Interpret that as you may.  
    I actually read this stupid dispiriting article before I made an account and tried to date. My experience: The above might be true with all else being equal, but I think if you have something to bring to the table, and you don’t get self conscious about your height, then you’ll be fine.

  27. 747


    I wouldn’t mind dating a guy shorter than me as long as he was of appropriate age and fairly attractive, but the fact is I’ve never actually met a guy shorter than me who was anywhere near my age.

  28. 748
    married to a short guy

    I married a shorter man (5’5″) who is two inches taller than I am.  Before we met (when he was in his mid thirties), he’d had ONE girlfriend.  When I introduced him to my friends, they all said, “Nice guy.  But he’s awfully short.”  That’s honestly what they all said, and all I could think was, “Really?  Who in the world cares?!”  The funny thing is, most of those girlfriends are now completely jealous of our marriage and wish they could find a guy like him.  Yet, when they date, they go after these guys who are superficial and don’t treat them very well.  I’ve been with my husband for 12 years now, and have never regretted marrying him.  I agree about short guys getting an unfair deal…the women who are passing them up really don’t know what they’re missing out on.

  29. 749

    Married to a short guy#757
    I was married to a short guy (5’6″), I’m 5’2″.  We had it really great for a few years and I agree with your assessment that most girls overlook short men for the wrong reasons.
    But just so everyone knows this as well, short doesn’t automatically mean they are great at relationships or are super-grateful that us women are paying them attention. Just judge each man on his own merits.  Please don’t pre-judge ANYBODY or their height or lack thereof and make false assumptions.
    My dear husband left me for another woman.  Character, not height, determines a man.

  30. 750
    Sparkling Emerald

    married to a short guy 757
    “When I introduced him to my friends, they all said, “Nice guy.  But he’s awfully short.”
    Very tacky thing for your friends to say, it’s one thing if they don’t want to date a 5’5” guy, but they shouldn’t try to shame anyone else for doing so.  I wonder what they would say if someone married a guy that they didn’t think was very cute.  Would they say “Nice guy, but he’s he’s kind of homley” ?
    I’m only 5’3″ & half inches, and both my hubbies were 5’6″.  Never really gave their height a second thought, but maybe they selected me, at least on an unconscious level because girls taller then them would reject them.  Anyway, both my marriages tanked, but it had nothing to do with their height.
    Happy to hear that you are married to a GREAT guy, regardless of his height.

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