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″.
I 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 Pittsburgh5’10” in Philadelphia
Mutual matches080
Reverse matches12400
Petite women w/pics w/in 50 miles45650
Views in 3 days11212
Emails received — unsolicited032
Winks received — unsolicited228
Emails sent out66
Replies received to emails sent out06


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 (1,584 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 41
    Miss J

    I am 5′ and I love tall guys. I am dating a guy 6’4″. I love guys 6′ plus. I won’t even consider a guy under 5’10. Just my preference. The guys I date are attracted to me as well just as there are men who prefer BBW and women who are ‘very chubby’. I was once dumped by a guy because his type is women with ‘fat rear ends’. There is no rule. Don’t blame us shorter women for dating tall men “leave some for us”. It could be red hair or big xxx that attract men. It is always something.

  2. 42
    Scot McKay

    I found this blog while searching for online dating experts for a project I’m doing.

    Unfortunately I’m in a bit of a rush at the moment lest I comment further, but I will leave these comments:

    1) Regarding the TV study, attempting to apply metrics of real-world human attraction based on an objective list of traits is an untenable concept. In real life each individual’s attractiveness can very easily defy any “standard”.
    2) At 5’6″ I eventually was able to achieve a 60-80% response rate on Match.com. Notably I was specifically targeting the very sharpest women in my own estimation. I met my new wife there, who was receiving 200+ emails per day when I met her.

    3) The Pittsburgh MSA does not compare to Philly MSA in population size. As such, that experiment is flawed.

    4) I personally am convinced that any shorter man can actually be MORE successful than a taller man with women. I have produced an audio program on it with a

  3. 43

    Is anyone going to state the obvious? Men can tell age, weight, breast size within seconds of meeting us yet we women can’t really tell a critical factor of physical endowment until we get a man undressed. Fair or not, most people believe that all things are proportional hence a woman who actually enjoys the physical aspect of a relationship may not be inclined to invest in a short man. Sorry boys, size does matter to an awful lot of us.

    1. 43.1

      The really funny thing is that the size you can’t see has the least relationship to height, as I have repeatedly proven to taller women (in fact, I’ve never dated one shorter than me, and I’m a mere 5’5″). I get many weird questions, like “Do they keep growing?”. They’re not at all proportional to height, since they’re defined by DNA and testosterone production, unlike the length of your bones (defined by your nutrition through childhood and adolescence). If you want a man with size where it counts, look for a guy with distinct male-pattern baldness, because that’s a sign of high testosterone.

  4. 44


    I think the reaon you’re not getting dates is because:

    1. You mis-spell words
    2. You’re response is toooo long
    3. You bring up your sexual habits
    4. You don’t seem fun and self-aware

    1. 44.1

      You must be right Yael…that is most defintely the “reaon”

  5. 45
    Scot McKay

    Michelle, that is one of the most ignorant statements I’ve ever seen anyone make publicly.

    I fully get that “size matters” sexually to women. But the size of a man’s unit is absolutely not necessarily proportional to his height. That’s like supposing that “taller women have larger breasts” or that “shorter people have smaller noses”.


  6. 46

    In response to Michelle’s comment above:

    “Fair or not, most people believe that all things are proportional hence a woman who actually enjoys the physical aspect of a relationship may not be inclined to invest in a short man. Sorry boys, size does matter to an awful lot of us.”

    Michelle (and anyone else who shares this belief in all things proportional), two of the tallest guys I’ve dated (6’2″ and 6’4″) also had the smallest penises. Enough said.

  7. 47

    Let’s face it – the answer is evolution. Why do tiny, short women love taller men just like the average or tall women among us? Evolution. I think, as someone down here said, that since Asians make up the majority of the world’s population, that is the reason why there are still short men in the gene pool. The short men that are around must be evolving to be extra strong or good at other things, since they don’t have the height advantage. Height surely would have been an advantage in the hunter-gatherer times, in the farming times, and the trait continues.

    Has anyone else noticed that we have never ever had a short president? Forget not short, we’ve never had many (or any) presidents that were not taller than average. Hopefully that will change if we finally get a female president. Then again, Hillary is not on the short side of women even. Next to Bill, who is really tall, she can hold her own in the height department.

    I am 5’7 and have tried dating one or two short men in my dating life (one recently), but there was definitely a lack of sexual attraction in those cases. A similar trend holds for very skinny or weak men (just ended with one of those, average height, 5’10 but super skinny and weak, not attractive when it came down to it).

    Any bias on my part could also be chalked up to my own complex, as my mother is 5’10 and my father is 6’3 and me and my little sister are only both 5’7, we feel a bit gipped. Then again, for a woman it seems that this is a great height, a little tall but can still wear heels and be under 6′. Then again, I wouldn’t mind so much being 6′, maybe I could’ve been a professional tennis player. 🙂

    1. 47.1

      Mara, I don’t know if “short” in your case meant shorter than you or shorter than your parents. You say you’re biased and yet you dated short men. Did you feel conscious of the fact because any person you dated could be a potential partner and would eventually be in the family and “measure up”? I don’t know what the average height for Asians are, but I’m Filipino, 5’9″ and fit. My experience with dating non-Filipinos has never been a problem. I’ve found that Filipinos are in an odd group, some think of them as Asian, some as Pacific Islander. In any case, their look is a little different than let’s say Japanese or Chinese. I don’t know if this is a difference. Have I gotten hung up on it? No, if someone chooses to not date me, I move on. We all have preferences, we’re not necessarily racist because we prefer a certain look. For instance, I’m crazy about dark-haired, fair or olive skinned, leggy types. Breasts, not a big deal. I love thighs… I haven’t been attracted to African-American or most mainland Asia and India types. So, we all have preferences. Do I date tall? Yes, when I can. Again, if I approach someone near my height or taller, if I’m turned down, I move on. …can’t force someone to like me, right? But I’m perfectly fine if she is taller than me… even in heels… I LOVE HEELS (and don’t forget I mentioned legs earlier!).

    2. 47.2

      Height was not advantageous in hunter-gatherer times, it was merely a sign that a male had access to prime areas for collecting food. It was actually advantageous to be shorter. There was no actual selection for height, either, or people would be much taller than they are and everyone would be. Genetically, we’re all within an inch of each-other in height.

      Short/stocky builds were advantageous after agriculture hit the scene.

      In the future, short and small builds might actually be even more advantageous as we have less and less physical work to do, since they require less fuel and can devote more energy to the brain, which will be the only thing that matters soon.

  8. 48

    Yael, before you get judgemental about Tom’s spelling, you migh want to consider YOUR response (not YOU’RE response)

  9. 49

    1- i prefer shorter guys myself, i like to feel equal. but i’m 5’2. (although i must admit if he’s thin then i find it tough)

    2- tom, you sound great. try italy for about 2 weeks and you’ll be clobbered with women. this height issue is very much a north american bias.

    3- Evan- i’m new to your stuff. please tell me you have some articles that aren’t saying its women’s fault. between this one and the article “Why Men arent Attracted to SMart, Strong Successful Women” you’d think that the failures in the dating world are largely due to women not ‘getting’ it. Guys too, have their biases- about weight, age, appearances, race… etc. i just hope you guve equal opportunity to pointing these things out on both sides.

  10. 50

    I love short men! I’m only 5’5″ and don’t like compressing disks in my neck to look up at a guy.

    But the reason women go for tall guys is a part of nature. Watch the Discovery channel sometime. The biggest, strongest, most beautiful beasts always win the ladies.

    1. 50.1
      John Bernstein

      ”  The biggest, strongest, most beautiful beasts always win the ladies.”

      Always refreshing when women are honest.

  11. 51

    I have to admit that I prefer men that are taller and larger than me to smaller men. It is nothing against the smaller man, he could be a really great guy. It is my own insecurity about my own size. I am hardly petite, I am 5 ft 6 and weigh…well let’s just say I am a larger woman. I think that couples who do not look somewhat proportionate look rather silly together. Plus when I am out with a guy I want to feel like he could protect me. If it looks like I am more likely to kick someone’s butt than my date is, that is not cool!

    And on the other side of the coin I am the “older woman” and “heavier woman” that no one wants either so I am not getting any dates as well. It works both ways.

  12. 52

    Love the articles. In response to Yael, though:

    1. I’ve dated at least 60 women in the last 3 years because
    I am fun, incredibly sexy and handsome to boot, not to mention
    very successful.

    2. I am involved in a relationship with a gal from Match who
    was one of the more popular ladies on the site in terms
    of views (5,000 monthly) and emails (over 200 week).
    Most men would kill to go out with her and she chose me
    (mostly because I am funny and nonjudgmental with my dates.
    Most of the ladies I have dated are still friends, in fact.

    The main point of the article was that there is a relative, but not absolute bias and I found out what the difference was. But I do fine, I assure you.

    Good luck to you.

  13. 53

    Tom, you’ve got some opinion of yourself! This is the point where immodesty is a turn-off.

    Hold on a second, is this the same Tom Pandolfo? The one who couldn’t get any women on account of his height?

    Anyway, Michelle, the most consistently decently endowed men (of the ones I had) were 5’8″. The problem is, I am not attracted to that height (I am 5’6″, like men at least 5’10”, which coming from me I would think sounds a lot more reasonable than MissJ). I don’t like being taller than my partner on heels and feeling like we are the same size when we are walking (and I am wearing flats), but most importantly, I just do not feel that I am with a MAN. With a man of that stature I feel like I am with a boy. My ex-husband was that height (I was very young and inexperienced when I met him), and I am certain that was one of the main reasons I eventually stopped having sex with him.

    The most insignificant penises I’ve had belonged to men around 5’11”-6′ (thankfully, there were only two).

    But then, I can’t imagine a man packing anything substantial down there if he is smaller than, say, 5’6″.

  14. 54

    This is last time I will entertain this subject for I am in a great relationship with a wonderful and beautiful woman right now. The “study” was just an unscientific exercise in seeing what the diffference was, online, in terms of dating “potential,” that’s all, not “the ability to get a date,” where I don’t have any problems. If that’s immodest and turns you off, I could care. I am sorry, though, JuJu, that although you are “tall” by female standards as far as physcial stature is concerned, you are rather narrow in terms of what makes up a man, which indicates the possibility you may be a little short in various other areas of greater importance than ones vertical stature. And by the way, if you spent two hours with some men shorter than 5’6″, you may find you would be sleeping with a giant, but I’ll leave it at that so we don’t become too “immodest.”

  15. 55

    Again, substitute “overweight women” in any argument you make about the worthiness of short men and you will see how preposterous it all sounds.

    Indeed, size says nothing about a person’s intelligence, integrity, kindness, and the overall beauty of their soul. Only this realization on the intellectual level does not help one bit on the physical or emotional.

    I am also now convinced that Evan spoke a bit too soon in promoting you. All that anger and lack of class speak for themselves.

  16. 56

    “Again, substitute ‘overweight women’ in any argument you make about the worthiness of short men and you will see how preposterous it all sounds.”

    This may not endear me to everyone here, but I think that many men have good reasons for not wanting to date an overweight man or woman. If someone is really active, he or she is has the right to want someone who can keep up.

    I also feel that height preferences are worse than weight preferences because a person has zero control over his or her height. A person does have some control over his or her weight. In my dating, I make a distinction between an overweight woman (with a naturally slow metabolism)who eats right and exercises and an overweight person who also has ice cream for dessert and who sits on the couch all day. I dated an overweight exerciser/eat righter for six weeks once and NEVER THOUGHT of saying anything critical about her body.

  17. 57

    It doesn’t have to be weight (it’s just the first one that comes to mind), just substitute any which feature you might find unattractive. Somebody already mentioned huge noses. (Please don’t tell me that, unlike short men, they can have a nose job. :)).

    By the way, BeenThruTheWars, the average height for women in the US (for all races) is 5’3″, and for men – 5’9″ (courtesy of Wikipedia and things I heard/read previously). I WISH it was 5’10” :), but it isn’t.

    Now, I finally mustered up the patience yesterday to read Tom Pandolfo’s looooong essay. In all honesty, if he was 6’1″ (my preferred ideal height in a man) and in my age group, I wouldn’t date a man who manages to write so much about so little, operates on faulty premises (cultural conditioning? puhleeze. I never did find poster boys attractive), and, not least of it, spells “femininity” – “feminimity” (and that’s at the age of 48).

    Sorry, I had to let that off my chest.

  18. 58

    Tom. You said…”The ‘study’ was just an unscientific exercise in seeing what the diffference was, online, in terms of dating potential, that’s all, not the ability to get a date, where I don’t have any problems.”

    Come on now. It’s ok to admit you needed some help in the getting dates department. That’s why you did the smart thing and enlisted Evan’s services, right?

    This defensive denial – btw – is the type of self-deception that, when seen in a short man, we women tend to view as “Napoleonic”.

    You know the sure sign of confidence? Just being able to let something go. Think you’re a few thousand words beyond that at this point.

  19. 59

    I don’t see how this has failed to come up so far but what about the discrimination against tall women?
    I’m 5’10”. I hate wearing heels because they make me feel worse about my stature. I’ve always lacked confidence with guys; partly because I have been told for as long as I can remember that I “can’t” date anyone less than 2 inches taller than me. My friends, my own grandmother even, have made me feel I am unattractive to the majority of men.
    So what am I doing now? I’m with a 5’3″ guy. I’ve never felt so confident about my looks.

  20. 60

    “Fair or not, most people believe that all things are proportional hence a woman who actually enjoys the physical aspect of a relationship may not be inclined to invest in a short man. Sorry boys, size does matter to an awful lot of us.”

    Even if things were strictly proportional, the length difference on a man who is 5’9” and a man who is 5’4” may not be that much in absolute terms.

    A 5’9”er might seem a lot taller than a 5’4”er, but really, those five inches are equivalent to 8% of overall height. If the 5’9” man is average in length, as well as height, his would be 6”. If everything were proportional, the 5’4” guy would have one that is 5.5” long.

    Women say that size matters, but I can’t believe that five tenths of an inch makes that big a deal in terms of pleasure. Maybe kissing a short guy is awkward, but sex with a short guy might not be that different from sex with a taller guy.

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