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 (1,590 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 61

    I am 5″10″ and meet women 4’11’–5’1″ all the time. Having their breasts below my belt when I go to hug them is not much of a hug…

  2. 62

    Am I the only one here who finds a striking similarity between tom’s long-winded posts and jamie’s (#37) ?

    tom: “I am fun, incredibly sexy and handsome to boot, not to mention very successful.”
    jamie: “…I’m out having fun and great sex with cool, interesting, successful and good looking men…”

    i’m not saying they are necessarily one and the same person, but why would a self-proclaimed attractive blonde jump into the debate to clarify what tom was trying to say and end up sounding equally sanctimonious and preachy? She also used the same unrealistic and gut-churning descriptions of short men as tigers in the sack, not to mention the same rhetorical device of juxtaposing a woman’s physical preferences with her psychological stature? (“But while …you are complaining (we complain all the time about men, ladies, admit it), maybe you in the final analysis are really the short one…”)

    Quite a coincidence!

    1. 62.1

      I agree. I reread #37 and I found the writing style, word choice and analogies very similar (e.g. the point about neanderthals, women being “free” and short men being better dancers).

  3. 63

    I am very tall for a woman. I am 6’1″ in bare feet. I am dating a man who is 5’5″ on a good day. We look ridiculous together, but we are happy. He treats me way better than the 6’7″ man I was with before. Short men are an untapped resource. When my girlfriends complain that there are no good men left out there, I just tell them to “Look Down!”

    1. 63.1
      Paul H.

      I don’t like when women wear heels because I have a foot fetish and heels give women unhealthy & unsightly problems like hammer toes, corns & bunions. Yuck! Give me a woman who wears sandals or goes barefoot a lot and has perfect feet anyday!

  4. 64

    Same reason most men don’t like seriously overweight women. Because size matters, whether it should or not.

  5. 65

    “Is it so superficial to want someone who is in shape?”


    It’s just that everyone who is “in shape’ is NOT thin, and everyone who is thin is NOT “in shape”.

    It’s just that men — irrespective of what THEY look like, and irrespective of whether THEY’RE in shape — WANT THIN — they could give less of a damn about in shape.

  6. 66

    “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 …”

    Tom is a status hound.

    He’s just been more irritated (and vocal) about it until now, and because he’s short, the women that he’s wanted because it gives him status in other mens’ eyes have overlooked him because of a trait that (sometimes) affects status in other womens’ eyes.

  7. 67


    Actually, the girl I was referring to who saw a five mile, no elevation gained hike was reasonably thin, but she wasn’t used to physical activity, so a hike of a few miles seemed like climbing Everest to her.

    You have a good point, not every thin person is in shape and not every overweight person is out of shape. I have had at least one girlfriend who would be considered overweight. The fat wasn’t on her stomach though, and she was so confident and intelligent that I never, ever would have said anything to her about her weight ever. She exercised too, so I gave her a lot of credit for that. She broke up with me, not the other way around.

    I think in general overweight people – men and women – are going to be a lot less likely to be able to do physical things with you. If you’re athletic and/or outdoorsy, not dating an overweight person is not something to be ashamed of, though not something to be proud of either.

    I hate to be this honest, but fat on a girl’s stomach is the major turn off. Thighs, arms – cellulite there is okay. But fat on her stomach is a different story.

  8. 68
    suzy Q

    I am 5’2/ 100 pounds, with DDD boobs and a decent face, and I only like to date guys who are taller than 5’11. I dont know why, but growing up short, I just feel like I want my kids to at least have a shot at being tall. Also, I feel like Im hot enough that I dont want other women’s rejects. Maybe this is TMI, but I also like what a taller/stronger man can do to me in the bedroom– I kinda like being thrown around a little, and a shorter (or even skinnier) guy just doesnt do it for me…

    1. 68.1

      Okay, that’s your preference, and that’s cool.   Two things though..

      1) Don’t be one of those women who discriminates against short men.   The fact you call them “rejects” says too much about your insecurities, and the fact that you are prejudiced.

      2) Understand that taller doesn’t =   stronger.

      3) Understand that taller men don’t necessarily =  taller kids.   Too few people understand the complex genetic trait of height, and even more importantly, too many people underestimate environmental factors on development.

  9. 69

    Suzy Q–
    You wrote, “I feel like Im hot enough that I dont want other women’s rejects.”

    What a curious thing to say. If someone is dating you, wouldn’t it follow that he was some other woman’s reject at least once? Or do you only date men who NEVER been in a relationship? Or are the “love ’em and leave ’em” types who never stick around long enough to be rejected?

    That is such an odd statement I hope you write back to clarify.

  10. 70

    Just a quick note, super handsome will trump short. For example: back in the day, Robert Conrad from Wild, Wild West was 5’6 1/2″ – he didn’t hurt for women – no tall guys could stay with him – Maybe wit the exception Warren Beattie!

  11. 71

    At 5′ 6″, I’m not super-short, but still usually shorter than any of my male friends…

    I’ve had no trouble attracting the ladies, and for me height is no issue. I am usually attracted to women who are a similar height to me, but I’ve absolutely no problem if her heels make her three inches taller (heels are too sexy to be avoided!)…

    All this talk of “all short men have attitude problems” is a ridiculous generalisation and demonstrates woeful ignorance. Sort it out people.

  12. 72

    There is a similar bias against tall women. I’m nearly 6’0 without shoes. Unlike many of my friends (the majority of whom are 5’4 and under) I don’t have any height requirement for men I date. But I’ve found that it’s the rare man of any height who is willing to consider dating a woman as tall as me, at least in the online world.

    I’ve also tried my own experiment of changing my height online to see of that was the sole factor and, lo and behold, it’s true. From my experience, 5’7 seems to be the tallest that men online are interested in. I’m sure that height is not the only turn-off in my profile as I’m also an attorney! I deleted references to my profession and online reponses increased even more. But combine my real height and my job and it’s the kiss of death in the online dating world.

    What is funny to me is that in the real world I’ve never had any problem meeting men of all various heights who were interested in dating me. If I relied on online dating alone, I’d probably be single forever.

  13. 73

    Kristen’s #72 –

    “What is funny to me is that in the real world I’ve never had any problem meeting men of all various heights who were interested in dating me. If I relied on online dating alone, I’d probably be single forever.”

    No s&*t. A crass way of saying that dating is like investing…diversify your investments. Instead of muni bonds, stocks, mutual funds, etc., you do some online dating, join an activity club, book club, or other pursuit. Spend time in places where the guys you like are (do I hear sports bars? lol). While ubiquitous, online dating still isn’t the most organic manner of meeting someone.

    Love the tall girls too Kristen. Past faves include 6′, 5’11 & 1/2″, & 5’10” (also 4’11”, 5’3″, 5’2″- no height preference here). Though, I’ve found many taller women who want guys 6’3″ +. It’s understandable. But online, it has a chilling effect on those 5’10” guys who believe it’s more likely than not a tall woman wants a proportionately tall man.

    That said, I think some shorter guys have that image of the movie Deuce Bigalow, where he come up to her waist (not to mention rubbing her size 23 feet!)…

  14. 74
    the foreigner

    Evan, I love what you’re doing, but I think your comparison is a bit off:

    Tom got just about as many unsolicited mails and winks in the Pittsburgh profile as he got in Philadelphia, if you take how many women that actually saw his profile into account (11 vs. 212 views). In fact, he got more unsolicited winks in his “short” profile than in his tall one (18 % vs 13 % wrt views).

    I’m short and I do think it matters, especially when you try to filter out dates from a big crowd of people. We do in this a lot in net dating with automated profile searches, but it doesn’t have to mean anything in reality.

    So, maybe the best thing is to leave height out of the (searchable) height box and instead write it in the presentation?

    In that way you’re not lying, but your profile will still turn up on searches.

  15. 75
    Evan Marc Katz

    1) I don’t believe you can hide your height. Thus, you have two choices: tell the truth or lie.

    2) Your use of Tom’s statistics is extremely faulty.

    “He got more unsolicited winks in his short profile than his tall one”.

    Really? Last I checked, 28 was more than 2. By trying to manipulate these numbers, Foreigner, you willfully ignore the HUGE problem that faces short men who date online.

    Who cares of 2 out of 11 people winked at him? He was only seen by ELEVEN people. This is somehow better than being seen by 212 people? Honestly…

  16. 76

    I guess I see where the women who are coming from think that being with a bigger guy make them feel more dainty and feminine, but isn’t it really a matter of how, say a short man would treat a woman as to whether or not she feels feminine? If he treats her in a gallant, chivalrous way, then that is what makes me feel more feminine. Tom does have a lot going for him. I’m sure someone out there will recognize that he is fabulous.

  17. 77
    Michael Ejercito

    There is a similar bias against tall women. I’m nearly 6’0 without shoes. Unlike many of my friends (the majority of whom are 5’4 and under) I don’t have any height requirement for men I date. But I’ve found that it’s the rare man of any height who is willing to consider dating a woman as tall as me, at least in the online world.
    I have met women that tall that I would be willing to date.

  18. 78

    Geez folks – time to go to a cancer ward and feeling too short or too tall will go away fast I promise.

    1. 78.1

      Yes Rob.. because playing the “there’s always something worse” card, really proves anything concerning the prejudice against short men?


  19. 79

    Rob, you said it all!

    I’m of the Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” school of thought regarding what constitutes a good man. I dated a man who was shorter than me who was absolutely wonderful. I dated a man who was 6 ft. that was every negative stereotype of men and dating.

    But your example of Tom is not a good one. Tom is a big success story. it doesn’t matter if 200 women or just 1 flocked to him. If its about finding the love of your life, all it takes is just one.

    I think the category that has it the toughest are women in their 50sw. My girlfriends in that age who are on match and who are good looking, accomplished, kind, fun, mentally healthy do not even have men lwho ook at their profiles, let alone date them. Their “who’s viewed me” is empty.

  20. 80

    Wow, I never thought a topic could get so heated! I suppose that all of us have one thing or another we would love to change about ourselves and can’t, reasonably (plastic surgery not withstanding) Whether we are short, or have a funny nose, or oddly small toes, you can never know what the deal breaker is for someone else. And if they are not into what you have, then why would you want them anyway? As for the whole short man debate, I too used to date tall men only (I’m 5’3″), but my last bf was the exact same height and it didnt matter in the whole wanting to date him dilemma, bc his personality and great sense of humor put aside anything else. So who knows, really?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *