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. 801

    Gary (808),
    You are by far the most uplifting man on this site.   Thank you for the words of encouragement.   You honor all men.   You heart is light, and if you should ever find a woman who loves you for your height, or in spite of it, may she also see the light you carry within, because it truly is your best quality.   You have helped straighten out my view of myself, and have given me new hope.   You are right!   NOT ALL women are shallow like that.   We do need to remember that, no matter how many turn downs we have.

  2. 802

    I’m 5’6 white guy who never had too much difficulty trying to attract the opposite sex. Like Location, Location, Location is to real estate – Confidence, Confidence, Confidence is to super attractive to a women. Power/status might be a close, albeit equal criteria but you’re only as small as you want/resign yourself to be!

  3. 803

    So weird, I have no problem with guys who are shorter but I do ask they not be shorter than me but as I am 5’3 thats not really problem. I can’t understand that being a deal breaker at all.

  4. 804

    Libco 804,

    Your post is a contradiction…no you do not like shorter men…

  5. 805


    …..I agree with you….

  6. 806

    A really tall guy (6″3″ and over) with a woman that’s about 5’4″ looks dorky and goon-like to me. An average height guy with an average height girl looks a lot better in my opinion. I’m average height and have been chosen over tall guys many times. Looks and confidence trumps height every time.

    1. 806.1

      I’m a 45 year old 5ft 4 N European married to a ballerina.
      I am broadshouldered, had boyish good looks,
      long-legged. I am fit and muscular but I deliberately do not lift weights. Tertiary education.
      I’m also from a military and traditional background which has taught me manners and the means to deal with people. (What else do I have to state here!) I have had women approach me and tell me I am the best looking man in the room. The only time height is an issue was on a crowded nightclub floor – but these tend to be full of insecure women in their 20s
      following rules. I’ve had 3 occcasions when a tall man has called on my lack of height:
      invariably they have issues (they are skinny and scrawny) or when they see me as rather too level with their own ideas of their self-worth – the final occasion was when the gentleman rather liked me: he was probably used to other men less than 6ft having an issue with him – but I didn’t. Things work strangely sometimes.
      My observations (and tips):
      -It’s not necessarily the height : it’s the package.
      Short men who are scrawny, or dress badly, or carry themselves badly will have a hard time.
      -Do not overcompensate for being short –
      people might unfortunately label you as Napolean. It is unfair when a man who is confident is called up on it. But remember that every cocky man gets called out from time to time. Compensate for being short by being normal, and if you do that by being accomplished, be modest and charming about it. You will therefore be ahead of the average men who have their own issues to deal with. I was lucky in that my looks and my build carried well: in the same way a 6ft man got across the line with his body.
      Do not weight lift – a short stocky man can be a little strange.
      -There is a phase in life where short women will go for tall men, or indeed where women will attempt to check boxes.It’s hard in your 20s but things suddenly start to even out past
      30. I noticed at about 26 that all of a sudden, average men were pairing up very quickly with above average women. When you are 40 like me, you suddenly realise that at 5 4, and fit, that you
      are all of a sudden the alpha male in a sea of fat and spreading men. Go to the
      suburban US and a short charming man would be very attractive in a sea of conformity.

      – Many men who are over 5ft 10 tend to lean to scrawniness. The men with the most impressive physiques tend to be around 5ft 8 or 5ft 10. This protect business is ludicrous: a 150lb 6 footer could lose out to a 170lb 5ft 6in on any day.

      -I dated women a few inches taller and liked tall women.
      I stayed clear of 6 footers of course – probably a bit silly – but
      I also know they find me attractive. Infact I’ve been in scenarios where the 5ft 10 blonde girl in the group has ended up pairing up with me the 5ft 4: the good looking man in the group.
      There was a unspoken chemistry that we were the pair. We shared everything else but height!

      1. 806.1.1

        …you lucky dog…….good looking men get the business..

  7. 807

    I would rather date an broke, unemployed, uneducated, brain damaged, drug-addicted man with who beats my face in when he’s drunk… than some 5’3″ guy.

  8. 808

    I read this guy’s Match profile. Anyone else think it’s very bad?

    First, he pretty much obsesses over some sort of disability he overcame. While men may be impressed, it is a massive turnoff for women. This would be a dealbreaker profile even if he were 6’0″. Add that short thing, and he is just plain old physically defective. Game over for 99% of women.

    Other than that, it’s just another generic “I’m a decent guy” profile. There is no edge whatsoever. Cut and paste from any of a million middle aged guys looking for laughing, cuddling, and cooking dinner together? Yawn.

  9. 809


    …”there is no edge?”…….navigating through the “ocean” of single men must be devastating, how awful….

  10. 810

    Jackie – 808

    I think your post about that guy is extremely condescending if not downright cruel. If he overcame some sort of disability, that is an admirable thing. “It is a massive turnoff for women.” Do you speak for all women? Of course you don’t! “Game over for 99% of woman.” That seems to me to be arrogant, presumptuous and incredibly insensitive. Again, do you purport to be the spokesperson for 99 PERCENT OF WOMAN? OF COURSE YOU ARE NOT! That statement is utterly ridiculous. It also reflects the kind of callous, insensitive woman that, in my opinion, since I would never claim to speak for 99% of men, but only MYSELF – would be an extreme turnoff to the VAST majority of men – and, in my opinion, to anyone with a shred of common sense and decency.

    Putting down the disabled is just plain terrible. Did that even cross your mind before you trashed this guy to everyone on this thread!?

    Plus, how do we know this guy isn’t a returning war hero who incurred some sort of disability fighting for his country? Are you going to put a guy like THAT down, calling him “plain old physically defective?” What a HORRIBLE thing to say about somebody!

    “There is no edge”? What “edge” do YOU possess? In my opinion, decent woman simply do not have to be this cruel and insensitive toward others. And, in my opinion, most men DETEST woman that are so callous and judgmental. Before you judge this guy you trashed, take a good look at YOURSELF! (“YAWN”).

  11. 811

    Jackie 808

    The extreme nature of your comments, in my opinion, demonstrates that you have no regard for the feelings of others. You trash a disabled guy. You say all these terrible things you’d endure before dating a 5′ 3″ guy. I’m average height, so that does not get to me personally. But, to some guy on this thread who IS 5′ 3″ – that is a TERRIBLY rude and thoughtless thing to say! Do you like it when people say rude and thoughtless things to you? Have you no regard for the feelings of others?

    You’d rather date some guy who BEATS YOUR FACE IN WHEN HE’S DRUNK!!! – REALLY? You’d rather date a DOPE ADDICT? In my opinion that is beyond outrageous in addition to being extremely callous and cruel to the 5′ 3″ hypothetical guy you mention in your post. Maybe you should try some empathy for those you trash on this thread. Maybe you should think twice before you comment so that perhaps you can avoid posting cruel and insulting remarks. What gives you the right to be so callous and dismissive of the feelings of others?

    In my personal opinion, you have some very real anger and self esteem issues. Perhaps you should seek professional help before presuming you have the self-appointed right to further trash anyone else with your callous and childish comments.

  12. 812

    All I can figure is that the women of this world who would rather date a physically abusive drug addict than a decent person below average height deserves the horrible life she chooses. Jackie, I guess you want to be broke all the time and have a messed up face. Just do everyone a favor and don’t have kids, okay? If you do, life has a way of being really cruel to them when raised by such close minded people. Perhaps you will have sons who are short because you feed them the standard American garbage that barely passes as “food”. Maybe they will be stupid as well because the only dialogue in your home is the hateful speech you spew about others to mask your own very obvious flaws. Better be careful what you say and do…it might actually matter one day.

  13. 813

    Hey guys, the next time some dumb woman blows you off because you’re short, make sure to remind her of just how ugly she is. As all us shorter dudes know, it really is who you are on the inside that matters most. We have to go to tremendous lengths sometimes just to be noticed, and that brings a lot of personal growth. She is so ugly for not seeing this in you, and she definitely deserves to know it. Also, it can’t hurt to pick out a couple physical flaws as well…like how fat she is or that her nose is really just not cute at all.

    It is an absolute disappointment that generations of women could work so hard for their civil rights just to spawn a horde of gossipy, shallow, entitled, and bossy little princesses. If anything, I would have expected camaraderie from the women of my generation…not direct competition for my job while being used as a “friend” to score with one of my deadbeat 6’0″ friends. Ladies, the choices you make matter. Who you choose as mates shapes the future of our nation and the generations to come. It’s about time you grew up and realized that the content of a person’s character makes a man, not his size. If you want a bunch of lazy, fat, brutish, and stupid children…then go right ahead and continue on the path you have chosen and mate with every tall dude out there, regardless of the content of his character. The rest of the world already sees our problems and expects our downfall to come within a generation. If you don’t pick mates based on character, then our culture will surely be in dire straits. The world will show us absolutely no mercy until we are ridden with war, starvation, disease, and general pestilence. Find the smart, kind, loyal, and physically fit men of this land, or your children will suffer awful consequences.

    1. 813.1
      Corey N

      There is no such thing as an “ugly” woman…and I challenge you to figure out why…

  14. 814

    Seems that a guy will be labelled as having “short man’s syndrome” after an unsuccessful attempt has been made to be rude, exploit or otherwise disrespect him. Sadly, women love to use this term and they feel justified in doing so especially if the guy stands up for himself. There may be some truth to the fact that many short guys are angry and have a “chip on their shoulder” which is about what you would expect from someone who has been treated like dirt all of their lives. I have heard from a few of my tall male friends that women frequently complain to them about guys with “short man’s syndrome”. If you are a reasonably intelligent short male (& in my experience, short males are on average smarter than tall males), you will likely despise most of humanity with good reason.

    1. 814.1

      Hi Sammy,

      I agree with your statement, and had heard similar feedback from some of my taller friends in my younger days. We definitely can be more angry and many of us do despise the world for the way we have been treated growing up. It really stinks to be bullied, and even if a shorter dude does stand up for himself, he’s usually outnumbered. It is my experience that people have a difficult time standing alone, tall or short. Fact is, we shorter men are almost always made to stand alone…even if we have other short dudes around. We have been programmed to feel that other short men are “rejects”, and we therefore do not form groups. If we do, we are called “gay”. This is a major problem for our acceptance by women and society at large…safety and security comes in numbers, and tall people have this at an early age (sports teams, parties, government, etc). Women are attracted to this security, and rightly so, as it guarantees the survival of the species. As you stated, we shorter men are smarter, and this is because life has just been harder on us. Being smart lets us survive. Using this intelligence to keep a cool head during a confrontation brings a tremendous amount of respect, but it can be a challenge. If one can lose the feelings of frustration and intimidation that shortness brings, as well as learning to handle confrontation with confidence and clarity, then a short man should have all the qualities of a brave and fearless leader. As James so wordily stated, facing obstacles greater than one’s self is the essence of valor and a right of passage for all human beings who wish to call themselves “adults”. We are certainly facing an obstacle greater than ourselves. WE ARE FACING HARSH DISCRIMINATION AND BIGOTRY. So, we must reveal to the world how coddled and ignorant our taller brothers and sisters are through our intelligence, hard work, and bravery.

  15. 815

    It is usually blasphemous to remind women that dating is more difficult for men. Evan is doing a good job

  16. 816

    Your study is flawed. If a man has the exact same qualities except height (5’10 or 5’3) then it’s an obvious choice. Just like a woman with exact same qualities except attractiveness or maybe weight (200 pound or 100 pound), obvious choice isn’t it. However in a real life context, personality, status, wealth makes a hell of differences too. A capable, confident rich man who is 5’3 easily defeats a struggling 6 ft.

  17. 817

    Faye -817

    You’re exactly right. This whole height thing is blown way out of proportion. Plus, unless they’re a CLONE or an identical twin, NOBODY is going to have the “exact” same qualities. Not to boast, but to make a point, I’m average height. I’ve been chosen over tall guys more times than I can remember. As I’ve said on this thread before – once you’re in the average height range (anything over five eight which would make you five nine with shoes or most sneakers), then looks, charm, charisma and confidence take over. Even good looking tall guys will lose to a guy like that because they have never had to hone their “game” nearly as much. I’ve seen it time and time again – and I’ve DONE it time and time again.

    In addition, TOO tall is goony. A 5’4″ woman with a 6’4″ man looks like Herman Munster with a little kid. I read a study that said the ideal height difference is a ratio of 1 to 1.09 in the REAL world. That’s what’s wrong with these online dating sites. There all just words without the spontaneous, JUST-met-the-person-in-reality feel, and all the actual human chemistry that goes along with a real, old fashion first meeting of someone. This means, by biological instinct, a woman 5’2″, REALLY, in her subconscious, wants a guy who’s 5’8″. A woman who’s 5’4″ wants a guy 5’10’. The people who did this study found this to be true across almost ALL cultures. Check it out on the web.

    These near-midget sized woman who SAY that, “Duh, I only want a guy six feet or more.” (ridiculous), would jump all over a handsome guy 5’8″ to 5’10” with looks and charm and charisma. He already towers over them ANYWAY. Who do they think they’re kidding? Plus, if he can really croon at karaoke – he’s got several to chose from. They’re buying HIM drinks. Although its true – for guys below 5’8″, its got to be tough and I wish them all the luck in the world.

    Bear in mind, Ashton Kutcher got divorced from Demi Moore. He filed but she had announced that she wanted out long before he filed. What good did height do THAT marriage? Height wears off as being a big deal after you’re together for awhile. This, “I feel protected by him” stuff is out the window in a world of guns, knives and strong, shorter guys that could beat the head off of her “tall” boyfriend. (Wonder how tall he’d be then?) Its ridiculous. Looks, confidence, charm and charisma take a lot longer to fade as a measure of attractiveness than does height.

    In college, I used to arm wrestle football players for money. I never lost. Sometimes I’d leave their money just to humiliate them in front of their girlfriends (who only wanted tall, football-player like-guys). I really dug seeing the humiliation on their faces when I destroyed them at arm wrestling in front of their cheap and shallow girlfriends. Jesus blessed me with unreal power though my Dad (who is now in Heaven with my Mom and my Little Boy – God bless their souls). Strength beats height every time. Don’t think so? Check out the look on a tall guy’s face when you destroy him at arm wrestling in front of his girlfriend.

    I say these things not to boast, but to make a point about this whole “height” thing. I fought in a couple tough-man shows in college. I won in both. One of the guys I fought was a big 6’+. He came out charging at me like he was going to end it quickly – and it DID end quickly – I KO’d Mr. big in one minute and twenty six seconds of the first round. I wonder how cool he looked to the girls in the crowd at that point. Tall guys aren’t too tall (at all) when they’re laid out on the canvas in front of seven thousand people. There’s a whole lot more to life than height. Strength, courage, looks, charm and charisma trump height every time.

    Soon, I’ll be going back to win the woman I love. She’s now with a “Herman Munster” type about 6’4″ or 6’5″. I have absolutely no doubt that when given a chance to compete for her love, I’ll win her – again – period.

    1. 817.1

      I totally agree that being way too tall is weird and “Goony” but why the hell can’t a short guy have his pick of woman? Why is it adorable when a tall guy and a short girl are going out but weird when a short guy and a tall girl are? Why do people tell the tall girl that she can, “do better”? What!? Short means worse all of a sudden!? That is plain old discrimination.

  18. 818

    Girls…ur a the weak sex, why? for your mind
    I’m 170cm 5’7 I’m sorry if i use the metric system, it’s hard to kick the habit after more than 300 years!
    I’m short, but I’m athletic and very strong, in body and mind, and i don’t ever pull back to defend a woman, I fought many times against men (apparently) stronger and bigger than me, always throwing them to the mat, in sports and on the street.
    I know some women married to tall man, but fat, and their performance on bed is 3 minutes, then fall exhausted on the back sweating like pigs, very good choice.
    In “short” choose a man for his height, it’s stupid, and makes you seem superficial….

  19. 819

    :-/ Well, I’m an exception I guess! I’m 5’0″, 105 lbs and I prefer short guys… I like to be able to reach their faces! And not be crushed! I’ve dated guys over 6’0″ and they waaaay too massive for me. I prefer a guy between 5’4″ and 5’7″. 🙂

    1. 819.1

      You do not actually like short men, just “short men taller than men”, please stop…

  20. 820
    Liam Oates

    I know what you’re all saying. I just will not date a girl who’s more than a size 8 because I hate the way society would judge me. I knew this girl who was a size 10 and she was amazing in every way, she was funny, gorgeous, an absolutely brilliant mum. And we got on really well. But I just hated the way she looked next to me. I hated the way other men looked at me when I turned up at the party with the “fatty” or how my friends would make fun of her.
    So I dumped her. I decided that my own insecurities about completely inconsequential things mattered more than genuine emotions, and when she got upset about this I knew it was for the best because she must have had a “fat girl complex”
    I know I did the right thing.

    1. 820.1

      this is an amazing post

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