Do Tall Men Get Laid More?

Do Tall Men Get Laid More
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Read enough relationship on the Internet and you’ll often hear a strain of men who complain that women are too focused on height. Their belief is that all women only go for the tallest, hottest, richest guys around – and that no one else even stands a chance.

And let’s face it: it IS harder being a shorter guy. Go to any online dating site, put that you’re 5’5″ and listen for the crickets. But, thankfully, online dating isn’t the only way to meet women, and thankfully, we have studies that can either confirm or deny our hypotheses.

Well, in an Elle/MSNBC Sex/Love Survey of over 60,000 people, the old trope that tall guys get  MUCH more action than the rest of us  has summarily been put to rest.

All things considered – it’s seen as advantageous to be tall, in practical terms, it seems like shorter than average guys end up doing just fine.

Per Susan Walsh at Hooking Up Smart:

The man who is 5’2”³ has a mean number of 8 sexual partners. The 5’4”³ guy has 10. And all the guys between 5’7”² and 6’2”³ have 11-12 partners.

Taken further, Walsh (and Mona Chalabi at 538) concludes that the mean  number of sex partners is consistent except for men under 5’4″.

So while – all things considered – it’s seen as advantageous to be tall, in practical terms, it seems like shorter than average guys end up doing just fine. Which makes sense, given that someone has to father other shorter than average guys in the future.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Karl S

    My parents were happily married for over 45 years before my father passed and they truly never lost their physical attraction to one another. My dad frequently mentioned how beautiful my mom was and she would talk about how handsome he was. They would occasionally, playfully tease each other about attractive movie stars, etc. All in fun and good humor. My dad thought Sofia Vergara was hot stuff. But he would tell my mom, “Oh she has nothing on you!” Now, anyone can be an asshat and say really??? Your mom is in her late 60’s! Sofia Vegara??? But that is love. He loved and adored her and made her feel special and beautiful.

    This example makes me realize something about this debate that perhaps gets closer to the heart of it. A partner can lavish compliments on you and they can say outrageous things – that you’re brighter than the sun, prettier than the moon and the only thing he sees in all the world. the point is, when saying that – it’s a gift. Words given freely on impulse without expectation or fear.

    Similarly, a happy couple might make jokes about how ugly the other person is or how much they smell. They might cut each other down, but it’s without expectation or fear.

    Because it’s not really what you say. It’s about the intentions of the speaker AND the intentions of the receiver.

    There is a danger, however, when you need your partner to say or believe a certain thing – especially when it’s not literally true. Even if you’re feeling insecure and in need of assurance, you put a strain on the relationship by trapping them into a certain response. The essence of healthy vulnerability is offering something of yourself and accepting whatever response you get back in return without judgement. That’s what separates it from neediness.

  2. 22
    Buck25

    Maya,

    “…if they did and said things that tore me down in that area.” Ah, I think that’s where your real issue is. I’m sorry you’ve had to feel that, but that was just the opinion of the individual men who said something like that to you, and I believe that you’re giving those past experiences too much power to hurt you in the here and now. Put it in perspective, those guys, didn’t really love you; they may have found you desirable, but you weren’t their ultimate desire.

    Do you have every right to expect better? Of course you do, and a man who honestly loves you will make you feel like he wants you more than any movie star or cover girl, …because he actually does! What you’re doing, at least in insecure moments, is confusing “attractiveness” (in the sense of pure aesthetic beauty) with “physical attraction”, and the two are NOT equivalent. I alluded to that in an earlier post, but Emily expressed it much more clearly, so I’m   quoting part of her post here:“To me physical attraction and attractiveness are 2 different things thing. They aren’t mutually exclusive, but I can find someone aesthetically handsome without feeling any attraction for him. Attraction is about an energy and a vibe. I can’t tell is I’m attracted to someone   from a picture. I have to meet him in person. That’s why the guy I’m most attracted too isn’t necessarily thebest-looking guy in the room.”

    Not that personality and emotional connection aren’t valuable in their own right in a relationship, but even when it comes to just plain physical attraction, it’s about more than looks alone. “An energy and a vibe” as Emily says? Something subconscious?   Whatever it is, there’s something else, and it has to be there, or the chemistry isn’t, no matter how “perfect” someone looks to us. So now, you’ve heard it from people of BOTH genders.

    Now, if that’s the case, ask yourself , if a man chose you, because he found that “something else” with you (something he doesn’t have with that cover girl or movie star, and likely never had with that physically beautiful ex, or he’d still be with her) what difference does it make if you’re not the most beautiful partner he ever had? Why does that matter so long as you’re the most desirable partner he ever had? What I’m trying to tell you is that there IS a difference, and just because there’s someone else better looking (and there always will be), if you’re the one he has the real chemistry with, and she’s just a fantasy, isn’t that enough?

    I feel the same way other men here do about you asking that question, but you aren’t the first woman to do it, or the last. What I tell the lover who asks me how she compares to______, is “You’ve got something she doesn’t….you’re the one I want, and she isn’t”. That’s totally truthful; if it weren’t, I’d never be in an exclusive relationship with her in the first place. I’d think that would be true for a woman as well; aesthetic admiration does not equal “having the hots for”. Simple as that.

  3. 23
    Emily

    I guess my question is: Why are God’s green planet would you want to have a conversation with your husband/boyfriend in which you asked him if you were hotter than his exes, the hottest woman he’d ever been with, the hottest sex he’d ever experienced … etc, etc. It’s opening a bizarre can of worms. The last man I dated is my co-worker. (I know: a very bad idea.) Anyway, he asked me who else I was attracted to at work. I think he was fishing. I think he knew I’d always had a thing for a guy he worked with, and his asking me that came off as really insecure.

  4. 24
    Lisa

    I’ve commented on your other posts on this Evan and as a very short woman 5’1 1/2 I am not attracted to men under 5’9 or so and prefer men over 6′.   I have no other physical requirements and date men of all other looks and types.   I don’t know why I have this preference I’ve tried to get past it and quite frankly I’m tired of apologizing for it and debating it with bitter and angry short men who God forbid are being judged solely on the way they look, when they can’t control it, when men have been doing this to women for years with no apologies.   The difference is that now we are on more of an equal playing field.   Before a man’s job was to make money and provide and a woman’s job was to stay at home, produce quality children and look good on a man’s arm.   A lot of focus was placed on a woman’s looks.   Think about it.   Only recently has the idea of men’s face creams and plastic surgery etc even become a thing.   Look at a magazine from the 50s!   Nowadays many women are the primary breadwinner so they don’t need a man to provide so we focus more on the same things you focused on in us for years, we want you to look nice, but somehow now that the tables are turned this is so offensive!    Men think we all look for money, not me, don’t need someone else’s money.    The same 5’5 guy that’s complaining women are judging him for his height solely is hitting on the 9s and 10s and would never give the average or below average girls a chance but how dare someone judge him for his height!    Dating tall men is a preference, so is dating skinny women, as well as dating 9s and 10s both male and female. Do tall men, skinny women, and 9’s and 10’s get laid more and get more dates of course they do!!   I don’t think we need a study or scientific research to tell us this.   The studies also tell us they do better in life overall, make more money, and have better jobs.   Does that mean that women that prefer tall men or men that prefer skinny women are horrible people of course not it means they are normal and entitled to their preferences.   Does it mean there is no one out there that is attracted to short men or overweight women no there certainly are.   Or that short men or average looking people don’t have great jobs sure they do! Is lying about your height in your online dating profile or posting pictures that do not accurately show your weight an effective way to meet a partner no way!   And finally is being bitter and angry at me and trying to convince me that I’m horrible for not being attracted to you because you are short going to convince me to be attracted to you or short men no it’s not.   This is reality not utopia.    I’m tired of being berated by and lied to by short men, specifically on online dating! And I’m tired of all these posts (not just on this site) by short men complaining about being judged on looks when they are doing the same thing to women and have been for years!   Even guys on here saying they will not lower their standards by dating an overweight woman and then trying to use the old cop out that they are health conscious and concerned about obesity yea right! I call BS on that.

    1. 24.1
      Karl S

      Everyone is entitled to their preference so long as they have awareness and acceptance of the limitations it comes with. Those shorter guys all complaining should try to remember that you’re just one women and that there are plenty of other women your height who would probably go for them, so they should move on.

      It would only be your problem if you were complaining about the lack of men over 6′ who won’t look at a girl your height.

    2. 24.2
      Emily

      Lisa,

      I actually like short men. I am 5’5″ and prefer men about my height or slightly taller. I am starting to think that a lot of what we prefer in terms of a partner’s appearance is hard wired. Most of us have a general type. That isn’t to say we never find people who don’t fit that mold appealing, but most of us have a preference.

      1. 24.2.1
        Benjamin

        Lisa, I get it –  you have completely misunderstood anything I have written. No one is complaining. The only one sounding angry and bitter is you. You don’t know me but  are completely judgemental, even though I have stated repeatedly that  I have  in fact done a lot of compromising, because that’s what average people do when it comes to dating and relationships. That means I have dated many different types of women within the 70%  range  that is considered average  on a bell curve for various body compositions. And my experience is pretty clear:  I’ll choose a few extra pounds with a pretty face and sparkling eyes over some arbitrary body metrics anytime. But all that does not really matter if she’s not cool, easygoing and fun to begin with.

        However, being  a very active person myself, I just consider it so much nicer to date women who are also very active. And very active women is  very seldom obese, medical reasons aside. Look, I am not talking slightly overweight here, I am talking obesity. There’s a difference and the same way you call bullshit I call your rant  a straw man.

    3. 24.3
      kyle

      Lisa, im just not buying that you and women like you are just naturally attracted to men over 6 feet tall. The average height of men in the world is 5’7. Ive seen attractive women dating some tall guys who look like awkward goobers. What would compel a 5’3 120 lb girl to date a 6’4 goober who has little athleticism?   I think short guys have problems with this too because they used to run circles around these goobs in gym class and now see them getting the hot girls? What? Wait im stronger, more funny, better paid, smarter, come from a better family, faster, better in bed, more ambitious, etc. etc. And girls who watched too much tv growing up act like this goobs large femur is attractive? Larger men were not the more succesful men in cavemen times,  faster  men who could procure food were. Skilled hand eye coordinated men who could use a weapon were. Of course women can date who they want, just know the most total package men that i know who will wear you out in bed and in the books are usually shorter. My taller friends are usually kind of dumb and awkward physically. All my shorter friends have net worths multiple times more than the taller ones. The funny thing too is were all only getting older and less attractive. The mind and attitude is really what differentiates people, of course as long as the person isnt obese or just ugly. Full disclosure im a short athletic guy who has always hung with the short and tall athletic guys. Ive never had a problem getting girls bc of my demeanor and looks. I have had a problem getting the 9/10 girls but they arent worth the trouble imo.

    4. 24.4
      Kirk Patrick

      Don’t worry Lisa. God put a handful of tall, strong men on Earth who would die protecting you. Thanks for reciprocating. All our lives we’ve been jumped by men with “short, bald syndrome”, but we b!tch slap guys like kyle to the ground like we always do, to defend your honor. We would never use our size to hurt someone except in self defense or your own.

  5. 25
    Mrs Happy

    1. I prefer tall rather than short men. Smart over dumb men. Educated and professional over not. Kind over nasty. Giving over selfish. Earn more over earn less. White over any other race. Good in bed over sexually incompetent. Socially able over awkward.

    2. I don’t imagine for a second that my husband thinks I am the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen/seen that month/week/day.   (He has never said such to me, and I wouldn’t have thought to ask until reading this blog.) I couldn’t care less, that there are many more beautiful women than myself in the world.   If I asked him if I was the most beautiful woman in the world to him, and he answered yes, I’d know he was lying, and also I’d think that was an idiotic answer. But I wouldn’t ask, my self esteem isn’t tied up in what a man thinks of my looks.

    3. I wouldn’t have felt #2 during my teens or twenties – then, I’d have wanted my bf/partner to think I was really beautiful; though not the most beautiful in the world (I wasn’t delusional). With age came wisdom, increased self-confidence, acceptance of reality, and significant re-ordering of my priorities (and I became less beautiful too).   A partner who thought I was beautiful and/or made me feel beautiful, became much less important than about 100 other qualities, like, everything in (1), and: generous, trustworthy, good father, caring husband, … the list goes on.

    4. How handsome or tall my husband is (and he happens to be both) matters very very little to me; the worth of these characteristics are way below many others. This realisation (that other things were really important in the person I will be with long-term) only came to me during my 30’s and 40’s, and I am very grateful they did. When I was younger, I’d have been more likely to have a relationship with, thus have sex with, a tall man, than a short man.

    5. The 1-10 rating scale is interesting to me. I didn’t really appreciate/know much about it prior to reading Evan’s blog. I asked my husband about it recently, with respect to us. He thinks he is a 7 and he thinks I am a 9. I think he is a 9 and that I am a 7. But when I rate him a 9, it’s actually more about his character and what a fantastic catch I think I found in terms of his non-looks characteristics, though the looks contribute partly to the overall 9 I give him (just not much).   So maybe I’m not doing the 1-10 rating properly. Though for me, how lovely someone looks, is entwined with their personality.

    6. I love reading this blog, it’s like a soap opera. And I never realised how important sex is, for men, before reading the blunt pieces and comments on here.   Thanks Evan and commenters.

  6. 26
    Joe

    It’s not all about being beautiful.   Guess you ladies have never heard the saying, “for every hot girl, there’s a guy who’s tired of fucking her.”

    1. 26.1
      Maya

      I’m sure every hot guy has a swath of women who are tired of fucking HIM too. Sexual inertia cuts both ways :/

      1. 26.1.1
        Not again

        Maya, I think the point of this meme/saying/whatever is that beauty is not enough on its own to keep a relationship going. Of course I probably just dug my own grave because it also suggests that men  get bored and want something new (though how many  can/will act on it is another question).

        Maya let’s say you are in fact the most beautiful woman in the world. Fact is you will age, like we all do. When you are 80, will you expect your husband to look over at you across the bingo table in the nursing home and say “You’re the most beautiful [80 year old] woman in the world!”

        I’ve read your posts and it seems to me that you want a man to make you FEEL like the most  beautiful woman more than to SAY it, which suggests something beyond tangible physical appearance. Appreciation. You want a man who appreciates what a great thing he’s got. Am I wrong?

        Now here’s where I play devil’s advocate. I  know this whole topic just grates on the nerves of the men here.  That men don’t want to hear this, but  they  lack the  frame of reference of being taught  from the time they’re  old enough to crawl  that their  primary value is in the way they  look. We gush when little girls look pretty but often forget to gush as loudly or as often or at all when they excel at something. Some of us were told flat out in absuive way that we were ugly in a manner  that ensured we knew  it meant we were worth less.

        Men — You can come back at me with “get over it” or “it doesn’t matter, men don’t like it when you do that” all you want. I’m not excusing the mind games. I’m not saying some women don’t take it way too far. I’m agreeing that it’s not useful and it’s not helpful in  a relationship. But it  just is.

        1. Maya

          Well, I definitely know I am not The Most Beautiful Woman In the World. I have pretty healthy self esteem but I don’t think that. It’s really not about that.

          I think that yes, it is a lot about how I’m treated. I want to feel beautiful with my partner, and having that partner admit to finding someone else hotter than me torpedoes that.

          But it’s not just about feelings. It seems like Evan (and some other guys) are very wrapped around the axle about  the Objective Truth that their wife just isn’t as hot as their ex or some celebrity or something, and they don’t want to be forced to “lie” and say they are.

          I get hung up on that a bit, because I think a lot of women (myself included) get “love goggles” where they genuinely see their partner as Objectively the Hottest, no matter what they look like. If I’m really in love with someone, I do not fantasize about Bradley Cooper or some hot ex. I do not even register them in my mind as “objectively hotter” than my partner, even though if I thought about it I would have to admit that Hot or Not would probably rate those people hotter than my husband. I wouldn’t even have that thought, because I love him, and that’s what’s important to me.

          I guess men don’t think that way. Or at least SOME men don’t. But to me,  who I love and who I find beautiful  are very intertwined in my head.   I think a lot of women would agree, although I can’t say I speak for all women or anything.

          There’s also a lot in there about how women are given messages from birth that their only true worth is in their looks, so to some women who’ve really internalized these messages, a man saying “my ex was hotter than you” is basically saying “my ex was worth more than you, as a woman.” Guys quite simply Do Not Get this.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Maya, your words are revealing. You think things that are not true and don’t seem to believe me, no matter how many ways I say it.

          A man saying “my ex was hotter than you” is basically saying “my ex was worth more than you, as a woman.”

          Not true. You can say that society MADE women feel this way, but that still doesn’t wash away the fact that this belief itself is FALSE. Your boyfriend/husband chose YOU, even though his ex is hotter. His marital choice is a better indication of his value system because HE doesn’t value women only for their looks. The fact that SHE may think that her only true worth is how she looks is therefore HER problem. He should not have to pay the price for her distorted worldview. I would encourage any man who has a woman who feels that she should be the hottest woman in the world to find another woman. She will continually mistake her insecure feelings for reality and make your life miserable. Nothing you do will ever make her feel secure and you will have to live in her fantasyland in order to survive.

          So, to wrap up, Maya, believing in something deeply and intensely does not make it true; it just creates your reality.

          All the words you put in men’s mouths about what it means to believe other women are more physically attractive than their wives are not at ALL reflective of what actual men think. The sooner you wrap yourself around that, accept it, and internalize this is the second you can open up to a real healthy marriage with a real healthy guy who not only makes you feel beautiful and safe, but resides safely in reality as well. And in reality: you’re not the hottest woman in the world, or even on your block.

        3. Maya

          Also, this:

          When you are 80, will you expect your husband to look over at you across the bingo table in the nursing home and say “You’re the most beautiful [80 year old] woman in the world!”

          When I read that, I thought, Jesus F. Christ, I hope so.

          Because of course I’ll know objectively that I am not the most beautiful woman in the world at 80.  I don’t expect that the world will believe that. I do hope that my husband will, regardless of what I actually look like, and that it won’t be a lie. I consider it just part of loving someone that I’ll think the same of him, because of my enormous love for him, and that no matter what he looks like it won’t be a lie for me, either.

        4. Adrian

          Since the conversation here has become redundant I chose to abstain from continuing to engage.

          Nevertheless,

          Not again your comment here caused me to briefly re-enter. A comment which I will admit that I not only agree but highly like 99% of.

          So instead of just making a statement to you which could be misconstrued or cause you to think I am attacking/arguing/debating you, instead I will ask you a question.

           

          You mention what women are taught (in relation to dating) from youth, what -if anything- do you think men are taught from youth (in relation to dating)?

          In other words my question is, “If you feel the need to be beautiful is what is impressed upon women as their primary source of worth in attracting a man according to society (maybe not you personally?), then what attribute(s) -if any- are instilled in men as their primary source of worth in attracting a woman according to society?

        5. Not again

          Adrian, since I was born and raised a female and not a male, my answer to that question is I have no idea. I’d invite you to share your thoughts though as a someone who (presumably) was.

          I’d also point out that the subtle and not so subtle messages directed at girls and women that beauty is the most important attribute goes beyond just attracting a man.

          Take for example the fact that attractive women in general make more money, or are more likely to get a better deal when buying a car (seriously look it up, I didn’t know that either).

          Or that the only unattractive women leads in movies are either the butt of jokes or the ugly duckling in transition to swan.

          Ask a woman who was thin and attractive who gained a lot of weight for one reason or another if she’s treated noticeably different, especially by strangers.

          Plenty of men here are unable to express their disinterest in overweight women as partners without insulting their character. Did you notice that?

          I say this not as a complaint but an observation. But too often just pointing it out makes men angry and defensive  about their preferences for attractive women (which are not wrong). Which is essentially the sore nerve in this whole thread–that people see their own preferences as fair and others’ preferences as discriminatory when said preferences exclude them.

          I can assume based on what I’ve read here that short men feel similarly that their character and worth are judged by their height (I’ve also read that tall men make more money, etc.) I’ve never been a short man and never had a problem dating short men. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist because I don’t see it.

          So maybe instead of trading jabs or arguing about who has it the worst for the millionth time, we can just be cognizant of other people’s struggles and just be kind to them–even IF we are not interested in them as partners.

        6. Adrian

          I’ll reiterate Not Again that I am not being combative or trying to force you to agree to or see my point of view on something. I was just genuinely curious about your perception as a woman of what men are taught they need to attract a woman.

           

          So in saying that, I will assume that when you questioned if I was a man, you were honestly asking and not trying to insult me, and, also, your last sentence when you denounce the “trading jabs or arguing about who has it the worst for the millionth time”, again, I will assume you were speaking generally and not toward me specifically.

           

          Now that all that is out of the way, If you go to comment #4.2.1, you can read the last comment I gave to Emily on my thoughts regarding women and attraction. So I never disagreed with you that women are mentally conditioned to view their looks as being almost the essence of their worth.

          But

          Men are taught they require beauty also to get a good relationship; however, men are taught they need beauty Plus more! The only difference in my opinion is that men are also taught that if they are lacking in looks, it is okay because they can compensate for this deficiency with money and success. From what I have observed, men like benjamin are so upset because height is something that can’t be ignored by women, even if he has enough money.

           

          I only asked you that question anyway because I just read a few month ago in Psychology Today about the millions of young teen boys who either starve themselves, are depressed, or are exercising to the point of hurting themselves or stunting their development by trying to look like the celebrities. It apparently isn’t reported as much as young girls starving themselves trying to fit an image, but it happens in both genders. When you mentioned it in your last comment, it just made me think of that article, that’s all.

           

          As Karl S brilliantly alluded to in #4, women only have to worry about their looks when trying to attract a desirable man, but men have so many more criteria they have to meet “just” to attract a desirable woman.

        7. Not again

          Adrian,

          I was definitely posing the question to you honestly. I’m not a man, therefore, I won’t try and  speak for men. I am genuinely interested in your response, if you feel comfortable sharing.
          When I said we should stop trading jabs and understand where each other is  coming from, I was not talking about you and me. I was,  as you guessed, speaking generically.

          “I only asked you that question anyway because I just read a few month ago in  Psychology Today  about the millions of young teen boys who either starve themselves, are depressed, or are exercising to the point of hurting themselves or stunting their development by trying to look like the celebrities.”
          That saddens me, and I place much of the blame (as I do in regards to women) on a culture that teaches all of us that we are never good enough as we are,  so it can sell us stuff we don’t need. I’m curious, how old are you, if you don’t mind sharing.

          “As Karl S brilliantly alluded to in #4, women only have to worry about their looks when trying to attract a desirable man, but men have so many more criteria they have to meet “just” to attract a desirable woman.”

          Can’t say I agree with that.  I’m not sure if  you are saying looks are the only thing men really care about in a partner, or if you are saying that upon first meeting women somehow have more to go on to judge a stranger than men do. But either way, I don’t agree. 🙂

  7. 27
    Karl S

    My partner flirts with me. My partner compliments my looks to the moon in a way that’s sincere and believable and specific. My partner touches me whenever he gets the chance. My partner wants sex with me a lot. My partner kisses me passionately even when the time isn’t right to have sex. My partner spends time with me and takes an interest in my life and interests. My partner takes me out on dates. My partner never, ever, ever, not one single time, compares me unfavorably to another woman—not someone he dated, not someone he knows in passing, not someone he saw walking down the street, and not even a celebrity. Not even if I ask directly (which I agree nobody should do, but if I did anyway).

    That all sounds perfectly reasonable. The only point we all seem to differ on really is the hypothetical (or not so hypothetical) situation of when a partner asks directly to be compared with someone and expects a certain answer.

    1. 27.1
      Karl S

      If you had a guy who did all those other things for you consistently and claimed that he loved you, but wouldn’t agree with you on that one last point, would you then believe he didn’t really love you or that you could love him?

      1. 27.1.1
        Maya

        I mean…if my partner was really good at doing all those things consistently (not because he felt like he had to, but because he genuinely wanted to, because he really felt that passionate about me) I probably would never really need to ask that question.

        But if I did? It would depend on what the answer was. There are lots of different ways to do it.

        Option one, totally blunt and socially clueless:

        “No, honey, my ex was  MUCH hotter than you. But you have a good personality and you treat me really well, so…”

        Very bad answer. Makes me think all kinds of insecure thoughts. Makes me think my partner was a big fat lying liar every time he said something nice about my looks. Makes me think he’s comparing my thighs to his ex’s thighs every time he sees me naked. PS: I’m ugly and no one will ever really love me. All bad times.

        Option two: obfuscate the question in a way that makes it very, VERY obvious that he  doesn’t think I’m as hot as the ex:

        “I married you, didn’t I?” / “Don’t ask a question you don’t want an honest answer to.”

        Pretty much equally bad answer. So what if you married me? Does this mean you settled for me? Did you marry me because I was the safe, stable, boring choice but you still fantasize about that hot chick you dated one time who dumped you? Would you have married her if she hadn’t dumped you?   Are you saying my thighs are fat and my face is a horse face??? Also bad times.

        Option three: answer in a way that makes me feel loved, emphasizes your strong feelings for me, and avoids the looks question altogether. To quote an example I gave above:

        “Babe, I’d mow her over to get to you.”

        THAT answer would work just fine.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Yes, the only answer that is a lie. Got it. So let’s start over:

          I’m not for tearing down a partner’s self-esteem. I’m also not for lying. So what does that leave us with?

          Closer to #2. Problem with #2 is that you took it to all sorts of negative places that have no basis in truth. So let’s play this out:

          You: Am I the hottest woman you’ve ever seen?
          Me: That’s not a very fair question. I married you. Of course, I find you hot.
          You: So what if you married me? Does this mean you settled for me?
          Me: No. I didn’t settle for you.
          You: Did you marry me because I was the safe, stable, boring choice?
          Me: No, I don’t find you boring. I think you’re cool, fun, smart, honest, and there’s no one else I’d rather spend time with. Plus, we have a great sex life.
          You: Do you still fantasize about that hot chick you dated one time who dumped you?
          Me: No. Never think about her.
          You: Would you have married her if she hadn’t dumped you?
          Me: Hard to say, but probably not. In my experience, it’s hard to find a levelheaded, easygoing partner who doesn’t try to change you and drama is at minimum. I don’t think for a second that I’d be happier with that hot chick who dumped me once.
          You: Are you saying my thighs are fat and my face is a horse face???
          Me: Wait, what?!? All I said (without saying) is that there are other attractive women out there.

          You see the difference between my lines and your lines?

          Mine are the real thoughts of a real man who really loves his wife.
          Your thoughts are the insecure rantings of an anxious woman who assumes that if there is more attractive woman out there that her marriage is a sham.

          In this instance – not every instance, but this one, definitely – my interpretation of events is far more accurate than yours. Sorry, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

        2. Maya

          I dunno. I think the reason I like option 3 is it doesn’t talk about the looks at all. You probably would mow over the hot ex in your past to get to your wife (if you have an ex like that). From what you’re saying, all the legions of men married to their middling choice in the looks department would do the same, because that middling choice is such a great match in other ways.

          It also makes clear that the person you’re married to is your best choice and you’d choose her over any hot Instagram model or whoever else any day of the week, which hopefully isn’t a lie. And which is the question-behind-the-question.

          Option 2 is just another way of saying “yes, honey, that person is hotter than you” without saying it. Most women get the difference.

        3. Joe

          So you’d prefer  the  obfuscatory answer to the loaded question.

        4. La Miss

          But Maya so much work, when you both know the truth anyway. What’s the point? Makes me think of my first serious boyfriend, we were  at university together. He had this poster in his living room of this super hot swimsuit model, sort of like a Sports Illustrated cover. I got so fixated with the poster we would fight about it, I’d say if he really loved me and had eyes for me only why would he have the poster, I found it disrespectful to me, what did it say to people visiting him, etc etc. He stood his ground and said that he did love me but he wanted the poster, he liked it. In the end it became a battle of wills really, makes me cringe so much to think of it now! Yes he could have been sensitive to my needs and taken it down, but he simply didn’t want to because what about his needs and his way of seeing things. I was telling him that my insecurities trumped everything in the relationship, and he was telling me they didn’t, they were my problem. This is a guy that  took a full year out of his degree to move with me to France when I went for my Erasmus study year, the poster was up in the flat he found while we were there. He did all that just to be with me and I couldn’t get past the bloody poster! Needless to say we broke up after the year and I’ve had to do a whole lot of learning between then and now when it comes to men and relationships. Still going!

        5. Shaukat

          @Maya,

          Your preferred answer may not even mention looks, but since the question was specifically framed as a comparison of physical appearances, then the only logical inference to draw is that the answer you like is confirming that you are the most physically attractive person he’s dated.

          Despite the fact that you add a disclaimer to each of your comments that you are a very secure person, each one of your posts serve to demonstrate that yourself esteem is in the gutter. This is because you’ve taken your entire sense of self worth and attached it to your physical appearance. Evan’s point above about how such women (or people in general) will make you miserable is absolutely correct. I know from personal experience. Since your confidence is, through your own choice, inextricably bound up with your looks, then you’ll always feel as though you need some form of reassurance, because your perception of your self worth derives from an external environment, not from inner reflection or strength.

          I’ve found that people like this are toxic, they just keep projecting their own massive flaws and insecurities onto everyone else. The claim that society conditions women to associate their worth with their appearance, even if factually correct, is an inadequate excuse for such behavior. It’s like the wife beater who blames his abuse on other factors that supposedly trigger his behavior.

        6. Christine

          Well, I once read a saying somewhere “don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good” (forget exactly who said that, but I think that’s very true).   You don’t necessarily need to be the “best” in order to still be very, very good.   For instance, the silver medalist at any event in the Olympics might not be the very “best” (obviously the gold medalist who finished in first place is the “best”).   However, that silver medalist still placed second in the entire world, beating out hundreds of other competitors (and most amateur athletes don’t even get to go to the Olympics at all, let alone medal!)   The fact that that silver medalist wasn’t the “very” best doesn’t relegate that person to mediocrity.   It’s not an either/or between first place and mediocrity–there’s a large middle ground between those extremes.

          Along those lines, I don’t think you need to be the very “best” and most beautiful woman a man has ever dated to be a tremendous partner to him. Like that silver medalist, not being the “most” beautiful doesn’t make a woman ugly either.   I really wouldn’t mind if I’m the silver medalist in terms of looks to my man, when I’m the gold medalist in terms of compatibility with him.

        7. Christine

          Joe thanks for providing that link, that’s most interesting!   The takeaway I got from that was that it all comes down to your expectations.   I’m glad I have more modest expectations to just be attractive to my partner (without having to be the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen either)

  8. 28
    Karl S

    I honestly think the most diplomatic answer (and the only answer someone should be required to give) is to say “My ex is, admittedly, a very good looking individual. But it doesn’t really matter, does it? We weren’t compatible.”

    In other words, I’d refuse to be drawn into the comparison in as many words without having to outright lie about it. That’s also as tactful as I’d be willing to go without compromising my own principles. If my current partner refused to let it go without a straight answer or went into a downward spiral of thinking about the thickness of her thighs or suddenly disbelieving all my future compliments, she’d honestly have more to worry about than how hot I think my ex is – she’d need some self-help.

    My current girlfriend told me she hooked up with a guy overseas a few years back who was extremely muscular. She thought he was very good looking. I don’t care. My actual ex (the one who asked loaded questions) had an hourglass figure with a size 8 waist and E cup breasts. Any man would rate her highly on a scale of 1 to 10. It doesn’t matter.

    If you’re opposed to the idea that people shouldn’t be reduced to being judged solely on their looks, you shouldn’t judge your partner for being aware that some people are better looking. Making that a deal breaker is a contradiction.

  9. 29
    Caroline

    Being over 50, I’m very glad I do not feel the need to be the most beautiful woman in the room to my guy. I am very content with being his “best choice” in his mind.

  10. 30
    Adrian

    Evan I actually do have a question to you about height-I am 5’11 without shoes.

    You once mentioned that you felt it was okay for women to lie about their age on their profile to attract more men, as long as they told the men their real age in their profile.

     

    My question to you is: “Would you advise for or against doing the same thing with height”? To attract more women to my profile I was considering changing my height to 6 feet, but making sure I state that I am only 5’11 in my profile.

    I only ask because I know most women set their filters to 6 feet and above, but also -even though it is only 1 inch- many women hate when men lie about their height. I personally don’t think most women can tell the difference between 1 inch anyway, but just to be on the safe side, I am curious about your judgment.

    1. 30.1
      Christine

      Adrian, I’ll also be curious to see Evan’s answer on this!   I do understand your dilemma in a sense, since I faced that with my age (where you feel that you’re being filtered out of a lot of searches, so can’t even get your foot in the door).   I’m in my 30s and with every passing year, I could see myself getting filtered out (since most men online prefer young women).

      However, I ultimately decided against lying.   I knew that I would get more views if I lowered my age.   However, I thought that the right person for me will want the real me, old age and all.   I decided I would rather draw in just one man who wanted the real me, rather than a ton of men who wanted a fake one.   I thought that if someone would filter me out, then I’m not sure I wanted him either.

      I also wasn’t so sure that that would necessarily attract men who wanted younger women.   Once they read my “real” age in my profile, I figured they’d still not be interested in me and would move on–since there are plenty of young women online to pick from.   I found that the men who were open to dating women my age tended to have wider search parameters (so I’d show up in their searches anyhow with my real age).

      I would think that women who are more open with their height preferences wouldn’t set their filters to six feet and above anyway–so you’d still show up in their searches at 5’11”.   The women who do set their filters to 6 feet and above might be the ones who are really hell-bent on a six-footer–and still might not be interested in you once they see your 5’11” height in your profile.

      I can only speak for myself, but I set my filters much lower than that (just wanted someone taller than me at 5’4″ but didn’t need a six footer either).   Then, sure enough, I eventually met my boyfriend (who’s only 5’7″, but who I can honestly say I am crazy about and fall more in love with every day).

      My search for love took much longer than I would have liked and I did get less takers by being honest.   However, once I did find love, it was worth it to start from a place of honesty and a clean conscience.   It also made me feel better knowing that my guy was interested in the real me (and easier to not have to explain away a lie later on on dates–I admit I’m not very good at that!)

      I obviously haven’t dated as a man, so can’t honestly say I understand what it’s like–but those are my two cents for all it’s worth.

       

      1. 30.1.1
        CaliforniaGirl

        Great comment, I am completely with you!

    2. 30.2
      Christine

      BTW Adrian, for all it’s worth, my boyfriend and brother-in-law are both about 5’7″ and met me and my sister, respectively, online (and they were completely honest about their height).   I have a difficult time believing that they are the only two men on this planet, under six feet, who managed to find love online (and before meeting us, they had a steady string of girlfriends and dates). I also can’t believe that me and my sister are such rare specimens in setting our filters below six feet.   So there’s my pep talk for the day, that being under six feet isn’t the impediment you think it is!   🙂

    3. 30.3
      Evan Marc Katz

      Very few women actually set their height at six feet. Take a look. Report back to me. Don’t lie for no reason. You’re not short. You have no reason to misrepresent.

    4. 30.4
      Jason P

      Slippery slope argument.

      I’m 5′ 5-1/2″ without shoes. So, should I purport to be 5’7″ to garner just more interest, if I ever did online dating? (Which   I don’t – for significant reasons in another post.)

      I love how easily we bend and contort and play really dumb games to garner the attention of the opposite sex in the magical hope that “the one” will find us endearing through all these efforts.

      Look – it really comes down to you.   If you have no qualms – that it doesn’t go against your personal values – do whatever.   The person that is right for you will be of similar mind and tactics, and well, that’s connection. Something you want.   If you are about not convincing others through so called “guise-filled” tactics, and stick to a “best version of you”, that works also.

      The best tact of all: work on you. Your habits, interests, goals, dreams, attention to detail of your life, physical, mental and spiritual game plans.IF you got all of that together, is any woman gonna say, “yeah, but he’s 5’11” (or 5’3″)”?

      That’s not the woman (man) for you —-she’s (he) is dwelling on a fixed trait, instead of changeable trait that you got working right.   Continuous improvement and development of self trumps the genetic code. (Which, we ALL can alter by up to 33% — becoming smarter, more athletic, more energetic, by turning on or off by our habits, BTW.)

      And to heck with the rating system — I’m probably 3 or 4 if women just pick and choose which visible traits and resume fillers matter upfront that I give them. Sadly, we are all more than that – but people want quick and right “for now”, not slow and considered.

      We like what we like based on the 30-second visual and whatever screening system we put in place. Which is unique to each of us: I’ve went from attracted to repelled just by a single habit: smoking. So, it’s nothing but preference in the moment. Again, that is a habit that can change — but it is NOT up to me to CHANGE them.

      The taller man is not the one that sees above me; it’s the one who has vision that reaches to the stars that I should want to grow towards his equal.

       

  11. 31
    Hildegerd

    Yes, tall guys have more options to get laid than short men.

  12. 32
    Caroline

    Adrian-I don’t believe women set their filters in online dating to 6′.   I believe personally I set mine to the parameters-3′ to 11′. I don’t know-maybe I am naive. But one thing for sure is if they do-they’re not going to be very lucky finding someone online. While I’m sure some women do this, just like some want men who make over 100k, hopefully they realize after a few weeks of being judged harshly for their age and weight they need to expand their ideals a bit. Btw-I think it’s nice you wouldn’t lie even about one inch but honestly I don’t think most women could tell/or at least register in their mind if a guy was actually 5’10 or 6′.

    My personal opinion, she’s not worth attracting online if she sets her filters at 6′ and up.

    1. 32.1
      Christine

      Caroline, I was also curious about exactly who these women are who do this!   I know what it’s like to be judged harshly for something outside your control (in my case, my age).   So I really tried not to do that to someone else (a karma thing)

      1. 32.1.1
        Caroline

        Christine, I think at times it just feels like your height or age are what is limiting you in online dating. While I’m sure as women we are judged for our age just like men are judged for their height; one has to realize there are matches for everyone. There’s plenty of men willing to date me at my age just like there are plenty women willing to date average height men (5’9″ is avg US male). I’m over 5’6″ and my first husband was shorter than me and my second husband was 5’8″. Ive dated men from 5’4″ (one of the sexiest men I’ve ever met) to 6’5″ (he was just too big and tall for me -logistically speaking). While I totally understand preferring tall men, it’s quite limiting and one will likely filter out someone who may be just perfect for you.I’m sure when I originally did my profile I had set filters but as I dated that was unrealistic and limiting.

        1. Christine

          Caroline, I have a boyfriend now so am no longer online dating–but still vividly remember feeling like my age was holding me back!   But, it turns out there really is a lid for every pot and I eventually found a wonderful guy who really does love every part of me, including my age.   Thanks for that encouragement that there are men who are willing to date women in all different age brackets. Sometimes, online dating feels like it crams and restricts people into these little boxes, so it helps to step back and have a wider perspective on things.

          I’ve dated men at all different heights and that has never been the factor to make or break a relationship.   I think most women (at least, reasonable ones) eventually learn what is truly important, as they date different types of men.

    2. 32.2
      Joe

      Caroline,

      I’m just making a general comment here, but since you’ve made so many posts here, I’m putting it in as a reply to you.

      It’s long been established that women find taller men more attractive.   The average difference between a woman and her boyfriend/husband is just about the difference in the avg. heights of men and women (about 5 or 6 inches).   There is no taboo about short women dating much taller men; however men are usually not interested in dating women taller than they are and vice-versa, no matter what anyone says.   The shorter the man, the more difficulty he will have in finding a mate, all other things being equal.   Short women do not have this difficulty.   I heard of a survey where it stated that 80% of women would “consider” dating a man their height or shorter.     The reality is that 99+% of women are with men taller than they are, if only by a little bit.     So are women telling the truth? – The answer is, probably not.

      The focus of my website – supportfortheshort.org – is not concerned much with the dating issue of the difficulties of short men, as it is with the outright hatred directed against short men on sites like Twitter.   And make no mistake, it IS hatred.   The hatred and the comments there – if directed at virtually any other recognized group – would be considered Hate, and those comments would be responded to quickly.   There are so many incidences of outright prejudice, discrimination, Hate, and malice toward short people and short men in particular, that it is almost mind-boggling.   I view this as a social issue.   Short men can complain all they want, it’s not going to do any good until they view this as a SOCIAL ISSUE instead of a personal one, otherwise we’re still going to have these types of discussion 50 years down the road.   The media, by the way, is very instrumental in establishing negative stereotypes of short men and inculcating those images in the minds of the public in general.   Height bigotry IMO is worse now than ever – mostly against short men – and if you take a look at my website, you can’t come to any other conclusion.   But to get back to dating, Tall men have everything easier AND THEY KNOW IT.   But that doesn’t constitute oppression.   Being discriminated against in the job market DOES though.   Authority figures and others questioning someone’s intelligence based on their short stature DOES.   Harassment, bullying, malicious verbal attacks which,   if directed at other groups – would receive national attention and condemnation, and which – in the case of short people and short men in particular – are not only ignored or laughed at, but actually celebrated, should be where short people and short men in particular should focus their attention.   But back to dating:   Any guy can find one woman to marry and have children with.   If short people were recognized as a group and actually receive “rights” written into law, like other groups, and the media stopped attacking short men, demonizing them – especially in the UK – then the dating issue might resolve itself.  Thanks,

  13. 33
    Caroline

    Oh and if a guy posted his height at 5’11 online I tend to automatically shave 2″ off.   Just after meeting countless men online I just found that the majority lied about their height.

    1. 33.1
      Buck25

      Caroline,

      I’ve heard that before, and I guess that explains several internet “dates” who, at first meeting, said one thing or another to the effect of “You’re taller than I thought you were!” I actually once thought about posting a photo of me in front of a height chart, but with all the suspicion out there, I’m sure some women would have thought it was a “mug shot”. 🙂

  14. 34
    SparklingEmerald

    When I was on match, some fields could be set to “no preference” but NOT the height.   So I just selected the lowest and the highest in the box as my range, since I really couldn’t care less.   I wonder why match didn’t give the “no preference” option in the height category.

    I wish this internet meme of “most women want a man who is at least 6 feet” BS would stop.   Both my ex hubbies were about 5’7″ and my sweetheart is 5’8″.

    I actually don’t begrudge anyone their preferences (weather it be for height, slimness, youth, beauty, etc) but I am really tired of this myth that the majority of women rule out men under 6 feet.   I know very few couples where the male is 6 feet or taller.   I see plenty of couples with the man under 6 feet tall.   Let’s put this myth to rest.

     

    1. 34.1
      Not again

      Someone else already said it here, the median height for an American man is 5’9″. There is no epidemic of single hood among the 76 percent of American men who are not 6 feet or over that I know of.

      It’s possible that the majority of women shopping for guys on  dating sites prefer men over 6 feet.

      But that’s the elephant in the room, isn’t it.

      1. 34.1.1
        Caroline

        @not again- I feel that online dating sets you up by their extensive questionaires to list your “ideals”. It’s similar to checking off what you want on the menu without realizing the kitchen can’t necessarily deliver. Until you’re able to select wide parameters like when you interact organically will the average folk be successful. Can you imagine pulling out a measuring tape to confirm the height of someone you just met at a function, bar, music venue or asking how much a man makes at his living?! Or can you imagine a man trying to guess your age when he is clearly attracted and walked over to introduce himself? We should not impose silly restrictions to people we meet online which we don’t in real life. There’s a lot more to meeting and connecting with another individual than “choosing” their characteristics from a menu.

         

        1. Not again

            @Caroline

          “It’s similar to checking off what you want on the menu without realizing the kitchen can’t necessarily deliver.”

          Or not having enough to in your account to pay for a gourmet meal 😆

        2. Buck25

          Caroline,

          Before I went on Match, I’d have thought that too; again, based on real world experience and observation. Believe it or not, it wasn’t just the top 10% or 20%, even in the 50-65 age group. On Match especially, it showed up across the looks spectrum (age adjusted). Some of it is understandable; women 5’9 and above either wanting someone at least as tall as they are in heels, or maybe having had experiences with guys who were self-conscious about being with a taller woman. In others, it’s simply a pretty strong preference, apparently.

          I’ve read a lot of profiles, including those of women I’d never date, in trying to see if there was anything I could learn. The height requirement   is one thing that showed up more often than I expected, whether the women were far above average, average, or even below average.   I don’t have an axe to grind with this, just reporting an observation. What to make of that, beyond what I said in my last post, I don’t know, unless it’s along the lines of your and Not again’s comments above.

          It’s an online phenomenon. I also would have thought it there’s be less of it with more mature women, as opposed to the younger (20-40) set, but that did not appear to be the case, on match, anyway.

          I don’t know that I’ll ever try the online route again, so, as I said before, I don’t really have a dog in this hunt.

          As an aside, I think it seems to irritate you that I won’t date the bottom 10% of women in my age group. I’m not quite sure why you feel that because of my age, or whatever, I have some kind of obligation to disregard looks no matter how repulsive, or why you feel a man should be able to more or less entirely overlook a woman’;s appearance. I certainly do NOT think you (or any woman) should be required to date any man you find physically or otherwise repulsive.

      2. 34.1.2
        Buck25

        Not again,

        Yes, that is the elephant in the room. I notice it a lot more in the online environment than in real life. In the real world, as Caroline mentioned in an earlier post, I doubt many women would know the difference between 5’10 and 6′, unless they themselves are over about 5’7 and wearing heels (which makes them around 5’10 and up). A much shorter woman (say 5’1) would have a more difficult time telling the difference. Online, though, it’s much easier to set a parameter and screen for it, then discount every guy’s stated height (usually by 2″) because of the rampant lying thus produced.This paradoxically results in a very average guy like me, an honest 5’9, having two choices(a) lie, and overstate height by 2″ to be perceived as “average” or (B) tell the truth, have most women deduct the 2″, and be perceived as “short”   (and maybe ruled out), based on a profile.

        I can remember, FWIW, my surprise   when I started OLD at seeing how many women online set their minimum height requirement for a man at 5’11 or 6′. My impression is that it’s likely around half, or more, depending on the site; it would be interesting to see if there have been any studies to empirically confirm or refute this.. It certainly seems disproportionate in the online environment, as compared to observed behavior in real life, where (and I agree with you here), I haven’t seen anything like half of women refusing to date men under 6′ tall. Perhaps somewhat like age or the “illusion of infinite choice”, height gets a distorted value online because it can. I think this does create an interesting dilemma for men, as illustrated by Adrian (who is actually taller than average, at 5’11) wondering whether he should lie to compensate for the “automatic deduction”. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t?

        1. Caroline

          Respectfully Buck,

          I do believe 50% of the women you were INTERESTED in online may have set such limits.   And IMO you were most likely interested in the upper 10% of women online which seems to be what most men are interested in. Therefore, 50% of the 10% of highly desirable women online equals 5%. Yeah, my math is probably way off but no more than yours is:)

  15. 35
    Caroline

    @Notagain-perfect analogy ! Much better than mine-I may have to “steal” it!

  16. 36
    Caroline

    Buck

    You obviously can’t supply any real proof   of the percentage you stated. That’s why I made a comment before that I believe it “feels” that way online.

    And as to your remark about me thinking you should date the bottom 10%-rubbish. Total rubbish. I never said or implied that. I merely called you out on another blog for your childish behavior of misleading women on your “military hike” when they just wanted to get to know you. Geez-damn those women for wanting to get to know you when they obviously did not meet your standards. (Face palm)

  17. 37
    Caroline

    Buck

    in my remark about who you were interested in-I merely meant it is human nature (for both men and women) to view only the top 10% desirable profiles. I apologize you took that the wrong way.

    1. 37.1
      Buck25

      Caroline,

      I thought it must be obvious from earlier discussions we’ve had, that had I only been viewing the “top 10%”,   I would not have ever even seen the profiles of those women who deliberately misrepresented their weight/fitness level, much less gotten to the point of meeting them. You don’t think that the very fact those encounters occurred might indicate I was looking at a wider cross-section of the online female population?   I mean, the top 20% or more aren’t usually shy about posting photos that show their body type, and don’t need to lie about it. Does it not make sense that I would be at least viewing the profiles of a wider spectrum of women online, than the ones I even contacted, much less agreed to meet?   In fact, I think it’s fair to say that those   less than desirable (to me) encounters (my reaction to which raised your ire in the first place) came from the fact that I actually gave women quite a bit below “the top 10 %” a chance, which is quite a few steps beyond simply viewing a profile. Yet, in spite of that evidence, you just assume that I, individually, “only look at the top 10%”, because it’s “human nature for both men and women to do that”?

      I understand you feel a need to to invalidate what I said about the prevalence of stated “height requirements”, but don’t you think that given the above, your making that   assumption might have looked just a bit disingenuous, to me?

      1. 37.1.1
        Caroline

        Buck,

        I agree that I have harshly judged you. Perhaps you did try to date a wider swatch of women. It’s just that your remarks which are laced with bitterness and indignation appear to me that you seem to be someone not all together in touch with the reality of their true mate value or at least how they are perceived by others. Why would someone who claims to be happily dating hang onto such bitterness?

         

        1. Buck25

          That’s a long, long story, Caroline; one that started what seems like an eternity ago, halfway round the world. You’re too young to remember those times; let’s just say it was a long road home for a lot of us; forty-two years and three marriages worth, in my case. I finally made it, but finding my way back to me came with a price; my ex didn’t like the version of me that no longer woke up sweating and shaking in the middle of the night, and didn’t understand why I needed to talk about the experiences I wouldn’t talk about before ( I’ve since relearned the wisdom of NOT having those conversations with anyone who wasn’t there). So there I was, trying to find out if there was anything left for me out there,   at this late point in life, and I stumbled into that jungle called online dating. You know that feeling I mentioned of being “invisible” online? Maybe now you might understand what that feeling brings to mind. The worst thing about coming home from ‘Nam wasn’t the protests, the insults or the curses; it was the silence. That lasted a lot longer.

  18. 38
    Caroline

    In an okcupid experiment they put up fake profiles of women in different degrees of attractiveness but with all other stats the same (similar user names, identical height, build, income level, education etc). The ranked highest profile in attractiveness was contacted 581% more than the other profiles combined. It also stated (not my words) that the merely “cute” women were basically ignored.

     

    1. 38.1
      Not again

      I did a similar experiment with a couple friends of mine.

      Hot 24 year old with airhead profile got about 30 messages in the first 10 min and about 150 in the first 24 hours (had to delete it after that as some guy got really upset because he thought he was being catfished.)

      Ugly  24 year old with high quality profile got 4 messages in 5 days. TBH they were 4 well written messages where the guys clearly read her profile and thought about it, whereas the extent of 95% of messages to hot girl was “what’s up sexy!” Ugly girl might have actually had a decent date with one of the 4 (had she been real).

      We were going to the do the same thing with profiles of a high income guy and a low income guy but just never got around to it. I suspect our hypothesis would have been proven correct though.

      1. 38.1.1
        Adrian

        Not Again I have a theory that age does not matter “as much” as women think, attractiveness is more important.

         

        I am curious what would happen if the hot picture was of a woman who was 55 or 65, vs a not as attractive (I hate calling another human ugly) 24 year old.

         

        I am almost willing to bet more older men in the hot woman’s age group would contact her over the young unattractive girl.

        Well that’s my theory with my male brain anyway.:-)

        1. Not again

          @Adrian, that would be an interesting experiment. I read Evan’s blog quite a bit and it seems to me that there’s a significant group of male commenters in the 40-50 range who have adopted an aggressive stance about preferring younger women. To the point that they have nothing but negative things to say about all women over 30. Of course that’s only one group but they are extremely vocal.  I’ve not done online dating myself though so my thoughts are just observations not experiences.

        2. Karmic Equation

          @Not again,

          I think the “unwritten” adjective that those men in the 40-50 range leave out is “ATTRACTIVE” younger women.

          They’re not talking the obese 24 year old or the slender 24 year old with the pock-marked face.

          In other words, assume the phrase “younger women” is synonymous with “ATTRACTIVE younger women”.

        3. Adrian

          Karmic Equation,

          I mostly agree. Though I do feel that sometimes it is just having someone who is young that offers validation to some older men. Because a younger woman (according to society) has a higher sexual market value than a older woman, regardless of how attractive   the older woman is. So with acknowledgement to the study Caroline showed, maybe a woman who was a 9 when she 30, drops down to a 7 when she is 50, though she still looks beautiful, her age caused her desirability to drop, putting her on the same level as a 30 year old who is only a 6 or 7, though if they were the same age she would clearly be the more desirable choice physically for men?

           

          Not Again,

          I just turned 30 and decided to return to college to work on obtaining my Masters. Being around 18 year old women now versus when I was an undergrad, I see many things differently. These are girls whose smooth skin, naturally toned bodies, and natural beauty (without makeup) surpasses most celebrities, so I understand why many men want a younger woman. But try talking to one of them for about 30 minutes and you will see someone at that age has nothing to offer but sex and arm candy. I think a man looking for something serious will not want a younger woman. Of course the sexier the woman is, the more all that goes out the window from what I have seen.:-)

           

          Caroline,

          I agree 100% with this study. In my opinion most men who rave about younger women, only do so because they think her youth equals “easy to manipulate”. Beautiful people regardless of age have first picks, so a 50 year old men feeling that they can’t get the hot 50 year old, then focuses on the 25 year old. Her rating will still be high regardless of her looks because of her youth. But Karmic Equation was correct, facially not attractive and the obese young girls still are mostly overlooked, even by old perverts, from what I have seen.:-)

           

        4. Caroline

          @Adrian- interesting thought. I also believe most men would opt for someone in their own age group. But I do remember reading that no matter what age male( 13-100 yo) universally find a young 24-25 female most attractive. I think it was reduced to their overall body and youthful face. That’s why even my 89 year old dad will turn his head at times in their direction- it’s primal. Peak fertility and all that. It’s true also for the the young male going through puberty- they lust after the Victoria’s secret models universally not another 13 year old female just starting to physically mature in all her lanky awkwardness.

        5. Buck25

          Adrian,

          That’s pretty much correct, from my (older man’s) perspective.   Much like you’d now find an 18 year old nice to look at, but you wouldn’t want to date her….pretty much the same for a man my age with women thirty-something or forty-something; nothing wrong with them, really, just a different life stage. I “dated” (as in met for dinner) a few forty-something women online; pretty, but relationship material? Maybe for someone 10-15 years younger than me. Bear in mind that I’ve had the experience of being married to a woman 13 years younger; that’s as much of an age gap as I want to deal with.

          @ Not again

          Yes, I see that; chasing an illusion. Not an especially good idea; you’re only young once. No one gets to go back…no matter how much they want to.

           

          @ Caroline,

          Yeah, we look… and remember…and if we have any sense, that’s all we do…

           

        6. Not again

          But Buck,  I gather you are  old enough to remember what it was like before online dating.

          Was it any more fair? Truthfully?

        7. Buck25

          @Not again,

          To answer your last, it was, (and in my current experience remains) different. “More fair”? I don’t know if that’s the right word…certainly very different, real world, vs. online. One thing I do believe happens, is that in the real world, personality comes into play from the very beginning of the process, where online, it doesn’t factor in so much until first meeting, or at least first phone conversation (if one even gets to that point). In contrast, age, height and even looks count for more online in the earliest stage than in real life. I think, overall, someone (male or female), who’s got a witty, extroverted personality will come across better IRL than online. Humor, as one example, doesn’t always project well online, where we’re missing the facial expression, voice inflections and body language cues we use in the real world. Some writing styles don’t project well online ( I think mine often gets misinterpreted), and that’s not always easy to change. I’ve been told I’m very different in real life from what I project online, and I think that’s accurate.

          One result of all that is that online, all of us, both genders, tend to qualify by quantifying, if you will, and tend to fill in the personality info we don’t really have by trying to guess what the other person is like. We get that wrong, a lot, and in both directions; ever had a first meeting or phone conversation with someone who’s very different from what you imagined? I know I have. I’d think, that in terms of initial attraction, that might actually make it harder for a woman to evaluate a man than vice versa, simply because personality seems to be a bigger component of initial attraction/interest from a woman’s perspective.

          If I ever had to do it again, I think online offers a wider variety of opportunities, at the cost of a very depersonalized (at least in the very beginning) process, and I do think it’s a bigger challenge for those of us who are older. I will say that I think older women are fortunate to have a resource like Evan’s blog here, along with his coaching and support material. Most advice available for men is targeted at a younger set, trying to appeal to younger women. I could have used something more targeted at men my age, trying to market themselves to women in the same age group; I really do think that’s a somewhat different challenge.

    2. 38.2
      Caroline

      Buck- I considered for quite awhile if I should even respond to your comment about your bitterness and indignation. I was born in 61 so Vietnam is on my radar. Do I understand or even begin to understand what you went through? NO WAY. But I do know everyone has varying hardships they’ve gone through in their life. No one is immune. The fact that after 42 years you are still giving it power over your happiness speaks volumes of its impact.
      I have a little story for you. It’s my personal story and I don’t share it often. I come from a loving family. In fact my parents will have their 62nd wedding anniversary this year, 2 sisters will have their 38th and another her 27th (2nd marriage). I unfortunately did not end up too happily. I’ve been married twice. The 2nd lasted 23 years. The last 5 years were my living   hell. I had my first son was a great joy. Unfortunately his dad was by into parenting. He “worked” into the wee hours most evenings ( I knew deep down this wasn’t the case- he was seeing other women)   When my son was 5 our little family was robbed by what was found to be a car of thugs being initiated into a gang. I was able to run out the back door with my son in my arms in my Pjs jumping a neighbors fence and begging to be let in. My husband was not so fortunate. He was hit by the butt of his gun and shot in the foot. It took him close to a year to physically recover but it changed him . He had a hard time sleeping, working and turned to alcohol to self medicate. As the years went on he became more and more angry and developed into a full blown alcoholic. He was verbally and emotionally abusive. Eventually he turned to violence. He broke a rib and arm of my oldest son while my son tried to keep p him from choking me. I lost my business in my divorce and all my retirement to pay off all the debt he accrued. He ruined my credit also in the divorce. He paid 8 months of child support for the seven years he was indebted. I’ve been fortunate to work in my profession with a long time client full time. I’ve had a second job above my 50 hour a week full time job for the last 6 years. I’ve cut back a year ago to just working 6 days a week. I’m currently on medical leave from my second job due to a debilitating autoimmune disease.
      Why am I telling you this? I’ve never been happier. Divorcing was the best thing I ever did for myself and sons. I’ve been dating the same wonderful man for the last 5 years. I refuse to let m past dictate my future happiness. No, I’m in NO way comparing my life to your Vietnam. I’m just saying maybe after 42 years you should give yourself a break and opt for happiness. Get the help you need. There are people out there to help and care. I realize I’m oversimplifying your ordeal but it all starts with you. You have to do it for you.

      1. 38.2.1
        Caroline

        Buck- you may find it enlightening to do a little research on obesity/ weight. It’s in epidemic proportions in the U.S..   much of it has nothing to do with calories. It’s the kind of calories. Turns out grains are a huge cause. That’s why you hear all the hype about gluten. For me personally, I’ve found out I have numerous food sensitivities. My gut has,become permeable. Your immune system is in your gut. Last year I gained 20 lbs in less than two months, then packed on another 15 over the next month’s because of non existent metabolism.. over 20 million Americans are hypothyroid with 60% going undiagnosed. I dieted while undiagnosed losing 9 pounds in 5 months. Once I found a doctor who figured out I could not just take the standard meds (my body can’t convert t4 to t3)and put me on desiccated thyroid hormone- bam I’ve lost22 pounds in 2 months. I’m on a strict protocol to heal my gut. No grains, no dairy, no nuts, no beans or legumes, no white potatoes, no preserved m eats, no coffee or tea, no diet sodas, no no no.   Only low glycemic index fruits. There’s huge links between inflammation and obesity. It pretty much boils down to the standard americ a n diets effect on the body. Sure, there are way too many folks who eat too much and are sedentary. But there’s also countless p people battling non existent metabolism who eat less than you and could pass you on your military hike.

        1. Buck25

          Caroline,

          Very true, it’s not all about calories at all; it’s what the calories are composed of.   No need to get into the junk that is the average American’s diet, since you already know. I don’t eat like that. Mine is mostly a high protein diet,   with lots of fresh vegetables and low-glycemic fruits added in, little to no sugar or high glycemic starches. Basically low carb.

          I hear you on the autoimmune problems. My ex was diagnosed with RA a year before we married. She’s been in remission for several years now (on a biologic), but whether it’s RA, lupus, fibromyalgia, or any of that family of diseases, I know that can be pretty debilitating. Those also put you at increased risk of hypothyroidism, which you developed. I checked the stats on that, and while 20 million is the total number of Americans with thyroid disease (all forms, including hyperthyroidism) overall, the latest stats I could find (per The Cleveland Clinic) show the incidence of hypothyroidism (biochemical) at 4.6 % total, and clinically evident hypothyroidism at 1.3 % of the total population. That’s a lot less than 20 million. Given the higher incidence in women under 65 vs men under 65, a generous estimate would be that at most 2% of women might be obese due to hypothyroidism. Any way you want to slice it, the percentage of those obese Americans whose obesity is mostly or entirely due to metabolic factors beyond their control, is no more than 5% of men, or women. So while I sympathize with you and anyone else who has an underlying medical condition that makes it difficult to control their weight, you and they are still a tiny minority of the tens of millions   of obese American adults, the vast majority of whom are obese simply because of the junk food they consume, poor exercise habits, and an unwillingness to make any real effort to change. I’m happy to see you found a good physician who got you  on the correct hormone, and I’ll bet you continue to lose the excess weight, now that you have that and your diet straightened out. I’ll also bet you feel a whole lot better, and now that you know what you need to do diet-wise, there’s no reason to think your health won’t continue to improve.Sounds like you also have a happy supportive relationship, which is a definite plus. Hope you continue to get better. 🙂

      2. 38.2.2
        Buck25

        Caroline

        Thanks for your reply; very kind of you. I’ll answer in more detail later; right now it’s late, and I’m tired.

        What happened to your ex husband after that home invasion, is something you might have guessed I’m familiar with. I think it’s pretty likely that he had/has PTSD. That sort of event definitely could cause it, and his course after that is pretty typical, unfortunately. I’ve seen a lot of vets do what he did; self-medicate (usually alcohol), which only makes it worse; usually that’s what turns the anger and frustration component of PTSD to more and more verbal, emotional, and eventually physical abusiveness. Some tranquilizers, especially benzodiazepines, will do the same thing. Absent that, an individual who has PTSD is more likely to harm himself/herself   than anyone else; it can and does lead to severe depression, even suicide. It caused a lot of suicides among Vietnam vets, and undoubtedly contributes to a lot of suicides among today’s vet population. Medication rarely helps with PTSD anyway; one has to learn to live with it and manage it; doable, with time and some help, but not easy. For people that get it now, there are better outcomes with early diagnosis and treatment, fortunately. I lost a lot of years to it, but   it doesn’t intrude on my life anymore, though of course, the memories of the events that brought it on remain. You might not know it, but PTSD is actually more prevalent in women; the most common cause (as you might expect) is sexual assault. It’s also common among first responders (police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel). As you might gather, I do a lot of advocacy for vets and others with PTSD, whether it’s due to combat, violent crime, or natural disaster. PTSD is not well understood among the general population, and still stigmatized (I hid mine for decades; a lot of us did, and many still do); there are a lot of misconceptions, and a lot of people will shun someone who who has it, especially a combat vet, who they see as “dangerous”. I tell people who think that way, that, while I hope it never happens, they may be just one traumatic life event away from having it themselves; PTSD is an equal opportunity hell, and no one’s immune. The best thing for me, has been helping others; raising awareness, getting them into treatment…

        1. Caroline

          Actually Buck-

          the American thyroid org claims 12% of Americans will have a thyroid condition in their lifetime. This doesn’t take into account the many “mystery” diseases like fibromyalgia   which are most likely thyroid.

          Besides that, I wasn’t tagging it all in thyroid. I think you might be enlightened by reading about inflammation and obesity and links to insulin resistance.   It appears that once someone becomes overweight it’s a merry go round effect where inflammation kicks the autoimmune system in making it very challenging to lose weight unless they fix the root cause. I would think that this would be something you’d want to consider since you date a woman who had to resort to bariatric surgery to help her. No amount if willpower was going to fix it at the point age had cone to.

           

          Also, you never answered my real question. Why if as you say you have gotten back to being yourself -you are so bitter and indignant to females?   I have no idea what your exes were like but I do know in my case I finally realized I couldn’t love my ex husband enough to fix any if his problems. He had to want it fir himself. If course I look back and know I could have done a lot better but there comes a point when you have to what’s best for yourself and kids so you’re not dragged down any further into their hell. Of course our pasts color our future but it’s within yourself to realize your “reality” now may not be the true reality of the world .

  19. 39
    Rebecca

    I’m confused by the 8 partners v. 12 partners measure of taller men getting somewhat more sex.   Doesn’t it matter a lot whether that was 12 partners in one-night-(never again)-stands v. 8 partners of 5 to 8 years duration each?   No to mention the quality issue – I can’t imagine how you would measure that.   But I know from the way I get routinely propositioned on public transit that I COULD have a much higher “number” if I wanted to and it would NOT be a testament to my attractiveness or ability to be choosy.   I think the OKCupid research about women’s willingness to respond to men based on their heights is a much more convincing argument, but the simple fact that shorter men continue to find partners and reproduce their shorter children is proof that this preference is a far cry from overwhelming all the other characteristics that make a man “marriage material” or not.

    Yeah, “marriage material”, and the binary classification of do-able or not, and the 1 to 10 rating are all a little crass, but how else do we communicate in a forum without images the simple truth that some people turn lots of heads on the street and some don’t.   Like all language, these   are just easy shorthand.

    And to the last debate on this thread, of course my boyfriend doesn’t think I’m the most beautiful woman in the world, not even “most beautiful to him”.   And I’m pretty sure I’m his second (or lower) choice, since I know for a fact he’d have stayed with his wife had said wife given him that option.   “All else equal” (which it never is so this is really just a construction for the sake of argument) I’d probably find him more attractive if he were brunette or more muscular or had a fuller head of hair, but I find him pretty damn attractive as he is and it’s really not the case that I have a ranking of men and would leave the man I’m with if I had a “better” option.   More to the point, I guess, is it would be hard for another man to be a “better” option just by virtue of a prettier face or a wittier persona, since the man I’m with was shallowly attractive enough to catch my eye in the first place, and now he also has the advantage of shared history and inside jokes and a comfortable relationship with his kids and a long track-record of being trustworthy and consistently kind to me.   My best case scenario is I get to keep him until he’s completely bald, a whole lot saggier, and maybe even incontinent, and I have a hard time seeing some glossy Adonis as an improvement on that.

  20. 40
    Adrian

    Christine and Caroline, I completely agree with both of you about height and age. A person sets filters, but in real life a man can not tell if a woman is 37 or 40, and woman can not tell if a man is 5’11 or 6 feet. But sadly with online   dating if you don’t tell people the truth, they condemn you as a liar when they find out.

     

    Online dating gives us access to hope, and endless possibilities, but also narcissism, and selfishness. I think Evan refers to it as the illusion of choice.

    1. 40.1
      MilkyMae

      Ironically, one of the causes of “illusion of choice” is a lack of choice.   If you meet and date different people, you start to realize that fostering a long term relationship is not that easy and that  choices are not infinite.   However, if you hold out for someone extraordinary, you don’t get any feedback at all.   I know women who insist that their partner is tall.   If you ask them how they will plan to do it, they say by not being desperate or by refusing to date short men  or lying about their own height while online.   I think if they actually datied or socialized with more men, they would realize what they need to do or have to create a relationship.  

    2. 40.2
      Christine

      Adrian, I really do understand, after years and years of bad online dating experiences before meeting my boyfriend.   All too often people treat online dating like their own Amazon for people, just looking for a checklist of characteristics.   As I kept dating more men, I gradually became more reasonable in my expectations and developed a better sense of what I truly needed in a partner–and I imagine that would be the case with many other women as well (and those are the ones you want to attract anyway)

      MilkyMae, I would agree that actually dating and socializing with more men really does help.   I never actually got any dates from all those meetup groups I joined–but, just befriending and socializing with more men did teach me a lot about men.

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