Short Guy #2: I know, me too!
Short Guy #1: I mean, it’s not even like I’m that short.
Short Guy #2: Yeah, no, me either. I’m not that short either!
Short Guy #1: I wish there was some way to get to know a girl in a setting where she didn’t realize how short we were. Talk a bit, share some interests, fascinate them with our minds, but only later do we reveal how short we are.
Short Guy #2: Yeah! Only later!
Short Guy #1: And it’s not like I’m even that short.
Short Guy #2: No, I don’t think you are.
Short Guy #1: You either! I mean, we can totally reach things that are on high shelves.
Short Guy #2: Or we can get a ladder.
Short Guy #1: Or we can get a ladder. Absolutely.
Short Guy #1: And we can have pictures!
Short Guy #2: Pictures?
Short Guy #1: Women will assume we’re short, because they can’t see us. And when they can’t see us, women always assume it’s because we’re hiding how short we are.
Short Guy #2: They do. They do always assume.
Short Guy #1: So we’ll put pictures up that make us look regular-sized – or even tall! We’ll use tricky angles, or clever point of view techniques, or just show them our faces! It’ll be impossible to figure out our actual height.
Short Guy #2: Yes! Clever point of view techniques!
Short Guy #2: They’ll ask.
Short Guy #1: Hmm?
Short Guy #2: They’ll ask how tall we are. They always we do. Sometimes even when they’re looking right at us they’ll ask. Just to make us say it out loud and confirm their suspicions. I hate it when they ask.
Short Guy #1: Hmm.
Short Guy #2: Or over time, they’ll make us list it. They’ll make us list our height upfront, with our other interests and general descriptions. We’re done for. Sure, we could leave it blank, but they’ll see through that in a second!
Short Guy #1: Hmm.
Short Guy #1: I got it!
(Pause. Short Guy #2 looks at Short Guy #1 expectantly)
Short Guy #1: We’ll lie!
And thus Internet dating was born.
Men have numerous gripes about Internet dating. Women don’t write back, or they post out of date pictures, or they’re not as impressed by one’s ability to stalk them as they reasonably should be. But women have one complaint: Short guys lie. That’s it. That’s the only thing that’s bothering them. Believe me, I get all the emails.
For every ten emails I get from female readers of this site, at least six are decrying diminutive dudes and the lies they tell. The rest of my messages either marriage proposals or pleas from publishers demanding I let them pay me to write a book. (May not be true). A recent comment from loyal reader, Jess D…
What if you just constantly met short guys online? What does that mean? That’s one huge reason why I stopped online dating. They were all short and lied about it. But eventually, I’m going to find out you’re fucking 5’6″ and not 5’8″. And maybe that makes me shallow, but we all have our dealbreakers. Can’t do short. Also can’t do pointy shoes. No and no.
Aside from the alarming negativity towards creative footwear choices, this comment is fairly indicative of the messages I get. As is its ferocity. “I’m going to find out you’re fucking 5’6″ and not 5’8″.” I mean, that’s a curse word. Over two measly inches! It sounds like the sort of thing that would be written in cut-out magazine letters, and come wrapped around some poor person’s finger. “You lie about your height, I cut off your hand!” I don’t think I’d even notice that someone who claimed to be 5’8″ was actually a ghastly 5’6″, but it sounds like Jess would happily stab such a person in the heart. And trust me, she’s not alone. So…what’s the deal?
I’ve asked around, and the most common explanation I get for female height preference is that they like to feel “surrounded.” They want to hug someone bigger than them, lie next to someone large, someone who can put their arms around them and really…surround. So then I had to ask around and find out what the fuck that meant. The best I could come up with is that tall men make women feel protected. Comforted, cozy, and looked out for. Height, apparently, subconsciously offers that. It better be subconscious, because I’m 6’2″ and I’ll tell you right now ladies, I ain’t protecting you from shit. If a murderer, or a burglar, or even a strong wind should enter your room in the middle of the night, me and my 74 inches are getting the hell out of there. At least a short guy can fit under the bed, so there’s a decent chance you’ll have someone to hide with. I’d keep that in mind.
Sadly though, out of this innocent little preference, an entire war has been born. Women like tall dudes. Short guys, viewing this as another in a long serious of slights (see: genetics, also overhead compartments), grew frustrated and turned to Internet dating. Women, finding men lacking in general (can’t blame them there), gradually migrated to Internet dating themselves – only to find it largely populated with the same short fellows they disregarded earlier. Shortstacks, tired of their continued and seemingly arbitrary dismissal by women, get pissed, say “fuck it”, and just start lying about their height. In turn, this makes women pissed, who are pretty forgiving of man’s faults in general but don’t appreciate being lied to. Before you know it, the only people not pissed on Match.com are guys like me, but truth be told, my natural disposition is to be kind of pissed, so now we’re all fucked. All because of a desire to be “surrounded.”
So what do we do? Well, we can patiently try to do better. Women, you can be more accepting of guys who are a little shorter than you’d like, and maybe take a chance on somebody who is really keen but doesn’t fit your preconceived requirements. Shrimps, you can do your best not to lie or mislead about your height, even though it is often held unfairly against you. And me, well, we’ll get to me later. We can do all that and perhaps, slowly over time, the war between the women and the shorts will abate. Perhaps.
Or we can do what Jess D. did and just give up.
I think I’m with Jess D.
UPDATE: For more, check out Women vs. Short Guys Revisited!
And if you enjoyed this, buy my new book Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters. Great for people of all heights.