Any short man who has ventured into online dating has seen the blatant and often non-negotiable requirement for taller men. It is hardly a preference. Preference implies that you prefer one over the other, but are willing to at least consider the “other”. On just about every dating website that displays height on a profile, and requests a preference from women, 5’10 is usually the bare minimum these days. 5’10 is a 1/2 inch above the U.S. national average (5’9 1/2, making the true average 5’9-5’11) which means off the bat, women are eliminating 50% of men. That said, “most men” hover around the 5’9-5’11 mark. While it isn’t impossible for a shorter man to get a date, and there are shorter guys who can outdo their taller counterparts, it can be an uphill battle in a society that preaches that taller is undoubtedly more masculine and the “better” option. What if you’re 5’7 or below?
The online dating world is a bit more like employers searching through resumes. Though a shorter man may be a much better pick in every area, on paper, he doesn’t look so appetizing (due to social conditioning), and having a quantifiable variable leaves many shorter men behind the Eight Ball. Women will often blame this on wanting to feel protected, more secure, for wanting to wear their highest heels while out and about, and most importantly, many feel that at the minimum a man should be taller than his woman. Many surveys over the years state they want a man at least 4 inches taller than they are for the above said reasons.
Short guys will often notice that the shorter the woman, the stronger her height requirement, so we present the question, “Why are there plenty of women in the average-above average range (5’4-5’7) willing to date men who are four inches taller than they are (5’10), but fewer women shorter than average (4’11-5’3) willing to date men four inches taller than they are (5’4-5’8)?
We want to clarify that this is not a treatise on online dating. Short men will deal with dating bias just as much in person. If you ask around you will hear enough shorter men, even successful ones complaining about women much shorter than them turning them down for being “too short”.Also we would like to clarify that all women do not have a bias against shorter men, but a very, very large percentage do, even if they are short themselves.This is not to suggest that shorter women “owe” shorter men a shot, but the oddity of focus is that the “4 inch rule” does not apply equally across the height spectrum.
Peer Pressure - It seems as if men are more concerned with how a woman looks, and lots of women are more concerned about how menmake them look. That is, women tend to care about the chatter that will ensue about their new coupling. Shorter men-Taller women couples will often bring scrutiny and ridicule. Shorter women are told by their peers that they could “do better”. Perhaps this has something to do with the average? Since most men hover around 5’10, to have a “real man” would mean that you’d have to have a guy who is as tall as most men? Is this really necessary? It shows a lack of free thinking and the need to succumb to the thoughts of others. This is a weakness on her part.
The Weight Issue - When women’s weight vs height is discussed on dating websites all over, women will get extremely defensive on the issue. We hear things like “Well 5’7 is 5’7, 200 lbs can mean a many different things depending on a woman’s body type and her height”. The point is that once you set up a quantifiable marker where people can be judged, you will feel the pressure. For example, 108 lbs is thin at just about any common height on a woman. If most men said they would only consider women between 110-135lbs irrespective of height, there would be a lot of annoyed women. It would be pretty mean if a man wrote “Do not contact me if you are over 140lbs” don’t you think?
The Heels Issue - A 5’6 man would be taller than a 4’11 woman in her highest heels. A 5’7 man would be taller than a 5’1 woman in her highest heels. A 5’10 man will not be taller than a 5’6 woman in her highest heels, yet 5’10 is the accepted and most stated height cutoff, even among women who are average-slightly above average height. Spend a moment and browse through dating profiles on Match or eHarmony to verify this. This suggests that this is once again social conditioning at work and that there is no “four inch rule”. In the eyes of these women, not only must men be taller, but they have to be in a certain height range to qualify as “real men”. There are plenty of celebrities who have wives and girlfriends who are taller than them in heels. It appears that their status outshines any public scrutiny because these women have a “catch”. This is disappointing.
Ask women you know what is the minimum acceptable height that they would date. Take note of their responses.