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Do Girls Like Short Guys? How to Get a Girlfriend When You're a Shorter Man

Updated on July 10, 2017
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After seeing many friends (or himself) seduced by love, only to crash and burn afterwards, Jorge writes advice based on his observations.

Short Guys: Dating Doesn't Have to Be Hard

Does it seem like every girl out there wants a tall guy? Do you feel like you're out of the running because you're short? Does life seem unfair because you were deprived of a few extra inches (or centimeters)?

For short guys, dating can seem like a daunting prospect. Women appear to greatly prefer taller men, and there are plenty of Internet memes serving as examples of women's distaste for short guys.

Is it really true, though? Do girls really dislike short men?

Like most things in life, the answer is not as simple as "yes" or "no."

Do Girls Like Short Guys?

In general, most women show a strong preference for taller men. That's just the reality of the situation, and it's probably not news to you. While not all women feel this way, most women will see shortness as an undesirable trait in a man.

There are many reasons for this, both socially programmed and evolutionary. Girls tend to like guys with bigger builds in general, and this includes height.

Does this mean that you're out of luck in the dating world if you're short? No, not at all. Every person has at least one or two traits that most people would find undesirable. This doesn't mean it's the end of the world, and it doesn't even mean that you have to compensate for this.

In fact, be careful not to try to compensate for your height. It will only make your chances worse. (But more on that further below.)

Tall or short? It's hard to tell without any other people to compare.
Tall or short? It's hard to tell without any other people to compare.

Being "Short" is Relative - Chances Are, You're Not Actually Short

First, let's tackle your whole assumption here: Are you actually a short guy?

This may seem counter-intuitive based on how much value people place on height, but there is no such thing as "short." This is not some kind of feel-good statement to raise your self-esteem--it's the truth.

For example, if you live in the US (which is full of tall people), and people occasionally tell you that you're short, you might find that you're actually taller than average when you visit other countries or hang around foreigners. Worldwide average height is probably shorter than you might assume. For males, it's around 5' 7" (1.7 meters) to 5' 8" (1.72 meters) according to Wikipedia's data.

"Short" is just a judgement on someone's height, and it can't exist without having people of different heights to compare it with. As a result, "short" is totally relative and changes based on the environment. No height is inherently short; you're just making assumptions about what height someone should be.

The Not So Shocking Truth: Other Guys Lie About Their Height All the Time

Another issue to consider is the fact that guys lie about their heights the same way that girls lie about their weight. When was the last time you gave yourself an inch or two on a dating site? How often are you totally honest when girls ask about your height?

How many guys say they're 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall? Many more than actually are. This ends up giving women (and men) a false perception of how tall the average really is.

Even in places where people are fairly large, like the US, men are not as tall as people think they are. The vast majority (more than 85%) of men in the United States are below 6 feet in height, and the average is about 5 feet, 9.5 inches (about 1.76 meters).

So a woman who says that she won't date a man under 6 feet is actually shrinking her pool of applicants quite a bit. Perception is reality in this case, though: She may not realize that the guy she's dating is actually 5' 10" and that he just lies about it.

If you're average or below and are actually honest about your height, this puts you at a frustrating disadvantage. You might say you're 5' 9" on an online dating profile, but instead of imagining someone who is actually this height, a woman might imagine someone several inches shorter.

Stretching the Truth

Do you ever lie about your height?

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What Do You Do About It? How Can Short Guys Compete in a Tall World?

Being short doesn't have to affect your dating life. While it won't be an asset with most women, you can still highlight other positive attributes to make yourself attractive. While many women say they wouldn't date short men, often it's because they find the idea of a short man distasteful--the reality can be quite different, especially if she meets a shorter guy that she finds attractive.

To make things easier on yourself, follow these tips when you're looking for a girlfriend, but you feel that your short stature has been holding you back:

More important than your height is your confidence level and your comfort with yourself.
More important than your height is your confidence level and your comfort with yourself.

Tip #1: Get Over the Whole Height Thing First

Before you consider getting into the dating scene, let go of the chip on your shoulder. A lot of short guys repulse women not because of their height, but because of their lack of confidence about their height. This may sound like a cliche, but it's true.

You might think that you have plenty of confidence, but examine yourself closely. Is there any way that you overcompensate for your height? Do you feel that you have to be more callous and "tough" in order to make up for it? Do you challenge men who are taller than you in a misguided attempt to feed your own ego? Do you feel that people constantly underestimate you and that you have to prove them wrong?

This is a common problem with guys who are significantly shorter than average. I've known men personally who pick fights with larger men to validate their own masculinity simply because they're smaller than most of the people around them. You might have heard someone call this "short guy syndrome."

The thing is that most women are not that dumb. They can tell the difference between genuine masculinity and overcompensation, even if unconsciously. That try-hard "manliness" is repulsive to all but the most air-headed of them.

For your height to be a non-issue to women (and other people), it must first be a non-issue to you. You are the leader here. You are the one who sets the tone for how other people should treat you. If you ignore the fact that you appear "short" compared to other men, then the women you approach will be much less apt to notice your height, especially if you are only slightly shorter than average.

Tip #2: Avoid Online Dating

Many people think that online dating is a must these days, but this isn't really true. When you date online, it's very easy to dehumanize the people that are on the other side of the screen. It is almost completely a numbers game, and you are at a distinct disadvantage if you don't immediately appeal to most people.

The specific problem that short guys face with online dating is that most dating apps and sites offer filters for people to narrow down their results. The chance that a woman will filter her matches to only show her men above a certain height is likely.

This means that she will wholesale dismiss hundreds or thousands of potentially good matches simply based on a numerical statistic. There might be a great guy who is 5' 10", but she set the cut-off at 6', so she will never meet him.

You can't really blame her, though, to an extent. Women get so many messages from potential suitors on dating apps and sites, that they have to filter the men somehow. Unfortunately, this often means that some degree of objectification will happen. She will reduce who you are to just a few bits of information and dismiss you easily because of it.

So What Do You Do Instead?

Well, you can meet girls out in the real world--you know, that thing that existed before we were all strapped to our augmented reality devices. This will give you a chance to meet women face-to-face, where you can evaluate each other holistically.

This will give her a chance to see what you look like, how you carry yourself, your level of confidence, and so on, and weigh various attributes equally, instead of simply filtering you out for one tiny speck of what you are.

Even further, by just approaching women in person, you are already a step ahead the hundreds of trolls who send her creepy messages on the Internet.

Does this mean you should approach random women on the street? Not if it's not your style. Just joining a club or some social group where a lot of women hang out can expose you to prospects.

Meet girls in person, instead of online.
Meet girls in person, instead of online.

Tip #3: Date Girls Who Are Used to "Short" Guys

As we've already implied, "short" has a different meaning to different people. It depends on the environment that they grew up in. Some women think that 5' 9" (1.75 meters) is short for a man, while others may think that a short man is 5' 5" (1.65 meters) and under--or even less in populations where people tend to be much shorter than world average.

If being short is really a problem for you, you might consider targeting girls who belong to an ethnicity where the guys tend to be around your height. You could also look for shorter girls, since it's likely that the males in her family will be shorter and that she grew up with them as a subconscious example.

The most extreme way to do this is to move to a country where people tend to be shorter. For instance, in Northern Europe or in the United States, a man who is 5' 8" may not be much to look at, and might even be considered short, but in the Philippines, he would actually be much taller than average.

Keep in mind, though, that this is a band-aid solution by itself. At the end of the day, simply targeting girls who are accustomed to short guys can still subconsciously leave you with the belief that there is something wrong with your height. This can be very limiting. You may have solved the surface problem of women rejecting you for your height, but you will not have solved the inner problem of feeling inadequate because of your height. If you need other people around you to be shorter for you to feel better, then there's a problem.

Don't Sell Yourself Short

So, finally, do girls like short guys?

Yes. Certain girls can like certain short guys.

At the end of the day, what you really should remember is to be careful of sweeping generalities. Even if it is true that most women prefer men who are taller than average, what does that have to do with you and your unique situation?

It's probably also true that most men prefer women with larger-than-average knockers, but does that mean that a given man will reject a given lady with a pancake-flat chest if he likes everything else about her? Again, it's relative.

Most of all, stop thinking of yourself as short. You have a certain height and it is what it is. Comparing yourself to others or placing some kind of judgement on it is silly.

And when you carry around insecurities about the way you look, it's hard to attract any women at all.

The Height Poll

Do you consider yourself short?

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© 2017 Jorge Vamos

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      robert southwood 7 weeks ago

      It is very tough being a short man especially if he's like me short and bald. I served 20 years in the United States Army and the whole time never was able to get a girlfriend. All that time thouands of women have said things like "ewww your like only 5 foot tall, you don't even qualify to be a man" and atleast 100 other different replies about my height (5'5). I never thought being short was such a problem until I spent three years after I retired from the army thinking about it.

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      Yves 4 months ago

      Wonderful article! I've dated men as short as 5' 8". Didn't faze me one bit. I even wore high heels around them. The important thing for guys is to stop mentioning their height and to "own" it. Then focus on enjoying life and forget about the height thing. It's not impossible to do!