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I’m Too Short To Date: Statistically Speaking

Let me just start off by saying this post isn’t going to be filled with earth shattering paradigm shifting ideas. It’s not. What this blog IS going to be is stating the obvious, BUT it’s going to be stating the obvious and backing it up with statistical data. So here it is, I hope you’re sitting down:

Women prefer to date taller men

I know right. Did I just BLOW YOUR MIND? Or naaah? I mean I know this isn’t anything we don’t already know, but I wanted to figure out exactly how true this actually is. I actually kind of had an aha moment when I was talking to one of my female friends and she was telling me about her date last week and she said it went fine “but he was kind of short”. And so in my head, I’m doing the math and I’m thinking, well she’s about 5’4 or 5’5, so short to her must be like my height, which is 5’7 to 5’8, right? RIGHT!? No, her short was he was only 5’10. FUCK.MY.LIFE. And so, whatever, whatever, her preference of height is her preference of height, that fine. And my goal is to not change or shame women for having height their preferences. Not at all. I mean people like what they like. Whether it’s because they want to wear heels and not be taller than them, or because they want a tall guy that can fight off ninjas. Their preference is their preference. BUT I did want to find out if she was of the norm of what women’s height preferences were, at least according to their match.com profiles.

So what I did was I canceled all my dates that I had for 3 days in a row so that I could sit at home and go through 600 plus different match.com profiles data mining for height preferences information. Thankfully I haven’t had a date in weeks, so I didn’t have to cancel any dates.

 

Data Collection Approach:
– Age 26 to 32
– Height 5’1 to 5’9
– 30 miles radius of 92103
– For each age and height I took 10 data samples.
i.e. 10 women who are 5’1 and 26 years old, 10 women who are 5’1 and 27 years old…etc.
– Search results were sorted based on last log in, and NOT the “match picks”, assuring a better random selection
– The first 10 profiles were the selected data points (someone asked if I only picked the “pretty girls”)

searchprofile
– WARNING MATH STUFF: I used median vs the mean (arithmetic average) because it’s better suited for skewed distributions (like 5’2 women who want to date 6’6 guys) to derive a central tendency.
– WARNING MATH STUFF: For the “Male’s height determines their dating pool” section, I ONLY took females that were equal to the man’s height or less for the calculations. Because it’s not fair to calculate the preferences for a woman that 5’8 with a man that is only 5’5. His dating “pool” is women 5’5 and shorter. Don’t worry, the numbers still suck for a guy 5’5 anyway you slice it. At least this way he has a fighting chance.

I wanted to find out:
-Do women want a guy that is 3-4 inches taller than them, OR do all women regardless of their height want a guy that is “tall” (5’11)? For example if a woman is 5’2 would she date a guy that is 5’6 and above because he is 4 inches taller than her? Or does that 5’2 woman, on average, still want to date the guy that is “tall”?

-Of my dating pool of women that are between 26 and 32 years of age and between 5’1 to 5’9, how many of them actually consider my height as their minimum height preference. Basically what percentage of women I would date, would want to date me.

-What is the breakdown, based on women’s height that said they would date me?
For example, I imagine that of the women who are 5’1, I probably match with a higher percentage of them, vs. women that are 5’7 that said they would date me.

IMPORTANT – READ THIS DISCLAIMER CLOWNS:
Look, I know, that when women fill out online dating profiles, they put their “ideals”, and in real life actually do date lower than their minimum height preference. I know, thank you for being the 27th person to mention that to me. BUT until match.com adds the “Here is the actual height of guy I would date” field, this is ONLY DATA I HAVE TO GO ON.

Here we go:

too short infographic

So, what did we learn?

Her Height vs His Height
You can see that as the woman gets taller the height difference in their preference decreases. So it starts at a difference of 6.5 inches with women who are 5’1 wanting to date guys that are 5’7 and half or taller, but women who are 5’9, only prefer a minimum height 2 inches taller than them, at 5’11.

 

Males Height Determines Their Dating Pool
DUH. But, basically if you are man that is 5’5 and under, you should take your $24.99 dollars a month and light it on fire. Because you are more likely to attract a women when you are lighting money on fire than the bleak percentages of women that want to date you. It’s actually pretty grim until you’re a guy that is 5’10 or taller.

When I made this infographic earlier this week, I thought I was 5’7,I actually got measured today during a bio metric screening for work and it turns out I’m actually just OVER 5’7, which means I’m basically 5’8 with shoes. Right? RIGHT GUYS!? But for assumptions of this data let’s pretend I’m straight up 5’7. This means only 32% of the women said I match their minimum height criteria. So even though I am as tall or taller than %100 percent of the women in my dating pool (5’7 and below), only %32 percent said I was in THEIR dating pool. Think about that.

 

Which heights of women actually want to match with me?
You can see that my real sweet spot is women that are 5’1 and 5’2, with 50% and 44% matching with my height of 5’7. Apparently only 11% of women who are my height said they would date a guy their own height.
Ok, awesome, whatever,  I WAS ALL EXCITED TO GET ME A 5’1 SOUL MATE! So I went to match.com, and searched for 5’1 women who are between the ages of 26 and 32. So even though 50% of them said they would date my height, there is not very many of them. Like at all. There were only 70 profiles that were active in the last 2 weeks. So REALLY that only leaves about 35 women between the age of 26-32 that are 5’1 that would actually date me. 35 is not a lot. Yes 35 is more than 0. But barely. That’s probably a whole other infographic I could make of what is the actual size (population) of my dating pool and not percentages.

 

What else did I discover?
I learned that age didn’t matter. Meaning that all 26 year olds had a median height of about 5’9 for their minimum height, and so did 27 year olds and so did every age group.

 

I might be an awful human for doing this:
I also discovered something interesting….and I know this is going to sound awful coming out of my mouth, but that’s only because it is. So, I also collected another data point…..I recorded each woman’s relative attractiveness. I KNOW I KNOW, I’m an awful person. BUT I wanted to know (and had to know) if people that “weren’t as attractive” had a shorter height preference. Yes, beauty is subjective, so this won’t be as scientific but I tried to be as fair with the rating as possible. It was a 1 to 10 scale with no woman getting below a 4 and no woman getting a 10. And I tried to do a relative attractiveness scale, in that is she attractive to the masses. Because my idea of attractive is different than yours, but in general, I think society kind of has a norm of attractive. Let me say, that every woman is beautiful to someone, and now let me say I’m an awful person because I rated women, but it was for science. BUT I did discover a consistent trend, that woman who were rated below average attractiveness (less than 7), did have a significantly lower median of height preference. At least .5 inches and all the way up to 1.5 inches, which is significant considering the low variance of medians of the whole population. So yes, less attractive women have a lower minimum height preference. I’m not going to speculate or commentary on why that may be,  but, statistically speaking, it’s a fact.

I’m sorry I rated women subjectively, but the data shows a statistically trend. Yes, it’s wrong I did it, but math proved it true. I decided not to post the data specifically of those results, as I’m already going to get yelled at for just mentioning it.

 

What’s the take away:
Believe it or not this isn’t my “WHAAAAAAA, WHAAAAA, I’m only 5’8 and girls don’t want to date me, whaaaa, whaaaa” post. This was just a statistical presentation of data from match.com of women’s ideal preferences. I will probably use this data to make the decision to stop doing online dating. Because only 33% percent of my dating pool on this medium actually wants to date me. And you’re probably saying “33% is a still a third Steven, that’s a lot”. First of all it’s fucking rude to talk when I’m talking, I was in the middle of something and you just kind of interrupted, what I was saying was, in a hyper competitive market place like match.com women are given choice. Each day women are bombarded with messages from different guys, giving them choice. And now given the choice, wouldn’t you choose your preferred ideal? For example, you love pizza, like fucking love to eat pizza. And every day you get the option to eat bagels, burritos or pizza. Now, even though you like bagels and burritos, and you’ll eat them no problem, you fucking love pizza. So given the choice, you always pick pizza. I forget what I was saying, but basically pizza is pretty good.

I’ll close with, I don’t have a short man complex, at least I don’t think I do? I’ve dated women taller, and have no problem with it. I’m confident in my ability to find my person, I just don’t think match.com is the place to do it, statistically speaking. I’m not going to get any taller, which is why I developed over woman attracting qualities, like being funny, being outgoing, being a gentleman, being involved with the community (I’ve been president of 2 different non-profit organizations, and I’ve coached a Special Olympics basketball for the last 7 years), I’m one of the best dancers you’ve ever met, being educated (masters degree) having a great career, and being able to brag about myself in my own blog. So don’t reach out to me to pity party me. Only reach out to me if you’d like to date me. I’m just kidding. No, I’m not.

P.S. On a side note, I think I love data. I think I need a career where I can mine through data, find patterns, do analysis and tell a story with data visualization. FIND ME A JOB WHERE I CAN DO THAT. K, thanks.

Give Match.com a try?

So Match.com may not be the site for me, but it’s probably because I did a whole mathematical analysis. IF you are looking to try Match.com, I was able to get my readers a 20% percent discount. Try it. Just the tip. Just for a second. Just to see how it feels.


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Comments
  • Plano November 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Only “date” on Tinder since there’s no height preference! Actually, since it’s only a hookup app, women still won’t want to be seen in public with you if you turn out to be short.

    • Kelsey November 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      lolwut

      Not everyone uses Tinder specifically for hook ups. While I agree some people using the app are only out for one thing, there are some of us who are actually just trying to meet new people without sexual expectations. Even still, I’d say that about 90% of male users on Tinder still disclose their height within their bio.

      Regardless of what dating medium you opt for, people have their preferences. Also, as a little bit of a reverse perspective, being a 4’11 woman on a dating site means that almost every guy under 5’6 thinks we’re meant to be. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Another awesome post, Steve!

  • Lauren November 4, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I am 5’2″ and went out with a guy who was maybe 5’6″ last year and he turned out to be a TOTAL DICK. Short guys, for whatever reason, maybe it’s the Napoleonic complex, think they deserve the hottest model on the planet. He rejected ME because I was sort of chubby at the time. Like, HELLO, my chubbiness canceled out his extreme shortness and he was actually in, not way out of, my league. If guys are going to be totally shallow about looks, so are we RIGHT LADIES?!

    • BW November 28, 2015 at 4:42 am

      Excess weight isn’t genetic like height, it’s a lifestyle choice. It makes more sense for overweight people to only date overweight people because they share similar lifestyles. Do your really think a person who makes a continual effort to maintain a normal weight through diet and exercise is going to be happy with someone who won’t? Anybody can change their weight, but not there height.

  • Jared November 5, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Hey Steve, I’ve been following your blog since your “Fuck You Eharmony” post, really enjoy the posts keep them coming. While it’s interesting to see the statistical breakdown of women’s height preferences, as you said we all know women in general prefer tall men regardless of their own height. I would think this is mainly due to our biological hard-wiring to want to find the mate with the best genetics to proliferate with. And it’s not just women, studies show that society in general prefers tall, good-looking people. They make more money, more sucessful, etc. I just find it interesting that now so many people expect to date people who look like movie stars, so you have like 85% of the “average looking” population wanting to only date the top 15% best looking people. There’s going to be a lot of single old cat ladies out there. Good luck in your search bro. I gave up at 31 and got a dog.

  • Amanda November 5, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Liking taller men is in part biological, and in part sociological. See this study from last year in Psychology today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201306/why-women-want-tall-men According to this, shorter people are never truly satisfied with their height or the height of their partner. It’s lose/lose. Aren’t you glad I brought you this information? You’re welcome. However, in non-westernized countries, height differences aren’t really taken as seriously as they are here. Third world dating apps. I think they already have those. 😉

    As a woman, I can honestly say I don’t care about height. My boyfriend is maybe an inch taller than me, on a good day, and I’m only 5’5″. I wear heals when we go out. Neither one of us cares. Perhaps it’s because I’m 34 and therefore out of your sample range. Moral of the story: date an older woman. Possibly one in an impoverished nation.

  • your brother November 6, 2014 at 12:08 am

    You forgot to include the data from Russianbride.com and dateAsia.com. I think that group is 100% in your Pool.

  • Briony November 10, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I agree that there’s a bias among single women who are looking for their forever person that, when not referring to a specific person, taller is better. However, I think that may also be boosted by the age range you searched for. I am 34, have been on online dating sites on and off (pretty much off for a long time thanks to reasons mentioned in your prior posts) for a couple years and chose a height of 5’7″ as my minimum (I’m 5’4″). However, I have dated guys who were closer to my height (i.e. shorter) because i found them, as an individuals, attractive. I have also dropped my expectation that height, weight, eye color, are an absolute must in my forever person. So, my points being, you’re basing your data on a fairly young age range…perhaps they still subscribe to absolute ‘musts’ having to do with height or perhaps they just had to answer a question that a computer software program requires to help them find their prince charming. I think your data is valid in a background knowledge kind of way, and your actual success rate would be higher than 33% if you met them in person.

    By the way, I’m with Jared that giving up and getting a pet (cat for me…..yup, keep laughing at the stereotypical image you have in your head) is far less stressful than playing this dating game. I’ll probably jump back in the game at some point. Seriously, though, a pet is way more likely to fulfill those Rom Com expectations (except the sex….please don’t even go there)! I think you should make a movie short of your romance with a new pet. Just an idea.

  • Michelle January 2, 2015 at 12:02 am

    I don’t get why women want taller guys – I prefer shorter guys, 5-10 is perfect height. I went on a date with a taller guy once and he told me a lot of women like him for his height (he was 6-7), it turned me off and I couldn’t date him. I don’t want to be shallow, but you are attracted to what you are attracted to!

  • Kelly January 14, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I’m with Amanda — I don’t care about a guy’s height either, but at 36, I’m also well out of your sample age range (and at 5’10, I’m out of your sample height range, too!) My boyfriend is 6’2, but one of my most serious long-term relationships was with a guy who was 5’7. Didn’t bother either of us, even with my fondness for heels that push me over the 6′ mark. I’m more than comfortable with my height, and he felt the same about his. It just worked.

    And I DID once have a guy tell me I was “too tall to date”, so I guess it works both ways. :)

  • Hibhop January 26, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Solution: Move to Chicago and be a Data Scientist AND get a whole new dating pool: https://www.braintreepayments.com/careers/chicago/data-scientist

  • Anna February 1, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    I am tall – 5’9″ and my “must have” when searching for a guy on online dating sites is a guy who is at least 5’11”. I went on a date with a guy who was shorter than me, and I was so uncomfortable the whole time.

    I like to wear high heels which are normally 2-3 inches. I don’t want to tower over a guy. I personally feel guys don’t want a woman taller than him. But I could be wrong and generalizing. I have had guys message me on dating sites and say “I was I was taller, so I could go on a date with you”

  • Frank April 1, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Hi,
    Just wanted to add to what people think. This is very true. I am 5’3 guy. I am 32 years old. I got rejected so many times. So a few years ago, I resorted to online dating, and after a few sites, I can tell you that I am close to 0% rate date. When I don’t mention my height on my profile, I get asked about it; even if the woman seem interested, they reject me. Contrary to what people say, trying to date older (in their thirties) women gets me rejected as well, because at this age, they are looking for long term, and don’t want to settle for less than what they want.
    So in my short existence, as a short guy, I am now prepared to be alone. I really would not care for height difference, I am more interested in personnality compatibility (and a cute smile). In short, my value as a human being is NOT defined by my height, at least that’s not how I feel. But I guess for most people, even guys, this is important. I think this is really shallow though.

  • NickB May 11, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Here’s a slightly different perspective. I am 5’8 (and a bit :-)) guy from UK and over the last few months while I have been online dating (match.com, eHarmony, Telegraph Dating) I have actively been targeting shorter women. For me between 5’0″ and 5’4″ is ideal and it’s not just about the difference in height I just find more petite women more attractive.

    The interesting thing is that often in the initial written dialogue, particularly where a taller woman has taken the initiative and contacted me, I might suggest that the woman in question, look for someone taller, darker and more handsome than me – I often end up in a dialogue where they are persuading me that height doesn’t matter, saying in her messages and that when we date she will put away her 4″ heels in favour of flat shoes!

    Of course many women do and will select on height and I purposefully avoid anyone over 5’6″ and I’m sure that many women I have contacted who are shorter, have not chosen to reply to me because they prefer taller guys and feel I’m not tall enough – but my point is, that if there is attraction, from another aspect, height is often overcome and becomes almost irrelevant.

    This is a fascinating area and one of many, many factors that influence he selection process and whether women choose to engage in initial dialogue and I guess ultimately decide to enter into a dating relationship.

  • Rob June 30, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I’m 5’3” and a half – never had a problem dating. Then again, once a woman (regardless of her height) finds out you have money, you could be 3’5” and they wouldn’t care.

    The vast majority of the human race is one large, shallow puddle. Unfortunate, but true. Online dating allows men and women to swim freely in that puddle with anonymity.

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