Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Long and Short of It

I've been single for a long time.  Since, you know, birth for starters.

Over the years, I've considered myself pretty open-minded about who I would date.  I've chastised other women for rejecting men who didn't meet their height requirements... or hair-to-scalp ratio.    Bald? I don't care... bald can be HOT!  (seriously girls, date ONE bald guy, you'll see.  Or maybe I just dated a really hot bald guy to start with.  hmmm.  that's still a nice memory!)  Tall, short... who cares?  I've dated men shorter than I.  Heck, I figure if God made a complete man before he reached 5'10"... he's probably a mighty good man!

In the past, I even boasted that I'd go out with anyone who asked me out.  (that comment even bit me in the butt once.  That's another story... maybe I'll share some day.)

But today, it seems that the only dating that occurs, begins online.   When I meet men in real life... it doesn't seem to occur to them to ask me out.  (in fact, one real life man in whom I was briefly interested, told me that he's not looking to meet anyone at all the events we end up at together.  Hmmm?  Who wants to be alone?  Does not compute.)

Back to the online thing.  So, I'm dutifully perusing my online sources... meeting a few men.

Mr. Potential still has his hat in the ring, but no grand efforts just yet.  Many very sweet, kind gestures but he's not pursuing hard, we are casually getting to know one another, which I enjoy.

So here's the thing.  As I'm shopping for men online... and meeting them in person... the common theme seems to be that they're either divorced or divorcing (and I won't date anyone who says they're 'separated' - hi, how dumb do you think I am?!) or they're shorter than 5'10".

Now remember... I don't care about height.  (I thought)

One friend, who had a big hang up about dating someone who wasn't taller than she... and ended up marrying he who is her exact height... said about more than one prospect of mine, "Maybe that's the only reason he's single... because he's short."

I'm still not sure what I think about that statement.
It suggests that too many women couldn't see a good man because they were blinded by his lack of stature.   But then again, it suggests that height was a sufficient reason to discard a good man.   It suggest yet another statement that I can't seem to put into words...

But what is bugging me... is that despite the fact that I don't care about height...  I'm learning that when I meet the men who I know are 'short'... and I encounter them in real-life... there is a moment of disappointment.  (What?)

Actually, think it has less to do with their height than with the fact that they're small all the way around.
Listen.  I'm only 5'5" (depending on who measures... I've been accused of being shorter!)  and I have a rather slight frame.  But sometimes these men make me feel like I'm bigger than them.   I don't understand it.
Mr. Potential, for example, is very fit and lean - but when I put my arms around him, I feel like I'm holding onto less than what he is holding onto!   It feels odd.

So now, thanks in part to what my friend said... I'm starting to feel like these small guys are (ooh... I don't want to say it... )  leftovers.

Ack.   I don't like that!  But there it is.
I don't really feel that way... but when I see a profile that describes a man that doesn't quite appeal to me... and then check his height status... it seems to confirm the theory.

Oh well.  These are just thoughts. Not hard and fast facts or even well-thought-out opinions...
It's just that I want to wrap my arms around someone substantial.  Someone who feels like a man, strong, protective...

In fact, I've dated shorter men who did present that physical security... so I don't understand what has changed.   Maybe our age impacts  the meaty factor?

Okay folks... don't jump down my throat here.    You know I don't normally target like this.  Any thoughts? 

20 comments:

DRS said...

I've dated a few 'short' guys, one of whom became one of my great loves (he's 5'9", does that count as short?) for several years. He never swept me off my feet or threw me over his shoulder when playing around, but none of that mattered because I loved him.

However, in the rest of my experiences it was the guys who made being short an issue. They brought it up continuously, seemingly poking fun at themselves before someone else could. Their obvious insecurity over their shortness was an instant turnoff. But it opened my eyes to how exasperated men must feel with all the women out there constantly worrying if they're pretty enough or skinny enough.

I do believe the desire for that big, burly guy is innate. I think it's science talking when we women naturally seek out a strong, protective partner. And if that's something you want, there's no reason to feel guilty about it.

If little guys don't do it for you, don't apologize. I know many guys who aren't attracted to very tall women. It goes both ways. I don't think we are able to control physical chemistry; it's either there or it's not.

Nicole Margaret said...

Yeah, I'm short...5'1" and I understand the height thing. I think it makes me feel more feminine if he's bigger. I don't want a guy who's the same size so I feel self-concious about my size..even though I'm definitely petite. I've only seriously dated one guy but realized that he was a bit scrawny for what I prefer.

In regards to online dating, I find my level of picky-ness goes up. If I'm going to go to all the trouble of getting to know him, go on a date and potentially have to reject him (something I hate with all my being)...he's gotta be worth my trouble. So if that means being a little on the picky side, so be it.

Genevra said...

Huh, I don't know. But I do agree with what DRS said about how we can't control physical chemistry. She is so right on about it either being there or not.

Anonymous said...

I've been very attracted to short men who have muscle, are masculine, are protective, are leaders, have masculine drive and assertiveness, and carry themselves in a masculine manner, and treat ladies with chivalry and cherishing care. A short masculine man can easily make even a woman who is taller than he feel like his "little woman."

Unfortunately, men in general are far more effeminate than they used to be, and combine that with a scrawny, I-skip-meals-because-the-physical-doesn't-matter, laid-back, whatever-you-want-I-can't-decide, short, little man, and, well, you get a real passive, skinny, weakling, non-masculine, non-protective, non-provider, effeminate, please-take-care-of-me-I'm-not-capable man. Women aren't attracted to that. Women like MEN.

I don't think height is the issue. It's effeminate men. Short men who are masculine are highly attractive, and make a woman feel feminine, secure and cherished in their presence. But if a man is effeminate, the shortness only exacerbates that grievous problem.

Recently, I was courted by a man who was 5'7" (I'm 5'1"). The height wasn't the issue. There was a half a foot difference in our height (if he stood up straight). It was the fact that he was very slight and skinny, slumped over all the time and wouldn't sit or stand up straight, skipped meals, cried all the time, sat with his legs crossed all the way up, like a woman (ewww), worked at a subsistence level job, no ambition, w/couldn't own a car and depended on everyone to drive him around. Just weakling and effeminate. In the end, I had to admit that I just was not attracted and never would be.

Andi said...

Thanks for always sharing so honestly. I'm tall for a woman, nearly 5'9" and am overweight. I learned a long time ago that I was going to narrow the pool far too much if I insisted on dating a guy that was bigger than me. My current boyfriend is nearly the same height as I am and depending on the shoes each of us are wearing, I'm often taller. Plus, he doesn't carry as much extra weight as I do. There are absolutely times I am self-conscious about my size and there are certainly times that I feel even bigger next to him. However, that's about my own insecurities and not about how attracted to him I feel. I think he and I both love each other and are attracted to each other despite our sizes. All this being said, you can't force yourself to be attracted to someone. Good luck out there!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I thought your blog post was kinda gross. You aren't alone in your height bias, but I don't believe its something that should be blindly accepted.

To call short men "left overs" because they have to deal with heightism in our society is pretty misguided.

In any event, I have re-blogged your post on my blog (which is devoted to heightism).

You should check it out at:

thesocialcomplex(dot)tumblr(dot)com

Thanks.

TRS said...

hmm. I went to go leave a comment on the Social Complex blog but it wanted me sign in with discus or something so I gave up.

here's my intended response:


Hi. I'm the original poster of the blog entry quoted here.
You can believe what you like... but my protestations about not normally being bothered by height are true. I've dated men shorter than myself and felt quite comfortable with them.

I knew it wouldn't be popular - and I didn't set out to offend anyone. Actually, I think it has more to do with the aging process than with height... perhaps as we age, and our bodies naturally become weaker - men's stature runs the risk of appearing a bit more frail. The same men I might have been attracted to 10 years ago just seem small and frail now.

The answer to that is simple... keep exercising! Stay strong. Muscle development builds stronger bones... don't be a man that a woman feels she could snap in half.

I have aways admired shorter men who make an effort to be fit and muscular. It's a good antidote to having the Napoleon complex... (which by the way is HUGELY unattractive! not only to potential dates, but everyone he might encounter.)

Listen, heightism is NOT fair. I don't blame you for being irritated with the injustice of it all. But remember, we all have our individual crosses to bear. I'm short, skinny and flat-chested... big whoop.

and , by the way you can thank me for getting a few shorter men married off - as I pointed out to their intendeds who were wishy-washy on the height thing - that these were wonderfully complete men whom God seemed to have created so well, extra inches were not needed!

Your own self-image may be more crippling than your stature. I'm thinking of two 5'9" women who married 5/9" guys and one 6'2" woman who married a guy I think 5'10"
I'll be honest... they were guys who never once mentioned the height difference... who exuded confidence and were ready to step up and love and care for these women!
When I meet THAT GUY.... I'll do more than date him. I'll marry him so hard he can't see straight!

Also, I never said the short men were leftovers... that's the idea suggested by my married friend that I was really uncomfortable with.
(I will say... the divorced men do feel like leftovers.... if the woman who married him doesn't want him anymore... why should I?)

Good luck (and please don't do the leg lengthening. yikes!)

Geoffrey A. said...

I have posted your comment on The Social Complex as a response to the comments that I made.

Also, I was never going to do leg lengthening. That post was from a reader of my blog who is going to Russia to have the surgery. I tried to tell him that such an action would be immoral.

Also, there is no such thing as a "napoleon complex". If a tall man is assertive, he is perceived positively. But if a short man is assertive, then he is perceived to have a complex about his height. It's as simple as that.

Additionally, 5'9" is not short. It is exactly the average male height in the United States.

And finally, being "short, skinny, and flat-chested" does not expose you to any social discrimination of which I am aware. However, being a short male does open one up to discrimination. So its really not the same thing.

Thanks.

DRS said...

In reference to Geoffrey's last paragraph:

Sounds like Geoffrey is somehow oblivious to the male obsession with breasts that we women have been dealing with since, well, the beginning of time!

Geoffrey, most guys fear 2 things: shortness & baldness.

Women have been dealing with societal discrimination against a plethora of physical attributes for, like I said, forever! Be glad YOU MEN don't have to deal with society telling you the following make you undesirable:

-"bikini line" hair
-armpit hair
-leg hair
-facial hair
-small breasts
-saggy breasts
-"wall-eyes"
-large areolae
-bumpy areolae
-inverted nipples
-hairy nipples
-cellulite
-pear shaped bodies
-apple shaped bodies
-frizzy hair
-split ends
-bushy eyebrows
-thin lips
-wrinkles
-neck waddles
-pale skin

AND "extreme" tallness- many guys won't date girls taller than them, and many guys have a height cutoff (usually around 5'9" in my experience)- in fact, I've been told by several men that very tall girls are just too "manly".

I challenge Geoffrey to walk a mile in a woman's shoes (preferably blister-inducing high heels) before waxing on about heightism.

TRS said...

nice work drs!
May I add... cankles, too wide hips/ big butt , lack of curvy hips/ flat butt, lip hair, simply having pores!

Seriously dude. Just walk into a Target, and take a look at all the products aimed at "fixing " women's "flaws". Next count the products for men. I'm talking about a regular old store.... not the specialty stores that target women directly!

I know 5'9" is average.... but the men I'm describing married tall women.
Napoleon complex is real.... maybe its not an actual diagnosis but believe me and other women when we say we can spot the men who hold anger about stature and feel they have to prove something. Find away to be secure about yourself and I'll bet most of your percieved problems will disappear.

Geoffrey A. said...

Women have been dealing with societal discrimination against a plethora of physical attributes for, like I said, forever! Be glad YOU MEN don't have to deal with society telling you the following make you undesirable:

-"bikini line" hair
-armpit hair
-leg hair
-facial hair


I'm sorry, but none of these things seems to rise to the level of "discrimination". Am I missing something?

These are all things that fall under the category of "beauty" and such things affect a person's preferences when it comes to dating. But that's not really social prejudice.

However, shorter men are (on average) paid less money for doing the same jobs as taller people (to the tune of $800 per year, per inch under 6'0", on average). That's greater than the gender wage gap if you happen to be a male who is 5'6" or shorter.

In study after study, shorter men are attributed with a wide variety of negative traits when compared with members of the general population, based on height alone. In other words, a woman with a flat chest may be considered less attractive by some men (but hardly ever "unattractive"), but no one will make assumptions about her character or attribute negative thoughts to her. But not so with short men. Short men are regarded as less capable, less trustworthy, less mature, less attractive, and even less intelligent than the general population. That is what discrimination looks like. That is what stigma looks like.

You can't compare that to "having split ends".

Geoffrey A. said...

Napoleon complex is real.... maybe its not an actual diagnosis but believe me and other women when we say we can spot the men who hold anger about stature and feel they have to prove something. Find away to be secure about yourself and I'll bet most of your percieved problems will disappear.

I don't even know where to start here. You have pretty much proved my point. You couldn't possibly know why a person is angry about something. A person might be having a bad day, or he might simply be an unpleasant person. However, if that person happens to be a tall man, then he gets a pass. But if he happens to be a short man, you assume that he is angry because he is short.

Well, I have news for you. There are some proud short men in this world who are not ashamed or "angry" because they are short. However, they too would be labeled as having a complex if they display aggression or ambition in public.

And I'm not sure what you mean by "most of my perceived problems will disappear". What problems are those? I don't remember mentioning that I personally had some problems that I needed to solve.

DRS said...

Geoffrey says "no one will make assumptions about her character or attribute negative thoughts to her"

OK, against my better judgement I'm commenting one last time, because really, Geoffrey can't possibly think short men suffer from more negative stigmas/stereotypes than women.

-Expressing anger: men=assertive, women=bitchy
-Choosing not to marry: men=bachelor, women=spinster
-Expressing emotion: men=sensitive, women=histrionic
-Sex: men=stud, women=slut

Or how about these stereotypes: women can't drive, women talk too much, women are caddy, women are too emotional, women are nags. Who do you think people are referring to when telling "blonde jokes"? Women. Not short blonde men.

I'm even reluctant to tell people I'm a single 35 yr old woman with two cats bc according to society that makes me a Crazy Cat Lady! Think society cares to stigmatize older short men who own cats? No.

I am told on a regular basis that being 35 and single makes me a Cougar, which no longer refers to the age gap bw an older woman and younger man- it now indicates that a woman is "hard up, desperate, and past her prime". Think a single 35 year old short male gets that stigma? No.

How many short men v. women are single parents, hold power positions in corporations & politics, are objectified through pornography and strip clubs, or live in poverty? Not to mention rape, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and other horrors around the world like stoning and forced sterilization. How many short men experience that?

Women experience prejudice, negative stereotypes, and injustice far more than men, short or tall.

And that's all I have to say about that.

DRS said...

Geoffrey says "no one will make assumptions about her character or attribute negative thoughts to her"

OK, against my better judgement I'm commenting one last time, because really, Geoffrey can't possibly think short men suffer from more negative stigmas/stereotypes than women.

-Expressing anger: men=assertive, women=bitchy
-Choosing not to marry: men=bachelor, women=spinster
-Expressing emotion: men=sensitive, women=histrionic
-Sex: men=stud, women=slut

Or how about these stereotypes: women can't drive, women talk too much, women are caddy, women are too emotional, women are nags. Who do you think people are referring to when telling "blonde jokes"? Women. Not short blonde men.

I'm even reluctant to tell people I'm a single 35 yr old woman with two cats bc according to society that makes me a Crazy Cat Lady! Think society cares to stigmatize older short men who own cats? No.

I am told on a regular basis that being 35 and single makes me a Cougar, which no longer refers to the age gap bw an older woman and younger man- it now indicates that a woman is "hard up, desperate, and past her prime". Think a single 35 year old short male gets that stigma? No.

How many short men v. women are single parents, hold power positions in corporations & politics, are objectified through pornography and strip clubs, or live in poverty? Not to mention rape, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and other horrors around the world like stoning and forced sterilization. How many short men experience that?

Women experience prejudice, negative stereotypes, and injustice far more than men, short or tall.

And that's all I have to say about that.

TRS said...

Geoffrey,

Okay, thanks for calling me out on this.
May I kindly ask you to please fight this battle on your own blog? I only responded to you here because you started it here, and because there were too many technological hoops to jump through to post on your blog.

You're right, we don't know why any single man is angry. I'm just saying, try not to be angry.
As i said, I've dated men shorter than myself and none of them stepped up to love me and care for me - they had just as great a chance to win my heart as anyone else!

(your perceived problem that the world is unfair to you due to your stature - and that women don't date you because of the same. Granted... many women do avoid dating men shorter than they are... but there are plenty of women who WILL)

Satirev said...

I agree that physical attraction is something that people or society cannot change or just choose. It's in their brains from birth. An intrinsic part of their brains. But why the blatant, double standard with regards to gender in how society views this topic? Here's what a woman's desire to have a "larger than her" "protector" "to make her feel feminine" sounds like when the genders are reversed:

"I'm a smaller than average guy so just cannot date a woman who weighs more than me. I need to feel like a larger, strong man in the relationship. When I hug her I need to feel that she is smaller than me. The more overweight and obese she is the more unattractive it is. And I have tried dating a few overweight women, but they always have such insecurities and problems with there own weight and self image that it's just too unattractive."

Why all double standard claims that overweight women are victims of a patriarchal society? Especially when excess weight is not genetic and your height is? Would it not be totally fair to refer to a woman's desire for tall, strong men as Cave Woman's Syndrome or Complex?

Geoffrey A. said...

Okay, thanks for calling me out on this.
May I kindly ask you to please fight this battle on your own blog? I only responded to you here because you started it here, and because there were too many technological hoops to jump through to post on your blog.


Fair enough. This is my last post here.

But I will say that you don't know anything about me. For all you know, I am a forty-something man who is already happily married to a lovely woman. Or maybe I'm a gay teenager. In any event, it wouldn't change the objective truths that I have exposed about height bigotry (heightism) here and on my blog.

But please know that your general assumptions are off base. I am happy with my life AND I recognize that height bigotry is a serious social ill that at least someone should be challenging.

Good day.

Anonymous said...

Blimey!

roze

Anonymous said...

It´s biological fact: men are taller than most women...there are short men and short women too..not only men, but because men are generally taller that is not a problem. Some men don´t feel confortable with taller women, but i think it will always depend on the person;)Pablo.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is way old and I'm just kind of a tourist on this blog anyway, but this just made me a little sad because my husband in 5'6" and is easily one of the best men I have ever known. I mean, he's the best FOR ME, of course. But he's also got so many outstanding traits: empathy, diligence, love of God, respect for all, ambition, fun-loving (he is a fantastic daddy), VERY hard-working, VERY talented, plus he happens to be pretty hot (to be fair--he does have a Hugh Jackman sort of build, so he's not "scrawny"):-). I get that your experiences dictate how you feel and that's fair enough but I hope you don't just EXPECT all the short guys to fit the stereotype.

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