Savage Love

Only the lonely

Dear Dan,

I'm a short guy and I need advice. I don't want a small paragraph's worth of advice, like you gave "Below Their League" a few years ago. I need advice beyond "Women like men taller than them, get over it!" I get it. I'm short (5 feet 2 inches), and most women are taller than me. And women like tall dudes just like I like slender women. Fat women may have it hard, but at least they have their fans and their own sex-object abbreviation: BBW. But where can a short guy go to feel appreciated? Is there an abbreviation or a dating website for us? — Jesus Christ, I'm Lonely

"Below Their League," who wrote to me in August of 2010, described himself as a short, slender guy who was only attracted to tall, butch women. He longed to be held in the strong arms of a woman who could snap him in two — and he wasn't having much luck. This was the totality of my advice for him: "Most women prefer men who are taller than they are. It's a sad, unavoidable fact, BTL, one you'll have to accept (just as I had to accept that most men prefer women), and you'll have to search harder for the lady/lady arms of your dreams. Not much else you can do about it."

I think that advice is solid, JCIL, but I can see why it would be unsatisfying. So here are a few bonus paragraphs...

Some big, beautiful women (BBWs) resent their "fans," JCIL, aka "fat admirers" (FAs), as they find the attentions of fat fetishists to be objectifying and emotionally fraught. (Particularly when their "admirers" are struggling with shame and want to date them only on the down low.) But here's why fat women have their own sex-object abbreviation and their admirers have their own websites (both porn and dating): because there's no shortage of FAs. There are lots of guys out there who are into BBWs.

Now, there may be a few women with a fetish for short guys — women who aren't just open to dating short guys but filled with a panty-dampening, crazy-making lust for short guys — but there aren't enough of them to form the critical mass necessary to sustain even one website for short guys and the women who admire them. So it looks like you'll have to redouble your efforts at regular dating websites, JCIL.

Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, took a look at the impact height has on the dating and mating success of the site's users. It probably won't surprise you to learn that taller guys have more sex, but it may surprise you to learn that extremely tall guys don't get many more "unsolicited messages" than extremely short guys. And then there's this: "Women 6 feet or taller are either less attractive to men or are considered too intimidating to message," Rudder writes. "[But] the data also raises the interesting possibility that these tall women are much more likely to sleep with a man who does approach them. Compare the 6-foot woman to her 5-foot 4-inch counterpart: The taller woman gets hit on about two-thirds as much, yet has had slightly more sex partners."

The takeaway for you, JCIL: Try hitting on taller women.

Dear Dan,

My last relationship — an abusive one — ended 13 years ago, and I've been single for the last 10 years. I enjoy my life! However, I would like to share my life with someone. I have not been asked on a date in years but I go out to movies, dinner, etc., on my own. Do I have a list? Yes! My love should be happy, enjoy my company, be able to support themself, be self-actualized, be capable of communicating without violence, and have a sense of humor. I am physically fit, and although I'm not a beauty, I'm pretty enough! I snowboard and ride horses, I'm highly creative — I have lots of energy for 52.5! But is this it? Am I to be alone now? — Lonely And Seeking Someone

You may very well be alone for the rest of your life, LASS, but you're already doing everything I urge lonely people to do. Happy, active, and self-actualized people are likelier to attract mates — so put up a few personal ads and see if there's anyone in your area who wants to join you for dinner, snowboarding, horseback riding, whatever. But more importantly, LASS, always remember this: It's better to be a happy, active, and self-actualized single person than a miserable, sedentary, and the-opposite-of-self-actualized-whatever-that-is partnered person.

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