In an ideal world, people would naturally get along and no one would care too much about appearance or fitting in. One of the realities about dating that will never change is that physical appearance matters. While we all agree that appearance matters more than it should – and that people should look for romantic partners because of their personality characteristics and not their physical ones – it makes the most sense to accept it. When it comes to dating, I don’t need to remind you that people have types. You are attracted to the type you’re attracted to, and the vast majority of men and women couldn’t be convinced to develop attraction to someone if the feeling wasn’t there naturally.
Men and women refuse dates with others for any of the following reasons: they don’t like overweight people; they don’t like short people; they won’t date someone too skinny; they don’t like people who walk funny. You get the point. One particular group of people who get stigmatized – short men – find that many women wouldn’t date them because they’re short. Is that skewed? Is that a mean-spirited way to cast aside a group of men who could be truly decent people? On the other hand, women should be allowed to be attracted to the people they’re attracted to. While I would encourage women who don’t like short men to give them a few more dates and see what happens, I also understand that this is not the worst thing a woman could do (refuse to date a short man).
For the short men out there, they shouldn’t buy into shame about their height or the distorted notion that “real men” should be bigger, stronger, or more masculine. If you’re short, own it. Be proud overall and see yourself as a package. Say to yourself, “I wasn’t blessed in the height department, but I make up for that with my good sense of humor” or any other trait that makes you appealing.
Why you are wiser for including your height – or any other physical characteristic that someone might have a problem with – in your profile
Again, in the best of all possible worlds, no one would care if you were tall or short, skinny or fat. The reality, though, is that some people might not want to date you because of a given physical characteristic. Scenario: You don’t include the fact that you’re short in your profile (or overweight, extremely tall, etc.). You go out on a first date with someone who doesn’t want to date a short person, but your date had no idea that you were short because you didn’t include it in your profile. Did you hide that fact? Did you tell yourself it doesn’t matter? Reality check: The person you’re on a date with isn’t going to have another date with you because they don’t want to be with someone short, so you ended up wasting all that time emotionally anticipating the date, getting ready for the date, going on the actual date, traveling to and from the date. Had you included a reference to your height in your profile, you could have saved yourself a lot of time and energy.
How to specifically say that you’re short in a profile
Big picture: Your height or overall physical appearance has no relationship to your value as a person. A beautiful, Brad Pitt-like type of guy has no more value than someone far less attractive. You should say you’re short in a profile so that you have the greatest chance at finding a match (and not wasting your time). Put your traits out there in your profile so that the people who end up taking that first date with you know what they’re getting, and will be less likely to feel misled.
A clear, I-like-myself way of saying you’re short in a profile
“Physically, I would describe myself as [insert a couple of physical characteristics] and short. In terms of my personality, I would call myself [insert a few personality characteristics].” If you want to use humor, you could try something like this: “My hottest attribute? The fact that I’m short. Kidding, but hopefully that’s not something that’s a deal breaker for you. I tend to believe I make up for it with my amazing sense of humor. Clearly, I’m modest.”
The final point
Never, ever feel like you have to apologize for a physical trait, but also keep in mind that you will save yourself time by letting everyone know what you look like before date number one.
About the Author:
Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.