Dear Dr. Romance :

I'm a 5'4" 34yr old male. I've searched online dating sites for a few years now and read thousands of women's profiles. In doing so, I recognized a peculiar trend in women's descriptions of their ideal mate. It's exhilarating to read about a woman who mirrors my ideal match in all ways. I'm not very picky so several women meet that criteria. My excitement is soon quelled when it comes time to read about the person she's looking for, because I know what's coming next. She wants someone taller than I. From the shortest to the average height, most women I find in the personals don't seem to want someone around my height. I've seen woman equal to my height and a few inches shorter looking for guys no shorter than 5'7" and they don't seem to settle for less. I've also seen women as short as 4'9" looking for guys 5'10" to 7 foot. That's gotta be something to see.

So I have a few questions; Why do women prefer men taller than themselves? Why do short women prefer men much taller than themselves? Am I cursed with the "taboo" height?

Dear Reader:

You're discovering the same trap that any of us who are not media-perfect can fall into. Personal ads are way too focused on the outside, and not enough on the inside. Any woman who'd turn down an otherwise great guy because of a height difference deserves what she gets. If you see a great ad, I advise you to ignore her height requirement, and answer the ad anyway.  Everyone in the personals is talking about ideals, but, face-to-face, people can be a lot more accepting.  Research shows that the mates people choose don't match their dating profile requirements.

Don't lead with your height, figure out what else is attractive about you and lead with that. If you're answering online ads, your writing counts. Quote poetry, be witty, and respond carefully to whatever she writes to you. Make sure you let her know you can hear what she's saying. That's the most attractive thing to any woman. You aren't the only short man out there, and others have found their mates. You can, too.

"Relationships 101: Do Opposites Attract?"  explains why people don't always know what they're looking for in a mate. "Turn On Your Charm" will help you increase your attractiveness.

For more detailed information on how to date online: The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for LoveForever.com, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.