My height is wreaking havoc on my love life

My height is wreaking havoc on my love life

I am a 31 year old physicist about to finish my PhD. Despite my outward success, I feel lonely and hopeless about something others may consider mundane – my height. I am 5′ 6″ and have struggled all my life with it.

My short stature has taken a massive toll on my confidence, to the point where I’ve never asked a woman out. I’m conscious of my height in public, when giving presentations, when speaking to female friends… constantly. I’ve have had to put with friends’ sarcasm about it. The only time I ever felt popular and confident was at Cambridge University. But now looking back, my mind seems to believe those women were only friendly without being attracted.

I don’t think I’m the type of guy women would be naturally attracted to and I seem unable to reason myself out of this belief. The internet and the deluge of comments on sites about why women don’t like short guys or even the consolatory comments that short guys ‘MAY have a chance if they work hard’ makes my heart sink and makes me feel like crying out loud.

I know this isn’t the end of the world, but it feels like it’s holding me back and I also feel, what’s the meaning of my success if I don’t have someone special to share it with? I can’t possibly talk to anyone including my friends about this. Some of them even think I am a successful, confident guy. I should also mention I’m on medication for moderate depression. Fer

My friend, 5’6″ is NOT short. Try being 5’2″ like yours truly. I’ve had to stand on boxes at festivals, for heaven’s sake.
Seriously though, it’s not your short stature that worries me, but more that you define yourself and your attractiveness to the opposite sex purely by your height. Which is kinda sad.

Look at all the shorter-than-average dudes who haven’t let it hold them back in life (or love). For Tom Cruise, who at 5’7″ is just an inch taller than you, the jokes about his height never stop. Height also hasn’t caused issues with the laydeez for Jack Black and Elijah Wood (both 5’6″), Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen and Daniel Radcliffe (all 5’5″), Michael J Fox and Emilio Estevez (both 5’4″) or Danny DeVito (5’0″). What I’m getting at is, you’ve made your height the problem and blamed it for your crappy love life, but the issue is the fact that you don’t love or accept yourself. That paranoid vibe you’re putting out about something you can’t change is of course going to turn women off in droves.

(Just for the record, there are women who like short guys – just read this question we answered a few years ago.)

I’m glad you’ve sought help for your depression but I think you need to go back to your shrink / psychologist and address some anxiety and self-esteem issues as well. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) might really help you. Much more than sitting in your room and reading soul-destroying internet forums full of silly comments from women who only like tall guys. Really – life is TOO short (pun intended) for this spiral of negative thinking you’re trapped in, but it’s up to you to reach out and commit to changing. Once you shift your perspective, and actually start LIKING who you are and the package you’re in, love’s got to follow. Of that, I have no doubt.

Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Cyndie 7 years ago

    I feel for this guy, I wouldn’t like to me a small man. I think women are not very attracted to shorter men and I understand how shorter men can develop complex and inferiority feeling towards other men. In some cultures/countries many men are short thus it is more accepted. In Australia, Nordic European countries and USA men are generally taller than in Mediterranean countries and Asia. Of course exceptions are everywhere. I’m short (156 cm) but I’m a woman, so it’s less of an inconvenience.

  2. Princess 8 years ago

    Your problem isn’t your height. Your problem is your ego. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, you need one.

    I seem to attract the really tall men and like many of my other short female friends (we are all 5″1 to 5″4), we aren’t equally attracted to them. It’s not sexy walking in someone’s armpit and we feel like we are walking next to our dads and the worst part is most suffer narcissim or what we call Tall Man Syndrome (a sense of entitlement). I’m sure not all tall men are like this but the type of girls we are (a bit princessy), we seem to attract them.

    We have all agreed we like the shorter man (under 5″8) but one so confident in himself, had drive and ambition and motivated. If I spot our your depression or neediness, I will run. So fake it baby. By the way we hang out the Intersection in Sydney. Look for the short Diva’s LMAO

  3. George 8 years ago

    I have a friend that I would so wife and he’s 5’4″ however he also has a gorgeous 5’3″ gf so times are hard, I’m 5’9″ and I am quite attracted to a sort of Michael J Fox style shes tall hes short thing.

  4. Alison 8 years ago

    Doesn’t matter how short or tall you are… be confident in yourself and you will be attractive to women.

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