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I’m vertically-challenged. Well, generally more challenged than the rest of the male population in Singapore in the height department, measuring in at 1.68m. Falling short of the psychological 1.7m barrier, many men around my height worry about dating.

You know what? I’ll say this for all the men that fall short of that arbitrary requisite of 1.7m: You’re not disadvantaged when it comes to dating. I know this because I’m actually going out with someone who said “I don’t date men below 1.7m”.

couple kissing

“But the Data is against us”

I agree with you: The taller men do seem to have it better. A growing body of study links height to salary, with taller men (182cm and above) drawing $166,000 on average as compared to their shorter compatriots. Now, we all realistically know that your resource pool is a consideration in your ability to date women, so taller men look like they’re head and shoulders above us.

Taller men tend to come across as more powerful as well. Just look at political leaders across the pond and you’ll see that large number of US presidents tower above the 1.7m mark. It’s no coincidence that JFK (183cm), Bill Clinton (182cm), George Washington (188cm), and Barack Obama (185cm) achieved the lofty position of President solely by the weight of their words alone. Even Singapore’s ex-PM Goh Chok Tong and current PM Lee Hsien Loong can go toe-to-toe with President Obama. It’s true that we like tall people to be in power, partially because height exudes power.

Just look at the difference. Source: channelnewsasia.com

Just look at the difference. Source: channelnewsasia.com

Beating the odds…

If you focus on height alone, without looking at any other factors, then the signs would point to anyone below 1.7m as slightly poorer, and less manly. But you don’t have to, because dating is not solely about height. You can’t look at that data in a silo and believe you’re undateable.

Just check out the height difference between Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Jason Statham! Source: Hollywood.com

Just check out the height difference between Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Jason Statham! Source: Hollywood.com

Instead, I recommend that you look at the whole range of factors that affect your “dateability”. Here are important things to look at:

  • Personal Grooming: Do you take care of your skin? Is your hair neat? Do you smell okay? These are key basics because I guarantee that no matter how tall you are, you won’t be dateable if you look like a mess. Here’s a quick tip: Women are better at detecting smells, so put on a nice cologne like this one when you go out.
  • Distinguishing Features: Got a scar? Growing a beard? Turn a unique feature into a win. Tell her how you got it and use it to charm her with your storytelling ability. If it’s a silly story, she’ll laugh and you’d have made an impact. If it’s a serious story, then she’d be drawn into it and you would still have made an impact. After all, your storytelling ability is an indicator of intellect, and intelligence is sexy.
  • Fitness: No, you don’t need to look like Captain America. However, if you lose some weight and develop a nice set of arms or build those shoulders, you make up for the lack of height with shoulder span and end up looking strong anyway. Studies have shown that women are attracted to testosterone because it’s an indicator of a healthy immune system. What better way to boost your testosterone than with exercise right? So remember: If you can project strength, you can counter your lack of height.

Buck the trend!

Your height is just one of the many factors that will help you succeed in the dating arena. In fact, I would say that there’s almost no dating rule that cannot be bent or broken. You just have to find your own combination of winning factors. It may take some trial and error, but you’ll realise that you can buck the general trend. The next time you think you’re falling a little short, remember that “I don’t date men below 1.7m” isn’t the death knell, it’s a challenge you should accept.

Now step up and make it happen. I know I did.

He Says, She Says is a monthly column by Kenneth (he) and Carrie (she).

This month they share their thoughts about whether height is an obstacle to dating. Click this box to find out what a woman thinks.