In the world of online dating, people place a huge premium on height. In fact, on many platforms, you’ll find that many men don’t even write a bio, simply choosing to indicate their height underneath their pictures (which, for the record, is not a good idea). But it may be that a tall frame isn’t as much of an essential attribute to a potential match as you’ve been led to believe—at least on one platform.
E-harmony, an online dating website that prides itself on a questionnaire that matches you with people who are compatible, recently conducted a survey on how much height matters to their 10 million active users. Of those that responded to the poll, 32 percent of men said height is not very important, and only 6.5 percent found it very important. And only 14 percent of women who responded said it was very important, whereas 29 percent said it was not important at all.
While the site obviously doesn’t have data on other online dating platforms, like Bumble and Tinder, eharmony’s Chief of Advice, Jeannie Assismos, believes the results could be indicative of the fact that people on eharmony are looking for meaningful connections, as opposed to short-term flings.
“Maybe it’s because people on eharmony are more thoughtful, or they really want a great relationship, so they know what matters, which is personality and intelligence,” Assismos told Best Life. “I guess height might be more important if you’re looking for something that’s casual.”
And if you’re wondering what women cited as their “ideal height,” you might be surprised that it’s not quite as high as you would think. The most desirable heigh for men was between 5’8 to 5’9, based on which men were the most communicative and received the most responses, which is actually slightly shorter than the 5’9″ that has been deemed the average height of an adult American man. To some extent, this might not be as much of a surprise as it seems, given that most women just want a man who is taller than them, and the average adult American woman is only 5’3.”
“If you put the most effort into it, you’re going to get the most effort back,” Assismons said, when asked why men of that height seem to experience the most success on their platform.
While height shouldn’t be a matter of importance, if you are insecure about your height, then Assismos suggests you just cite it in your profile rather than trying to hide it.
“The worst thing you can do is misrepresent,” Assismos said. “For some people, it does matter, so just put it out there. That way, they already know going into [the date] and wouldn’t care. Just own it.”
And her advice for women who are unwilling to explore a potential match unless he’s at least 6 foot tall and above is to keep an open mind. While she understands why women who are tall themselves would want a man who is taller than them, she also cautions them to consider that, “at the end of the day, you have to look at the end game. Is [height] going to matter in ten or twenty years? At the end of the day, what’s really important? To me, it would be more important to find an amazing human being to share my life with.”
This supports the advice given by Sameera Sullivan, a NYC-based matchmaker who runs a matchmaking service geared toward “elite singles.” In my interviews with her, she has previously said that she encourages men to come forward with physical attributes they are insecure about, such as height or baldness. But she also encourages women to focus more on core values as opposed to superficial qualities like height. For more expert advice from this elite matchmaker, check out how I Hired an Online Dating Coach and This Is What I Learned.
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