Another thing that can make it difficult to fit in is having a giant sad guy following you around everywhere, so I don't blame the ladies for passing on that opportunity back then. Even the girl in the arcade at the bowling alley, who, when year-old me worked up the nerve to ask her out on date, answered, "You're too tall. Anyway, everything changed once I got to college. Everyone just ping-pongs around the universe, building identities all over again. Interactions with people become less superficial and you gravitate toward people who genuinely interest you.
If you're tall, with a strong jaw, and you've spent the past few years practicing brooding, you do exceedingly well during this time. Lots of people are still incredibly rude to me and say things about my height all the time. Tourists try to sneak photos with me. Guys try to pick fights with me in bars. When I was younger I would have internalized that and blamed myself and not seen it for what it actually is — a deep character flaw in those other people.
In rebellion, we buy children's extra large underwear, which costs less. College girls can't find us in the sea of giant guys at frat parties. Young women can see us, but not as potential partners when our eye levels aren't at least equal when they wear heels. To them, we are simply there. Is that correct, or are we just in denial about some more profound traits that make us unattractive? The Social Experiment I increased my height on OkCupid to 5'9", just below the American adult male average.
I retained my profile description -- a combination of goofy humor and honest responses. I also kept my profile photos -- all of me alone and mostly being adventurous and smiling. I messaged young women based on the same parameters as before: I have a base attraction to her; she has been online within the last few months; her profile is at least partially complete; and her height is 5'6" or less to prevent me from wasting my time and not because I have an aversion to taller women.
Finally, my message style was the same: I remarked on and asked questions about specific aspects of her profile; used language that leads to more responses ; and included humor. In other words, the only factor that varied was my height. I contacted 31 young women and compared the response rate to the 31 I had messaged before the height change.
For those who responded, I replied that I had increased my height for this article and apologized for misrepresenting myself. Before the change, 16 percent, or five out of 31 women, replied. Of those five, two of the women were clearly just being polite: That leaves a real response rate of 10 percent. After the height change, 29 percent, or nine out of 31 women, replied, which is the average response rate given my gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity.
All responses were over 30 words and contained personal questions. I got dates out of this experiment from two lovely young women who said they didn't value height. And I appreciated a different one's honest response after I disclosed the truth:
Here's What People Really Think About Height And Dating
My 'Short' Experiment in Online Dating
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