As a child, the “You Must Be This Tall to Ride” sign kept me from the thrill of roller coasters. At school, lining up by size automatically meant I led the class in. As you grow older, it becomes less of an influence in your life, but every short guy is lying to you if he didn’t wish genetics were kinder and spared him five, even three, more inches in height. One of the telling features (or lack of) on Tinder is it is height-blind. Many women do offer it up in their profile. Fair enough – it’s great to be upfront. Other sites like OKCupid ask for this, which poses insight into the expectations or the specifications those users require. For me, it’s telling that I meet more women through Tinder than OKC. Could it be that the women on OKC are looking for too much of an ideal man? Or could it be that the ladies of Tinder are more willing to simply find out?
As with every date on Tinder, I worried last night about the height of my date. Is she taller than me? Aside from her being lean and slender, there was no indication of scale. My obsessive side took over and found her on Instagram through our mutual friends. A couple of photos showed she was taller than men. I am normally the shortest guy in any crew. Not a good sign. Are we talking Tom and Nicole or Attack of the 60 foot woman? I brushed it off and got to chatting, which erupted in streams of messages right after Christmas. She had family in and would be away for New Year’s, but we set up plans to meet as soon as she was able. As the date neared, I began to stress a bit more even questioning why I didn’t cancel. Stop being neurotic. I was forgetting who I was. Nothing intimidates me. Maybe she had short friends.
From our messages, she told me she was Australian, which made her more appealing. Accents. I had to step up. Literally. I threw on my “tall shoes” and focused on my posture. Let it glow. Let it glow. I was sitting at a table when she came in and I stood up to greet her. Damn, she did have a few inches on me. I sat back down right away before the facts became cold and hard. What was her shoe game? Heels? How high? It was too dark. She immediately asked how my week has been. Work has been crazier than normal and the height anxiety broke the dam. I revealed a man who seemed to be coming undone. This was going to be a long (or very short) date. Her relaxing air brought us to a point where we were laughing about my professional situation, then it was her turn. Turns out she hates her job too. At that point, we resolved to never talk about work. A second round came as we continued to enjoy each other’s company, so I suggested we grab a bite down the block.
Here we go. May as well line up back to back and stack up. I felt like I was in 5th grade again. We couldn’t teleport to the restaurant. Yup, she’s about two to three inches taller. As we walked, I saw that she had puppy heels on. So two inches (I just wikipedia-d that). We told each other’s stories over dinner and kept talking after paying the bill while our waitress gave us telling glances that she wanted to get out of there. There was an embarrassing moment when we she had to give me money because they only take AMEX, which I left at home and didn’t have enough cash. Fortunately, she only had to drop about twenty dollars. I was mortified. We began walking to find her a cab when she noticed a new restaurant, so we went in for a drink. More chill comfortable conversation like we didn’t just meet a few hours ago.
I’ve been on many dates in my life. Only twice have I not kissed at the end of the night. The other one was recently with the nurse. Upon exiting, a cab was immediately there. She made the move for a kiss on the cheek and I had nothing. There were bystanders and I wasn’t ready to take a Heisman (hand to the face). I asked if she wanted to go out again and she said “sure.”
By the time I got home (10 minutes), I was rattled enough: her response wasn’t convincing enough for me. Or I had enough drinks that kept me frozen at the goodbye and magnified the day’s insecurities. I shot her a text apologizing for the bill fiasco. She responded charmingly and I asked her out on a specific day. She couldn’t, but offered up two other days. We set up date two, then said our good nights.
Height does matter. For those on the short end, it can play games with your mind. You can let it dwarf you or it can make your personality larger. I never thought I would have an issue with dating someone taller, however I assumed the taller of the opposite sex felt the same way. Dating taller women was a high school thing – done when your world was smaller, when you didn’t have the catalogue of options provided by online dating. After last night, my view has changed. There are far too many factors at play to let it all boil down to a single deal breaker. It all depends on the expectations/specifications/limitations you set forth and your willingness to reach higher.