Q I'm a short guy and I need advice. I don't want a small paragraph's worth of advice, like you gave Below Their League a few years ago. I need advice beyond "Women like men taller than them, get over it!" I get it. I'm short (five foot two), and most women are taller than me. And women like tall dudes just like I like slender women. Fat women may have it hard, but at least they have their fans and their own sex-object abbreviation: BBW. But where can a short guy go to feel appreciated? Is there an abbreviation or a dating website for us? —Jesus Christ, I'm Lonely
A Below Their League, who wrote to me in August of 2010, described himself as a short, slender guy who was only attracted to tall, butch women. He longed to be held in the strong arms of a woman who could snap him in two—and he wasn't having much luck. This was the totality of my advice for him: "Most women prefer men who are taller than they are. It's a sad, unavoidable fact, BTL, one you'll have to accept (just as I had to accept that most men prefer women), and you'll have to search harder for the lady/lady arms of your dreams. Not much else you can do about it."
I think that advice is solid, JCIL, but I can see why it would be unsatisfying. So here are a few bonus paragraphs for you.
Some big, beautiful women (BBWs) resent their "fans," JCIL, AKA "fat admirers" (FAs), as they find the attentions of fat fetishists to be objectifying and emotionally fraught. (Particularly when their "admirers" are struggling with shame and want to date them only on the downlow.) But here's why fat women have their own sex-object abbreviation and their admirers have their own websites (both porn and dating): because there's no shortage of FAs. There are lots of guys out there who are into BBWs.
Now, there may be a few women with a fetish for short guys—women who aren't just open to dating short guys but filled with a panty-dampening, crazy-making lust for short guys—but there aren't enough of them to form the critical mass necessary to sustain even one website for short guys and the women who admire them. So it looks like you'll have to redouble your efforts at regular dating websites, JCIL, i.e., "search harder for the lady/lady arms of your dreams."
Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, took a look at the impact height has on the dating and mating success of the site's users. It probably won't surprise you to learn that taller guys have more sex—just one measure of romantic success—but it may surprise you to learn that extremely tall guys (six foot six and above) don't get many more "unsolicited messages" than extremely short guys. And then there's this: "Women six feet or taller are either less attractive to men or are considered too intimidating to message," Rudder writes. But "the data also raises the interesting possibility that these tall women are much more likely to sleep with a man who does approach them. Compare the 6'0" woman to her 5'4" counterpart: The taller woman gets hit on about two-thirds as much, yet has had slightly more sex partners."
The takeaway for you, JCIL: Try hitting on taller women.
Q My last relationship—an abusive one—ended 13 years ago, and I've been single for the last 10 years. I enjoy my life! And I get to wake up in the morning happy, not afraid! However, I would like to share my life with someone. I go out to movies, dinner, et cetera, on my own. Do I have a list? Yes! My love should be happy, enjoy my company, be able to support themself, be self-actualized, be capable of communicating without violence of any kind and have a sense of humour. I am physically fit, and although I'm not a beauty, I'm pretty enough! I snowboard and ride horses, I'm highly creative—I have lots of energy for 52.5! But is this it? Am I to be alone now? —Lonely And Seeking Someone
A You may very well be alone for the rest of your life, LASS, but you're already doing everything I urge lonely people to do: You're getting out there and living your life, you're being yourself, you're doing shit, you're going places. Happy, active and self-actualized people are more attractive and likelier to attract mates—so put up a few personal ads and see if there's anyone in your area who wants to join you for dinner, snowboarding, horseback riding, whatever. But more importantly, it's better to be a happy, active and self-actualized single person than a miserable, sedentary and the-opposite-of-self-actualized-whatever-that-is partnered person.
Q I am a straight male who has never been in a romantic relationship. I am not a virgin, but every relationship I've tried to pursue has ended in disaster. While I am not a full-on clinical psychopath by a long shot, I am on that scale and do have psychopathic tendencies. I know this makes me sound like an asshole, but I am often the smartest person in the room. I wish this wasn't the case. Bottom line: I am extremely lonely. I have trouble relating to people, and they have trouble relating to me. I want to change how I relate to others, I want to be in a healthy relationship and most of all I want to stop feeling so lonely, but I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't feel isolated. Any guidance would be appreciated. —Alone And Afraid
A You didn't mention seeking professional help, AAA, and maybe that's because you fear being smarter than the shrink in the room. But cognitive behavioural therapy is supposed to be an effective treatment for people with psychopathic tendencies. The goal isn't to change you or rewire your brain, as that's most likely impossible, but to change how you approach and interact with people. Also, AAA, a lot of people who are in relationships—even people who find it easy to interact with others—struggle with feelings of isolation. That's not uncommon. And there are tons of people out there who aren't psychopaths (or on the scale) who can describe their romantic histories in the same apocalyptic terms that you do. Get help, keep things in perspective, and borrow a page from LASS's playbook: Live your life, do shit, go places, even if you have to go alone for now.