I've gone through a million iterations of bios on dating apps. For a while, I liked to quote TLC's "No Scrubs" to ward off losers. When I returned home from my summer in Israel, I added a Jewish star emoji. And during my senior year of college, my bio was, "Probably drinking wine right now," because my favorite/only hobby was drinking while swiping to distract myself from panicking over post-grad plans. You get my drift. But there's one piece that's never changed: I always put my height in my dating app bio.
See, I'm 5'8". I'm four inches taller than the average American woman, which means I'm probably relegated to the back row of the group photo (fine by me), and my primary memory of nights out in college is tugging the hem of my dress down my thighs after every four steps (ugh). No one's recruiting me to model or play basketball, but I'm on the tall side. And that makes dating frustrating sometimes. The average American man is 5'9.5", and while I've occasionally gone out with men who are shorter than I am — most memorably, a 5'4" classically-trained opera singer who blew me away at karaoke — I typically date guys with a solid few inches on me.
Have I swiped left on my soulmate because he looked short? Probably. But have I been discarded because a guy thinks my boobs are too small or he really prefers blondes? Probably! That's just how dating is. No one ever said it was fair. We're all playing the same game with different hands of cards.
And BTW — your preference for a mate's height is actually genetically coded. So, sure, gravitating toward guys I can kiss while standing on tip-toe might make me an jerk. But it's also ingrained in my DNA.
I include my height in my bio because I know that it can be a major factor when it comes to attraction, and I want to give my potential matches all the information they need. I wish that more men would give me the same courtesy. When guys don't list their heights, I try to guess based on context clues — the friend they're standing next to, the door frame in the background. But that's not a perfect science, and I've definitely wound up wrong before.
As an experiment, I examined how my own Tinder matches tend to portray their height. I set my preferences to men, ages 18 to 29 within 100 miles of my location (New York City), and swiped right on everyone until I collected 100 matches. Then, I checked out each person's profile to see if they included their height in their bio — if they had a bio at all. (Unlike some dating apps, Tinder doesn't require users to import or add their height, so users must use their bio or messages to convey their height.)
Of my 100 Tinder matches, 84 percent opted to write a bio, and 27 percent of those men mentioned their height. (I'm guessing that the one man who described himself as 2'7" and 567 pounds was probably joking, so let's exclude him from the rest of the data.) Of the men who chose to mention their real height, 95 percent were taller than average, and 77 percent were six feet or taller. It's clear that tall men feel more comfortable mentioning their height.
My tallest match said he was 6'8", and my shortest match said he was 5'9". Some men riffed on their height: One said he was "6'1", since everyone seems to ask," and another wrote, "6'1", if that matters." Another joked, "5'11" in real life, 6'0" on Tinder."
If a shorter guy puts his height in his bio, he might get fewer matches up front. But he probably won't wind up getting ditched after a first date by someone who wished he was taller. I'd love to see a guy write, "5'7" and don't care at all if you wear heels." (Confidence is sexy.) Or, "5'5" like Harry Potter and just looking for my Ginny Weasley." (For the record, Ginny has an inch on Harry.) Like we all learned back in preschool, honesty is always the best policy.
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