Size Matters in Online Dating

Data proves women do care about height in online dating—and short men don’t measure up

FirstMet.com has analyzed over 250,000 interactions between its users in the United States to quantify how every inch increase in reported height impacts a male member’s likelihood of being contacted by a woman when she views his profile.

Turns out, women do care about height in online dating… and every inch counts. Here are the results on how men stack up by height:

 Size Matters in Online DatingAlthough FirstMet.com recently found that online daters are willing to cross racial lines, they are seemingly not so eager to mingle with the vertically challenged.

Here are the key findings from FirstMet.com’s data analysis:

* A man’s chances of being contacted online decline as height decreases.

* The ideal height for a man looking for love online is 6’2″. A man who is 6’2″ is 17% more likely to be contacted than a man of average height (5’8″) and 57% more likely to be contacted than a man under 5’5″.

* Men can be too tall. A man who is 6’9” or taller is 22% less likely to be contacted than a man who is between 6’5” and 6’8”.  There was very little difference from 6’2” to 6’8”, however.

It’s no surprise that height plays a significant role in selecting a date offline. Earlier this year, British and Dutch researchers studied more than 12,000 couples in the UK to compile data specifically on their height differences. The study found that in 92.5% of the couples studied the man was taller.

What is surprising is that FirstMet.com’s data proves women care about height online, as well, and are digging deeper into a potential date’s profile to see if they measure up before they reach out.

“A reason why patterns of height and ‘popularity’ in online dating settings usually tend to be pronounced is that I think that people use simple heuristics when there is a large pool of potential mates available,” says evolutionary psychologist Gert Stulp, who led the UK research study. “That is, if there are hundreds of individuals who you can respond to in the online dating community, you can narrow down your search quite easily by using simple heuristics like ‘a man has to be older than Y, and taller than Z’, because those characteristics are easier to observe in the dating profiles.”

So why do women prefer their men taller both online and offline?

“Taller male height is correlated to some aspects that are generally considered to be attractive or beneficial, such as health, social status, and strength,” Stulp told FirstMet.com. “There are also more explicit ‘psychological’ aspects that women may have surrounding taller men: as height is related to (perceptions of) dominance and fighting ability, women may feel ‘more secure’ with taller men.”

But taller isn’t always better—women have their limits. Once a guy passes 6’9″ their chances with the ladies decrease significantly. If a man is over 6’9″ he has almost the same chance as a guy who is 5’5″ (unless he’s an NBA player, we imagine.)

I guess we know why height is said to be one of the top 5 lies men tell in their online dating profiles.

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