Dear Just The Tips,

Love you guys and have been a reader since I was 18 now going on 30. I live in a small town just outside of Peoria, Illinois. I guess I will come out, and say it. I haven’t had a date in seven years and sex in about five years. It has been hard to meet women. I don’t live in a big town and working as a radio personality, first shift at a hospital and being a DJ for a local bar here in town and going to school to become a nurse has made it very difficult to sustain relationships with women.

I tried the online dating thing (Match, Tinder), and that had been a disaster. There is also a dirty secret of online dating, and that is I’m 5'1, and that works against me on those sites. I have been “friend zoned” so much that my confidence has really dipped when it comes to even trying anymore to date people. I’m a personable guy. I love what I do. But in many cases it just hasn’t worked out for me. I need help. I need a confidence boost. Thanks again! Love you guys!


Dear Tony,

I was recently in a theatrical production called “Tall Women in Clogs” (exactly what it sounds like), which addressed this issue from the other end of things. Five very tall women (myself included) got together for breakfast one Saturday and starting talking about what it was like to take up a lot of space and also want to date people and feel “feminine.” As we discussed these issues we began to realize what tremendous insecurities and triumphs being a tall woman can carry.

One breakfast turned into two breakfasts, which then turned into an hour-length stage piece examining this issue on a number of different (forgive the pun) levels. Over the course of this process we also got to talking about short men. And pondering if perhaps they had faced similar adversity and had to be inventive with their tactics for emotional and romantic survival. Seems so!

Katherine Cooper

Katherine Cooper

We’re all still walking around with a lot of antiquated assumptions about virility, passivity, gender and sexuality. And yes, it’s not fair. However, it is something we all have to live with. Your height is not up to you, but your attitude about it is. You are guilty of dating while heterosexual, male, and short, which of course means that you are guilty of nothing. My tips for you this week are about how to hold your head high and get on the way to landing yourself a shorty.

A friend of mine once pointed out that one of the main problems with online dating, especially Tinder, is that when people go on these sites they’re in a self-loathing judgmental frame of mind. You can be a direct recipient of all that self-hate. People look to weed out others based on, well, just about anything, ESPECIALLY height. You’re not thriving in that environment. Give it a break!

Ask out everybody in sight. For fun. For kicks. For laughs. You’re living in fear that you’ll fuck it up and that doozy of a dry spell is weighing you down in a big way. The only way to get over it is to break through and face your fear head on. Invite them to hang out before your shift, after your shift, during your shift. Give a girl your number because she says something funny to you at the grocery store. And if she doesn’t call? No matter! Onwards! I once went on a date with a man who was 5’ 5” just because he excelled at ceramics. I guarantee you that somebody, eventually, will say yes, and that will make all the difference.

You sound like a VERY busy man, and you even admit to the fact that sustaining relationships with women is really difficult with everything you have going on. I once found myself in a position where I was working three jobs in three different fields in three different parts of the city. I got so down and out on why I didn’t have ���a relationship” until somebody pointed out to me the fact that there was absolutely no room in my heart, mind or schedule for such a thing and that that was FINE. Embrace the fact that you’re #1 right now. It’ll make you infinitely sexier.

There is something very sexy about being able to dominate intellectually. Stay curious and share that curiosity without the expectation that it will get you laid but with the confidence that you know what you’re talking about. Just make sure you listen, too.

You’re not being appreciated right now. Leave! Buy a bus ticket to the nearest city and go exploring. Got any relatives in NYC? Short men pushing 30 do REALLY well here.

Let’s face it. Humor helps you get in people’s pants no matter what your face looks like. Danny DeVito is a sexy man and has a beautiful wife and three children, and he’s REALLY short. Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Hart and Asiz Ansari also fall into this category of impossibly charismatic and VERY short. Start looking around for role models like this and emulate them.

You’re trying really hard to be a nice guy. That’s commendable, but right now you’ve lost your mojo. Sometimes, in order to get it back, you need to get a little pissed off. I don’t mean get pissed off at women or the world but a certain degree of low-level righteous anger can get you far. Again, I’ll refer you to DeVito, patron saint of short men, who famously walked into his audition for the sitcom “Taxi” to audition for a very small off-screen role, threw down his script and asked, “Who wrote this shit?” They changed the whole role to suit him, and it made his career. Know when and how you can flip the script so you’re the star.

A little while ago Adam Gopnik covered a study that some sociologists conducted on short men. They found that, “Short men marry late but, once they do get married, tend to stay married longer.” Gopnik’s article posits that perhaps this is because short men are desperate, and we underestimate the benefits of desperation. He’s got a point. As long as you know that you’re not going to win in the short term you can walk around with a new swagger for your long game. After all, you’re still young.

Eventually everybody gets bored of mean people. If people really want a relationship, bone structure, weight, height, politics all become less important and kindness wins out. You seem like you’re genuinely trying to be kind. Keep at it. A lot of people who are more fortunate early on in love and romance don’t emerge with the lesson of kindness under their belts. You’re well on your way. Keep your head up.


Just the Tips is’s weekly advice column, with professional matchmaker Katherine Cooper. Have a question for Katherine about sex, love or dating? Shoot her a note at