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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Heel or No Heel
Does Height Matter?

“You tall. Six feet?”

“What? No!” I tell the man who barely speaks English, as I’m walking down the road. I don’t even tell him that I’m 5’9” — it would take too much energy.

“Nice. Tall,” he says.

Hmm…I could take it as a compliment, I suppose. He liked my height, something I’ve been self-conscious about since I was thirteen. But come on, six feet? Give me a break, buddy. I walked on, slinking down just a little.


Height, when dating, is always an issue. Well, not always, but for me, yes. I live in flip-flops. That is, when I’m not barefoot. If I have to, I will wear heels, but it’s always uncomfortable because I’m usually one of the taller people. Even amongst my friends, because for some reason, I tend to attract buddies among the 5’3” side. Go figure.

Now there is no set rule that when dating, the guy has to be taller. Of course, in society, it’s always been the notion that the “big strong man” is the protector and blah blah. I used to joke that any potential suitor must be “taller than me with big shoes on.” Not that I want to wear heels of course. Current footwear: none. Status of feet: happy.

So the question: Does height matter? Seems silly, but we’re always self-conscious when dating, and that is just one more stupid little thing to add to the pile. As if we girls don’t have enough to worry about. Height? Give me a break!

So no, it shouldn’t matter, but does it? Probably not to everyone. But I’m not gonna lie, it matters to me. I would never count anyone out if they were shorter than me, but I’d still feel like the Jolly Green Giant. It would just take a little time to get accustomed to it, I guess. I’m sure it’s a little superficial, and sorry, but I guess everyone has their thing.

So, let’s celebrate our insecurities this week, and then, dismiss them.

Are you just the opposite? Think you’re too short? Do you only buy platforms? Let me tell you, flip-flops are a lot more comfortable…and cheaper. Use that extra money for a hot little date outfit. You’re short, it’s cute. Save the big shoes for special occasions…when you want to “kick” it up a notch.

My Grandfather used to call my sister “Fluff Fluff” because her hair was short and thick and in the Connecticut humidity, would seem to expand. Okay, so it was like when she was in the eight grade, but I needed an example. We’ve all had a bad haircut. I tried to give myself red highlights once, but it was over a half grown-out lightened color, so it ended up being half-purple, half-pink. Not so pretty. We’ve all been a little bit scared of our own hairstyles, and perhaps our dates have been a little scared to be seen in the midst of our hairstyles as well. If you’re having a bad hair day, it usually seems like if you try it fix it, it gets worse, and worse…and worse. And some of us don’t look so good in hats. Though if you can pull it off, there’s a ton of cute ones. So go for it. Or a cute barrette. But a bun, or twist, go a long way as well. Or go for the messy, disheveled, pulled-up, whatever look. It’s just hair. Just think, no matter how bad it is, it can’t be any worse than eight-grade picture day.

There for good—the things on you that you were born with, or obtained along the years: scars, snaggle-tooth, birthmark, and freckles. You can’t quite get rid of them, but why would you? They make you unique. And though you may not like them, most guys I’ve talked to like these little quirks. A scar here or there shows you’ve lived, and that means you’ve got a story or two to tell. Which means…not an entirely boring date!

Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em—the things you use to function that you may not be so fond of as a feature: glasses, braces, etc. When it comes down to it, these are things that are helping you, though you may think they are hindering your dating life, but just like all these other examples, we need to stop this superficial thinking. Embrace these aspects of your persona. They are what make you “you.” Not to get all Dr. Phil on you, because really, who wants that?

But honestly, if you do find that right person, they’re eventually going to see the you that is sloppy, messy, disheveled, and drooling with tangled messy hair in the morning. So here’s an idea—when you show up for that first date, go all out with the “real” you. Show him what’s in store. Glasses on. Frizz up the hair. And drool a little. He’ll appreciate it…eventually.

So yeah…I’ll leave that to you guys. Me? Maybe I’ll go buy a pair of heels. Well, kitten heels. Baby steps, right?

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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