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Am I too short for Tinder?

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David Cornish
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"How tall are you?"

It's an abrupt question from Claire. It jars the otherwise serene conversation we'd been enjoying after matching, coming midway through a discussion of the benefits of owning a puppy (a social prop that gives you a legitimate excuse to be everyone's best mate) and an exchange of the most ridiculous GIFs you can find on Tinder (there's a winking pear with a massive bum that's absolute ice-breaking gold).

I don't like where this is going.

"I'm 5 foot 9," I reply. 

After an hour, there's no response. Then - possibly unwisely - I send a preemptive strike. 

"That's not an issue, is it?" 

Claire responds with an immediate 'Unmatch'. Conversation deleted. Swipe on, shorty. 

Claire isn't the first person to unmatch me on hearing I don't reach the magic height of six foot. I can recount several other equally abrupt endings to Tinder matches that follow the same pattern: preliminary exchange of observations and flirting, some questions to ensure neither of you is a crazy person, and then the "How tall are you?" clincher. You can find a bunch more people discussion the issue on Reddit here.

I am not bitter about my height. Really. I have dated women both shorter and taller than me. My "type" doesn't necessitate that I'm able to exert a physical power over my possible suitor - my masculinity is in no way challenged if I have to literally look up to my date over drinks.

The thing is, Tinder appears to have something of a vertigo issue. Ask any of your single swiping mates for a browse of a few profiles and I guarantee that you will find a large number of men listing their height in their bio as a matter of course - and a smaller but still significant number of female profiles that either include their height, or a request along the lines of "6ft only pls".

Which is fine. I get it: if you're above average height as a woman, you might prefer being able to dress in your most severe kitten heels without fear of dwarfing your date. You might just find a man who is larger than you a naturally more attractive prospect. An above average height woman may also find the same frustrations in using Tinder as a below average height man; that should someone bring up height, it'll end in an awkward ghosting, or deletion.

In a world where attraction is established on a clutch of filtered pictures and line of biography, an indication of stating a preference for height hardly makes either of you "shallow" - but Tinder could help everyone out with one feature: a height filter.

At present, you can search for users based on two main preferences - age and location. Why not expand that to include height?

It just tidies everything up: if you're a woman who prefers men over (or under) a certain height, you can make selections without fear of coming across as a giraffe. If you're a bloke under six foot, you can reduce the chance of an awkward Claire moment by stating your height up front, or searching for women who may be slightly shorter than you. 

I've asked Tinder if they've ever considered the idea - or why it may have been flat out rejected. I'll let you know what they say. It may be that if they start adding such specifics to their brutally simple system it might never stop: why not add additional metrics? Why can't women only search for men with beards? Or why can't men only search for red heads? Tinder would gradually lose its mass appeal as it slides toward becoming the many layers of Match.com.

Tinder currently gets 1.4 BILLION swipes from its users per day, of which only 26m result in matches. Not all those 1.3bn left swipes are a result of a clash of heights - but it could help a lot more people find the date/hook up it is you're actually looking for.

Until then Tinder may have a small problem.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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