Written for Soulmatch

Dating Q&A #4:

So What’s Wrong, Anyway, With “Plain Ol’ Dating?”

What is the best way to let a man know that, while you would like to get to know him better, you also want to continue meeting and getting to know other men as well? This used to be called plain old’ dating! We all struggle with this as we meet new men. – Still Looking, Milwaukee, Wis.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. answers: Has someone asked you for an exclusive commitment? If not, you don’t have one. Don’t assume that anyone you’re dating is seeing you exclusively unless you’ve had a discussion and agreed upon it. All parties are free to date others until that agreement is made. This being true, it’s not necessary to tell your dates that you’re dating others. However, it is very important not to mislead anyone into thinking you’re being exclusive when you’re not, so if he asks, answer honestly.

David Wygant answers: You need to tell him that you are enjoying getting to know him, but that you usually prefer to take things slowly. There’s no need to tell him that you are casually dating other people – at least until you have the “exclusive” talk. However, I’d (obviously!) discourage you from talking about other dates that you have been on recently. Just focus on having fun – dating is supposed to be fun! And, if he does initiate the “exclusive” talk, you’ll either be ready or you won’t – that’s the time to talk commitment.

Until then, you’re right to keep your options open and make sure you find the right connection for you!!!

The Insightful Dater answers: As far as I know, it still is called “dating.” It sounds like what really worries you is how the guy perceives you when you say you want to meet other men. So, how do you say you are “dating” and not be perceived as disingenuous or too casual. Here’s the key: know what you want out of dating. If you truly want to get to know this guy while also dating other men, then be up front about it. Early on in a relationship, guys are pressured to “be cool” so they won’t seem overanxious – you’re just doing the same thing, but with intention. As long as you are upfront, there shouldn’t be a problem. However, be honest about your dating goals – are you afraid of getting close to someone, afraid that you might miss “the one” so you are using power-dating to try to beat the odds? There’s nothing wrong with enjoying dating. Be realistic about what you are looking for and honest about it with your dates.

Overcome shortness?

It’s difficult for me to find women who are interested in me because of my height. I am only 5 feet 1 inch and almost every profile I have read from women have a minimum height preference of 5 feet 7 inches or between six and seven feet. With as many as 90 percent of the profiles having a minimum height preference taller than that I am, it’s impossible to find someone. Even women who are shorter than me are looking for taller men than I am. Is there any way I can increase my chances of finding a woman even though I am only 5 feet 1 inch? – Grounded, Ogden, Utah

David Wygant answers: For starters, you need to grab their attention when you are online. Depending on your style, the subject line should say something clever, funny, sassy, intelligent, etc. If you can first grab their attention, they are more likely to open your mail and read your letter. When they do, it is crucial that you WOW them with the content.

More important, pay close attention to everything they have written in their profile. If you want them to see all of your positive attributes, it’s only fair that you know theirs as well. A well-written profile, along with some great pictures, goes a long way to showing all of the positive attributes that you possess.

Dating is often about good marketing – you need to market yourself so women will look past their preconceived notions about height and see the complete you!

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. answers: Does your own ad state your height? You may be surprised to find that there are women out there who don’t want to be towered over. If you answer some ads by being upfront about it, “I’m shorter than your minimum height preferences, but we seem to have ___________ in common…”, you might find you get responses anyway. There is an unfortunate focus on physical attributes in dating ads, because the format seems to require it, but all women are not as rigid as the preferences might seem. Lead with your best assets – your wit, your charm, your caring nature – and you’ll get responses despite your height.

The Insightful Dater answers: Okay, bottom line is that we live in a world that worships the “perfect” human dimensions and that holds true whether you are round, stick-like, tall, short or bald, etc. But there is a silver lining. There are people who know not to judge a book by its cover. You are looking for someone who is sufficiently self-aware to know their worth is not measured by their waistline, bust line, hairline or height – and to recognize yours isn’t either. It’s true that people have preconceived notions about what their mate will be like and you may feel those notions (based on the preferences you say you have seen) exclude you. However you need to hang in and be persistent. Be confident in who you are and what you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to call a girl on it if you think she’s writing you off before giving your 5 feet 1 inch stature a shot. At the end of the day, you want a mate next to you who is only concerned with your happiness, not your height. You may be challenged in this lifetime to have to look harder for that special someone, but when you find her (whatever height she may be) she’ll be worth the wait.