Don’t Date Geek Girls

« Previous 1 2 View All Next »

This is the week that I decide to alienate more than half of my audience. But it needs to be said:

Don’t date Geek Girls.

That’s right. I went there.





OK, I can already hear the fingers clicking as you write me pissed off e-mails and click the “back” button on your browser, but stick with me here, I swear I’m going somewhere with this and it’s not where you think.

Geek culture is a reactionary bundle of self-contradictions. Because nerds and geeks are frequently ostracized, you end up with a culture that insists that “ostraciziation is ZOMGEVILZ.” Yet, at the same time, because of this very same culture is one of the most insular you might find; non-geeks are derisively referred to as “mundanes”; anyone criticizing a geek is “just like those jocks/cheerleaders/bitchy girls that made high-school hell for everyone”. Geeks foster and maintain the idea that nerds as a collective whole are better, more moral, more open minded and more socially accepting people. This tendency towards withdrawing into themselves extends into all aspects of their lives. It’s notoriously difficult to pull a geek outside of his comfort zone; the world hates and fears him, therefore why should he have anything to do with the world outside of the tiny slice that values him. However, geeks, like all other creatures, crave love, acceptance, intimacy and companionship. At the same time however, they fear the rejection from the opposite sex. Geeks have an unfortunate tendency to be poorly socialized outside of their own peer group, which makes finding a relationship even more difficult. Women are already arousing and intimidating objects of desire in geek culture; trying to socialize with them is venturing in to true terra incognita and there be dragons. Enter the cult of the Geek Girl.

Who Is The Geek Girl?

It’s worth noting that the Geek Girl is different from a girl who is a geek.The Geek Girl is the culmination of geek fantasies. She’s the one with the Triforce tattooed on one wrist and the 1-Up mushroom on the other. She’s the one the thick-framed cat-eye glasses and the purple bobbed hair. She’s wearing a Can’t Stop The Signal tee, knee-length socks, a Hogwarts sweater (Gryffindor House, of course), a pleated mini-skirt and white Chuck Taylors with Pac-Man hand painted onto them. She’s the one toting around the Naruto-branded messenger bag with a copies of Watchmen, Blankets and Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men sticking out the top. She’s waiting in line for the midnight release for Halo 4 and Kingdom Hearts Posterior Aphasia. She’s clutzy in an endearing way, she wants you to protect her and yet she still wants to fuck your brains out. She’s the living personification of a checklist of desirable traits, all crammed into one person. And she only exists in geeks’ minds.

"Sorry boys..."

She’s Beautiful. She’s Perfect. She’s A Convenient Excuse.

You see, geeks fear rejection. It’s not terribly surprising; scientists have recently discovered that social rejection activates the same receptors in the brain that physical damage does. Rejection literally hurts. What’s more, when you put yourself and your heart out on the line her rejecting you can feel like a judgement of everything about you. When you combine this feeling of someone denying everything that you are with the social ostracism and humiliation that geeks have often experienced, it’s small wonder that geeks can turn this fear of rejection into a full-blown phobia. And when you’re absolutely terrified of women, when your heart begins to pound and your body begins to shake at the very thought  of trying to ask a girl out on a date… well, what better way to avoid ever having to face that scenario is there than to invent a collection of traits and personality quirks that come together so rarely as to be almost non-existant? Now you’re not afraid to approach women, you’re just discerning. You have standards. You don’t want any old girl, you want one who owns a modded Sega Saturn who plays all of the Lunar RPGs in the original Japanese! Who needs to fear women when the one you’re really waiting for isn’t going to show up at the comic book store next week anyway?

She Means You Never Have to Leave Your Own Little World

One of the most common stereotypes of the modern geek is someone whose social skills are next to non-existant; they can’t maintain a conversation about topics that aren’t science fiction, space opera, urban fantasy, video games, computers or comic books. Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to this idea. Geeks tend to focus on their interests with such laser-like intensity that they don’t often devote much time or study to anything outside their immediate sphere. They tend to be loners and introverts and uncomfortable in large social gatherings or with new people. Their early experiences with being taunted, humiliated and judged by others leads them to prefer the company of their fellow geeks almost exclusively; they have their niche and they’re quite happy there, thank you very much. Because of their own self-imposed isolation, geeks can find that their social skills have dwindled to the point that they have difficulty holding a normal conversation with anyone, never mind women. When they run out of the typical ten questions – who are you, what do you do, where did you grow up, etc. they find themselves at a complete loss as to how to proceed. And God forbid she asks about you… how do you explain to someone that you enjoy cartoons and graphic novels without coming across as another case of arrested development? Good God, what if she likes sports?! But hey! Why risk the anxiety of not knowing how to continue a conversation when you know you already have all the same interests in common? The Geek Girl represents safety. She represents familiarity. Dating a Geek Girl would mean that you wouldn’t have to stress out over those awkward moments where you try to find common ground. She wouldn’t find your collection of anime maquettes juvenille, she’d want to know where you got that awesome Kotobuki Tsugumi Bunny PVC, she’s been trying to find one for months! She’ll be enchanted by your stories about how your guild was the first to raid the Lich-King. You can wow her with your knowledge of Joss Whedon quotes and Pixar trivia! Why spend all that pesky time building social skills and learning how to talk to people outside your group when the perfect woman will alreadybe part of your world?

And hey, who needs to spend time and effort on romance? Who needs a romantic dinner or a hike down to a beautiful lake when you can bond over taking out Hunters and Boomers in Left 4 Dead 2? Bonding is so much easier when you can just talk about video games and comic books instead of having to sweat out finding what you have in common!

"You got me War Rocket Ajax tickets? Oh sweetie, you shouldn't have! Let's go make love like weasels RIGHT NOW!"

She’s An Object To Be Worshiped

A Geek Girl isn’t just a girl, she’s a goddess. She’s a vision of perfection. She’s gone beyond something approachable and now she’s this ultimate being that you can’t believe exists. At one point in her life she was the cute girl you saw at the comic store having a conversation with the clerk about Warren Ellis… but now she represents everything you wish you could find in a woman. She is utterly, incomprehensibly flawless. She doesn’t so much as poop, fart, menstruate or scratch herself. She doesn’t snort when she laughs. Her hair is always perfect, even right when she wakes up in the morning. She doesn’t snore at night. She will never call you names. She will never think that your love of comics is childish. She’ll love you because of your love for the Tom Baker era Dr. Who. She will make all your dreams come true.

She is now what you will compare all other women to. She is the Platonic Ideal and all other women around are just the shadows flickering on the cave walls.

If only you could, y’know. Talk to her.

The best part is, that the Geek Girl will make your life better. After all, being “in love” with this geek Goddess elevates you. You’re no longer just a guy who’s a little awkward around women, a guy who hasn’t had much experience when it comes to adult relationships. Now you’re a man on an holy quest! You are off to conquer the unconquerable and become the one to boldly go where nobody has gone before and find the secret to her heart. Worshiping her, orbiting around her like a trapped asteroid, the tortured nights alone in your room crying the manly tears of unrequited love… these are all part of the epic saga of you.

"Come on... don't you want to save me? You'll be my Dirk the Daring and I'll be your Princess Daphne."

She Is Not A Person.

The Geek Girl that you’ve been talking about, the one you tell your friends is all you want, the one you insist that is the only one you’ll date… she’s not a person to you. Not really. She’s a fetish, an object. The obsessive love of the Geek Girl isn’t, at it’s base, any different from having a fetish for Asians or Latinas or African-Americans. She isn’t a woman now, she is the exotic other.

The fetishization of the Geek Girl is, at it’s core, a sexist ideal cloaked in the soft tyranny of “worship” and fantasy. By elevating her to the status of Goddess you may think you are paying her the ultimate compliment when instead all you are doing is denying her her own personhood. A girl who is a geek is a woman with all the flaws and imperfections that come with being human.  The Geek Girl is a female-shaped collection of ideas, stereotypes and idealized fantasies about what you want in a woman… only without all of the downsides of being a real person. She has a life and interests, desires and experiences. The Geek Girl is defined by two things: her  status as a geek and by the man who loves her.

The Geek Girl is, in the end, all about the guy. The purpose of the Geek Girl is ultimately, to validate the man’s existence and interests. By being the beautiful pinnacle of womanhood and a geek, she affirms that – despite society’s prejudicies – that he is, in fact, cool for being a geek. She retroactively transforms all of the scorn and humiliation that he faced for having interests outside of the mainstream into the trials that beset the righteous man by the ignorant who were jealous of his specialness. She eliminates the need to grow outside of his comfort zone because she shares them exactly. And because she is so pure, so perfect, she transforms him from being a castigated loser to a noble gallant lover, a man who’s specialness won the heart of the Goddess.

Ultimately, the Geek Girl is the supporting actress in the movie that is the geek guy’s life. He is the sun that her existence orbits around.

And in the end, if the man is actually able to acquire this Geek Girl, this nerd Goddess? He doesn’t want her.

Y’see, after all of that time and effort building the Geek Girl into a perfect being, he has completely ignored all of her flaws. He’s mentally airbrushed away all of the parts of her that he just doesn’t want to see. He’s convinced himself that he’s in love with an impossible fantasy, something that no woman could ever be in real life. When reality comes crashing in, as it always does, the illusion is shattered and that perfect Geek Girl is revealed to be disappointingly human. Suddenly he’s confronted with the fact that he was never in love with her as a person, just an ideal that only ever existed in his head and he does the only thing he can do: he runs away from the reality and goes back to looking for his fantasy, ignoring the pain and insult he’s left behind.

Let me be perfectly clear: I am not telling you to never date girls who are geeks. I am saying that you need to go into your relationship with your eyes open to reality, and to embrace that flawed, imperfect, all-too-human geeky girl for exactly who and what she is and not a fantasy that she could never achieve.


« Previous 1 2 View All Next »

Pages: 1 2

  • Room Temp

    Geeks don't watch sports? What have I been doing all these years watching it then?

    • Dr. NerdLove

      None of us wanted to tell you, RT, but you've been living a lie. We're sorry man.

      • Room Temp


        Well anyway I'll put my 2 cents about the actual article. Seems like its more about controlling expectations and mind set then an actual do not do thing. If you expect unrealistic things and don't temper yourself you are going to get burned and not see it coming

    • Osaka

      I watch sports, dude sometimes its hard not to miss a OU game. All guys are geeks or nerd, like jocks and sports fans. They behave about the same as Trekkies at a Trek Expo or when Trekkies and Stars Wars fans go head to head. (The only difference may be, sports fans can be a bit more violent, I suppose.)

      • Max

        Just like Orkz. Hey! I found common ground!

        • Blackhat

          WAAAAGH da Saints!

          Orks are actually based on football fans, after all…

    • Assnonymousse


  • Eric

    The Doctor is IN! I really like this article, as it's something I've had to realize over my years of dating (not just geek girls, but girls in general), and its something I wished I learned much earlier. Of course, that applies to most of the good Doctor's articles.

  • jenovapooh

    Just to emphasize the point a little, remember that female geeks/nerds are "damaged" people, just like most others in that part of society. She'll have issues that far predate her ever meeting you.

    Not saying you have to fix her, since it's almost always going to be something she has to fix herself; you need to deal with her neuroses, just as she'll deal with yours.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      Everybody's damaged in some way; some moreso than others, but nobody gets through life without a few scars somewhere.

    • Rachel

      It's pretty sad to read that being a geek who is a girl makes me undateable, but now to hear that we're all "damaged" goods is downright insulting.

      • Dr. NerdLove

        Rachel, if what you took from the article is that being a geek who is a girl makes you undatable, you missed the whole point.

        • The Real Bill Murray

          She was responding to jenovapooh, who in truth actually probably didn't read the article, as he is emphasizing all geeks as damaged, including women, attacking actual people instead of the archetypal ideal you described.

        • Jamie

          I think he is simply saying…we are who we are. Either we learn to accept it or we continue to live in the fantasy world alone. To the right person, geek or not, our flaws and imperfections will only add to our beauty and ultimately make us unique.

        • Tommie

          If that isn't the point, what is the point?


            The point is you are illiterate.

        • Eq8

          Good grief, Rachel isn't responding to your article, but to JENOVAPOOH who did say that geek girls are damaged.

          It's not all about you.

      • carlyca-t

        I would have tried actually reading the article and the comment before replying.

      • Victoria

        Rachel, I don't think the fact that you are a geek who just happens to also be a female makes you undateable; that wasn't even the point of the article.

        I'm a girl and I have my fandoms/interests and this article is wonderful not just for guys but for the community as a whole. To deconstruct a myth of who we perceived to be in the community helps to show that we as female geeks are just like anyone else: with flaws, scars, bruises, and any other "damage" we may have received previously and still hang on to. We are just people who happen to like games, comics, and have an fascination with what isn't all the time deemed the norm for people over a certain age. We're not a fantasy.

        The fact that you skipped the most important and prevalent part of the article is a little disappointing and I hope you give it another read with an open mind because it's really well-written.

    • Steve

      … Geeks aren't "damaged" people, that is a highly insulting suggestion

    • InsertNameHere

      Damaged? Damaged? I mean seriously, DAMAGED? Oh yeah, just because I actually read now and again – and yes, maybe almost every second of my waking life – makes me DAMAGED? And also, would you care to define "that part of society"? Do you mean that part of society who care to use their brain every so often? That part of society who, yes, are rather eccentric, but actually choose to do something with their lives? Why, exactly, does "that part of society" need "fixing"?

      • YouKnowWho

        It was more about saying that geeks and nerds tend to have some damage due to how they've been treated throughout life. It wasn't about fixing nerd culture, it was about saying that you shouldn't try to mend someone when they haven't tried to mend themselves.

  • Chris

    Hey Doc,

    Thanks for this, I think I needed to hear this once and for all so I can get this stupid idea out of my head as my friends have tempted me with this ideal and I started to want it as well. Funny thing is, the girls I've ended up dating are nothing at all like this "ideal" geek girl but are still geeks about different things than I am. And it's made me a better person. After a month of ending my last dating spree (nothing bad, we were both leaving to different cities and she wast totally okay with an amicable "see you later" with no hooks for a long-distance relationship), my mind has drifted back to this ideal and it certainly has not done me any favors. So thanks Doc, I needed to read that and remember to read it again every time my mind wants it back.

    • Chris, your ideal DOES exist. Don't ever feel that you have to settle. Some day, your dream girl will come along and knock your socks off. It sounds corny, but it's happened to me, and many other geeks I know. Geeks in love…it's the best kind of romance. :3

      • Karis

        Erm, I think Chris was just saying that he's remembering to keep things real, rather than fantasizing about a female ideal that is more of a ego satisfying object than anything else. Although I'm not saying that you should "settle" for anyone that doesn't value you for the person you are. I think geek and geek love is rather sweet myself.

  • DetectiveMarlowe

    Holy thought provoking entry Batman! Uh I mean Nerdlove!

    • toshie534

      you are awesome

  • ben

    yeah i'm still paying for that mistake

  • Well done, Doc. In fact, this was so well-written that two or three of my female friends also retweeted it to their circles as well. Hell, even my boyfriend liked it. Kinda makes me wish the title of this column weren't so flame-bait-y, but that's just how one rolls while being a blogger, I guess.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      The title gets people's attention and gets people talking. It does it's job rather nicely, I think.

      • YourD

        It definitely does, I'm positive that I wouldn't have read the article if its title had been more along the lines of "don't date a girl who isn't real."

  • Iain

    Dammit Harris sometimes your so close to home it hurts

    • Joel with an N

      I know… don't you hate when that happens?

    • googligug


  • Scott

    I was ready to attack this…but, you definitely proved me wrong with this sage like wisdom. The message isn't necessarily Don't Date Geek Girls, but more of reflective on the personality of nerds, especially with friend-zoning and white knighting issues. I think this personality fits in with a saying I heard on the LEOG, "The Perfect Girlfriend isn't to help you, but to make your friends jealous." It's like if you are prepared to date any woman, you should learn about some of their truths if you want a full on relationship. I think before my girlfriend and myself got really intimate, we we're very aware of our issues, personal, family, and interactive wise.

  • Marty

    This is a great article, and I really think this is something a lot of people really need to read. However, as someone who probably fits pretty well into the 'geek girl ideal' stereotype (god, that sounds conceited of me), I've never had any of these issues in my relationships, or even with guys who've had crushes on me. I've never been put on a pedestal by anyone who actually knows me at all (that I know of?), and while I do prefer a date consisting of arcade and then anime at the house, I'd like to think I'm really good about dragging shut-ins out of their house and helping them try new things. I could be missing the point completely, but I just wanted to say it's not always applicable for everyone.

    • tell me to make a sa

      The reason you haven't had issues is because you are a REAL person. and as much as you say you fit pretty well into a stereotype, you don't. because this stereotype, liek all stereotypes, is a collection of specific traits and that add up to a human being whose only goals in life are playing zelda, pokemon, and "insert whatever lonely man fantasizes about this stereotype"s dick.

      "I’d like to think I’m really good about dragging shut-ins out of their house and helping them try new things. "

      I doubt being a shut-in is the only thing you desire in a man like this comment leads me to believe, but in case it is…be careful with this. It is the same sort of metnality as another stereotype, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (you know, cute girls whisking men off their feet showing them a fun time) This is a fantasy you give yourself. I know first hand how tempting the fantasy can be, but that guy is an individual too, and liek you will have his own ideals, morals and beliefs. he will not be the same as the idea of the cute nerdy guy that youre going to take to your house and play games with all day. He's more complex than that, and so are you

    • Le Jacquelope

      Plus one for rescuing male shut-ins. That is indeed saintly.

  • KamCannon

    Sir, your articles are always amazing. The odd thing is, I've often espoused the same sentiments to my friends but have a hard time listening to my own advice. Seeing it put so plainly and honestly from another has opened my own eyes. Thanks.

  • SkittlesGalore

    As a Geek Girl myself, I'd like to thank you for posting this. So, THANK YOU HOLY CRAP. This is the reason why I wish terrible things upon people like Olivia Munn. :/

    • 2nded – I get really sick of how some geeky type guys fetishise the girls in their programming class, just because you're female and for bonus points if you hold his eye contact, like you might be you know actually /attracted/ to the guy, 9 times out of 10 he'll shit his pants, go all quiet and most likely avoid you for the rest of the semester. I'm taking the class because being a software developer is a hell of a lot better than being unemployed. I'm sure as hell not there to provide socially inept guys with a way to get laid which doesn't require them to treat women as actual people, or heaven forbid actually take a risk of rejection.

  • Kevin

    "She is now what you will compare all other women to. She is the Platonic Ideal and all other women around are just the shadows flickering on the cave walls."

    Hahahahaha, that's great.

    • Karis

      Plato stealth attack! 😀

      • Blackhat

        Philosophy ninjas?

  • Marky


    Thanks for enlightening us all. Every 15 year old should read this… NOW.

  • nicholas

    This makes me rethink my whole life.

  • Who says goddess' can't poop, fart, burp, snort, or call you names? Maybe you're missing the fact a true geek girl will not be 'perfect', but she sure as hell won't settle for a man who can't accept that his girl can out burp him. If a man wants that idea of 'perfection', he'd never have a chance with a real geek girl anyway. She's willing to accept you scratch your balls, so don't expect her to wear only anus-floss while jumping around playing wii.

    • Kitti

      I think that's the good Dr. Nerdlove's point. A real girl – geek or otherwise – is not the same thing as your fantasy Geek Girl.

      • Dr. NerdLove

        Exactly, Kitti.

        • Blackhat

          Ha! On our third date my girlfriend at the time forgot I was in her house and let out a wall-trembling burp that would make Shrek blush.

          Naturally, I married her.

  • Is the WRA reference on the bottom of the 1st page referring to the Chris Sims/Matt Wilson podcast? Because if so, I'd definitely get tickets for that if it was real.

    • And by "real" I mean "possible to get tickets." The podcast is real, but live viewings are not.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      It was a reference to Chris Sims, yeah, but no, it's not a live show. Sorry.

  • As long as one is willing to accept that it's what it is – fetishizing an aspect of our culture – then there isn't much harm in having it there. It's certainly a way to get attention from guys, right up until they realize that you're human, and then things don't end well (like most other relationships that involve fetishes, and not respect and such).

  • Patrick

    While I see that titling your article "Don't Date Geek Girls" and then proceeding to detail the idealized Geek Girl caters to your audience (this is the first time I've seen this site), really the entire point of this is to say that you are not supposed to go around with some Goddess-like idealization of a type of woman and then proceeding to super impose it over the closest match.

    This leads to heart break for one party, disappointment, potentially insult, and generally feeling like shit for not being able to live up to a ridiculous ideal for the other party.

    It's the "pussy on a pedestal" lesson, you've just painted it in Geek. I don't see why you don't zoom out the Geek scope at the end to this generalization: it's logical and happens to more than just geeks. (Exhibit A: myself, she wasn't no geek and while I am partial to the geek label, don't strictly identify).

    However, the problem here is that falling for it, idealizing a type of woman and super imposing it on the closest match, can teach the very important lesson about not doing this…assuming the person is smart enough to learn and doesn't end up carrying a bitterness with him for the rest of his life.

    The adults that do this are frankly pathetic…they haven't learned the lesson and maybe never will and it speaks to greater issues about their mindset and how they deal with reality.

    The teenagers that do this: it's part of their emotional education and learning about the real world. Deal with it.

    Other than that, I was entertained.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      The reason why I don't zoom out the scope, as you put it is because this blog is aimed predominantly at nerds and geeks and the fetishization of the Geek Girl (or it's subset the Gamer Girl) is a common issue amongst my geeky brethren, for the reasons I've laid out.

      If you browse through the site, you'll see that the problem with fetishization and idealization of certain individual girls girls or certain "types" of girls is a recurring theme; I've addressed the issue of the Manic Indie Pixie Girl and the common issue of Oneitis, where guys focus on one girl in particular.

  • Channy

    I am a geek! An proud of it! My husband thinks I'm 'the perfect wife!' when he came back from tech school we played wow for 13 hours straight before being intamate, we both love anime, video games, I have been in line for the midnight openin of twilight and Harry potters's. I want my next tattoo to be the alliance symbol from wow, I have pink in my hair like the final fantasy 14 character-all of the geekiness is me! I'm a geek too!! And a psych major so I KNOW that rejection hurts everyone!! When reading stuff like this u have to look at the sources and their study methods a lot of findings are twisted so the outcome is in favor of the researcher it should be illegal but it is not. as for this quote: " Geeks foster and maintain the idea that nerds as a collective whole are better, more moral, more open minded and more socially accepting people. This tendency towards withdrawing into themselves extends into all aspects of their lives. It’s notoriously difficult to pull a geek outside of his comfort zone; the world hates and fears him, therefore why should he have anything to do with the world outside of the tiny slice that values him." this is a stereotype (a belief about the personal attributes of a group of people) not a fact! You cannot say all Geeks posses certain qualities, it it the same as for saying all blonds are dumb-Therefore this quote alone can tell you a moron wrote this!! OMG people please do not be so naive and believe everything you read.

    • Karis

      OMG Channy I know!!! And these smattering of exclamation points all over the place will definitely give my words more emphasis and importance!!! Never mind the fact that girls who are geeks are the ones who will benefit the most from the article that the good Doc wrote, since it asks all readers to respect people for who they are rather. Rather than, say, idealizing and fetishizing them!!! I definitely think your comment thoroughly shows your understanding of the material covered! But, like, OMG, people, do not be so naive and silly like me and post sarcastic remarks to every facepalm inducing comment you read.

      • Fluromany

        Haha! Not usually wise, but oh Karis you did it so well! (this is not sarcasm, I am in earnest.)

      • Anny

        By attacking Channy's grammar, you are fallaciously arguing ad hominem. Just because the grammar is poor, doesn't mean the point is wrong. I think there are still valid points to be drawn from Channy's comment, and dismissing them because you don't like the style is a mistake.

        • Azurite

          But the point IS wrong nevertheless, since she totally didn't get the meaning of the article.
          Of course there are some truths in it, but they don't pertain to the original article, which says basically the same.

          All in all, this seems just to be a case of butthurt nerd-rage stemming from skimming over the first page without really grasping the intention behind it.

    • Anton

      There's no stereotypes without reason, and to be useful one need not be right: only right for, like, 80% of cases is enough.

    • You say that "all geeks do not posses certain qualities", but at the same time consider yourself part of a predefined label of "geek" just because you because you play WoW, watch anime and have pink hair? Not to insult your "geekhood" my dear but first of all, I know plenty of so called "geeks" that would tell you to stick to watching football because ypu are hopeless as a nerd. Do I agree with this? NO. I think you are a geek, but at the same time I do not identify myself with any such labels as "jock" or "geek". The point that I am trying to make is that you should focus less on identifying yourself with certain groups (ie jock, geek, or nerd, posh, goth, punk skater, idiot, smartass, etc), and more time just BEING WHO YOU ARE AND DOING WHAT YOU DO BEST. whether that's punting a football, telling me that the Alliance is better than the Horde, or correcting me on my grammar. Why defend a label when you are just one voice in the middle of an ocean of people that have varying opinions as to what a "geek" is, but still consider themselves a "geek"? You saying that geeks are not "notoriously difficult to pull outside their comfort zones" is as ridiculous as saying that all nerds take it up the butt or hate god. Speak for yourself. I'm sure you have some comfort zones that the internet in it's entirety could make you flip out and collapse upon yourself like a social retard, just as much as much as the author of this whole article declared. You wanna know why? Because deep down we all have limits, points when we say enough is enough. It's not ourselves that should define us as nerds, but the rest of the world when we do not take a rubber fist up the butt while signing the national anthem in backwards Latin. Don't speak for all nerds. Don't think I defend the author anymore than I do you. "Geek" is a label, and we are all better people by not labeling ourselves, OR others…Be it geek, jock, bum, cunt, dick, asshole, etc etc. Observe and learn, but do not judge the acts of others unless they directly interfere with your freedoms.

  • Where'd you get that image of me? Pink haired one with the chococat plush. I swear, I'm not a japanophile. XD (btw I am a geek girl and damn proud of it. Message me if you want me xbox gamertag/WoW char name/Steam account/Minecraft server).

    • Also I don't think it's fair to call girls like me "fetishized" – we DO exist, some of the "perfect girl fantasy" types exist as real people, and we want what any other woman wants. Granted, we don't tear ourselves away from our computers often, but it happens often enough to meet others and firge good friendships or romances. My lovely boyfriend, a 6' athletic kung fu instructor and Tekken world tournament runner-up, can attest to that. Nerds go well with nerds. We make each other happy. But I'm rambling…sorry.

      *gets off soap box, smashes it with a hammer and then burns it*

      • Roo

        Amy, it's so sad after our many years of friendship to learn that as a amatuer modelling, WoW playing, Xbox Live-ing, comic reading, X-men cosplaying generally gorgeous woman that you're really just a figment of my imagination. :/

        Then again I always knew I was a bit nuts.

        • Dr. NerdLove

          Und how long haf you been haffing these delusions hmm? Tell me about your mutter…

          • Dr. NerdLove

            (Dr. NerdLove isn't really a doctor)

          • That's okay, 'cause I'm not a real person! Shrink away doc! XD

          • Roo

            Now that you mention it, it's strange that this all started after that night I ate that suspect army grade taco meat…

          • Lawl.

      • keiko

        I don't think he should have said the idealized geek girl is non-existant, merely that she is very rare and it's unlikely that your average nerdy male will get to date her. There are lots of nerdy girls about but unfortunately we don't all look as nice as you!

        It's also worth saying that average female nerd interests tend to be slightly different to average male nerd interests, so even if he meets a nerd girl, they may not have anything in common. Many are more into things like different sorts of animes, cosplay, literature, sf of a more feminist bent, fanfiction/fanart, yaoi, Joss Whedon (I guess he's a universal constant!), arts and crafts, and maybe different sorts of video games (not like Barbie or anything silly like that but a lot of girl geeks I've met tend to be more into JRPGs, odd quirky things and Nintendo type stuff than say, FPS, fighters or general space marine dude type things. But perhaps that's my limited sample group. And a lot of nerd girls have the same social awkwardness problems that male nerds do, although they're less likely to have personal hygiene problems ime.

        • For the record I'm all about Space Marine stuffs and I can't stand Joss Whedon. XD But you do make an excellent point. Then again, it just makes getting to know one another more interesting, you each can have your separate interests while appreciating them for their general geekery. And…thank you for the compliment. I'm grinning like an idiot and you just made my day! <3

  • Jon

    "Geek culture"

    Stopped reading there. Try writing this again without the outdated over-generalizations and maybe I'll think about taking it seriously.

    • scyllacat

      Really? Wait, my culture is gone? Why don't you follow up that snark with some updated over-generalizations and let me know what the cool un-cool kids are calling things nowadays?

      • Ronin_Randy

        Don't feed the hipster.

    • lola

      THANK-YOU JON! that was exactly what I was thinking

  • Beth

    I wish that my high school boyfriend had read this before we started dating. It has taken me nearly 20 years to realize that THIS is exactly what he did to me — put me on a pedestal and made me into some idealized fantasy that I never could live up to. And he did it to the next girl he had a crush on, but she was apparently smarter than I was and did not make the same mistake of actually dating him. We're still friends now, and both happy in our respective relationships, so yay. But I would gladly have spared us both the really painful breakup that neither of us understood at the time.

    • I think he may have had an issue with women in general, not just with geeks. I still don't see why being a female geek is something to be idolized – deep down we're just as awkward and nerdy as our male counterparts. :p

      • Suzi

        It's because we have boobs.

        • ^

          • YourD

            more than that it's because you're scarce, rare. Supply and demand dictate that we should value that which is rare and in general geeks are the sort to put anything of value on a pedestal.

          • Lady

            Except we're not rare, we just often cant stand the male dominated geek culture so we avoid it and quietly go about our business alone or with a few close friends. Or we present ourselves as men so we wont be fetishized or constantly quizzed about our geek cred.

    • 'xactly the same thing happened to me with the guy I was engaged to for 3 and 1/2 years. Over time I think it started to show I wasn't going to be made into his fantasy idealization of me so he cheated on me with a 16 year old girl who seemed geekier than me *rollseyes*.

  • sue_not_mary

    Doctor NerdLove – I LOVE YOU.
    that is all.

  • Anna

    Something to add to the above – in geekdom, guys generally tend to outnumber girls. If geek guys are determined to only date other geeks, this causes issues, since the female geek dating pool is relatively small. Solution: date a non-geek girl and convert her to geekdom! I speak from experience: my first college boyfriend introduced me to the works of Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman, and I am forever grateful to him for this.

  • William

    I thought this article was going to be more about "don't date someone who shares everything you like because you'll eventually learn you hate yourself" though it did have some "stop pawing at girls just because they like video games because that interest alone doesn't make a real person."

    I actually have a rule that I don't date geek girls because while I'm a geek, I don't date someone based on their hobbies alone and the ones I've come across are the female equivalent to emotionally stunted manchild.

    • Wow. Have fun being single then.

      • Blackhat

        Actually, that's a pretty sensible approach. If all you want is a sex-swapped version of yourself then you've got some stuff to sort out before you release yourself into the wild.

  • C.D.

    Wow, SO SO SO SOOOOO true. My ex suffered from this idol worship/need of validation syndrome like mad and he was a total dick. Kind of sad that these issues arise from insecurities in men. And as a somewhat attractive female who is also quite nerdy, I'm also sick of being either idolized/treated like a non-human by other nerds, or, conversely, judged not nerdy enough.

  • Shaun

    They exist, trust me, they exist. I live with one. Agreed on them being very uncommon though.

    Another example:

    • Well duh, if they were common then it would be pointless to look, wouldn't it? :3 I'm happy for you and your gf. Me and my wonderfully geeky guy are blissfully happy, too. <3

  • Ziggurate

    1. You spelled Lich wrong.

    2. I married a Geek Girl. We have a beautiful little girl and one on the way. And she STILL kicks my trash in games when 9 months preggo in her eggo and still somehow looks sexy while doing it. Never mind that I could have married her for her dvd collection alone!

    3. It's difficult to dig through all your trashing on Geeks to find your point of why NOT to date one.

    4. Halo is not a Game for geeks. It's a game for Jocks:… ("I'm a such a nerd" with Katrina Bowden)

    • RobinJ

      This really made my day X D.

  • Tracy Girard

    This article was very interesting. I am, I think, one of thoes Geek girls. I am the Dragonball Z geek. The one with all the seasons on DVD, all the mangas, and T-shirts and posters and plush dolls, figurines, watches, color books, video games…etc. I also like DC and Marvel superheroes and Tinkerbell. Well…where I am going with this is I have MY geek boyfriend and father of my 8 year old geek son. He and I have been together for 18 years and are still happy. Yes…because of us our son is a geek, but he is a happy geek. We are living proof that Geek girls and the man geek can be a couple and make it out there.

  • Cool article, a lot of good points. But I do have a question:

    You claim that we should find something we have in common and sweat it out, yet I would argue us both liking comic books, video games, and similar TV shows and movies would mean we already have a shit load in common. You don't mention the fact that we base our lives around what is influential to us (people, things we read, stuff we watch, music we listen to) and a lot of us young people base our lives on the games we play, the shows we like, and the fact that we've read comic books since we could string together a sentence. One of your main points is something along the lines of "even in the world of technology, niche-culture, and high science where nerds are crucial, you still need to hide your hobbies like model-building, Trade Paperback collecting, and RPGs because at some point someone will think it's lame. Get a girl that doesn't have these things in common with you and you'll be lees of a loser/seen as less of a nerd."

    But I am a nerd. A really big one. A bog enough one to realize it's the articles like his one that perpetuate all the stereotypical nerd bullshit that make people think I have to change myself for their benefits and adhere to old, base, outdated social mores and norms. Why should I not date geek girls when I am content and happy living in the geek world? Can't I do that and still be a happy, well-adjusted person? What happens when dating a geek girl that so ardently fucks me over other than closing myself off from a certain social sect of people that I honestly don't want to talk to/associate with anyway?

    My question is: If I can find someone who has this much in common with me (as in she enjoys the same things I do, is willing to accept/revel in my ridiculous habits, and in some cases finds them endearing) would that mean we are still incompatible? Or would it just mean we're being too nerdy and that is somehow a bad thing? If so, why? If not, shouldn't I then date geeky girls?

    Hope you get back to me, because I am quite confused and pretty curious as to why a site that claims to be about nerd love is so seemingly against it. Did I read the article wrong?

    • Paul Rivers

      Yeah, I didn't really get this article either. A strong "don't date someone with your own interests" theme seems…um…bizarre. I feel like I must have missed something. I didn't see any conclusion in there about why I shouldn't date geek girls – guys idolize them unrealistically…thus we shouldn't date them? That…is what I got out of the article, but it doesn't make any sense…

      • Paul Rivers

        P.S. I think the author of the article was trying to say "The geek girl you have in your head doesn't exist in reality", but never quite made that connection. Honestly, if the title had been "First you're overidealizing them, they don't exist, and second the ones that are close at all to what you want are outnumbered by guys 10 to 1, so you're just going to have to accept that you need to look for someone without all of your same interests", that seems like what the article is trying to say.

      • RoD

        There's a second page!

      • Anton

        I think it's not the subject of the article, but I would agree with “don’t date someone with your own interests” proposition: rather find someone with complementary skills and interests, and steal her secret powers as an added bonus to simply having a girlfriend.

  • Adam

    It's probably not good for my emotional maturity that I'm dating a girl almost EXACTLY like the hypothetical wonder-nerd you described in this article.

    She's beautiful, smarter than me (no mean feat, if I may toot my own horn) loves all forms of gaming (whether tabletop or video) reads webcomics, is funny (in a very quirky, slightly sadistic way) and is absolutely devoted to me. She's not hypersexualized, the way the fantasy girl would be (she wears t-shirts and jeans, not booty shorts with "I roll 20s" emblazoned on the butt) and she doesn't make any attempt to "tart herself up" for men. I love her, and she has done nothing at all to help me shake the delusion that all one has to do is wait and eventually a supergirl will fall from the heavens into one's lap.

  • JoHanna

    As a Geek Girl, I find this totally lame. In fact, I am geeky in different ways from my Geek husband. He plays MTG, I dont. He likes shoot-em-up games, I dont. I like obscure Victorian fiction, he doesnt. But we both love Xmen, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Anime and Comic Book Conventions. We both have nerd tattoos. And since becoming a mom, I traded the multi-colored dreds in for red hair/blonde bangs a la Rogue. We both like cosplay, Ren Faires and music festivals. I'd argue that while your future gf/wife or boyfriend/husband (Super heteronormative article here, Dr. Nerd) may not like everything you do, but finding someone with compatible tastes can be awesome. I, for example, couldn't imagine dating someone who didn't like Renaissance Faires. So I'd temper this article with that knowledge that there are REAL Geek Girls out there. In fact alot of us are grownups, so Geek Women is probably more accurate.

  • Katie

    Hmmm. I find this point be very true.

    I suppose you could say I myself am a little on the 'geeky side' (I love video games, sci-fi/fantasy, renaissance, etc), and not to be big-headed but I'm not exactly unattractive either. I have had a few small problems with this sort of super-imposing/idolisation. I'm currently in College (in England, I'm 17) and in one of our cafeterias we have a few games consoles. At the start of my first year I naturally fell in with the 'less popular/geeky' crowd and became good friends with a few of them, still am. Unfortunately I had one of them basically stalk me for a good few weeks because I whooped his ass at Dead or Alive 4… It was, er, interesting to say the least. However, he was also beaten by his best friend Jenny who has very similar interests to me, however he ultimately shrugged it off as nothing as he had already 'friend zoned' her.
    I've also been fawned over by an older man at a games workshop (for D&D, Warhammer etc) near where I live because I took interest in the games whilst looking for a birthday present for my younger brother. It's not like I was begging for attention or putting myself out there, just merely browsing for a Warhammer set.

    However, I must say that there are a lot of girls who display themselves as these fetishised ideals and in truth they do set the bar for the rest of us. There is a minority that enjoys being fetishised like this and revel in the male attention. It's partially their fault that this idolisation exists; they are the ones who created it, in my opinion. If there weren't any girls (such as Olivia Munn, Mila Kunis, general 'sexy' cosplayers) who did this, then this idea would only exist in fictional comic books and games. I think therefore the fetishisation would still exist but it would be a lot less applicable to human women and girls. Then again, who's going to stop them?

    It's very controversial.

  • Bla

    I agree with a lot that's in this article. Many geek guys tend to fawn over an 'idea' of a woman that just will almost never materialize. It's great if you do find that one girl who has similar interests, but it's also good to try and date someone out of the box; someone who can help break you out of your shell.

  • Cobrian

    The overwhelming sounds of *WOOSH* being sounded off in some of the comments is starting to hurt my ears. Either that or all the antagonists lost their ability to read before the last five lines of text (in the article).

    All of my SO's have been more or less of the geeky (dare I even say nerdy) variety. Being a late bloomber, I think the first two girls I dated (one at 15, second at 19) got put on that godawful pedestal and when they started showing the cracks in my idealized versions of them, I quite bluntly bailed on them.

    The turning point for me was getting de facto dumped myself, which basically told me that it's me who also needs to do better. Sometimes I think it's not possible for someone completely lost in their La La Land of the idealized Geekette to wake up, without getting burned, most often quite seriously. And it needs to come from someone who's wise enough to see thru that game. Because that's what it is: a game your brain plays on you and your SO. I do think being bombarded by imagery and tales of perfect love helps perpetuate the myth, if only due to the fact that there is no real opposing force that would show the world as it really is. Which is the reason we NEED people like Dr. Nerdlove, and why all you "but dreams do come true!" -people AREN'T HELPING.

    What about me then? I found myself (or rather, she found me) a woman who is also a total geek. The amount of people who say we're a great match are evenly matched by those who are totally bewildered by the fact that we can stand each other at all. For me, she's perfect in all the ways that really matter.

  • She’ll be enchanted by your stories about how your guild was the first to raid the Litch-King.

    I think you mean the Lich-King. 😉

    Nice article, a lot of points that I agree with.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      (Snotty voice) I think you'll find that Blizzard originally used the olde-english spelling "Litch" but later had to change it because of the influence of Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson… (/Snotty voice)

      More seriously – yeah, sometimes typos make it through.

  • Mim

    As an adult, I can only say that the rather sleezy idea of romance being driving to a lake and eating dinner is good for only a certain amount of people. I'm what you would probably call "normal" or as it were "non-nerd" in this strange categorizing of people, but I find the thought of waiting up together for a videogame release as romantic as any wrapped, dishonest vegetables that has been bought in the false air of hollywood romance – if that is what you like. A common interest is a common interest, not matter if it's an anime or Friends. What does "normal" people "have in common" when they date? Their sexorgans at best, usually. I suppose from the text that it is a somehow a BETTER common interest to like hiking together… but it is in no way what so ever different from playing a videogame together. You need to reevaluate your ideas of what "honesty" and "common areas" are, because the effect of the ideas you give in the text above is rather unpleasant and rather pejorative towards the people referred to as "geeks" ( as if they belonged to a different race where everyone is the same as each other ). "Don't get a relationships where you can talk unless you make up things fitting in an american highschoolmovie"? If you feel good together than what is the problem? If you love speaking of the intrigue in an anime -series, do you really think it's different from the babbling about sex and the city and the backstabbing at work? It's not. Don't limit yourself. Loosen your grip around the idea that people are as easy and flat as your prejudice of them. My mountaineer friend love his xbox 360 as much as any nerd and my nerd -friend ( yes I have BOTH!!! Oh my god!! ) loves hiking in the forest. There are no easy valuations and you can't categorize like this. Let go of the idealization, of course, but that applies to everybody. Not just nerds visavi other nerds, or "geek", if you will. Non nerds should then be very aware not to date if they find a common interest? Or is it alright if their interest are housebuilding or horseriding? Is it just video -games and certain series… perhaps you better make a list. "If any of these match, you can't date." Nah, I'm bound to disagree heartily with this, even though I'm sure you meant well. Geeks doesn't belong to another race and people aren't this easily pushed into one or the other category.

  • Mike


    The revelation that a man's dream girl is more about validation of the man than anything else is new, or particular to geeks. I don't think you've seen a SI issue in a while, or a beer commercial. Nor is setting up an unrelistic fantasy to avoid trying to meet women unique to geeks.

    Desiring a person with the same interests and from the social set you have credibility in is not just normal but fairly wise. Shared interests are good and help in the important triumverate of emotional needs of: Status-Connection-Security. Seeking a woman who defines status differently than you is foolish, your not going to meet the status or likley connection need. Your also going to fail on the male triumverate of: Sex-Connection-Support. You won't get connection or support, but alas if she is hot even a geek is not immune from doing foolish things in the mere hope of sex.

    I say date those geek girls. Keep your fantasy, she has hers as well, but don't be a jerk and expect her to do all the giving.

    • Paul Rivers

      I totally agree with your sentiment. But I have to add that the idea that who you're dating is "more about validation" than anything else – is not in any way limited or even strongly weighted towards men. Have you ever heard of, you know, high school girls wanting to date the high school quarterback – just because he's the quarterback? Have you ever heard of women wanting to date a doctor so they can tell their female friends how they're dating a doctor? Taken to the extreme, for a guy, it might be about validation for him that he's dating the "perfect" woman. But for a girl? At the extreme a high school girl will change her emotions, her clothes, her interests, etc etc etc – and how far she'll "go" – just to be dating someone really popular. I'm just saying this is not in any way gender specific.

  • Missy

    You have good points here for sure! Even though my husband dated and married a girl geek (me), I wasn't a Geek Girl. I am not heroine-hot and when we started dating, I didn't know the difference between DnD 3.5 and 4.0 (I have since been educated).

    But I had read some comics ( Sandman, all of it) and done a teensy bit of RPG playing. I've always been the smart, nerdy girl. But I didn't blossom to full on weird geek status till after we had dated a while.

    I will add that he didn't push me to be more geeky. And that is something important to remember about geek/non-geek dating. Do NOT try to push geek culture on her! If she's a good woman, she will likely be curious, because she likes you and is curious about your world. Relax, stand back, and let her do her thing. You never know when she will find a comic she loves, or decides that the board game or miniature game she saw was kinda cool.

    Now, I sometimes out-geek my husband! He never forced anything on me. But he made it clear I was welcome in the comic shop, at gaming, or to peruse his massive board game collection. Eventually I found comics I can't live without, got totally hooked on painting minis, and got my own Board Game Geek account.

    Thanks for the article!

  • murrderdith

    "The fetishization of the Geek Girl is, at it’s core, a sexist ideal cloaked in the soft tyranny of “worship” and fantasy. "

    Thank you. Like the Manic Pixie Dream girl, I fear the Geek Girl is just another mechanism of the objectifying male gaze that gets cultural pass because it doesn't rely on tired barbie-esque stereotype.

  • RoD

    *slow clap* Not to be creepy, but I adore your pacing in this one.

    …On the negative side, I think with the formatting, several people didn't realize there was a second page to the article. Just judging by the comments.

    • Stripes

      Yeah, I'm seeing the message that the Geek Girl is the unrealistic ideal and the girl who's a geek is the real, flawed thing flying over a LOT of people's heads.

      • Stripes

        Or a lot of geeky girls think they're flawless goddesses.

  • icftd

    Wow that's an awful title. It has nothing to do with the content, partly because you don't seem to believe that there are any "Geek Girls" to date because they are some idealized fantasy. Then of course you separate this idea from the "girl who is a geek" who presumably is just fine as dating material, despite sharing all the critical qualities.

    As you very well know and shamelessly noted the title is intentionally inflammatory, and it has inflamed me to tell you to go screw yourself.

    Also, this caught my eye: ' non-geeks are derisively referred to as “mundanes” ' I've never heard that term, or any variation of it, actually used in dialogue. That sort of thing has been referred to in jest while poking fun at it. If you actually believe that junk you wrote then sir, you need to find out a thing or two about your subject matter and then you need to seek help (not necessarily in that order).

  • I have a hard time relating to this article because I don't have a penis. All I know is that I haven't been sexually attracted to a man who didn't play video games since I discovered what games were at age 5. If you don't eat, breathe, and sleep games, I have no desire to relate to you romantically.

    When I entered the video games industry at age 18, I immediately realized that I was never going to date outside of my industry. Because if I couldn't come home to someone to whom I could emphatically dump my guts to about what I worked on that day, and what movies we needed to see that would be coming out and what comic books I needed to pick up on Wednesday… you were just never going to get up my skirt, sorry.

    So it would work out that my future husband's line to me that would get me into bed when we met was, "Wanna see my Gundams?" You see, this "Geek Girl" thing? Honey, it works both ways. If you don't meet MY elevated Geek Guy ideals, you can waddle your way out the door.

  • AND ANOTHER THING. The best holiday winter break I ever had with my husband was when we committed to doing nothing that week but reeking filthy in our PJs all day with open containers of alcohol everywhere while screaming "BOOMER!!!!" until our lungs were full of blood the winter that Left 4 Dead came out. That's how we bond, and that's what we have in common. When we go for long periods of time without gaming together, I worry about the state of our relationship.

    Currently, he's a Battlefield 3 widow. You win some, you lose some.

  • The funny thing is that the whole "we only talk to people in our culture" thing applies to every social group. The reason nerds/geeks suffer is that they are the new kid on the block in the social history of humanity.

    The cool thing about being a geek/nerd is that nothing really stops you from participating in our interests except your own preconcieved notions about it. Many more kids these days grow up engaging in "our" hobbies, which means that the "normalisation" of our interests proceed apace, and make this sort of rediculous article increasingly irrelevant.

    The problems outlined in the article have basically nothing to do with being a geek/nerd and everything to do with the psychology of a person. Its just convienient, and thus lazy, to ascribe the issues to nerds/geeks.

    (Why no my wife isn't a geek, nor would most call her a nerd. Our relationship is based on our sense of humor, and morals being well aligned more than our interests. Which is good, nice stable platform from which to appreciate our differences.)

    • Stripes

      You're right, this is universally applicable but it is also very appropriate for geeks. It's not a constant, but social awkwardness is a common character among us and creating that Geek Girl or Geek Guy that shares all your interests, tolerates all your eccentricities/awkwardness and is hot just further hampers any ability to talk with the real geeks and maybe meet someone you like. Add to that the minority of women in geek culture and creating unrealistic ideals becomes an even bigger problem.

      I will say that talking about this as a problem exclusive to video game and comic book nerds is limiting with those things gaining popularity (as you pointed out). So the real defining feature of geeks and nerds is that tendency to focus on an interest to the exclusion of all else that either causes or comes with some social awkwardness. As a result, you could say there are Anime Geek Girls/Guys, RenFaire Geek Girls/Guys, Model Kit Geek Girls/Guys, etc…

  • Rictor

    I am open to dating a geek girl if I meet someone who I can get along with but the nerd doc makes a good point. First if you limit yourselves to girls who like comic books or D&D you are limiting yourself to a very small pool of fish in a pond full of sharks (you are basically competing with every other guy at your local Gaming store or comic shop for the few girls there). Second, geek girls tend to have issues.

  • I can't agree with this enough. Once (years ago) a guy I am kind of seeing finds out I like anime and suddenly I am the girl he can gush about DBZ with even though he is too ashamed to tell his friends he watches it. I don't watch any Dragon Ball. Never have. Another guy was so ecstatic to find out I play video games, except the only game he played was Madden. . . again, not what I am into.

    I met my husband at an anime convention. He was friend zoned for about two years before I finally decided to give him a chance. By this time he was well over me, so I had to do a bit of the chasing. You know what makes it work? Chemistry and a multitude of common interests, not just anime, comics, and video games.

  • Pingback: Nerds And Male Privilege | Kotaku Australia()

  • Mothgirl

    Umm as a older Geek Girl….or do they call me cougar now? Sheesh I can't remember….I was the stereotypical weird/nerd in highschool and after a stint in Model hell and a bit of teen alcoholism I became a geek woman….I was and am real,thank you….just hard to find….dream on I am also married.

  • Laura

    I'm a little offended by this article. I get what the point is to explore other options and not be afraid to date outside your comfort zone. With that said I like to date guys I have stuff in common with… I am a geek girl not to the extreme of what was put on the sterotyping list put above but I do like comic books, anime and RPGs… Whats wrong with dating someone you know you have things in common with and that you can be friends with? I want to date and be with someone who is a friend first and a lover second…. Isn't that the point of finding someone to date that your compatible with? Why would I date someone I don't have common interests or hobbies? Don't you think that would lead to an unfulfilling relationship? Also just because a guy or a girl is a geek doesn't mean they don't have other interests or can't help one another broden their horizons…

    • Toast

      I don't think that is the point of the article, though. I think the point of the article is "Don't obsess over an unattainable fantasy woman that doesn't exist." Like he says in the last few lines, "I am not telling you to never date girls who are geeks. I am saying that you need to go into your relationship with your eyes open to reality, and to embrace that flawed, imperfect, all-too-human geeky girl for exactly who and what she is and not a fantasy that she could never achieve."

  • Mackuss

    I don't really know what prompted this article but my only beef with the article is the last paragraph of the first page, (really just rubbed me the wrong way, how, even when he was stepping out of character, he continued with the subtle biasedness) specifically:

    "One of the most common stereotypes of the modern geek is someone whose social skills are next to non-existant; they can’t maintain a conversation about topics that aren’t science fiction, space opera, urban fantasy, video games, computers or comic books. Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to this idea. Geeks tend to focus on their interests with such laser-like intensity that they don’t often devote much time or study to anything outside their immediate sphere. They tend to be loners and introverts and uncomfortable in large social gatherings or with new people."

    There's a whole crap-ton of fallacies in that paragraph, and they mostly form due to this constant thread throughout that correlates with this imaginary standard of how someone SHOULD act, as well as assuming that, not only is there one pop-culture, but that obviously, there's only one pop-culture that matters. Even in the last paragraph, which is the last attempt to drive home some "feel good" attitude about accepting someone for who they are, it still implies an almost creepy psycho-dynamic between not only a "geek guy" but a "geek girl" as well, ironically and equally painting a picture of said girl as if she is, indeed, aside from society – and not in a good way. Yes, I get it, people interested in certain shit are a "kind" of person – but it doesn't mean an article needs to be written in such a mind-numbingly biased way – biased not to a sex, but to a society's standard. Infact, the entire article wasn't necessary, even in wit – what would have been equally as effective is an article expanded and elaborated on the psychological effects of empathizing with fictional creations of one's mind. Which is all the problem is really. "Geeky" people are just people – not even eccentric, as now one has to define a standard as to what "not eccentric" is – which in itself is completely retarded. However, someone empathizing with a mental creation is what, ironically, even mainstream society calls detached from reality and borderline crazy. Geek or not.

    #1 – being passionately interesting in a topic that's in any form counter-cultureish doesn't make someone ANY particular way – it's society itself that does that, and THAT would have made for more interesting of an analyzation.

    #2 – If someone doesn't want to talk about something they're not interested in, it doesn't mean they're not social – it could just mean they don't give a sh*t.

    #3 – Noone has to give a sh*t.

    That one section, even through you're contrasting, was surprisingly insulting to me – because that's how I know a lot of people feel about ME, as someone who's just EXTREMELY interested in video games and the video game industry. Maybe not positive, or maybe not even negative – but definitely a specific dynamic.

    It's like, just because I'm extremely interested in something doesn't make me a demographic in ANY way. I am who I am – and possess personality traits that are not dictated by anything other than my soul, lol. And I KNOW that that's what the point of the article was intending to be about, specifically to a "type" of girl, but it didn't need to be in such an absurdly biased way – as ultimately it looks like the article was intended to be read through the lenses of an equally as fake nerd as the female painted in the article, worn by Lady Gaga. I think, if anything, that's what rubbed me the wrong way.

  • Tracy

    So, are you saying I'm not going to find that red-headed Asian girl that looks like Bettie Page?

    • No, he's saying you're not going to find a human being if you're looking for a 'geek girl'.

  • Jets

    I just wanted to thank you for your first (large) paragraph. I had a run-in with a close-minded geek last year. I had moved to a new town and wanted to make some friends, so I emailed a guy about a sci-fi club. After a brief correspondence (and after I had joined the group's mailing list, which he either forgot/didn't realize or didn't care) he announced me to the group as a potential member, with the caveat that I was a "normal/mundane". I had no idea that "mundane" was a common term that people used, but I knew immediately that I didn't want to hang out with anybody who would apply it so quickly to someone they hadn't even met. I have never felt so alienated from a group of people so fast.

    • Blackhat

      Surely the proper term is 'muggle'?

  • Rick

    Oh yeah, and:
    "by elevating her to the status of Goddess you may think you are paying her the ultimate compliment when instead all you are doing is denying her her own personhood. A girl who is a geek is a woman with all the flaws and imperfections that come with being human."

    Have you READ any mythology? Most Goddesses (and Gods) had tons of flaws. Zeus and Hera were particularly loathsome in several respects. But then you probably weren't speaking of the mythological Goddess, but of the concept.

    I think one could create someone as a Goddess and still have room for human "flaws" (a "God is in each of us" kind of a thing).

    • I think you took that a bit too literally.

      • Blackhat

        Yeah, divine infalibility is kind of a recent invention but taken as given in the context of this particular metaphor, or, to put it another way: 'chill, Winston.'

  • Rick

    "Y’see, after all of that time and effort building the Geek Girl into a perfect being, he has completely ignored all of her flaws… he was never in love with her as a person, just an ideal that only ever existed in his head and he does the only thing he can do: he runs away from the reality and goes back to looking for his fantasy, ignoring the pain and insult he’s left behind."

    Take out the word "Geek", and that whole paragraph describes (unfortunately) the majority of romantic relationships. Fantasy constructs are not limited to Geeks, nor even to men. (Who HASN'T had at least one female friend that was dating a total loser or, worse, someone dangerous, but refused to see it?) So, point taken, but it applies to geeks and non-geeks, men and women.

  • Me

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I'm a girl and I'm a geek and I feel like I've lost relationships because I couldn't measure up to that "ideal". I've also seen girls embarass themselves trying to pull it off.

    Girls who are geeks often have the same insecurity issues the guys have, so when they're rejected, they take it exceptionally hard. There are also "Geek Girls" that are so addicted to having that persona, and getting attention from a crapload of guys at once, that they end up making really, really stupid choices about their relationships.

    My self-esteem is enough of a struggle without suspecting that deep down, that if I was like THAT, my boyfriend might treat me differently.

  • Nonesane

    Very nice article. Just read through the comments and I must say I'm confused by the people saying "the Geek Girl does exist"! Really? I know geek girls exist (I'm one of them), but the Geek Girl is an idealized fantasy. She isn't simply a geek, _she has no flaws_.

    All people have flaws (which is good, because how else will we be able to tell the pod-people from the real ones when the hostile aliens come?), so I'm guessing they simply misunderstood the article and interpreted it as "girls who like geeky things don't exist, give up guys!" instead of "geek girls are people too, stop expecting otherwise!"

    Or they're saying they or their girlfriends/wives/partners are without flaws, in which case…reality check?

    • Bonus points for a pod-people allusion! We are amused.

      • Blackhat

        See, now this is why I keep a book on top of my glass of water at night.

  • Pingback: An Indecent Proposal « Shades of Gray()

  • Doc

    Ended up reading this after I saw your article on kotaku. I really enjoyed it! I must ask you though… If I play games, read comics, watch tons of sci-fi movies/shows but am also an avid sports fan, does that mean I have some sort of split personality disorder 😛

    • Dr. NerdLove

      I am, in fact, not convinced you exist, sir. I am slightly unnerved when figments of people's imagination decide to write comments.

      • Dr. NerdLove

        (I kid, of course)

  • Lisa

    I started reading your blog, just for fun, a couple of days ago (after a friend linked your post about male privilege, the way women are portrayed in comics/games, etc.). This was a fun read.

    I'm finding myself wondering if many of the people commenting actually read the article. The number of people who are basically saying, "yes – there are ideal/perfect women and I'm one of them" is astounding. I don't think that's what they're trying to say, but it is what they're saying. People seem to think you're suggesting that they never date anyone with common interests. I don't see that, either. I'm just getting something very different from this than a lot of people are getting.

    I also have to add that, having read four of your articles (i'll read more) and all of the comments, in the last couple of days, I'm blown away by the number of people who get on your case for either singling out geeks, or only addressing men. I can't (as a woman) see any reason why, on a dating blog for geek guys, you would give women tips on how to act, *or* address the issues from a non-geek perspective. That makes no sense.

    Anyway – despite being a female non-geek (maybe? I'm in my early 40 and have a large, but old, comic collection, and *love* SF and fantasy…and math, but not computers – according to one breakdown I found a few years ago, I'm more of a dork and a nerd than a geek 🙂 ), I've really been enjoying your blog. I plan to read all your other articles, too. You have a very clear eye.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      Glad you're enjoying the blog, Lisa!

      I am definitely doing more articles for my female readers (Not just gender-relations issues like male privilege), but it's still my belief and experience that men have fewer reliable resources out there for improving their facility with women than women do with men, and that society still punishes men for trying to get better.

      And to be perfectly honest, I've long ignored the supposed differences between nerd and geek; there's so much overlap between the two – and used so interchangeably – that it's really non-sensical to try to pretend that they're two entirely different definitions. It's not as though we're dealing with taxonomy here.

      • Lisa

        I tend to go with "nerd" for myself, mostly because I lack the level of…hmmm…obsessive interest, maybe?…that seems to be the hallmark of "geekdom". I loved comics, and knew my stuff – but I was never the person who knew every detail of every character bio, and who created every character, no matter how minor, and memorized the style of every inker, etc. The same applied to science fiction. I loved certain authors, but I wouldn't have gone out and made a huge effort to track down that one old story that I knew existed, but was out of print or whatever. I just don't think I have the level of passion for things to be a "real" geek. (OTOH, I consider that to be a personal failing, so who knows? LOL)

        Either way, I love the blog.

  • NopeDotAvi

    "Their early experiences with being taunted, humiliated and judged by others leads them to prefer the company of their fellow geeks almost exclusively; they have their niche and they’re quite happy there, thank you very much. Because of their own self-imposed isolation […]"

    The way you describe it makes it sound like their isolation is everything but self-imposed. Society hated them first, not the other way around.

    "A Geek Girl isn’t just a girl, she’s a goddess. […] She is utterly, incomprehensibly flawless. […] She’s not a person to you. Not really. She’s a fetish, an object. The obsessive love of the Geek Girl isn’t, at it’s base, any different from having a fetish for Asians or Latinas or African-Americans. She isn’t a woman now, she is the exotic other."

    Wrong. She's my soul mate. My partner in crime. The one I curl up on the bed with and watch a whole season of LOST because _she_ wants to. She's a person, with flaws and needs. She can be a bitch sometimes but I can be too. Also, she totally exists.

    What the fuck is wrong with you, Mr. Author? Is it wrong to want a SO that shares my interests? That doesn't need to feign interest in nerdy things because, well, she is one? Yeah, I know, that's not what you're saying, blah blah blah. I've read a few articles here and they're all the same. Men are shit ("especially you, the readers!"), women are constantly in danger of being raped and assaulted (while men don't think twice when being out alone at night, especially if they're nerds who have never been physically threatened) and "nerd culture" is evil. You know what, I don't need your advice. I bet you're not even a real Doctor :p

    • Lisa68

      If she's your real life partner, and a real life person, then she's not what he's talking about.

      I've read quite a few articles, and the ensuing comments, on this blog now, and this is the only one where I've read through the comments, thinking (constantly), "did you even read this?". You are talking about a "girl who's a geek", NOT about "The Geek Girl". The article was about "The Geek Girl"…who doesn't exist. It's a bit like "The Nice Guy" (who generally isn't) vs. "a guy who's nice".

  • As a 'geek girl' – I thank you.

    I have always hated that males fall for me because of my hobbies, not my personality. It's shallow, and frankly condescending. It's as bad as falling for a girl because she has big boobs, or something similar. It makes me feel like I'm not worthwhile at all, only my interests are.

    • Lisa68

      I've had guys express interest in me for a physical trait (big boobs – surprise!), *and* for my interests (heavy metal, specifically). I have to say that, while I get what you're saying, the first is 1000X more annoying. At least my interests have something to do with who I am as a person. My boobs are just because that's the way they developed. They have nothing to do with *me*.

  • Pingback: Dear you « Sedatus Aequora()

  • jim

    Wait… Don't your hobbies kinda say something about your personality? Its why you have those hobbies right ? its what you enjoy doing, so….. finding another person that enjoys doing what you do…… its kinda like having a friend….. and well lovers are friends. I dont see how this article is pointing relationships in the right direction….

  • Idiot

    I am completely guilty of not getting out of my safe corner of interests. It is entirely true that I don't focus on anything but my own interests, and you've really opened my eyes to that; there is no reason why two people have to have the same interests. I am a female, and it's frightening to think about trying to hold a conversation with a guy that doesn't like kids movies and League of Legends, but has entirely different interests. Rather than having a 'god' in mind, I fill in the blanks with guys I'd like to get to know, but never do. It's just as terrible. More than that, though, my excuse for not talking to a guy I don't know but would like to? I'm not good enough. I'm not a skinny woman, and while I don't think I'm ugly, I'm certainly not as pretty as that lady, or that one. I'm not that sexy woman expected of me. I'm just some girl to be pitied and humored with small talk. It feels like I'm some injured animal or wretch given some charity. And I do have difficulty talking past the initial small talk. It's like trying a new character in League of Legends, I am so scared of the trolling that I just don't want to practice. Wow I went off the rail there, but I feel it still has merit.

    In short, I enjoyed your article and am inspired to talk to men who don't necessarily share my interests. The self esteem…hahah, it will take some time!

  • This article brings up some valid points but I do think that it neglects the possibility that there is a continuum of Geekdom and that people with geeky interests might have other interests as well. Some people (both male and female) feel the need to wear their geekiness on their sleeve–almost shoving the fact in everyone's faces like they have something to prove. This perhaps is the extreme that you discuss here–people who self-identify as an anime-nerd or gamer-to-the-max because they don't know who they are, fundamentally, as a person. Does this mean that all people who have played Chrono Trigger through several times to get all possible endings fit this sort of persona? No. You're talking about the stereotypical extreme geek here, not the one who also loves to go out into the world and hike a mountain with some friends or try something new for the sake of socialization and fun. I think that's an important point to stress here.

    • ranchnumber51

      I know who I am and just so happen to love gaming and anime enough to want to wear it! You sound like my sister… deep down she likes gaming but has no interest in embracing the culture.

  • Paige

    I had the unfortunate experience of dating a boy who thought I was his perfect 'geek girl' to the point that he thought I could do no wrong and put me on a very high pedestal. It drove me insane. He was over protective and controlling, he thought he was 'protecting' me from those hurtful people of the outside world. I thought he was an ass and it ended very, very badly. He ended up even more damaged and had to go on meds for depression.
    I think this article is great because it makes you consider that maybe your standards are a little too constricting, and even though your 'dream girl' may not exist the perfect girl for you does. And PLEASE don't put girls on such a high unattainable pedestal, it just annoys us, we're real people, and we're not perfect.

    • ranchnumber51

      Be careful interpereting this, guys. Controlling and jealous behavior is a huge turnoff. However, if two people can put each other on a pedestal… in my book that is perfectly balanced, unyielding love! Isn’t that what we’re all striving for?

      • Blackhat

        The thing with pedestals is that they always topple eventually. No exceptions.

        Better to keep your feet on the ground.

  • This isn't a blog post, this is a Women's Studies essay. This is so loaded with modern feminist tripe that I actually started to get angry at you. Denying personhood? Where, but in the minds of feminist essayists, does such a thing ever really occur? You do your fellows a disservice. I almost saw what you were trying to get across, but it was so mired in bizarre obejctification imagery as to be unrecognizable until your summary. I feel great pity for you, seeing the world so filled with men who are so maladjusted that they need you to tell them not to make people into something they are not. That the world needs you to lay it all out there with a fable t boot so everyone can get the point. Your world must be a depressing place to live in indeed.

    • Anthony

      The article may have taken certain things to the extreme, but the underlying theme is that you shouldn't project your own ideals onto someone else and expect them to live up to that. And that theme is undeniably true throughout human society, not just geeks or nerds. If this particular event has never happened to you and you've never done it to someone else, I think you should consider yourself very lucky. But I have had people project their own ideals upon me and have, incredibly regrettably, projected my ideals onto others. And the results can be incredibly uncomfortable and incredibly disappointing. It's a very real occurrence, and it's good that this article was written. Judging by the comments, a lot of people have taken from this article that you shouldn't date people that share you common interests, but I do not read that at all (and it's explicitly stated at the bottom). People should live their lives accepting the reality in front of them, but the VAST majority of us do not.

  • Socially Blacklisted

    I've noticed a lot of female models claiming to be gaming geeks (e.g. Levy Tran, Linda Le).

    I've also noticed a lot of women professing they want a "hot geek guy." My objection to this is "geek" can be interpreted in many ways and is honestly too broad a word. It seems one can be considered a geek simply by partaking in one of the following activities on a regular basis:

    + Tinkering with Computers or video games

    + Reading Comics

    + Watching Anime and listening to Asian Pop

    + Listening to Metal (death, black, thrash, doom, hardcore, deathcore, etc) OR listening to lighter stuff like industrial / alternative / emo music and dressing the part, possibly with sleeved tatoos

    + Not practicing an Abrahamic faith

    + Art (sculpting, painting, Photoshopping)

    Really, what so-called "geek loving" women seem to like are the artistic type who wear alternative/emo/goth fashion… not the socially handicapped IT gurus or brutish metalheads.

    • Tommie

      Metalheads are not geeks? That's a music taste that can be found outside of the Geek culture.

    • ranchnumber51

      I want a hardcore gamer that’ll watch anime and go to Rammstein and Dir en Grey shows with me. <3

      • Blackhat

        Yeah, 'metalhead' and 'geek' are definitely not synonyms, though metal can inspire geekish levels of devotion.

  • Aaron C.

    The general aim of the article as I see it is to discourage geeks/nerds from always dating in their comfort zone, and with that I agree. However, some of the bullet points in the beginning were plainly that: discouraging. Is it forbidden to seek ladies who share one's interests? What is your dating advice for those girls, then? Perhaps I'm zooming in on one chunk of a more complex machine, but the idea that dating a girl who has a custom-tailored raggedy brown coat (for all the delicious non-sense that makes) is a bad idea? Doesn't sit well with me.

    It also brings to mind a previous relationship I had. The girl was lovely, her interests were eclectic and I learned a lot from her; but I also felt I had trouble connecting to her. She was at a distance from my most treasured pastimes, and I from hers. We connected at times, and at other times I felt miles away from her when I was in the same room. I suspect it was one part interests and one part personality, but I still see it as relevant. And I'm not saying this is an impassable barrier, but I would hesitate to call it a step above dating a "geek girl." Not better; just different.

    Perhaps the challenge of a geeky couple is to, as partners, escape their shared comfort zone. To support each other in expanding their horizons. Their advantage is teamwork; their disadvantage is that maybe they'd both rather just sit at home and play video games. But that's just my two cents, and all that said, I do agree with the last half of the article. Specifically, to quote A Softer World: "Unrequited love is for chumps."

    • Anthony

      I think that you might be missing the forest for the trees. It's not saying don't date a girl who has a custom-tailored raggedy brown coat; the article is saying don't date a girl BECAUSE she has a custom-tailored raggedy brown coat. This article is pointing out that guys think about a perfect woman in their head, and then that woman is so perfect, they can't meet real women who are up to her standards. The article isn't about dating someone who doesn't share your interests – it's about dating someone real, not someone you've fantasized about. It's incredibly important to have some shared interests with a potential girlfriend because you need to have something to do when you're together. But you can't make finding a potential girlfriend about only shared interests. In the example you gave, I think that it was far more about personality than interests. A person's personality is going to drive their interests, so I think that's maybe how it seems, but it all boils down to personality. I would say that most of the time, when you meet someone who you get along with really well, even if you don't have a lot of shared interests, you'll find things to do together and will still enjoy the time. I think that's the goal of the article – find someone who you can enjoy being with, not someone who fits a checklist of everything you're looking for in a woman.

  • Bill

    Is it weird that somehow this article makes geek girls more appealing to me?

  • Wes

    Interesting Opinion you have here Dr. I really feel I am that oddity in this geek world. Geek friends online (gaming mmo community of friends) describe me as such. An "anomaly' type of Geek.

    What the Fudge does a guy like me do though? At a glance you would label me as the Jock,Rebel, Tattoo having dick from high school. Geeks do not come near me, and I can feel the strong intimidation I present off to them ..completely unintentional I may add. I walked into Game Works just to check it out…Never been in there. The damn place went silent and all turned and looked at me. Chatter turned to whispers and glances…. I wanted to scream "What the fuck bitches?"

    Still I am a geek to , but I am not socially broken. How the heck do I even meet a geek girl..where do they dwell? lol…. Cause the places I hang with friends..>I meet only Ms. Cheerleader or Party girl…or super serious outdoors girl… I don't want them.. I want a geek girl to share hobbies with , yet take out to a wild night on the town.

    I'm starting to think they don't exist and its all bullshit.

    • You need to go where the Geek Girls are- Science Fiction Conventions, Comic Book Stores, Science Fiction Society, Libraries, Joss Wheodon/Firefly Groups. Go introduce yourself- you seem more outgoing than the average geek boy. That's an advantage since most geek guys don't come up and talk to us geek girls…lol. I bet you could cosplay an Amazing Captain America!

  • Vicki

    Well, I think I'm a geek girl, but I don't dye my hair blue or dress like a Manga cartoon character. Maybe it's because I grew up in the 80s? I played Dungeons & Dragons with my brothers when I was in middle school, around the same time I read all the Tolkien books and wanted to go and live in Middle Earth. Come to think of it, middle school (it was called "junior high" back then) is so awful, I just wanted an escape. My brothers are keen xbox gamers, and I never really got into video games myself, but I understand the appeal of mmorpg's (being a former D&D paper gamer), so I'm thinking of upgrading to a real gaming computer so I can learn to play LOTRO, and maybe free versions of Runescape and WoW or something like that. I guess I'm not a hardcore geek. Are there levels of girl-geekness? There should be a girl-geek hierarchy. I'm probably a low-level dweeb, just geeky enough to enjoy SyFy programming over anything with the Kardashians. Unfortunately, I live in a very redneck state, most of the men here (even or maybe especially the upper middle class ones) are only interested and conversant in sports, tailgating, golf, more sports and that's about it. They are so boring! We need more single geek guys out here. I'm tired of not being able to find my ideal geek-guy.

  • Moon Cat

    I have never enjoyed the company of geek women. They have all been emotionally damaged far beyond non-geeks, never shut up, expect geek men to fawn over them no matter what, and usually aren’t as clever as they think they are.

    Then again, that can be applied to many geeks regardless of gender.

    Lately, I have grown very weary of these people, despite being classified as one.

  • Todd

    It’s tiring to read titles only to have the subject be point to something different. Title: “DON’T DATE GEEK GIRLS” Ending sentence: ” Let me be perfectly clear: I am not telling you to never date girls who are geeks. I am saying that you need to go into your relationship with your eyes open to reality, and to embrace that flawed, imperfect, all-too-human geeky girl for exactly who and what she is and not a fantasy that she could never achieve. ” Wonderful way to shock people into reading your article.

  • Junebug

    I get what you're saying here – a bit like your article on "the one" – but I would have run away from this site after seeing ~450 likes on an article with this name if I hadn't just read a legitimate article about privilege from you.

    Well, you're still getting activity even today, so I suppose you already understand how provocative this article is.

  • Slythgeek

    This is a nice article although I think the title and opening paragraph confuse your message a bit, getting people in a huff about something that wasn't your point.

    I'm a rather active member of the subculture I call "fandom" (and others call "geekdom"). I attend and even run conventions. I make costumes. I write fanfic. I love Star Trek and Firefly and Doctor Who and Harry Potter and a thousand other things that are a little more obscure (as is the case with most geeks). I read history and science books for fun.

    I'm also married to a fellow member of the subculture, and that works for us. We find that we like most of the same things, so we get to dress in costume together and attend conventions and sit down to watch Doctor Who. I don't think you're trying to say that people shouldn't date others who share their interests, just that they shouldn't wait for that "perfect" girl to show up and whisk them off my feet. In my little narrative in my mind, that's what I did to my husband, but the reality is more complicated, as it always is. We're real people, and behind the anime shirts and action figures, there are arguments and feelings of inadequacy and all of the other personal baggage. I'm not the manic pixie geek girl I might seem when I'm dressed up as Romana and running around a convention. Perfection is always a delusion.

  • Miles

    Fuck you man! I'm dating a geek girl! Fuck reality!

  • Tommie

    "One of the most common stereotypes of the modern geek is someone whose social skills are next to non-existant; they can’t maintain a conversation about topics that aren’t science fiction, space opera, urban fantasy, video games, computers or comic books. Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to this idea. Geeks tend to focus on their interests with such laser-like intensity that they don’t often devote much time or study to anything outside their immediate sphere. They tend to be loners and introverts and uncomfortable in large social gatherings or with new people. Their early experiences with being taunted, humiliated and judged by others leads them to prefer the company of their fellow geeks almost exclusively; they have their niche and they’re quite happy there, thank you very much. Because of their own self-imposed isolation, geeks can find that their social skills have dwindled to the point that they have difficulty holding a normal conversation with anyone"

    D'you know how much this fits me? It IS me. However, there is no such thing as a self-imposed isolation. When people start telling you you belong dead under a bus because you don't listen to Jay-Z, you kind of come the to conclusion that all people are cunts and give up on them to pursue more intellectual activities such as writing, reading and physics.

    Also did you know that a person can only be popular or smart? You cannot have both – don't go saying you know a person with A grades who is popular. Grades have nothing to do with how smart you are but what you can remember, and memory is not related to intelligence.

  • Katie

    Casual reader here, but please do another on what exactly is a "girl who is a geek" as opposed to a "Geek Girl".

  • ranchnumber51

    Hmmm… can’t say I agree. I am an attractive 32 year old ‘Geek Girl’ that pretty much fits all the stereotypes, except my plastic frames are rectangular and my hair isn’t some crazy color (unless you count the colored ribbons I occasionally weave into my braided pigtails). Oh, and sadly I do poop as any other living Earth creature does. But aside from that, you described me perfectly!

    Now, a better title for your article would be… “Wanna date a Geek Girl? Don’t get your hopes up!” Improbable, not impossible. Here’s why I say that. There are waaaay more geeky guys out there than there are Geek Girls. For that reason (and those of circumstance and plain old luck), the reality is that you’ll have to resort to finding your dream girl online (and probably long distance). Whether that’s via gaming or a dating site, doesn’t matter. There are no shortage of guys here, yet I have never found a suitably geeky love interest in this city. I frequent GameStop, I wear my gaming/anime clothing accessories around… have yet to find that one special person this way. I have online though! Which brings me to my next point.

    If you know what you want and are willing to be patient, you CAN have it (as long as you’re an awesome person in general). That’s key… yes there are probably a bunch of Geek Girls that in reality are bitchy, whiny and not very pleasant to be in a relationship with. That’s how people are in general though! Some are supremely amazing and some are human garbage. I have dated 2 guys in the past year that were 10s in the way of shared interests, but they were kinda sh*tty people. My current love interest I have known for about a month, he’s all the way across the country, but he is 100% a perfect match for me, and I for him. He didn’t know girls like me really existed, but we do. That’s why I’m writing this.

    So if you’re one of those dicks on CoD that likes to brag like a 12 year old about how you just kicked everyones ass and we all suck, see my proposed title above. YOU suck, there is no hope (unless you like the bitchy whiny types). For all those sweet geeks out there with a heart of gold and a winning sense of humor, I’d bet money you’ll find your girl. Why not start looking today? Make a profile on a dating site (and for God’s sake, try and take a semi-attractive pic of yourself, even if it takes 50 attempts… don’t be lazy). If you meet someone playing a game and you think they’re cool, send a friend request!!!! This is how I met my last 2 b/fs. Don’t be discouraged, always try, try again!

    <3 you geeks!

  • Steve

    Great article! I agree with most of your points. Good thing I realized most of these things in a somewhat similair fashion myself a while back or I would've flamed all over your article^^

  • Amy

    Excuse me but when did being a nerd require an obsession with videogames, technologie and TV shows/movie that are poorely based on the real scientific knowledge we have today. I woud probably be categorised as a nerdy girl simply because science fascinates me. I am currenty studying pure physics and math and adore it. I love going to class and learning about the different phenomena in the world we live in. I love studying and understanding the content of my classes to perfection. This probably explains my 97% average. Yes, I am a nerd. Therefore you assume suddenly that I find it fascinating that a boy named Harry Potter can go to a magical world with unicorns and wizards!? Give me a break! No I do not love anime, I havn't touched a videogame in my entire life, I don't read comic books or any kind of graphic novel and I definatly don't have pink hair!? Is this website a joke? I sure hope so because only a fool would take it seriousy.

    • you might be describing differences between geeks (who like the things you mentioned) and science academics who CAN be but are not necessarily nerds either. Personally I love video games and hate Harry Potter and am a case worker with a mental health Masters. Basically this is just ways people classify each other whom share similar hobbies and interests.

      • Blackhat

        This is one of those nerd/geek dichotomy things, isn't it?

  • Pingback: Nörttityttöjen himoitut piparit | Nörttitytöt()

  • Ashe

    It's funny how the author says a geek's isolation is "self imposed" when he says in the sentence before it that they were picked on, bullied, basically pushed out of society as an outcast not by choice. Hell, I even still get teased by my so-called friends because they're interested in sports and "Fifty Shades of Grey", and I'm interested in building things and reading nonfiction ("Haha, you're reading about fractal geometry? That sounds SOOOO interesting!"). So it's the geek's fault for having interests that (forgive me for sounding like a "righteous geek" or whatever) are above the base, boring bullshit that "mainstream society" talks about (relationships and sports, relationships and sports, relationships and sports, oh for the love of god, please shut up and be a bit less one-dimensional). Relationships and sports are ok to talk about for maybe 30 minutes, but when that's literally all someone knows how to talk about, you're the most boring person on the planet. Learn something and stop sharing gossip as if it's ALWAYS interesting or AT ALL IMPORTANT.

    • Blackhat

      You chose to hang around with people you describe as your 'so-called friends' so how is that anyone's fault but yours?

  • Brandon

    She better snort when she laughs! And scratch herself, too!

  • ann

    wow what a bunch of ableist condescending assness

    • Blackhat

      Wow, what a crappy, sanctimonious and pointless post.

  • Veronica

    This has happened to me from friends, exes, past lovers, and total strangers. Idealizing people is extremely damaging. And to be a person idealized, and to feel robbed of your personhood that way – it's a never ending struggle to teach the person doing the idealizing that you have flaws when they insist that you are perfect, and act as if this complete illusion is positive or beneficial or even real. It's the reason I've stopped seeing many many people. I appreciate you writing this article so much because it lends some recognition to both the idealizer and the idealized.

  • Pingback: 14 More Songs Celebrating Nerd Girls | Fandomania()

  • Bonk

    Tsumugi, not Tsugumi (ah, the cakes…)

  • Do you think that when the geek is confronted, say at a convention, by a very attractive girl that closely fits the physical description you have listed (or that is cosplaying) the geek becomes aggressive and tries to out them as a fake in order to protect their fantasy and thus their safe distance and 'discerning man' shell. Otherwise they might have to actually face their fear of rejection and social awkwardness.

  • Pingback: How to Find the Girl of Your Dreams — The Good Men Project()

  • Selen Shah

    Go die in hell and kills yourself please, just because someone is known as a "social outcast" doesn't mean their some smartass that spends 24/7 in a fucking lab!

    • Selen shah


      • Blackhat

        Yeah, some social outcasts are are aggressive idiots without the brains the gods gave soup and genuinely have no place is decent company.

  • A lot of girls who call themselves geeks or choose to identify with the culture actually do so for selfish reasons. Geek culture gives them an outlet to be quirky, eccentric, alternative, and anything else that rebels against the so-called norm. And of course there is the feminist bent that a lot of geek culture has taken in recent years. Very attractive to females who want to rebel. So, a lot of the geek girls are not really looking at geek guys at all. They’re creating their own little “gurlz only” niche because geek culture is one of the few places that although still heavily bent towards male centric, it is unique amongst other mostly male dominated cultures in the fact that it is not dominated by Alpha males.

    • eselle28

      You're saying all this like it's a bad thing. They're joining geek culture because they enjoy it. I suppose that's a selfish reason, but it's the same motive most people have for aligning themselves with whatever groups. If you're expecting them to become geeks with the goal of compassionately reaching out to geek dudes who aren't going on enough dates or having enough sex, then yeah, you're going to be disappointed. But that's because it's an unreasonable expectation, and not one that's placed on men when they want to align themselves with various subcultures.

      There are certainly plenty of geeky guys who aren't that interested in dating actual geeky women (as opposed to the fictional manic pixie dream girl described in the article), or who are only interested in dating geeky women if they are also highly conventionally attractive. That doesn't get male geeks kicked out of the geek club. Why shouldn't women who are geeky be able to enjoy the benefits of geekdom in the same way?

    • I don't think I've ever met a geek, male or female, who didn't identify that way for selfish reasons. I can't even really wrap my head around the notion that "identifying as a geek" is something that one could do unselfishly in the first place.

      • enail

        Yes, I mean, what reasons are there to identify as a geek that aren't selfish?

        Because you're such a wonderful person that your association with geekdom will improve its reputation, and so you'll do it for those poor, geeky underdogs? Because, even though you really don't enjoy the fruits of their labour all that much and so won't be getting any selfish enjoyment out of it, you think it important to support those hardworking game companies and comic creators by purchasing their products and discussing them with others?

        …I'm running out of ideas here.

        • eselle28

          The only ones I can think of are to support your children's hobbies or because a loved one works in some geeky industry. And I don't think people in those situations really consider themselves geeks.

          • Commander Stone

            You missed the point totally. Self Identifying as a geek is different from being informed (directly or indirectly) that you are a geek. A geek does not fit in with the norm. Some people just don't fit in. PERIOD. They are a geek and they can't help themselves. They don't win a lot of people over with their personality. They're not rebelling against a norm. They're wired that way. The whole point is that a lot of girls who are otherwise normal are adopting the geek culture because they WANT to be alternative. They want to seem more interesting. And they want to get away from Alpha Male dominant culture. They find geek guys less domineering and more supplicating and there are many females who will exploit this! These dateless geeky guys aren't hungering for these geek girls like you suggest. Many of them are aware that these girlz have no real interest in them. It's a lot like in the early 20th century when a lot of White suburbanites loved Jazz but still couldn't care less for the African American artists who created it.

      • Commander Stone

        It's simple. Sometimes you are considered a geek whether you like it or not. After all, that's how it all started.

  • Shelby

    I realized when I was a Sophomore in High School to not date friends who are geeks as well. When I first saw this, I also got the wrong impression as well and I am glad that I was wrong. I am a geek girl who is trying to figure herself out. Some days I am proud of being a geek watching my tv shows, playing my video games, and reading comic books. Then there are other days when I wished that I was more social and didn't over think everything. Anyway, interesting article.

  • April

    So true! Many guys often ignore girls with geeky interests if they don't fit their "perfect" standard. Girls can do the same to guys too though. I personally have a phobia of rejection (and not just for romantic inquires, but even asking a friend for a favor or a stranger for information). Also, I am terrified of talking to new people, but mostly guys, especially since I'm only half white and don't fit the conventionally attractive standard. Also, it's still more socially acceptable for guys to make the first move.

  • Brandy

    I would fall under the category of "geek girl". I entered a relationship with a fellow geek I've known for years. Running into each other at conventions. Sure he holds me up high, and praises me. Even brags about having a "geek girl". But he doesn't think of me as some supernatural flawless being. At the core of our relationship, we are two people in love. Us being geeks together just makes it more awesome. He's very social. In fact, more so than me. I am actually learning from him how to associate with people better. Then again, he's also 100% comfortable with himself, his sexuality, and his tastes. He went on and on about how he was in musical theater, sang to me(in public *blush*). As I told him more and more about how much of a tomboy I am and how I've done more manly things in my life than him(so much so, people have been confused about my sexual orientation). But he and I are just comfortable with our sexuality, and who we are that we compliment each other and see aspects in each other we wish we had. It is not one sided. This communication and bond has only been enhanced through our geekiness. We both love and strongly believe in science, logic and being human(maybe >:). We see each other as more of partners in crime than some " Marriage, house, babies!"

  • Dan

    So Good.

    Not to say that you should settle for something less than your realistic expectations, but it's helpful to recognize when your packet of fantasy "perfection" contains contradictions that mean no one can ever possibly embody them all.

  • Cat

    You redeemed yourself in the end and had a good message. You did have me stop and go, " WTF asshat!" at first though!

  • Dohn Joe

    Okay…wow that was anticlimactic. When I read the title I thought that you were going to make this article the VERY SERIOUS WARNING that it should have been, especially once I hit "She’s clutzy in an endearing way, she wants you to protect her and yet she still wants to fuck your brains out". I was sure you were about to raise alarms about Borderline Trappings set to Ensnare a Gallant Hero:

    Borderlines are also damaged individuals who will, devoid of soul as they are, take on a helpless geeky form to attract a man they feel is "low" enough to match their perceived low self-worth. *sigh* then the games begin…

  • Pingback: Learn From This: Don Jon — The Good Men Project()

  • Rexx

    I find this article offensive. I'm a 42 year old male, and I have nerdy hobbies, but no woman I've dated have ever told me I was "nerdy". Personally, I'm so sick of writers masking the power differential in the male/female dating arena as "men must change to accommodate women." Fuck that! If something makes me happy, I don't give a flying fuck what women think about it, and neither should you.

    • eselle28

      Did you actually read this article?

    • Cee

      Wow. Quite a chip on your shoulder there! You seem really bitter about something but since your post doesn't refer at all to the article (you clearly are responding to something else), it's difficult to say what your issue is.

  • Pingback: The Secret Social Life of the Geek Web | Herman Smith's Blog()

  • Pingback: Nice Guys(TM) and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl | Cryptic Philosopher()

  • What about true love? Everyone deserves a match u don’t have to say RA RA RA DON’T DATE THESE PEOPLE OR U WILL DIE!!!!! THEY ARE ALL LIKE SHELDON FROM THE BIG BANG THEORY THEY WILL EAT U ALIVE!!!!!!!
    So people like brainiacs. This artical made me sad >:

    • eselle28

      Did you actually read it? It isn't saying geeky women don't deserve to find relationships (I disagree everyone deserves a match, but many geeky women are good partners). It's telling guys not to fetishize an idealized woman.

      • Guest

        It seriously confuses me that every couple weeks someone comes along to say the exact same comment to this article. I have to assume that they don't read it at all. That they read the sensational headline and then decide they are going to comment. Maybe the headline should be changed, I dunno. It seems to do more harm than good. Because if they did read the article they would see clearly defined what the Doctor means by Geek Girl:

        "The Geek Girl is the culmination of geek fantasies. . . She’s the living personification of a checklist of desirable traits, all crammed into one person. And she only exists in geeks’ minds."

        At any rate . . . the mind boggles . . .

        (especially as the angry dudes who post here purport to be intelligent geeks, you'd think they'd have a higher level of reading comprehension)

        • eselle28

          Yeah, it's got serious clickbait appeal, and I think it does attract comments from people (and I'd say about half of them are from self-identified geeky women) who don't seem to have read past the headline. Which is a shame, because I think it's a fantasy that interferes in lots of geeks' dating lives.

          • Guest

            It's a very valuable post on a topic that isn't often written about, and it is a pity that people do misunderstand the message for that reason (especially the geek girls as it really is all about supporting them for who they truly are as humans, not as some fantasy). And I suppose the lion's share of people who read the article aren't commenting and likely understand its meaning, so there is value in the clickbait title to get people to read it. I just cannot help but be surprised every time someone misreads it.

  • Alyssa

    I can't say I appreciate the fact that you use the word "geek" as a synonym for "male geek". It's wording like these that cause myths like the "fake geek girl."

  • Ainsleigh

    Hey! Im female and that guy would be awesome to date if he got past the unrealistic "Geek Girl" ideals. Although, that being said I adore comic books, Tom Baker era Doctor Who, Halo and Anime. I guess I have a unrealistic "Geek Guy" complex I dont think I'd objectify them though and I'd just be excited to have uber nerdy debates about different fandoms! lol

  • Mr.MarvelDCanimegeek

    Man, this article touched me so much, I had a girlfriend who was really an ultimate geek girl, likes anime, comic books, superheroes, fantasies and books, and I thought of her as perfect cuz of her interests and as a person, but then I realized that even if she has my interests, we don’t have much of a connection as two individual people, we broke up months ago and I realized that dating a geek girl is bad (I think) for me because she’s focus more and more on her interest than me, and it annoys me cuz I wanted to balance out interests and the relationship, and she didn’t got it right, and reading this article makes me feels like that I’ll date someone who doesn’t have too much of my interests the next time I fall in love, thanks doc

  • There is a lot of truth to this article. However it misses somethings. One the "Fantasy" aspect of this with women never having any flaws comes from the fact that all people fantasize about what their soul mate would be like and often it does not include fantasizing about the negatives even while acknowledging that they exist. Another point is that this stereotypical attitude is also result from not have many experiences with DIFFERENT people. That means that the nerd male fantasizes about the traits that all potential soul mates would have in common but because they do NOT have actual experience can only relate to those specific traits and not the nuances which can be found in an actual relationship. It is not deliberately sexist but an incomplete view of what a person is and would bring to the table in a real relationship. What I do disagree with however is the stating that people should not want to "Date outside their comfort zone" Isn't it normal to want to date people whom have common interests who would judge you positively rather than negatively for expressing you have "geeky interests" Would not any relationship fall apart if say a Conservative Christian tried to date a militant atheist. Maybe what the article taps into is that geeks are isolated because of their non normalcy and this affects Male nerds much more than female nerds because female nerds even if they do not like the men they might date still nevertheless have the option of dating them. They might be as frustrated as male nerds however in finding a "good match" for them. So do male nerds end up calling these kinds of women "goddesses" yes they do and I am a huge offender with some of the women whom I have had interactions with. The reason being though is their scarcity. No one claims that calling oneself a make nerd "Denies their humanity" They exist in greater numbers than female nerds or geeks. And that is a huge problem because it does lead to the stereotyping and unintentional sexism this article addresses but it is a byproduct of demographic statistics and past history of frustration and negative expectations. With a history of rejection any profound "hope" of success makes desire for that success that much stronger when it "might actually happen" That is why it becomes "such a quest to find her" because its NOT entirely fictional. The nerdy girl does exist. I can list several examples demonstrating she is not merely a fantasy. Juno played by Ellen Page Natalie Portman in Garden State are the two I think of most often. But in real life each girl friend I have had had traits similar to these women. The problem is not going after these traits its failing to then discriminate among them denying their individuality. Just as not all people from one demographic are the same but might have similar traits the same is true of geek males and geek females. And to me its so much more than simply liking Star Trek or X men, its a kind of playful quirkiness that I find attractive. I find a lot of people to be boring and shallow and non intellectual both men and women. I've not had much experience but I will "Continue the quest" as it were. I hope my standards are not "too high" or at least not higher than they should be.

  • Superb, what a website it is! This weblog gives useful

    facts to us, keep it up.

  • Thank you for the good writeup. It actually was

    once a entertainment account it. Glance advanced to far

    delivered agreeable from you! However, how can we be in contact?

  • le_viv

    This is a very insightful and thought-provoking article which I think brings a lot of positivity for both sides. Relationships are always in the end, the work and effort of both parties involved and given the right one, there is both hardship but reward associated with it. I think once you are given an opportunity to go out of your own comfort zone with someone, you really get down to those true aspects which truly make you compatible with each other. I was figuratively put on the pedestal in my first relationship in my late teens and it was anything but flattering. In fact, there was a lot of pressure associated with it. I was a poser "geek girl" (sorry guys) with a mild interest in comics, video games and anime, but it was not enough to earn me true "geek status" (whatever that means, I don't want to overgeneralize anything here). My first boyfriend was completely infatuated with anime and casual geek culture, so I always felt pressured to have to learn and keep up with things so we would have something to talk about. He put me on a pedestal and slowly wanted to shape me into what he idealized in his mind: the moe, cutesy, short-skirted anime girl and even went so far into wanting me to learn Japanese…I was hit with a very hard bout of depression in the summer and when he realized that I stopped being the "happy, simple and care-free" anime girl that he thought I was, he broke up with me. In hindsight, I don't regret being in that relationship with him as I shared many happy moments with him. Upon hindsight, we weren't very compatible as our value systems didn't really align and our surface interests weren't enough to keep us together.
    So in all, "geek" or not, you should just date someone for who they are. There are some very fabulous people out there and we shouldn't be defined by titles or stereotypes. Thanks for posting up this article on a quite contentious subject.

  • Vree65

    This is "Why you shouldn't date an idealized fantasy" except you could get more hits if you changed the name to "geek girl". What bullshit. This article says nothing about that in particular. You could've changed it "why not date your fave male actor" and the content would have been 100% the same.

    • wwax

      His name is Dr NerdLove, the geekiness is kind of the point, it is relationship advice for a certain demographic.

  • hey , im not a geek or a gamer `i was a mid-class student and i never fall for ''normal'' girls
    they are so boring when its about music or clothing,
    i just wanne have a big eyed girl in glasses and ''different'' clothing to love and to adore
    btw i dont have a relation ( i dont wanne say im a player) but i have a spot left in my heart lol

  • good article

  • whycantijustbeme

    I'm not a "geek girl", just a regular "geek". In college, I was surrounded by people who accepted me and actually liked me for me. But, being more conventionally attractive, I also attracted those that thought I was being just a "geek girl" and I would be a "10" if I would just not be, well…me.

    Somehow, someway, I married someone who basically feels that way. We both ignored it, tried to "work" through it. I ignored it, thinking that hey, maybe one day he will actually accept me. And I guess he ignored it thinking, "Hey, maybe one day she'll stop being a geek."

    Then, one morning, things just came to a head. "You should stop being so proud about been a damn geek and worry about more important things!"

    It's as if being a geek is something I DO, rather than someone I AM. He doesn't want me, he wants this ideal that I'll never be. Ever. No matter how I try to fit his ideal, I'll fail because it is not ME.

    Go for someone that understands and accepts you for who you are. And don't try to be someone you are not. I'm pretty sure my case is extreme, but no one else need not even get to this point.

  • Haven't dated nerd girls, but I must say, their Youtube videos are outstanding (Physics girl, Looking Glass Universe to name a few). As a male I'd rather have geek / nerd girls explain all the IT / physics / construction stuff on youtube, than have a male speaker explaining MySQL with half-broken English.

    Don't call me a sexist, but opposite gender does create more attraction and interest, both in the persona of the speaker and the stuff they talk about. I could watch eight 6-10 minute quantum physics episodes straight on youtube. Guess what, they were made by a geek girl. I doubt I could watch that long if it even were Michio Kaku.

  • Cailin Koy

    Great article, minus "ostraciziation". Not a word.

  • Kwuyf11

    Gotta hand it to you, Doc. I have dated Girls like this. They place themselves on a pedestal and expect you to do the same. My current girlfriend. however, total opposite. She's a girly girl, a very mainstream fashionista who's more interested in the Kardashians than Supernatural. Yeah, on paper we look like a disaster, but she's the sweetest, most caring woman I've ever met who remains humble, she just has different interests (I play hearthstone for chrissakes) on the surface we're different as can be, but we have so much love, and so much respect for pur interests and similarities.
    I'll happily take her over this "geek girl" type as she's humble, respectful to me, and hey, she looks classier and sophisticated than the obnoxious colored heads of the geek girls.

    • wwax

      You missed the point of the article completely.