There’s been a lot of interest in geek dating lately. TLC recently aired Geek Love, a two-episode special about a speed-dating event at the New York Comic-Con, geek-oriented online dating sites are popping up like crazy and movies love the idea of the geek in love with the popular girl. Geeks and nerds are in a pop-culture ascendency at the moment, and with Valentine’s Day coming up and con season arriving soon afterwards, it’s no small wonder why our geeky brethren are feeling the urge to find relationship and SOON.
The problem, of course, is that many nerds feel that being geeky or nerdy is a hindrance. A deal-breaker even. It’s not terribly surprising; most geeks, especially geek guys, are taught all their lives that they’re going to be a sex-free zone. The popular culture still tends to portray geeks as socially retarded man-children who can’t relate to a woman that doesn’t exist on on the computer screen or in the pages of a comic or magazine, and a lot of us internalize those lessons. It becomes a vicious cycle: the more they believe that they can’t find a relationship because they’re a geek, the more they tend to let their social skills atrophy, which then makes it harder to find the love they want, which is further blamed on their being geeky.
Other geeks will actually romanticize their social misfortunes; being unable to find someone who could look below the nerdy surface and appreciate all the love they have to give makes them a poetic figure, suffering because he or she nobly refuses to lower their standards and accept anything less than exactly what they want. They may want to find love or sex, but the depredations of the cold, cruel world keep it from them. Being alone makes them special and they revel in their pain.
The end result is the same; whether it’s a point of pride or a matter of shame, the geek may inherit the Earth, but they won’t be getting laid in the process.
So, does being a nerd mean that you’re doomed to be forever alone? Can you be a geek and still get some action?
Damn right you can.
It’s time to become the kind of geek that women love.
Geek Seeks Same
The most obvious answer for geeks who are looking for love is to date other geeks. After all, who better to understand your hobbies than a fellow geek? And after all, aren’t shared interests the foundation for a great relationship? You can bond over your love of video games or Star Wars or Dr. Who! Problem solved, right?
Even if you’re interested in dating an actual geek and not an idealized fantasy figure, the fact that you’re both geeks doesn’t mean that all of your problems are solved. To start with: not everybody’s a geek about the same things to the same level. You may both be Star Wars fans, but there are worlds of difference between “bought the Blu-Rays”, “own Hong Kong bootleg DVDs of the original trilogy’s theatrical releases” and “speaking fluent Mando’a, decorating your house in wall-to-wall standees, action figures, Lego sets and lightsabers”. One man’s fandom is an obsessive collection to another woman. One woman’s quirky collection is another man’s deal-breaker.
But even more importantly, being interested in dating a fellow geek doesn’t excuse you from a having to maintain certain behavioral standards. Sad but true: many geeky guys are interested in geeky girls because, frankly, to them it’s a pass from having to develop social skills. After all, you’re both geeks; she should understand and forgive you for being socially awkward without your having to make any effort to improve on your part!
It’s a common fallacy; we get so hung up on the “geek” label that we forget that we’re still people too. Just being a geek isn’t going to guarantee an instant attraction, nor will it cover up flaws in your hygiene or behavior. A geek who smells isn’t gonna get a pass out of nerdy solidarity, nor is a creepy-acting nerd going to be forgiven just because he’s wearing a Tardis t-shirt.
Whether you’re interested in dating the cute geek from the comic store, the hot businessman or the former cheerleader, you need to be able to live up to basic standards.
Know The Stereotypes To Defy The Stereotypes
When we say “geek” or “nerd”, certain images come to mind immediately. Overweight and slovenly. Alternately, painfully underweight and lacking any muscle-tone whatsoever. Bad skin. Poor personal hygiene and grooming. A case of arrested development living in their parent’s basement, unable to live out in the “real world”. Closets full of nothing but ill-fitting cheap black t-shirts, all festooned with video game characters, superhero logos or band names. Alternately painfully shy or comically belligerent about their geeky interests. Prone to intellectual snobbery and full of condescension to others, using their intellect like a bludgeon to try to make others feel stupid. A chronic inability to follow social cues and cultural norms of acceptable behavior. An inability to hold conversations out side of their limited spheres of interest. Shut-ins who haven’t seen actual sunlight in years. Keyboards and game controllers covered in Cheeto dust. Collections of geeky ephemera that make episodes of Hoarders look like testaments to organization and cleanliness.
You may not fit that description. You may not know anyone who does in your circle of friends. It doesn’t matter. When you call yourself a geek, these are the stereotypes you’re going to be facing. It’s not fair, but it’s how the world is as it currently stands. These are the ideas you’re going to be facing on the dating market. These are the obstacles you’re going to have to overcome.
Fortunately, you have the foremost expert in geek dating advice to help you along.
Prepare Your Pad
Your home is a reflection of who you are. It’s your home base, the place where you can be who you are. And we’re going to change the shit out of it
I’ve talked before about how to keep your bachelor pad from being where sex goes to die, but I’m going to re-emphasize the last section here: whether you’re bringing home geeks or jocks, you want to keep your geeky side under control. The last thing you do is want to bring someone home and have her realize that you’ve decorated your apartment in wall-to-wall nerd.
Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you have to de-geek the entire place. Far from it, in fact; you should display your interests; they’re a critical part of who you are and you should never be ashamed of it. But there’s a fine line between showing off your geeky side and something that looks like the Entertainment Earth catalogue crawled into your living room and promptly exploded. You don’t want to come across as a hyper-developed man-child who never quite managed to grow up, so it’s time to trim things back
Your first stage is to take down the irredeemably nerdy stuff; if it’s something that you wouldn’t reasonably expect to see in a grown-up’s apartment, it’s time to put ’em away. You don’t have to toss ’em, but it is time to put them away.This means wall-scrolls, unframed posters, game tie-in “feelies” like cloth maps, any statues or toys that involve scantily clad women and any and all pillow cases and bedsheets. Similarly, it’s time to consider putting away the LEGO dioramas and action figure collections, especially if nobody else is allowed to touch ’em. Box up the unacceptable gear and put it into storage. If you want to store them in a spare closet, make sure to Hit the Container Store, get some boxes and organizational kits; having everything neatly filed away instead of a jumbled chaotic mess will win you points and make it easier for you to pull things out as needed.
So now that you’ve pared things down, what do you want to have out in general display? Movie posters are excellent choices… as long as they’re professionally framed. A quick trip to Michaels or Hobby Lobby instantly classes up even the cheesiest B-Movie poster. Get geek and style bonus points by collecting some of the artist edition posters from artists like Olly Moss, Nakatomi Plaza and Mondo Press. Original art from your favorite comics also look great when framed, matted and hung.
Some more complex LEGO models, especially ships also make for great display pieces, as do certain movie prop replicas. Read style magazines and look up interior design blogs for ideas of how to display your gear. You don’t just want to your place to look like a combination toybox and sleeping space; a little style and creativity turns a nerd’s den into a stylish pad!
One firm rule: Keep the number of life-size standees, statues and busts to a minimum and none in your bedroom. You may love it, but even the most dedicated geek you bring home is going to have a hard time getting down for naked sexytimes with Jar-Jar’s smiling face looking down on you from next to the bed.