One of the most frequently asked questions I get on this blog is from women: “Do you have any advice for helping the girl trying to get the nerd?”
The cliche rejoinder of “Yes: show up” is a tempting (and frankly, obvious) response, but it does a real disservice to both men and women. As much as guys like to toss around the idea that women can get a date – or laid – without effort, if it were true, every single woman’s magazine out there wouldn’t be plastered with advice on how to catch, keep and please a man.
When you’re a woman who’s into geek guys (or just a little geek-curious) the difficulties grow exponentially. Take the usual difficulties in meeting a man and throw in some painfully shy guys who’re used to rejection and mockery from the opposite sex and trying to win their hearts has gone from challenging to Nintendo hard, even when you already share a mutual love of Joss Whedon and retro video games.
Fortunately, you have Dr. NerdLove to guide you. Take it from a dyed-in-the-wool geek who’s seen and done just about every variation of the nerdy meet-cute you can come up with. I’ve been the guy who desperately wanted the girls to approach him and the one who’s done the approaching. So start taking notes and hold your questions until the end; if some of the advice seems a bit contradictory to what I’ve said elsewhere, just wait. There’re reasons for it.
Why Date Geeks?
The first question many women would ask is “Why should I be interested in dating a geek?” And to be fair: this is a good question. I won’t give you any of the standard fluff answers about how geeks are more loyal and less likely to cheat because they’ll be too grateful (the stereotype of the dateless virgin is outdated… and besides, guys are guys regardless of whether they’re into fantasy football or Final Fantasy) or that they’ll treat you better than the usual Alpha Male types you’re used to (being a geek doesn’t mean you can’t also be a jerk).
So what is there to recommend to them?
Geeks have complex inner lives and imagination
Geeks spend a lot of time lost in their own heads, which allows for the development of a rich imagination and a shocking level of creativity. They’ll surprise you with their insight; they have a way of looking at things from an unexpected angle. A geek boyfriend will surprise you with his imaginative gifts and out-of-the-ordinary dates and experiences. It can take some getting used to if you’re used to the typical “flowers and chocolates” type, but it can be so much more rewarding.
Geeks cultivate their intellectual curiosity
Geeks are very cerebral creatures. They love learning and knowledge for it’s own sake; if they have an interest in a subject, they’ll dive into it with great eagerness. They’ll pick up skill sets just because it interests them. Knowing how to build a replica of Cyclops’ visor, modding a computer into Portal turret or building Hollywood-quality costumes from Mass Effect may never come in handy… but it’s damn cool on it’s own, right? Geeks take interest in a wide variety of subjects and pride themselves in being engaged in the world around them.
Geeks like smart women
Just as geeks love learning and collecting facts, they appreciate a woman who has a brain and isn’t afraid to use it. Nothing makes a geek happier than being able to have an in-depth and detailed conversation with the woman they’re attracted to. If you’ve become frustrated dealing with men who’re intimidated by the fact that you are as smart as they are – or smarter – you need to find yourself a geek boy.
Geeks have passion
Still waters run deep. Geeks feel things strongly and respond even stronger to the things they’re interested in. You will never find someone as excited about his hobbies or interests as a geek and his eagerness to share them. It’s hard to be bored with a geek.
Geeks have great senses of humor
Take a good look at the current crop of a-list and up-and-coming comedians: Patton Oswalt. Aziz Ansari. Doug Benson. Aisha Tyler. Chris Hardwick. Kevin Smith. All unabashed geeks. That intellectual curiosity and imagination I mentioned earlier? These are critical components of humor.
Geeks are kinky
Are you into BDSM? Polyamory? Toys? Geeks tend to be more sexually adventurous than most and are up for trying new things. The kink community has an almost shockingly heavy geek population. If you’re looking to get tied up and spanked, you’ll find geeks are ready, willing and incredibly able.
You’re a geek yourself
Hey, who doesn’t love shared interests? Geek guys will appreciate your love of XKCD and Avatar: The Last Airbender. They’ll understand why you need some time to grieve at the end of Mass Effect 3. Even if they’re not into your flavor of geek, they’ll at least understand it.
(Hey, geek guys: want to know what else women like about you? Check out the thread over on the Dr. NerdLove Facebook page. Ya’ll are a hot commodity to the right women.)
So how do you win over a geek guy? I’m glad you asked…
To start with…
Last Monday, I mentioned (to some small controversy) that attractive women can be intimidating to guys. This is especially true to shy, socially inexperienced guys – as geek boys tend to be. You need to remember that many geeks are so used to rejection that they expect it; the dialogue in a geek guy’s head is a neverending chorus of rationalizations and worst-case scenarios. They have played through every possible outcome in their mind and every single one of them ends with laughing and pointing, occasionally with a drink thrown in their face. It’s like having the worst super-power ever.
When you couple that with the occasionally crippling approach anxiety, nerdboys are unlikely to make the first approach.
If you want them to come to you, you are going to have to make it easier on them. You have to let them know that you’ll welcome their attention.
Geek guys are frequently shy and afraid of rejection. If you’re the sort of person with a large personality, this can make them even more afraid; they’ll become convinced that being rejected by you will turn into a full production that will guarantee that everybody witnesses their humiliation. Think of them as timid little deer that you’re trying to convince to come closer so you can pet their soft fur. They’re always on alert for danger signs, so you need to reassure them that everything is ok. Strong eye contact followed by a welcoming smile and open body language will help break through that continuous maelstrom of rationalizations and convince them that yes, they should come over and introduce themselves.
Hell, you may want to give them the “come here” nod, because they’re likely to not quite understand the “eye-contact, look away, look back and smile” sign.
Speaking of which…