Be Obvious With Your Signals
How many times have you been at a bar, party or book store, locked eyes with a hot geeky guy and given him your best come-hither stare, only to watch him turn back to the graphic novels? How many times have you been giving your date the “kiss me now you fool!” signals, only to get a handshake at the end of the night? It can be mind-blowingly aggravating when you’re giving every possible sign short of semaphore or singing animals.
The fact of the matter is, guys are notoriously bad at picking up signs that women are interested in them. The less socially experienced they are, the less likely they are to know what to look for in the first place. Hell, there was one particularly harrowing time in college when I was doing spot illustrations for the campus paper. One girl I’d known in passing stopped in to hang out and chat. Before too long, the subject had taken the very odd turn from what I was doing to movies to hentai1 Finally, she mentioned that she had a copy of La Blue Girl up in her room and had I ever seen it before?
Guess who’s got two thumbs and stayed in the office to meet his deadline instead of having crazy monkey-sex with the hot-if-slightly-crazy girl because he didn’t realize she was saying “Would you like to come back to my room for a hot cup of FUCK ME GODDAMN IT”?
The reason for this is two-fold. To start with, most geeks are going to have a hard time believing that you’re actually interested in them at all. Despite treating every conversation with that One Girl as though they were analyzing the Zapruder film, guys are deathly afraid of making the social faux pas of reading too much into things. Sure, you’re always hanging out with him and hugging him and touching his knee, but that doesn’t really mean anything, right? If he has especially low self-esteem, he’ll have a hard time believing that anybody could like him.
The other reason, frankly is that women are socialized to be friendly and to avoid causing offense. As a result, women frequently display a lot of positive body language and very few “go away” signs. As a result: men pick up a lot of false-positives. This can be confusing, leading to frustrated women, guys continuing to miss telegraphed intent and the occasional psychotic email from men who could stand to be beaten about the head and shoulders with a clue-by-four.
As obvious as you might think you’re being in letting a guy know you’re interested… take it up a notch or two. Or five.
Make The First Move
Speaking of signals, there’re few signals more obvious than approaching them, now are there?
This is going to be frustrating to a lot of you, but stick with me here. Many of you are already used to having to take the initiative in every other aspect of your lives. Some of you may be used to having to be the one doing all of the chasing and you’d appreciate being approached for once.
Unfortunately… you’re dealing with geek guys. They tend towards the introverted and shy and more than a little afraid of you. They may think you’re the most amazing thing since Macross: Do You Remember Love, but the very thought of trying to come over and tell you makes their hearts pound the drum line to YYZ and the sudden adrenaline dump leaves them literally shaking. By the time they’ve worked up the courage to come and speak to you… well, you may well have left the party.
Making the first move however? They will be so grateful that it will be absurd. The mere act of saving them from the anxiety attack they were building up to will make them love you all the more.
In all seriousness, your approaching them will be a shock at first, but when they recover they’ll be much more relaxed. They’ll engage you at a more honest level than if they’re constantly devoting half of their attention to trying to gauge whether you’re killing time until the social contract says that you can walk away.
Now that you’ve got his attention, it’s time to build the connection between the two of you. The easiest way to build a rapport is to find commonalities. Finding out that the two of you share similar – or at least complimentary – interests will make him feel a bond with you. Being able to share favorite moments from Supernatural or Courtney Crumrin or banter Rocky Horror Picture Show lines back and forth will make him feel like he’s known you forever.
If you’re not a geek already? Show a sincere interest in his geekdom. And I do mean sincere. Because of years of mockery and cruel teasing, geeks have highly tuned bullshit detectors. They can tell the difference between “humoring them” and an actual curiosity.
And don’t forget to flirt… carefully. I can’t say this enough: geeks are frequently socially inexperienced and are used to being made fun of. A teasing joke about how he’s hitting on you can send a geek into a spiral of denials and pulling away because he’s afraid he will have offended you.
While you’re at it, make him laugh. Geeks appreciate a woman with wit and a sense of humor. An attractive geeky woman is a prize to begin with, but an attractive geeky woman who can make him break out in laughter with a well timed quip or XKCD reference? That is a treasure more valuable than gold to a nerdboy.
Before too long, the odds are good that your geeky guy will be dying to ask you out on a date but too shy or too unsure to actually pull the trigger. Whether you want to give him the go-ahead or you ask him out yourself, remember: geek guys tend to assume that you’re not actually interested in dating them and will err on the side of caution in the face of any ambiguousness. Being coy or subtle here will only end up with missed signals, your frustration and his being convinced that he’s been thrown into the Friend Zone again.
Make it unmistakably clear. Give him your number – punch it into his phone if you have to – and tell him that he should call you tomorrow because you would like to see him again. Be sure to give him a specific window of time in which he should call you; nobody ever went broke overestimating a nerd’s ability to overthink when he should call you.
He’ll feel like the luckiest man in the world.
You’ll have just scored a date with the geek guy of your dreams.
- For the uninitiated: Japanese animated porn. Don’t ask. Also: don’t Google it. It’s not safe for work and most of it isn’t safe for your sanity. [↩]