In my last article I was encouraging everyone to be open to dating geeks. As a geek, I am happy to see the stereotype being more and more accepted: by non-geeks but also by geeks who are really starting to embrace who they are. Still, if you decide to follow my previous advice, I think it only fair to point out some of the unique situations you may deal with when dating a geek.
1. We Can Be Obsessive
This possessiveness is sometimes a plus (for example, success with work often benefits from this). Whatever we commit ourselves to, whether it is software development or video games or philosophy or even photography, we will be fully committed. This obsessiveness will improve our skill in our chosen area but it can also cause our interests to be in direct competition with our relationships. When dating a geek, you may find yourself having to compete with whatever interest is currently being pursued.
2. Social Skills Can Be Lacking
Some geeks (like myself) can be rather shy or awkward in social situations. This can create issues when trying to begin the relationship. However, it normally isn’t a problem once in the relationship: even a shy person will warm up nicely when in a relationship. Where this can be a factor is our desire to avoid social situations or at the very least prefer different activities than our more outgoing counterparts. We may also suffer more from foot-in-the-mouth syndrome where we say things that we shouldn’t, often without realizing it.
3. Emotional Issues Can Be Treated Like Math Problems
As a geek, you begin to look at every issue as something to be solved. We rarely look at a problem as something worth discussing unless finding a solution is a part of that discussion. This does not always work well in relationships as often discussion for the sake of discussion is important. Even if problems are not being solved, the support provided through conversation is often still very important. Aside from being overly “solver” oriented, we can also lean towards giving lectures when we believe we are in a superior position in a relationship (not I say believe). This can be frustrating to the person we lecture to and it is problematic as often we do not even realize we are doing it (it took a few years of marriage before my wife could convince me how real this habit was).
4. If Social Status Is Your Biggest Concern…
Dating a geek is not likely to win you any points with people you are hoping to impress, especially when you are younger. As people age, I believe the stability, support and faithfulness that geeks offer becomes more desirable. Often though, even in our mid- to late-twenties, these qualities are given less of a priority than what other people think of the person we date. If you are the type person who’s been dating gym instructors and expect that people’s responses will be the same for your new geeky man or lady, you are in for a surprise.
5. We Can Get Disagreeable/Mean When Unable to Solve Problems
If you’ve ever been around a geek who is having trouble solving a problem you know it isn’t pretty. First our obsession kick into over-drive and we want nothing to do with anything that isn’t helping us solve our current issue. We can also get pretty cranky. It is my opinion that many geeks are passive and patient but find us in this situation and we have the tendency to be jerks.
I pulled most of this information from living with myself. Obviously every person you date brings different issues to the relationship but I believe that many of problems I’ve described are common among the geeky crowd. I still believe that dating a geek is a great idea (not that I’m biased or anything!)