• Wed, Mar 7 2012

No, Seriously, Don’t Date A Geek

Or rather, don’t date someone on the strength of their being a geek.

To be fair, also don’t date someone on the strength of their being any one thing. Do not date someone just because they are a musician, or an investment banker, or one of those people who have to jack off endangered species to save the species.

Don’t do this, because people are human beings, who will not entirely line up with your personal vision of that group. However, this ends up being particularly problematic with geeks, because the things many women expect from geeks have nothing to do with traits that group is actually defined by (namely, a certain degree of social ineptitude).

If you want to date a musician because you love music, okay, fine, he will probably play music. If you want to date an investment banker because you absolutely love black cod with miso and Patek Philippe watches (as who does not?) then this is a funny website you might also like. However, the correct reason to date one is “you like that money is a thing that exists.”  That guy with the endangered species, well… that was Ashley’s idea, and frankly she dates some weird people. I don’t know what goes on in her head, sometimes. I guess she likes animals.

But fine. Those are traits that actually define those groups. If you want to date a geek because you like one very specific counter culture thing that the geek you are dating also likes, that’s great. That seems a bit like dating someone because you share a common inerest, but if you want to say that you love dating geeks as a whole because of that one interest you share, well, you are free to draw false conclusions.

However, the reasons women pick for dating geeks – as a whole – are generally absolutely insane. Namely:

As commenters from Brandy’s post yesterday noted: “geeks are sweet guys who feel so appreciative of your company they treat you with the utmost respect.”

“I’d rather date a nerd than a shallow, ignorant and stupid jock who doesn’t even know how to use Twitter and would rather drink and watch football than spend time with me.”

Or from as your friend from high school noted: “you should date a geeky guy, because it’s great to date guys who care more about you than you do about them.” You’ll find a lot of women bring up this as a reason to date geeks, and it’s not great logic.

What it all comes down to is generally “they’ll really appreciate you and make you feel like a princess.”

Ugh. No.

No. That is what geeks do in the movies.

The geeks you see in the movies? The ones who are devoted puppy dogs forever because a pretty lady let them mouth rape her while wearing a Darth Vader mask (oh God, the 80′s were so uncomfortable)? They are not actually geeks in real life. They are actors. Generally good looking actors wearing glasses. They have a script. That is not real life.

Do you know who will go out of their way to make you feel special in real life? Men who are good with people. Not those men who sit there whimpering that no woman will ever date them because they’re so nice (a bizarrely egotistical cry) but men who have a good group of friends, comprised of men and women, and who are interested in social interactions. If that is what you are looking for in a relationship, then cool guys are the guys who will make you feel like a princess, because they have worked to develop their social skills. That’s why they’re cool. Because they’re good at making other people feel good.

The key to finding people who will treat you well – this should be obvious – is not to look for introverts who define themselves as lacking in social skills. They will not have a magical transformation and be so grateful you came into their lives you beautiful prom queen that they will suddenly transform into this super socially skilled guy who throws you awesome parties and gets along with all your friends. That only happens in the movies.

Honestly, if you date a geek for the wrong reasons – the wrong reason being that you think this person will be so grateful to have you that they will treat you well, or better than your last jerky boyfriend did – you are setting yourself up for massive dissapointment. The geek in question probably thought you liked them as a person. They didn’t know that they were supposed to be constantly appreciating how lucky they are to have you. They didn’t think that, because that is crazy. Because thinking the other person is a geek and should be grateful to have you is a crazy reason to date someone. Sorry I fell into all italics all the time mode there, but honestly. Don’t date people because you think they’ll be simperingly appreciative of your company. Don’t do it because it would feel terrible if someone dated you because they thought you’d worship them. Also don’t do it because geeks are absolutely bound to fail at this, because this a group of people defined by being somewhat introverted and socially inept. Then you will feel resentful and wildly undesirable, because this guy who was supposed to be super appreciative isn’t appreciative enough, and, oh God, if a geek doesn’t worship you then what cool guy will?

Please, just don’t date geeks for terrible reasons. Please. Promise? Okay, great.

Though if the guy you’re dating happens to be geeky an your geeky interests align? Well, that’s terrific, then.

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  • endn

    hold on, i stopped reading after “mouth rape”. what the shit? i completely hate that casual use of “rape”, it’s not cute, funny or a good look, and it came out of nowhere and it’s really making me uncomfortable and anxious and a little panicky , maybe i’m the only one who feels this way? but seriously, yikes

    • G

      Actually, in Revenge of the Nerds he really did mouth rape her. That’s not an exaggeration. He pretended he was her boyfriend in the dark and made out with her without her knowledge. I guess there’s another kind of mouth rape….but I think that can be just described as regular rape. So yeah.

    • opnions!

      It’s implied that he preformed oral sex while she thought he was her boyfriend. That aspect is kinda obscured on cable though.

    • BeccaTheCyborg

      That term what used because that’s what happened in Revenge of the Nerds. That’s how the nerd got the hot girl. He raped her. SO ROMANTIC!

      I pretty much exclusively date geeky people. Likely because I am also a geek. but nerd dudes? Not immune to the culture of misogyny and rape that affects every other human being. They can be just as creepy as the stereotypical fratboy. Except you’ve also got a good chance that they still think they’re a persecuted minority because they got laughed at in high school and that girl wouldn’t go out with them that time.

  • Dess

    Yay! More generalizations! On both sides! Also apparently introverts should not have love! Date cool guys! Introverts are lame!

    • Spastastic

      Seriously. What narrow definitions of what makes a “geek” and what makes a “cool guy.” Some of the most outgoing and charismatic people I know are geeks. Some of the coolest people I know are introverted.

    • Nikita

      You’re missing the point of this article. Jennifer Wright’s trying to say that you should date someone because he/she is a genuinely cool person to you, not because you think they might be a “geek.” A “geek” can be a cool person, she’s not ruling that out, she’s just trying to point out that most people generalize “geeks” as sweet and caring when it really depends on the individual, regardless of whether or not they are a “geek.” However, I do agree with you that the other article written by Brandy Alexander was a poorly thought out overgeneralization.

    • Spastastic

      I got it and agree with her basic point, but I still think there are a few unfortunate generalizations in here, although obviously not half as bad as that other article.

    • asld;kfjad

      It’s funny. The article promotes looking at people as individuals, then uses a bunch of generalizations as examples to prove it. Probably pretty difficult to avoid…

      But, indeed: There are loads of quiet, confident guys out there who are absolutely caring and considerate. There are loads of geeks out there who are egotistical, chauvinist pigs. There are loads of geeks out there who aren’t. There are loads of guys with strong social skills who just use them to manipulate women and subsequently treat them like garbage. There are loads of guys with strong social skills out there who are absolutely caring and considerate.

  • MeggyWeggy

    Evidently, the last flurry of outraged comments wasn’t enough for these editors.

    I have only ever dated people who could be considered ‘geeks’ in one way or another – one paleontology/biology geek, and one psychology/sociology geek. Both of them crossed over into RPG/LARP/Gamer-culture geekery. Both instances had far more to do with my social circle than with how I perceived their particular genre of existence. Because, you know, that would be stupid.

    Who you date tends to be influenced by who you hang out with. Women who hang around and appreciate men who play football or other sports will probably date jocks. Women who socialize with and get to know men who chase intellectual or creative efforts will probably wind up with what I understand to be a geek.

    Although, here’s a thought: Let’s call jocks “sports geeks” from here on out. I actually prefer the term, come to think of it.

    The problem people seem to have had with this article has less to do with a hipster-textbook-definition of geek and their mindless adoration of those who adhere to it, and more to do with the fact that a description covering a tremendous subset of people was pretty much smeared in a careless article.

    Yes, I’ve dated, been attracted to, and come to love geeks. Should my current geeky relationship end, I imagine I will probably end up with another one, but due to my tendency to have more in common with people who become intensely, singularly interested in scientific, philosophical, and artistic endeavors, and are excited to share what they’ve recently learned with me. It will have nothing to do with a supposed preference for Ray-Bans or gentle, effeminate men who “will treat me like a princess”. Anyway, my experience with geeks only proves that you’re just as likely to get slapped in the face with a slice of pizza as you are to be treated like any kind of royalty.

  • Totoro

    I couldn’t agree with you more Jennifer and this is coming from someone who dated a geek for a long time. They’re extremely smart and because of this can be quite dangerous by first observing their prey and then tricking a girl into thinking they truly care about them. They do this usually by treating them like a princess for a short amount of time until you fall in love with them. Once they got you locked in they revert back into their true selves which is only interested in minimal human contact and all about electronic love. I might as well have an affair with my computer. lol ;)

  • Avodah

    I think the problem is that many of the TheGloss’s articles are just poorly written. I think Ms. Wright did a similar thing with Republicans, or maybe it was men who work in finance. Anyway, the generalizations and stupidity on here astounds me.

  • neil whitesell

    i can think of another subset of people not to date.
    Jennifer Wright.

    • superjack

      AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT ACTUALLY READ THIS?

      the whole point is that you shouldn’t date people whose identities amount to stupid designations like “geek,” or “jock,” or what have you. This is COMPLETELY REASONABLE.

      Most of these commenters sound like they’re in high school.

    • neighburrito

      superjack– we did read it…did you? That “reasonable point” was in the opening paragraphs, but the point of the rest of the article is that geeks have no social skills and therefore are horrible in relationships. Which means the author is giving ‘geeks’ this identity after telling us we shouldn’t do that to people.

      It’s understable, however, if you couldn’t read past the opening paragraphs to get to the contradictions of the rest of the article. I barely wanted to myself.

  • neighburrito

    1. No woman has ever dated a geek simply because he is categorized or perceived to be a geek. As if geeks are a group of men women aspire to date.

    2. Jennifer is extrapolating from previous article’s comments that women are dating geeks because of what we expect geeks to be from the movies. The comments from the previous article (written by Brandy), were merely trying to use anecdotal evidence to debunk her claims that geeks are jerks who pay more attention to their iphones than they do their dates. Using these comments to write a new article is taking these comments out of context. None of the comments said they started going out with a geek because they perceived all geeks are sweet and attentive. The author is putting words in the readers’ mouths (and in turn implying their readers are not intelligent enough to know the reasons why they date people).

    3. Previous article was making as assumption that all geeks are jerks, and in this article Jennifer is making the assumption that all geeks are socially inept people. Geeks, jerks and socially inept people are not one and the same groups of people. They are not mutually exclusive, but it doesn’t mean that all geeks are jerks, nor does it mean all geeks are socially inept. If your article is trying to say ‘don’t date socially inept guys’, then say that. Don’t slap the term geeks on it to make your title sound catchier.

    4. The definition of geek is not clearly defined. The author tells us it’s okay to date a guy with geeky interests, but it is not ok to date a geek. When in fact the definition of a geek is ‘someone with a passion for something specific (sometimes, overly specific)’. Having geeky interests makes you, in essence, a geek. So what her point is telling us then is ‘it’s ok to date a geek, but also it’s not ok to date a geek’. Which, much like this article, is saying absolutely nothing at all.

    5. The author starts out with an opening that makes good sense: “…people tend to be human beings, who will not entirely line up with your personal vision of that group.” But continues to contradict her own point right after making it. She is saying people are people, they don’t fit into one perception of them; but she continues on to do exactly that. She is saying all geeks are simply socially inept guys who have no social skills and therefore are awful boyfriends. She should take a bit of her own advice, or atleast organize her points properly when writing an article, because it is all over the place. Don not tell the reader to over generalize a group, and then go on to generalize them yourself.

  • JaneM

    Commenters have decided that “geek means whatever I want it to mean! Me! You’re talking about me!” When according to the dictionary a geek is:

    “An unfashionable or socially inept person.”

    So yeah this post is accurate, and this comment thread is hilarious. You people must be 12.

    • LY

      A sign that someone is 12: when they call other people 12.

  • Jenn

    First of all, I am a female nerd/geek/whatever, and I tend to date a lot of nerdy guys because our interests align. And this article is so true. There are too many guys out there, especially the “sensitive, intelligent” ones, who think they’re such “nice guys” when in reality they’re overly-passive, self-righteous, whiny, little creeps. This article kind of also sums it up: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/05/alt-text-nice-guys-guide/

  • Baghead Kelly

    I think you should all be more spontaneous, the perspective here sounds all too clinical. Get out and about, do the things that you enjoy. Sparks just happen, when you least expect it. If you start filtering your options and predicting outcomes then methinks that your chances of a meaningful relationship will be just that much harder to achieve.

  • rush

    I must be the only one distracted by the fact that it seems like no-one edited this article. So many grammar mistakes, yikes.

  • Maurice

    great article about investment banker. spot on!

  • The ibanker

    Thank you!

  • 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.