Listen to the audio version of Flirting for Geeks: click here for MP3.
It just so happens that quite a few of us tend to be attracted to members of the herd some might consider shy, introverted, geeky, or nerdy—even socially dysfunctional mad-scientist types. Hot! While some may think that a person who obsesses over knowing every detail about overly specific subjects might be OCD – the fact is, this quality happens to make them some of the most knowledgeable, dedicated and skilled lovers on the planet. Possibly the universe.
Here are my seven reasons to date a geek:
As it happens, geeks are all that and a bag of chips when it comes to dating. Don’t believe they hype about shut-ins and social skills; geeks will obsess about their fitness and organic foods as much as their latest coding project. Sure, some geeks are just as douchey as their over-macho or bitchy-buffy counterparts, but the hot ones can be… the yummiest breed around. Geeks of all genders defy stereotypes, and in case you didn’t get the memo: smart = hot. If you’re lucky enough to snag a geeky date, here’s what comes with all those tasty brains:
1. Geeks love media and many love serialized storytelling. You’ll finally have someone to take you to the movies, a lot, and a date that will be surprisingly game to see all kinds of films, in a theater — or snuggled under blankets with popcorn.
2. Nerds have spent a lot of time observing everyone, including jerks they might be compared to. This means they don’t need to overcompensate by pretending you don’t matter, and they know that there’s nothing to be gained by being insensitive or acting like a stereotype. Geek boys often have tech tricks for remembering everything, and are most likely to make a list of your lingerie sizes on their smartphone, for when he wants to get you a little treat.
3. Geeks are way into sex: they study it because it is unknown and forbidden. Because they like to learn about things before doing them, you can bet your porn stash that they’ve taken the time to learn about sex — online, not on Jersey Shore. And geeks know the difference between fantasy and reality, making them much more prone to honesty in monogamy; and sweetly smart about his kinks. Nerds don’t just geek out on sci-fi and tech, after all.
4. People who are geeky get excited about all kinds of passions; while many can be initially shy, once you get going you’ll probably have such great conversations you’ll watch the hours fly by, and feel like a giddy teenager crushed out on talking about… everything.
5. They are ready for the zombie uprising. Seriously.
6. Geek boys love strong, independent lust objects, and dig those who have ideas, obsessions and passions. Geek girls love hotties who have their own ideas, obsessions and passions, and enjoy potential hump-mates who are bright and slightly devious. They’ll generally seek to engage with you about whatever’s on your mind, make perfect allies for your own “army of two” — but unlike the gender stereotype babies of the world, won’t later expect you to become their parent.
7. Because so much false bullshit about geek hygiene is pushed in magazines and culture, many nerds take exacting care of themselves. Don’t be surprised if they only wear certain things, prefers their own shampoo, and is sensitive about their appearance. And don’t be surprised if he asks you what kind of manscape turns you on.
Not like the others
However, these subsets of the species are tougher to read. geeks pay closer attention to certain details and are hyper aware – yet still can’t tell when someone is flirting with them. Flirting with geeks is nothing short of a challenge – they really need their friends to yell HEY THAT HOTTIE IS FLIRTING WITH YOU in their ear while you are standing there in order to accept the signals they’re getting are not about the person next to them.
Geeks are not accustomed to being the target of attraction; in het geek scenes girls usually make the first move. Male het geeks are often really worried about being “that guy” and are reluctant to be aggressive – until they know it’s okay.
The hot geeklette could be going out of their mind to get you alone and hanging on your every word, but their excitement translates into obsessively folding a napkin until it disintegrates; or answering your queries with nervous little grunts. These special creatures are definitely worth getting to know.
Geek flirting do’s and don’ts:
- Do prep for conversation openers and conversation topics.
- Do hygiene self-check about every hour; teeth, breath, hair, etc.
- Do check your body language when you find yourself in a situation: keep back straight and shoulders open.
- Look approachable with your phone out by keeping your shoulders back and body facing your target.
- Do compliment their appearance.
- Be creative and tie a reason to contact them later with your conversation: book, website, etc.
- If you want to see them later, ask what’s cool to do after this.
- If you don’t, use an exit strategy like saying you have to get back to your friends.
- Don’t use pick-up tricks that rely on negative openers or insults.
- Don’t negatively tease your target.
- Avoid certain topics like explicit sex, exes.
- Don’t flirt if you’re not really interested, even if you’re excited about the opportunity.
- Don’t get mad at them or yourself if you get rejected.
- Don’t ask for personal contact information; ask for public social media contact channel.
Flirt Club #1
Go to places where you will have something you can relate to; like a meetup about your interests, an event you actually want to go to, a club with music you really like, a bar that has something that makes you want to visit for its own sake. Do a tiny bit of prep and have a story or two to tell, a dumb joke or two, a photo on your phone of something cool or weird you saw in the past few hours, celebrity gossip, or even a current news event.
Wear an item that might be a good conversation starter, something a little outrageous, but not too outrageous. Like red shoes, or a big ring. Totally think of a few things you’ve been meaning to talk to your wider circle of friends about. This way, you’re prepared to chat.
SXSW and geek-friendly icebreakers:
- How many tweets or status updates do you do a day?
- Mac, PC, or both?
- What tech company do you think will rule the industry three years from now?
- What was your favorite meme of 2010? Old Spice Guy, BP Global PR…?
- Smile and tell them they can’t sit or stand where they’re sitting or standing. Tell them you’re joking and that you really wanted to tell them that they look great.
- I haven’t been able to get online much today. Am I missing anything?
- In a grocery store, pick up a can of cat food and say “Have you tried this? It’s SO good!” Laugh.
- I just saw [X new movie] – have you seen it? If not, ask what they have seen recently.
- Is your friend always so (anti-social, funny, inquisitive, popular, drunk)?
Tip to engage geeks: Change the topic. Ask about their life. Change your tone and deepen your voice slightly. Slow your speech down a notch or two, and lower your volume a tiny bit. Or speed up the pace and don’t be afraid to make silly jokes. Shy peeps are smarter than the rest and will appreciate your willingness to make fun of yourself, and everyone else.
Flirt Club #2
Make contact. Plan to fail a few: this way, you won’t be afraid of rejection. You’ll be surprised. When you get the conversation going, get them to open up, relate to things you agree with (especially if it’s a feeling they have about something), and let them show you their personality.
Tip to turn flirting into dating: Find a piece of common ground, and suggest a book, website, café, or store that keys into the common interest. Proceed to #3.
Flirt Club #3
Get their preferred method of contact (email, txt) for a specific reason not to make a date or meet, but to send them info about the common interest. Then do it the next day, in the afternoon or evening. Don’t start with “Do you remember me?” Start with positives, like “Hope you guys had fun with the rest of your night! Wish I could have stayed. Here’s that book we talked about. Great meeting you, Amy Red Shoes.” Adding a signifier to your name is optional, but can be a fun twist – good ones are something about you that you both talked about, especially if it ties into your appearance.
Tip to turn flirting into dating: When you’ve just met someone, you are walking into their already busy lives – don’t expect (and definitely don’t demand) immediate responses to calls, texts or emails. Be casual, but don’t let more than two days go by without saying hi – and don’t just say “hi” but say something about yourself or your day, or tie your statement to the circumstances under which you both met.
Non-verbal contact is best and the least confrontational. You could email, “Hey [name], how is your [crazy/funny/intense] [thing that they told you about their daily life]? You were definitely the most interesting person I’ve talked to all week.” This creates common ground, establishes rapport, makes you stand out from the rest, you seem genuinely interested in them, and they are reminded of the good time you had together.
Flirt Club #4
If things progress after a conversation or bond building over the common interest, invite them to something you are already going to be doing. “Hey, there’s another meetup like the last one. I’m definitely going – here are details in case you want to check it out.” “FYI, there’s an art show featuring [that thing you like] at Fred’s Gallery starting at 8 tomorrow night – I’m going and will tell you if it’s cool if you can’t make it.” “A bunch of us are going to see [a movie they might like] at the Century, 9pm showing. You should come!” Don’t start with a one-on-one date as the first thing; make that the next thing you do together.
Social media follow-up tips:
- If it’s someone you just met, don’t rush to friend them – or expect reciprocation.
- If it’s someone you know, increase communication, but don’t overdo – no more than three of anything.
- Trying to cross paths with someone you know: give it three attempts then let it go.
- Keep to the rule of threes: three @ replies, three messages, three flirt methods.
- Be light and non-sexual in your public social media contact.
- Don’t just say “hi” in text – say something about your day, or tie it to the last time you saw them.
- Don’t ask to call, video chat or Skype – non-verbal communication is nonconfrontational.
- Don’t let more than two days of contact go by if you want to pursue the relationship.