Dating geeks

My dad sent me a link to Maryamie’s do’s and don’ts of dating a geek. That led me to a handful of other places: Maryamie’sIn Defense of Geeks or Ten Reasons Why You Should Date a Geek, plenty more reasons to date geeks, 10 Reasons NOT to date a Geek (unless they don’t follow this pattern!), Ten reasons it isn’t always easy being married to a Geek, and Dating an Apple Developer. As someone who has been seriously dating a geek for three years (OMG three years already? How did that happen), I figure I’m pretty qualified to comment. And I want to comment because while these various pages got some things right, they also got some things really wrong. I’d go through each page one by one and take on each point but I figure that would be (a) a really long project and (b) incredibly boring. So instead, I present to you the top ten misconceptions about dating a geek!

  1. All geeks are the same. They’re not, okay? A LotR geek is different from a computer geek is different from a martial arts geek is different from a blogging geek. They have base things in common, and realms of geekiness overlap (I’m a LotR geek and a Windows geek, for instance), but not all geeks can fix your computer.
  2. The most awesome thing about dating a geek is that they can fix/program your car/TV/computer/whatever. For starters, see #1. For finishers, there are plenty of more awesome things about dating a geek, starting with the fact that most of them are really freakin’ smart.
  3. Geeks are socially inept and/or can’t dress to save themselves. Sure, some geeks are. But a lot of them aren’t. My bf is an introvert but perfctly capable of socializing (witness the fact that my friends love it when he comes to parties with me). He doesn’t really give a crap about clothes but has a perfectly reasonable fashion sense.
  4. Geeks blow all their money on high-tech toys. My father, my self, my bf, and my various geeky friends may spend more than others might on gadgets, but we’re all pretty decent budgeters and live comfortably while still affording the toys we can’t bear to live without. And, unlike some of the folks I’ve linked, I don’t think any of us have actively lied to our spouses/SO’s to “get away with” buying a new toy.
  5. Geeks can’t remember things like anniversaries but WILL remember useless techie crap. This may be true in some cases, but not all. My dad, who is about as geeky as you can get, has an awesome memory.
  6. It’s impossible to pry them away from the computer. Bah. They may spend more time on a computer than most folks, but geeks are perfectly capable of stepping away from the keyboard when necessary. And all that about screen-lit-dinners… oy.
  7. Geeks don’t have a way with words. Now, this is sometimes true. I work with plenty of geeks who are utterly pathetic at small talk unless it’s about Fry’s Electronics (Geek mecca!!!). But the geeks I hang with as friends are very verbal. Heck, some of ’em are English majors! And even the geeks I know who can only chat about geeky stuff are no worse than Valley Girls who can only talk about makeup and boys.
  8. Geeks can’t stay out of gadget stores. Pfeh. The geeks I know are good at sticking to schedules for the most part, and aren’t going to stop into a gadget store unless there’s time to go in properly. Mind you, most of the geeks I run with can’t stay away a big display about their major obsession any better than the rest of us, but that’s normal behavior.
  9. Geeks are more interested in techie gadgets than in women. If that were true, I’d still be single. Gimme a break.
  10. Geeks prefer to communicate via computer rather than face-to-face. Maybe for nervewracking or basic communication, sure (Hell, I infinitely prefer doing business interactions via email to doing them in person), but not for romance stuff. The bf and I talk on the phone so much that when I kicked Sprint to the curb he switched to Cingular with me because otherwise we’d both be broke from overage charges.

Geeks are awesome. I love geeks. They are cooler to hang with, more fun to talk with, and generally kickass. Maybe it’s because I’m a geek myself, but I’m much more comfortable with geeks than with “normal” people. Are there asshole geeks? Of course. Are there annoying, impossible-to-interface-with geeks? Duh. Not all geeks are alike. And really, that’s kind of the point. Making a list of reasons dating geeks is awesome is like making a list of reasons dating Indians is awesome, or a list of why dating women under the age of 30 is awesome. If you do it intending to be funny, it’s easy to offend, and if you do it intending to be serious, you come off like a generalizing twit.
I may be overly sensitive about it, being a geek myself, but still. Geez, people.

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