Tips for Dating Geeks


GeekMom Chaos Mandy and her date (now her husband)

Who knew dating a geek could be so confusing or controversial? GeekMom Ruth‘s post concerning Alyssa Bereznak’s online rant about her date with Jon Finkel, was just the tip of the iceberg. I’d bet every geek out there has had to deal with an “Alyssa” from time to time in the awkwardness of dating, mind you few of those experiences are made public on a blog.

Geek is a very broad term and really only means that someone is passionately involved with something. Geeks come in all shapes and sizes and their interests are incredibly diverse, just ask Scott Johnson the creator of The 56 Geek Project.

It got me thinking, what advice would I give my children if they ever found themselves dating a person they didn’t understand? Conversation on a first date can be excruciating, wouldn’t it be nice to have a little insight into the interests of the person across the table? Sometimes breaking the ice is all it takes to get a geek to break out of their shell and become comfortable with the situation they are in.

So here it is, a primer. Tips for dating the:

  • Astrophysics Geek: When units are measured in lightyears and parsecs, pi equals 3.
  • Trek Geek: Kirk or Picard? You must have an answer, it will come up and its important.
  • Jedi Geek: Han shot first.
  • Apple Geek: Its release is purely speculative, no one knows what it will actually look like, no one knows what it will actually do, but its been pre-ordered.
  • Engineering Geek: Duct tape can fix everything, and yes they have it with them.
  • Food Geek: Do not ask for steak sauce with your $100 steak.
  • Hitchhikers Guide Geek: 42 is the answer.
  • Linux Geek: That source could be a little more open.
  • Board Gaming Geek: No, you can’t put your stuff in their trunk, its full of games.
  • Physics Geek: A cow is simply a series of spheres.
  • Doctor Who Geek: Bow ties  are cool.
  • Conspiracy Geek: Gas prices too high? Global Warming? Fluorinated Water? Burnt the toast? All the Illuminati.
  • Electronics Geek: If you just add one component to that clock it could also bake bread.
  • Simpsons Geek: They are so smart, S-M-R-T, I mean S-M-A-R-T.
  • Photography Geek: Yes thats a camera in their pocket, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to see you as well.

Mind you this is an incredibly short list of the possible geeky realms, only the ones that I (and my husband GeekDad Brian McLaughlin) are personally familiar with.

If you are a geek, what one tidbit would be imperative to getting to know you?

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95 thoughts on “Tips for Dating Geeks

  1. Action Figure Geek – they are action figures, not dolls. And they’re posed on the shelf for a reason; don’t touch them.

    1. And yes, there is an order to them. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

      1. And I won’t lend them to you until you get a sworn deposition that promises that you will treat them like the highly valuable items that that they are….

    2. Yes, more than once.

      Yes, I remember them and can keep them straight.

      Yes, I read more than one book at a time.

  2. British Literature Geek: Beowulf was written in Old English; Chaucer wrote in Middle English; Shakespeare wrote in Early Modern English.

  3. Honestly, I think the best thing is to keep an open mind and be interested. I will always ask someone what they do or what they’re into, and even if I know something about it, I ask them to tell me. It gets them talking about something they’re comfortable and familiar with, which helps them relax and conversation flows more freely. I think that just because you don’t know a subject, or you’re not into it, doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting. So shut your mouth and let them talk, and you’ll be surprised how much you learn and what you may have in common.

  4. For any of the geeks this works for, don’t make the mistake of saying the following: “Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate; what’s the difference?”

  5. Mostly, if you want to talk about yourself, avoid geeks, shallow people with los self steem will serve you better. (Of course you would only get more self centered and ignorant, but why should y judge)

    If you area actually interested in another human being with flaws, passions, opinions and feelings. Geeks are actually easy to get by, their “subject” is a great gateway to themselves.


    Free software geek (cyberpunk) – ¡Information wants to be free!, access to it should be a human right, like water should.

  6. Maker Geek:
    There will always be some “project” in a state of repair/assembly/disassembly in the place in which they live.
    They are one of the best people to borrow tools from, just make sure you return them or you may find that the next time someone rings your doorbell all the lights in your house may turn off.

  7. D&D Geek: Knows what THAC0 is, and has a strong opinion on it

    Networking Geek: Likely able to calculate subnets in their head

    Star Trek Geek: Can identify any episode in 1 minute or less of viewing (not counting opening or closing credits of course)

    1. THAC0 is outdated. Nowadays those hanging out with D&D geeks should have an opinion on 4th edition versus 3.5.

    2. I went to see what the THAC0 controversy was about because I’m dating a D&D geek and I adore him and so would like to be at least knowledgeable about the things he’s passionate about.


      But I’m not reading that.

      1. a knowing chuckle and “Thank God they did away with that” is all you need to know about THACO. Crunch (rules heavy) vs. Fluff (story heavy) vs. Immersive (how much can we make ourselves believe this is really happening) vs. LARPING (this is really happening) vs. beer-n-pretzles (let’s have snacks and pretend to kill things) will get you through. 4E is beer-n-pretzles philosophy with a massive amount of crunch, GURPS is crunch-as-immersion, Savage Worlds tries to strike the balance between crunch and fluff, but succeeds best when used for beer-n-pretzels game (or an immersive game about solving problems with guns, bombs, and Kung Fu.) Indies are cool. Ken Hite is almost universally loved and respected; say he’s awesome, and you may have a friend for life. Call of C’thuluhu is the best RPG ever (this is a good conversation starter; now you have to learn why or why not…)

  8. Mythology geek. Will drag you to the latest Greco-Roman mythology themed movie just so she can spend the following two hours detailing every inaccuracy and anachronism. It’s all part of the fun.

  9. Car geek: A Bugatti is more than just a car, and F1 is where real drivers go to race.


  10. Anime nerd: They are NOT “cartoons”. Also, knowing something outside of the mainstream would help (meaning series and movies other than what Cartoon Network/Adult Swim airs and movies from Studio Ghibli).

    1. They are NOT cartoons! Anyone calling them cartoons shall be stabbed…in the face…with their own genitals!

      1. But isn’t the real problem the stigma associated with -cartoons-/animation in general? I’ll obviously grant that anime has a broader range of genres and a greater number of serious storylines, or stories designed to appeal to adults (which doesn’t necessarily translate to more depth or better storytelling, although it can). But it does have its share of ludicrously bad show-types, most of which are probably more embarrassing than bad American cartoons.

        However, you’re 100% right that saying anime are cartoons bothers people. I, for one, just wish it didn’t. The Japanese audio with subtitles comment I’ll pretty well stand by, though.

        And what the heck–Mecha Nerd: The opening theme from Megas XLR (“I dig giant robots, you dig giant robots, we dig giant robots, chicks dig giant robots!”). Learn it, live it, love it. Oh, and ask before saying anything about Transformers–toss up as to whether they include that or not.

  11. Oh, and one more thing for anime nerds: always pick subtitles. Learn to love to read while you watch.

  12. Trek Geek: Kirk or Picard? You must have an answer, it will come up and its important.


    Breaking Bad Geek: Oh, yes, that stupid plastic container I asked you to buy. You see, hydrofluoric acid won’t eat through plastic. It will, however, dissolve metal, rock, glass, ceramic. So there’s that.

  13. Nuclear engineering geek: Married to one and still can’t figure out what he does at work. And at the end of the day for a computer teacher, I’m fine not knowing.

  14. gun geek : 9mm vs .45, AR vs AK, 762X39 vs 5.56X45 vs 7.62X51. and yes, I DO need all those guns. who else is going to arm the neighborhood when the zombies/graboids/aliens/UN show up?

    plus, holding aloft a double-barreled shotgun and declaring “THIS IS MY BOOMSTICK!” is actually mandatory. it’s in the rules. trust me.

    1. AH, someone like my husband is on here! Do you point out inaccuracies in movies where people are obviously using the wrong gun for the time period/location/character too?

      1. of course! I saw a veitnam-era movie the other day and one of the soldiers had a GLOCK. completely ruined the movie for me.

        plus the “rambo-guns” that have a 2-foot belt of ammo and seem to be able to fire for an hour.

        1. My hubby is the music equivalent of this kind of geek. In HIGH FIDELITY, Jon Cusack puts a Springsteen album on a turntable and when the song starts playing, my husband points out that the needle’s in the wrong place for that track.

    2. A magazine is not a clip!
      Semi-automatic “assault weapons” are no more armor piercing than any other centerfire rifle.
      No, I don’t need a permit to do …
      No, I don’t have to register my guns here.
      Yes, I carry concealed because a cop is too heavy.

  15. Theater geek: Shakespeare! Ibsen!

    Musical Theater Geek: Not the same as a Theater Geek. Glee is not the end-all-be-all.

    Improv Geek: The Ridiculous is standard. Never deny anything, build on it instead.

    Costuming Geek: it’s perfectly acceptable to pay $50 for a vest: look at the construction!

    Ren Faire Geek: Yes, those are “real swords.” No, they are not stainless steel. No, you may not touch them.

    Travel geek: yes, I took all those pictures. Yes, I realize that spans three continents.

    Cooking geek: NEVER TOUCH THE KNIVES unless you know what each one’s for and how to properly clean and store each and every one.

    Movie geek: 12-hour movie marathons are not exceptional. Learn to sit still.

  16. And the reason why I loved dating geeks (and being married to a geek?)….they are usually eager to share their knowledge and thrilled to bring in someone new to the hobby…..

  17. To be added to Star Wars Geek: ‘I have a bad feeling about this’ drinking game optional. AND Liking Jar-Jar gives said geek aforementioned bad feeling.

    Firefly Geek: Captain Mal’s word is law. Except when it comes to Inara’s profession.

  18. what about those of us that can be in several of these groups is there a name for us i think maybe Uber geek supreme ,I`m in to all things asian ,friends say i have yellow fever,love doctor who, torchwood,sja ,star trek star wars ,cliffhangers chapter films from the 20`s-50`s

  19. Theatre Geek: Yes, it’s spelled “theatre.” No, I don’t care if you’re American.

    Book Geek: When furnishing a house, shelves before beds. Always.

    Ren Faire Geek: What happens at the Faire stays at the Faire.

    Con Geek: See above. Cuddles are mandatory.

    RPG Geek: 4th edition is not okay, and knowledge of obscure systems will make me love you.

    Fantasy Geek: Tolkien is not the only thing out there.

    Language Geek: Etymology is sexy.

  20. Magic the Gathering geek: No these are NOT Pokemon cards. No I’m not too old to play this kind of games since they require tactical and strategical thinking, far too much for a child. And Yes I’ve bought them all.

  21. More for the Ren Faire Geek: When are you from? Make sure your garb is appropriate for time period and class. Peasants have more fun than princesses!
    Comic Book Geek: There are more publishers than just Marvel and DC.

  22. Geocaching Geeks

    GPSr or phone?
    Garmin or Magellan?
    Micro or Ammo can?
    Cache Run or Event?
    Bugs or Coins?
    This list could go on a while.

  23. Hitchhikers Guide Geek: I have my Kindle, iPad, (place any reader or tab name here) with “Don’t Panic” sticker glued on back, and yes I have towel with me

  24. Metal Geek – can name ~100 different genres of metal music, not including their sub-genres. Will argue vigorously about which bands truly defined a genre and will instantly ignore anyone whose fave metal band is in a genre ending in -core (except hardcore, but then you have to go into east vs. west, early vs. second gen, etc. etc.)

  25. As someone who as always straddled the Geek/Nerd/”Normal” line, the best advice I could give would be to be open to anything. Geek’s and others are some of the most accepting people I know, regardless of background, interests, or passions. Your brother might be a football geek if he can name all the teams, players, coaches in a particular area, or can talk non-stop for hours on strategy, statistics.

    In the words of Syndrome, from the Incredibles, “Once everyone is a geek, no one will be.”

  26. My girlfriends response to this article:
    “Ah, so I guess that dooms me to be a geek geek.
    As in, a person who has developed an expertise / passion for relating to geeks on multiple geek levels.”

  27. You do realize that you are crossing lines by showing humor when your “geekdom” is from another realm? Lol. I very much appreciated this stuff!!

    1. I can not only do this but i know the words of almost every song i hear and will memorize them with in the first two times i hear them

  28. Food science geeks(AKA people who watch too much Good Eats…like me): If you cook with them be prepared for an in-depth description of WHY we need emulsifiers for the home-made mayonnaise, what an emulsifier is and how it works on a microscopic level.

    Monsters geek: vampires and werewolfs aren’t the only kinds of monsters and by the way vampires don’t sparkle.

  29. As someone who used to be a fan of anime (the recurring themes, stylizations and cultural references got tiring), and someone who minored in Animation, I’ve got to say: anime shows are ABSOLUTELY cartoons- and you shouldn’t be ashamed of that! What you really ought to warn against is: ‘Yes they’re cartoons, but that doesn’t mean they’re for children’

  30. Key information, Many of us fit into multiple categories, but never forget most Star Wars fans think Star Trek is inferior and visa versa. Oh and the original star wars always more important then the new ones. Oh and never calls the blasters shooters. I made this mistake with my 5 year old who is already a star wars fan and a Dr. Who fan and he looked at me like I was simple. My best friend LARPS and my husband is an engineer, so at this point I am well versed. Oh and the new Geek show is Game of Thrones 🙂

  31. Minecraft geek: it’s called the nether, not hell.
    NES geek: Mario is better
    Genisiss geek: Sonic is better
    Airsoft geek: don’t buy a spring powered gun. They all suck. Also, eye protection is for n00bs.
    Zack and Cody geek: the question “Maddie or Bailey?” is gonna come up eventually. It’s a safe bet to say Maddie.
    Internet geek: Wow… SO many variables. This will be its own subsection.
    Screwattack geek: destin is better than Jared.
    AVGN geek: nostalgia critic sucks, and the irate gamer is a ripoff.
    Nostalgia critic geek: AVGN sucks, and the irate gamer is a ripoff.
    Hatena geek: gizmo is god, and starbegging is the devil.
    CoD geek: just say n00b a lot.
    Hope I helped!

  32. I am not sure I agree with the Engineer Geek being associated with Duct Tape. If it is designed correctly in the first place, it shouldn’t need dcut tape. Knowing what an Arduino is or 80/20 framing is may be more appropriate.

  33. GAMER GEEK! : Be prepared for ALOT of late nights! For some reasons gaming is at it’s best after 12am! I married a gamer… does not matter the type of game, board game, console, PC, MMO, THEY ARE ALWAYS BETTER LATE AT NIGHT!

  34. Lego geek — all the above rolled into one with a creative bent just short of Leonardo DaVinci. Spends time building then taking pictures to post on Flicker or MOC pages.

  35. the Ultimate Geek, my definition, is the one who can, and will, sit through almost any scifi movie you put in front of them, whether they’ve seen it or not, love’s both star wars(all the movies, preferring the originals) and star trek(every series, excepting maybe ‘enterprise’), can and will watch/read Shakespeare for fun, is more than happy to watch football all Saturday, will listen, for hours, to another geek describe their specialty, reads continuously (particularly books they’ve already read at least once or twice), watches movies and tv shows from the ’20’s up until now, is fluent in both mac and pc, love’s action heroes (even if they don’t really now that much outside the basics), can quote almost every line from at least 25 movies, can listen to upwards of 6 genres of music in the course of 8 songs, can and will geek out with a fellow geek even if they don’t understand everything involved in whatever the other geek is geeking out about, understands the necessity in working on one little piece of(whatever it is) for hours when it looked fine in the beginning, has the ability to pick up on bits and pieces of every geeks addiction of choice, and so forth and so on…. just a thought 😉

    1. Superdittos to that! And let’s not forget, we can make up our own language and it’s totally understandable to any other geek.

  36. The Excel Geek: has a strong preference for either INDEX/MATCH or VLOOKUP and is ready to argue about it. Refers to “workbooks”, not spreadsheets. Has a favorite keyboard shortcut, possibly one they set up thenselves as a macro.

  37. My husband, an engineer and cooking geek, always says to me “Pat, what you need is a class in thermal dynamics.” Or “Turn the temperature on the boiling water down. It’s never going to get above 212 degrees”. Obviously he’s in charge in the kitchen 🙂

  38. FAN FIC GEEK: you can tell me anything because it will probably fit into the story I’m writing.

  39. That’s so true. But seriously the best advice for geeks looking for love is to find someone who can appreciate your interests but has interests of their own. That way you both have something new to learn about. If you both like all the same things the relationship gets boring very quickly. 🙂 If you like Star Wars (and really who doesn’t?) then find someone who loves Firefly and doesn’t know much about the force. You both love a similar topic but with different stories. It has kept my husband and I together. We still have new things to share with each other because our interests always have us looking in different places.

  40. Book geek: just one more chapter and I promise I’ll …(insert mundane task)
    If I go to bed right now I can get 7 hours of sleep, I can get by on 6 and a half, so 30 more minutes of reading.
    (half hour later) if I go to bed now I can get 6 and a half hours of sleep, I can get by on 6, 30 more minutes of reading

  41. True Blood Geek: Eric or Bill? The answer tells me how much I can trust you.

    and I am almost defined as an Ultimate Geek according to the first commentor… except I can watch football all day on Sunday, not Saturday… I don’t think a player should be called down if they haven’t been touched.

  42. and i forgot, I wanted to add one for

    Video Game Geek: Owns at least one vintage system. Had a secret crush on Sonic or Princess Toadstool as a kid.

    I actually have a working SNES and a Sega Genesis AND a Dreamcast.

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