If you’re a geeky guy looking to romance a geeky girl, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been with her forever or if she’s a new interest; realize that conventional romantic overtures won’t always work. Flowers can be construed as boring, since they’ll just die. Chocolates are tasty, but sometimes we have particular dietary needs. Cards are nice, but unless you’ve written in a fair amount of your own content, they seem like a cop out. For geeky girls, think outside the box. Do something that will pique our interest, engage our minds. Here is a starter list of things to win (or keep) our hearts. Girls, add more ideas in the comments. Guys, list some things that have worked for you!
If you don’t already have your own geeky girl to love, finding one to woo is the first step. The key is to spend time where geeky girls tend to hang out. Examples are bookstores, comic stores, craft stores, photography clubs, or geeky gatherings like cons or game nights. Not nearly as many will be hanging out at the local bar. If you look for a girl in a geeky place that you frequent as well, and then you’ll instantly have something in common.
Next, plan your strategy. Here are some ideas.
1. Plan a board game night. Consider the girl’s interests, and round up a few board games that are compatible. Then let her choose which ones to play. Make sure you find ones that work well with two players.
2. Be able to make situationally appropriate science jokes. It’s always especially fun when you and your girl are the only ones in the room who get the joke.
3. Plan a trip to somewhere new and stimulating. On a small budget, go to a museum or nature preserve. If the budget allows, think bigger or more unusual. Go somewhere that generates discussion (though not argument). You’re creating memories that you’ll always be able to share.
4. Design a treasure hunt. Forget the conventional or impersonal gifts. Designing a treasure hunt for your girl with a special note or gift at the end is one way of showing that you care enough to put in a lot of effort. You can make the hunt short or long, easy or hard. If you have known your geeky girl for long enough, use that history for some clue ideas. If the geeky girl is the type that likes to figure things out, she’ll love this idea.
5. Be able to have interesting conversations on any topic. This doesn’t mean that you have to be an expert in everything, but be willing to discuss unusual topics. Know nothing about fossils? Be willing to have her teach you what she knows, and ask relevant questions. If you try to learn something new each day, you’ll always have something new to talk about.
6. Learn to cook a variety of dishes. Some people are able to make one dish that is always a hit, but if you’re going to go on more than one date, or have a long term relationship, knowing how to cook a variety of dishes is important, even if your girl likes to cook also. Staples like spaghetti and meatballs, or macaroni and cheese, are great for later, but at this point, try for something a little more complicated. You get bonus points for pairing the meal with an appropriate wine or other fancy beverage (sparkling apple cider, sparkling white grape juice, or gourmet root beer work very well for the non-drinkers).
7. Give unusual flowers. If your geeky girl loves flowers anyway, don’t go for the conventional roses. Choose something unusual or personal. Choose by color, by source, or find something related to your history together.
8. Learn about what she enjoys. Consider her interests. You love shoot-em-up video games, she likes puzzle games. Give her games a try some of the time. She’ll give you points for the attempt. This also holds true for movies, books, restaurants, and other activities. Chances are she’ll reciprocate and try out some of your interests. You both may learn to like some new things.
9. Be able to honestly express how you feel. Showing how you feel is very important, but it is equally important to say the words. Geeky girls are often more introspective than average, and can generally articulate how they feel or what they want. It is important to be able to reciprocate. Communication is key in any relationship.
10. Leave a little mystery. While geeky girls love to learn all about your interesting personality, it always helps to leave a little bit of mystery to keep them wanting more. Just make sure it’s not suspicious mystery; that could backfire. Hold back some stories about your life that you can share later, as the relationship (or date) progresses.
Throughout it all, remember this: Geeks like to think. They like to be with other people who think, especially those that have plenty of in-depth conversations. Appeal to her intellect by displaying yours, but respect and cultivate her intellect in the process. Making her feel cared about, thought of, and respected will go a long way in the wooing process.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
A version of this post originally ran in 2010.