How to Date a Nerd

OK, so you want to date a nerd? No problem. A few tricks and tips will have you and your partner in geeky love forever.


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    R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Generally speaking, there are two "secrets of the sexes" that are almost guaranteed to make a relationship work. Number one, guys love respect. You don't need to look far to see this-- just watch a couple of guys playing basketball. If one of their girlfriends walks up, that guy's game will either improve or fail dramatically as he tries to impress her. It's more than a popularity thing (everyone likes to impress people); guys specifically tend to do stuff to make their girlfriends respect or look up to them. Respect to guys is like candy to babies. Seriously. This is even more important to nerds because other kids tend to make fun of them and such. (Important note: some nerds will not be impressed by your respect if it is only for their vast technical knowledge. They feel they deserve this-- and they do. Make it clear that you respect them as a person.) Secret number two: Girls want someone to listen. They want someone to listen to their opinions and/or feelings and value them. However, with nerd girls, respect will probably be a better option, at least initially. At the risk of sound politically incorrect: be a gentleman. Open doors for her, help her carry her backpacks (nerds are infamous for always having big, bulky backpacks), etc. Yes it sounds old-fashioned and stuff. Do it anyway. Always be ready to listen and nod if she decides to open up about personal stuff, though.
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    Don't discount emotions. This sounds weirdly inverted; usually it's nerds who need to be reminded not to run over people's feelings. BUT, because nerds tend not to place a lot of value on feeling, it's a big deal if they decide to open up. It probably means they like you. A lot.
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    Listen. Depending on the balance between you, the nerd may try to impress you (looking for respect again) with a lot of technical knowledge. Sure, hearing about their opinion of episode seventeen of the original Star Trek series may not be your first choice, but don't blow them off; just blow them. Listen politely and then gently turn the conversation towards other topic.
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    Be prepared to explain. Again, this sounds wrong. Shouldn't the nerd be explaining to you? Unless you're dating a fact nerd, however, you'll probably know more about many subjects than your date. Nerds tend to specialize in one area of knowledge (physics, computers, Star Trek). This means you'll probably know more than they do about "normal" things (cars, pro football, non-science-fiction movies). If the nerd is serious about your relationship, he/she won't blow these other topics off as garbage or act superior about his/her own vast store of knowledge. So don't belittle him/her about topics he/she doesn't know much about or act like they're totally weird to not know about it.
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    Be prepared for conflicts. Particularly among girls, there's an idea that nerds "aren't as likely to cheat", "are more faithful", or "are more mature". This isn't always the case, sad to say. Every relationship will have conflicts, nerd relationships included. Be prepared to work things out with your partner. But also be prepared to do so in a somewhat-logical manner. Overly-emotional or seemingly illogical arguments won't go over well with a nerd.
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    Step into their world. If you're serious about this relationship, you'll want to understand your partner. This means-- gulp-- venturing into the wild world of nerd-dom. If your partner is a chemistry nut, brush up on chemistry. If you partner goes crazy for computers, read some Wikipedia pages on computer languages. If your partner is a huge Star Trek fan, learn the difference between the Original Series, The Next Generation, Voyager, etc. Not only will this give you more in common with your date, but it sends the message to them that you value them and want to find out more about them. If you really want to impress your partner, do something totally up their ally for a date, like renting their favorite season of the X-Files (if they're into that) and having a marathon at your house.
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    Be direct. If you want to get technical, most nerds have the Thinking and/or Judging types on the Myers-Briggs test. This means that they value honesty and directness. Don't expect that they'll be able to guess your inner thoughts by scrunching your forehead. OK, that's an exaggeration, but you get the point. Be honest and keep it real. Enough said!


  • Compromise. If your nerd friend loves computer programming and you're bored to death with computer programming, do something that involves both of your interests, like previewing a new video game together. You can focus on the game play while your partner memorizes the code.
  • Don't be a doormat. True in every relationship. This might be a problem at first, but if you politely and firmly tell them to stop, it will disappear pretty quickly.
  • Be nice. More important than looking nice! Everyone likes a nice guy/girl.
  • Be prepared for sarcasm. Nerds are infamous for this. In most cases, they're not trying to hurt you - it's their way of being funny. Yes, it's a twisted sense of humor, and yes, sometimes (OK, a lot of the time) they overdo it. They just don't see it that way.
  • Look nice. This is important in any relationship. Bad breath, body odor, sloppy clothes... all big no-nos. Respect your partner and yourself.


  • Be patient. Don't write off the relationship after its first bump. Nerds don't always communicate well, which can make it hard to get to know them.

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Categories: Ideas for Dates