The Pros and Cons of dating a fellow Geek.
In November 2014 my longest running relationship ended. That’s all I’m going to say about the break up, because I’ve somehow ended up in this place called “The High Road” and I can’t seem to find my way down (I blame my SatNav, damn thing)
Since then I was too busy to have the full breakup experience; I was working full time hours packed into three overnight shifts (with, more often than not, an additional fourth shift due to being short staffed – yay NHS!) alongside fulfilling an unpaid internship three days a week, job hunting and going to interviews. Then it was have Christmas with my family between shifts, finish my notice period, move from Suffolk to Surrey and start my new job. Busy, busy, busy! How DO those softly simpering females on TV and in films find the time to go into full on melt down after a relationship breaks down?
But now things have settled down and I work a normal Monday to Friday week, I’ve had time to start to feel the twinge of loneliness. My friend and flatmate is wonderful but nothing can replace having someone to hold in bed or cuddle with on the sofa. Flatmates aren’t usually keen to hold hands with you in public either. And best not mention the smooching all together.
So it’s back into the dating pool I wade, wearing my most slimming swimming costume and desperately trying to avoid the suspiciously warm patches. You know the ones. I edited and updated my old OKCupid profile, got rid of the old photos where I look a little too good and tried to find something I’d taken off myself over the last couple months where I look acceptable to the rest of the human race (the last photo I have of myself on my phone is a picture where I’m trying to pull an intimidating face, wearing a Captain America cycling jersey, with day glo war paint on. Make of that what you will)
In the course of editing and photo uploading I decided to include more information about my fandoms. I mention loving Marvel, my fondness for Discworld books and how I love going to conventions, I even uploaded a few photos of me in some of my cosplays. At best I’d hoped this would attract a geek guy or nerd girl, at worst it’d discourage the Shirtless, Headless Torsos – that breed of guy who hasn’t written anything in their profile and the picture is of some spray tanned abs.
My tactic has yet to work on either the attraction or deterrent front. In fact, the most anyone has mentioned of my favourite hobbies has been along the lines of “Lol, you’re a girl and you read comics! Go on, what’s your favourite character then?” or “Oh, I’m big into comics too. Love them. By the way your cosplays are really sexy, wanna wear them for me?” Umm, no. Just no. To both of those generalisations.
This has made me really think about whether or not I want to put myself out there for “Geek dating” Do I really want a person’s first impression of me to be that I either have to prove myself a proper nerd or that I do what I do for the male gaze?
In fact, having dated nerdy and geeky girls and guys before, do I really want date another nerd again?
So here is my list of Pros and Cons of Geek Dating, all based on personal* experience**:
Pro: I don’t need to figure out when a good time would be to `out` myself as a cosplayer! Yippie!
Con: I’ve had an ex try and push me into cosplaying something they liked, but I didn’t.
Pro: I can suggest a marathon of films that I already know we both enjoy and they’ll consider that romantic! Score!
Con: Partners automatically assume you’re a super fan of the things they’re a super fan off and take it personally if you aren’t.
Pro: Interesting discussions on your different opinions and theories for fandoms! Hells yeah!
Con: Unless it’s something they feel a little too strongly about, in which case an once ex thought it was perfectly ok for them to end a discussion by yelling “Well, you’re wrong so shut up” – this isn’t the internet, this is our relationship, please treat it as such.
Pro: Your partner is super excited for your new cosplay idea and can’t wait for you to finish it! Much excite!
Con: Your partner is super excited for your new cosplay idea and won’t let you spend any down time not doing it, because THEY can’t wait for you to finish it!
Pro: You now have another person to spend conventions with! They’re geeking out with you!
Con: I had an ex `steal` all the praise I got for my cosplay at a convention, oddly enough. Anyone who tried to talk to me about it would get lines like “Thanks! I’m glad you like it! She’s my girlfriend, you know” from said ex before I could answer. Although they were mysteriously silent when a guy tried to have a go at me for gender bending a character…. They also started to get very jealous of people asking for my picture and not theirs.
Pro: They usually have friends who like all the geeky stuff they do and you get along really well with them! Hello new friends!
Con: Or, you could be accused of being a `Fake Geek Girl` because you don’t spend all your wages on merchandise or, as mentioned before, you’re not a fan of some of the things they are and take it as a personal insult.
Pro: You feel safe and comfortable with them; you know you won’t get made fun off for having feels over MCU Yandu or coming up with wild theories about the inner workings of your favourite shows based on one line. They’re just as excited as you to have these conversations and they’re happy to talk about you to other people.
Con (and this is the one that made me the saddest): Because you cosplay, because you have fandom knowledge, because people see famous people retweeting you, your partner treats you like their own Manic Dream Pixie Girl or a tumblr post come to life. You get brought out and displayed like a collectable item. They boil you down to being their cosplay fantasy and treat you less like a person and more like a thing to show off and get kudos for.
Looks like I’ve got some serious thinking to do about how I present myself to future partners. Do I go ahead with Geek Dating and run the risk of, once again, becoming the Limited Addition Nerdy Girlfriend Action Figure OR do I keep quiet until a few dates in and possibly get a `Thanks but no thanks`?
OR (THE SECOND) I stop worrying about what other people think of me, rock my own style and let (possible) love just happen naturally?
Nah, screw all that. I’m going to buy a bunch of pet snakes, live with friends and continue to be that crazy spinster Aunty to all my friends and family’s little ones.
PEACE. NERD GIRL, OUT.
(*Obviously these are all things that have happened to me and thus all statements are experience based and not fact: not all of theses things have happened to other love lorn nerds but I’ve made sure to throw in a few that I know have happened to other people too. Please feel free to get in contact with me about your own positive/negative experinces – I WILL be returning to this topic!
**To any of my exes who may read this, I name no names and use no gender pronouns – if you want to complain about anything then you’re admitting to making these dating mistakes. No offense is intended for the purpose of writing this list)
GS Blogger: Fia – @madame_fifi