​Solid Dating Advice For The Modern Geek

Illustration for article titled ​Solid Dating Advice For The Modern Geek

Online dating, romance at cons, asking out the girl at the GameStop—it's a wild world out there for the geek who seeks love. Our resident dating columnist Harris "Dr. Nerdlove" O'Malley is here to help.


Since January, we've been running a bi-weekly letters column by O'Malley, and we hope that his advice has helped some readers negotiate the rough waters of 21st century romance and get a little closer to finding the love they're looking for.

For any who may have missed a column or two, here's a collection of O'Malley's work for us so far, since good dating advice never really stops being applicable.


How Do I Ask Out The Gamestop Girl? | When a 'Nice Guy' Wont Leave You Alone | How to Do Online Dating Right | My Date Doesn't Approve of My Geeky Hobbies | How Do I Make Friends? | How Do I Become 'Boyfriend Material'? | Why Did She Choose Him Over Me?

You can also find a whole lot more stuff over at O'Malley's website, Paging Dr. Nerdlove. Look out for a new column next week, and as always, send him your queries to Doc@DrNerdlove.com with "Kotaku" in the subject line.

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Solid dating advice from a happily married geek:

1.) Don't fetishize the girl at GameStop. She's working a job, just like you—and just like every other person who wants to pay their rent/utility bills/etc. It's fine to want to ask her out (so long as you don't corner her -at her job- and then wonder why she's not receptive to your Cyrano de Bergerac level charms), but assuming she's into your favorite obscure JRPG just because she happens to be standing behind the counter at a game retailer is a bad bloody idea.

2.) Be yourself. Stop affecting behaviors that do not carry over into your real life. I know the "Fedora" bit is popular right now (both as a behavior and a point of mockery), but if you're tipping your hat (figuratively or literally) and offering a, "m'lady," you sound just like every other goober at the local Ren Faire who doesn't understand the difference between medieval times and Medieval Times. No one appreciates an act; if she doesn't want who you genuinely are, then you don't want her—it's that easy.

3.) Remember that her right to refuse to date you supersedes your right to be butthurt that she said no. No one owes you a damned thing; remember that, be brave, and ask away—but be prepared to be gracious if she turns you down. Accept it, and move on. The second you whip out the insults, you're only validating the stereotypes that so many geeks are trying to fight.

4.) Remember that just as there are a million other guys just like you, there are also a million other girls just like the one behind the counter; I don't believe there's only ONE person for any given individual, but I do believe we're only compatible at a deep level with a very few individuals—and finding those few people requires being in the right place, in the right time. I love my wife more than I have the words to say—and I'd never think of straying—but could she have found someone else? Yes.

Could I? Yes.

Would either of us be as happy as we are now? Probably not.

The key is in understanding that you are GOING to strike out—accepting that fact—and remembering that seeking a true connection is infinitely more important than getting some digits from a person you barely know.

Also, NEVER say, "That's what I get for trying." That spineless kicked-puppy shit doesn't impress anyone, and only reaffirms for everyone within earshot why you struck out in the first place.


My apologies for the vitriol and venom—I'm just tired of listening to some of my, "All girls are bitches," friends bemoaning their fates when they give no consideration to the person they're asking out beyond, "She's pretty!"

Yes. She is. So are about a billion other women. Talk to her, see where it goes, and if it doesn't work, be a damned adult about it.