The Geek's Guide For How To Get A Girlfriend

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The Geek's Guide For How To Get A (Real-Life) Girlfriend

When I was a young man, I was clearly a geek. I went to comic book conventions. I played a lot of video games. I had long opinionated discussions about the relative merit of Star Wars vs. Star Trek. And, predictably, I didn’t learn how to get a girlfriend until I was much, much older.

Fortunately for my kind, geek culture is fairly mainstream phenomenon now. Being a nerd about your favorite TV show or band doesn’t have to be an antisocial experience anymore. There are forums, clubs, conventions for fans to interact with other fans.

There were women at the comic shops and flea markets of my youth, but at the time, being a geek felt like a very limiting, non-sexy thing to do. You were going into it without the expectation of getting laid. In fact, all signs pointed that it was actually going to make it harder to accomplish.

Now, geek culture is a very social thing, which is amazing. The new inclusiveness has allowed geek men and women to connect in ways that simply weren’t possible before. But that doesn’t mean that geek hookups are now easy.

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Speaking as an older geeky man, there were so many lessons that I had learn before I was ever able to successfully ask a woman out — much less actually convince one to be my girlfriend — that I don’t know that I could’ve closed the deal, even if I had more social options in my youth.

Just because it’s easier to find a geek girl now, that doesn’t mean a geek guy actually knows what to do with her or what dating advice to listen to. As a service to my nerdy brethren, here's how to get a girlfriend.

1. Look for women who know what it’s like to geek out about something.

Probably the defining characteristic of a “geek” is their overwhelming enthusiasm. They find something in life, popular culture, literature, or film — and they love it. They love it so hard. They learn everything about it. They love talking about it. They dress up as it for Halloween, costume parties or Comic Con. They embrace it with their whole hearts, whether it’s steampunk, Doctor Who, or anything else.

So, if you’re a geek looking for a girlfriend, it’s probably not a bad idea to look for someone who can understand those kinds of emotions, someone who knows what it’s like to tap into that enthusiasm. Because you want to find someone who understands how you’re wired and who won’t judge you for freaking out about a new comic book/b-side/Japanese import.

2. Don’t get caught up on what they geek out about.

This one can be hard, because geeks love to judge what other geeks are passionate about. “You’re into Firefly? Whatever, it’s no Deep Space Nine.” Dumb stuff like that happens all the time.

Here’s the thing: the important thing is that they geek out about something, anything. It doesn’t have to be exactly what you’re into. If you’re a big X-Men fan, don’t limit yourself by saying, “I can only love a woman who appreciates the Chris Claremont/Paul Smith era of Uncanny X-Men as much as I do.”

That’s a really narrow segment of the population, and also, do you really want to hook up with someone exactly like you? The perfect woman for you might be really into Attack on Titan, Love & Rockets, Gilmore Girls, volleyball, The Smiths... anything!

She doesn’t need to love everything you love, she just needs to respect the fact that you love something so much. And you need to not judge her for liking what she likes either.

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3. Be open to talking about things you know nothing about.

This plays into the whole respect aspect. When you’re a big anime geek, for example, I know that’s all you want to talk about. Everything else seems so boring in comparison. But part of opening yourself up to another person means listening to what they have to say and respecting that they might not always want to hear about what you watched on Crunchyroll last night.

This may take some effort, because, down deep, you aren’t particularly interested in hearing about her band or the new knitting pattern that she’s super-excited about. But, dude, if you expect her to listen to you talk about Cowboy Bebop for hours on end, you have to be willing to extend the same courtesy.

And if you expect her to really value what you’re saying about anime, you have to do the same thing. It can’t just be a monotonous listening exercise. You have to pay attention and really listen to her talk about what she likes. Ask her questions. Remember things she tells you. It’s a simple way to show her that you value her as a person and you might learn something new too.

4. Don’t get trapped by visuals.

This can be a tricky thing for geeks to deal with. Some geeks fetishize the things they’re into so much that, when they go looking for someone to date, they get caught up by the visual connections to the things they love.

So anime fans might only romantically pursue Asian women. Or comic fans might go weak in the knees because a woman looks like Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim, even if the woman is mean/annoying/the worst. You might be ignoring the perfect woman who’s in your life simply because she doesn’t remind you enough of your favorite Overwatch character.

Here’s something you should do: think about yourself stuck in a 15-hour line to get into Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con. Or a 48-hour line to see a new Star Wars movie. (Whatever floats your boat.) Now think: would I enjoy being stuck in that line with this woman that I’m interested in? Because, if it’s just that she’s hot, the appeal of that will wear off after about hour 5 in that line.

Even if someone isn’t your pin-up girl fantasy, if she’s the one woman you’d happily spent a whole day going nowhere with — laughing, joking, and bonding — you might be more attracted to that woman than you actually realize.

5. Make an effort.

Now it’s time for some tough love. If you really want learn how to get a girlfriend, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone every now and again. And make an effort.

You have to pay attention to your hygiene. You can’t exclusively wear Game of Thrones t-shirts every day. You have to be willing to talk about things that don’t reside on fan forums — things like politics, people’s families, or your feelings. You can’t expect to meet someone new if you only go out to the same two places every night.

You need to not judge people simply because they geek out about something you can’t stand. You need to have a sense of humor about the thing you geek out about, because not everybody is going to get it, and that’s okay. You need to be sweet and attentive and open to new experiences.

More than anything, just look for someone you have fun with, someone who makes you smile. Respect the hell out of her, listen to her, and show her that you’re interested. If it works, that’s great. And, if not, at the very least, you’ve boldly gone where you never gone before. What more can a geek ask for?

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Tom Burns has served as a contributing editor for 8BitDad and The Good Men Project, and his writing has been featured on Babble, Brightly,, Time Magazine, Reading Rainbow, The Huffington Post, xoJane, and various other sites.