Jessica Ryan

Recently, I’ve had some readers ask me to address the topic of dating while nerdy.

Apparently my being single doesn’t entirely diminish my credibility on the subject, so here are some dating tips for nerds and non-nerds alike.


Nerdiness does not a special snowflake make. I’ve seen too many OkCupid profiles where guys list their favorite TV shows/movies/etc. and end with “I’m such a geek lol.” Wow, you’ve read Harry Potter? I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone like you! “I’m passionate about Star Trek, Settlers of Catan and Minecraft” is a lot more interesting than “I’m a huge nerd,” and you sound like way less of a self-righteous dick.

Relationships aren’t all about you. If your boyfriend fails an exam and is super bummed, don’t console him with how you once got a 90 on a paper and you were so sad and etc. I know we nerds tend to want to relate to people — but it’s usually in a way that elevates us and makes us feel better about ourselves. It needs to stop.


Nerds place mainly on either end of the confidence spectrum, like an inverted bell curve. When flirting with us, we might be so insecure we think you’re playing a trick, or so confident we push you away. I’ll admit, it’s a bit of a turnoff. But if you really like us, try to get past it — it’s a defense mechanism, and we’ll probably move closer to the center of the spectrum once we trust you more.

Your partner’s probably been begging you to watch “Firefly” with them, and you really aren’t into space Westerns. Just try it — one episode. You don’t have to like it. We’ll probably be a little disappointed, but the fact that you were willing to check something out with us means a lot.

The both-a yous:

Don’t knock each other for the shit you love. Do you like waking up super early to go skiing, while your boyfriend would rather roll out of bed at the crack of noon and spend a few hours on Reddit? Fine. In case you didn’t know, you don’t have to do every little thing together. You also don’t have to put each other down for it. You should be supporting each other in cultivating your interests.

Partners are not prizes. This isn’t high school. Your yogi girlfriend isn’t a trophy you get to show off to your friends. Your physics tutor isn’t some merit badge you’ve earned. Respect each other and be kind, and you’ll be set.

Jess Ryan is a community manager and CU grad. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan.

blog comments powered by Disqus