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The New Date Night For Geeks


Looking for someone who shares your love of all things dorky? We’ve got date ideas that cover the spectrum from sci-fi to comics, Renaissance Fairs to shopping for the latest tech gadgets together.

By Dave Singleton

veryone has a romantic cliché of choice. For some, it’s long walks on a moonlit beach. For others, it’s swanky dinners. But for geeks, a seductive scenario may include surfing YouTube videos and playing a few rounds of Wii (a “couple-ish”-sounding game system if there ever was one). Welcome to the hip, new world of geek dating, where it’s all about sharing links and drinks.

Face it: You want your date to share your interests. So if your idea of date night bliss is a Star Trek marathon, avoid listing
The G2G (geek-to-geek) movement is gaining momentum.
ubiquitous “likes,” such as long romantic walks on the beach, in your online dating profile. Describe your real passions, whether they’re sci-fi, mythology, magic or board games. There are others who share them.

If yours happen to be on the intensely quirkier side, the good news is that you’re not alone. The G2G (geek-to-geek) movement is gaining momentum as more of us let our freak flags fly. Frankly, there’s a lot to learn from those who focus less on looks and surface attributes and more on sharing their interests and passions, which are often the more sustainable aspects of a relationship.

Avowed Harry Potter super-fan Sarah W., 32, wasn’t meeting compatible guys in her native northern Virginia — so she decided to get specific. Her dating profile and initial email correspondences now always mention, in her words, “my two obsessions: Harry Potter and anything that’s electronics- or computer-oriented. I like knowing that the guys who respond to my profile will like the same stuff as me, or at least be forewarned!”

If you’re ready to integrate your geek interests with your love life, there’s a world of games to play, technology to explore, gadgets to try and places to visit that will take you and your date back to the eye-opening thrills of 6th grade science class. Consider these five options for planning your own Geek Date Night.

1. Bond with each other in 3D.
For a geek who spends 80 percent of his or her time on a computer, the fact that this person’s actually engaging with you live and in person might be the greatest special effect of the night. But a trip to one of the growing number of IMAX 3D theaters might just send both of you on a “gocket” (geek rocket) to the moon. Wear the glasses. Go out afterwards to discuss the fine details of animation. Admit in awkward geek terms that being together takes you to a new dimension, just like the film did. “I bonded with my date by seeing Avatar in 3D several times, sitting in different sections of the theater to see if it made a difference,” says Bill H. from Maryland. “It didn’t, but we had a great time trying it out.”

2. Immerse yourself in comic books.
If you’re looking to join hands and explore the worlds of Kabuki or Batman, find a comic book shop near you by using comic shop locator (www.comicshoplocator.com). Or if you want to really indulge yourselves and make a weekend out of it, check out Comic-Con online (www.comic-con.org), an organization dedicated to hosting conventions and events celebrating comics. Sharing a passion for superheroes worked for Californian Allan K., 27. “I knew I’d found someone special when my girlfriend
Nothing bonds two people together more than danger and excitement.
told me she was obsessed with Iron Man,” he says. “She’s followed him since he was a part of The Avengers series. Our first two dates were spent watching the Iron Man movies, reading the comics, and then comparing them.”

3. Take a geek-end getaway!
Forget that trip to a luxury spa or golf resort. Nerd couples might have more fun at paintball, especially if you’re ready to get down and (literally) dirty. Nothing bonds two people together more than danger and excitement, right? Or how about two days at a Renaissance Fair dressed as a Lord and Lady, where you’ll whisper bodice-ripping sweet nothings to each other as merriment abounds? That’s what Jim F., 34, of West Virginia chose after four weeks of seeing Jenny, 33. “We had a blast role-playing in our medieval identities,” says Jim. “I am sure the jousting, magicians, clothes, and crafts aren’t for everyone, but they worked for us.”

4. Discover new romance amid old fossils.
When your online dating profile is Sciencenerdboy84, no one can accuse you of hiding your inner geek. Native New Yorker Justin W., 28, decided to “just put it out there” — and he’s glad he did. “My idea of a perfect summer day is spending it inside the Museum of Natural History or Liberty Science Center in New Jersey,” Justin says. The idea of heading to the beach makes him want to jump out of his super-pale skin, and he’s very clear about his likes and dislikes when he meets a dating prospect. He met the girl he’s currently dating at a museum and they’re eagerly planning their first trip together. No big surprise, then, they’re going to Washington, D.C., to see a LEGO exhibition.

5. Share your tech-toy love.
Lest you compare time spent at a computer store to an unfocused stroll through the mall, think again. Geek “shopping” dates consist of making a beeline to try out the hottest tech toys. “Right after the iPad came out, I remember walking with my date to dinner at a nice restaurant,” says Louis M., 34, from Virginia. “As we passed the Apple store, I longed to play with the iPad and check out new software. During our meal, I just blurted out my secret. Fortunately, my date laughed and was game. So we skipped seeing the movie and played with computers instead. It was a breakthrough. We were so comfortable with each other after that.”

If there’s a moral to these stories, it’s that these daters found success by being true to their authentic selves. Just remember: Mr. tall, dork and handsome has every right to find that one special, cute geeky girl who lives for Japanese anime and manga, too!

So daters, enough with the game-playing…well, unless it’s a classic, like Super Mario Brothers, or the latest release on your Wii. Then maybe playing games is exactly what you want.


Dave Singleton, an award-winning writer and columnist for Match.com since 2003, is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Send your dating questions and comments to him at davesingleton.writer@gmail.com.
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