Back when I was in high school, geeks were not highly regarded as potential boyfriend material. (Being one of them, I am eminently qualified to attest to this.) Comic books, thick glasses, computers and chess club just don't match the selling potential of varsity jackets and cool cars. However, it's been noted that some geeks grow up to found software conglomerates, and even those who don't tend to be more agreeable later in life than they were back in their teens.

Like everyone after high school, we mellow out, ditch the young-wizard glasses, and develop the social skills that seemed so sorely lacking when we were pimply youths. However, that doesn't mean that we've lost our geekhood — we just conceal it better. More importantly, since you've grown up since high school as well, that geekhood which was so unpleasant back then is kind of charming now — try it and you may be surprised. There's no longer any shame in dating a geek, and it can be well worth the effort. The only issue is that sometimes you may find it difficult to understand our peculiarities. While it's not necessary to know the difference between Sauron, Saruman and the Sarlaac to successfully date one of us, mastering the art of tolerance and bemused understanding will assure a long and fruitful relationship with your geek.

Geek care and feeding is easier than many think, because we are generally healthiest when left to our own devices. This doesn't mean we can't do things together; but we do thrive when given a little time to do our own thing. (This conveniently frees you from having to be part of it.) For example, let me wander off to the computer section while you're browsing CDs at the store. And though I am betraying my people to share this, adhere to the strict "yes-no rule" of computer product purchases: If I come back clutching an object in a brightly colored box, let me buy it only if I didn't buy something last time we were shopping. We do tend to overextend our finances, especially on computer equipment — it changes so fast, and the stuff is just so neat — so it also might behoove you to check the price tag and confirm that I really need this item. (My interpretation of "need" at this point will be highly subjective, so ask the tough questions.) Remember that there's a good chance I only want it because it's new. Geeks are suckers for new stuff.

We geeks are comfortable in herds, so keeping yours content requires that he have the opportunity to associate with his own kind now and then. Conveniently, this also solves the movie problem: Our taste for multiple viewings of certain films may not appeal to you, so let us go with our friends as often as we like. Since geeks generally like movies of all kinds (we just gravitate towards those with dragons or starships over others), you can feel free to choose whatever films you'll see as a couple without fear of whining. Try that with a football star.

If you live together, it's also helpful to grant your geek a little space to call his own. Here we will build our model airplanes, operate our ham radio, play our games, whatever — all in gleeful privacy. After a school career of constant abuse, we are rather unsurprisingly embarrassed by our geekdom, so letting us practice it in solitude is a very considerate gesture. We'll appreciate it and you won't have to move all our miniatures off the kitchen table every time you want to eat.

Geeks are among the sweetest and most adoring of boyfriends, and the old prejudice of greasy-haired basement dwellers has long since fallen by the wayside. We can dress ourselves and perform routine grooming tasks, and as geeks move into the mainstream, we are becoming more sought-after by savvy women. If you don't share some of your boyfriend's more esoteric hobbies, remember that they'll almost never interfere with all that you do share — so let him enjoy them.