Ask the Nerds: How to Date a Non-Nerd
Welcome to Ask The Nerds. Have a burning question? Go ahead and email us and we will do our best to answer it for you!
Hi NerdsMy boyfriend isn’t really into nerdy things and I don’t know how to relate to him on a free-time level. We have gone back and forth about this for a long time and he has finally started to warm up to the idea of checking some stuff out.So I have two questions:1) Do you have any advice for a nerdy gal with a non-nerdy boyfriend?2) Since he has started showing some interest, where do I start?!
First of all, it’s good that he’s showing interest in what you like. That’s a sign of a good relationship. I’m assuming you’re showing interest in his stuffs, too, right?! But since you’re asking about moving things in a nerdy direction, it’s all about finding an activity that you both enjoy doing, then adding something nerdy to it. In general, I think everyone’s a nerd about something. You just have to find what he’s really passionate about.
Does he like movies? Find a local theater that plays old school movies like E.T. or Back To The Future. How about books? I’ve gotten people into comic books by having them read non-superhero stuff like Saga or Y: The Last Man. If he likes Breaking Bad, I don’t see why he wouldn’t like Preacher. On that note, I know people who generally hate fantasy stuff with dragons but still love Game of Thrones. Does he like music? Take him to a John Williams or video game music concert. What about games? Settlers of Catan and Small World sound really nerdy when you explain them to someone, but, once you play them, people get really competitive, and it becomes really fun to yell at each other about wool. There’s also video games. Everyone likes Mario Kart!
You may not be having sex to the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack right away, but you’ll probably be role-playing as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle before you know it! (Please remember to use protection.)
Hugs and tacos,
Dear Brave Nerd Girl,
I, too, lived the life of dating a non-nerd. It can be challenging at times when your man doesn’t know the laws of House Elves or the ridiculousness of Hobbits. I would suggest letting him see all of your enthusiasm for these nerd-type things, but don’t necessarily make him feel obligated to like them. Remember, even in the nerd community, not everybody likes every fandom. The important part is finding something nerdy that he finds interesting, but not demanding that he be interested by all of the things that you are. Think about what you know about him and what appeals to him, and work off of that.
My boyfriend loves the idea of power radiating from within, so Avatar: The Last Airbender was an easy sell for him. I think that you will also find that nerdy things that are also pretty funny are easier for a lot of people to swallow (example: Sokka in Avatar). You just have to be gentle. If you just start speaking elvish and demanding that he refer to his car as the Enterprise, you might frighten him.
Regarding your second question, I would start by showing him a couple of your favorite things in moderation. If it’s a show, request he try the first three episodes. If it’s a movie, just start with the first movie. Give him a taste of these things without shoving it down his throat. I would also highly suggest jumping into a new fandom together so it feels like he isn’t going the journey alone. For example, when I first started watching Supernatural and Game of Thrones, my boyfriend was wholly uninterested. I kindly suggested that he just watch the first couple of episodes with me. Now, he refers to Sam and Dean like they’re family, and I personally watched him weep over Oberyn Martell.
The important part is that your boyfriend is willing to at least give it a try. My best advice would be to experiment. Once you find something that catches his interest, he’ll be trapped. It will be a mere matter of time before he’s reading fan theories and you catch him staring blankly at a wall as he tries to process what happened in last night’s episode.
Side Note: For nerd conversion regarding games (i.e. MTG) or video games, I would highly suggest betting and or prizes of the silly and/or *eyebrow wag* other variation.
Best of luck in your nerd-conversion!