Ask the Nerds
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!
Welcome to the first post in a new series of nerdy of advice columns. If you have a burning question please
email us and we will do our best to answer it for you!
I’m a pretty take-charge kind of nerd, and even though I love to lead, it would be nice to be pursued once in a while. How can I let a guy know I’m interested without being the actual asker-on-dater?
As a fellow take-charge sort of nerd, I feel your pain. It seems that a lot of times when you’re a take-charge kind of person, people tend to make the incorrect assumption that you want control over everything and/or will blatantly go for everything you want because you’re driven. This can wreak total havoc when you want a guy to pursue you, and might or might not make you want to bludgeon said guy over the head with something and drag him back to your cave because, seriously, how dense can he be?
I’m sure a magazine would tell you to cool down your take-charge mentality and play coy or something, but I think that what you really need to do is ensure that you stay true to yourself, but still manage to be approachable. Men are like delicate little kittens when faced with a strong, take-the-lead girl, and should be approached as such (make no sudden movements, use gentle tones, and possibly utilize a laser light to draw them to you).
No one wants to pursue someone and be rejected. Rejection sucks. Consequently, people like to know that there is a possibility that the person that they are pursuing likes them back. It’s important to show this fellow on some level that you’re not entirely opposed to being something more than friends. I would say that flirting is huge (granted, my form of flirting involves death threats and a lot of glaring, but I digress). Flirting is a language all its own and can be used to successfully show this guy that you’re interested in him in a more-than-friend way.
Make fun of him, joke with him, beat him at video games. You don’t need to pull a Black Widow to show a man that you’re interested in him. Just show him that his presence in your life isn’t entirely an inconvenience, and make him feel special. Take an interest in what he does. Smile at him. These are all little things that show that, if nothing else, you’re considering him and he can approach you. I would also suggest touching (no not that kind). Unnecessary touching is a pretty strong indicator of interest in another person. It doesn’t have to be anything intense. Touch his arm, jokingly push him, sit close to him. These kinds of things will make you more approachable, and assuming his brain hasn’t been turned to mush by some sort of alien parasite, he should take the hint and make the jump.
If this doesn’t work, I suggest using subliminal messaging techniques while he sleeps.
Best of luck. 🙂 – Daliya Risik
In my experience, if you’re into a guy, and most especially a nice guy, they’re usually waaaay too nice and shy about asking someone out. Particularly nowadays, when they’re scared of coming off as pushy jerks. Or if you can come off as intimidating.
I would never tell you to not be your awesome, confident self, of course, because I would never ever ever suggest to change so a dude likes you. But if you really like him and want him to ask you out, you are definitely gonna have to let him know that you’re interested. You don’t need to go all creepy and stalk him. You can just be your charming self and flirt. A lot. People can’t read minds, and they usually have way too much other stuff to think about to guess that you might like them just a little bit.
Plus, flirting is the most fun! It’s the best way to let a guy know that you’re interested, and if he’s not thinking of you in a romantic way, it’s certainly the only way for a guy to see you in a way he hasn’t before. Be clever by giving him crap in a playful way, but also be sweet and make sure to let him know you think he’s cool and a stand up guy. And it’s totally fine to flat out tell him you’re into him and he should ask you out. The worst that can happen is he’s already dating someone else, or he’s crazy and just not interested. Then you can stop wasting your time and move on to the next one.
And don’t stress too much about it. If you keep things fun and don’t focus too much on it having to be just one particular person, you’ll eventually meet that awesome, nerdy, confident guy who deserves your wonderful self.
And remember, as the wise Jenny Slate once said, who can never be sure?
Hugs and tacos,