Rejoice, the dark days of pocket protector stereotypes are long over. Finally, we’ve collective stumbled into a world where the charmingly quirky geeks among us can stand in the light of social acceptance. With computers, gaming and a host of other traditionally nerdy obsessions going mainstream, there is room for all of us at the cool lunch table.
Or, there is the potential for room with the cool kids. Just being a bit of a geek isn’t going to make you more marketable. There are enough of us lonely out there to have filled the digital media sphere with films, shows, stories and memes decrying our troubles. In this article we’re going to unpack how to upgrade from sitting forever alone to striding your way confidently through your love life.
Social Skills are Skills
Some stereotypes exist for a reason. For lots of us, our passions took us away from the development of social lives during our youths and teens. You’ll need to develop these social skills to survive in the dating world. Luckily, social skills are just skills. In the same way that you’ve mastered Ruby on Rails or Skyrim, you just need to get started building the basic components of social skills to be on your way.
One of the hardest things for us to deal with is the equal exchange of ideas. Geekdom is punctuated by a series of passions that often bleed into obsessions and it can be hard to remember to share the conversation when you’ve just discovered the BEST THING EVER. Before you get started on your rant, consider your conversation partner. Is she also interested in this topic? Does she seem motivated to talk about it? Rant away! Just make sure that you’re continuing to listen to her for feedback. If you find yourself on a breakneck monologue or that she’s starting to lose interest, offer to steer the conversation into a direction that lets her participate a bit more. She’s probably been saving up a rant as well!
This can seem like an impossible task for the introverted. Naturally eschewing the limelight, we’re happier filtering our social interactions through the web or through text. But even working with an introvert’s limited desire to engage, there are still measured steps you can take to develop social skills. Use your existing social life to expand out in ways that still let you feel comfortable and supported. Talking to new people may be a huge leap. But Tim’s girlfriend isn’t really a new person, is she? Tim knows and trusts her, so you should be able to borrow some of that trust and leverage it to be able to start a confident social exchange with her. Once you’re comfortable with her, try to meet some of her friends in the same scaffolded manner.
Dress the Part
I know, you love that ratty old band t-shirt. And it’s great. But dressing yourself is all about marketing yourself to everyone that sees you. Using clothes to communicate your interests is a great way of making a first volley in your campaign to broadcast yourself as a desirable partner. But it’s important to balance this with the larger image that you want to present to your future mates. Pairing geek clothing totems with a clean cut, smooth image will let you put your best foot forward without compromising your personality.
You’re a confident, collected, cool guy. It’s time to dress like it. Pair that (clean!) XKCD shirt with some jeans that suit your figure. To add a bit of flair, invest in one or two pairs of sharp looking but casual shoes. You want women to be engaging with your personality through your face so framing it with a nice haircut. You’re more than just a pretty face but by presenting your pretty face as part of the package, you’re helping market that big, beautiful brain to a larger audience.
This isn’t going to be enough to have women swooning at your feet (and you probably shouldn’t trust anyone who promises to deliver that) but they’re great first steps to being a more widely appreciated geek. Through the development of social skills to help you engage with potential partners and the looks to market yourself, you’ll be putting yourself in the best possible position to succeed.