Most of my exes are nerds. And I myself am a nerd.
So here are some hacks for you who are interested in dating one, or are starting a relationship with one.
These tips work for any type of relationship, to be honest, but I’ve noticed that nerds, including me, will appreciate this a lot.
1. Be interested/do your research
In whatever your partner has to say about whatever. It might be the current political affairs, it might be the new found fossils in Kazakhstan, or it might be theories of Star Wars on who is Rey and what will happen in Episode 8. If you know nothing and got no resource, make sure that you seem interested. There is nothing better than knowing that your loved ones care about the salmon migration you saw on Nat Geo channel last night.
If not, excuse yourself to the bathroom, grab your phone, and Google the shit out of whatever the topic is.
And come back and spit out some of the information that you know, and voila. Your partner will be impressed.
I once went on a date with a guy who told me that his favorite Marvel superhero was Batman, and when I corrected him he said I should “Learn more about Marvel.” I never called or texted back.
2. Attend whatever event your partner wants to go to. Be supportive
Star Wars marathon? Go for it. There’s nothing better than knowing that your significant other is willing to learn more about things you love and spend time doing what you love.
Political debate, art exhibition, science fair, go for it. And make sure when you do, you appreciate it and try to see why it’s so important to your partner.
3. Challenge them
Now, this doesn’t mean debate the hell out of your brains, but have a mini discussion.
Do what Sheldon and Amy do on Big Bang Theory. Ask the “why” and “what if” to some interesting topics or “what are your thoughts on the current issue between the warring countries?” Let them think and explore those crazy branches in their brains. Their minds work some insane formulas, I tell you. They will come up with bizarre answers and have fun getting them.
They will appreciate the challenge, and probably brag about how you’re such an awesome partner to their friends.
4. Watch the shows they watch
I always remember “you are what you eat” but I believe that applies to TV shows as well. Or movies.
Accompany your partner watch whatever show or video they got on. Because they will want to refer to that or talk about it later.
Don’t worry about your shows, chances are other people watch the shows you watch and will talk to you about them.
Your partner however, with Discovery channel and documentaries, not so much.
5. Take them to theme parks
Chances are there will be attractions that they will be too happy to get on. They’ll be gushing over the awesome Optimus Prime statue and how you two have to take a photo with it.
Or maybe they will be waving their wand at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, chanting “Accio Butterbeer!” to the insanely long line waiting for that awesome drink. (I am guilty of having done that)
Library and bookstore are probably your partner’s go to place. You’re probably the one who always reminds your partner the due dates of the library books piling up on their desk.
If you’re lucky, the books your partner reads are available on Sparknotes. Make sure you read the summary and analysis, then ask them, “So how’s the book?” And when they tell you whether they like it or hate it, you can say, “I thought you’d like it. The way the author symbolizes the value of the society is brilliant.” Or “Yea, didn’t think you’d like it. It’s got a lot of radical points and it attacks conservatism.”
Or, this works as well: “I’ve heard good things about it. Tell me all about it.”
7. Laugh at whatever joke
Nerds have sad humor. And I’m just being honest. There are so many references and it’s hard to keep up.
I remember once some friends and I talked about incest and I joked about the Lannisters and the Skywalkers. My friends forced their smiles, looked at each other, and changed the topic.
It’s sad. Like, really sad.
I always appreciate it when people laugh at some silly jokes I utter even when they don’t know what the hell I joke about. My sister, having been stuck with me her entire life, has mastered it.
We nerds tend to go, “Aw…I guess it’s not funny…” when people don’t laugh at our jokes. It might hit us later on that perhaps the crowd got no idea that Arctic shrew has to eat three times its body weight everyday to survive, but at the moment we will just be sad.
8. Let your partner learn more about your life
Nerds love to learn new things. Especially when it’s their partners.
Don’t think that your life might bore your partner, because your partner will try to appreciate your interests and passions.
Don’t give up if your partner is learning slowly, because adaptation doesn’t come easy. But it’s in their program to want to know more, so do not shut the door. Let them in.
9. Save some time for yourself
If you’ve been committing yourself to getting to know your nerd better, please take a day or two off.
You’ve probably been watching Historical documentaries for the past two weeks, and haven’t seen the mall because your partner loves ordering in pizza and spending the night watching discoveries.
Take some time off and do what you love, truly. Either alone, or with your partner. You can make a deal and split the whole “doing what I love” 50/50 between you two, or you can have it per days.
And if you decide to go for “me” time without your partner, don’t worry. Chances are your partner is rewatching Star Wars Episode 4 while texting you, “Everything is better without Jar Jar.”
10. Buy your partner a book or a game for present
I can say that most of the gifts I’ve gotten from my exes are books. And it sucks because sometimes, to be honest, I don’t want to read them (I pretended to be interested in metaphysics once and my ex got me a book – which ended up making me interested).
But books are the best things in the world, and I’ll take them any day. The same with your partner. It’ll be even better if on Valentine’s Day you buy two copies of a novel and then tell your partner that “We will read and discuss this together.”
That is real romance.
Even better if you got your partner a game, “Let’s play this together!”
They’ll never let you go.
11. Send them articles or fun facts, on things you care about
Your partner appreciates you trying to understand them better, so now let them return the favor.
Send them articles on what you care about, let them know what you like in the form of something they enjoy. For instance, if your boo likes to read, send them an article. If your boo likes videos, then something from YouTube.
12. Cut the passive-aggressive approach
It is very difficult to understand people, and being passive aggressive won’t get you anywhere. Nerds think and observe, but your words are taken into literal meaning.
“I’m not mad at you,” probably means to them that you’re not mad at them. Maybe you’re mad at someone else. Maybe you’re sad because of something. There might be a million reasons behind that frown but one is for certain that you are not mad at them.
Just say it straightforwardly, “I am mad at you. You spend so much time studying you haven’t called me once this week. You forgot our date. When I was talking, you were busy playing the video game and you didn’t even know that I was glaring at you the whole time.”
There. The nerds will figure out how to fix those issues. But let them know. Don’t expect them to notice.
13. Make references to things they like
When you take your partner out for some things they don’t usually do, make references to their idols.
“Bilbo decided to go on an adventure and do things he never thought he’d do, and look at the wonderful journey he got.”
Nerds love being inspired. They love being compared to their favorite characters from their favorite books or movies. They’re basically little kids, and you have got to know how to bait the little fish.
14. Spark things up, for you
Nerds can bore the hell out of you if you ain’t about that life. Now, make some mini dates exciting.
They will appreciate it too. Maybe don’t take your partner out to the club and meet your few dozen friends yet, but set up more interesting settings for your dates.
Unfortunately, this might have to be your effort because your partner might be too clueless to even notice that you’re bored.
Ask to go to a tea garden, or to a midnight premier of Captain America, or a study date at midnight at Denny’s.
And if your partner enjoys this different setting, they will initiate it next time.
15. Wear whatever they got you proudly
Be it some hideous tshirts, strange looking totes, or shoes that look like they aren’t made for humans, wear them.
Your partner probably spends a lot it time searching for the perfect gifts, and the saddest thing about the nerds is that they tend to buy things that are interesting to them, rather than what their partners might like.
So if you get a shirt with Yoda’s face on it, learn to love it and wear it. Maybe to sleep in and never wear out.
16. Wear glasses
Glasses = Kryptonite
17. Go back to letters, cards, and poems
Yes. I know, it’s painful. But as much as nerds love books, they love letters. Especially those written for them.
Reading is their passion, and letters will be good addition to their reading list.
If you write them a poem, they will analyze the poem and love your forever. The damn poem will probably be framed and hanged in their room, next to your photo.
18. Whatever you do, do not insult their lifestyle
No. Do not. You will wake the dragon if you do.
Don’t laugh. Don’t mock. Don’t say anything mean.
There are many ways to criticize their habits and lifestyles, but insult is the worst way to go.
Respect their lifestyle and they’ll respect yours. And if you got a problem with something, address it calmly.
19. Stay awake during a weird movie a.k.a Stop by a coffee shop before watching a horrible movie
Get caffeine pumping in your system before watching something “weird” or “funny” your partner and their friends invite you to watch.
I learn the hard way when I was stuck watching Battle Royale with my ex and other guys. I went back and forth to the kitchen, hoping to find some snacks or drinks to feed my dying soul.
I ended up pinching my arm every few seconds to stay awake. And I don’t mean any offense to people who love that movie, but it’s just not what I’d watch if I had the remote control.
20. Acknowledgment, in any way
Nerds don’t need you to invite them to your social gatherings. They want people to know you’re taken.
They might just stay in the corner when you’re in the middle of the crowd, talking about some new songs or interesting topics with your friends.
They just need you to point your finger at them while telling your friends, “That’s my girl,” or “My boyfriend is the one standing right there.”
Because even though they don’t say it, they want you to.