Us geeks are to successful, normal dating what the complete works of Dostoyevsky are to the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy — as in, we aren’t. Well, at least that seems to be the common (though unfortunate) misconception. So what if we’re generally marginalized and decried as weirdos for amassing bizarre amounts of strange memorabilia and/or knowledge relating to the outer fringes of pop culture?! We, too deserve to be loved! We, too deserve the awkward finesse and lovably clumsy dance that is the modern courtship ritual.
The question is, are we better off searching within our own circles for companionship, or venturing outwards? For a fresh perspective, I tried the latter first, via the notorious smartphone-based, location-sensitive dating app Tinder… with not too much luck.
I mean, it’s Tinder, so I wasn’t exactly expecting sonnets and horse-drawn carriages. But, still. Really?
After this abysmal failure, I still needed answers to the questions that had been gnawing at me as I tossed and turned in my bed alone at night, Batman and Zatanna #169 staring at me from my bedside table. Would there ever be hope for a lonely nerd such as I? And if so, is it possible that I would find that not within the realm of “normal” guys with prototypical “dude” hobbies involving competitive sports and domestic beer, but within the empire of geekdom itself?
Thus I embarked on my quest to determine whether or not geeks could use their upper hand concerning the powers of the internet to woo me in a more effective way than their average Tinder-bro counterpart.
I started putting together my profile (as a straight, twentysomething female) on the dating website OtakuBooty, a self-proclaimed purveyor of “geek dating and social networking for awesome people”. After choosing a mature and thoughtful moniker referencing Transformers, trap music and the number “420”, I was asked to fill out answers to relevant questions like, “What are some anime/manga/gaming-related interests you have?” This was going good so far, I thought, and the flame of my hope for geeky love started to ever-so-slightly flicker anew.
I dutifully paid the $5.12 CAD in order to partake in the lush social ecosystem of OtakuBooty for a month, and waited patiently with goji berry smoothie in hand for the replies to roll on in.
…and I was waiting for awhile. After two weeks, I had gotten only one response. But unlike the telltale buzz that my phone emitted every time I got a Tinder notification, it didn’t fill me with a nameless dread.
This OtakuBooty flirter, disarmingly usernamed after a character on How I Met Your Mother, seemed pretty alright. I mean, he was decently attractive in his photos, and sent me a rather innocent message as an opener. Definitely more respectful than the abominably outright propositions for sex (and not much else) I’d received through Tinder. The downside is that Mr. HIMYM was located all the way across the pond in France, which is definitely a strike against niche dating sites and highlights the convenience of being on a form of dating media that is based on location and is widely used.
I mean, it’s not like OtakuBooty dude and I were ever really going to meet in real life. But did we have to? My experience on one geek dating website had already been exponentially less unpleasant than my wade through the swamp of a regular dating app. I decided I had enough experiential data to turn my initial geek-vs.-regular dude Internet dating hypothesis into theory — geeks totally win. At the end of the day, I’d rather an oddball or slightly more demure first move — perhaps peppered with obscure Sherlock references, maybe from someone with anthropomorphic puppets in his profile picture — than some lame coital request from another shirtless-gym-selfie knuckle-dragger.
What do you think? Are the generalizations and stereotypes too harsh? Tell me all about your experiences in the comments!
(Psst! For more geek dating resources, check out PCWorld’s reviews of various geek dating sites.)