Friday, April 13, 2007

Geeks on dates. Choosing whether to even start thinking about going for the other person.

This is the first part of a project I've been mulling over since January. I was in a bookshop and I picked up a book while I was in the queue to pay and it said that if the man didn't call back by Tuesday he just wasn't that interested and I thought "Well that's not true for geeks!" and since then I've been considering writing about geeks on dates, for geeks on dates, and for non-geeks who fancy geeks.

One: Choosing whether to even start thinking about going for the other person.

(For geeks considering potential partners).
  1. So, do you fancy them? If you don't there's no point. Oh, you don't know how to tell if you fancy them? Well, how are your palms? Hairy? Ah ha ha. No, the more relaxed you are the dryer your skin is and so the higher the skin's electrical resistance, when you're stressed (or excited) your hand sweats and the resistance goes down. Go on, build a Galvanic Skin Response Sensor and work it out. Or, if you're not sure you're in a social situation in which lie-detectors may be whipped out without causing offence, merely pay attention to your physiology for a moment. If someone you fancy pays attention to you you'll have sweaty palms, a raised pulse, fast breathing, and your face will feel hot and may look flushed. Does being with them turn you on?
  2. So, do you like them? Listen when they talk, pay attention. Does their company make you happy, do you like listening to them talk, does having them along make most things more fun, or at least less bad? Do you want to know what they think about stuff? Are their mistaken opinions still interesting?
  3. Only go for equals (or betters). Not necessarily people the world defines as your equals but people you treat as equals. This might not be about IQ, age, or experience, but it might. Watch your behaviour. Are you doing stuff to them that would feel patronising and annoying if they did it to you? (For example: those mistaken opinions, are they interesting or do you just want to fix them?) If you're being patronising you aren't treating them as an equal or better. Oh, and if you're an adult only go for adults. What's an adult? Oh, y'know, someone who's an equal. (If you think you're considering going for a better it's nice if they think you're a better too.)
  4. It is up to you to decide or notice whether you want the other person. Let them decide whether they want you. Yes, let the other person make their own decisions! It's respectful and a sign of equality. Of course you, being a geek, are good at analysing situations dispassionately and can make a recommendation about your abilities and desirability as a partner but it's only fair to let them have the fun of the choice. Besides they might be wanting something out of the ordinary that you hadn't factored in. Maybe they are weighting stuff differently than you. If you're thinking "I don't think that person should want me," you're making a choice for them not for you, probably out of cowardice (yes, fear of rejection is a form of cowardice, face it).
  5. Yeah, fear of rejection, and fair enough. Rejection is scary, it can make you feel like an earthworm caught out on a sunny day, and if you do go for the other person rejection is a real possibility. Fancying someone, liking them, and treating them as an equal doesn't enforce reciprocity; and even if they do fancy you, like you, and think you're an equal they might decide against going for you for strange reasons of their own. You may have to suck it up and get over them.



Blogger morgue said...

This may just save the world one day. More!

10:30 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Is your next installment going to include a comment on geeks being less aware of hints than regular people?

3:21 PM  
Blogger Susan Harper said...

m: Thank you. You going to link to it?

s: I don't know; maybe if I were to get a hint that it should... ... ...ohh!

5:50 PM  
Blogger morgue said...

annnd.... blogged! :)

12:01 AM  
Blogger James said...


So how long do I have to have gone out with someone I didn't think was an equal (yes, it was a mistake) for breaking up to count as a divorce?

7:47 PM  
Blogger china said...

Hee! This is great! I especially like "Are their mistaken opinions still interesting?" :-)

(Btw, the link to the book that inspired you doesn't work.)

5:36 PM  
Blogger Susan Harper said...

Ta for the enthusiasm o kindly ones. I am working on some more bits, but I've found myself reading a bit of Philosophy of Biology and some dating books (best one? Jane Austen's Guide to Romance: the regency rules) as research.

I hope I've fixed that link (so much for trying to keep it in the country).

10:55 PM  
Anonymous .carla said...

:) very much like this series of posts. In particular, the displaying bizarre skills and trivia.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Awesome. Truly awesome.

1:53 PM  

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