Let me begin by saying that personally, I’m of the school of thought that there are always more fish in the sea.  I don’t believe there is one person for everyone; I think there are various personality traits that give us a range of potential significant others that’s a lot more targeted than "everybody."  I also think that one of the biggest problems women have when it comes to dating is that they’re automatically inclined to search for a relationship.  I’m not saying I hate relationships.  They’re plenty of fun.  But I do think that culturally, women have a harder time just having fun with casual dating.


I, on the other hand, have been very strongly conditioned toward casual dating.  Blame my mother; she wasn’t all that fond of the idea of my having a serious boyfriend until I was in graduate school.  A man has to prove he’s worth me giving up my other options.  That goes both ways, of course, and it continues throughout the relationship.   We’re both actively choosing each other over anything else that may be available to us.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nlaJ4zPbSI 425×344]

I know that a lot of people tell women that the best way to get into a relationship is to stop looking for one.  It seems ridiculous to some.  To others, it seems to be a commandment to avoid the opposite sex altogether until you’ve found The One (and I don’t mean Keanu Reeves)[1].   To me, it meant that I should have fun.  It’s great to go out to dinners with various men, see movies, ice skate, play video games, and so forth.  I always tried to keep things on a flirty/attracted yet casual level.  I was open about seeing other guys.  I’ve been called irresponsible for that.  I’ve been told that I’m being unfair and playing with men’s hearts. 


Personally, I think that as long as I make the man aware of the situation, it’s not my fault if he doesn’t pay attention to what I’m saying.  I’m a fairly literal person.  I mean just about exactly what I say.  I don’t like to read between lines; I think it’s a waste of time.  In the geek dating world, this quality is often a huge plus.  On the other hand, if you’re a geek who ends up dating a non-geek for some reason (and oh, it can be painful…because they can be so pretty, yet so….boring), it helps to realize that they are probably trying to read between lines and probably think that you are as well.


When it comes to casual dating, the biggest plus is that you get a much better understanding of the qualities you like without going through the hassle and heartbreak of serial monogamy.  I used to joke around that between the X guys I was dating, they made up one fantastic boyfriend with all their powers combined Captain Planet style.


Keep in mind what you notice about each guy.  Make note of what qualities bangarang faces, public domainyou appreciate and do not appreciate – including appearance.  Yes, I know that most of us would like to claim that we only care about personality, but looks do matter on some level.  Also, it really is hard to say what qualities you like until you’ve actually interacted with them.  Trust me on that.  The kind of guy I want now versus the kind of guy I thought I wanted in high school are dramatically different.


I noticed that I had a tendency to go for the arrogant types…which really means that I like confidence.  A lot.  If a guy can pull off being cocky, I’m there in ten seconds flat.  Sadly, many geek men are lacking in this quality when it comes to the ladies, and I am epic fail at boosting anyone’s self-esteem.  So there we go:  one chunk of geekdom eliminated.  Of course, I get bored if he’s not intelligent, no matter how pretty he is, so that’s a must. 


How did I learn these things?  Well, a lot of that would go back to those many stories from college, but long story short…no matter how intelligent or pretty a boy was, if he needed constant reassurance, I’d be sick of him within a eggplantmonth or two.  At the same time, no matter how confident and hot a guy was, if he had the IQ of an eggplant, I’d probably be sick of him within a month, max.


Some women can handle the reassurance factor, and if they can, more power to them.  I’m not sure I know of any geek women who would be able to tolerate a lack of intelligence however, so it’s probably safe to put that somewhere in your "necessary" pile of traits.


Some of the worst words a man could ever speak:  "I don’t read.  That’s boring; it’s all on TV anyway."


Oh…well….g2g, have to…alphabetize my Philip K. Dick novels….bye!


Of course, we ladies have it significantly better in the geek dating world than the men.  The ratio is in our favor, and we’re guaranteed to be less boring than that chick over there who’s holding a copy of Gravity’s Rainbow upside down and trying to look like she knows what’s going on.  Don’t be afraid to take advantage, ladies!  Nature (or culture) has given us a substantial leg up…we can’t be blamed for using it.  Everyone should be picky when it comes to serious relationships.  Geek ladies just have the opportunity to be picky earlier in the whole relationship-garnering process.  It makes life much, much easier, and considering that most of us already don’t get along with non-geek women and find ourselves trying to navigate through a world with all kinds of weird unspoken signals largely alien to us, we should take every chance we get to lower our social stress level.


All of this leads up to Geek Dance Party Etiquette Commandments 1 and 2, though they are listed in no particular order.


#1:  Thou shalt not constantly worry about thine current romantic status, for if thou seekest The One too vigorously, there shall be great wailing and gnashing of teeth.


#2:  Thou shalt not avoid all contact with the gender of thine choice.


There’s the lesson of the day, kids.  As I said before, feel free to bring up specific issues if you’d like.  Also, young hot Spock in the back row, please see me after class for some one-on-one tutoring.  Everyone else is dismissed.


[1] Henceforth, "The One" refers to an individual with whom one can maintain a serious commitment, not a one and only soul mate.