• Ask A Nerd: How do you date a gaming nerd?

    Hannah asks Ask A Nerd:“Why do the gamer guys we know not pick up on flirting signals?  Why is gaming more important than flirting with a girl and taking it to the next level?”

    Hannah, there are a few things I’d like to mention here that not only apply to gamers and nerds, but apply to males in general.  Let’s first address flirting.

    Flirting is a broad-brush term for a lot of things people do to illicit a playful response from another person.  Mostly, flirting is playful banter that could be construed as the first sexual act of aggression.  Although this is not always the case, men flirt with men, women flirt with women, and it doesn’t always have to be sexual.  It’s very playful, harmless, and easily misconstrued.  To your point, some men are totally oblivious to picking it up.  However, it really depends on the context.

    If I’m in a bar and trying to get laid, there’s a better chance for me to pick up on flirting because myself and the lady flirting with me are on the same page.  If I’m researching something in a library and the librarian is showing a little cleavage and compliments me on my eyes, chances are that was her way of flirting but I might just simply say “Thank you for saying that,” instead of asking for her number. 

    There’s no absolute way of knowing if someone can pick up on your signals or not.  There’s an element of risk and reward involved with flirting, and often people are a little too chicken to try. There many reasons why you might not be flirting in a way that the boy recognizes or can pick up upon.  You could just be way too subtle for him.  Some guys do need it all spelled out for them.

    Now let’s assume that you’re a flirting in a more obvious way.  Again, some boys’ and men’s brains just can’t get it into their heads that a girl likes them. 

    I once knew a girl when I was 17 who would visit me at a gaming shop near my house.  We’d take long walks in this absolutely beautiful parkway that was near Nathaniel Greene Middle School in Providence, Rhode Island — my hometown.  

    Pleasant Valley Parkway was a gorgeous street that had beautiful houses, gorgeous trees everywhere, and a great sidewalk that was on a curve.  She would walk with me, hold my hand, she’d look into my eyes, and would constantly touch my shoulder.  In retrospect, these were all clear-cut signs that she was into me at the time, however, I never made a move.  I was absolutely terrified of her through no fault of her own.  She gave me every sign that she liked me, and perhaps even to finally kiss her and give her some relief. 

    I was oblivious to all of this.

    Now let’s talk about gamers for a second.  I have to go hard on my fellow gamers, but I need to tell them some truth: Why are they so obsessed with gaming?   Because they are sexually terrified.

    Gaming could be the only thing over which a gamer feels absolutely in control and that’s why they do it so much.  They are the masters and commanders of their battlefield.  They are the only chef in their kitchens.  That sort of self-control is really hard for them to achieve with other people, so they turn to a game.  A game is less threatening and easier to understand then sexuality.  Those who are truly confident can get good at flirting, dating, and eventually sex.  Point out to me one confident gamer — show me one.

    On top of that, society really doesn’t help girls out.  There is too much pressure for men to be sexual master and too much pressure on women to be sexually available. So, even the smallest whiff of sexuality — like flirting — just terrifies the less confident.

    My advice, if you want a gamer/nerd boy, is to be patient and understanding.  You shouldn’t have to wait forever for them to make a move after you have, but sometimes they need a tad bit more time.  Chances are they are just intimidated by you, just like I was by the girl in my story.   The one truly courageous nerd will put the 20-sided dice down and take you by the hand.  My advice to nerds of all genders: Women and men are way more fun to study and research.  

    Introducing a new advice column from your favorite blue-eyed nerd in the whole wide world: Matthew Najmowicz.  I will be taking questions on virtually any subject on human interaction, sexuality, religion, dating, breaking up, being a nerd, and the secret world of nerd culture.  If you have a question — Ask A Nerd! Send your email to questionsforanerd@gmail.com! 

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