We can all use a little bit of advice now and again. Below is just a brief rundown of some of the tips that we've found useful while pursuing that perfect mate. Keep in mind, there is no magic incantation, no secret rune that when activated will instantly change the course of your love life, make you irresistible to the opposite sex, or create that perfect mate out of a lifeless mound of earth. None of these tips is intended to even approximate any of that. However, we feel that these geek dating tips are beneficial to keep in mind and to implement to the best of your particular abilities. We hope that, while not all of these may apply to you, you can take away a part, a sentence, or even just an idea that you will find helpful in your journey.
· Believe You Must
o Self-confidence is important. What it takes is practice. There is no magic incantation or secret set of instructions which, when followed, will instantly endow you with all of the self confidence a mere mortal vessel can contain. What it takes is practice. But by practice, we don't mean that you should continually throw yourself into repeated, uncomfortable situations in which you are already NOT confident. Rather, go with what you are good at. Recognize your own strengths, those things that you either know well, do well, or places that you feel most comfortable. Find those and use them. Whether it is at the restaurant having a friendly banter with a waiter or waitress. Whether it is at work in the break room discussing last night's episode of Arrow. Simply focus on how it feels when you are calm and comfortable and simply having an exchange. Identify what the elements are that put you at ease and make you feel confident. What subjects do you feel particularly knowledgeable talking about. Then keep them in mind to translate into situations where you might not normally feel as confident in your social abilities. Slipping analogies of your preferred strength into current conversations can be a good way to keep you confidence up.
· Curiosity...No, Not The Rover
o Curiosity, bad for cats but usually pretty good for people and especially for us geeks. By and large one of our strengths is that we are excellent learners, learners, and overall absorbers of knowledge. On the flip side we are also usually eager to share our knowledge and experience regarding the things in which we are most passionate about. This is exactly the reason that we should embrace and expand our curiosity and use it to our advantage when dating or getting to know that future prospect. Being curious about a person and what that person is most passionate about accomplishes a few things. Most importantly, it shows that you are interested in them, the person. It sends the message that you want to know who they are and what they love. It also serves you the important purpose of providing valuable information about who they are and how well their interests intersect with your own. Lastly, you just may learn something that you didn't already know! And who among us can resist the offer of free knowledge?
· Take It All In
o Along the same lines of being curious is being observant. Being observant is simply a more passive form of being curious. Take in all of the information that you are being given and use it in your interaction. Things like how the person is dressed, how their hair is kept, and how the act in public are all things that tell you about the person. Some things to definitely pay attention to are:
§ Body language - Is the person more interested in their phone then in the conversation or are they looking around the room for someone else to come save them? Bad sign, they are not interested (and that's OK), you should politely move on. But if they are leaning in to hear better, making good eye contact then they are engaged and interested.
§ Voice - It's not always about what is being said, sometimes it's more about how it's being said. Tone and cadence are important conveyers of information. When we are under stress (especially in a social or dating situation) we all have a tendency to raise both the pitch and speed with which we talk. Remember to try to keep a slow even pace when talking. It's easier to understand and conveys confidence (even if it's really lacking).
§ Physical contact - This is a 'touchy' subject. Obviously, physical contact is a positive thing. If you are the recipient of safe, spontaneous contact it usually means that the other person is interested. A light touch on the arm or the back during conversation can serve as a gentle indication of genuine affection. However, there are obvious, though sadly oft time overlooked, limits. Certainly no one should ever be touched in a private or near private area (neck, chest, stomach, thigh just to name a few). Also unsolicited touching of someone's costume to "see how it's made" is not a compliment to their craftsmanship, it's a faux pas.
· We Seek Truth
o As mentioned above, don't be fake. We are all tempted to feign enthusiasm in order to maintain the other person's interest. To some degree that's OK. However, one should never demonstrate that over-the-top lie "I love that too!" that will inevitably come back to bite them. Again, it's OK if your passions don't line up 100%, variety is the spice of life after all. And our differences make us interesting. But in the beginning it's always best to focus on the common ground. Along those same lines, be honest about who you are. There is no need to hide yourself. Odds are that if you love, odds are that someone else out there loves it too. And more likely, there are many others. You need not shout it from the rafters but it's better to know now than to try and hide it only to find out later that it's a deal breaker.
· He Will Learn Patience
o Don't try to rush it. Everything in life takes work and practice. Finding and establishing relationships is no different. You can't expect that next interaction or date is going to be the perfect one. What is important is that from each experience we take away both the things that went well and the things that didn't go well. Every time you go through it you should do so with the mindset that this is just more practice, another experience to put in the vault and learn from. If this interaction is extremely positive, great! You'll have a lot of material to draw from for the next time. If it went poorly, that OK! Think about what you could do differently the next time and then move on. That last part is worth repeating, move on! Many of us have this tendency to dwell on all of the negative experiences that we have had. What we have to do is learn to accept the experience, gain insight from it, and move on.
· Be YOU
o Be yourself. You may or may not have noticed a theme above. No one here is going to give you a series of check list items to change about yourself to make you more desirable. You have that ability already. This also isn't a cliché motivational message. It is the truth. There is someone out there that will love you for YOU. The person that you truly are. The problem that most of us have with that proposition is showing who we truly are in our best possible way. Always be you. If the person that you were talking to an hour ago didn't find that you desirable, that's OK. Move on. If the person that you meet tomorrow doesn't like that you, that's OK too. Contrary to common usage, this is not a trend. This is a series of undesirable outcomes with absolutely no power to influence future events. That you WILL be loved. Just keep putting that you out there so that it...you will have the opportunity when that right person comes along.
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