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Dating for nerds — it’s not rocket science! Tips and date ideas for nerdy queers

Robyn Exton

Sep 21, 2023

Dating for nerds — it’s not rocket science! Tips and date ideas for nerdy queers

Nerds come in all shapes and sizes, from all sorts of backgrounds and fandoms. Regardless of how you carry yourself, if you’re a self-professed geek and proud nerd, you need some lovin’ (romantic or otherwise) as much as the next person. That’s where our guide to dating for nerds comes into play.

So, to all beloved geeks of the LGBT+ community: we welcome you to the world of dating. Like many of the other worlds you may be obsessed with, there’s a bit of dating lore that is worth unpacking. 

Maybe you’ve already been here a while, or you’re finally ready to put yourself out there and explore uncharted territory. Lack of dating experience, being socially awkward, or being simply passionate about a nerdy topic, shouldn’t stop you from making real connections, though.  

While anxiety-inducing for some people, dating isn’t rocket science. Let’s explore how to find other nerds like you, and how to find other people who will love to hear your latest hyperfixation.

What’s a nerdy relationship like? 

If you’re a self-proclaimed nerd, you might know that dating for nerds can sometimes be challenging. Not to mention, if you’re neurodivergent and have very specific interests, you might find it intimidating to put yourself out there for fear of rejection. Let’s get this out of the way: neurodivergent or not — nerd or otherwise — you also deserve to have fulfilling relationships with people who support all aspects of you!

Life can’t be all about work and “adulting.” Remember what it was like to learn something new as a kid, and then that would become your obsession for the longest time? As adults, there are no rules to say that you can’t find a new thing to be passionate about. Finding some obscure hobby or medium that calls your attention, and being passionate about it is actually a pretty cool thing

On another note, being nerdy isn’t just about being super interested in a particular topic, it’s also about being playful, and allowing your imagination to roam free

The act of play is actually incredibly important for adults to lean into! Expert Dr. Stuart Brown even wrote a book all about play in adulthood: saying how playfulness “opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul.” There’s very little reason to not invite other people into this imaginative experience of fandoms, science, books, and other nerdy topics. The bottom line is: nerdy and playful relationships rock

Three people in cosplay pose for the camera at an anime convention. Cosplaying is a great nerdy date idea.

If you’re looking for a nerdy relationship, the great news is that there are people out there who would actually really love to hear all about your passions. When you have hyperfixations, it helps to have people around you who encourage it – as long as it’s not hurting anyone – and love to hear you talk about it! 

And when it comes to dating, the more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to find someone who shares your passions.

Maybe you’ll end up having a queer relationship like Reddit user Jojomusic1990:

“I consider myself and my boyfriend nerds. I love anime, video games, and comics. My boyfriend is a huge Tolkien nerd (as in speaks elvish). I’m a web dev and he’s a doctor. We drop a stupid amount of money for cons and expos.”

Reddit user Jojomusic1990

Jojomusic1990 seems to be living the nerdy dream! 

Nerdy date night ideas for you and your partner(s)

A nerdy couple – one wearing a Stormtrooper helmet, and the other wearing a Darth Vader helmet – face each other on a beach, with the sun setting behind them.

Nerds – we know you. You think outside of the box, so we know that whatever LGBTQ nerdy date ideas we have to offer, you’ll probably find a way to make it even better and specific to you and your partner(s). 

Take these following ideas and morph them into something extra special! 

Fandom conventions: the ultimate nerdy date

Conventions are the pinnacle of any fandom. It’s where you can meet artists of your favorite comics, actors from your favorite shows, and meet other creative people who have put their entire soul into their cosplay. 

Sure, cons can be pricey, but if it’s something you and your partner(s) are both passionate about, you could spend time saving and planning around attending an upcoming convention. And the best part is that you can meet even more people at those conventions, too! 

Want a cheat code? Make planning for your upcoming convention a date in and of itself. If you’re cosplayers, why not invite your partner(s) over to design and create your costumes together? Or if it’s a fandom-specific con, have a movie marathon night with all your favorite snacks, or a trivia night based on this fandom. 

Get cozy (and competitive) on game nights

If conventions are too loud and busy for you, opt for a video game evening. Bring your Switch, or preferred gaming console, your favorite games and snacks, and share the moment with your partner(s).

If you want to raise the stakes a little: bet on whoever loses to pay for your next dinner date! This is a very easy way to find out who’s the most competitive out of the two – or all – of you.

It’s true that games are getting pricier and less accessible nowadays. If you’re a real computer science nerd, make a date out of building a gaming emulator together to be able to play old-school games that are practically obsolete in today’s market. 

Or, better yet, check if your local library has any games in stock – yes, some libraries lend games, too! — for you to take out and play for your game night.

A nerdy queer girl lays on a library floor to read their favorite comic book. The library is a great place for a nerdy date.

The library: the ideal date for introverts

Speaking of the library: the iconic place that has been a staple in human civilization for millennia. Thousands of worlds live there, from fiction to nonfiction. Why not take your date there for a calm day of discovery

If you’re looking for more cheap date ideas, we have more on the HER blog

Tips for dating as a nerd, neurodivergent person, and/or an introvert

An introverted nerd sits on the floor, leaning on a couch while typing on a laptop, looking for other queer nerds to date.

Worry not, dating as a nerd doesn’t mean you’re playing by a whole new set of rules. The best dating practices apply to dating as a nerd, too. Here are some tips to take into any kind of dating environment, with some things to keep in mind if you’re an introvert or neurodivergent person.

Skip the small talk

Small talk can be excruciating (even if it’s totally harmless) – but particularly so for nerds who just want to dive into their interests or those of their date. 

So skip the pleasantries and go for deep questions. Ask about their favorite movie, or their favorite fictional character. Ask about the last time they actually had fun in a movie theater, or their favorite movie opening night experience. Where were they when they found out that Destiel, the iconic ship from the queerbaiting-pioneer TV show Supernatural, became (somewhat) canon? 

There are so many questions to ask, but if you need some more inspiration, check out our 20 questions for dating.

Staying safe while dating

When you’re ready to get off the apps and meet your date in real life, remember to meet in a public place where you feel safe and comfortable

If loud and busy locations are too stimulating for you, consider bringing earplugs or headphones that mute enough sound for you to be present, but not completely so that you can’t focus on your date. You could also look into the non-peak hours of your favorite local coffee shops. If you’re able, consider going to café’s during the weekday work hours, for example.

Accommodating your environment to work for you is nothing to be ashamed of, and letting your date know that you prefer quiet public spaces will establish a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the both of you to know what to expect.

Discover your date’s inner nerd and bond over this shared quality

When you’re out on dates, don’t go for people who scoff at your interests. Go for people who lean forward and ask you, “tell me more!” This way, you’ll find yourself in a relationship that is both compassionate and encouraging. 

Not only do you want your partner to be fond of your passions, but you also want to encourage them in their passions, as well! After all, if you dig deep enough, everyone’s got a nerd in them. 

Geek out on your dating profile

The good thing about dating apps is that you can be as loud as you want about the things you love right from the start. 

If you want a nerdy relationship, then there’s no reason to hide parts of yourself at any point in the courting process. You’ll have more luck this way finding people who immediately get who you are, and want to get to know you even more. 

If you have a dating profile, show your geeky personality up front. Feature a drawing of yourself in your favorite comic book art style, or a picture of yourself in your favorite cosplay. 

Your opening line of your profile could immediately nod to your favorite fictional universe, too. Try out “Looking for my Samwise in this big Middle Earth of dating!” And then when someone commends you for your Lord of the Rings reference, you could have a fun debate on whether Frodo and Sam were really in love – like in a gay way — or not. 

Practice self-care and beware of dating burnout

We know that the pressures of dating – that both society puts on us and we put on ourselves – can be super exhausting. And it could even lead to dating burnout. That goes even double for neurodivergent people and introverts, so be sure not to push yourself too hard when dating. These things take time.

Where is the best place to meet other nerdy queer women?

As far as dating apps for nerds go, did you know that on the HER app, you can not only swipe to match with people who share interests with you, but you could also join community conversations based on shared passions. 

On the HER app, there’s a gaming community, a community for pet-owners, and more! The gaming community will surely have people who might want to play video games with you, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find your next convention date there, too! 

Download the HER dating app, geek out your profile, and make your way to the Community tab where you’ll find dozens of topics to dive into with other community members! 

Happy nerdy dating!

Robyn Exton

Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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