Adorably dorky dudes — think J.D. on Scrubs or Leonard from The Big Bang Theory — have long been underestimated. These sweet, smart and often devastatingly funny guys could be sitting on the sidelines of your life as you go after the leading man.
There was a time in my early twenties when I had the pleasure of dating, a lot.
During that time spent checking out the many fish in the sea, I definitely dated outside my type. In fact, I threw my type out the window. I dated several geeked-out guys, and while our relationships didn’t last, there were a few things that stuck out from my personal experience: Nerdy guys can be exceptionally kind. Nerdy guys, with all of their quirks, are never boring. The nerdy engineer boyfriend I had back then was oh-so-sweet and oh-so-faithful and would never have dreamed of standing me up for a date. What a refreshing change from the clown car of jerks I dated before him.
It’s hard to paint an entire group of men with such a broad, nerdy brush. Of course, not all intellectual types are going to be the same or even treat women the same way. But after comparing stories with a few other ladies, I think it’s safe to say — there are some benefits to dating a nerdy guy. In fact, many women prefer it.
1. He’s always got something to talk about
You just have to know where to dig. If you’re sick of talking about the same old, same old boring topics on first dates (Where did you grow up? Are you close to your parents?), let him steer the conversation into geeky territory and watch your sexy brains connect. As a woman who has successfully dated nerds for many years, author Laura McNeill says, “They can hold a real conversation about why it’s better to own a Mac than a PC.” Be still, my heart.
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2. He works for your affection
In the dating world, this is a good thing — a very good thing. If you encounter a man with intellectual interests who may or may not have been branded a “huge nerd” in high school, you could be sitting on a goldmine, according to Todd Valentine, a leader in executive dating and relationship coaching for men.
“Back in high school, dating a nerd was probably not a consideration for many girls. But what about a grown-up nerd? When they were younger, nerdy guys generally didn’t get the attention — or the play — that the popular guys did. This might sound like a bad thing on the surface, but what it means for you is that these guys likely didn’t develop the bigheaded entitlement that goes along with automatically being attractive to girls. They had to actually work at it because it didn’t always come naturally. So whatever relationships they have now, they are more likely to truly value and cherish. For women, this means you’ll more likely be with a guy who’s genuine and appreciates you,” says Valentine.
3. He can fix it
This may be a nerd stereotype, but it fits the bill for many tech-obsessed men who love to figure things out and work with their hands, my husband included. Laurence Bradford, a female coder, keeps it short and sweet when describing life with her nerdy boyfriend, “Nerdy guys are awesome because they can easily fix your computer/TV, always figure out how to work the remote, can set up your printer, etc.”
Charli Moore of Wander Lusters affectionately calls her longtime nerd love and husband Ben her “on-call IT guy” (coincidentally how I also refer to my husband when he saves the day after my computer gets the blue screen of death). Moore says, “If my smartphone does something not so smart, I freak out. Managing a blog and social media channels 24/7 means I need my technology to work. Fortunately for me, my choice in a mate means that the one aspect of modern living at which I fail spectacularly is covered by an on-call IT guy. He’s pretty damn cute too, which make life a whole lot easier.”
4. He’s passionate
There’s nothing hotter than a man who knows what he wants and goes after it — whether it be developing a new video game, mastering classical piano, getting a Ph.D. in biology or even pursuing the woman of his dreams. (And how does that old saying go? A geek in the streets and a freak in the sheets?) Hilary Kennedy, a woman who professes to date nerds exclusively, says that geeky guys are hot, hot, hot because they “have a passion for the things they love.” She adds, “That also translates to you when they fall in love!”
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5. He’s cool
Call it the great paradox, but once you appreciate the particular brand of nerdiness your guy has to offer, you’ll soon realize how cool he actually is. Molly M. Cantrell-Kraig, founder of the Women with Drive Foundation, is a woman who loves to date nerds. As she puts it, their greatest feature is their “stealth coolness factor.” Cantrell-Kraig says, “Their specialty lies in nuance, whimsy and layers. Currently dating a math geek who speaks in movie quotes and plays the piano. His attention to detail permeates and informs everything he does.”
6. He’ll surprise you
If your nerdy paramour is anything like Kanesha Baynard‘s now-husband, then years of fun and excitement await you. Baynard, author of the Self-Love Playbook for #boldthinkers, says that when she first met her science and math major husband years ago, she didn’t want to give him a second glance. “He did not go out to parties, and he always went to bed at a decent hour — all while we were in college. [But] he was extremely sweet and persistent in pursuing me. He knew how to build anything and also sew because he talked about creating his own games and apparatus — which required him to know how to build and sew. Imagine my surprise and delight when he made a gorgeous dress for me as an engagement gift!”
Once love is in the air, your nerd is going to surprise you. It’s just how he’s wired. Baynard says, “It’s important to look beyond any initial exterior or perceived ‘social glitch’ and spend some time learning about the inner nerd. I find them very fascinating and sexy.”