When do you break it to a girl that you're a dork?

As with anything, if you’re afraid it’s going to be an issue then the best approach is to own it. I don’t lead with the fact that i’m a nerd, but I do let it come into conversation naturally. Since I am studying Physics and program for $$, it tends to come up pretty quickly. If you try to hide it or you’re apologetic about it, you’ve already lost!

That said, the real trap a lot of us fall into is not knowing when to stop talking about it. It doesn’t matter how interested I am in videogames or the research I’m doing or whatever, I don’t go into detail unless whomever I’m talking to clearly wants me to.

That said, the real trap a lot of us fall into is not knowing when to stop talking about it. It doesn’t matter how interested I am in videogames or the research I’m doing or whatever, I don’t go into detail unless whomever I’m talking to clearly wants me to.

Haha, yes, this. Watch your date’s reaction. She might be accepting of your hobby but if she’s looking around the room while you’re talking about it, change topics.

Everyone I know/meet just instantly guesses that I’m a nerd. It’s not like I wear nerdy clothes, I just have that air about me. Women don’t tend to care, at least not women my age, in fact if anything it’s won me points with former girlfriends.

It also may be the social circles I’m part of are mostly full of dorks/nerds/geeks of some following, usually government or computer or history nerds.

This thread has it backwards. The question should be-- When do you break it to a girl that she’s not enough of a dork?

I endorse this method. It’s win-win, really.

That should be ‘whoever’. Do I get a dork prize?

But seriously, Slainte’s story above deserves more comment. That’s one of the saddest things I’ve read in a while, Slainte. You truly have my deepest sympathy. I was just listing all the great things about my wife (to her) besides being hot (for some reason saying that NEVER gets me any credit). Among them was the fact that she is not only understanding about my hobbies, but actively encourages me to pursue them. This includes video games. So every night, after dinner, I head up and play games, and she just enjoys the time to herself while I enjoy my thing. She sometimes jokingly accuses me of being a gaming geek, but I have a lot of non-geek properties too, and even if I didn’t, it wouldn’t really bother her.

But you seem quite bitter about the whole thing, even today. Hope you find a way to get through it. I can’t imagine putting up with that for fifteen years.

Goddammit, now I’m going to have “DO A BARREL ROLL!” in my head incessantly the next time I’m out on a date.

What the hell, it’s worth a shot.

It’s eased off a little in the past couple of years. I’ll fully admit that part of it was my fault, as before we had kids I would think nothing of hitting Everquest after dinner for a four hour session if we had nothing else going on that evening. For awhile early in our relationship she had every right to be angry and claim “gamer widow” status. That changed when the kids came along though, and gradually I realized that we needed time together as well. We share so many common interests, which is part of what drew us together, that I guess it bothers me that she doesn’t share or really accept this one that is important to me.

A big part of it is that I’m not someone who you would look at or talk to and immediately identify as a “gamer geek”. While I made it pretty clear long before marriage that my hobby was what it was, I think she operated under the impression that I’d grow out of it. Her social circle, and by extension my new social circle, didn’t understand or accept the hobby at all, so that made it difficult for a long time as well. Ironically at the same time the social circle matured and started getting married, having kids, etc. video gaming began to rise in popularity. Now that there is at least one console in damn near every home, even the least technical folks in our social circle have played Rock Band or Wii Fit and are happily chatting about video games. So now in the past couple of years she’s finally become a lot more accepting of my hobby, especially since my kids are now totally into it and I love that I can relate to them on that extra level. We got a Wii as a family over Christmas, and the kids and I actually got her to play with both the Wii Fit and a Disney Princess game my daughter got, so you know, baby steps!

It’s honestly not nearly as big a deal now as it was for many years before. Part of that is that I’ve scaled way back as job and family monopolize my time, and part is that she’s grown more accepting. Still, I’m more than a little jealous of couples who can connect on that level, thus my advice to think carefully about a relationship with someone not completely willing to accept all aspects of who you are.

I will be sure to break out the “Barrel Roll” line this weekend though. It may not compensate for 15 years of gaming repression, but it will make me smile at least! =)

D’oh, the old “him + he” rule gets me again!

My wife and I met at a nerd camp when we were in high school, so count me in as one of the lucky ones, I guess. She’s not as into gaming as I am, but she very much gets that it’s just a hobby like any other.

Whenever my wife mentions that I’m strange, or a geek, or dorky, I remind her that that’s one of the reasons she loves me so much and married me. She usually has to resign herself to admitting that.

Other than that, she’s not a gamer like I am, but she geeks out a lot and understands my need to game. With a 2 year old who up until recently has been pretty much attached to her, she’s also looking forward to the days when he will be gaming with me. He’s already started playing in his own way, and we’re working on his skills.

Hahaha. That reminds me of my own tale of amazing luck - my first official date with my wife, Steff, was a dinner date, where we discussed a bewildering array of geeky subjects, including the work I was doing writing game reviews - whereupon she casually mentioned that she’d written for DC comics. (Superman, if you were wondering) We then went back to my place, where among, uh, other things, she asked me to teach her to play Steel Battalion. Talk about once-in-a-lifetime luck.

Hey, congratulations, man! Is that my former Guildmistress, or are you with someone else now?

Oh, you said ‘luck’. I thought…nevermind.

So she was a head writer for Superman? The main Superman line? That’s pretty awesome, actually.

No, no, no - though that would have been awesome, yes. It was an elseworlds story, two trade paperbacks. She worked on it with her partner of the time.

Good advice in here . . . especially from WarrenM. Keeping your palce relatively normal not only will make it look nicer, but hides your geekiness a bit. I wouldn’t jump right off the truck and go “I’m such a huge nerd!”. Even girls who say that usually just mean they like to read, or like Harry Potter, or something. But eventually, of course, she has to be accepting of it.

What I typically do is casually mention things like “I game with my brothers online, it gives us a chance to bond and catch up.” Of course, how does she know, if she’s not a gamer, when the singleplayer games bleed into, or take over, my gaming time? I also keep most of my gaming stuff in closets or the basement. My last girlfriend was not into games at all, though she did try out Wii. But she was totally understanding if I needed a night to game or came to bed late after a late night session. Past girlfriends have been more or less into gaming . . . but it’s like the girl who says “I love to watch sports!” in their online profiles. Yeah, ok, sure you do. A bit. You don’t obsess every week over it though, like the guys you date have.

That being said, there are gamer girls/geeky women out there that love this shit . . . case in point some of the women on this board. But they are few and far in between, and . . . well, to find a pretty one who likes to game, and also doesn’t try to choke you in your sleep . . . that’s a rare combination indeed.

I am incredibly lucky to not only have a wife who doesn’t mind my gaming habits, but is bugging me to play Psychonauts so she can watch it.

I dated a boy for a while that would dork out about gaming. I mean, I’m a gamer and we played hours of WoW together and some other online games. But in WoW, he read the quests really fast and then would take off and I had no idea where we were going or what we were doing — it was a mad dash just to keep up with him. When that got old, we cancelled WoW. Then we started playing DotA. Every night. That got old for me. Then there were the weekends when he’d play game after game of DotA. And I’d remind him every so-often that we should go do something, or hang out, or have lunch, or something. But nope — game after game after game. After months of this, when he’d play DotA on the couch with no shirt on and eat ice cream, and I’d sit around and wait for him to be done so I could, I dunno, have a boyfriend again, eventually I lost it. I swear I could have smashed his computer to pieces. We fought about gaming every time he even approached the computer. But he didn’t give it up — oh, no, he continued gaming just as much as before, probably out of principle.

I still hate DotA, to this day.

The point is… you have to strike a balance.

I just realized I never had to break it to her because I wasn’t playing many games when we met. A few years later I got back into it, but it wasn’t a problem until I got hooked on Company of Heroes. I had learned long before then not to mess with multiplayer games (even before MMO addictions became popular) but got carried away with that one. It bugged her because I couldn’t pause right away and talk to her. (See fire above.)

Now it’s as if she doesn’t even see me or define me as a gamer dork. It’s just something I do and the topic rarely comes up.

I’ve been “lucky” in that we had to do a long distance thing for a while, and occasionally she works evenings, and sleeps a lot more than I do, so I have plenty of time to play. Of course I’d rather she was around, but at least no one’s cranky.

boba tea > dota