Geeks seeking geeks: A guide to nerd-friendly online dating
Dating is hard. Those of us who want to find that missing jigsaw puzzle piece are constantly dealing with the frustrations of wading through a sea of mismatches, while those of us who just want to play the field can sometimes feel disconnected, alone and not just a little bit jaded. According to those in the know, it can be even harder for the...ahem... more intelligent set.
"Romance can be more difficult for people with higher IQs," says communication and relationship researcher Tait Martin, Ph.D. "Generally, there's less reliance on the idea of fate and more insistence on the concept of free will, which makes it harder to sit back and say, 'Oh, but we're meant to be.' When conflicts arise, highly academic individuals tend to over-analyze, look for alternate options, and rationalize their way out of simpler solutions like just 'letting it be.'"
So, in short, we're picky... and fickle. He didn't catch that Tolstoy reference you made over cocktails? Pass. His eyes glazed over as you tried to explain in intricate detail the physics theorem you're working on? Sad day for THAT bozo. She stared at you blankly while you waxed poetic about how Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy got it just right and then said she'd never heard of it? NEXT.
Recognizing the need to help self-proclaimed nerds connect with one another for friendship and more, nerd-centric networking and dating sites have begun popping up online. After all, geeks need love too. Here, we present a random sampling:
Sweet on Geeks (www.sweetongeeks.com) - Tagline: "A Space Where Gray Matters." This site has received a sweet amount of press, and for good reason. In addition to traditional features found on most dating sites, it offers an international "Geek Events" calendar, multimedia success stories, and a link to its cafepress store where, if you meet "the one" and get all domestic together, you can buy your future tyke a "Sweet on Geeks" bib.
Geek 2 Geek (www.gk2gk.com) - Calls itself "the best place online to meet geeks." Offers free profiles & message center, snarky polls, top ten lists and nerd-specific dating tips. Registration is required for most features, and paid memberships are available with additional perks.
IntellectConnect (www.intellectconnect.com) - For "the artsy and intellectually curious." A fairly basic site with an event calendar focusing on 10 major U.S. cities. The entire site is free, but full functionality requires registration.
IQCuties (www.iqcuties.com) - Feels a little like a throwback to Friendster (the forgotten forefather of today's social web) with little emphasis on search criteria and lots of space for members to list favorite movies & music and join various groups. A 6-question IQ test is required for full access, but beware: one of the questions is misspelled. Just saying.
As with any sort of online networking, it's best to be safe and use common sense to protect yourself from identity theft, exploitation and shady behavior in general, but if you're curious, these may be some good places to start. If you're seeking the cheese for your macaroni or even just a date to this year's chess club holiday rager, give it a shot. Rock that pocket protector with pride and get out there. You just might find someone who digs you.