Now that we’ve discussed where to meet nerdy boys, it’d be irresponsible of me not to offer some guidance on what to do once you’ve got one in your field of vision. These skittish creatures are equipped with more defense mechanisms than the pirate ship in The Goonies, so you’re going to have to pull off some fancy psychological feats in order to break past their cultivated layers of caution.
Compliment his pants choice.
Nerdy guys are often insecure about their ability to clothe themselves. Complimenting his hem length decision will make him feel good, and he won’t have to deal with the anxiety of how to respond to a compliment about his actual person. Plus, if it’s specifically about his pants, neither of you will be required to make eye contact.
Ask only questions Siri would also be able to answer.
He’s used to this kind of relationship with a woman. Questions like, “Where is the nearest gas station?” and “What is the current time in London?” will be a fun, low-pressure role reversal for him. Just don’t be a smart-ass and ask if he loves you.
Offer food, drink, or shelter.
In fight-or-flight mode, nerdy boys will need to have it broken down in terms of primal acts of human kindness. Ask if he’d like some of your chips, a sip of your Gatorade, or if he needs to stand under your umbrella, and he will know you approach as a friend. (Make sure to tailor these suggestions to your actual situation. If it’s not raining, the umbrella thing will just seem creepy or like you’re a huge fan of Rihanna’s, which he probably isn’t.)
Start reciting lines from Battlestar Galactica, then be all like, “Was that out loud?”
BSG is catnip for nerdy boys. Bust out a couple quotes from Season Three, and bam, you’re instantly a nerd-boy Siren. If you don’t know any Battlestar (and if not, what are you doing messing with nerdy boys?), try Arrested Development, The Guild, or whatever was on the front page of Reddit today (ERMAHGERD!). Nerdy boys are better at communicating through someone else’s dialogue, anyway.
Don’t approach, just send him coded messages on Twitter.
Sometimes being indirect can be the most direct line to his heart. Tweet stuff that he’d find interesting (you happened to post the same link today, weird!) enticing (you go to a lot of indie concerts alone, sigh!), or just encoded (if he’s a cryptologist!), and tempt him into @sking you out.
Hang around for a very, very long time.
Be an integral part of his life. Go to events with him. Study buddy it up. Stalk which hallways he happens to take to certain classes. Make friends with his mom. Eventually he’ll convince himself beyond a reasonable doubt that you are, indeed, hanging around because you’re interested in talking to him, and he’ll develop the courage to say hello to you. At some point down the road, he might even ask you if you are dating anyone, not-that-he-cares-but-just-wondering-are-you? Warning: this tactic could take months, years even. Only employ if you have a lot of reproductive years left.
What are some other tactics you use in talking to nerdy boys? Let us know in the comments!
Photos: “Cosplayers at San Diego Comic Con 2009” by Parka; “Butter Churning” by Terry Ballard; “We were in 2nd place at this point” by Zepfanman; “Dork on the BART” (image on the Daily Fig homepage) by Whatsername?