Say no to pixel bondage.

Please please, geek friends, don’t do this – Virtual Dating.

The premise of this service is much like Second Life – you create an avatar and your avatar meets someone else’s avatar in a pixel-born bar or restaurant where you have a wonderfully pixellated date to attempt to “create a bond”.

HOW WOULD YOU “CREATE A BOND” WITH PIXELS?

Now, I know what you’re going to say:

But e, I feel so attached to my WoW guildies and they’re just pixels.“”But e, didn’t you meet YOUR boyfriend online?”

Yes, yes. I am guilty of “pixel bondage” myself. I agree that you can feel a certain amount of intellectual chemistry online. You get a good feel for how a person thinks and (especially for our WoW friends) how they react in different situations. (For example, there are those of us who laugh hysterically after wiping for the 8th time on the same encounter, those of us who down another shot of Captain Morgan, and those of us who scream on Vent and throw things across our geek room. Which are you? Post a comment!)

Tangents aside, the danger to virtual barhopping is this – it’s one more step to add before you meet a person in real life and it sets you up with unrealistic expectations for when you do meet.

In my experience, the longer you dawdle online, the worse things tend to go in real life. You set yourself up thinking, “Oh, but we hugged and kissed in the bar at the end of our virtual date, so that must be where our relationship stands. We can just take it from there.” Then you meet in real life and even though the chemistry isn’t as good, you force it because you think it should be.

I know it’s a scary thing to say to a girl, “Hey, we’ve been talking for a week now, how about we meet up for coffee?” but trust me, you need to do it and you need to do it early. Not only does it keep you from creating a mental “avatar” of your potential love interest, but it also helps weed out the girls who are only looking to have a buddy list full of guys to fawn over them. If they’re serious about finding someone and emotionally healthy, an offer of coffee or dinner will be accepted.

We geeks have a penchant for living our lives online. It’s fine and good for work and play, but when it comes to love, real life is where it’s at, friends. Don’t get suckered into pixel bondage. Get out there and smell the coffee. Smell your date (it’s been proven that we choose mates by smell!). Smell the roses of the real world and love every minute of it.

Happy dating, geek friends.

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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