Originally published in the Geek Love Rules issue of the DriveThruRPG Newsletter.
Valentine’s Day is all love and fancy dinners when you’re in a relationship, but when you’re single, it’s a different story. It’s a day to complain of capitalism gone awry. It’s time to crow about Singles Awareness Day. It’s a day to lament that you’re “forever alone.”
Geek friends, let’s not do any of those things.
Instead, here are some simple ways to level up your love life. As with all strategy guides, some of these ideas may help you rack up achievements while others are things you may consider newbie knowledge. Take on the quests that work best for your character sheet and leave the rest for other adventurers in love.
1. Start a new activity with new people.
Expanding your social circle is a great way to meet that special someone. The wider your circle, the more connections you will have. If you’re looking for a woman and join a class that’s mostly guys, don’t fret; those guys have mothers, sisters, cousins, and even on-friendly-terms ex-girlfriends.
Check out Meetup.com for activity groups for everything you can imagine: dining out, comedy, foreign languages, writing, art, gaming, dancing, and more. Looking to learn a new skill? Your city or county recreation center may offer classes for both mind and body where you can meet new friends.
2. Let it go. Let it all go.
We often have excuses that we hold up as reasons why we’re single:
“I’m too fat.”
“I might be moving next year.”
“I like being single. Really. I don’t care.”
“I’ll never find someone who will let me go to Friday Night Magic and play RPGs every weekend.”
Let it all go. Whatever your body shape, there is someone who finds that physique sexy. In this economy, everyone knows someone who is looking for work. Going to leave town? There is someone dying to start a new life anywhere but here. Best of all, there is a person out there who will love you even if you’re sorting a box of Magic cards in bed.
3. Winning the battle is not worth losing the war.
Often we feel that we have to hide our geeky side to attract a partner. And all too often, it works.
You can hide your geeky side and get married to someone who thinks you’re a “normal” person. All will go swimmingly until they realize you have a room full of just gaming supplies and you want to spend 6 hours of every Saturday slaying hobgoblins.
I can name several marriages that ended in divorce because one partner didn’t grok the other’s hobbies and tried to get them to quit their favorite pastime. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t allow you the time to engage in the activities you enjoy.
Check out OkCupid.com and SoulGeek.com for the most geek and geek-friendly singles.
4. Real people are real.
We all have a perfect mate in our mind. They have a perfect body, they’re always gainfully employed, they always smell amazing, they cook like a 5-star chef, and they get dirty like no other. They will always understand you, always anticipate your every need, and always call you when you want to talk to them.
That person doesn’t exist. The most beautiful people get BO when they forget to put on deodorant. Your 5-star chef might suffer from seasonal depression. That financial executive that makes six figures could get laid off in six months. Most importantly, nobody is going to have the psychic link to your every need.
When you’re searching for love, focus on the big picture. What things are great about this person? What intrigues you about them? Can you see them as a friend, activity partner, and confidant? All of these things are reasons to say yes to a date (or a second date!).
5. Forgive and forget.
Imagine what life would be like if we could see emotional scars as clearly as we see physical scars. I’ll tell you this much: you’d see that we all have scars, even the people who you think have everything in life.
No matter what your history, you can find love.
No matter who you are (inside and out!), you can find love.
No matter what flavor of geek you are, you can find love.
Like all great games worth playing, the Game of Love balances risks and rewards, involves a dash of luck, and when you lose, you learn valuable techniques to improve your chances of winning the next go round.
…and you can’t win if you don’t play. Game on!