Review: The Geek’s Guide to Dating

Review: The Geek’s Guide to DatingThe Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith
Published by Quirk Books on December 3, 2013
Genres: Humor, Nonfiction
Pages: 208
Format: ARC
Source: Won
AmazonThe Book Depository

You keep your action figures in their original packaging. Your bedsheets are officially licensed Star Wars merchandise. You’re hooked on Elder Scrolls and Metal Gear but now you’ve discovered an even bigger obsession: the new girl who just moved in down the hall. What’s a geek to do? Take some tips from Eric Smith in The Geek’s Guide to Dating. This hilarious primer leads geeks of all ages through the perils and pitfalls of meeting women, going on dates, getting serious, breaking up, and establishing a successful lifelong relationship (hint: it’s time to invest in new bedsheets). Full of whimsical 8-bit illustrations, The Geek’s Guide to Dating will teach fanboys everywhere to love long and prosper.

I’m not really the target audience of Smith’s guide to dating, though I did learn that I do qualify as a geek, thanks to my love of books, television shows, and movies. However, I was still curious to see what Smith had to say, because the book looked funny (it is) and, what the heck, I am single. Though I don’t know that I personally learned anything, I was very entertained and The Geek’s Guide to Dating might be helpful to those rather more entrenched in their geekdom than I am.

Okay, I’m going to start with the biggest problem I had with The Geek’s Guide to Dating. It’s very much focused on heterosexual males. Smith does address the fact that he’s writing to a male audience and apologize to female readers for the use of particular pronouns, but, to me, that doesn’t go far enough. If the guide’s intended solely for straight male’s why not add a subtitle addressing the book to heterosexual males exclusively? Also, the fact that Smith assumes that any male geeks in search of dating tips will be looking for a woman seems even more problematic, as the possibility of homosexual romance has not even been considered.

Putting those things aside, I do see the reason for a limited scope, given that the otherwise necessary pronouns would be overwhelming and confusing. Speaking to his particular intended audience of straight, geeky males, I think that Smith does a good job. Most of his recommendations are pretty much par for the course, but explained in a way that might make more sense to a geek. For example, he’ll explain date-planning in terms of Battlestar Galactica, and things like that. He explains dating in terms that a person who doesn’t usually do much aside from their geekery would understand. He also delves into forming a romantic attachment via online gaming and things like that, which might not be covered in more traditional dating guides. Some advice I don’t particularly agree with, like not wearing a nerdy t-shirt on a first date. Depending on what you know about the other person’s interests and the date locale, that could be a huge plus and not a definite negative. Still, as general rules, they’re pretty good.

As far as dating advice goes, Smith largely goes against the more typical male-focused guides. He’s not about playing games or pretending to think a girl’s ugly if she’s not. It’s more about being friendly, approachable, well-groomed and polite. Why make dating any more complex than necessary? Some of the dating logic is a bit antiquated, but, then, so are our gender roles, so I suppose that makes sense.

The metaphors and pop culture references are what set The Geek’s Guide to Dating apart. I mean, I was mostly reading this out of curiosity to see if it might be a fun gift for a friend of mine, but I was still kept entertained throughout two hundred pages. Obviously, I was a bit lost in the gaming sections, but most of the movie, TV and comic references were within my scope of knowledge. Smith presents the usual information through a fun, easily palatable trove of geeky jokes, which makes everything better.

The Geek’s Guide to Dating could be a good choice for you geeky males out there. For women and gay men, this might not be the ideal book, but it does have and overload of pop culture and some logical dating tips.

Favorite Quote:

Player One, I don’t want to lie to you. Not at the very beginning of the book, nor at the middle, not the end of it for that matter. This isn’t Portal, and I’m not going to tease you with promises of cake.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

i was thinking about asking you out
Dude, don’t psych yourself out!

10 responses to “Review: The Geek’s Guide to Dating”

  1. Jenni says:

    hahahaha I really like the GIF you used, Michael Cera is so incredibly awkward. huh I guess I would be a geek too then! *high fives for joining the club*

    Not sure this one would be for me, but I think I would pick it up and read the back solely based on the cover. Seems like I wouldn’t get a lot of the references in it. Happy that even though you took issue with the scope of the novel you still had a bit of fun with it.
    Jenni recently posted…Crank ReviewMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      *geeky five (which means we totally miss and fall down)*

      Lol, well, it’s not like you need to know how to date as a geek or how to date a geek, which is totally not your type anyway and also YOU’RE MARRIED. lols.

  2. Angie F. says:

    I won this one, too! I figured the focus would be on straight men, but I’m still curious, since I’m also a single geek. 🙂
    Angie F. recently posted…Mini Review: Conned by Chloe ColeMy Profile

  3. So … I am guessing my husband would not be thrilled if he saw me reading this.
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  4. This is something I had added to my wishlist strictly based on cover appeal.
    I was thinking of getting it as a joke gift for a guy friend.

    The GIF sounds like it is pretty accurate but I think I am a bit biased because that was a favorite movie of mine for the longest time.

    Great review.


  5. Jana says:

    I do agree with your criticism regarding, say, not wearing geeky shirts–honestly, those are the guys that I’m looking for! And I wish there had been more consideration for a wider audience beyond “straight guys looking for girls,” because geeks come in all shapes and sizes and colors and genders and everything else. Everyone has a right to love, and even if you’re looking at this book purely from a marketing standpoint, a publisher will make more money if a whole bunch of people buy this book rather than just one slice of the populace. :-/ But still, it sounds fairly interesting.

  6. My love for books, movies, and TV shows qualifies me as a geek too. So I guess I can learn a thing or two from this book.
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  7. Meg says:

    I kiiiiiind of want to read this mostly because I like examining the world through pop culture. Although, I strongly disagree with Smith’s no-gnerdy-tshirts-on-the-first-date edict. A) nerdy tshirt are on my top ten favorite things about life list and B) why would you want to date someone who would disapprove of wearing something awesome on the first date?
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  8. Meg says:

    I kiiiiiind of want to read this mostly because I like examining the world through pop culture. Although, I strongly disagree with Smith’s no-nerdy-tshirts-on-the-first-date edict. A) nerdy tshirt are on my top ten favorite things about life list and B) why would you want to date someone who would disapprove of wearing something awesome on the first date?
    Meg recently posted…Review: Gorgeous by Paul RudnickMy Profile

  9. Ellis says:

    Hahaha, Meg is so excited she commented twice. Maybe she just really wants you to read her Gorgeous review. Why is this only restricted to boys? Fangirls and girl nerds and gay nerds need advice too 🙁 I appreciate that he doesn’t promote playing games because I hate that. My characters can play coy and pull and push as much as they want because I know they’ll end up together anyway. I don’t have that certainty in life, so if someone plays games with me, I’m out of there.

    Boo on the not wearing nerdy shirts. I get the logic when you have to dress for a fancy dinner, but I wouldn’t want to go to an expensive restaurant on the first date anyway. Fancy environments freak me out. Then again, dates and romantic social interaction freak me out in general. Are you going to boy it for your friend? I have a geek friend I could have giving this too but then he got together with his ex again, so so much for that.

    Aw, Michael Cera. He’s so nervous he’s peeling of paint. (Is she doing that? I actually don’t know. It just looks like that.) I like nerds. I might end up reading this book for exactly the same reasons as you.
    Ellis recently posted…Review – Breaking the WrongMy Profile

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