How to keep your geek happy on Valentine's Day

Commentary: Smitten with a geek? Take care how you treat us. We love as fiercely as Vulcans but can just as easily turn into rabid Ewoks.

Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
4 min read
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When dating geeks, be sure to take their interests seriously. If Princess Leia and Han Solo can make it work, you can too.


Love is a many splendored thing, especially when a couple can share their appreciation for superhero comics, sci-fi movies, fantasy books, gaming, cosplay and robots.

All relationships require a certain amount of mutual respect, mystery and communication to keep the romance alive. But when you're dating a geek, you have to remember that we demand a certain code of conduct that includes honoring what we hold dear, whether it be our obsession with holodecks or our passion for building the ultimate battle robot.

Below are suggestions on minefields to avoid to keep your romance more like Leia and Han than Cersei and Jaime.

Don't reveal spoilers

Not everyone consumes geeky movies, TV shows, books, comics and video games at the same rate. Granted, we all have the same 24 hours a day to spend poring over the latest from Marvel or DC Comics, watching back-to-back "Sherlock" episodes, or pulling all-nighters to play a video game as soon as it debuts.

But that doesn't mean we want to hear secrets spill from our lovers' lips when it comes to our favorite entertainment properties. Spoilers are terrible when we stumble upon them on social media, but they're especially repugnant when revealed during pillow talk. Nothing is a bigger turnoff than finding out all the exciting bits of the new "Deadpool" movie before we have a chance to see it ourselves.

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Don't question our pain over series delays

Waiting for George R.R. Martin to hurry up and finish the next installment in "A Song of Ice and Fire" is downright painful when we know we won't be getting a new book from him anytime soon. We can't help but scream "no!" like a sorrowful Darth Vader when we discover "Star Wars: Episode VIII" won't open until December 2017.

And don't get us started on all the delays for new "Sherlock" episodes since the most recent Victorian special aired, which seems like ages ago.

As geeks, we're well aware that patience is a virtue. We've been well-trained to wait for sci-fi sagas to reboot, video game franchises to continue and even beloved book series to resume with new material -- thank you very much, J.K. Rowling.

So don't roll your eyes when we complain that the debut of the "Twin Peaks" revival has been pushed back another year. We care about these characters as if they are cherished family members. They are real and dear to us just like you are.

Cut us some slack and give us plenty of hugs, especially when it's clear that time seems to stand still while we await new episodes of "Doctor Who."

One of the many theories of how Sherlock faked his death involved this squee-worthy kiss between Holmes and the girl who mattered, Molly Hooper.
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One of the many theories of how Sherlock faked his death involved this squee-worthy kiss between Holmes and the girl who mattered, Molly Hooper.

If you binge-watch "Sherlock" with your soulmate instead of solo, you could end up like Sherlock Holmes and Molly Hooper.


Don't binge-watch our shows without us

Every couple struggles to find the right amount of quality time to spend with each other. Why not pick a TV show you both love and make an event out of watching it together instead of viewing it on your own? If you decide to consume a program together, make sure to take the commitment seriously.

Don't sneak off to see the latest episode of "The Walking Dead" or "The Flash" and think you can get away with the deception. We'll know when you're watching the series without us. We can tell when you fake surprise at a shocking scene or don't tear up at the right moment.

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Don't question our nerd knowledge

When you're at the beginning of a relationship, you're tempted to show off, especially when you find a common interest like UFO research or ghost hunting.

This doesn't mean you should try to one-up each other on geeky facts. Learn from each other instead of competing. If you constantly correct us on our knowledge of time travel, vampire slaying techniques, Batman's arsenal or monster erotica, then our self-confidence will nosedive. Have fun sharing your mutual geeky databases instead of trying to crash them.

Don't criticize our cosplay

Consider yourself lucky if you're dating a geek who not only loves superheroes, Vulcans, zombies, ghostbusters and Jedi masters but also enjoys dressing up like them at comic book and sci-fi conventions. It takes a special kind of person to don uncomfortable Stormtrooper armor or a revealing Wonder Woman costume for a convention, a fan-made film or a movie premiere.

It's even more commendable when your loved one doesn't exactly fit the ideal body shape or the look of their favorite muse. A small percentage of the human race actually looks like the characters they want to portray. We can't all have Batman's abs.

Be compassionate and don't nitpick our costumes or ridicule our attempts to look like intimidating Klingons when we look more like weak Worf wannabes.

We are putting ourselves out there because we love what we do and can't wait to show off our handmade costumes and DIY weapons. Your encouragement is more than appreciated, and rather sexy too.