Geek Dating Advice: A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words…

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The old adage does ring true: a picture says a thousand words. What’s more agonizing that picking a photo for your profile picture?! Too little lighting, too many lens flares (*cough*JJAbrams*cough*), that one stray piece of hair is at the wrong angle… It’s enough to drive you insane!

Here’s a few helpful guidelines to make sure you’re getting the most out of your photos:

1. Do have a visible face – we all have that perfect selfie angle, so show it off! Even though you may be proud of your latest piece of fanart or your Gundam collection, people are looking to make a connection with you, not your things.

2. Do not only have selfies in your photo album. Pictures of just you are fine, but keep it 1:1!

3. Do smile – it brightens up your eyes and makes you approachable. It’s such a simple thing, but it can win over someone in an instant.

4. Do not  have a picture of yourself with an animal as your profile picture (unless you’re following in Steve Irwin’s footsteps, then that’s just awesome). Your puppy Lady Snugglesworth may be the cutest thing to grace the earth and an important part of your life, but show her off in your other pictures! The main picture is all about you.

5. Do not use an un-cropped group photo. It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo” when you have no clue what Waldo looks like.

6. Do be your genuine self. Picking the perfect profile picture may be daunting, but you don’t need to go to a professional to find a photo that captures who you are. Asking a friend can help! They see you from a different perspective and can help you show your real self.

Don’t worry if you think your picture has flaws; no one is perfect, and those imperfections show how human you are. So don’t stress about it, and have fun!

-Helen

 

Have a question about geek dating? Send Helen an email at askhelen AT soulgeek DOT com. Be sure to mention your age, gender, and whether you’re seeking a fan-guy, fan-gal, or either/both. Due to the volume of emails received, you may not get featured right away.

Geek Dating Advice: The Rules

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There are some fundamental laws of the universe that are inescapable, like gravity, or the laws of thermodynamics. Or that any pair of headphones, when placed on an empty flat surface, will be hopelessly tangled up in less than 5 minutes.

We think the same fundamental laws apply to dating. You’ve talked about “the rules” with your friends, either giving your advice or your friends giving you their’s.

“Don’t call for three days after your first date.”

“Don’t text back right away, they’ll think you’re desperate. Wait ten minutes.”

“Don’t kiss on the first date.”

“Don’t put too many smiley faces in your message.”

“Don’t eat anything but a salad during your first date, you don’t want them to think you’re a pig!”

Do you see the common thread in all of those? Don’t. Don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t do anything that might make you seem like anything but “normal”. That’s really what “the rules” comes down to: wanting to seem “normal”, so you won’t scare someone away. We’ve been taught to think that we can’t show someone we’re romantically interested in the real version of ourselves.

When has holding yourself back ever made you happy? Go for it! Show the person you’re dating that you like them!

Worried about seeming “desperate” because you responded right away to a text? Who cares, you’re into them, and you like the conversation!

You like to eat lots of carbs? Order the bread-iest thing on the menu!

Had a good time on your first date? Call them later!

There’s no point in trying to hide your real self from someone you like (and who likes you back), they’re going to see the real you anyways. We all want to find someone who accepts us, and being honest about yourself is the first step. If they can’t handle you on the first date, then it’s not worth it for you. You deserve to find someone who likes you for you.

I’m not saying that you should show up to your first date completely decked out as a clown (unless you’re both into that), but don’t create a false image of yourself. There are no rules you have to abide by about showing someone that you’re into them. Do what makes you comfortable, and express that. If someone impedes on your comfort zone, let them know. If you don’t want to kiss someone and they make a move, be honest. Don’t compromise your sense of security because you feel like you owe another person.

You deserve to find happiness, so don’t get in your own way!

Good luck on your dating adventures!

-Helen

 

Have a question about geek dating? Send Helen an email at askhelen AT soulgeek DOT com. Be sure to mention your age, gender, and whether you’re seeking a fan-guy, fan-gal, or either/both. Due to the volume of emails received, you may not get featured right away.

Geek Dating Advice: Getting Back In the Saddle

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I believe we can all agree on one universal truth: breakups suck! Whether it was a good or bad breakup, it still takes its toll. But life moves on, and we get back into the dating scene. I have a few tips to help you navigate it:

1. Allow yourself time to heal. Breakups can be emotionally and psychologically draining, and you need to allow yourself time to grieve the loss of the relationship. Sometimes it takes a week, sometimes it takes a year, and every person and every breakup is different. Don’t feel like you should be moving on by a certain time because of some arbitrary yardstick you think you have to measure yourself by.

2. Learn to be single. One of the hardest things after a breakup is learning to be by yourself again. By taking the time to learn what single-you wants and likes, you’ll know what you want to look for in your next partner.

3. Treat yourself! I don’t mean rack up credit card debt, but be kind to yourself. Oftentimes we’re made to feel guilty for pampering ourselves, but treating yourself to something you’ve been wanting goes a long way to boosting your mood.

4. There will be turbulence. Your first forays back into the dating scene are not going to be smooth sailing, so don’t be discouraged by the lack of responses and awkward conversations. They call it “the dating game” for a reason, and your skills get rusty when you’re in a relationship. It just takes some practice!

5. Have fun! Dating is exciting since you’re meeting new people and having new experiences. Who knows what your future holds?

I can’t promise that it will be easy, or that it won’t be messy, but is anything in life ever that way? If you don’t take risks, you won’t reap any of the benefits by getting back out there. Your SoulGeek is waiting for you, so go find them!

-Helen

 

Have a question about geek dating? Send Helen an email at askhelen AT soulgeek DOT com. Be sure to mention your age, gender, and whether you’re seeking a fan-guy, fan-gal, or either/both. Due to the volume of emails received, you may not get featured right away.

Geek Dating Advice: Out and About

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Dear Helen,

On most days I’m perfectly content staying at home playing video games, watching movies or reading a book. It’s fun and all but I’ll never meet new people that way. How can I motivate myself to get out of the house and meet more people and where’s a good place to meet them aside from dating sites?

-Robert

Hi Robert,

As geeks, we enjoy things that often tend towards solitude (video games, books, etc.), so meeting people in real life can be difficult. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible!

1. Comic book stores. Since geeky things have become incredibly popular, merchandise has shot through the roof, and comic book stores have been jumping on this. Now they’re the go-to place to find indie graphic novels and geek merchandise. Head over to your local store to snag that new comic or action figure you’ve been wanting, and maybe get some numbers while you’re there!

2. Gaming nights. A lot of comic book and collectibles stores host gaming nights (i.e. Magic the Gathering, Heroclix, etc.) and that’s a prime opportunity to meet new people and pick up a new hobby!

3. Conventions. This is the holy grail of meeting fellow geeks! Anyone wandering the floor or sitting next to you in a panel is a potential new friend! It’s a safe haven for geeks to let themselves be free, so conversations are just waiting to happen.

Good luck on your dating adventures!

-Helen

 

Have a question about geek dating? Send Helen an email at askhelen AT soulgeek DOT com. Be sure to mention your age, gender, and whether you’re seeking a fan-guy, fan-gal, or either/both. Due to the volume of emails received, you may not get featured right away.

Geek Dating Advice: Keeping the Conversation Flowing

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Hello Helen,

I have a question about keeping the conversation going. I have a bad
habit of long silent pauses mostly because I don’t necessarily think
much about anything. As soon as I or the other person has had their
say on a topic we both come to that awkward pause. I don’t see this
happen with the people around me like family or acquaintances,
coworkers either. So I can’t help but wonder what/how they could do
that. I fear the big reason may that I haven’t a life. Do you have any
suggestions? Oh a good note is I try to avoid cliche topics: weather
and such.

-Dandy

Ah, the dreaded awkward silence. We’ve all had the misfortune of experiencing it.

Here are some of my tips to help you keep the conversation going:

1. Be an active listener. Your nerves may be getting the better of you. Are you thinking more about wanting to make a good impression and making sure the other person is happy, or are you listening to what they’re saying?

2. Follow the threads of conversation. The two of you may start out talking about your favorite book series, and you have a thought about a movie or show that reminds you of it that you liked. It’s fine to move on to the next topic, it’s not like you have a mental checklist that you have to move down the list. Follow those threads, you never know where they’ll take you!

3. Talk about your passions. I’m not just talking about what you’re interests are in games, books, or movies. Ask the other person to tell you what their passions in life are, be they collecting postcards from around the world or plans for world domination. And don’t be afraid to share yours! You may not think you lead an exciting life, but talking about your dreams and aspirations may help change your perspective on your own life.

4. Lulls happen. A quiet pause between topics is natural, so don’t panic over them. Pause and enjoy the moment and the good time you’re having with the other person.

Good luck in your dating adventures!

-Helen

 

Have a question about geek dating? Send Helen an email at askhelen AT soulgeek DOT com. Be sure to mention your age, gender, and whether you’re seeking a fan-guy, fan-gal, or either/both. Due to the volume of emails received, you may not get featured right away.

Geek Dating Advice: First Messages

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Hello readers!

One day you’re looking at new matches and you stumble upon the perfect profile: they love your favorite things, they’re funny, AND they’re cute to boot! Now to message them! But wait, you don’t want to make a bad impression. What do you do?

Here are my Do’s and Don’ts of first messages.

Don’t:

  1. Don’t focus all on their looks. Yes, we all like to be told that we’re attractive, but skip this for your first message. It can appear that you’re only interested in their physical attractiveness, when that really has to be balanced with mental and personality attraction. Leave the physical comments for later conversations.
  2. Don’t talk only about yourself. You’re interested in the other person, so ask them about something in their profile that caught your interest. You wouldn’t want to be talked at by someone else, so start a conversation.
  3. Don’t talk about meeting in person. You haven’t had a conversation yet, let alone concluded that you’d get along, so don’t message them straight out about meeting. This puts pressure on the other person, and they don’t even know you at all. You’re more likely to get no response or negative reactions if you ask right off the bat.
  4. Don’t write an essay. You don’t have to talk about everything you’re interested in in one message. Most people don’t have time to sit and read long messages, so one or two paragraphs is long enough. You want to catch their interest, but still leave things to talk about in later conversations.
  5. Don’t put them on a pedestal. Maybe you want to make the other person feel special, so you may be tempted to write, “You’re not like the other _____s around here!” DO NOT DO THIS. The other person already knows that you’re interested in them by the fact that you’re sending them a message. This phrasing puts unwanted pressure on the other person and makes it appear that you have disdain for the other “_____s” you were referring to. It’s like saying, “I like you even though you’re a trash monster!” It still appears as an insult to the other person.

Do:

  1. Be yourself. You may be anxious about making a good impression, but if you pretend to be someone you’re not now, it’s just going to make a bad impression later. You want to be accepted for who you are, so put yourself out there!
  2. Start a conversation. Ask questions! Pick an interesting topic from their profile and ask them about it. Us geeks like to talk passionately about the things we love, so this shows that you’re interested in hearing what they have to say. Chances are, you’ll get questions in return!
  3. Be funny. Everyone loves a sense of humor, so let your’s shine!

Keep these in mind next time you message someone!

Good luck in your dating adventures!

-Helen

 

Have a question about geek dating? Send Helen an email at askhelen AT soulgeek DOT com. Be sure to mention your age, gender, and whether you’re seeking a fan-guy, fan-gal, or either/both. Due to the volume of emails received, you may not get featured right away.

Geek Dating Advice: Safety First!

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Hello readers!

While SoulGeek is a safe space for geeks to let loose and be themselves in the online dating world, we can easily forget that this is still the Internet, and sometimes people may not be all that they seem.

Here a few safety tips to help you navigate online dating and ensure you have a fun and healthy experience:

1. Trust your instincts. If you feel at all uncomfortable while talking with someone, don’t be quick to dismiss it. Even something small, like a sudden aggressive tone, unwarranted expression of anger, or disregard for your boundaries are all signs that this is not someone you want to associate with. Don’t place yourself in harm’s way just because you think you might be overreacting.

2. Meet for the first time in public. Things have been going great online, and now you want to actually meet! Pick a public venue, like a coffee shop or museum or other location that suits your tastes. This gives you a neutral meeting ground that gives you both a sense of safety. If conversation dies and it gets awkward, you can just leave without feeling like you’re offending a host or guest.

3. Keep your friends in the loop. Even when meeting in public for the first time, let your friends know the address of where you’re going. You can even set up a set time to sneak a quick text letting them know if things are going well, or if you need an “emergency” phone call that gives you a polite excuse to leave. They’re going to want to hear about it all anyways, so it’s a practical and fun way to keep them in the know!

4. Don’t share a vehicle. Don’t pick up a person for a first date and don’t have them pick you up. Getting to your date on your own gives you a sense of autonomy and freedom to leave whenever you need to. You’re not stranded if the other party doesn’t like that you prefer Stark Trek to Star Wars and they leave in a huff.

I’m not suggesting that you be automatically suspicious of anyone you meet online, but keep these practices in mind when you’re setting up your first date!

Good luck in your dating adventures!

-Helen

 

Have a question about geek dating? Send Helen an email at askhelen AT soulgeek DOT com. Be sure to mention your age, gender, and whether you’re seeking a fan-guy, fan-gal, or either/both. Due to the volume of emails received, you may not get featured right away.

Geek Dating Advice: Breaking the Ice

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Dear Helen,

I’m a young, extremely introverted and shy college
student. Online dating hasn’t been working for me, but I have no
social skills at all to approach people.

Thing is, once I’m actually talking to them, I’m pretty charming and
confident. It’s that ice breaker, that opening line that I have
trouble with. I over think things, and I just can’t approach them. Do
you have any advice?

-Jack

Hi Jack!

I’m going to let you in on an unspoken secret: everyone experiences that paralyzing fear at the moment they try to approach someone they’ve never spoken to before. I myself am an introvert, and while I put on a brave face, there are some times I wish I could turn and run screaming into the night. Even the most extroverted of extroverts feel it, even for a split second, before their outgoing nature kicks in. This is not something we like to admit, as it can be perceived as a weakness, but if we just acknowledged the truth, I think the whole dating scene would be a lot easier.

Like you, I am in my own head too much to the point that I over think everything:

Did I put on too much perfume? What if there’s four seats and three people, how do we decide who’s going to sit next to who? She rolled her eyes at something, is it me? Is it what I’m wearing? Does she think I’m too pretentious? I haven’t even said anything yet! Oh no, they’re looking at me. Or something behind me. Do I turn and look? I knew I should have gone with my Han Solo shirt instead of the Daft Punk one. But that one is getting kind of old and worn. Maybe I should make it into a pillow…

I think you get what I’m saying. I recommend using what you yourself suggested: an icebreaker. It’s an amusing way to break the tension of speaking with someone for the first time, and you can bring your own personality into it. I myself enjoy swapping terrible pick-up lines with someone new, and it even turns into a competition to see who can create the worst one!

Here’s a few things to remember:

1. Tell your brain to shut up. It’s a wonderful organic machine that can process a barrage of information all at once, but sometimes it hands you too many things to process manually. Take a few deep, slow breaths, focusing on the action itself, and let yourself be calm. When your brain is in overdrive, it’s difficult to relax and that will translate into your body language and speech, making it harder to navigate social situations.

2. Everyone feels the way you do. I guarantee that whoever you’re trying to approach is feeling just as nervous as you, especially on a dating site. The Internet is a remarkable tool for increasing communication, but it doesn’t erase the stress that can come with actually talking to someone else.

3. Let yourself have fun! Don’t pressure yourself into thinking that the next person you talk to has to be The One. It’ll make you more nervous and put unrealistic expectations on the other person. Enjoy yourself! It’s only through engaging other people that you can help yourself grow, so while you may not find someone to date, you can walk away with a good friend.

Good luck in your dating adventures!

-Helen

 

Have a question about geek dating? Send Helen an email at askhelen AT soulgeek DOT com. Be sure to mention your age, gender, and whether you’re seeking a fan-guy, fan-gal, or either/both. Due to the volume of emails received, you may not get featured right away.