4th March 2024

Estimated studying time: 12 minutes

Physician’s Be aware: As we begin look in the beginning of latest 12 months, it’s a great time to look again at the place we had been see how far we’ve come. New years, in any case, are sometimes a time to rejoice change and development.

So with that in thoughts, for this week, I would like to have a look again at some questions from the beginning of this column and reply them once more, as if they had been new. I’m answering these with out my outdated replies, so it’ll be attention-grabbing to see what’s modified, if something. Welcome again to Ask Dr. NerdLove: Revisited.

This letter was first answered on December 21, 2011


As a lady, I wish to know find out how to be clearly off the market. Uh… let me offer you some background data:

I’m undoubtedly a nerdy woman. I’m comparatively enticing and I can gush on about Star Trek for hours to anyone silly sufficient to let me. I’m most likely a type of women that has an overinflated ego due to how geek tradition usually views ladies and the way simple it’s to be like-able.

I WANT to be favored. I’m certain most individuals do. I don’t need to cease being favored.

The issue is, I’ve stumbled by some relationships lately that vary from completely horrible to only rattling annoying (just a few that used my intense should be favored to govern the hell out of me and one which appeared to view me because the prize you get in case you win the relationship sport). I’m simply completely sick of relationship and the problems that come from it. I’m certain that feeling will ultimately fade, however within the meantime I would like to have the ability to make buddies and be favored with out being some sort of legendary intercourse goddess unicorn to each new man I meet (that is clearly the place the ego factor steps in, I do know that I’m not THAT enticing to everyone, actually. I additionally know that typically I’m.)

How can I and anyone else in the same scenario make it apparent that we aren’t at present trying to date? Is there a strategy to keep away from the hideously awkward “Look, I don’t know if I’m studying you proper however no thanks, its not you its me.” dialog?

– Not a Prize To Be Gained

There’re a pair issues to contemplate, NAPTBW, beginning with the truth that there is no such thing as a such factor as an ideal “don’t even take into consideration asking me out” sign. It doesn’t matter how apparent, how agency or how blunt it’s;  lots of people will miss it or ignore it underneath the idea that sure you imply that for different folks however not Studly GoodNight. And admittedly, you possibly can put up street obstacles marked “Not On The Market, Not Excited by Speaking, Do Not Cross” in entrance of you with the flashers on and there would nonetheless be guys who would straight Wile E. Coyote their method by it, leaving a human formed gap within the middle as a result of they assume that they are the plain exception to your “not in the marketplace, not ” message.

A part of the issue – and that is true throughout communities and curiosity teams, whether or not nerds and geeks, jocks, tech bros, no matter – is that motivated reasoning is a motherfucker, and it’s very simple to persuade oneself that different folks’s want to not work together with people is much less vital than their want to speak to a beautiful woman. They’re the hero of their very own narrative, the principle character of the universe, so after all, they’re allowed to push previous that preliminary resistance and show that they are, in actual fact, the droids you’ve been searching for.

This will get all of the extra “amusing” while you consider what number of of them will then get upset that you just’re not following alongside within the script that they’ve written for you of their heads.

However one factor that jumped out at me in your letter was that you just talked about an intense want to be favored. Having people-pleasing tendencies can actually get in the way in which of making an attempt to ascertain a agency boundary with folks, particularly folks you realize. This, mixed with the way in which that girls are nonetheless socialized to prioritize males’s emotions over ladies’s personal consolation and pursuits can result in numerous smooth “no”s – that’s, refusals or deflections that’re hid in socially believable the explanation why you couldn’t do one thing with out turning them down, instantly.

The issue is: folks are likely to ignore smooth no’s once they need to. It’s not that they don’t hear them or don’t acknowledge them once they occur, it’s that they’re doing the traditional gambit of “I reject your actuality and substitute my very own!” So in case you say “I’m simply not searching for a relationship proper now” or “I’m taking a break from relationship” or another equally smooth refusal, they’ll zero in on the “proper now” half and now “Not fascinated with relationship” half.

At finest, all that occurs is that you just’ve kicked the can down the street, they usually hope that they’ll hold round lengthy sufficient that they’ll be first in line (metaphorically) when the window of alternative reopens. At worst, they’ll take that as a problem and attempt to show to you that try to be relationship them. Typically by persevering with to pester you for dates.

So that you’re going to have to start out getting comfy with being blunt and direct. That doesn’t imply it’s essential to be impolite, however you could be direct and nonetheless be well mannered. Now, in case you’re undecided that somebody’s giving “I need to date you” vibes however isn’t truly saying the phrases, then take it at face worth. But when they’re inviting you to do issues that sound suspiciously date-like and also you’re undecided or they’re beginning to behave in ways in which appear overtly like they’re angling for greater than friendship, you then’re going to should name it out. I understand you’d desire to not have that awkward second, however a second of “OK, simply to be clear, are you asking me out on a date?” or “You imply like a date?” goes to be much less awkward than weeks or months of making an attempt to determine issues out, solely to should have the dialog anyway.

Now, it’s potential that they’ll attempt to surf the quantum wave of ambiguity, the place they’re each asking and never asking you on a date on the similar time and hope that they’ll improve to a date when you’re on it. Or they might truly say that sure, they’re asking for a date. In these circumstances, you then’re going to have to show them down, firmly, utterly and unequivocally.

You need to consider it like a knife: quick, sharp and to the purpose. “I’m flattered, however I’m not ,” or “I respect the praise however I don’t need to go on a date”. Don’t give particulars, don’t soft-pedal it by giving causes or excuses. Simply “thanks, however no”. Something after that isn’t a refusal, it’s the opening place for negotiations.

Yeah, it’s uncomfortable and creates the potential for harm emotions, however belief me: it’s so much higher for everybody to maintain it easy and clear.

Good luck.

This query was first answered on October 11, 2011

Expensive Dr. NerdLove: I’m 23 12 months outdated grownup who has; what is perhaps to some; a nerdy obsession. Nevertheless my profound love isn’t an curiosity of excessive fantasy literature, video video games, motion pictures, or anime, however an overzealous devotion to heavy steel music. This appears to be my down fall as I reside smack dab within the Bible Belt. This little reality signifies that I’m surrounded by ladies who’ve picked up the social, political, and typically non secular views of their group. 

Now I just like the southern women as a lot as some other man within the space, however my dilemma is that I’ve a hell of a time explaining to the women that comes over to my home; that simply because I personal a ton of CDs that vary in subject from anti-religious sentiments to brutal violence; that I’m not some sort of nut case.

Let me paint the image a little bit higher. Say I meet a pleasant younger woman out in public, hit it off, and hook up along with her; the primary few dates being outings and possibly going over to her place (If I’m to be so fortunate). However then she asks to see, hold, or go over to my place. I then should spend a day arising with a collection of explanations as to why I’ve this actually obscure pastime (in case you can name steel amassing a pastime; I’ll depart that as much as you). The music generally isn’t a giant challenge; it’s not like I my positioned rigged to play black steel after I stroll by the door. It’s all of the paraphernalia like CD circumstances, band posters, T-shirts, and magazines that usually have graphic content material on it. Some women simply get postpone by it.

At first I assumed it might simply be just a few women which may freak out about it, however I quickly realized that I used to be explaining my pastime to each one of many reverse intercourse who walked by my door. 

My query is that this: Is it potential to satisfy and hook up with folks while you preserve a pastime that controversial, or does it require the individual in query to lock just a few skeletons of their closet.

Loss of life Steel Head

Right here’s a query for you, DMH: do you need to be relationship somebody who’s going to see your style in music as a disqualifier?

My second query for you is: in case you take away the loaded imagery of some dying steel (some people are all the time going to see corpse paint, pile-o-sticks logos and trying-to-shock-and-offend-you album artwork as flip off) and substitute it with, say, online game paraphernalia or anime or another curiosity, does your condominium appear to be an grownup lives there or like a teen was given free reign over the décor and inside design? That’s going to be a a lot greater challenge in terms of bringing ladies over. Offensive or graphic imagery is simply going to be the squicked out cherry on that specific sundae.

It’s vital to reply each of those questions, however the latter goes to be extra vital than the previous. What somebody sees once they come to your house for the primary time goes to inform them so much about who you might be – whether or not you plan it or not. In case your condominium seems like a twister tore by the merch tent at Wacken, your date might be going to abruptly do not forget that she must go house and shave the cat. Not essentially as a result of it’s wall to wall Opeth and Thy Artwork Is Homicide, however as a result of it’s cluttered and messy and appears like Oscar the Grouch resides there – not a grown ass man.

If it’s not a matter of solely figuring out that you’ve got a ground as a result of all of your shit hasn’t dropped into the condominium beneath you, the whole lot isn’t piled up like the primary ten minutes of an episode of Horders  and the cockroaches haven’t moved out to discover a place extra upscale, then it turns into a query of fashion and presentation. One of many widespread complaints that girls will usually have in regards to the methods guys will reside is that their properties are clearly not meant to be shared; they’ll have a bit dedicated to their console setup or their battlestations or their hifi system… after which a mattress on the ground with no bedframe, a single chair or sofa, no kitchen or eating room furnishings and so forth.

Yeah, typically that is as a lot about earnings and poverty as it’s anything, nevertheless it nonetheless conveys a specific message. And that message is “I’ve by no means thought of sharing this house with anybody else.” The problem isn’t price or class, a lot as “will or not it’s bodily comfy to share this house with one other individual?” A lounge picnic could be romantic. Not having chairs and a eating desk rapidly loses its appeal (and it loses it even sooner when your knees, hips and again now not discover it as handy as you do).

So think about whether or not somebody – who isn’t an actual clone of you – can be bodily comfy on this house – by way of cleanliness but additionally furnishings. Then it’s time to contemplate the décor and the way you’re displaying your assortment.

Half of what’s going to make the distinction is just presentation. Posters and memorabilia hit otherwise once they’re framed or in a show. An autographed band shirt in a shadowbox or framed and held on the wall is considerably completely different than a bunch of them draped over the backs of chairs. A wall of cabinets designed to indicate off some killer vinyl or alternative albums out of your assortment is completely different than once they’re simply unfastened on the espresso desk. These little changes make the distinction between “immature muddle” and “a rigorously curated assortment”.

However simply as importantly, there could be ranges to what you show and the place. The extra public the house – that’s, locations the place extra individuals who aren’t as into heavy steel as you might be prone to congregate – the much less outre the stuff you show. Yeah, the artwork and imagery that’s extra palatable to most people isn’t all the time going to be your favourite, nevertheless it’s additionally much less prone to flip off people who find themselves nonetheless within the “attending to know you” stage or who aren’t as used to you and accustomed to your pursuits.

Now, if in case you have the house, then designating one room as the house to your assortment could be helpful. Right here’s the place you’ll be able to put home and show the stuff that’s extra prone to shock and offend folks. Having it off in its personal house signifies that individuals who need to see it or who’re happy with it will probably discover it, nevertheless it’s not going to be as a lot of a sudden shock to somebody coming over for the primary time. It additionally, by the way, provides you an opportunity to regulate what’s out on show; you’ll be able to rotate some objects out and in while you desire a change otherwise you add new objects to your assortment.

However let’s get again to the primary query: are you actually going to need to date somebody who’s going to be postpone by your being a metalhead within the first place? That doesn’t essentially imply that you just’re solely ever going to be relationship folks within the scene, however you’ll at the very least need to deal with relationship people who a) can respect that you love steel and b) aren’t going to see darkish, gothic or excessive artwork as an indication that you just’re the final surviving cult member from Michelle Remembers. So whereas I’m all the time a believer in curating your hobbies, you’ll keep away from a lot of complications by filtering for individuals who’ll be cool with it within the first place – even when they’re extra of a Swiftie than a Nightwish devotee.

And actually, you’ll have most likely filtered out the people who find themselves going to be turned off by your pastime earlier than you ever obtained to the “coming again to your house” stage anyway.

Oh, yet one more factor: simply since you’re speaking about southern ladies within the buckle of the bible belt doesn’t imply that individuals can’t shock you. Lots of people who could not essentially be into the cookie-monster-growling-and-howling genres of steel would possibly discover so much to like about, say, Halestorm or Inside Temptation or Outdated Gods of Asgard.

Good luck.

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