Premise: Dating is hard enough these days with social media and mobile devices actually reducing our ability to have real in-person relationships. Geeks are stereotyped to be even less adept at social interactions. In The Geek’s Guide to Dating, Eric Smith has laid out tips and strategies for geeks to meet and interact with the opposite gender regardless of the end goal. But let’s be honest, the end goal is for Mario to find the Princess and live happily ever after.
Themes: Meeting people is a common challenge for people who spend much of their time watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books. The Geek’s Guide to Dating takes this into account when trying to meet people either by using this as a strength or by suggesting new social settings to add to the arsenal when trying to meet someone of the opposite gender. You don’t have to give up being a geek in order to connect with people.
Navigating the phases of a romantic relationship can be tricky for anybody, but doing so in a field of geeky obsessions has the potential to be crippling for a relationship. In this guide there are suggestions to overcome obstacles and to emphasize the redeeming qualities that make a geek unique.
Pros: I was surprised how Eric Smith took my initial assumptions that this book was some sort of parody and almost immediately flipped them so I read this as an actual guide for people to foster real relationships. The Geek’s Guide to Dating is full of useful tips, from what clothes to get to enhance the wardrobe to how to navigate breakups. I like that in each section there are positive character traits to focus on as well as warnings that can damage a relationship now or in the future. Everything is very clearly laid out in chapters, sections, and sometimes even color-coded or assigned a key. The Geek’s Guide gives a clear walkthrough of different stages of relationships, from friendship to attraction, the sting of rejection, or into the dungeons of breakups. And everything is under an array of geek language and metaphors, most of which I understood but with a few splashes of things at a higher geek level than I have reached.
Cons: There are some instances where females might not be able to apply the given advice, but those are fairly few. I fear this might be a hangup for some women who assume it is only for men. It isn’t the case, but females might just need to stretch the analogies a little further to find the imparted wisdom for making a love connection. Geeks might also find instances where Smith encourages them to shed a little of their geekiness as potential obstacles for the opposite gender in order for them to get to know the real person. Some geeks might make the assumption that Smith is asking them not to be themselves.
Recommendations: The Geek’s Guide to Dating is a treasure trove of useful knowledge for enhancing most types of relationships, at least at a beginning level. After reading only one or two chapters of The Geek’s Guide to Dating, it dawned on me that this is actually a serious guide of dating advice for forming dating relationships disguised as humor. Eric Smith combines common sense with some practical tips to give much-needed advice not only to geeks but to everyone attempting to form a relationship with the opposite gender. Geeks will better understand the analogies, but everyone should be able to collect some wisdom from this fun gem of a dating guide, even those of us who are married but are always seeking to improve the connection with our significant other. However, consider this only the beginning and that deeper relationships require much more work than playing a video game.
Eric Smith’s website
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I received a copy from the publisher to write this honest review.