Dating is Awkward, but so is Becoming the Crazy Cat Lady

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by Angelle Bonnecarrere (@angelle_renee)

“I’ll tell you what I do want. I want someone who will be monogamous, and nice to his mother. And I want someone who likes musicals, but knows to just shut his mouth when I’m watching Lost. And I want someone who thinks being really into cars is lame and strip clubs are gross. I want someone who will actually empty the dishwasher instead of just taking out forks as needed, like I do. I want someone with clean hands and feet and beefy forearms like a damn Disney prince. And I want him to genuinely like me, even when I’m old. And that’s what I want!” –Liz Lemon (30 Rock)

Dating.

I have dreaded even saying the word for years now.

I want to believe that it’s hard on all of us. That is until I see well-adjusted normal people see each other from across the room, say hi, exchange pleasantries and business cards, and next thing I know I’m being invited to a destination wedding in Puerto Rico.  As a self-described “nerd,” does that automatically put me in the “Awkward with Dating” box? No, but I can name some things that do:

I get excited when I find floss in my purse.

Also, when I find gum.

I go to bed, more often than not, at 9:30.

I’m wearing socks with sharks on them.

These are more likely reasons why I try to stay away from dating. Yet it begs the question, how does an awkward nerd find love? After years of my friends saying, “I’m not a psychiatrist!”, “Join a dating site!”, “What are you wearing??”, I joined a dating site and stopped wearing rompers.

Yes, my first date was kind of a bust after he told me that ordering a double Jameson on the rocks was “Just not something you do on a first date” and then followed up with, “Yeah, I’m not really into The Walking Dead.” However, I feel that when we acknowledge our nerdiness, we also take on the attributes of the stereotype and make dating the most painful thing in the world next to stubbing your toe on the sofa. Here are some reasons you should get out of that basement and make some new connections:

Cat hoarding is so 2010. You like to knit, have a cat, and are single. Cue your friends calling you “The Crazy Cat Lady.” Well, maybe you just like all of those things. Maybe you travel a lot and have illicit love affairs with men named Paulo. They don’t know you. Even if you don’t, now that I’ve said Paulo, you’re thinking about it. He’s out there, waiting to samba away with your heart. Are you going to keep Paulo waiting?

Stories. Sometimes I wonder if I’d rather have a terrible date or a great one. I have a friend who said a guy she went out with spent the better part of the date telling her the company his parents ran wasn’t a pyramid scheme (it’s probably a pyramid scheme). What if he shows up pushing 60 when his profile said 33? Hey, ask him about what it was like when Star Wars first opened. What if she brings along her tiny Pomeranian so you can only sit outside and it’s 95 degrees? Tell her to wait a minute, go home, grab your St. Bernard, and tell her you’ll meet her at the dog park.

New Stuff. Go out. Buy that new shirt, tie, pants, dress, etc. Put it on and go. Your mood will instantly change. My thing is shoes (which is why Paolo Nutini’s “New Shoes” is very dear to me). I put on a new pair of shoes and even when a guy is making volunteering in Jerusalem sound boring, I’m safe in the knowledge that I have new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right.

Keep an open mind. Maybe he doesn’t look like Henry Cavill or have the suave debonair charm of Timothy Olyphant. He might not drink coffee or like cupcakes, but he does like you and makes you laugh. Isn’t that all we want at the end of the day? Trying to keep up with suave and debonair is exhausting, especially if you’re like me and averse to showering some days and not leaving the house, because a marathon of An Idiot Abroad is on The Science Channel.

Trust me, dating is hard. I know someone who says her friend went on 264 dates before she found her husband. She may be exaggerating, but know this:

Here’s to 264 times to meet new people, have a great story, and just maybe….

fall in love.

Happy New Year, nerds!


    10 Comments

  1. JMJanuary 3rd, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I was 10 when Star Wars hit theaters. Cole Porter was finally hitting his stride and the toaster over was a bout to rock the world of millions of housewives…

    It was a watershed moment in my life, like losing my virginity… or the launch of New Coke.

  2. MeredithJanuary 3rd, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I don’t know if this is the correct place to ask, but I was wondering where (place) or what website is best at meeting fellow nerds to date? Also I was wondering if this site has more dating information or places to meet others?

  3. Komal SJanuary 3rd, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Its hard when no one give you a chance :-/

  4. StefiJanuary 3rd, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I laughed a lot reading this article, mostly because I think it’s all true. Dating can be hard, awkward and sometimes downright embarrassing. But it can also be fun. I believe the trick is keeping an open mind–just as you pointed out–and not taking it too seriously, like you’re never going to go out again if something goes wrong.

    I recently went on a date with a guy who actually said to me “I’m not really into superheroes” and the nerd in me was tempted to smack him in the head, especially when he told me that the only “superhero” he likes is “El Zorro.” But, you know, I decided to be civil and ended up having a good time.

    I also think that, sometimes, joining a dating site could be the answer if it’s hard for you to find people who share your interests. The internet has proven to be the best place to do exactly that–at least, in my experience–and hey, it’s 201… 3 (yeah, I almost typed 2012)! Anything could happen. Don’t give up and keep trying, someday you’ll find the right person for you, I’m sure. 🙂

    Fun article, keep up the good work and happy new year for you too!

  5. BethanyJanuary 3rd, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    How many cats are required for the label “crazy cat lady”?

    …Because my two are curled up beside me right now, However, being a “crazy cat woman” is not merely an alternative to avoiding awkward dates. If we’re young, successful, and are bringing in a decent income for ourselves, then why not embrace being single, independent, adventurous women (or men). I am 25, and have been single for my entire adulthood, but I’ve also visited over half of the US since I graduated from college, including a drive across the country, gone skydiving, backpacked through the Rockies, and gone on more spontaneous day or weekend trips than I can count. Then I come back to two adorable cats who make me laugh, and a great group of friends who thankfully don’t pressure me to find a boyfriend or go on more dates.

    If that makes me a crazy cat woman, it’s a title I’ll proudly bear!

  6. Laureen O' (@ViBarkley)January 3rd, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    I laughed reading this as well. You need someone who’s willing to embrace your nerdiness; however, I think one can be TOO open minded. I gave far too many guys a chance thinking, “He could be The One.”

    Depth of character is most important – that being said, I wouldn’t give a guy the time of day if he was wearing sock with flip flops.

    Hope to see everyone at SDCC 2013!

  7. AngelleJanuary 3rd, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I think it’s all about optimism in this crazy world we live in. If you can’t laugh at yourself, than you’re doing this “life thing” wrong

  8. MeganJanuary 3rd, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    GREAT article, LOLed throughly! Can’t wait to hear more of your adventures in nerd dating!
    xoxo

  9. Chelsea FJanuary 3rd, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Nice, funny article. I hope I never have to date again…although my current guy was easy to date when we were still getting to know each other. Hopefully that means it lasts!

  10. AngelleJanuary 4th, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Wow…thank you all so much for reading. It’s amazing when you find you aren’t the only one having a hard time. As for dating site suggestions, try them all. I say be limitless (except OkCupid! have limits there) otherwise, keep an open mind and you never know what could come out of it 🙂

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