Dear Dr. Geek,
I am a long time geek and love pretty much all and everything geek and nerdish that possibly exists. I have been a collector of geek stuff as well and really enjoy the rich history of characters on many levels. I have been dating my partner for a little over a year now and while she enjoys the mainstream geek world (i.e. Thor, The Avengers, etc.) she does not participate or seem to enjoy the other aspects of geekiness that I do. She seems to accept them of me and we don't have fights or anything about it, but I do get the sense that I am being judged on occasion. How do I get her to accept this part of me?
- Geeked Out
Dear Geeked Out,
It sounds like you have really begun the process to be honest. The mainstream avenues are the easy way to get your partner involved in the geek world. I know that I did that with my wife and slowly but surely, she is coming around. She may never become a full geeked out in the world, but she is involved to a great degree.
Since you have already begun the "dark" transition to the Kingdom of Geek with the movies, a smaller step may be best to try the next transition. To go from the movies and deep history, which let's be honest, the movies don't always do justice, to comic books and different timelines of the characters is quite a leap. Collections are really neat to those who understand them and can appreciate them for what they are, but look to be a nuisance when one does not understand the meaning and symbolism behind the items. Trying to force that upon someone who may not have a natural interest is a little too much. I would suggest trying another avenue which is interactive like board games or a video game if she is interested in that. These allow her to play as the characters and give more insight into the background of the characters which usually incites questions about them and can lead to more in depth conversations and a deeper appreciation for the characters and mythology.
As for the acceptance portion of your question, it really seems like she has accepted you by the manner in which she has already been dating you for over a year. If she had not, I can almost guarantee that you would not be together at this point. In relationships, it is perfectly fine to have different interests and likes and dislikes. These are normal behaviors. That judging you feel may be a bit more about your projection of yourself upon the situation you have before you. By projecting your feelings upon the situation it can cause some trouble and really harm the relationship if not stopped sooner rather than later. I would encourage you to look more into yourself and see if there is a part of you that may not accept or be nervous that you are a geek and a nerd. It is common because society really doesn't play well with us. However, this is a moment for you to rise and take back your identity! Don't worry about what others think, but be who you are, clearly it is already working for you since you have a well balanced relationship and that is something which should be cherished!
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Dr. Anthony Bean is a Licensed Psychologist in Fort Worth, Texas specializing in video games, therapy, geekiness, and virtual worlds. He is considered an expert in this growing field and has been published extensively in the discipline. At Bean Psychological Services, he works with children, adolescents, and adults who play video games and their families to better understand the immersive effects video games have upon the individual and resulting family dynamics. He is active and available on Twitter as @videogamedoc.
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Dr. Anthony Bean is a Licensed Psychologist in Fort Worth, Texas specializing in video games, therapy, geekiness, and virtual worlds.