blerd2012 saw the rise of the black nerd in mainstream media. Don’t believe us? Check with CNN. Or The Washington Post. Or NPR.

Though the concept of segregating nerddom along racial lines is a bit suspect and certainly has its detractors, the newfound attention black nerds are attracting doesn’t seem to be abating.

If you’ve ever dated a brother whose a Trekkie, a Civil War buff, a Nate Silveresque statistician, a robotics crafter, a fantasy enthusiast, or a comic book/gaming hobbyist, you already know that black nerds — also known by their corny portmanteau, ‘blerds’ — very rarely resemble Steve Urkel in fashion sense or in carriage. And the most interesting ones don’t often refer to themselves as “nerds” unironically. You may also know that what mainstream media identifies as nerddom may also be geekdom. (Apparently the two are distinguishable, but for the purposes of this piece, we’re going to use ‘blerd’ to refer to both).

In any event, there’s a bit of an art form to making a relationship thrive with a nerdy guy.

If you’re new to the game, here are a few tips to ease your tension:

1. Embrace, don’t efface.

Listen, if a dude’s a Trekkie or Star Wars buff when you meet him, and he has an annual date with a Con that involves cosplay, accept that. In fact, affirm that. If he’s not embarrassed that he dresses up like a Stormtrooper or Vulcan once or twice a year, you probably shouldn’t be either.

2. Allow for idiosyncratic conversation.

If you’re out to dinner and the conversation veers off into obscure territory, go with it. We’re not saying you should have to learn Klingon or bone up on quantum-controlled mobile robots to talk to your date. He should be able to balance discussion of his interests with discussion of yours. But understand that dating a blerd sometimes means listening to the various plot progressions of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age Batmans. If you like him enough, this might be a turn-on.

3. Don’t feign great interest.

It’s best to be upfront about just how little you know (or care) about your date’s nerdy niches. He’ll respect you for that. And you don’t have to pretend to be into touring civil war battlegrounds in your free time (which is a win).

4. Develop *some* interest.

You’d be surprised at how much insight you can gain about a significant other by making just a small amount of effort to infiltrate a very specific culture/field in which he’s deeply interested. Even if you never become a lover of small-scale model-building, trying to build a replica just once could help you appreciate how much patience and serenity that exercise can cultivate.

5. There’s no formula.

Take all these tips with a grain of salt. This advice applies to most personality types, not just nerds, geeks, and gamers. In any new relationship, don’t go in looking to change your partner or yourself. Honor who you both are, as you both are. Figure out how much idiosyncrasy you can tolerate, and above all, enjoy the process of learning how someone else thinks. That’s almost always worth the ride.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • The Comment

    I miss the days when we didn’t have to label everything and everyone.

    • Stanley

      When was those days?
      I don’t remember.

    • Jaslene

      Please tell me when there were times like these because in the history of everything there has always been a label.

  • Change

    can’t wait for girl blerds to come into style.

  • E.M.S.

    I have to agree with some of the other comments, both about labeling someone a nerd for having great passion & extensive knowledge of something and acting as if black guys like this are rare.

    This advice extends to any guy with these types of interests, but it is spot-on. My boyfriend is a huge gamer and has an incredible knack for all things tech (he built his own fancy pants gaming pc by hand) and I’d say this described him pretty accurately.

    I advise my fellow ladies not to close their mind off to participating in things he loves so immediately. You may find you love it too. I wasn’t much into gaming but now I’ll play Arkham Asylum, Diablo & Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom any day with my guy :) I can even beat him!

    One of the most important things in a relationship is supporting each other’s interests and making the effort to share what somebody loves with them. It brings you closer.

    • EST. 1986

      I suck at Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.

      I’ve been playing video games all my life.

    • Asylum and Arkham City are like a Batman wet dream. It’s like YES I AM THE BAT AND I AM B.A. hahaha

    • Anthony

      Arkham City sounds like an H.P. Lovecraft reference.

    • Just googled it and it probably is

  • Pseudonym

    Seems that if you’re truly compatible with a black man who happens to be a “nerd,” you won’t need a guide or list of tips as to how to date him.

    • Anthony

      That’s true, but never hurts to expand one’s horizons.

  • Anthony

    I have to agree with the person who wrote that nerd does not equal good guy. The fact is that man who has had little success with women may have some pent-up resentment. I also agree that men are always complaining about women only wanting bad boys probably do not have realistic self images and are certainly looking at the wrong women!

    I am not trying scare women away from nerds, I am just saying that all people have their issues.

    Whoever said experience is like getting a comb after you have gone bald was not lying!

    • Change

      i don’t think anyone heard you.
      could you repeat this for the people in the back please!

    • You’re right, Anthony.

      It’s been my observation that, at some point in life, everybody gets rejected, and everybody rejects somebody. Even the men who claim that women only want bad boys are guilty of breaking the hearts of women who have crushes on them. In other words, they are also selective about who they show an interest in.

      That’s why it doesn’t make sense to be obsessing about the girls/ boys who didn’t want to date you in high school some 20 odd years ago. Garden variety rejection is part of everybody’s life. Yes, it is traumatic when you first experience it. But the world is bigger than that one person or one group of people.