So Valentine’s Day is in just a few days, and you have you eye on a lovely lady or gentleman that you’d like to impress with your sharp wit, depth of knowledge, and overclocked gaming rig. Love is in the air, my friends, and what better way to make Valentine’s Day special than to find a unique and genuine to yourself and the person you’re interested in or the person you’re already lucky enough to be with?
Now I’m a firm believer in not bothering to spend time with or especially be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t understand you – so if you find yourself in a relationship with someone who doesn’t appreciate or at least understand the geeky side of your personality, this list probably won’t help you terribly much. If you are, or if you’re involved with someone who can at least appreciate your geekiness, then you’ll really like this.
Take it from me – the more you struggle to make yourself less geeky or less of a gamer, less of a gadget-fiend, less of a science nerd, less of a politics geek, or essentially less of who you are in order to match up with someone else, the more unhappy you’ll be in that relationship and the more you’ll feel like you’re suppressing a part of who you are.
Now then, that being said, just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to take the jaded, unhappy perspective and try to ignore the holiday entirely – especially if you’re Moncler outlet single. Man or woman up, ask your crush to be your valentine, and enjoy the day! Even if you don’t have a crush or don’t have a partner, you can do something special for yourself. With that being said, here are some great ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day in the geekiest way possible – and some of them don’t cost a thing!
1. Buy your Valentine an MMO – The couple that raids together, stays together!
I recommend this one because it worked for me – if you’re the half of a relationship that plays a ton of MMOs like World of Warcraft or Star Trek: Online or Eve Online, you’ve probably heard at least some passive-agressive grumbling from your loved one about the amount of time you spend playing the game. I won’t make excuses for you – you’ve got to know when it’s time to log out and pay attention to business in the real world. If your boss is calling wondering why you never show up to work and the only thing you can think of is getting back to your keyboard to farm Arctic Fur, it’s time to log off. If your valentine is standing in the home office doorway wearing nothing but a smile, it’s time to feign a massive lag spike and disconnect.
But if you think you have a handle on knowing when you have to pay attention to reality and when you have time to play in a virtual world, and you’re still getting teased by your valentine or significant other, it’s possible they understand and they’re just giving you a hard time, and it’s possible they’re just not into video games, but it’s also possible that they just don’t know what they’re missing! Maybe you should pick them up a copy, maybe even pay for their first three months or so, and let them see what you’re so excited about, and where you spend so much of your time!
I make this suggestion to lots of people and usually they brush it off with excuses like “they’d never be interested in that,” or “they’re not into that kind of thing.” I have a hard time believing it – you don’t have to be someone who’s “into video games” to really enjoy most popular MMOs, or a specific type of person either – World of Warcraft alone has close to 12 million subscribers around the world, and you can’t tell me they’re all “hardcore gamers.” It takes all kinds to make up these virtual worlds, from the people you read about on blogs that follow news and events in that game’s Moncler outlet communities to the people who only log in to play once or twice a month. You never know which type of person your sweetheart will be until they give it a try. Besides, they’re interested in you, right? They’ll doubtlessly be interested in how you spend your time – and if you take it easy, maybe roll an alt, and play alongside them, you may have a new partner in crime!
2. Mixtapes are so 90s – Try a custom playlist!
The death of the mixtape is something I took pretty hard – I used to trade mixtapes with crushes all the time, putting together delicate compilations of songs that I thought would impress them with the time and attention required and the lyrics that made me think of them. It hardly ever really worked, but I knew that it was always appreciated, and unfortunately mix CDs never really caught on in the same way. But just because mixtapes and mix CDs aren’t really feasible anymore (unless your valentine is really into those things, in which case by all means, make one!) doesn’t mean you can’t give the gift of music, or especially of music that makes you think of your loved one!
Services like GrooveShark, Mixtape.me, and 8tracks all allow you to create custom playlists of music that’s searchable and streamable for free on the Web – and once you have that special playlist created, you can share it with a friend on the same service, or send your friends to listen to the playlist on the service – so you can create a special playlist of songs that remind you of your valentine, and then shoot him or her an e-mail to let them know you have something special for them and they should listen.
That’s right, the beauty of the growth of music discovery services on the Web is that it’s made it infinitely easier to find and share music that you love with the people you love; and most of those services make it easy for you to pick up the tunes if your valentine wants a copy of the songs for themselves.
Alternatively, you can always make a custom playlist of music, drop it on a shiny red iPod or Zune, and give that as a heartfelt Valentine’s Day gift! I don’t know anyone – geeky or not – who wouldn’t appreciate that.
3. Impress your Valentine with your depth of knowledge!
Perhaps one of the best and most self-rewarding things about being a geek is the ability to apply the skills and knowledge you have to just about any topic or application that strikes your fancy. Well, do your valentine a favor and pick up some knowledge on a topic that’s not just of interest to you, but is also of interest to them! You may be able to wax rhapsodic about the differences between Intel’s new Core i5 and Core i7 processors, or alternatively you may be able to discuss the potential real-world applicability of quantum entanglement, but if your valentine on the other hand has a unique interest in art history, why not dive a little into some of your valentine’s favorite periods in history and some of the common art and architecture that you may even be able to see at a museum near you?
To that end, why not surprise your valentine with a trip to a local museum or art gallery? If you’re open an honest (as in, explain that you’ve been reading or learning about the topic that interests them instead of trying to blindly impress them in that madcap romantic comedy method that inevitably backfires because you’re not being honest about why you learned about it) about why you’re diving into the topic – as in you’d like to engage in the things that interest them and you want to be able to speak intelligently about them – you’ll doubtlessly score points.
I mean, think about it – if someone went to at least some lengths to learn about something that mattered to you so they could talk to you about it and enjoy it with you, wouldn’t you appreciate the effort? Perhaps you’d even help them learn. In the end, it comes down to making a point to engage your valentine on something that interests them, and to show them that you two can share common interests – also, it never hurts to show your sweetheart that you know a few things about them, like their interests and likes.
4. Start a new geeky hobby with your Valentine!
Speaking of a surprise museum trip, why not start a hobby with your valentine that you both would be interested in? And yes, I know I already suggested picking up an MMO together, but I’m talking about something else – something special for the two of you that neither of you may be doing right now. If you live in an area with lots of art and culture, why not make a point to make the rounds of local museums with them? For example, I’m lucky enough to be in the Washington DC area, where there’s an abundance of museums and installations of all types; so many that you can indulge a new passion for art in multiple places – or if you’re a science fan there are enough places to visit that you could fill months of weekends with day trips.
Alternatively, if intellectual stimulation isn’t you and your partner’s thing, you could always bring video games into the real world and make a point to go play laser tag, or paintball, or grab another geeky couple and start a tabletop RPG gaming group. The possibilities are endless, and they’ll all require that you and your valentine get together, decide on something deliciously geeky that you want to do together and that both of you would enjoy, and then getting up, out, and doing something special – not just for Valentine’s Day, but maybe ongoing.
5. Enlist your partner in the geek army – Shop the ThinkGeek or Jinx Valentine’s Collection!
Of course, most of us wouldn’t be able to get away without buying a gift for our significant other for Valentine’s Day, and if you have a crush you’d like to woo, there’s nothing like a pretty package on Valentine’s Day to beg the question of whether or not they’ll really be yours.
Thankfully, unlike when most of us were young, there are plenty of venues that cater to and even cherish the geek community, and do it unironically – folks like ThinkGeek, Jinx, and FractalSpin. All of those sites have great gear and gadgets that would brighten up any geek’s Valentine’s Day, but ThinkGeek [ ThinkGeek’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide ] and Jinx [ Jinx’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide ] specifically have Valentine’s Day collections that are worth a good look before you head out to your local big-box store and pick up a boring heart-shaped box of chocolates or a glittery red card.
Seriously – head over and check them out, and get a Valentine’s Day gift that says as much about you as it does about your sweetheart; sure, this is better if you’re in a geeky relationship, but even if you’re not, you may find the perfect gift for the holiday that speaks volumes about who you – or your valentine – are, and why you love them.