Friday, 18 November 2011
Smurf Like Musings: Finding Geek Love?!
Before I begin, I would like to state that as a single straight male I have written this article from that perspective. As a result, this article maybe of more interest to other males. That is not to say that I would not welcome a female perspective on any of my questions, indeed I would actively encourage you to contribute. All am saying is that this is a personal issue to me and has been written from that point of view.
The big topic today is probably as big as it gets...finding love. So 'what on Earth does this have to do with wargaming' I hear you cry. Well I thought it might be interesting to explore how compatible wargaming is with finding love since wargaming tends to take up a strong role in our lives. Just how much does the hobby matter when it comes to forming relationships?
I wrote an article some months back now where I addressed the level of commitment we make to wargaming as a hobby and how this can sometimes displace 'real life'. Well love is a big part of 'real life' and in my experience this can sometimes impact upon the way we go about forming relationships. Let me explain....
Types of Women:
Wargaming is definitely participated in by an increasingly diverse audience of men. What I mean by this is that the stereotypical 'nerd' type no-longer monopolizes the hobby. I'm sure those of you that regularly attend tournaments or a local club will agree that male wargamers come from all walks of life, participate in all sorts of jobs and have many other diverse hobbies outside wargaming. In fact, on the whole, many of these men could be described as 'genuine' and 'normal' the latter being a word not traditionally associated with wargaming.
So what types of women are we looking for? Those of you that are married or in relationships will definitely be able to contribute on this front if it's not to personal of course. The answer to this question I suspect is not that simple. Women are just as diverse as men when it comes to traits, hobbies and personality. Nor is wargaming an exclusively male hobby as is evident in the blogging community as well as my local wargaming club.
So is it important that she likes wargaming? Or is it more important that she tolerates it? In your experience is it important to you that your partner is interested in wargaming or other associated 'geek culture'. For instance, would you want to take your partner to your local club or to a tournament. How about sharing painting tips or having quiet nights in playing boardgames or watching the latest episode of 'insert relevant geek culture here'? I guess what I am trying to do is get you to question how important the hobby is to you and whether it is an aspect that you would want to share with a partner?
Personally, a positive attitude towards geek culture is more important than active participation. It may seem obvious to state but I could never get on well with someone who openly despised my hobby or at best was disinterested. This is because it does play a big role in my social life. Many of my friends are wargamers, I enjoy spending time and money on the hobby and I enjoy talking about the game. If my partner just wasn't interested in getting involved at a social level with my friends or me then it just wouldn't work. She doesn't have to play or paint herself, or even like wargaming. All I ask is that she makes an effort to get involved when appropriate and doesn't ridicule me or anyone else for playing wargames. So for me, wargaming it's self is not that important to me as a trait in women. I look more for a tolerance and an general interest in wargaming as 'my hobby'. I am not interested if she doesn't want to come to club or tournaments etc... In fact my personal time is very important to me and I would prefer to keep my solid hobby time and relationship time separate. All partners in a relationship need their own space, I'm sure many of you will agree with that. Therefore, wargaming is often my escape.
Where to Meet Women:
This is a really tricky one because it's hard enough normally. I'm sure many of you will agree that although many great women play wargames, in proportion to men they are rare indeed! So relying on meeting Mrs Right at your local wargames club or a tournament is surely doomed to fail in most cases.
So where do we find wargamer friendly women? Well it may seem hard to believe, but actually most women already are! One of the hardest things I can admit to doing is dropping the 'I like wargaming' line into a conversation with a woman on a date. It's such a difficult thing to judge. Up until that point she may have no idea about your 'shameful' secrets, will it ruin it if I tell her? How late in the dating process to I leave it? Do I not mention it at all and invite her back...upon where she will notice the library of codecies and the boxes upon boxes of toy soldiers in my flat? Or do I invite her back knowing that I have hidden all of that beforehand and slowly but surely leave models lying around on subsequent visits? Or is honesty the best course and just tell her on the first date?
Well in my recent experience with dating, I have found that most nice genuine women don't care a jot. In fact they often say stuff like 'wow, I don't have the talent to paint stuff like that' or other such bollocks. In fact it becomes a conversation in it's own right. It's all part of the give and take of relationships, I mean we have just had to sit and patiently listen to her talk about her interests, which you might not necessarily share. But often it's not as bad as that and she genuinely is interested in that hobby side to you, just as she is in your musical tastes or sport.
I will go even further and make an unsubstantiated claim that not only is geek culture acceptable but also attractive! Now that is a claim ehh. Geeks attractive? What is the world coming to? Well just look at the Hollywood block busters of the last 10 years. Most of them have been superhero movies. Geek culture is becoming openly accepted in normal, everyday, popular society. Look at fashion, something I can never claim to know anything about, but geek chic took off. Batman logos on tee-shirts from River Island, storm troopers, superman, the list goes on. Suddenly society says that the quiet, sensitive geeky looking man is what you want and the confident sports enthusiast is an insensitive jerk and should be avoided. You have to love popular social stereotypes. Peter Parker is the new romantic modern man, fuck you James Bond!
So where do we meet women? Well in the same places everybody else does I guess. Pubs, clubs, the supermarket or in the house next door. The truth is, really nice women are everywhere, you just have to have the courage to ask. That's more of a personal failing rather than a warhammer based problem.
I wanted to write this article for two reasons. First I wanted to question your priorities when looking for that perfect woman and what role wargaming plays in making that decision. Secondly, I wanted to share some of my personal insights and experiences in the hope that it might shed some light on a subject that doesn't tend to be discussed in the wargaming community.
I would really welcome any personal insights you may have of your own, be you married, taken or single. I would be really interested to see what your personal answers would be to some of the questions I have proposed. It's also a bit of fun. There must be some warhammer based 'love stories floating around out there somewhere. 'We touched hands while both going to pick up the same dice' or 'I dropped a model on the floor and she picked it up for me' or 'she beat me so badly in a game that as a consolation prize she gave me her number!' God I would love to hear of any real stories like that! Wonderful!
Anyway, I'd like to leave you all with a quote from an online dating add I made as part of a personal social experiment titled 'Do women really like bastards?', enjoy.
Smurf: 'I have been told by women that I have puppy dog eyes. Although this is true, I would like to point out that the puppy was dead when I found it.'