Welcome back to "Ask Jess, Dammit!"
This week's column is all about where to find the ladies and what to do with them once you've found them, where do I get off thinking I'm some love-guru and my declaration that although many consider Prince to be a genius, I would rather set my pubes on fire than listen to him more than once a year.
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COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE!
Q: Hi, Jess. I'm enjoying your new column. I have a problem. I'm a good looking, charming, witty, funny, confident and sweet guy in my early-mid 20's. My parents raised me to be chivalrous and treat women with respect. The problem is that now that I'm out of college I'm having trouble meeting the right kind of women.
The women I've met/dated over the past couple years have been the kind of girls who like to go out drinking, partying, and clubbing. I'm not into any of that. I don't drink, I don't like to party, and women in bars or clubs are exactly the type who aren't right for me at all. I want a woman who shares or at least has some interest in things I like: video games, comic books, anime, etc; someone I could actually have an fulfilling relationship with. But I have no idea where to meet gamer girls.
There aren't any nerdy conventions (comic book, anime) near my city. It's one of the biggest cities in the state so the law of averages has to be on my side, but every place I do my nerd shopping at is a veritable sausage fest. I work much better (and more successfully) becoming friends with women and then dating them. So to get to the point: Where do I find girls who share my interests and how do I meet them? I just want a relationship that's actually fulfilling and someone I can spend an evening raiding in SWG (I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYBODY SAYS! I STILL LIKE IT!) with and who knows what I'm talking about when I say "Hero of Time." Any help you can give will be appreciated more than you could know. Thanks.
JESS: I find it hard to believe that there aren't any nerdy conventions near your city—especially if it's one of the biggest in the state! There has to be something! If there really is a dry-spell of official nerd gatherings in your area, then I suggest you step out of the convention box and expand your horizons. I'm talking Renaissance Festivals (a personal fave), comic book stores, Gamestops, the manga and anime section of bookstores (this is a hot spot for nerdy chicks since the only successful manga right now is shojo and yaoi themed titles).
Keep in mind though, that you will still be rubbing against sausage about 95 percent of the time. Trying to find and approach a nerd-girl is like trying to capture a snow leopard: They exist but are rarely seen. Just take one look at various Internet boards/blogs and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why they've all gone into hiding. They ARE out there though, so patience, perseverance and caution while approaching them will up your chances at snaring one to at least 30 to 40 percent.
THE SHORT ANSWER: WOMEN KNOW EVERYTHING...EVER
Q: Hi Jessica
Sorry to question you about this and this isn't really a "love related question" but I am wondering where and how did you learn all this, all about love and stuff because that's one of the hardest subjects for people to learn. Another thing I think is weird is that you're a gamer as well and you know all about dating that's a hard combination to get. Thnx. —Sythine
JESS: Hey Sythine, I have absolutely no problem answering this. In fact, I've been wondering why I haven't gotten a question along these lines earlier. I figured you guys would be wondering, "Who the hell does this chick think she is!?"
Just so everyone knows, I give my advice based off my own personal experiences: I was pretty awkward growing up, went through a rough "ugly duckling" pre-teen phase which then morphed me into the "cute, but nerdy" girl. That basically meant that I was safe enough to take to the school dance...but only if the "girl-that-gives-blow-jobs-out-as-if-they-were-candy" rejected my dates first. This eventually led to my general disillusionment with real life which manifested itself into complete Goth-girl escapism via Vampire: The Masquerade LARPing tendencies. I've now ended up as a weird blend of woman/girl gamer/semi-responsible divorcee who, with the way things are going, is probably going to end up as a cougar.
All of these adventures in amore have given me some helpful insight that I have NO problem talking about or sharing with others. I'm not always right, but I'm always willing to try and help.
Basically, all of my advice can be boiled down to one phrase: Do as I say, not as I do (or have done).
A REPEAT CUSTOMER
Q: Jess, You answered my questions previously, but I have one last question I'd like to ask you.
What do you think about long-distance relationships? By long-distance, I mean, REALLY long-distance (as in another country at least 12 hours of flight away)? If two people love each other, do you think it is possible for that love to last forever and for these people to eventually find a way to each other even if they don't manage to always be faithful to each other during these times of trial? Do you think that love can conquer any distance and any hardship? Thanks :)
JESS: Oh man.
I'm going to be totally honest with you: Chances are, it won't work. I'm not trying to be mean, poo all over your hopes, and condemn you for being a romantic. However, much like Jennifer Lopez, I'm just trying to "be real" with you. You shouldn't bet your heart on long-distance.
That isn't to say it could NEVER work out, but you probably would have better luck finding a snowball in Hell. The further the separation, the further you are from seeing that relationship ever cross a legitimate finish line.
If your heart is telling you to go for it, then by all means, do so! Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Just don't be overly surprised or hurt if and when things don't work out.
COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE...AGAIN
Q: Dear Jess,
I need a girlfriend ... badly. I would just ask a girl from school, the only problem is that my school is very slim pickings. I'm not just saying that, it's the truth. So my question is, where are some good places to meet girls and how should I go about asking them out? —Steven
JESS: Well Steven, like I've always said: The best way to ask a girl out is to go up and ask her out. Seriously, it really is as simple as that. The thing that takes work is dealing with the potential rejection. The sooner you learn to get over that hump, the faster you'll become an untameable dating machine.
'Tis true. I swear it.
So, where to go to find some hotties? Depends on the type of girl you're looking for. A cute, semi-self absorbed insecure ditz? Keep your ears on the ready late Sat. night for some Rihanna, "S.O.S" pumping through the nearest club doors, head inside, buy that girl a cosmo, and consider yourself one step closer to being in the non-single bracket. Looking for a nerdy girl? Head to the yaoi section of your local comics store, strike up a convo with the girl in the kitty ears over whether or not Dante and Virgil would make a good couple and start nabbing her digits! Yep! it's just that easy ;)
Seriously though, think about the type of girl you want and then head over to the places where that type of girl would hang out and voila!
THE MERITS OF CO-OP DATEPLAY
Q: To my knowledge, gamers, geeks and others who could play video games/board games before they could crawl, seek another gamer to date. Do you think it would make a better relationship, or do opposites attract?
JESS: I do think there is some truth behind the statement, "opposites attract." However, there does need to be some common ground. If the couple involved doesn't have anything to share together....then, really, what is the point?
YOU GOTTA GIVE A LITTLE BEFORE YOU CAN TAKE A LITTLE
Q: Hey Jess,
I sure could use your advice! I gave up dating a long while ago-I haven't even been on one since 1997! One problem is that I have opposite interests than the "majority"-I hate traveling, for instance, where most women love it. I love snow and don't really care for hot, sunny days! I only listen to one artist (Prince)- I don't really enjoy most other music, and I like it that way. You get the point- I don't follow the "popular" trends that society seems to be in sync with. I'm always on the other side of the fence.
The primary issue though is that I have really low self-esteem that I can't overcome. I have no special talents, I'm not attractive (in my opinion), and I'm an older guy (37) that is attracted to women (sometimes much) younger than me.
To top things off, I have anxiety disorder that, while treated the best it can be, can't be cured- and it's impacted many things for me, like trying to find a new career. I've been unemployed a long time because of the difficulties with the types of jobs I can work with my anxiety. To top things off, I gained weight when I was last working, and I'm working on trying to lose it, but I am entirely not attracted to overweight women, so I have a double standard going on there that's not fair.
I feel like if I hit 40 and I haven't landed a significant other I should just give up entirely. All that will be left is divorced women with kids from their former marriages. I don't mind a divorced woman, but I don't want to be a step-father, I want to be a father (eventually!)
I can continue to work on losing weight, and I am a silly and overly "upbeat" guy, so I do my best to keep my sense of humor, but how does someone without any physical attributes, skills, or talents gain self confidence? And how does a rapidly aging guy find a younger women, even without the issues I face? I often feel like I'm going to be alone for life- and that's a terribly depressing thought.
Help out a fellow Michigander, here, Jess! —Jaym, Lansing, MI
JESS: I hate to say this Jaym, but considering the lack of confidence and anxiety issues you say you have, plus, reading through the description of yourself, how little you're willing to bend or offer another individual, I think your statement about finding a younger woman, lacks some sensitivity and quite honestly, some common sense on your part.
Being in a relationship isn't easy and the fact that you seem so set in your ways speaks volumes as to why you're still finding yourself single. Are you sure you even want to be in a relationship or is this just something you think you should do?
If it's something you think you should do but in your heart aren't totally sure about, let me just say: There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with remaining single if that is what makes you happy. You only get one life—so make sure you're living it the way you want to!
If you're ready for a change though and really are interested in finding someone to love and share things with then I suggest a few things. First, be realistic. You must learn to bend and make accommodations in your likes and dislikes in order to find harmony with someone else. You cannot expect to find a woman who is willing to put up with Prince 24 hours a day. The enjoyment of snow? Maybe. Homebody? Quite possibly. Nothing but Prince? I'd rather have an ice pick shoved through my eye socket and I feel confident that other females would agree.
Second, start visiting a professional to start working through your anxiety and self-esteem issues. In fact, you should do this no matter what. Getting a grasp on your fears and doubts will make you happier in the end. True, you might never be cured. Sometimes, it just doesn't happen. But you can make dealing with the flare-ups a bit easier on yourself and your soul. Think of it like this: Instead of a ginormous gnawing ulcer of self-loathing chewing away at you 24/7, you'll have the occasional bout of bummed-out heartburn. Doesn't that sound much better? Either way, it's unfair to bring another person into your life and have them deal with your hang-ups if you're not willing to work on them yourself.
Thirdly, don't rely on the notion that finding a younger woman will solve your problems or make you happier. This next bit of advice comes from my personal experience having fished in the younger dating pool: In the long run, it proves disappointing. Even a few years difference can mean huge chasms in the way you both view the world and your places within it. At best, it'll just be small annoyances easily worked through. At worst, neither of you will have found any true satisfaction within the other and you'll both have wasted each other's time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to run out and hook up with the first 30-something woman with kids you see. In fact, if you are positive you don't want to be a step-dad, then stay away! I see nothing wrong with wanting to keep your life a kids-free zone. I'm just trying to help you avoid the delusion—and potential disappointment—that having a youthful partner equals instant and lasting happiness.
Jessica Chobot is a lifetime gamer and zombie slaughterer. When she's not lovingly staring at her limited-edition, Japanese import Hello Kitty Dreamcast, she is a video host and writer for IGN.com and GreenPixels.com. Check out IGN Strategize, Jessica’s weekly video with tips and tricks to kick ass on your favorite games.