“How do I find a woman like her?” I often get asked this question by young computer dudes who meet my lovely wife, Debbie, and wonder how an old ugly guy like me managed to get hold of such a wonderful woman while smarter, studlier young guys (like them) seem to strike out with every female they meet. These lonely youngsters all seem to think I must have a set of magic rules for attracting females. And guess what? I do.
Don’t Waste Your Time on Geek Girls
Here you are, an obsessed coder and all that, spending 2/3 of your waking time online and clicking on Websites five times a day. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a woman who shares your interests?
A woman just like you wouldn’t be there for you when you wanted a hug. She’d be obsessively coding or posting on websites herself, and would brush you off when you needed her. What you really want is a woman who will be there for you when you get tired of staring at your monitor and need some loving, but will leave you alone and not demand your attention when you’re busy. You don’t want a Geek Girl. You want a woman who is willing and able to meet a geek’s needs, which is not the same thing at all.
Men involved in activities that demand long periods of intense concentration (programmers, artists, writers, musicians, etc.) need women who will respect what they do and help them do it well, not women who compete with them.
We need what are now called “old fashioned girls” who don’t mind cooking our meals, rubbing our sore shoulders, and running our bath water for us. There are plenty of these women out there. They’re as eager to find you as you are to find them. The trick is sorting through the 6 billion people on this planet to find the woman who is right for you instead of wasting your time on women with whom you cannot possibly build a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.
I’ve gone out with more than a few “hot babes” in my time (I wasn’t always married) and I generally found them to be more trouble than they were worth. Those who have learned how to use their looks as a tool to manipulate men will almost always make your life miserable in the long run. If nothing else, they’re expensive. Do you have any idea how much someone like Pamela Anderson spends on clothes, makeup, and cosmetic surgery every year? Trust me: it’s more than you can afford unless you’re a rock star or the CEO of Oracle (Hi, Larry!), and even then it’s more than she’s probably worth.
A “normal” (as opposed to a super model type) woman be more likely to want some cuddling than the vain ones, and, unlike them, will concentrate on loving you instead of worrying about getting her hair messed up.
Practical hint: ever notice how, at a dance or in a bar, 90% of the men try to glom on to 10% of the women? Be smarter than those guys! Pay attention to the women who look nice but unspectacular and are being ignored because they aren’t perfectly dressed or made up. The best software usually doesn’t come in the fanciest box, right? The same goes for girls.
It’s Okay to be Tongue-Tied
Don’t worry about other men being “smooth talkers” while you’re not. Many, possibly most, of your male ancestors were even less verbal than you, but they still managed to reproduce. (See your mirror for evidence.) Women don’t always choose men based on slick opening lines. Indeed, many women tend to be put off by prepared “seduction” speeches, and prefer an honest, if slightly tongue-tied, guy to one who who comes across as having practiced pickup lines for hours on end.
And your clothes don’t make all that much difference to women as long as they’re appropriate for the time and place. Be clean and neat. That’s all you need. A woman who is only interested in your designer outfits is not only likely to be too shallow for you. This is not the right woman for you!
There’s More to Life Than Computing
The biggest mistake I see computer-obsessed men make when getting to know women is to talk about nothing but computer stuff all the time. My wife uses her computer all day long as a working tool, but neither knows nor cares what kind of NIC (a 3Com) or how much RAM (64 MB) it has inside. If I want to discuss PC hardware I do it with male friends, not with my wife.
The best way to handle a conversation with a woman, especially one you’ve just met, is to find out what interests her. Ask about her hopes and dreams in life, favorite TV shows, and other general interest things like that. Work and school are usually safe conversational starting points.
You’ve heard this before, but body language is more important than your words. So look at the girl! I mean her eyes! Don’t cross your arms and legs as though you’re trying to protect yourself from her. If you want to touch her arm, and she’s close, go ahead. Maybe she’ll touch you back. If your touch wasn’t overly intrusive, returning it will be a natural, almost instinctive, reaction on her part.
You’re a little shy and awkward? No big deal. She may be just as shy as you are. Don’t push her. If she finds you at all attractive, she’ll find subtle ways to be close to you without making it look as if she’s being pushy.
And if the girl finds you unattractive, she’ll let you know that, too (so you can dump her before you get too serious). Paying attention is the key to picking up the signals either way. If you’re having trouble understanding the lady’s vibes, ask questions! All females come with HOWTOs. Verbal ones. Ask them questions like, “Does this feel good?” and they’ll answer. They also like honest compliments, so if you touch the back of her hand and it makes you feel all warm inside, go ahead and say, “Touching the back of your hand makes me feel all warm inside.”
In other words, you don’t have to be slick with women, but being stupid or crude with them gets you nowhere. (Unless you like stupid, crude women.)
Teenagers Take Heart: It Gets Better
All teenage boys are idiots when it comes to girls. And teenage girls are idiots when it comes to boys. The girls who laugh at you in high school laugh because they’re nervous and, if you’re exceptionally bright, posibly because they’re a little bit scared of you. Sooner or later those same girls will get over their stupid crushes on Ricky Martin (in my time it was Ringo Starr), and other unreachable figures, and decide to look seriously at guys like you. This change generally comes between the ages of 18 and 25. Meanwhile, you may have matured a bit yourself by then, so that when the ditzy girls of today turn into tomorrow’s adult women, you will no longer look or act like the dork they thought you were in high school
One warning: be gracious, not obnoxious, to girls you find ugly at the age of 15 or 16. There was a girl named Jessica who had a slight crush on me in high school for some unkown reason. She had horrible acne, bad posture, braces, ugly glasses, and wore tacky, faded dresses. She was also a straight-A student — and slightly arrogant about it. I was not nice to this girl. Hardly anyone was — except a very ordinary, slightly geeky guy named Mike.
At 18, Jessica suddenly changed. It was like a movie makeover. She got new glasses and the braces came off. She got a better wardrobe, her acne cleared up, and she stopped being stuck-up about her academic achievements. You know the rest of the story. It was Mike all the way. I’d blown my chance by being a jerk. I still have a flat spot on my forehead from banging it against the wall over Jessica.
Women Are More Complicated than Computers
I think this is why so many guys hide their heads in their monitors instead of going out and meeting women. Understanding women is harder than figuring out the hardest computer game, harder even than setting up a secure 200-client network running *BSD. But women can offer more satisfaction than even an overclocked, dual-Celeron workstation, so learning how to deal with them is worth the extra effort.
I believe the greatest frustration about women for men who are used to dealing with Open Source software is that you cannot fix flaws you find in them. You pretty much have no choice but to take them the way they are. For example, my wife likes to redecorate frequently, which sometimes annoys me, but I’ve learned to shrug my shoulders and call this part of her personality a feature, not a bug, and to accept it with the same good grace with which I accept a certain respected coworker’s unique approach to the English language.
But I take pride in the fact that I am just as much of a mystery to my wife as she is to me, and that she can’t change my source code any more than I can change hers.
Perhaps this is the true secret of finding a woman to love: knowing that there is no such thing as a perfect female, but that a woman worth loving is worth loving in spite of her imperfections, just as you are worth loving in spite of your imperfections — to at least one woman in this world, who is probably sitting alone right now, wishing she could find a fine, brilliant (if slightly shy) man like you to fill that big, empty spot in her life.