Geek Relationship Fallacies

If Sherlock is your emotional spirit guide, seek other help immediately.

Commander Logic here.

I have been a geek and loved geeks since I began having relationships outside my family, and I have to say that The 5 Geek Social Fallacies rang true to me in that particular self-recognition-wince way. And Holly’s 5 Geek Sexual Fallacies were helpful too! DUDE, SO HELPFUL.

But I feel like there’s still room for one more Geek Fallacy list, and this is one for Geek Relationships. Have we gotten past the “Geeks are unloveable losers” trope yet? Geeks have relationships and the particular pitfalls for my logical, overthinking ilk deserve mention.

Now, remember folks! Just because you are a geek doesn’t mean you are a carrier for any of these fallacies, and just because you’re NOT a geek doesn’t mean you aren’t a carrier.

1 – “Logic Wins.”

Emotions are difficult, so let’s keep everything logical and then we will never have problems. The person who is having emotions outside those that are expected is weak and the loser and – worst of all – wrong.

2 – “Disagreements mean we have to break up”

Wanting to make a change in the relationship means the relationship is flawed, and therefore unsustainable.

3 – “Change = Social Death”

Changes in a relationship (starting to date or breaking up) will disrupt the surrounding friend group.

4 – “Love me, love my obsession. Love my obsession, love me.”

You both have to love everything in the same way with the same intensity. – If you love the same thing and you are gender-appropriate, you HAVE to date.

5 – “We are the only members of our species.”

Our geekdom is so idiosyncratic that if we break up/don’t start a relationship, we will never find another suitable person to love.

Let’s get a little further inside these fallacies, shall we?

GRF1 “Logic Wins” – This one is the biggie. This is also Holly’s first Geek Sexual Fallacy. This is the fallacy that took me the longest to identify because it’s the fallacy that I’m the most guilty of. The rest of the fallacies have a root in this one because this fallacy is at the root of a lot of geek behavior. Logic is our friend! Processes are our friends! If I can’t solve it with logic, it simply cannot be solved! Right? Not always, and usually not when feelings are at stake.

Not a prank. Love is illogical.
What do you MEAN by "Logic isn't correct"? Is it Spock Pranking Day again?

GRF1 can manifest in a terrifyingly large number of ways.

At its most innocuous, GRF1 makes you unhappy because you can’t make people interact with you on a logical basis. “Why doesn’t anyone like me? Logically, I am awesome so they SHOULD. *pout*” At its most insidious and destructive, one person is cast as the Logical One and the other is the Emotional One, and the Logical person always wins disagreements because Emotions are Wrong. Or with two GRF1 carriers, whoever shows more emotion is the weakest, and therefore the loser. You can also see this fallacy at work in very controlling relationships: X is the correct thing for you to feel, so why won’t you just feel X instead of your actual feelings? What is wrong with you?

I want to state here and for all time that being Correct isn’t the goal in a relationship. You hear me, geeks? Emotions are not wrong, however inconvenient they seem. Being right is less important than being kind.

GRF2 “Disagreements mean we have to break up” – This is a very geek-specific, but not geek-exclusive, fallacy, because the logic is crystal sharp and clear. If you don’t like that thing that I’m doing/not doing, it means you don’t like ME, so obviously we have to break up. This goes the other way, too. If we have a disagreement about something, we’ll have to break up, so I’ll just never disagree with you so we’ll be together forever! HOORAY! And then none of your needs are ever met again, because you can’t bring them up and risk a disagreement. ERROR. FAIL.

You’re allowed to disagree about some things and not have your relationship end.

GRF3 “Change = Social Death” – This is where the Sexual Fallacies overlap with the Social Fallacies, and again, there are two sides to this. Side one: Dating Someone New. Group harmony is more important than anything, so if you ask out someone in the friend group, you risk destroying EVERYTHING for EVERYONE if it doesn’t work out. If you ask out someone who isn’t part of the group, they may not mesh and then it’s a social disaster. Side two: Breaking Up. If you break up, the group will HAVE to choose sides, and it’s a big risk that they wouldn’t chose you. When this pairs up with Fallacy #2, it means you never, EVER talk about what’s wrong in the relationship. EVER.

Every scenario I listed up there? A FALLACY. You will not destroy anything for anyone by pursuing the person you want to date. Okay? At worst, people will be uncomfortable for a while, but then they’ll get over it. Actually, at worst, a couple of people will give you *EYEBROWS* of unspeakable emotion and/or drift away, but honestly, friend groups drift and change of their own accord and that is not a burden for you to carry.

GRF4 “Love me, love my obsession” – And vice versa. This is a “shoulding” sort of fallacy: when people love each other, they should be 100% into everything in the exact same way. And! If you love the same thing in the exact same way, it is obviously meant to be! Nope. Not how it actually works. Look, the Jedi and the Klingon CAN be lovers. And LotR purists can make out with LotR movie fans (right after we pause (or not) to sing a requiem for Glorfindel/discuss the badassedness of the Scouring of the Shire). What’s important in a relationship is not your media, it’s your actions and respect.

This is another human being who is allowed to have thoughts and opinions that are different from yours. They are allowed to not give a shit if Greedo or Han shot first. Conversely, it’s okay to bond over a shared interest, but if that is the only thing you have in common, perhaps this is not the relationship for you?

If I answer all the questions right, say exactly the right things, and act the right way, someone will love me!

GRF5 “We are the only members of our species.” – This is closely related, but not identical to GRF4, and I call it the Facehugger Fallacy, but you can also consider it the fallacy of “The One.” The idea here is that your geekdom (or non-geek love) is so super-special and weird and idiosyncratic that you are the only two people on the planet who could possibly love the other person. In addition to the regular human impulse to not end relationships, this fallacy can really make it hard to acknowledge when a relationship is not actually working. “Who else will I meet who has memorized the works of Tolkien AND Talking Heads AND Eddie Izzard? IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AND I WILL DIE ALOOOOONE.”

Look, there is more than one person out there who could be a great love of your life. That’s right, A great love. I swear to you, there is more than one person who loves the thing(s) that you love with all your geeky heart. There is more than one person who will find your theories fascinating. There is more than one person who wants to get all sexytimes with you. If you’re dating someone who seems perfect for you, except for the fact that they don’t act like they love you, DUMP THEM. There are other members of your species out there. I swear it.

That’s what I’ve got. Logic doesn’t always win, be respectful and kind above all, and embrace love where you find it rather than where you think it should be. Good luck out there!

73 thoughts on “Geek Relationship Fallacies

  1. Ooh! These are great! My jerkbrain loves to turn GRF1 back on me–I shouldn’t be having these feelings, I am weak and wrong and a terrible person and no one will ever love me because I don’t make sense. No. False. Shut up, jerkbrain, you are a jerk.

    Also, aww, Hermione.

    1. Thanks!

      And yeah, as a fellow GRF1 carrier I have gone through the “But I’m too SMART to have emotions” wringer more than once. Emotions are not weakness, and you are great, Monica. Keep on keepin’ on!

      1. I get this one a lot too, but as a social justice-y geek I tell myself “but I’m too FEMINIST to be insecure about weight/clothes/whether this boy likes me/random thing”
        Blah jerkbrains

  2. I love the part about embracing love where you find it and not where you think it should be ^^

  3. “And LotR purists can make out with LotR movie fans (right after we pause (or not) to sing a requiem for Glorfindel/discuss the badassedness of the Scouring of the Shire).”

    This. Is. Awesome.

    1. Ha, Requiem for Glorfindel = I went out with someone over the winter who wanted to talk about MOVIES since I make MOVIES and how they sometimes CHANGE BOOKS when they make movies and he was CONCERNED AND OUTRAGED by the omission of Glorfindel from Fellowship of the Ring and how could they do that?

      I ended the date before he could really get going on the subject of Tom Bombadil.

      1. Hilarious! I mean, boring for you, but-!! I read the books when I was a kid and skimmed a lot to try and get to the good parts. All I can really remember about them is that some of the parts were REALLY long winded. Also, it was all dudes and the ladies didn’t get to do much. No wonder we used to fight over who got to be Eowyn!

      2. I could have forgiven all of that BUT WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ELBERETH WHY DID THEY FUCK WITH FARAMIR?!?!!

        As the Queen of Butthatsnothowitisinthe Bookland, I sympathize.

        Dear Fellow BTNHIIIT Booklanders: let us just all acknowledge that they are two different art forms, generally created by entirely different groups of people. Let us mourn, or celebrate, these differences as they strike our heats. Now, let us MOVE ON with our lives!

        1. As a filmmaker who does the odd literary adaptation (and introduces entirely new characters, and cuts scenes and changes the ending), I SUPPORT THIS PLAN.

  4. I am a #1 carrier. I have been treating it aggressively for the past several months, and hope to someday be GRF#1-free.

    1. Also, while I personally do have have #3, members of my friend group have a particularly potent strain of it, and made it a Big Deal when Boyfriend and I got together last year. “Butbutbut what if you have a fight?! THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS.”

      We decided to ignore them. It worked out well.

      1. Ohhh. That happened to me when my dude (now-husband!) and got together. Like, someone drove 2 hours in the middle of the night to Deal WIth This and then hijaked the poor guy for a day to make sure it was what he really wanted. Another friend just proceeded to get really drunk.

        We also ignored them. It also worked out well.

      2. I wonder how much of this friend group anxiety is “But I was nursing a secret crush on you/your partner and had developed a large sense of entitlement even though I never spoke up about it or spoke up about it and was rejected.”

        1. Yeeeah, actually, I think there was some of this too – the person in question had made a move on Boyfriend several years ago, and while she projected being Over It I think she had made peace with not being able to be with him…as long as nobody else was with him, either. And a lot of people within our friend group were really wonderful and supportive, as well. But it’s a lot harder to argue with someone who practically puts their hand on a bible and swears they’re just trying to be Mature and Reasonable and Protect The Group. At one point when things were still a little uncertain, this friend actually pulled me aside and told me that she knew she could Count On Me To Do The Right Thing, Even if [boyfriend] Wasn’t Capable Of That.

          It’s all far enough past now that it’s sort of interesting and amusing to think about, but at the time it was super stressful.

        2. Thaaaaaat is pretty much what happened in my friend group: friend A and B were together but broke up, and then B and C were together long-distance. C came to visit only to be constantly hounded by A, who insisted that B and C being together was a bad idea and would break up the friend group and how could B go out with C just to hurt A’s feelings????

          Spoilers: the friend group did kind of break up, mostly because we realized that A was Not Well and an abusive dickbag.

    2. Friend, if you find the actual cure, lemme know! I’ve got my GRF1 under surveillance, but hesitate to say that I’ve quashed it entirely.

      1. I certainly haven’t quashed it either, but I’ve had significant reduction of symptoms…will let you know…typical emergency care involves mental chanting of “I Am Allowed To Feel Negative Emotions, I Am Allowed To Feel Negative Emotions…”

  5. My partner and I (and his father, actually) have literally gotten into screaming matches over the significance of Ewoks. Amazingly, we’re still making the relationship work.

    1. Mr Machine and I once had an epic telephone argument (while I was traveling) over whether it was acceptable to use Let Me Google That For You as a response to non-troll-but-annoying blog commenters. AH, LOVE

    2. An acquaintance of mine once told me that she had a zombie apocalypse dream and, when she woke up, had a talk with her boyfriend about it. Then they had a fight because he (logically, ha!) said sure he’d shoot her if she was bitten by a zombie and she was offended that he wouldn’t be more torn up about that. Geek relationships FTW!

  6. Excellent!

    Anecdote tangentially related to GRF5: I once, back when I was single, saw a personal ad in a newspaper that said half of people were women, and 20% had a degree and 50% were left-wing and 10% were atheist, and 10% were cyclists, and so on with more conditions until he said there would only be one suitable woman for him in the entire UK!

    …Actually, I fitted all his criteria but couldnt bring myself to date a man who would multiply together dependent probabilities.

    1. also, someone who refuses to consider dating anyone who doesn’t fulfil Preconceived List of Criteria (x) as opposed to like, getting to know people and seeing if you get along and have chemistry makes me go *Run Away! Run Away Now!!!1~!!* Pretty much part of GRF1 “I can Venn diagramme my way into happiness! I CAN!!!”

    2. I would have been so tempted to send him a note saying “yes, and she’s not interested in dating you. Better move to New Zealand.”

      Yes, there are things that I’d say are non-negotiable in a relationship, but (for example) it’s “won’t expect me to go to church or try to convert me,” not “is also an atheist.” Similarly, it’s “is attracted to me, and cool with me being bi,” not “is also bisexual.” There are political things that I’d consider non-negotiable, as Latining said, and some that aren’t.

  7. I kind of think that GRF #2 (and maybe #1?) ties in with the need to be “right.” The need to be right is pretty common in all social groups, but here there’s also the idea that the point of life is to distinguish Truth from Falsehood.

    The thing is, in relationships, you’re usually better off being wrong than right. By that, I mean if you have an argument, it’s more of a problem if you’re right.

    If you’re wrong, you get to apologize and make the other person feel better. But if you’re right, on top of any bruised feelings due to the argument itself, the other person is likely to feel put down by having been proven wrong.

    1. 1 – Yes! The reason I say that GRF1 underlies a lot of the other fallacies is because many people – though it is more typical in geeks – rate “I am right” over any other idea or emotion. People love being right, but GRF1 carriers conflate being right with being morally superior. Toxic!

      2 – The rest of your comment is A++++ wish I had said.

      1. I have had to spell it out for my Best Geek: I am conceding the point; your job at this time is to Not Rub It In. Generally he wasn’t gloating on purpose– he can just get too wrapped up in the beauty of his argument to hear my first few “I give” sorts of noises.

        I have a much easier time telling him he’s right now that he’s better trained to know that what you do about winning an argument is Shut The Hell Up About It. (See also, Ogden Nash, “A Word to Husbands.”)

        1. I ALREADY AGREED WITH YOU SO STOP TALKING. Maybe I should use your “jobs” statement instead of my yelly one.

          I am the Feeler and he is the One Who Is Right.

          Sometimes I won’t do things for him until he admits he has a feeling or preference and not just a serene acceptance of whatever comes his way, though.

          1. The worst is when the one who Has To Be Right is objectively, provably, scientifically WRONG. And has their ego and identity pinned on telephone signal for a landline only requiring one wire to travel on, thus the cord with the two pins/wires is totally suitable for the two-line phone.

            I am well shut of him, the engagement is eleven years over, he no longer has administrative access to any of my computers, and I have pre-emptively blocked him on Facebook.

    2. I think you are spot on about the need to be right thing, and I would add to this: a lot of people have major discomfort with the idea that there are some things that do not have strict right or wrong answers! I have seen (and gotten into) some nasty fights where nobody will admit that the other person is right and they are wrong because nobody was goddamn wrong. And I think this also applies to everybody, but geeks will frequently deal with it differently: non-geeks will be like “You like goat cheese, and I do not like goat cheese, therefore YOU ARE WEIRD I WILL SHUN YOU,” whereas geeks will be like “You like goat cheese, and I do not like goat cheese, and since we are disagreeing, clearly one of us is wrong. We are all intelligent people here, so I am sure if we put forth lengthy academic arguments and debate about it for a million years we will eventually figure out The Truth of whether goat cheese objectively is delicious or objectively is gross.”

      Goat cheese is my goofy go-to “this is a stupid thing to be arguing about” topic, but I have seen it apply to more serious stuff, like when Person A asks Person B to stop using a word A finds hurtful in A’s presence, and Person B demands an airtight academic argument as to why the word is Objectively Bad, will argue against any argument put forth (because that is what you do with arguments to see if they are valid), and will not comply with the request to stop using the word in A’s presence if the argument is not sufficiently convincing. Because the idea of “it is worthwhile in its own right for me to not deliberately do things I know upset A because I ostensibly care about him/her” is just totally not a consideration at all, or at least way less important than who is Right about the word being Bad.

  8. GRF2 tends to hit me upside the head when I’m upset. I am extremely greatful to have a partner who will tell me to calm down and breathe when I’m in “it will never work!” mode.

    An aside on GRF5: Toxic people can easily use “we are the only two people on the planet who could possibly love each other” as a substitute for “no one will ever love you but me” to keep their partners in bad relationships. I had a friend who did that to me for a long time. It’s strange to look back at it, now, because it feels like we don’t really have that much in common these days.

    I’m seeing a “geeks are harder to love” thing hiding under a few of these fallacies. It’s really not true, though. Relationships are hard sometimes. Forming intimate, meaningful bonds with people takes work. Geekiness really doesn’t affect that one way or another.

    1. As a geeky lover of geeks whose bestie is Commander Logic (geek!) who loves geeks, I don’t think we are going for “geeks are harder to love,” I think we’re going for “here are some ways geeks have a hard time getting out of our own heads and our own way, sometimes.”

      The Geek Social Fallacies are not exclusive to Geeks; neither are these.

    2. WRT “geeks are harder to love”

      Oh we totally agree! Geekiness on its own does not make you less or more lovable. Fallacies by their very definition are wrong, so saying that the fallacies imply something that is also fallacious is correct! (was that a logic circle or a logic torus?)

      Perhaps one of these fallacies has a sub-fallacy around “I am unlovable because I am X, Y, or Z.” Or perhaps that’s a larger fallacy that is all-human all the time. “No one will love me because I am too geeky/too dumb/too introverted/too tall/too short/a smoker/a teetotaler/a reptile fan/a Cubs fan/etc. etc. etc.”

      1. I think “geeks are harder to love” is /part/ of the fallacies. It’s not *true,* but it’s an insidious idea that can crawl in when you come to identify yourself as Geek.

      2. All of the geeks I know (myself included) have struggled with the idea that they’re hard to love because [reason]. This is pretty human, but it can get ugly very quickly. IME everyone is bullied at some point in their lives, but geeks are the ones most likely to make an identity about it. Geek circles tend to treat being unpopular as a badge of honour (which is its own problem, because if nobody wants to be around you, there is probably a reason for that!), so being a victim become their identity and how they relate to the world. This, I think, is where a lot of the imaginary persecution comes from, and where people get the idea that it’s okay to take unrelated actions as a personal slight. (Black Heimdall, exclusion of Glorfindel, dating someone.)

        I think on some level it’s easier to believe that the problem is with everyone else than yourself (self reflection is often unpleasant), and the geek willingness to accept others who are socially awkward means social issues tend to snowball.

        TL;DR: Geeks aren’t inherrently harder to love, but the culture places a lot of value on that narrative because confronting it as a fallacy means confronting large parts of their identity.

        This is most common in regular con attendees, and people who are hardcore into a hobby to the point where it dances on the “socially acceptable” line (ie. great with you friends, but a dinner party will be awkward).

  9. Corollary to 2: Sometimes disagreements *do* mean you have to break up — but the source of the breakup there isn’t the fight you had over it, it’s the disagreement itself. Not fighting over the thing, whatever it was, won’t make it go away. Instead, you might get steadily more miserable over a period of time, eventually making the eventual breakup worse and hurting everyone more in the process. Similarly, stewing can make an issue bigger, so even if it wasn’t going to break you up when you first noticed it it might be catastrophic later.

    Anyways, things to think about. For me, I fight #2 by demanding of myself that the moment I start to feel like there’s something I avoid talking to my partner about, that’s something I need to talk to my partner about ASAP. So far, it’s gone pretty well.

    1. Agreed on all points! Talk about the small disagreements. Have the small disagreements. Small disagreements aren’t the thing that will break you (everyone “you” not aliaras “you”) up, it’s the simmering pile of resentment you build by never speaking up about small things.

  10. GRF1 has a way of making me dismiss not only everyone elses feelings, but also my own. It’s stupid and unproductive to feel bad, so instead I’ll just decide to not feel bad. Then I can continue feeling bad and also guilty for feeling that way and therefor not bring it up.

    1. Ironically enough, finally purging my system of GRF1 was what made it possible to understand my feelings well enough to be able to engage in the feelings-equivalent of metacognition. It is, *sometimes*, possible to change the way (generic) you feel about something — but only if (generic) you can really face and accept the feeling first. So my feelings are much more manageable now that I’ve stopped thinking I can/should control them. Which is weird.

  11. Oof, dealing with a subset of GRF#5 right now post-breakup – “but how will I ever find another person who I connect with in all these very specific ways??? I WILL NEVER GET OVER HER EVERYTHING IS OVER.” Logically – ha! – I know this is untrue but on top of the normal painful breakup feelings it’s hard to fight. Thanks for the timely reminder.

  12. “The Geek Social Fallacies are not exclusive to Geeks”

    Yeah, I was thinking that, too. I don’t think I’m a geek in the way you guys use the term here, but I could identify strongly with those fallacies, and definitely engaged with some of them in my dating days.

  13. I’m a geek who just doesn’t carry GRF #1 — feelings are more like axioms than conclusions, in my book, and have few logical properties beyond that of existence. This is something I learned, but I learned it so long ago (roughly between ages 11-16, gradually) that I tend to take it as read, and find GSF #1 to be extremely irritating as a result, on a “but… but how does that even work?” level. I’m aware that it’s something that some other people just don’t see the way I do — and most of the time, the best I can do is politely ask them not to apply their logical view of emotions to me, while accepting any emotions they tell me about without question, even if they’re questioning themselves.

    1. feelings are more like axioms than conclusions

      OH SHIT. I think that comparison just made my life substantially easier. I think it all depends on how and what you learned about feelings as a kid–if they’re treated as givens, you think of them as axioms, but if other people try to apply logic to them or expect you to be better at modulating them than you are or ignore them/don’t take them seriously when you are distressed, or if you get depressed and don’t understand why you’re so miserable, then you begin to think that not only are feelings logical, but also you are broken for having illogical feelings. I’m in the second camp for sure, and feelings are something I’ve really struggled with. But I think that analogy is actually, seriously going to be super helpful–like a vaccine.

      1. Or if you know how little agency you have outside your head, and try to control your feelings because they’re the only thing you conceivably could control.

        But– axioms. Yes. That.

  14. On We Are The Only Members of Our Species: I am someone who disdainfully said five years ago that I would “Never waste time on someone who doesn’t like to read.” And then I married that guy, because he thinks I’m awesome because I do read, and he reads to me. And he doesn’t, like some guys who I dated who identified by their readingness, made it a point to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be reading, or who is or isn’t a Great Author (cheat: Great Authors have penises! Or are one or two token Quite Dead ladies.)

    1. It turns out there are plenty of assholes who both a) like reading and b) would go to see live theater with me!

    2. Me too! I am a voracious reader who fell in love with a guy who almost never reads. At first it kind of broke my brain that he didn’t read, but you’re right that he never gets all judgey about my book list. (Weekend romance benders: engage). I married him too.

      1. Me three! My honey love fits all manner of criteria from “I could never date a person who X” AND he has no interest in reading any of my fiction ever.

        Which means he will never read something I wrote, sigh, and say, “Well, it’s okaaaaay.” He is only ever encouraging. So glad I gave him a chance (and then married him).

  15. My friends in college were so guilty of GRF3. My best friend and I made out a couple of times and the rest of our group of friends was all “you are going to destroy our friend group” “omg, this is like incest, you guys are so gross!”
    We ended up stopping there and not exploring this “thing” between us any further because the situation was causing more drama with our friends than it was between the two of us. Kinda wish I had had the guts to tell them to shut up at the time.

  16. Long time reader, first time commenter! Hi!

    Wow, my previous relationship makes so much sense now. My ex was guilty of GRF1 and made me feel guilty, irrational and neurotic for getting emotional about things, especially when arguing. He didn’t do it maliciously, really, but it made me think that of myself; emotions were bad and that I should strive to be logical all the time or else I wouldn’t be taken seriously. In some ways this is good, considering I can sometimes get unreasonable and personal when angry, however, I didn’t like being the ‘Emotional one’ and made to feel inferior because of it when I was legitimately angry/upset about something. Interestingly, I never tried to logic someone other than myself out of their emotions; although I was and still am guilty of the need to be right and to win a lot of the time which resulted in personal jabs at my ex’s Spock-like emotional climate. Nothing wrong with it, just not for me.

    When I broke up with him he also tried to make me feel guilty using GRF5 – I was his first and I think he felt insecure about his chances with another girl. Initially that made me feel awful, but I, being level-headed for once, knew that it wasn’t our last chance (we’re only early 20’s!!) for a relationship. And I certainly wasn’t going to stay in one I wasn’t happy in and planned on ending in a year anyway (yeah… I know). Don’t know about him, but I’m definitely much happier now that I am single.

  17. Blergh, #1. I am not generally a #1 carrier, but I suppose I am logic-minded enough that one of the reasons it gets up my nose so hard is that #1 is ridiculously illogical.

    Relationships aren’t things you get into because it is logical to get into them. It is, in fact, fairly illogical to get into them, as they are massive time and energy sinks. People do not get into relationships because they made a list of reasons why it is a rational life choice to do so, unless they are Mr. Collins, and there are reasons we all dislike Mr. Collins. We have also progressed enough with the feminism thing that most of us no longer have to be Charlotte Lucas and make the logical rational life choice to marry Mr. Collins. Unless you are Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins suddenly dropped into now through a time warp, most people have relationships because they feel like it (note the word “feel” there), most often because the other person gives them warm fuzzy feelings (FEELINGS) in their hearts or their groins or wherever.

    So if one person in a relationship is The Logical One and the other one is The Emotional One, then, logically, The Logical One is most likely to be out of their depth, and in all disagreements relating to the relationship, The Emotional One should be “right” because this is their territory.

    There are few things in the world less logical than saying “Hey look, a situation involving human beings, I will solve it by ignoring all things pertaining to human nature and pretending it is about robots instead.”

    (Of course, the other reason it gets up my nose so hard is the lengthy list of bad social times that have resulted from people engaging in that fallacy, so I am sorry if this comment sounded really judgy about people who are struggling with overcoming it, but Here There Be Baggage.)

    1. The Logical One/Emotional One fallacy does play out in reverse sometimes. Most of my failed relationships have been with people who cast me as the Logical One and themselves as the Emotional One, and since relationships are all about emotions, they are better and more pure for FEELING FEELINGS, and I am clearly a cold hearted bitch.

      Have I mentioned it sucks to be in the inverse of that situation? Because it sucks. If you have reservations, or concerns, or do anything other than jump wholeheartedly into whatever they want to do, it’s used as proof that you’re not really Into It, or You Don’t Really Love Them. Examples:

      • Not wanting to do someone’s fetish for every sexual encounter
      • Wanting to go to a university that has a better program instead of the one my partner was attending (both were in the same city, so it was just a matter of whether we’d have spares together)
      • Wanting to stay home, work, and save money for a few years instead of blowing all my savings travelling each summer
      • Wanting to have a rational discussion about our feelings instead of having a big fight about them (rejected because apparently the feelings you’re talking about “aren’t authentic” unless you’re feeling them RIGHT THEN)

      A lot of ink is spilled talking about how the Logical One is a role that is often abusive to the Emotional One, but it can be just as bad (or worse) on the other side.

      I have never known a nerd to use the “logical” fallacy in the twenty years I’ve been involved in nerdery. What I often see, however, is the notion that emotions are sacrosanct: they never need to be explained or justified, and the fact you’re feeling them means you’re in the right and everyone should have to deal with your emotions, instead of you learning to manage them.

      A good example is what happens whenever a nerd gets called out for creeping on women. HE just has FEELINGS and wants to be with women, and if you can’t understand that you’re BULLYING him. Women are then given the responsibility of not aggravating his feelings and behaviour (which is impossible), so he continues to misbehave and nobody calls him out on it, because that would make him feel bad and feelings are sacrosanct.

      I think this notion underlies a lot of the original Geek Social Fallacies; it’s certainly been my experience with them.

      1. I have definitely seen that sort of behavior and it is massively shitty! I suppose YMMV on this one, but in my experience, both geeks and non-geeks are equally likely to do that; geeks are just more likely to attempt to recast their emotions as some sort of Science Facts (and not, like, “it is a scientific fact that humans have feelings,” because that would still leave the other party open to being allowed to have feelings) and not actually emotions at all in order to make them more valid than the other person’s emotions.

        A good example is what happens whenever a nerd gets called out for creeping on women. HE just has FEELINGS and wants to be with women, and if you can’t understand that you’re BULLYING him. Women are then given the responsibility of not aggravating his feelings and behaviour (which is impossible), so he continues to misbehave and nobody calls him out on it, because that would make him feel bad and feelings are sacrosanct.

        Not if I’m around! If I’m in the room and a nerd gets called out for creeping on women, the women’s feelings of creepedoutness are feelings, and therefore invalid, whereas the dude is totally totally not having anything remotely resembling feelings whatsoever, he is having Biological Inevitabilities, which is totally different, and therefore if you expect him to knock it off you are anti-science like a crazy fundamentalist evolution denier. I would pay money to hear a creepy nerd dude admit that he’s doing it because he just has feelings.

        I think a lot of it comes down to people just redefining shit in whatever way they think will pay off best for them.

        1. Most definitely. I would really like to see a study of nerd groups and how they form, and how that relates to social interactions on a logic/emotions scale.

          If you want to see this happen in my community, look up Keyon in the Back Up Project livejournal. You can watch the concom scream about how women complaining about the sky-high sexual assault rates are BULLYING them and giving them sad feefees, so the lying bitches should just shut up already.

  18. The problem I have with GSF1 is that I like to think I’m pretty aware and accepting of my feelings – I can name them and figure out where they’re coming from and why I’m having a certain reaction to a situation. But then I don’t know what to do with it. Analyzing negative feelings does not logic them out of existence, solve the actual problem in any way, or make feeling that emotion suck any less.

  19. Re GRF2: I wonder if geeks are prone to identifying with their (our?) enthusiasms and/or having two modes. If I (hypothetical) like something, I like it. I like the ever-loving fuck out of it, and liking it becomes a core of my identity. I which case obviously can’t be friends/more with someone who doesn’t like it, any more than I can date someone who’s not into dudes (in my case). This is also strong with people into politics, unless we’re classifying them as “geeks.”

    1. With a lot of the political stuff, it’s not really an option. I can disagree with someone about fiscal policy and not have it affect my relationship. I can’t disagree with someone who thinks I don’t deserve medical care, or full citizen rights, or a legal system that isn’t antagonistic and want to date them. As a general rule, you should only date people who view you as full human beings, and that’s not a popular position in certain political circles.

      This may also be US-centric. I’m in Canada, and while most people I know won’t date Conservatives; Liberals, NDP, Bloc, and Green Party supporters regularly inter-date.

      1. Yeah, wow, I come off as kind of a privileged asshole and I didn’t intend to (and I stand by that even if it’s not something you were trying to convey). I really meant “political issues both parties have the privilege of thinking about in the abstract,” but since most issues are like that for me I didn’t notice I meant that.

        In all sincerity, thank you for pointing that out.

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