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.
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?
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!