Debunking the Nice-Nerd Myth

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Photo: Merrick Morton/Columbia Pictures/Ccourtesy of Everett Collection

Have you ever deigned to date a nerd, thinking he’ll be so grateful for your relative hotness and social grace that he’ll never ever leave you or do anything mean, only to discover that he’s more controlling and less sensitive than the alpha male you thought he was a rebound for? GQ, of all magazines, feels you. And says it's not your fault. The pseudonymous Siobhan Rosen writes that “everyone from well-meaning bubbes to Cosmo” (including Judd Apatow) has trained you to believe that “nerds will treat you like the Second Coming of Christ because it may actually be their second time coming.” Instead, “the dark childhood shit that makes nerds nerds — the years of rejection and humiliation, cross-pollinated with a quietly simmering superiority complex — makes them, go figure, total disasters to date as adults.” To which I would only add that if your nerd is also the kind of nerd who has channeled his geeky desire to accumulate a vast array of knowledge into borderline gynecological sexual expertise (a vagina hacker?), he might be worth keeping around, briefly.