Tip of the Day #22: How to Date at Comic-Con


cc_poster-e1373984161851I know what you might be thinking…
Do you really need to do a post on dating at Comic-Con?! Is it really necessary?! The answer; no not really. While most of you don’t go to Comic-Con to specifically find a mate, we all still know that dating as a nerd is hard no matter what planet you are from. Perhaps Comic-Con is the place for you to make a connection with someone. However, between buying exclusives, rushing to get to Hall H, or hunting celebrities around, there is little time to come up with a strategy for finding a date at Comic-Con. Often, you will meet someone interesting but they soon disappear in the sea of nerds- never to be seen again. So let’s take a break from the ‘serious’ strategy tips and have a little fun with this one. In fact, some good friends of mine claim that Comic-Con had a BIG part in them getting together. You never know where a chance encounter might lead. If anything you might make a new life long nerdy friend- which is better than any exclusive money can buy 🙂

My advice to the Guys

  • The Prime Directive: Unless you are cosplaying as a certain Minecraft character, don’t be a creeper. Try not to stare, don’t stand too close, never touch, and know when to walk away.
  • Natural Selection: Breaking into a conversation or starting a conversation is hard. Do your best ‘Sherlock’ and quickly find common ground. Whether it’s a nerdy T-shirt or cool piece of swag, start off with an interest you share. If you are in line for a panel, this is a perfect place to make a connection.
  • Wonder Twins: If you and her have the same cosplay theme, this is a great  opportunity to talk about your costumes. You might want to suggest walking together for a little bit for better photo ops and give ya’ll some time to get to know each other.
  • man-of-steel-23Confidence is Your Super Power: You might not have Henry Cavill’s looks, but confidence will help you be more powerful than a locomotive. Eye contact, smiling, and asking interesting questions will go a LONG way. If you don’t believe you should be standing there in front of her, she won’t either.
  • Her Kryptonite is Humor: The easiest way to make a girl relax is laughter. In the brief few minutes you have to make a good impression, tell a great celebrity encounter story or a Hall H moment- anything that will get her smiling. We all just want to be happy after all so introducing humor will at least keep the conversation going until…
  • Timing is Everything: If you are going to ask her to hang out later, wait till the end of the conversation, ask her, then make your graceful exit- regardless of what she says. NEVER make her feel pressured or uncomfortable. If she accepts, give her your info then bounce. Ask her to meet up somewhere very public- better yet, add a few friends to make it a group thing.
  • She has the Power: Give her your number and don’t ask for take her’s unless she offers it. Give her as many escape routes as possible. A nerd is always a gentleman. Treat her graciously regardless of her response.
  • Jedi Mind Tricks: Actually, there are no tricks. Keep your interactions honest, real, and truthful. Put your best nerd forward while not deceiving or being creeping.

My Advice to the Girls

  • han-solo-and-princess-leiaScruffy Looking, Nerf Herder: It’s hard for guys to generate a conversation with a complete stranger. First impressions may not tell the whole story. Give a guy 20 minutes or so before jumping to warp.
  • Deflector Shields: A guy risks a lot by trying to approach girl, so if your shields are up then it may spook him away. I know we all tend to be a little introverted, but don’t let shyness make it seem like you are not interested.
  • Super-Friends: Being friends is awesome! It might not be a ‘love connection’ but it might be a ‘nerd connection’. He will be fine with hanging out as friends.
  • Your Turn: Feel free to take the initiative to hang out later. He might be too shy to ask and your suggestion might be all he needs. The easiest and safest thing to do is invite him into line with you for a later panel or walk the exhibit floor. You get to nerd out over your favorite thing and get to know each other.
  • Level Up: This is from the heart. Don’t compare your insides with someone else’s outsides. I know this is hard at Comic-Con with a lot of Slave Leia’s and Sailor Moons bouncing around. Our nerd bros want more than just looks but smarts, humor, and a sense of adventure. Confidence goes a long way for you ladies as well.
  • Be safe, be safe, and be safe

105873-40779-night-nurse3Well I hope this got you thinking about the possibilities. I know most of you don’t go to Comic-Con with the intention of meeting someone, but you never know what might happen. Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with making a goal to meet someone special while your there. There is no better place to meet someone with the same background, passion, goals, and fandom than at SDCC. However, like getting that key autograph, you have to be intentional, play it smart, and take risks. Risk ALWAYS leads to a better place in life. Sometimes it’s not pleasant but it’s the only road to finding relationship happiness. Thanks for indulging this crazy Tip of the Day- let me know what you think about dating at Comic-Con and if you have had good/bad experiences with it there. Also, I know this is just from a ‘straight’ perspective so feel free to comment with your LGBT tips. Thanks all and good luck!

Check out my past Tip of the Day posts.

10 thoughts on “Tip of the Day #22: How to Date at Comic-Con

  1. I know of several people that are still dating after meeting each other at #sdcc. So yes, “the odds are in there favor”

  2. I got lucky and became a staff member at SDCC. My first year in a certain department which shall remain nameless, I met a beautiful girl. We were in the staff office, both of us just sitting at a big a table not doing much of anything besides playing on our iPhones. I just knew there was something special about her. I’ve been to numerous cons, I’ve never noticed someone like her. Anyways, I did initiate the conversation and we talked and things just clicked. I did break your rule, and asked for her number. She gave it to me, and then we ended-up going to Preview Night together. We had to split-up for a bit to buy our exclusives, but once we did, we texted where to meet and spent the rest of that night hanging-out together. At the end of the night, I walked her to her car, and that was it. I did text her some more, but thought I’d never see her again. We ended-up spending the entire 4 days of SDCC together, be it working as staff, or attending panels. Fast forward a few years to today and, we’re still staff members for the same department, but she’s now my best friend and the girl I’m absolutely in love with. We just recently took a really nerdy Star Wars trip together, and have plans for so much more in the future. I didn’t go into SDCC thinking I’d meet anyone. That was never the plan, but when you do, when you meet that special someone, you just know it. You’re willing to drop everything, and to change all plans for that special someone. For myself, no matter what SDCC Exclusive I could ever buy, I found the most elusive of them all. The SDCC Soulmate.

    • Wow, what an amazing story! It’s very cool that Comic-Con is now a part of your story. Very inspiration! Thanks for taking the time to share it here and thanks for commenting! Yay nerd love!

  3. SDCC is a great place to meet people – automatic shared interests, people are largely friendly, and geek-good-will can override even pervasive introversion. Flirting may not come naturally to all of nerd-kind, but finding someone with similar fandoms and a common vernacular shouldn’t be difficult. SDCC has something for everyone; your kind is there, waiting for you. If you’re single and looking, San Diego presents a lot of intriguing possibilities. And if interactions take a downturn, there are a thousand plausible excuses that allow you to politely exit a conversation.

    On the other hand, being overtly “on the prowl” can lead to some very awkward interactions. An experience that stuck with me: I had just taken a seat in a mostly empty panel room, about 10 minutes before the presentation would begin. I sat texting my wife, coordinating where we’d meet up later. A young woman walked up and down the aisle a couple of times, sized me up, then came and sat right next to me. She gave me an enthusiastic “hi”, and I greeted her in return. She made polite small talk with me for the next couple of minutes. Then I heard her quietly say, “oh”, and caught her staring at my wedding ring. She made a frustrated sound, got up without another word to me. Then she immediately walked up a couple of rows and plopped down next to another guy who was sitting alone. I heard the emphatic “hi” again as she turned her full attention on the new target.

    I don’t think this kind of modus operandi is in any way typical. But I’ve seen plenty of guys and girls do the similar things at the event, and at the bars. Whatever your gender and status, maybe don’t treat your fellow nerds like a sampler platter.

    From the exhibitor’s perspective: those of us behind a table love friendly interactions – those conversations help the long grind of the convention day move faster. And friendly flirtation sometimes comes with the territory. It’s generally flattering to receive (as long as it isn’t creepy). Sometimes it might help to help sell a book or two. But, being behind the booth sometimes makes us a captive audience. Be mindful of the artist or exhibitor’s time and purpose. If you think they’re cute and maybe interested, perhaps find out what their plans are after con hours so you can chat again. But try not to linger at their table for a long time, even if you’re trying to flirt, not sure if they’re into you. Overstaying your welcome can be crazily awkward for both of you, can hurt the exhibitors ability to sell, and might make them want to avoid you later. Whether it’s an established professional or an up-and-coming amateur, they are there to do a job – be mindful of that and respect their time, regardless of how attractive or interesting you find them. The con is 5 days long – you can visit again later.

    If you feel like you made a connection, follow up with them later via Twitter. It’s the easiest, least invasive method and most exhibitors will have their Twitter handle publicly available. Just say “it was nice meeting you”; it might start up a conversation. (But you should probably ring-check them at the table, first. 🙂

    • Wow, that is a crazy story- I guess that happens sometimes but hopefully more rare. Thanks for sharing multiple perspectives. Regardless, meeting people and making a connections can be hard anywhere you are but I hope Comic-Con would be a little easier. I know it is the center of many friendships of mine and many that I know. Thanks so much for your thoughts and thanks for commenting.

  4. With you 100%. We’ve met a number of wonderful and cherished friends through conventions all over the country. They’re a real part of our everyday lives, even though we don’t physically see each other but a few times a year. It’s part of what I love most about traveling to all these cons – seeing these people (and meeting new ones).

    I think short durations of intense shared personal experience tend to forge lasting friendships (in my experience, anyway; I think cons are like short nerd “summer camps”). The same holds true for possible romantic relationships – as a commenter above’s lovely tale illustrates!

  5. I’ve been thinking that Comic Con needs to have a system, you know: green sticker on your badge if you’re single and looking, yellow if you’re not sure, and red if you’re not available. Maybe add blue, pink and purple to designate who you’re looking for. Mostly this is just a big selfish plot to help myself out.

    The best part of Comic Con is meeting people: new friends, romances, brief connections. All of it. You really have to live in the moment and soak it up to really appreciate it’s magic (that sounded cheesy, apologies!)

    Sidenote: I met a guy two years ago at the SherlockeDCC party and we have stayed in close contact since then. He’s a fantastic friend and shares my love of poutine. But that same year, he met the love of his life and they just got married this past May. The two of them help me believe in the possibilities of Comic Con.

    Anyways, enough cheesy, romantic stuff. See you all at Con!

    • Ha, that is an awesome idea! I know with the Wizard World shows I have worked with, they have partnered with the Sci-Fi Speed Dating organization and it has done quite well. I see people connecting over it all the time- it might not be a love connection but friendships are made (although they do have a decent track record). I don’t want to see CC become a ‘bar scene’ but would love to see fans connect. Thanks so much for your idea and comment!

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