Nobody Wants to Date Policy Wonks: Here’s How to Be Better

first_imgIt’s no secret that dating in today’s technology-based, consumer-driven world is complicated to say the least. But really, basement babies and feminists aside, dating today is hard. And perhaps the group suffering the most, the group I just so happen to be familiar with, is that of the policy wonk.There have been numerous articles articulating the struggle, especially of you poor guys (and gals) on the right who just can’t seem to swing a date. And while I feel a bit of sympathy, being one myself, here’s why even I, a nerdy policy girl on the right, won’t date you.The Gender ConsiderationFirst, let’s get this straight: it’s not that this is only a male problem, but the numbers don’t lie in that there are more men working in policy than women. Attend any gala, happy hour, or conference (especially a libertarian/conservative-leaning one) and you can see for yourself. With females being such a commodity, it’s not that we don’t suffer from the same thing that ails our male counterparts, it’s just that we are literally the lesson in scarcity, so our value goes up regardless. We female nerds aren’t better, but statistics says we have a greater likelihood of nabbing a date even if we succumb to this fatal flaw of wonks.The Wonk is Too Wonky and Yet Not Wonky EnoughYou may be thinking I’m alluding to the infamous social awkwardness and nerdiness of the policy wonk, but remember, I am one of you. To be honest, I think mild social ineptitude is something we ladies can work with. No, the real reason policy-wonks are undateable is because policy is the only thing you get wonky about. It’s the overall one-notedness of your wonkery, if you will, that makes you unappealing romantic prospects. It makes sense that you want to share things you care about with others. Passion is hot! But even passion gets old if, say, pension reform, is the only thing you’re passionate about.Variety is the spice of life and definitely necessary for dating. Think about the most interesting person you know. Why are they interesting? Chances are it’s because they have a few different hobbies or interests and therefore have new, diverting stories to regale you with each time you meet. What about the best date you’ve ever been on — the one without awkward silences, that flowed easily? I’m betting the reason it was so enjoyable was that you each had a few different passions to share with each other.I’m not saying you should hide your love for politics or change the inherent wonkiness of your personality. Far from it! As a female wonk, I love politics, but sometimes I just need a break. It’s about adding to your repertoire. Shake it up by geeking out over Game of Thrones, Marvel, or the latest video game. Chances are if you expand your fandoms (areas of passion within nerd/wonk culture) you can open yourself up to more potential female nerds who are looking for someone to share their nerd-loves with!Get a New Hobby!The good news is that this is easy to fix. Your low credit score and tenuous relationship with fries are decidedly much longer, effort-intensive actions you may also need to take for your dating health, but hobbies? Super easy.Here are some suggestions for finding something else with which to direct your energy towards, rather than being angsty on social media.1. Go. Out. Side. I know that’s the scariest option on the list, but truthfully it’s the best. You’d be surprised what things or people you encounter that could be your new interest. Is it a dog? A new museum? A trendy café that will turn you into a foodie? Who knows! Results may vary.2. Open a non-policy book. The decidedly more nerd-friendly option: pick up a non-policy book! If you already love to read, try a genre you haven’t dabbled in or finally read that book about that thing you are really curious about. Maybe you will gain new random facts with which to dazzle other party guests. Maybe not, but you won’t know if you never read the book!3. Revive an old hobby you’ve neglected. We all had other hobbies before we mutated into wonks. (Unless of course you sprang fully formed from the womb as a wonk. In that case, I’m sorry, there really is no hope for you.) If not, try to rediscover the love for an old hobby you once had. Maybe it was building models, or sewing/knitting, or even writing the next great American novel. Whatever it was, rededicate some time to it; chances are it will feel like reconnecting with an old friend.4. Copy your friends! If you already have friends that you like to spend time with who have hobbies outside of policy, then the easiest way to find your new hobby can be simply by joining them. It may not be your cup of tea, but you may find that simply doing the thing with them makes it fun.5. Volunteer! Perhaps the most outlandish suggestion yet! Now, I recognize you may already be volunteering, and that’s great. But what I’m talking about is volunteering for something non-political; so no calling your senator, or fundraising for an org you kind of work with. I’m talking a long-term, regular person volunteering gig. It could be tutoring kids because you care about education reform or helping edit resumes of ex-cons because of your commitment to criminal justice reform. A charity probably already exists that pairs well with your policy area of interest. Doing this will force you to care deeply about something other than a white paper or whatever new scandal takes Twitter by storm and in turn provide you with something amazing to share with potential dates!Really we are a great group, us policy wonks. We are passionate and deeply motivated to bettering society. We just need to be mindful that the world has so many cool things to offer besides policy. If we get a grip on that, I’m sure our dating lives will greatly improve. And at the very least, we’ll have a new hobby to fill our lonely Friday nights.last_img

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