This is a subject not normally broached on this blog, for sure!
David A. Hill Jr. busts out some “geek” dating advice, linking to one of the most widely-known articles about “Nice Guys”—No More Mr. Nice Guy. One of my friends wrote another great Why nice guys come last article a few years ago, and I’m going to chime in with a bit of dating—hell, life!—advice that applies whether you are a “geek” or not:
You don’t get to choose what disrespects someone else.
This flows in both directions: If you care enough about someone, don’t do or say things that they tell you is disrespectful to them; and if they tell you that something isn’t disrespectful to them, don’t try and insist that it is.
Yes, some things are stereotypically and generally offensive. There are things I won’t say or do because I consider them offensive—or at least, offensive in certain situations. But don’t ever hide behind “X is offensive to women” or “X is offensive to men” if a specific woman or man directly tells you that it’s not offensive to them—their personal opinion overrides the stereotype about their gender when you are dealing with them.
Similarly, “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes” does not mean “pretend the same event would happen to you”—unless that someone else is a clone of you, they are unlikely to react the exact same way! When you think about someone else, actually think about them and not about you!
Treat people like they want to be treated; treat people better than they deserve to be treated; don’t treat people like you want to be treated. They aren’t you.