Geek love: Two-techie couples make it work

When nerds collide, true love can be twice as nice

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Jonathan and Laura

Jonathan Lassoff, 22, operations engineer at Square

Laura Khalil, 30, tech writer, chief nerd herder at Dorkbyte.com

Hometown: San Francisco

Years together: 1.5

Jonathan Lassoff and Laura Khalil
Jonathan Lassoff and Laura Khalil

How they met

Laura: We met at our local hackerspace, Noisebridge. I was there learning Python, and he was making cool objects on [the] 3D printer. I also taught French at Noisebridge, and he came to one of my French movie nights for the class.

The rest is history. Seriously, I can't imagine anything nerdier than a man and woman falling in love over an evening of hot solder and a soldering iron.

The best thing about a being in a two-nerd relationship is...

Jonathan: We can share our experiences doing the things that we both enjoy. It's a great feeling to be able to experiment and build things together.

Laura: We get to do all the things we both love together -- from building a kinetic chandelier out of junk, to making robots, going on puzzle hunts, playing with amateur radio and lugging our telescopes around California stargazing.

And the most challenging part is...

Laura: Deciding who gets to use the soldering iron first, arguing over minutiae related to the Star Trek universe, and competing to see who can type more words per minute on a Dvorak keyboard.

Advice for others looking for geek love

Jonathan: Find what you truly love to do. If you enjoy getting into the details of technical pursuits or just enjoy geek culture, live it and love it. Then, find outlets to connect with people that share the same interests. Hackerspaces, shared workspaces and hobby shops are a great place to meet people that love what you love.

Roger and Colleen

Roger Pence, 57, education director at ASNA San Antonio

Colleen Pence, 40, principal, Social Media Mentoring

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Years together: 10

Roger and Colleen Pence
Roger and Colleen Pence

How they met

Roger: We both worked at the same software company. I was the education director, and Colleen was the marketing director -- though now she's in social media.

Part of my work included writing corporate collateral such as case studies, product documents and white papers, so I had to work closely with the marketing department. I am at my core an introverted, cynical geek -- I'd much rather write code than schmooze at a cocktail party.

Still, I found myself drawn to this beautiful, smart and funny marketing person. For whatever reason, she saw qualities in me that were attractive to her. She was known in her circles to be a little wild and crazy, and I was known not to be. Our friends dubbed us "the Freak and the Geek."

The best thing about a being in a two-nerd relationship is...

Roger: We're on different sides of the tech spectrum. She's into all the social media and all the new devices -- the iPad, the iPhone, the Mac. I'm a card-carrying nerd. I have an eight-year-old phone that doesn't do anything but make calls, and all I want to do is write code.

Still, it's someone in the same field. With two nerds, one isn't pulling the other all the time saying, "take a break."

Colleen: We never get bored. We've always got plenty of fodder for passionate arguments -- I mean, conversations -- to keep us interested. We can talk endlessly about the latest tech trend, hot social networking sites, what Apple's going to do next, and why Microsoft is better. (It's not, but don't tell Roger that.)

And the most challenging part is...

Roger: I can get so wrapped up in what I'm doing and not want to back out, I can go 62 hours without saying hi to her.

Colleen: We could both be better at knowing when to shut off the screens so we can have fun together and enjoy each other. Right about now, Roger's shaking his head because it's probably me who needs to learn to live with less screen time. I am having a wild and crazy affair with my iPhone, and Roger begrudgingly accepts that.

Advice for others looking for geek love

Colleen: If you're lucky enough to work with a hot geek like I was, that's the easiest route to go. Barring that, I'd recommend finding and following people who have interests that are similar to yours using Twitter and Facebook and other social media.

Ask your friends to connect you online to people they think you'd like to meet. If you start conversations online, see if you can take them offline through tweetups and other social network gatherings.

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