Part of the whole point of fandom is to connect with other people. I mean, sure, it’s great you love your favorite thing, but being able to share that love with someone else is amazing. Whether that’s a good-natured “argument” over which season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is best, or an in-depth discussion of Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophical writings and how they specifically pertain to the “Objects in Space” episode of Firefly, you’re able to make an emotional connection with another person through your shared appreciation of the same thing.

This can—and certainly has—lead to romantic relationships. ElfQuest creators Wendy and Richard Pini famously “met” via the letter column in Silver Surfer comics. And given how often fans use their fandom as a significant portion of their self-identity, it stands to reason that they would indeed seek a romantic partner that shares the same passion in the same fandom.

I think a lot of fans end up looking for that. For someone who can share their fannish interests. For someone who would also be excited at the prospect of a Doctor Who themed wedding.

But that’s really not necessary. You should share some interests with your significant other, of course, but trying to find someone to match your level of geekiness sets an unnecessarily high bar. And may wind up leading to more conflict anyway.

Not everyone takes away the same message from a single work. That’s partly why not everyone is a fan of the same things. But even those who are fans can take away different things, depending on what they choose to focus on. Which is why there’s been so much slash fiction about Kirk and Spock over the years (from people who saw a romantic subtext in the original Star Trek) as well as the 2009 reboot that focused more squarely on action/adventure sequences. If two people’s views on a single subject can vary so widely, it’s not unlikely that they would ultimately be a poor match romantically as well.

A better approach might be to find someone who appreciates your devotion to fandom, even if they don’t share it. My own wife, for example, has no particular interest in comic books, but insisted that, almost as soon as we bought our house, I spend the time and money to set up one of the rooms as my own comic book library. She knows and understands what the medium means to me, and encouraged (and continues to encourage) my passion for it. She still has her own interests that far outweigh any appreciation for comics she may have picked up from me, but the greater importance is that she appreciates my passion nonetheless.

As this convention season gets underway, and many of the cons hold variations on Geek Speed Dating events, keep in mind that just because someone doesn’t dive into the minutia of Jedi lore the same way you do means they should be skipped over.