The Cowboy Code: Chapter Eleven, Art of the Bromance
His two closest male friends have recently moved away - second time that's happened to one of my guys in recent months. So he's craving a new bromance.
On the scale of platonic relationships between straight men, there are acquaintances, buddies and friends, good friends and guys and homies, and bromantics.
You say hello to your acquaintances in the hallway of your apartment building, in the laundry room, or on the smoking deck at work. You grab a beer after work with your buddies and friends. You help your buddies and friends move furniture on weekends. You go on double dates with your good friends, guys, and homies. You will stand back to back with your good friends, guys, and homies in a hostile bar and fight off the onslaught of angry drunks whose girlfriends your good friend/guy/homie hit on. You know your good friends', guys', and homies' parents and siblings. You take road trips with your good friends, guys, and homies.
Your bromantics, though? These are guys you'll make plans to go to dinner with, without a woman along for the ride. You'll do a vacation with a bromantic. You'll meet for Happy Hour for drinks and you'll consume something more frilly than beer. You'll have serious conversations with these guys, about life and religion, and women, and politics. And you'll share your innermost thoughts on each of these topics.
Women have been this tight with one another for eons. But they don't require stupid names for this level of closeness. Well, actually they do. They call it being "girlfriends." But you'll understand why most straight men, even those who consider themselves to be secure and open-minded, would have a problem referring to their closest of male friends as "boyfriends."
But my guy has a problem. As with his romances, he doesn't know how to pick a new best dude friend.
With his romances, he tends to select women who are off the scale, like in another galaxy in terms of beauty, because they satisfy his visual fantasies. But he finds 'em without personality. Or he'll pick the woman whose knowledge of video games and action movies is as deep as his own, but she tends to be the woman who wears lots of flannel and could bodyslam him if she wanted to...whether he objected or not. There's no middle ground for him.
Conversely, when trying to locate another bromantic, my guy tends to pick guys who are only acquaintance material, or basic friend material.
So fellas, if you, like my guy, have a problem maintaining healthy bromances, take note of the rules:
- If a dude doesn't get your jokes, he's not bromance material. He's an acquaintance. It's simple. You wouldn't go on a second date with a woman who thought you were dull....unless she was a super model. So you wouldn't hang out with a guy who doesn't think you're funny.
- If a dude lacks self confidence, he's not bromance material. When you guys are in the high end cocktail lounge getting your professional-fresh-from-the-office look on, you don't want a guy who is going to be almost clingy with his conversation. You don't want that guy who is going to pine for you when you walk away to the can or to go make a cell phone call. Women in the joint will notice this and will think you two are a couple, or just pathetic. And your chances of planting the seed(s) of romance that evening are shot. Again, would you go on a second date with a clingy woman...who isn't a super model?
- If a dude is the smash-an-empty-beer-can-on-his-forehead kind of guy, then he is not bromance material. He is not the guy you have dinner with. He is the guy you have a beer with on that occasional after work-honey-I-have-to-work-late outing to the gentleman's club. As for that second date analogy, think of this guy as you would the woman who belched a lot on your first date.
- If, for example, you would not date a stripper, then you should not engage in a bromance with a bouncer. It's not about elitism. It's about connecting with people you have lots in common with.
And one rule for you: if you like women and you don't have one in your life, even for casual dates, then forget the bromance. Grow up and focus your time on getting a girl...or two or three. After you have that worked out, then you can get back to the bromance.
Follow these rules and you too can have a balance in your life of romance and bromance. Don't laugh. Every well-rounded guy needs 'em both.