Love Month: Looking for Bromance

February 19, 2010

Want to be my friend?

Maybe it’s because I’m a little introverted.  I’ve always been slow to make friends.  And although I had built up a rather large list of friends during college, I’ve found my list of friends whittled down over the last few years to a handful of close confidants.

To complicate things, I’ve discovered that in the adult world, there is no established system for a grown man to make new friends.  When we were kids, it was easy.  A kid could earn a whole classroom full of friends if he could get his parents to throw one awesome birthday party.

But in life after birthday parties, making friends is more difficult.  Without built-in friends at your dormitory, or the friends you paid for in your frat or sorority, it’s easy to find yourself suddenly alone on a Friday night.

I’m in my late twenties.  I have a house, a stable job, and I’m happily married.  It just seemed time to go on a quest to make a new BFF.  Yes, I was looking to start a bromance I admit, I’m a little rusty, as it’s been a while since I’ve played the field and I needed help.  So the first thing I asked myself was, “Who knows a lot about meeting men?”  I consulted the latest issue of Cosmopolitan.

Armed with the latest guy-finding tips from Cosmo, I had high hopes.  Unfortunately, my quest for a new friend quickly went downhill.  While I’d have liked to have produced my own personal list of “best places to find a guy who will be your friend forever,” what I produced was quite the opposite.

Five Worst Places to Start a Bromance
The Gym
The first place Cosmo sent me looking was the gym.  This seemed promising, as you’re sure to find plenty of dudes at the gym.  So I put on my best sweat pants, wore some extra Old Spice, and I was sure to count really loudly every time I lift some weights (starting at 1,000) so the other dudes would be sufficiently impressed with my manly physique. 

Well I did meet a couple of guys, but they didn’t seem too interested in making friends.  I even offered to be their spotter, even though they were lifting way too much for me.  Just as I was suggesting they ease up on the weights and go for tone, not bulk, some yoga girl starts blowing up my spot!  It was pretty obvious I had called dibs on making these two guys my friends.  I pointed out that I was at least stronger than her, and therefore a better spotter, but to no avail.  The only other guy there was an octagenarian in a VFW sweatshirt who was also lifting way too much weight for me to spot him.

I’ll spare you the details of the rest of the day, but let’s just say it is impossible for potential friends to make a good first impression on me in the locker room.

The Park
Okay, so the gym was a total bust.  But we recently had some nice weather, and I knew where everyone would be going – the park.  I even had a secret weapon – my very adorable dog.  Seriously, my dog is irresistable to potential new friends…or so I thought.  I’m at the park with the dog, ready to meet someone, and what do I find?  Everyone came to the park already coupled up, holding hands like a dang romantic comedy!  And the guys that were alone were just sitting in their cars for some reason.  I don’t know what that was about, but they seemed very anti-social.

One guy did talk to me, but it was just to point out that I needed to clean up after my dog.  Well if that’s your icebreaker, sir, good day to you.

A Sports Bar
After the crushing disappointment of the park, I decided it was time for drastic measures.  After all, my mother has started quizzing me on my lack of friends, and I’m starting to worry I’m going to be a lonely old man, (except for my wife.)  So I picked a local sports bar, and hit the town. 

I quickly realized that to a group of superfans at a sports bar, I’m like a girl, but not the kind of girl you’re not happy to see at a sports bar.  I know I’m not exactly the most “sporty” guy around.  In fact, I probably couldn’t contribute anything to any conversation about sports.  But those guys looked at me like I was a librarian!  Well excuse me, I didn’t know that bringing books to a sports bar is just no longer socially acceptable.  That’s the last time I go to Buffalo Wild Wings.

An Airplane
I did have a serendipitous meeting with a very charming seatmate on an airplane recently.  We had a positively enchanting conversation.  And wouldn’t you know it, we had the same flight back too!  I’m not making this up.  Sadly, he lives a state away, and I decided I couldn’t handle the distance.  C’est la vie.

Somehow, making flyers to paper my neighborhood seemed like a lame friend finding method, to all my neighbors.  Let me tell you, it is a lot of work to sum up why you’d make a good friend, and what you’re looking for in a friend.  At least with Craigslist, it’s less walking then distributing flyers door to door.  So now I play the waiting game…

And if this doesn’t work, I’ve got 300 raffle tickets at just $10.00 a piece.  First prize: a “friends-night-out” with me. 

What’s your friends list looked like lately?  Are you good at making friends?  Do you wish you had more friends, or do you find yourself with not enough time for your friends?  How long have you had your best friends, and how did you meet?