When two men come together in the bond of friendship, it is oftentimes over a common interest in one of many things: sports, alcohol, women, music, etc. It’s usually extremely casual. Maybe some hot wings, a few brews, and a game on TV. End of story. But there are a few specific times in a man’s life where an awkward bro-ment occurs.
If you seem lost, stay with me. You’ll understand soon.
1) The exchanging of phone numbers:
It is perfectly acceptable for a man to approach a woman at a bar or in the park or in any social setting, strike up a conversation and then ask for her digits. But what about when a guy meets another guy and he wants to hang out with him later? Does the one being asked for his number assume the other one is homosexual because of his forwardness? Does the one asking wonder if the other thinks he is homosexual because he wants his number? If there are other people around, do they make unfair judgments? I don’t know. I just know that there have been times when I might have lost an opportunity to make a great friend because I never asked for his phone number so we could connect with one another later because I was afraid of what people might think. Similarly, the quick same-sex “Facebook friending” might seem off-putting if you just met another guy and request his friendship as soon as you get to your nearest internet friendly device.
2) The proposition of being roommates:
It was a winter day, early January of my freshman year of college. I was having lunch with one of my pledge brothers in the midst of our “hell week.” I was nervous as all get out. Palms sweaty. Stomach turning. You would think I was about to propose. But I just blurted it out so I could get it over with. “You want to live together in the fraternity house next year?” And then even more embarrassing than asking another guy to live with you, I was turned down! He already had been asked. So I moved to my plan B. And he told me he’d have to think about it. I mean, do I smell bad? Am I ugly? Will I scare away potential female companions of these young fraternity men? In the end, the one who had to think about it said yes, but I never wanted to have to do that again.
3) A) The proposition of being in your wedding:
This is similar to the roommate proposal, but maybe even harder because it says, “I respect you as a person and want you to be my side when I delve into the long journey of marriage. And I think you’re attractive enough to be in pictures I will have and look at for the rest of my life. And I forgive you for drawing on my face that time I passed out. And I’m sorry I ran over your cat and never told you.” I mean, if you ask a guy to be your groomsman or usher, he almost has to say yes unless there are severe extenuating circumstances preventing it. But it’s still really strange. It was much easier to propose to my future wife than to ask any of my groomsmen or ushers if they would agree to be a part of the big day. Luckily none of my guys turned me down.
B) Not asking someone to be in your wedding:
Everyone has that one guy that was on the fence. The one guy that you were super close to but just didn’t quite make the cut. You know it. He knows it. And at the wedding, it will be weird when he comes to congratulate you, because deep down he’s offended and deep down you know he hates you and is going to drink as much as he can just to spite you and your future father-in-law.
Asking a co-worker you don’t know very well out for lunch, one-on-one.
Requesting to follow someone on Twitter that you aren’t friends with, who isn’t a celebrity, but whose thoughts you still want to keep up with.
Seeing a guy you looked up to in high school, approaching him, and then realizing he has absolutely no idea who you are.