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Man love

Come 'ere you big, beautiful ...

Come 'ere you big, beautiful ...

So, I went on a hot date recently and I'm not sure how to follow up with ... well ... him.

He's kind of famous - a radio broadcaster, much more successful than me and even though he made the first move - asking me out to lunch - I didn't feel like it went as well as it could have.

Leading up to the "date", we'd traded immensely mature, overtly homoerotic texts - to mock the idea we were going on a man date, both confident enough in our heterosexuality to pretend we were not.

Anyway, when the big day rolled around, we were both surprisingly earnest, our smart-arse, lacerating text-banter replaced by a laborious question and answer session, as if we were interviewing each other for the position of "new friend".

He paid. I said I'd get the next one. We went our separate ways, then ... nothing. Sure a few tweets were exchanged in the following weeks, but I'm starting to feel, I dunno ... spurned.

I'd call him, but I don't want to seem desperate; I certainly don't want him to think it's just about his large ... profile, because I really felt there was something between us, the definite beginnings of "man love".

That, of course, is when a man meets another man and it dawns on them in a thoroughly rugged and blokey way: "Hey, I'd like to hang out with you some more."

Over time this may become friendship and you can dispense with the game playing but in those first delicate weeks and months, it can be complicated.

This is because "attraction" is so often triggered by a sort of manly hypergamy, by guys you perceive as having a higher social status than yours or who are more successful at one of the masculine arts like football-tipping, making sick cash and bedding women.

So there can be level of insecurity at work - you ask yourself if you're as good on Xbox as they are, or perhaps rich, cool or successful enough to be their "mate". Of course, for true man love to develop, there has to be mutual respect between you, not adulation on the part of one.

That's just creepy.

I've got man love going with any number of men in my neighbourhood, but we don't have to press the issue because we know we're going to bump into each other regularly, so our friendships can evolve organically.

With my radio star - well, if I don't make a move soon, I might not ever see him again, except peering down at me from billboards.

I don't want to sound slutty, but I encountered the same problem again just last week, when I met an even more famous Aussie singer who bears an uncanny resemblance to dead businessman/fugitive Christopher Skase.

I felt we hit it off - hell, we insulted each other for hours, which is always a good sign - but now I'm stuck wondering if he's like that with everyone? Did I misread the signs?

Now, in the sober light of the new week, I'm doubting myself, thinking what could he possibly see in me?

It shouldn't have to be like this and, granted, a lot of man love is not like this - you simply meet, perhaps drink beer or macchiato, exchange texts and before you know it you're up the coast surfing or going to Comic-Con 2013 together.

But as you get older, well, you work out what you want in a mate; you don't throw yourself at just anybody, you get picky ... and you wait by the phone.

Sam de Brito's latest novel Hello Darkness is in bookstores now. You can follow him on Twitter here. His email address is here.

56 comments so far

  • what a strange article, I was expecting a followup to the masturbating blog...(perhaps it is?)

    I'd like a bit more man love. I think I am doing something wrong. or perhaps I'm just not getting allowed the time.

    the missus is a real clinger and I virtually get 0 dude time.

    (I love her and all, but geeez, how do you tell her you want to hang out with some dudes in a totally non homo way?)

    Shes hardly got any mates of her own, so I feel a bit sorry for her and can't honestly leave her home alone on a weekend/evening! (been trying to get her into a sport or do a class or something...but she only does correspondence, so that doesnt work!)

    Date and time
    May 21, 2012, 6:07PM
    • leave it too long barney and your 'dudes' won't even bother asking you to "come over for a few beers and watch the footy"

      there's a particular point in time where there's no going back.

      man up!

      far canal
      Date and time
      May 22, 2012, 2:01PM
    • yeah Far Canal.

      I am that mate who is bringing his missus to the pub/watch the game etc.

      She spits chips when she hears me planning a fishing trip too. She only plans any girl time when I am out anyway.(like a night class I am taking, she goes out then because she is otherwise lonely).

      But for friendship...she wants to monopolise me a bit. not likeing that.

      Date and time
      May 22, 2012, 2:22PM
    • it certainly isn't uncommon barney.
      loads of girls are like this.
      they all have common characteristics too - but ultimately they seem to be insecure girls whom have gone for 'rough' blokes/assholes etc... in the past and are now seeking a 'mate' whom they can trust and whom will treat her nicely.

      luckily my mrs and i have a good understanding there and do a lot of stuff individually with our mates

      if we didn't we wouldn't be together now (after 10 years)

      good luck.

      far canal
      Date and time
      May 23, 2012, 10:22AM
  • You can't force it. Timing is crucial.
    Sometimes you meet someone with whom you get along famously, share the same interests, values and social status. You're ready for a new friendship- but the other party just isn't. They have a full card of mates, or pressure at work, or just not ready to put in the effort required for a bro-mance.
    If it's not happening just move along. When it's right it will just happen.
    Who knows, your paths may cross in the future and he may be more open to it.
    If you haven't already found a new BFF...

    Date and time
    May 21, 2012, 10:49PM
    • You hung out with Kyle sandilands? How desperate are you getting?

      Jokes aside.... Seinfeld covered this, too.

      Ultimately, you are going about this all wrong. The older you get you just can't hang out to make friends. There needs to be a context. Think of all the friends you have now and think how you became friends? School? Uni? Sport? Gym? Work? They were all formed in some sort of context where you forged a bond and started hanging out beyond that context. Sitting around trying to force conversation just doesn't work.

      Date and time
      May 21, 2012, 10:59PM
      • Context. As usual, bender is right.

        Your choice now is, golf or bowls ?

        Date and time
        May 23, 2012, 6:14PM
    • 1. Insults are nothing (probably because I usually crash any sense of physical prowess). It is banter only.
      2. WTF? judging guys is so foreign in terms of friendship; the wolfpack may only last a night, but you live it and move on.

      I dunno I feel too young for this Sam, but stand by my comments. In saying that, there are wolves that you cannot accept, perhaps their reasoning precludes your own needs

      Date and time
      May 22, 2012, 1:53AM
      • So, everything you tell people not to do when picking up women you do when choosing a mate? Weird.

        I don't think I've ever attempted to be friends with anyone, at least since high-school. If we share the same interests we'll keep bumping into each other, and if we like each other enough to invite to parties and poker nights then it friendship comes.

        And if you meet someone you think is cool and you hit it off but time or tides means that you don't really see each other again, just be thankful for the time you had together, that he could have been a part of your life and added to it in some special way, and hopefully you added to his. Just get a glass of Brown Brothers wine, a random self-help book and sit at the window gazing wistfully to the horizon, lost in your memories...

        Date and time
        May 22, 2012, 3:00AM
        • sounds like you're suffering insecurity over wanting more famous friends, must be a sydney thing??????

          Date and time
          May 22, 2012, 4:45AM

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