manlove353

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.