Friendships are a bit like houseplants. Or maybe a fire. Yes, a fire. That sounds way cooler. Just like a fire, you have to tend your friendship, feed it, mind it and care for it, or it dies out. Here are my top 5 things to do with your brother from another mother and keep your friendship alive without it feeling like you’re on a weird date.
Everyone needs friends. Even my dad, who openly admits to hating people and being the most antisocial (yet awesome and lovely) human on the planet, needs and has his friends.
From a bloke’s perspective, mates are even more important – even though we try really hard not to show it. We do our best to downplay how important our friendships are.
So when our ladies tell us we have a ‘bromance’ going, we outwardly grimace, inwardly cringe, but deep down – really deep down so that no one can see, take the piss or suggest a vulnerability – we glow.
It’s like having your soul exposed when someone points a finger at you and your mate and announces with a strange kind of glee “aww look at the bromance happening here.”
All you want it a big rock – either to crawl under or to throw at the finger pointer.
But the truth of it is yes, bromances exist. And they’re actually pretty awesome. There’s no need to label them, thank you very much, and certainly no need to talk about them like that – we’re just really good mates – but close male friendships are incredibly important.
That’s why it’s essential to feed the friendships, keep them going and make the most of them. I’m not just talking about meeting down the pub or at a café, which is important too, of course. I’m talking about doing stuff that’s going to build memories and moments between you – but not in a way that’s going to make it weird!
So here are 5 ideas for maintaining your bromance – sorry, close male friendship – that’s not going to make it feel like some kind of creepy date.
5 ways to keep your bromance alive
1. Comedy club
Take the pressure off your mate’s lame jokes and head to a comedy night. There are comedy clubs in every town and city, and even if it’s like an open-mic or amateur evening, it’s usually a lot of fun. Don’t forget to make time at the end for a couple of beers to debrief and try and remember the best jokes. That can sometimes be the best bit – especially if the comic’s shit!
Top tip: Keep an eye out for headliners you both enjoy or at least know. And make sure you don’t sit front row or you’ll get picked on by the comic.
2. Events and special months
My mate and I went to the Night of Whisky at the Glenmore pub in Sydney recently, where you can learn about different whiskies, try them, take a cocktail making class. It’s a lot of fun. It’s also currently ‘Rye July’ at the Glenmore, where you can try all kinds of different whiskies and learn about them.
And let’s not forget my other favourite, Sydney Craft Beer Week! Starting in October each year it’s the perfect time to enjoy some amazing craft brews with your mate.
Top tip: For events like these, keep an eye out in your local social mag like Time Out magazine and in nearby bars. Otherwise, there are always evening and weekend classes and events on in community colleges in your area.
If you’re into your beer, I’ve tried and tested a DIY beer tasting session you can do at home with your ‘significant brother’ – see what I did there. It’s pretty simple; you just get a load of different beers from the shop, download and print our free tasting sheets, drink the beer and record your findings.
Top tip: You can take it as seriously or as light-heartedly as you like – maybe get the footy on the tv while you ‘work’.
4. Go for dinner
I’m not talking a candlelit meal for two or dinner under the stars with a violinist playing your favourite tune. Going for an Indian curry, a steakhouse meal or even a good burger joint is fun and contains no hint of emasculation!
Top tip: Keep your eye out for new venues that suit both your tastes too. If you’re not comfortable asking your mate out to dinner, it’s much easier to frame it around the fact there’s a new place to try.
5. Visit a brewery or winery or wine club or bottle shop
Now that there are so many craft breweries and distilleries popping up all over the place, finding one nearby is even easier. Most of them offer either a tasting or a tour of the facility – or both. Some places like Sydney’s Archie Rose Distillery have bars attached to them too.
I know a lot of these tips are booze oriented, but hopefully – if you and your mate aren’t into alcohol that much – you’ll still be able to glean some inspiration from this list. I’ve just written about what I’d enjoy doing.
I suppose the message here is just do what you do normally, just be better organised. Plan it out a bit, run ideas past your mate and think outside what you normally do together.
Do you have any activities you like to do with your best mate (not like that) that makes your friendship even tighter? Ladies, does you man have a bestie that he loves spending time with? What do they get up to together – or do they keep it secret? Tell us in the comments!