Z went on what I would consider a very successful man-date yesterday. I was having some girls over for a movie night, so I kicked him out of the house and told him he needed to find a guy to hang out with and do guy stuff. He seemed sheepish about asking, so I plowed ahead and asked an acquaintance at our church for him this previous Sunday. In retrospect, I probably should have let him do it, but I was afraid he never would, and Z needs guy friends to hang out with. Anyway, arrangements were made and yesterday afternoon he left for his man-date-- an afternoon fishing with a buddy. Very manly.
Last night when Z finally got home after 10:00 he was all kinds of excited. He spent the next couple hours rattling off all kinds of stories about his new BFF and telling me all about why they were a perfect match and it just seems like fate wants them to be best friends, and even their wives are very similar so the couple pairing is pretty much a dream team, and this is going to be great! I just laughed at him. He was positively giddy to have a guy friend again. I haven't seen him this smitten since Caleb left.
Speaking of Caleb... whenever he was around, Z used to get all defensive when I would say 'man-date'. "It's not a date, we are just hanging out. Don't call it a date." The word 'bromance' was strictly forbidden. Either he has gotten over himself or I have worn him down or something because Z didn't seem to blink when I talked about his 'man-date' this week. In fact, last night after he got home I asked him if they had talked about getting together to 'jam' (as this has always been the ultimate, unattainable quality in a friend for Z... someone to 'jam' with.) And he said, "Nah, that's really not a first date kind of topic. Maybe the second or third date."
I laughed at his joke, and he did too. But I felt a small twinge of pride. Yup, I wore him down.
Okay seriously now, all joking about awkward male relationship terms aside...
Before we even got married Z and I talked a lot about the importance of maintaining relationships outside of our marriage. Obviously the marriage is the first and most important relationship in both our lives... But we also recognize that it's important to one's emotional and spiritual health to maintain relationships with other family members, personal friends, and couples.
We have been pretty successful with the family side of things... but friends, especially for Z, became kind of a hardship. Right before, or shortly after our wedding all of Z's good friends moved out of the area-- for different reasons. Several of them were married, some were not, but that took most of our 'couple friends' our age and pretty much all of Z's guy friends that he hung out with regularly.
And we haven't been hermits, there are a few people that we hang out with somewhat regularly, but I know that Z has especially been missing that 'best friend' connection-- or just a guy to hang out with, you know without it being a big deal. (do you like how awkward this is? Here's me trying to not over-feminize a conversation about a male relationship and not really being terribly successful. All I know is that everyone, male or female, desires that reliable, close, honest, best friend relationship... and you can call it a million different things, and we joke about it because our culture doesn't really value that kind of vulnerability... but whatever. Bottom line is... everyone needs it. It's important.)
Anyway, I know my husband is excited and happy to have new guy-friends in his life, and possibly a new BFF (he loves it when I use junior high girly terms like that). It also makes me happy to see him fulfilled and happy... and I am especially happy that because he has a guy friend now-- I will never have to go fishing or camping.