Bromances and Gym Bros

Making friends comes naturally to most at a young age. We are constantly interacting with people of similar interests in school and activities. It doesn’t take long to transition from acquaintance to friend after sharing an embarrassing story or two – especially when you’re ten and the most embarrassing thing you’ve done is called your teacher mom by accident. But it seems to me that the older I got, the harder it became to make friends. No longer being in college, surrounded by people of my same age and interests, forced me re-enter the single scene.

Urban dictionary defines Bromance as a “description of the complicated love and affection shared by two males.” Whether or not a man will admit it, we all actively seek a bromance when we are without a bro on a daily basis. Further building on this idea for those of us who live an active lifestyle, finding a Gym Bro is just as important.

A Gym Bro is similar to a Bromance, but they are even harder to find. Most people think that when we go to the gym we spend a lot of time gawking at girls and offering unsolicited advice. But the truth is that most of us are steady mirin (translation: “steadily admiring”) the biggest, strongest or most aesthetic bro in the gym. In my experience with the Gym Bro dating scene there are three different varieties of Gym Bros:

The Young Padawon

My Bro Iggy. I think he jogs nowadays.

This type of gym bro is easy to find. They tend to approach you first and ask for lifting/dieting advice, close to or during summer. For short bursts of time they are exceptionally motivated to learn, and eager to adopt the gym life. Although most of your time in the gym is spent teaching and lowering your weights for their sets, they are the easiest to form gym relationships with and are sure to feed your ego and take post gym swolefies.

The Darth Vader

Bro won. Fueled the next 6 weeks!

If the Young Padawon has an exceptionally high midi-chlorian count, he may surpass the master. This gym bro can come in two different forms. He may be the acquaintance that spotted you a few times in the gym, and mired from a distance. Or he could be someone that you personally taught everything they know. If and when this happens it tends to be just what you need to light the fire in your ass that motivates you to push that much harder. They are the dedicated Bros of gym relationships, always there to keep you on your toes.


The Jedi Master

Haven’t been able to catch up to this manlet since 2009.

The final type will forever be the Goku to your Vegeta. This means that no matter how hard you train, they will always be several steps ahead of you. They are the Bros that spot all your PR’s (Personal Records), and warm up with your max. These Gym Bros are the Beyonce of gym relationships…which means they can do better than you, but you try hard to keep up.


How to Find a Gym Bro (Darth Vader or Jedi Master) in a new setting (Korea)
When re-entering the single scene of Gym Bros, one must be cautious not to appear desperate. Scan the gym floor for people lifting the same weight as you, if not more. You then search for signs of a similar interest – maybe it’s a shirt with a comic, band, or team – that you might be able to use to strike up a conversation. I tend to fail in this department, since I don’t follow sports or bands, and most people that wear comic related things at the gym only know the character from the movies.

Nevertheless, if you cant find something to talk about then you can offer to give them a spot (only do this if it’s obviously heavy, if not you run the risk of offending them). After said spot you should coolly walk away and, the same as in most regular dating scenes, you wait some time before a second contact. I’m not sure how other Gym Bros do it, but I ask for a spot after a while has passed. I choose a weight that merits no real spotting but is heavy enough to be respectable.

After a few more “random” interactions you can request their Instagram (or in Korea their Kakao, since it is less personal). Finding a Gym Bromance is a numbers game. Not all Bromances will work out, but when one does you will never again be buried underneath your weight or feels.


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