The other day, I tried to break down the infamous “bro-code” to one of my friends. You see, being a single guy in Pensacola is tough, but it is made even tougher by a circle of friends with differing opinions on what is the acceptable code of conduct for bro-code.
After an intense conversation, however, I realized that the issue here is much larger than two guys trying to find a middle ground in this muddled varied pact among men. The issue at hand is being a single man in a small town where everyone—and I mean everyone—knows everyone.
Population count alone negates the first rule of bro-code: Never date your friend’s ex-girlfriend. Every single woman you meet is some dude’s ex-girlfriend and the basic honest truth here is that you probably, at the least, know the guy. As you can see, the dashboard navigation for finding a mate in Pensacola is, at the worst, broken and, at the best, hazy. Should we just pack it in? Date women from Destin or Navarre? I’m no quitter. So here’s a quick list of my rules for small town dating. Hopefully all my bros are reading this.
Loose Lips, Sink Ships
This one is simple. The sentiment here is trust. I trust that my friends won’t share anything detrimental that will impact my pursuit of a particular woman. I trust you not to share all the details of that bachelor party in Vegas.
If a woman is the ex-girlfriend or wife of a friend, I will consider her off-limits unless I have received permission from that friend to pursue her. The same can be said for sisters, cousins and most relatives—except moms. I will never date a friend’s mom under any circumstance. I expect the same courtesy.
Dating co-workers isn’t usually a good idea. In my case, I’m the boss so that’s not going to happen.
Don’t be that guy.
One Night Ain’t Alright
Try to limit your drunken one-night stands. Here’s the deal: We’re usually not that good in the hay when we’ve had one too many. What are small towns known for the most? Yes, gossip. Your poor performance doesn’t need to be a topic of discussion around the water cooler.
Don’t be Rick Springfield. It is never cool to sleep with your friend’s girl. If you slept with one of our mutual friend’s current or ex-girlfriends, believe me, I think you will one day do it to me. Bros, we’re talking trust here.
Embrace Your Neighborhood
I live in a great neighborhood. I really should hang out at local spots like City Grocery or Ozone’s more often. You never know when you might meet a cute neighbor. The dog beach at Bayview Park seems to be a good place to find attractive women actually.
This could be a massive generalization and this statement may offend some, but truthfully, I’ve just come to accept that here in Pensacola there seems to be a larger number of single women with children than without them. That’s ok.
Be Less Social
We’re talking social media here. There’s no need to share everything on Facebook or Twitter. Slow down. You never really know the damage you’re doing to your reputation in a small town by posting every single party picture in your phone.
It is never more important to be an all-around nice guy than when you’re living in a small town. Reputation will definitely precede you in most social circumstances. Be kind.
About “The Local”: Ed is a local bar owner, local bar patron and former music industry executive.