Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson on "Parks and Recreation"
Men's magazines are always telling guys to be "alpha males," some sort of super-being who rocks thousand-dollar double-monk loafers while dating models and cultivating shredded abs. It isn't the most believable lifestyle, and emulating it will only leave you broke and unhappy.
Or will it?
The thing is, all guys can summon right qualities—funny but sensitive, aggressive in the sack but attentive, etc.—when they need to. The key is moderation and balance.
It's not a perfect science, but I think I've figured out the formula to being the best man you can be. If 100 percent equals the ultimate awesome male, then here's how it should break down.
Bro: 15 percent
Yep! Guys should have a decent amount of bro tendencies. Watch sports and feel a certain way about them! Don't watch sports? Pick something else. Work out and stay healthy. Laugh loud and don't give a crap what people think about it. Don't be super passive when it comes dating. I want it known publicly that I love Jager bombs, the White Sox and Florida State football. Got a problem with that? COME AT ME, BRO! (See how easy it is?)
Creativity: 20 percent
There's no reason whatsoever to not contribute to the world you live in. Create something, whether it be a screenplay or a deck. Build something with your hands or your keyboard. Take pride in losing yourself in something you love doing. Share it with people, even if it sucks. Stay on it until it doesn't anymore.
Emotion: 10 percent
There's this mindset that "real men" don't show emotion. Screw that! Weddings? Awesome. Love? Beautiful. Basset hounds playing with babies? The best. If that makes me a pansy, then pans me up.
Boy Scout: 30 percent
Not the whole "don't be tolerant of gay people" thing, but the basic ideals that the Scouts are supposed to exemplify. Be a good citizen. Don't steal, lie or be an a-hole to your fellow man. Help people, call your grandparents on Sundays, and go to a game with your dad.
Sex machine: 15 percent
That's riiiiight. Be a mix of "I Want You"-era Marvin Gaye, James Deen, and the last five characters Channing Tatum has played ("Magic Mike" included). That special someone deserves you consistently rocking his or her brains out on a semi-frequent basis. Do the dates, do the flowers, do the damn thing (and always protect yourself).
Nerd: 10 percent
Be super passionate and informed about something—anything—to the point that you can spout off random trivia. The NBA, the history of Chicago, New Jack Swing—doesn't matter. Just be able to conduct a solid conversation and then keep it going.
So there you go—a brief breakdown to being a better guy. And you don't even have to buy a suit made of mohair! Mohair is a thing, right?
Ernest Wilkins is Chicago's wingman. email@example.com | @ernestwilkins