If ever you need, or want, to cook for another individual I feel every man should be able to offer something of quality. What I mean is that every man should have a handful of dishes that they can cook by memory or close to it.
There are few things that can impress or satisfy people more than quality food. As I have never met someone who doesn’t enjoy eating, having a small catalog of recipes that you can draw from provides you with the ability to satiate your guests or guest in a variety of scenarios.
If throughout your life you have consistently failed in your culinary endeavors I still say, “push on”. There are dishes that require very little skill and those that cannot be learned without a little trial and error.
As far as what sort of dishes you should learn, try and learn some dishes in different categories. For example: a few things I pride myself on being able to cook are barbecued ribs and pork shoulder, German pretzels, a great piece of salmon, a roast chicken, and molten chocolate cake. Knowing a variety of dishes allows you to provide for a more diverse collection of situations and people.
It is also important to note that I have learned all of these recipes and techniques myself by simply doing some research and practicing them. Some great resources to find and learn recipes and techniques are the Internet and cooking shows. Much can be gained through the collection of cookbooks but I recommend exhausting what you don’t have to pay for first.