Women know boys will be boys. We know that hanging out with your bros, getting all testosterone-y, and shouting things at TV screens is good for you. In some ways, your male friendships could even have a positive effect on your relationship. Trust and emotional support from your bros is important.
On the other hand, if you find yourself inviting your buddy on a romance rendez-vous with your girlfriend (true story!), then you might have a serious bromance on your hands, which could potentially lead to the end of your romance. Here are some signs to help you figure it out because, remember, I Love You, Man, is just a movie.
You Constantly Hang Out
Hanging out with your bud is perfectly cool, but if your after-work drinks at the bar easily turn into all-night ragers, or you’re constantly going away on golfing weekends with your pals, a.k.a. leaving little time to spend with your girlfriend, then you’re in trouble, dude. We know that a little space goes a long way with developing a healthy relationship, but women hate to be ignored. And we especially loathe thinking that we’ll always come in “second” compared to your BFF. In order for a woman to trust that she can count on you and that you’re all-in is to demonstrate exactly that: make her a priority. Dedicate at least two non-negotiable nights to her, so that you can spend time with both her and your pal. Otherwise, she will kick you to the curb.
Your Bro’s Single
There’s always that guy in the group—the perpetual bachelor who just won’t settle down. The guy who has a new girlfriend every other week. If that guy’s your best brah, then that might spell trouble for your relationship. Sure, you might totally be the monogamous type, but your girlfriend knows the singles scene can seem awfully tempting (especially with a few beers), and the longer time you spend at the bar with those bevy of babes, the more anxious she will become. Another thing: your single friend is probably ragging on you because you’re in a happy relationship and he’s not. He’ll say shit to make himself feel better about his single status, but his taunting may become super confusing for you. You might even start to question your relationship. Red alert! Back away slowly, and run straight home to your girlfriend. Remember: even Clooney settled down.
You Tell Him Everything
Quick! Who’s the first person you would tell if you got promoted? Who would you text immediately after finding out your grandmother died? Who knows all of your secrets and hopes and dreams? If that person is your bro and not your woman, then that’s a serious issue. It’s awesome to share stuff with your friends, but your girlfriend should be privy to that side of you, too. She wants, and should be, your rock, your support system and your sounding board. Women thrive on sharing that kind of intimacy with their partners, and if you’re either not being completely honest with her or seeking emotional support from elsewhere, the integrity and trust of your relationship will surely disintegrate.
He’s The Third Wheel
If your buddy is likely to crash dinner dates or if you feel you have to invite him on European vacations with your girlfriend because you don’t want to “leave him out,” then that’s just wrong, and pretty weird. It’s normal for your girlfriend to bond with your pal, but if your pal is constantly interfering within your relationship and is essentially a third mouth to feed like some kind of pseudo-child, then it’s time to send him packing before your lady does. Or else she will definitely go on that vacay solo—and might never come back.
You Are A Different Person Around Him
When you’re out with both your friend and your girl, and you start posturing like an asshole, cracking crude jokes and pretending like she isn’t even there, then you’ll probably end up going home alone or sleeping on your bud’s couch. Be a brah around your brahs—not her. A recent U.K. study found that women believe that their partner’s pals are the cause of his annoying, ‘class clown’ behaviour, and they can’t stand it. Results in the study show that women would soon offer their boyfriend an ultimatum—bros over her, or her over bros—than to stand for him acting like a douche. Don’t make her do that. Leave the lewd bro-ing out for your fellas, and treat her to a night out—without the guys.
Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer based in Toronto, something of a humorist, and considers herself more Bridget Jones than Samantha Jones. Though she won’t reveal which parts, she will admit to liking emotionally unavailable men and drinking lots of wine. You can follow her on Twitter @briannehogan.