I’ve always been one of those girls who has had more guy friends than girl friends. But make no mistake I am not one of those broads who just tosses her hair over her shoulder and side eyes because she can snidely saying “I just don’t get along with girls because they’re bitches.” Frankly, I don’t trust a girl who has no girl friends but that is a different conversation for a different day. While I have a few ride-or-die bitties in my friendship pot for the majority of my life I have typically chosen to hang around with guys.
It all started with Eric at my daycare. He called me tooty-fruity and it annoyed the 5-year-old shit out of me. But we were pals, buddies, partners in crime. We convinced Jenna (sorry, girl) to climb to the top of the monkey bars and then ran away and hid under the trampoline when she started crying because she couldn’t get down. I’m pretty sure Eric convinced me to shove a Lego up my nose and then taught me how to snot-rocket it out. My nostril was sliced open by the plastic corner but damn if I wasn’t proud of myself for being able to hang with the boys.
It started with Eric at daycare, but set a precedent of me figuring out how to play Super Smash Bros, cramming myself into the back of pickup trucks to go off-roading, and tagging along to dirty sports bars to play pool and drink pitchers of lukewarm Coors Light. I’ve always had a lot of guy friends; and I love each and every one of them like they’re the gross brother I never wanted and never had.
But having a guy friend when you’re a girl is tricky business. You can’t just roll up with a ponytail and instantly be part of the crew – oh no no no. That’s why I’ve compiled this (pun intended) bad boy. My list of must-haves and must-dos to keep your boys happy and your friendship tight. And if you’re one of those boys who will reap the benefits: you’re welcome in advance.
1. Thou Shall Understand And Accept Your Differences.
Even though he’s your bro you have to remember that at your core, you’re very different. I don’t care if you’re less emotional than the average Jessica, you still have estrogen and he still has testosterone. There are going to be things he does, says, burps, and spits that will just gross you out, you won’t understand and you’re going to have to get over it. Sometimes he won’t text you back, sometimes he’s going to hit on one of your friends, sometimes he’s going to leave the seat up in your apartment and honey, you’re just going to have to get over that.
2. Thou Shall Pick Up The Tab Sometimes.
He is your guy friend, not your boyfriend. He is under no obligation to pay for your pitchers of PBR or grab your tacos on a Thursday night. You are friends he is not a placeholder wallet for you until you find someone to buy you dinner all the time. Remember that and offer to buy the pizza sometimes or get the next round at two-for-ones. Split it 90% of the time or things will get weird and they will get weird fast.
3. Thou Shall Be A Wingwoman.
A wingman can be very effective, a wingwoman is ALWAYS effective. Girls just trust girls so if you give him an A+ even though you’re a stranger she’s going to take your word for it. If you see some cute little redhead eyeing your boy from across her voddy-soda go over there and help a brother out. A simple “Go tell him how much you love Jordan Spieth and buy him a Tricerahops” while slipping that chick a ten to pay for the drinks is often all you need. You scratch his back, he’ll help you find one to scratch yourself – you follow?
4. Thou Shall Cut Him Off.
Bartenders aren’t always very good about stopping someone from ordering a ninth round of Fireball when they should have been stopped at six. If you see your bro trying to pull a Kevin Spacey by his lonesome in the middle of a dance floor be a dear and get the bourbon out of his hand and his ass into a cab. I usually try to convince them to down two pints of water and three ibuprofen before beddy-bye as well… though it doesn’t always happen because I’m being (read in a super slurred voice) “so fucking annoying.” But do your best.
5. As Much As You Mother, Thou Shall Not Play Mom.
We protect our boys from crazy bitches who are two breakdowns away from Gone Girl-ing them, try to keep them from being too hungover prior to the brunch plans, and sometimes we hide twenties in their pants pockets so they think they forgot about cash while doing laundry. But at the end of the day you aren’t his mom. You’re his buddy. So even though you know he shouldn’t play drunk parkour across the hood of that parked car you gotta let him give that slide a go and drive him to the hospital after he eats shit.
6. Thou Shall Play Nice With The Girlfriends.
It doesn’t matter if she isn’t the Monica Geller you always hoped he’d end up finding to vacuum that man cave of his. It doesn’t matter if she’s a little more country, you’re a little more rock-and-roll and the two of you just don’t mesh. He likes her and at least for a while, she’s making him happy. Unless she is potentially going to Amy Dunn him or you have something substantial other than “I just don’t like her tone” you have to keep your mouth shut.
7. Thou Shall Keep Carbs In The House.
Doesn’t matter than you’re pulling a Lauren Conrad and working towards that June bikini bod. If he is going to hang out at your place and accept you in your sweatpants you need to keep actual beer and actual snackage around. He’s not going to want your quinoa or your white wine spritzers. Salt and Vinegar chips and a six pack at all times. Write it down.
8. Thou Shall Not Treat Him Like A Girlfriend.
He already listens to you whine about how someone isn’t texting you back and gives you advice on what kind of birthday present makes you stick in his mind but doesn’t seem too desperate. Just because you’re friends doesn’t mean he needs to hear you hormonally crying to Rachel McAdams movies, doesn’t need to be invited to Top Model nights, doesn’t need to hear about your ingrown toenails. You need to have girlfriends for a reason; he is not a fill in girlfriend for when they all went to Vancouver without you.
9. Thou Shall Not Sleep With Your Bros.
I don’t care that you’re drunk and lonely and haven’t had sex with anyone since the last block party you got wasted at. The fastest way to go from having a bro to have an awkward acquaintance is to see each other naked. Anyone who says “it won’t ruin your friendship” has been watching way too many romantic comedies and is wrong. Either go out and find someone else to climb like a tree or figure out how to take care of yourself but do not sleep with your bro.
10. Thou Shall Be The Bro You Wish To See In The World.
You will Lion Whisper when you need to Lion Whisper. You will Postmates Chipotle when a burrito bowl is just necessary. You will teach him the different between Comet and Scrubbing Bubbles. But you will also shotgun beers in the yard, polar bear swim and not whine about being cold, and always let him man the grill at the barbecue because let’s be real – you didn’t really want to flip those steaks anyway.