Posts Tagged ‘bromance’

Riding in cars with boys


I spend a lot of time around men. Sometimes it’s to my detriment (really, I know too much) but every now and then I find myself in a situation that leaves me gob-smacked. In fact, at times, my male friends are so unaware of my presence that they often let spill without a second thought that me, a female, might be absorbing every second of what is unfolding before my very eyes.

Not so long ago, I found myself sitting on a couch reading a magazine while throwing the occasional glace at the TV screen. Two of my guy friends were playing Wii tennis while the other one cheered from the single-seater. I was about two paragraphs into a very absorbing read when all of a sudden my ears pricked… Did I just hear correctly!? M1 & M2 & J (let me just say, these guys are all 24-years-old) were discussing how they’re stressing about the fact that they haven’t met ‘the one’ yet. Yes. You read that correctly. About five minutes before that they were discussing some blonde they partied with at a triathlon meeting the weekend before (M1 got her number).

Lesson one: Yes, guys love going out and getting drunk and hooking up. But one of the reasons they’re doing that is because they’re hoping that one day, they’ll score the right one. Because they don’t want to be sad and lonely by the time they’re 30. And they want to seriously date the girl for roughly three years before they get married and settle down. That means they need to at least meet that person at like 25/26 years old. That means that at 24, the clock is ticking… Loudly. No. I’m not shitting you. This conversation really happened.

Not too long ago I was driving in a car with two guys. The one got out and headed into the shops and the other stayed behind and proceeded to tell me about a girl who’s left him heartbroken. What happened? He freaked her out by falling too fast.

Lesson two: Guys make the fatal mistake of getting too serious too soon. I know females around the world right now are rolling their eyes thinking, ‘Shut up already.’ But it’s true. Guys also have fantasies of meeting the right one and start dreaming of a life with that person before they’ve even had the chance to say, ‘I love you.’ Or, they said those three little words and before you can say ‘gummy berry juice’ the chick’s bolted for the door.

Lesson three: Men hurt. Really badly. In fact I sometimes think it’s worse for them because they don’t particularly like to talk about it. So they keep it bottled up and instead settle for random outbursts just so that they don’t explode from the confusion. That leads me to the second part of lesson three, men get confused too. They’re not as two dimensional as they make us believe. My really good friend once dated this girl who cheated on him and then fell pregnant with the other guy’s kid. He stayed with her, but as you can imagine, things between them eventually ended. That was nearly six years ago. He still hurts when he talks about it. Not as much, but you can tell how the words leave this sour bitterness in the back of his throat. He tells me he’s such a bastard now (he’s not, but he goes through periods of intense self-loathing), because “she used up all the nice coupons.” Another one of my guy friends has just climbed off the most exhausting round-about of a relationship you can ever imagine. This girl messed him around so much that right now he’s sulky and pissed and hurt and confused. He really liked her. A lot. And no, he wasn’t just after her for sex. In fact, they’ve never even slept together. He thought he had a connection with her because they’re both so intensely in love with guitars and music and bands and lyrics. He couldn’t stop talking about her. He used to ask his best friend for advice on what to say in the text messages before he sent them. He read them out loud so he could get our approval first. But she has issues the size of a planet and it didn’t work. He’s so hurt he’s defriended her on Facebook because he can’t stand it anymore. After ending things with his girlfriend of two years, another friend of mine revealed that up until two months back, he would’ve taken her back, even though he felt really “unappreciated” in the relationship. “Unappreciated” really was the word he used. He really wanted it to work. With his whole heart.

There’s this ‘hit’ new phrase that’s making the rounds through Hollywood studios at the moment – if you need to know what I’m talking about check out ‘I love you, man’ in cinemas. Bromance is the new term being used to analyze and critique friendships that take place between men. I’ve been a fly on the wall for a pretty long time now and I can assure you that bromance is anything but a revelation. In fact I find it pretty insulting that people think that friendships between men are trivial.

Lesson four: Men have deep and real friendships with other men. They lounge around on couches drinking Milo (with marshmallows) covered in blankets with the hoods of their hoodies up over their heads. Yes they’re watching Rambo and they’re ripping each other to death about how the one guy folds the corner of his blanket into a little triangle and then tickles his lip with it. And they come up with the most gross and disgusting one-liners but they get each other. It’s real. They’ve seen each other cry and they’ve seen each other depressed. And they’re also there when the other one conquers a fear like a champion. They stand up for one another and give relationship advice. And listen to their friends reading out SMS’s to a girl they’re crushing over. And they don’t mock him because they’ve been there too.

Lesson five: Guys love chocolate too.

You’re wrong if you think that I’m friends with guys who were bred scientifically in a lab somewhere deep in Arizona. You do know men like this. You perhaps just don’t know them as intimately as I do. An ex-boyfriend once asked me why I’m friends with so many guys? I hadn’t really thought about it before he posed the question to me. I have a few best girlfriends that I would positively die without. We’ve known each other for years and years and years. I’ve known my bestest girl since I was three years old. She’s my twin soul. She knows me and understands me sometimes better than I understand myself. When I’m around her, she just knows stuff. I love her to death and she knows it because I’ve told her so and she’s said it back. But coincidently, I too make up a very small circle of her closest female friends.

Perhaps there’s a few of us who were meant to just hang around the guys in order to convince the rest of the female population that they’re not all walking heart donors and that yes, there are plenty amazing guys around. No we don’t drink beer. Yes we love fashion and make-up and dressing up. No we don’t sleep with them. And no, sigh, we don’t have a third nipple or anything else that could be weirdly interesting. We don’t look like supermodels. We really are normal woman.

So what’s the deelio between me and my guy friends? You’re going to have to ask them why they let me hang around.


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