February 10, 2015

If You Wanna Be My Lover, You Gotta Get With My Guy Friends: The Three Rules of Dude Besties

While the stomach may be the fabled way to a man’s heart, everyone knows that a bestie is (and always will be) the fast track to a woman’s weak, melting knees.

You know that awkward first group hang, during which a girl manically hawk-eyes all interaction between her new beau and her bestie? It’s a pass-fail exam. To quote from the lady-killin’ wise man himself (Will Smith), “A woman's best friend has to sign off on all big relationship decisions.” And if my best friend loves ya, our relationship will happily proceed.

(Need not apply)
That rule applies to dude besties, too. Even straight ones. And you're gonna need to accept and respect his valued place in my life.

My dude bestie and I do everything best friends are supposed to do. I show up at his house uninvited. I drink beer with him. We play video games. I crush him in Mario Kart. We go out on weekends. We fall asleep in the living room watching The Office and we keep track of one another’s best jokes, quotes and misfires.

If opposites attract in relationships, weirdness unites in friends. My bestie and I are bonded for life by iron steel welded from too much cheap beer, shoving matches and one too many misadventures. His stamp of approval is not optional.

So, there are several examinations to undergo when a new guy I'm dating meets my dude bestie. He has to meet all Three Holy Tolerances:

1. Tolerant of (excessive) awkward touching.
Dude besties are really good at acting like big brothers. That means you will be witness to a lot of bizarre face touching and noogies. These horrifying caresses have one purpose: to annoy the $#^% out of me. Not you.

2. Tolerant of (excessive) bickering.
See aforementioned bestie forte.

3. Tolerant of (excessive) reminiscing. 
My bestie and I are closing in on about 18 years of friendship. There is a deep and humiliating well of stories to tell you about. The more I like you, the more embarrassing and lengthy these stories will become.

The truth is that most guys aren't phased by dude besties. He's another guy to catch the game with on Sunday (when I’m visibly not paying attention) and that’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Besides, there are plenty of other advantages to your girl being best friends with a male. He's both my Dr. Phil and my Fox Mulder. He knows when guys I date are being shady or when I’m just being overly anxious. He tells me to calm down about texting guys exactly two days later or when to back off and give the guy some space. He helps you.

But god help you if the words “jealous” and my bestie’s name ever wind up in the same sentence.

That's grounds for excommunication.