You know you’ve lived it.
I think I speak for all female friend groups when I say that bringing a new boyfriend into the picture is no small feat. One doesn’t simply bring a new boyfriend into the circle, if you will. Someone make that a meme.
Even if he passed the written exam, (AKA your friends’ elaborate group text discussion about his date ideas, text messages, education, career path, profile pictures, mutual friends, Tinder/Bumble/Hinge bio, potential ex-girlfriends in photos, ETCETCETC), there are still fire hoops he must delicately dive through, while still being funny and cute.
When your friend, who I’ll refer to as The Friend, has vetted and approved him to be ready for the next step, then she’ll bring this new boyfriend, who I’ll refer to as The New Boyfriend, to meet the full-fledged squad. The whole gang. The crew. The group.
The ones who will know everything about him. The ones who will over-analyze his texts. The ones who will stand at the altar. You thought the parents were important, but The Friend’s mom doesn’t know that it annoys The Friend when you say “lol” instead of “haha,” or that The New Boyfriend used to wear Tap Out shirts in high school, so who’s really the more important group here? Parents or friends? You decide.
The next test The New Boyfriend must pass is The Group Date Exam. It’s all the friends, The Friend, and The New Boyfriend. It’s essentially the live version of the group text, except now played out in front him, which is essentially what a group date on The Bachelor is.
Group Date: Brunch with The New Boyfriend
Now it’s time for the friends to really get to know TNB. Get some face-to-face time. This is the make or break. This is when the group finds out his interests, hobbies, hopes, dreams, and most importantly, whether he is a boobs or ass man.
And it’s not as easy as it sounds. As much as the group wants to just attack him all at once, like female sharks ravaging an already-dead cow in the ocean, TNB typically responds best with one-on-ones.
So how does it work? Which friend talks to him first? How long does she have? Will they talk somewhere distant from the group or just face each other at the table? How far can we take it with personal questions? With personal space? Can we hit on him? His dad? Can we start a fight with him if he doesn’t make the first move?
Just like on The Bachelor, there are different mixes of looks and personalities among the girls, and he must use his charm and wit to make them all feel like he is most attracted to, fascinated by, and taken with whoever he is talking to during his one-on-ones, with undivided attention.
And just like on The Bachelor, there are definite characters that essentially all friend groups house.
THE AGGRESSIVE ONE
This Aggressive One will always do everything first, without fail: Always grab him and talk to him first, hug him first, force a kiss on him first, hit on his dad first, everything. And by grab, I mean physically grabbing, dragging, slapping, etc, are all real possibilities here. This one fancies herself to be The Friend’s #1 ride or die, #1 BFF4L, #1 LYLAS, so she’s going to threaten TNB’s life if he EVER so much as THINKS of breaking her heart or refusing her that Blue Bell run. The Aggressive One is aware of TNB at all times, forgets nothing he says, and has no problem hogging all his time before the tabs come.
THE ONE WHO SEES HIM THE MOST
This friend is often the roommate of The Friend. She sees TNB and his sad bag of overnight clothes the most because of this. Therefore, she takes pity on the other peasant friends, and lets them take up TNB’s time during The Group Date Exam, because she knows she’ll have a 1-on-1 with him back at the apartment, where she intends to ask his opinion of everyone. And she’ll do what she can to make sure she stays on top of the friend rank. Because all is fair in love and new boyfriends. And there’s nothing worse than being The One Who Sees Him The Most and not being the favorite justaskjojowhat.
THE ONE WHO GETS LEFT OUT
This friend tried to get 1-on-1 time with TNB, but he kept getting distracted by the mimosa carafes, PDA with his new girlfriend, and of course The Aggressive One demanding his attention. The One Who Gets Left Out wants him to find her, ask her questions. She can’t just ask him a casual question across the table, like a desperate whore. He must court her, because it’s a Dallas brunch and it’s the medieval times, and someone’s head will be on the chopping block. He holds all the friends’ happiness in his hands, and she’s slipping through his fingers.
Later, The One Who Gets Left Out finds herself in
limo Uber home from brunch asking, why me? what’s wrong with me? will i ever be good enough?
THE ONE WHO’S TOO DRUNK
Just like the one who’s too drunk on the show, she already has a boyfriend and is only here for a good blog post. She has a genuine desire to get to know TNB, but only if he’s going to have solid lines for blog material, and thus, barks, “SAY SOMETHING FUNNY,” at him every 10 minutes and means it, and stares at him intently until he performs. The One Who’s Too Drunk wants to take photos constantly, but wants to kill whoever actually posts them. TNB thinks he doesn’t have to worry about her, that is until she has a moment of unreal sober clarity and shares an uncannily intelligent observation before going back to rapping Kanye. TNB is scared of The One Who’s Too Drunk, but it’s not the same kind of fear he has for The Aggressive One.
THE ONE WHO’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE
This friend agreed to show up at this time and place, and yet has no idea what she signed up for, and probably has kids at home. She isn’t in the group text and is clueless about the dynamics and energy among the table. She gets sangria instead of mimosas. No one could stick out more if they tried, and The One Who’s Too Drunk sticks out quite a bit.
There will almost always be at least one other male around, and that male is forced to be here against his will because of a TV contract he signed, or is dating one of the friends, and really what’s the difference. He is the one who pours the drinks because the waitress is too slow (warning: don’t try that one at your next brunch), he takes the friend’s photos, and keeps spirits up by tirelessly telling them their pretty.
Before the brunch is over, The Host will share a long, knowing look with TNB, as if to say, “This is your future, son. Be wise. Stay woke.”