The research is in: bromance is making the world a better place.
From the decades-long partnership of Batman and Robin, to the more recent alliance of Barack and Joe, there’s a long and proud tradition of brohood. Who among us has not marveled at the pranking prowess of Brad and George? Or the Oscar-winning talent of Matt and Ben? Or the skirt-chasing shenanigans of Leo, Tobey, and the rest of the Pussy Posse?
Your bro is your best friend and most trusted ally, your go-to wingman and your partner in crime, a staunch confidant and a loyal mate. It’s always sunny in Brohemia, until…
One day you catch him flirting with your sister. Or sneaking the last beer out of your fridge. Or Insta-stalking your girlfriend’s old bikini pics. Suddenly you find yourself facing a harsh new reality: your bromance has gone bad.
Here are eight signs your bromance has turned toxic and could soon start damaging your other relationships.
Your Bro Is Always Around
Third wheels are only cute on tricycles. Just as it’s important to have a life outside of your romantic relationship, it’s important to dedicate time to only your relationship. Your best bud doesn’t belong on date night or your romantic weekend getaway, nor should he remotely gate-crash by constantly calling or texting. Even if your bro and your S.O. get along, trouble is bound to brew if he barges in on any plans he pleases.
It’s Causing Fights, Jealousy, Or Competitiveness
A bromance enters dangerous territory when other friends or your partner begin to feel threatened. Jealousy has reared its ugly head and now you’re caught in the middle. Perhaps they’ve started picking fights with each other and demanding that you take a side. Or maybe they’ve become competitive, always trying to one-up each other and prove they’re the better friend. The fun of being fought over wears off quickly when you realise you can’t have everyone in the same room without risking WW3.
Your Bro Throws You Under The Bus
A little good-natured ribbing is classic bro behaviour, but when it escalates to sabotage, it’s a clear sign that something’s gotta give. Instead of acting as a primo wingman should, and making you look good in front of other people, this insecure bro opts to put you down and discredit you in public. He spills about past relationships to your girlfriend, tells embarrassing stories to your mum, and has no qualms about revealing your deepest secrets to your squad.
The Shit-Talking Has Started
The world isn’t a Coke ad in which a bunch of hippies sing in harmony about love, community, and sugary drinks. Sometimes your friends won’t like your other friends. Sometimes your friends won’t like who you date. And that’s ok, provided you didn’t have your heart set on some kind of Kumbaya campfire sing-along, and provided they keep their mouth shut about it. A bad bro is weirdly intent on making you hate people you like by incessantly shit-talking and second-guessing your taste in companions. If anyone was a bad choice, it’s probably him.
Your Bro’s A Flirt
You don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bro Code to know that certain ladies are off-limits (ex-girlfriends, current girlfriends, sisters, etc), yet this man has no problem making eyes at your cousin and slipping his digits to your Tinder date. It’s the ultimate brotrayal.
There’s A Battle For Your Attention
Hanging out with a mate is perfectly cool, but when happy hour drinks turn into an all-night rager which turns into skipping work the next day for a spontaneous golf holiday, you might have a problem. No friend, family member, or partner wants to feel ignored, or like they’ll always play second fiddle to a domineering BFF. Divide your time wisely so everyone important knows they’re a priority.
Under less innocent circumstances, your bro may be actively conspiring to overshadow everyone else in your life. A needy bro will go to war for your attention, and the neediest of needy bros doesn’t care what kind of attention it is. He’ll get into an argument with you as long as it means he’s on your mind. Negative attention is better to him than no attention at all.
Your Bro Encourages Bad Behaviour
Your eternal bachelor bro was a blast when you were both single. You tore up the town together, smashing shots and collecting numbers like long-lost members of a certain previously-mentioned posse. But his chronic man-child act has lost its charm now that you’re attached, and to make things worse, it seems his new favourite pastime is trying to drag you down to his level. He’s the guy who keeps buying beers after you say you’re done, and encourages you to take home the girl from the bar because “Come on, your girlfriend’s never going to find out!”
You Remember Your Bro’s Birthday But Not Your Girl’s
Welcome to the dog house. Hope you like sleeping on the couch.