I’m not generalizing, (I kind of am), but I can bet that at some point if you ever had a boyfriend, and he ever had friends, the likelihood that said friends would hit on you is very high. Like probably. Probably definitely.
Most of the time it is completely harmless and can even be flattering, am I right ladies? A boyfriend’s friend hits on you and it could be all sorts of validation. I’m pretty enough; I’m cool enough; he likes me – I’m here to stay.
But sometimes, and this is fine if it’s a transient friend or a disposable acquaintance, it’s not so cool. It makes you think, “what kind of friends are these? And more importantly why is he friends with such scum bags.”
A few months after my current husband and I began “seeing each other” (not committed enough to admit that we were “dating”) he threw a rooftop shindig to kick off summer, celebrate an art exhibit, and mostly introduce me to his friends.
My husband, who I was not yet even referring to as ‘boyfriend,’ had not told any of his dude friends exactly our “status.” Also, at this party, I would discover he also held a rather profound reputation as a fine New York City bachelor and was ultra smooth with the ladies. I slowly learned this information from all of the men who introduced themselves to me, flirted with me, and all asked a variation of, “So what’s the story with you guys?”
I wasn’t sure what the story was yet; I was a newly separated 30-year-old with a 2-year-old son. This whole artist on a New York City rooftop party thing was new to me. I was high on all sorts of life and getting validation “that I was good enough” from one guy after the next.
I had only hung out with corporate folks; finance guys, marketing dudes, lawyers. None of them were even close to as cool as the photographers, musicians, film-makers, actors around me. But I had never had such a brazen experience either.
Later when everyone else left and my would-be boyfriend and I debriefed, I told him about my interactions with all the dudes. “He was flirting with you and he was flirting with you and he was flirting with you…”
“Oh yeah. These guys would love to cock block me anywhere. If they would steal you from under my nose, they would.”
“And these are your friends?”
“They’re not my best friends, just dudes I go out with.”
This seemed like a Melrose Place meets RENT and I loved every second of it.
Later, when I met his “real” friends, the ones he grew up with or was roommates with in college, I was surprised to discover they were both married, both held corporate jobs, and both very sedentary and calm. They were the yin to his yang whereas the hangout boys were too much yin altogether.
I had never had girlfriends like this; never had a situation where a woman tried to flirt with my man. Are men just biologically driven to spread their seed, excusing them from violating moral ground? It’s interesting to see the competition ignite when surrounded by rivals. They are sharks circling prey and their sense of smell gets keener when rivals are around. I once read that if men want their sperm to swim faster (WHY?), they should be in the presence of other men because biologically the sperm will think it’s in a race to the egg. (I can’t find the article now).
It’s over a decade from that famed party I remember so clearly, the Empire State Building glowing red, white and blue in the background. All of those men have gone on to get married, have children – or four. No one flirts with me anymore, except for my husband. And the 16-year-old neighbor. And his dad. But that’s it!