You’ve studied hard (with frequent social media breaks) throughout the mid-term period. You’ve toiled at work and endured your miserable co-workers all week long. With the weekend fast approaching, nothing lets you unplug from the grind better than a night out with the boys. Like all other social situations, there are certain unwritten codes of conduct for hanging out with the guys. Following these easy rules can ensure that the night is fun for everyone, no matter how hazy your recollection of details the day after. Consistent failure to follow said rules can ruin a good night and possibly label you a pariah among your friends. Unfortunately, we see these rules broken all too often. Ever the guardians of social etiquette, and loathe to seeing many a bromantic relationship severed, we at Cave bring you the 7 most important rules for a night out with the guys.
It should be noted that there may be times where some of these rules are flexible. Your ability to skirt these rules (pun intended) will be determined by your group’s own dynamic and your friends’ tolerance for flakey behaviour. Before breaking any of the rules, make sure the boys know and are on board…
Rule 1: Don’t Bring Your Girlfriend
This rule is self-explanatory. It’s a night out with the guys. Your friends want to see you and spend time with you. As much as they may love your girlfriend and enjoy hanging out with her, they don’t want you bringing her out every time you guys go out. There are a few reasons why this rule is important to follow. Firstly, if a majority of your friends are single, then your lovey-dovey behaviour can be off-putting or lead to pre-mature retching. Secondly, if you are the insecure or unstable type, then you will likely end up spending an unreasonable amount of time cajoling your girlfriend. Thirdly, your friends may feel the need to watch how they act and what they say around your girlfriend. Your days of debauchery and drunk-tanks may be behind you. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a night of care-free fun with the guys without your babysitter watching your every more.
Exception: This rule doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever bring your girlfriend out. There may be times and activities where it would be appropriate to bring her with you. For example, if your girlfriend also enjoys watching hockey, then bring her out to a game night. Make sure that your friends know she’s coming out. Just remember that the exception shouldn’t become the rule.
Rule 2: Don’t Be a Nancy
When you’re out for a good time, you should bring along a fun and easy-going attitude. Different people in the group may want to do different things or go to different places. What you guys decide to do should be a group decision. Don’t try to coerce everyone into doing what you want. If you don’t get your way, don’t spend the night crying like a 6 year old. It takes one whiner or complainer to ruin the night for everyone. Your ability to have fun regardless of the situation is what makes you desirable to hang out with. If you don’t like where you’re going, then suck it up and shut up about it. At the end of the day, the night should be about hanging with the guys, not about where you go.
Exception: This rule has NO exceptions.
Rule 3: Don’t Invite Random People
Every group has its own chemistry and dynamic. Different members of your group of friends bring their own flavour to the group. What is important is that it works. You all get along, share stories and shamelessly berate one another. Then, one night, you decide to be charitable and bring an awkward co-worker out to guys’ night. Suddenly, you’ve shattered that wonderful group chemistry. Inviting a random outsider can ruin the night because they may not get along with your friends. Or, your friends may not feel comfortable being themselves around the new person. Some of your friends may have intended to get loser-drunk or act like idiots, and will now have to watch themselves for fear of being judged by your new self-righteous friend from Church choir.
Exception: This may be the most flexible rule. If you are hell-bent on bringing someone along, respect the general rules of social conduct. Make sure your friends are aware beforehand and okay with it. Also make sure that the person will get along with your friends. Moreover, don’t overdo the exception. Don’t bring along more than one or two people. There are times when this rule begs to be broken. That is, when the group dynamic is stagnant and you’ve got a star candidate to add to your lineup. Bringing in a new member to the group is great but should be done carefully and with tact.
Rule 4: Don’t Be Cheap
Be generous and festive. A big part of not being a “nancy” is also having the ability to calculate your finances BEFORE going out. If you are unable to afford a night-out, then it may be best to stay in or discuss cheaper options with your friends. If you have a big night out coming up, perhaps you can set a few bucks aside by avoiding $5 lattes or organic, gourmet lunches (you nancy!) for a couple of days. Once you are out and the night is underway, take it easy. Don’t complain about the bill. Don’t magically lose your wallet. If everyone in your group is on the same page, then you should all be able to equally foot the bill. There may be times when you get short-changed, but there may be other times when you come out over.
Exception: Being generous does not mean that you need to go overboard and start buying rounds for everyone all night. Be reasonable; just don’t be cheap.
Rule 5: Don’t Be a Douche
The point is to have a good time. Good times can sometimes get a bit rowdy. However, don’t go out actually looking for trouble. By trouble we mean actual trouble. Don’t be rude to servers. Don’t try to pick fights with random people. Don’t try to get arrested. Be the life of the party. Be happy and enjoy being out with the guys. If someone accidentally bumps in to you, then let it slide. If a girl rejects you at the bar, laugh it off. Don’t start a confrontation with anyone. As much as your good friends may be there to back you up, they will hate you for it. In fact, if you find any of your friends acting like this, be quick to jump in and diffuse the situation. Avoiding conflicts, big and small, will lead to better and more entertaining times.
Exception: None. Don’t be a douche.
Rule 6: Leave No Man Behind
Before getting to this rule, you should make sure that you are there at the end of the night. There may be times when you have to leave early: you work early; your boss at home, i.e. wife, girlfriend, parents, wants you home; and so on. However, you should always ensure that your group is intact before you leave. Being a friend means making sure that your boys are all right. You want to make sure that the highly intoxicated friend is taken care of (you may have to volunteer to babysit him on a given night and know that he would do the same for you). You want to account for any missing friends: did they leave with a girl or were they kidnapped? Make all reasonable efforts to find them. There are times when some friends go off the map and there’s nothing you can do about it. At least you tried. The importance of this rule is to make sure that your friends are safe. At the same time, don’t overdo things by being the nagging parent all night.
Exception: Sometimes you need to leave early and that’s acceptable. Just make sure there’s someone at least half-sober and three-quarters responsible who can look out for the rest.
Rule 7: Have a Good Time
Some day you will look back at your nights out with the guys and cherish the memories. When all your friends are married and have kids of their own, the frequency of guys’ nights will diminish. Make your nights out count by having a blast every time you go out.
Exception: If you need an exception to this rule, you should probably start staying in.