The Lad Disease

The Tale of… The Old Pals

2 measures Rye Whiskey ice

1 1/2 measures Campari

1 measure Sweet Vermouth

It’s sort of like a cold. You don’t see it coming, it just appears one day, and makes you not want to go anywhere near them.

I hear all the time that women have to accept that there’s flu, and there’s man flu, which is apparently SO much worse. Well, there’s acting a little differently around the boys, and then there’s being a complete idiot, and men need to accept that.

What happens when your loving and caring boyfriend is put in a group with his friends when you’re not around?  Perhaps, you may never know, and for the most part, that is absolutely fine. Us girls don’t need to know the frightful behaviour of the man you take home to have dinner with your parents when he is around his mates and 10 Jagerbombs down.

What does he really say about your sex life? What does he really think about that guy you are good friends with?

Why do guys become so different in front of their mates? What is it that makes guys feel the need to act so differently to maybe how they really feel and what they really think?

Guys know exactly how to torment each other. We’ve heard it all, when the lads all shout to your boyfriend that he’s “whipped” or “tied down” not as free as they are, they know that this is exactly the sort of thing that will eat away at a boys brain, making them doubt everything they thought they knew they felt.

So why do their mates do it?

I present Theory 1: Theory 1 is based on the idea that those who choose to torment their friends is because they in fact wish they were in a relationship.

One of the things that could boil my blood prompting a Millie Mackintosh style slapping is when I hear a male saying that they can “sleep with whoever they want” and that that is so much better. Let’s look at this logically shall we arsehole… Firstly, I will put good money on the fact that all of your one night stands don’t equal the amount of sex your mate is having with his girlfriend. Second, I would also bet that whatever skills and stamina your drunken state allows your penis to perform is not enough for a night of genuinely satisfying sex. Thirdly, a girl is far more likely to be more adventurous with someone she knows, trusts and is comfortable with. So enjoy your 4 minutes and three thrusts in the missionary position.

Unfortunately, the disease is not only prone in your man’s friends. Even the most respectable of boyfriends can fall victim to this disease and act like a complete tosser, even if this is quite out of character for them.

Theory 2: The Whip

I was recently told a story of a girl who was perfectly happy in her relationship. She was with a guy who bought her flowers for no reason and did absolutely anything for her and wasn’t afraid if people knew it. But on one occasion when she was out with him and his male friends, something surprising happened. Nothing that was detrimental, in fact she laughed it off with him, but she said it was so interesting to see him acting so out of character. This was a guy who was more likely to cry at a film than she was, but here he was in front of his friends saying how when they first met “she was all over him”, which was in fact entirely not the case. When the conversation of having pictures and videos of girls on their phones came up, she raised her eyebrows at him as he started talking about the pictures/ videos he had on his phone, as if to say don’t even think about it.  His response to her warning look was to say in some boyish cockey tone, “who says they’re of you?”  EXCUSE ME?   Enter the “I’m a ladies man” delusional comment.

I find myself hearing more and more males admitting to being the less powerful in the relationship, but when it comes to ‘the lads’, there seems to be some malfunction with male articulation when it comes to the task of saying “I’M IN A RELATIONSHIP AND I LOVE IT.” But just because you do as your told when she shouts at you to do something (or not do something), and yes, you did do the midnight run for tampons, doesn’t mean that you must be defined as ‘whipped’. And boys really like to throw this word around. The second a male is caught doing something nice for his girlfriend, BAM. You are a slave of love. So, as what I can only figure to be a mechanism of defence, the male decides to insult his girlfriend, or make a joke at her expense in a bid to impress his friends by showing he isn’t always that nice to her. Again, smart move dumbass, your friends are still going to make whipping noises every time they see you with her and you’ve just lost yourself a night of sex, maybe more depending on what you said.

The male friends of a boyfriend are like the whiskey of the relationship world, they can make even the most respectable of boys to behave like absolute tools.

So why do they feel the need to talk like this in front of their mates, when really who are they kidding? Well unfortunately, they think they’re successfully kidding each other. It is in a mans nature to be competitive. Having studied the differences in language between men and women for some time at University, it is unfortunately a fact. Everything with men is a competition and the need to be the one in the better position when it comes to being single or in a relationship is no different. My problem however, is the fact that the single men seem to always have the upper hand.

Theory 3: Free Bird

Being a single woman is all too often considered some kind of curse, or reason for sympathy.  Whereas a single man is considered to be more free than a man in a relationship. And unfortunately, with the right male, having this fact pointed out to him can indeed be the very thing that could ruin his relationship. The concepts of commitment, being ‘tied down’ and involved with another person is like putting a noose round their neck. Suddenly they can’t breathe and the only way to get their breath back is to be single and sleep with a few girls. Congrats you’re still breathing, and your girlfriend is now going out with someone who has Ryan Gosling’s abs and Channing Tatum’s face.

Despite my best efforts, I am yet to find a group of guys who will allow me to follow them round on a night out recording everything they say and do. Or a way around the moral and ethical implications of me secretly recording them. But until that time, I attempted to get some honest opinions. After speaking to a few boys, they reassured me that yes, they are aware of it and that when they have to deal with the consequences with their girlfriend, they wish they had thought twice about it. I also found out that if a girl is present that he likes, the chances are he will be less of an idiot. However this prompted me to think, would this not merely spur his friends on to tease him to embarrass him in front of her, or even to try to make themselves look better than he does. In addition, if the lad disease can still flame up when the girl is present, I would be so interested to see the extent to which it is suffered when the girls are not around to give glares.

We’ve all heard of bromance, so here’s my final theory.

The Green Eyed Boy.

Perhaps I am completely off point with a theory that boys behave this way to their friends in relationships because they themselves want to be in a relationship, because after all, single life can be far easier and simpler, especially at different points in your life. Perhaps the real point is that, they just don’t want to lose their friend. I have heard males use the words ‘whipped’ to describe a friend who is simply just in a relationship. “Yeah he spends all his time with her now, we never see him”. So maybe the real cause of lad disease is a group of males who just miss their friend and wish he spent more time with them still, so they tease and ridicule him in an attempt to convince him he was happier without the girl.

My personal opinion lies somewhere in between all these theories and with a heavily influence from one of my strongest hates. It’s called ego, and it’s unwelcome. But boys have about as much of it as we have hormones and if they can’t find out who really is the biggest, they just try their utmost to have the biggest ego and their competitive natures only spur this process on.

Like many of the tales, this is one that ends unresolved, as the fact is, boys will always be boys. But it’s okay, you can keep pretending you don’t act like an idiot in front of your friends and say things you wouldn’t dream of saying in front of us, and we’ll keep telling you we don’t tell our female friends about what you’re like in bed… k?

Does your guy act differently round his friends?