The boys night. A source of fights, breakups and snide remarks. He Says, She Says is taking it on.
One topic, a female perspective, a male perspective. What’s yours?
She Says – Lauren Absalom
Any male will tell you that what happens on a boys night stays on a boys night! It’s practically a case of anything goes! Why? Because it’s a boys night out!
But what about the flip side – can a girls night out have the same rules?
A boys night out can cover a whole range of activities. There is no doubt those nights out with your mates away from your partner is a healthy part of any relationship, but there should be an open playing field between males and females. Whether you intend to hit a round of golf, watch the footy at the pub, or go for a ‘wild’ night in the city, remember – it needs to be fair game. If a guy is happy to do it, you should be happy for your partner to a) know you did it, and b) do the same thing.
On any given Friday or Saturday night, you will undoubtedly find groups of guys who have each left their missus at home to head out with their mates. There are many things a group of guys could do on a boys night, but let us consider this one: A night out on the town with the guys, a chance to have a few drinks and flirt a little – no fowl! It doesn’t count because it’s a boys night out… right? If so, can girls do the same?
As always, it depends on whom you ask, but most often – No. Some people are lucky in that they find themselves in a situation where their boyfriend/husband/partner hopes for two things – first, that she is able to take care of herself and second, that she wouldn’t do anything that could upset the partner. But most fall short on one or both of these things. If the roles were reverse, this would in no way is no way indicate that he is being a ‘bad’ boyfriend, it’s human nature.
Just because we’re girls doesn’t mean a night with the girls is a night in. There seems to be a societal perception that when girls gather, it’s for dinner, quiet cocktails or a book club at home, and perhaps ultimately, an excuse for him to go out. As time progresses, and the options for a night out (for either gender) expand, there becomes so much more that girls are likely to do. Men have always been able to enjoy a ‘classy’ night at a gentlemen’s club, or to go down to the local to watch the footy. The latter at least can be done at home, but the expectation has always been that you go out to do it. For women, however it was found that often if it could be done at home, it was expected to be done at home.
Suppose the night was planned like this: meeting at a cocktail bar in the city for drinks, jumping on a Wild Boys Afloat party boat for a few hours, and then heading to a nightclub in Kings Cross to dance. Sounds like a good night out, right? But how is it perceived? I asked a group of people between the ages of 18 and 30 for their views:
“I don’t feel like I have the freedom to do what I like with my friends without having to worry about what he will say or how he will react” (Female, 19, 14-month relationship)
“It’s not as safe for her to go out without me, as it is for me to go out without her” (Male, 22, 10-month relationship)
Maybe the answer is simple: honesty.
Some additional responses included:
The girls (single or in a relationship) replied: it’s just a bit of fun with friends, harmless.
The guys whose girlfriends would be attending questioned if strippers were really necessary?
Other concerns were: “Be careful how much you drink, it’s not safe in the cross for you”.
Only a few said they were fine with it.
Imagine if that same situation was a boys night; the cocktail bar was swapped for a pub, the party boat was swapped for a gentleman’s club, and the purpose of the nightclub wasn’t just dancing. Your response?
Wives and Girlfriends (WAGs) are expected to rule it a boy night and be supportive of the cause; for the most part it’s fine – most girls are happy to see their man go out with the guys for the night. They’re expected to be okay with whatever happens; to simply trust their partners. But consider this: a) do WAGS have a say? and b) should men do the same?
Now this isn’t a slam on guys, not at all, because let’s be honest – this inequality in the classic ‘night out without the partner’ is born out of a societal problem, not just a gender issue. Unfortunately, in every relationship there are always other people intruding. Sometimes it’s people you know, other times the judgement is built into society.
When a group of friends (guys, girls or mixed) go out, seldom are they all of the same relationship status, but does that mean they can’t all follow the same ‘night out’ rules? Not at all, but in my experience there is no general rule for what is acceptable on a night out with a mix of genders. There is what is acceptable for guys, and what is acceptable for girls. I did find that as the relationship between my partner and I was strengthened by those situations. I also found that those already in strong relationships, and those now engaged or married, had felt less concerned with how their partners’ spent their nights out.
Maybe the answer is simple: honesty. Make an agreement with your partner and let the rest of society butt out! We’re not in the 1900’s anymore – there cannot be one set of rules for guys and another for girls. Guys, if you expect to be able to do it, then expect that your partner will feel she can too!
He Says – Gordon D’Mello
In 2009, The Hangover was released to marvellous critical acclaim. For me (and many others I’m sure), the film was one of the greatest portrayals of the boys night – or in this case boys trip – of all time.
You have Phil, the charismatic leader always organising these nights and finding crazy things for the boys to do. Then you have Stu, the smart one who at the same time is a bit of a loose cannon. Of course you have Alan, that one guy who is a completely lost cause, but who you all absolutely love. And finally you have Doug, the one bro who just always manages to go awol.
Ah, the boys. How I love thee.
Here, you will find the fundamental bringing together of testosterone in a joyous depiction of mateship. There can be no doubt that the boys night is a crucial concept and event for any guy out there.
Having experienced six years of high school in an all-boys establishment, having played football (the real one) for over 14 years, and currently working in a 100% male-employed office, I’m convinced that no other environment is available where boys can just be boys.
It is in these man-friendly zones that you can be relaxed; perhaps get away with a few more one-liners, eat ridiculous amounts of food, drink copious litres of alcohol, play FIFA until 3am, and watch horror films while squealing like… err… never mind.
And it’s that bromance – the togetherness of ‘just being with the boys’ – that arguably no girl will ever truly understand.
Girls, let your man have his space. He needs it.
The boys are the ones you can count on whenever you need them. Maybe you’re having relationship issues, getting smashed at work or just genuinely looking for a fun Saturday night. Whatever the scenario, the boys will be there.
So it’s important that girls, and even us guys, understand the importance of this sacred event.
Guys are always more cautious around girls, some more than others. But usually, some form of force-field is deployed when we’re around the finer sex. Come on lads, don’t deny it.
And that’s the thing. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just how we function. In fact, what the above tells us is that boys need that time to just let loose; to completely relax and live without the handbrake.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the boys night is the be-all- and end-all. They can get ridiculously messy and result in a few apologies being made, but so be it. Live and learn.
Also to the boys, especially if you’re in a relationship – be careful. As great as these boys nights are – whether it be at the footy, trips away or chucking 50 bucks on black at the casino – they can be equally as dangerous.
Make sure you don’t let it consume you. Sure, spend the time you need with your boys. But make sure you use your time wisely. Actually stay at home the odd night with your family, take the special one out for a fancy dinner, have a drink with your work or uni mates.
Girls, let your man have his space. He needs it.
You might be worried when he goes on these trips, nights and journeys, but don’t worry, he’s in the best hands (well, hands other than yours that is…). I’ve been in a couple of relationships and know plenty of guys currently in one who never come to our boys nights because his partner insists he take her out every weekend.
Or even worse, the girls who make you text them every second you’re out with the boys. Trust me, it is not fun and the boys will take the mickey out of him all night if he does reply.
Let him have his fun, his space, and honestly, if you feel like he spends way too much time with the boys then perhaps you’re barking up the wrong tree.
At the end of the perennial day, it’s not just the girls who want to have fun.
Image source: Collider.com.