Best Men are everywhere.
From the guy you sit next to every day and complain to whenever you get another email from Elaine in accounting saying your invoice is wrong.
To the guy you spent years playing an escalating game of one-upmanship with.
The the bartender/barber/coach who you actively look forward to seeing but haven’t got round to dropping the ‘f-bomb’ (friend) to yet.
Or the guy you forged an unbreakable bond with over four years of jagerbombs, but who now lives further away that just a walk across the corridor.
Instead, most of us tend not to look around, quietly continue on our respective paths, sometimes actively avoiding each other.
To the office.
To the bank.
To the gym.
Throwing yourself full-pelt into work and your life as a couple often means it’s more difficult to make time to have friends.
Not the ones who you meet up with at networking events (does anyone actually enjoy these?) Not your partners best friends S.O. who you have a couple’s dinner with and struggle to drum up any conversation beyond “So, how is your work going?” or “Got any holiday plans this year?”
What you need in a Best Man is someone who shoots back a “hells yeah” at 6pm to a last minute post-work beer offer. Someone who sees you snapping at work colleagues and knowing there’s something more going on than “you took longer than 5 minutes to respond to my email”, but won’t badger you about it. Someone who can express complex thoughts through GIFs, hates all the same things you do and likes your Instagram posts, even when nobody else does.
But when you struggle to class most of the people you regularly talk to as ‘friends’, how are you supposed to pick a Best Man from any of them?
It’s a difficult thing to talk about – nobody wants to admit feeling isolated. But here’s the dirty little secret: It’s so incredibly common.
You know why this is happening, right? It’s not that you don’t have anything in common with these guys—it’s about the fact that you no longer have to do things together. If you don’t have a plan – even something as small as watching a match – it’s so easy to bail on each other, or not even bother making the call.
Ever notice that the way you met your friends was when you were actively doing something together?
The one important factor here is this: shared experience.
Guys make friends easily in foxhole conditions, ‘us against them’, but for a number of reasons these opportunities disappear with age – who wants to pick up new hobbies when you just want to get the commute out of the way and watch Netflix?
Just because you haven’t spoken in months or even years, doesn’t mean that’s the way you both want it to be. It means you’re both as busy/lazy as each other.
So what’s a guy to do?
The answer: stop waiting for someone else to make the first move and do it yourself.
Find something you really want to do, make the call and if they’re feeling as detached as you are, they’ll thank you for the invite. Find a way to share your interests that isn’t just sitting down and talking – those craft beer breweries you want to visit, that new social darts bar, go watch some comedy or band you haven’t seen since your early 20’s (or discover a new one together!), go to an exhibition of some incredible photography, theatre, a game, whatever you feel like.
Open your eyes. You know they’re there. You know exactly who you should call (Ghostbusters?). So stop making excuses, stop avoiding each other, and make a plan.