There was a time not too long ago when my best friend and I were inseparable club kids. You know, the Paris and Nicole of Palms or the stars of our own Kim and Kourtney take Columbian. We’d blow dry, bronze up and bevvy down for a night on the town, hit the strip and hook into as many guys as we could. It was the stuff gay club dreams are made of.
There came a point, though, where I was head down, bum up over a Stonewall toilet and suddenly noticed there was nobody there to hold my hair back. A cute guy across the bar would give me the eye and I would turn in excitement to tell my friend, only to find an empty bar stool. And when Britney’s latest single came on at Arq (the remix, obviously) there I was, dancing on stage alone.
It didn’t take me long to realise that, no, my friend had not been bumped off by the gay mafia because he’d been seen eating macaroons during Mardi Gras. He had, in fact just been struck down with a serious case of NBS: New Boyfriend Syndrome.
“I have a few friends with both NBS and NBCIS. Some know they have it and can laugh openly about it, others are blissfully unaware.”
It must be said that this life-altering condition strikes often and without warning, leaving a trail of single friends in its wake. Many people tend to think ‘It won’t happen to me’. But before they know if they’re scoffing at their single friend’s Facebook status about being at Phonenix until 6am, while their new boyfriend brings them a high-protein, low-carb breakfast in bed.
Of course there is an altogether worse case of NBS. A strain called NBCIS: New Boyfriend Compulsive Inclusion Syndrome. Rather than not hearing from your friend much due to their new man obsession, this strain sees your friend force their guy into every social situation possible.
If you don’t like the guy – and trust me, this happens a lot – you end up having to make the decision to either tell your friend you can’t stand their man (to quote Karen in Will and Grace, “Hate him, hate him, hate him. He’s dull, he’s ugly, and he don’t make me laugh”), or decide to phase the friend out when you realise the boyfriend is not going anywhere. Unless, of course, you want to work on liking the new boyfriend. But that’s a lot of hard work.
I have a few friends with both NBS and NBCIS. Some know they have it and can laugh openly about it, others are blissfully unaware. I myself – dare I admit it – even show signs of having this condition, but I tend to think mine isn’t as severe a case (but doesn’t everyone?)
Is NBS just a part of life that everyone goes through when they find new love? Have you had to phase a friend out because you just can’t get on with their new man? Or would Oprah say that you were never besties in the first place if you’re willing to let the friendship go? Do you tell them they have NBS or do you happily play along?
So many unanswered questions to ponder as so many people fall victim to this condition. I do know one thing though; someone needs to raise awareness before it claims another. I see an NBS ball at Stonewall on the horizon.