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Man’s strict rules on when to invite significant others to events sparks dating debate

‘Don’t bring your boyfriend if he’s gonna be off-putting or sulky,’ TikTok user says

Meredith Clark
New York
Wednesday 08 May 2024 15:21 BST
Related: Natalie Joy shares dating ‘horror story’ after date disappears leaving $1,600 bill

A man has gone viral for his detailed theory on when it’s appropriate to invite your significant other to an event.

In a video posted to TikTok, podcaster Bran (@bran__flakezz) shared his hot takes about friendship and dating. Alongside a photo of a grid, the TikToker revealed when he thinks it’s suitable to bring your partner along to an event.

“My opinion on if it’s okay for you to bring your significant other to our plans depends on two things,” Bran began the clip, which has been viewed more than three million times since it was posted on 11 April. “How formal are the plans? Am I inviting you to my wedding or am I just asking you if you want to get drinks after work?”

One side of the horizontal axis was labelled, “Very formal event,” while the other end read: “Casual hang out.” Another condition that Bran laid out for his TikTok followers was whether the event is intimate or if it’s open to a large number of guests, as he labelled accordingly on the vertical axis.

“If I ask you to do something very casual with me just one on one - grab dinner next week, go to brunch, take a walk - and you look me in the eyes and say: ‘Okay, can my boyfriend come?’ You’re f***ing weird for that,” Bran proclaimed. “You can’t go out for drinks with me for two hours without bringing your f***ing significant other? I’m sorry, that’s codependency to me. Just because you’re dating him, doesn’t mean I have to.”

In between the “casual hang out” horizontal axis and “intimate” vertical axis, the 27-year-old content creator simply put: “You’re weird.”

As for larger events, Bran shared when he thinks it’s appropriate to extend the invite to your partner. “If I’m inviting you to go get drinks with me on Saturday and there’s a big group of people going, and you’re like: ‘Hey, can I bring my partner?’ It’s a reluctant yes,” he shared.

However, there were still conditions as to whether or not partners should be allowed at the function. According to Bran, if you’re always asking for your partner to tag along at events with friends, he will “internally” eye roll at the request but ultimately say yes. But if you rarely invite your significant other as your plus one, then Bran agreed: “Sure, I don’t care. Yeah, bring him!”

For formal events - such as a wedding or big birthday party - where many close friends will also be in attendance, the TikToker professed that significant others are already invited no questions asked. “I am texting you and I’m saying: ‘Hey, I’m having a birthday party next week. Please bring your boyfriend,’” Bran explained. “You don’t even have to ask. Big formal events, I think you should always offer.”

On the other hand, formal events that are also intimate may require guests to “read the room” on whether their significant other should attend. “If it’s my birthday dinner with just friends and even my significant other isn’t going, why would you ask if you could bring yours? That’s weird,” Bran claimed. “But if it’s a housewarming party where I invited a ton of my closest friends, just ask me first. I’m probably going to say yes.”

Unsurprisingly, Bran’s controversial takes on relationships struck a chord with many people on TikTok. In the comments section, a majority of users widely agreed with Bran’s opinions on inviting significant others to events. Several people chimed in with their own reason for declining an invite from a friend’s significant other - namely, if they actually like the person.

“Depends on if I like the significant other,” one TikTok user commented, while another said: “If I have piping hot tea and he’s not going to get excited to listen and contribute, I’m sorry you need to leave him at home.”

“ARE THEY FUN AND SOCIABLE,” a third person wrote. “Don’t bring your boyfriend if he’s gonna be off-putting or sulky.”

Others took the opportunity to share their own experiences with codependent friends in relationships, like one person who said: “I explicitly invited a friend to a ‘girls beach day’ and she still brought her boyfriend.”

“Codependency drives me crazy!!” another user wrote. “You need to have your own things and connections when your partner isn’t there.”

“I am a victim of intimate casual hangout with the boyfriend tagging along,” someone else jokingly wrote.

Speaking to The Independent, Bran revealed that he was inspired to share the video after witnessing his own friends go through different stages of relationships. “Some are single, some are in new relationships, some are engaged, and some are married with kids,” he explained. “That being said, I have noticed that a lot of people around this age tend to revolve their entire life or personality around their relationships, which is kind of annoying to me. I wanted to remind everyone that we still can be individuals.”

While he expected his TikTok to cause quite a bit of online conversation, Bran admitted he was “pleasantly surprised” to see the majority of viewers agree with his hot takes. According to the content creator, he believed so many people were able to relate to his video because friendships and dating are “universal experiences”.

“I really think every person has gone through some form of a bad friendship or relationship,” he said. “That’s why I like creating videos like this, it typically opens up the discussion for people to feel seen and share their own opinions. I find social situations and the way humans interact with each other fascinating.”

As for whether his TikTok will teach any lessons about dating etiquette, Bran said he simply hopes that his viral opinions will inspire others to learn “how to read the room” a little better.

“I hope this video encourages those who are in very intense co-dependent relationships to reevaluate them and see things differently,” he shared, adding: “And I hope it encourages people who are frustrated by their friends’ relationships interfering with their friendships to speak up about it!”

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