The Ministry for Boyfriend Review

by Katie Heaney and Chiara Atik

The Ministry for Boyfriend Review, first established on the sly by an anonymous suffragette in 1918, has spent 94 years serving tirelessly in the field of boyfriend management and evaluation. Until now, the Ministry’s process was rigid and secret: the concerned and curious best friends of women who date (questionable) men would hear of our services through a network of female acquaintances. These upstanding best friends, who always know what’s best but are practically never listened to anyway, would send file folders of damning evidence (photographs, receipts from the couples’ dates out, testimonials from friends and witnesses) to the Ministry for evaluation. Officials would then examine the evidence, judging whether or not the boyfriend in question was so inadequate as to merit an official query. If so, the Ministry would send a copy of the Boyfriend Acceptability Index to the best friend for completion.

The form was simple, but top-secret — until now. Current Ministers of Boyfriend Review are backlogged beyond belief due to an unprecedented increase in unsuitable boyfriends, and have therefore decided to leak the form for public consumption. It is their hope that the world’s best friends will start taking matters into their own hands.

Best Friends: Fill out the form below, assigning and subtracting points as directed, starting with a score of 100. Any final score below 60 results in a failing grade, and a recommended termination of the relationship.

Godspeed and good boyfriends.


(To Be Filled Out By The Girlfriend’s Best Friend)

Level I Offenses — Subtract 5 points each if he…

– Gets inappropriately drunk once.
 — Accessorizes unnecessarily, to point of distraction. (Chains, bracelets, necklaces, man rings, etc.)
 — Wears glasses that he does not need in order to see.
 — Licks his fingers.
 — Wears a baseball cap more than one-third of the time. Subtract an extra 5 points if it is worn backwards, and another 5 points if the brim is bent inside out.
 — Has any of the following hanging on his walls or doors in 2012: Grateful Dead posters, Bob Marley posters, Pink Floyd posters, Phish posters, beads.
 — Doesn’t hold the door open for your friend, or anyone else.
 — Talks just a little bit too loudly.
 — Refers to semen as “splooge.”
 — Stresses her out by constantly being late.
 — Has an unsatisfying text message response rate.
 — Talks about politics a little too much, is a little too insistent about his views.
 — Is proud of having never voted because voting is “meaningless.”
 — Calls her multiple times when she’s out with you, her best friend.
 — Chews loudly.
 — Chews ice cream.
 — Tips poorly.
 — Has too much product in his hair.
 — Has not enough product in his hair.
 — Never washes his hair.
 — Gives you unsolicited relationship/love advice.
 — Seems frightened of being left in a room alone with you.
 — Rolls his eyes at something you say (and he doesn’t even know you!).
 — Uses swear words as though fulfilling a rigid daily quota.
 — Overzealous use of obnoxious slang. (“Word,” “tight,” “rad,” “dope,”and any other slang that happens to bother you, The Best Friend.)
 — Doesn’t own a suit.

Level II Offenses — Subtract 20 points each if he…

– Gets inappropriately drunk every time you hang out.
 — Refuses to spend the night at her place.
 — Is antisocial, and seems bored/annoyed when out.
 — Doesn’t watch TV or movies, or read novels. Ever.
 — Uses baby voices.
 — Admits to her, when pressed, which of her friends he would sleep with. (You and I know she shouldn’t be asking those questions, but HE SHOULDN’T BE ANSWERING.)
 — Has ever stood before her, while she was lying on the bed before/after sex, and made her admire his penis.
 — Doesn’t respect the number 1 priority of her best-friendship with you.
 — Doesn’t understand that the BEST part of dating HER is that HE gets to now hang out with YOU.
 — Makes references to other girls/”babes” in front of you and her.
 — Is unemployed.
 — Never wants to do what she wants to do.
 — Frequently borrows money from her.
 — Refuses to “put labels on” the relationship.
 — Speaks on her behalf.
 — Encourages her bad or self-destructive behavior.
 — Discourages what is really harmless behavior, like getting tipsy with you, her Best FRIEND.
 — Interrupts her, constantly.
 — Is bossy and controlling.
 — Accompanies his girlfriend everywhere.
 — Never leaves enough money when it’s time to split the bill.
 — Encourages him to follow her to a different city, away from you, The Best Friend.
 — Relies on her for constant emotional reassurance.

Level III Offenses — Subtract 40 points each if he…

– Gets inappropriately drunk every time you hang out with him and your friend, and tells you the same story about this OTHER time he got inappropriately drunk. Every. Time.
 — Is a former/present internet sex addict.
 — Has a secret second (actually, first) girlfriend.
 — Doesn’t say “I love you” to her (your friend, not his secret first girlfriend).
 — Seems sexually uninterested in your friend, as well as all other women in general.
 — Doesn’t introduce her to his parents.
 — Comments on your cleavage/sexually harasses you in any way.
 — Makes repeated cutting or sarcastic remarks about her.
 — Doesn’t make any effort to get to know her friends (namely, you).

Extra Credit: Add 3 points each if he…

– Is interested in making friends with YOU, not just perfunctorally acknowledging your presence when necessary.
 — Has picked up your tab, because impressing you is important to him.
 — Is a good and caring texter.
 — Is an incredible cook and/or baker.
 — Owns more than two pairs of shoes (tennis shoes and those loafers).
 — Is willing to hold her purse in public when she needs to use the bathroom.
 — Celebrates her birthday AND yours.
 — Is remarkably hot. Which doesn’t excuse all evils, but definitely some.
 — Has cute guy friends and wants to introduce you to them.
 — Consults you for gift ideas and scheduling surprises for her — even if it’s just to make you feel included.
 — Self-identifies as a feminist, and behaves accordingly.
 — Is willing to help you move.
 — Great to have around at a party.
 — Happily weighs in with “guy POV” advice, but only when you request it.
 — Gets his girlfriend a refill when her glass is empty, and then asks if you need a refill as well.
 — Sits in front next to the driver when the taxi has four people in it.
 — Shows affection to his girlfriend without engaging in PDA.
 — Has a nice apartment where you are frequently welcome to hang out and watch Mad Men on his huge plasma TV.


90–100: Hmmm … unusually high marks. Do you think he might be hiding something? Keep an eye on this one.

80–90: Well, he isn’t up to your standards for her, of course, but if your friend wants to date him, we see nothing too egregious.

70–80: Technically, he’s fine, but be sure to constantly remind your friend, through pointed remarks and raised eyebrows, that she can do better.

60–70: This man is passable, but he just scrapes by. I’m sorry. Even though it’s your friend dating him, you’re really the one who has to suffer through it, aren’t you?

<60 FAIL: Congratulations! You were right all along. The Ministry’s Boyfriend Removal Services are available and waiting for your call.

<0: Typical. No one is good enough for her, and no one ever will be. Except for you, because you are a perfect best friend.

Katie Heaney and Chiara Atik have never, ever been wrong about a friend’s boyfriend, and have unquestionably flawless objective judgment, though one time Katie liked a boy who wore camo-on-camo outfits. (Chiara’s taste is above reproach.)