RE: 'One of the lads' ?
This is one area i consider myself to be very fortunate, I have got about four people that i consider to be very close friends (talk to them about very personal stuff, donate you a kidney etc.) then about twenty other friends in various circles ie, gym mates, drinking mates, kickboxing mates, wakeboarding buddies, I find it very easy to make friends. Its got to the point where some friends say "oh your out with your other friends tonight then?"
As for being one of the lads, well depends what you mean, if by this you mean drinking heavily and swearing at strangers if your footy team lose "to keep up the image" then i hate this, if you just mean fitting in and having a laugh with friends then no problems i guess.