What's So Great About Bromance?

How to Define Bromance or a Friendship Between Guys

Friends joking outdoor at sunset
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The term bromance is used so much lately that in order to define bromance now we have to broaden the meaning. In the beginning, a bromance was defined as a healthy, secure friendship between two heterosexual guys. The men were usually single, although many times a bromance continued even when one of the guys was in a relationship.

This definition has changed to include any two guys in a close friendship regardless of their sexual orientation.

A bromance might start with an admiration of something that the other man does, like his ability to shoot hoops, talk to women, or succeed in business. The men enjoy hanging out with each other so much that it becomes a (nonsexual) infatuation.

The media often uses the word bromance to describe two men who just met who get along. For instance, in March 2016 when President Obama talked with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House, media headlines everywhere declared the two were in a bromance. Celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Andy Cohen, and Will Ferrel are also said to be in a bromance with their close, male friends.

What a Bromance Really Is

The origins of the word come from a combination of "bros" (male friends or brothers) and romance. Ideally a bromance only happens when two guys meet and just get along so great they develop this instant, platonic love for each other.

The common line you hear with a bromance? I love you, man!

Bromances are also called "man crushes" because of the level of affection the guys feel for each other. Sometimes the men enjoy spending time together so much that they prefer to hang out with their "man crush" more than their significant other.

The other key? The guys involved in a bromance are so happy to be friends they don't care about getting teased. They're in love with their friendship.

Celebrating the Bromance

What kind of activities do you participate in if you're in a bromance? Generally, "bromantic" activities exclude the gals in your life and focus on things guys like to do, such as attend a sporting event, have a few beers, play some hoops, or the like. The type of activity really doesn't matter because the point of these relationships is that the time spent together is what is most enjoyable.

The 2009 movie I Love You, Man poked fun at the idea of finding a male best friend to stand up in a wedding. The line came from a series of Budweiser commercials in 1995 that showed a guy angling to get someone's beer. He would dramatically cry, "I love you, man" as a ruse to get the drink, but the line stuck in society and helped usher in the "bromance" movement.

In the television world, perhaps there is no greater bromance than that between J.D. and Turk on Scrubs. J.D. is a sensitive doctor completely in touch with his feelings. He's not afraid of showing his best pal Turk how much he loves him. In one episode, they sing, "Guy love.

That’s all it is."

Perhaps the best thing about a bromance is that the men involved tend to be very secure with themselves, and in touch with their emotions. This helps them have more complete friendships with other guys, and also helps them relate to the women in their life.

If Your Guy Is in a Bromance

Ladies, if your man is in a bromance, be happy for him! Your man's bromance may actually help him identify and discuss feelings with you more frequently than he would otherwise. Bromances are completely nonsexual and platonic, so it doesn't have to come between your romance.

Your man will probably need some time to be with his friend occasionally, which will give you time to hang out with your gal pals. Don't feel hurt if he and his friend want a guy's night without you. His friendship will help him to maintain a healthy life balance.

Bromance in Society

While men have always had friendships, the term bromance has been popular in the last few years with the help of movies and commercials. The male friendship is celebrated in movies like 2007's Superbad, where the character Seth says, "I just love you. I just wanna go to the rooftops and scream, 'I love my best friend, Evan!'"