They’re the first person you message when you’ve got exciting news and you fall asleep laughing about the banterful times you’ve shared together.
They’ve stared into the abyss with you during a thousand hungover breakfasts and together, you’ve pulled many a legendary prank.
They’re your bro’, your best mate and partner in crime – you share an unbreakable bond which might well lead your other half to shake their head in disbelief at times.
However, your ‘bromance’ may well be sapping away any hopes you might have for nurturing a healthy romantic relationship?
According to a new study from social scientists at the Universities of Winchester and Bedfordshire, young heterosexual men gain more emotional satisfaction from their bromances than from their romances with women.
Thirty male sports science students were interviewed as part of the data gathering process – each of these students had enjoyed at least one ‘bromance’ and one romance in the last year. A heady combination…
Interestingly, twenty eight out of the total thirty admitted they would prefer to talk over personal matters with a guy mate rather than a girlfriend.
Published in the Men and Masculinities journal, the study argues bromances offer men ‘a new social space for emotional disclosure’:
Our participants mostly determined that a bromance offered them elevated emotional stability, enhanced
emotional disclosure, social fulfilment, and better conflict resolution, compared to the emotional lives they
shared with girlfriends.
Cheeringly, a decline in homophobia has led to young men feeling more able to open up in a deeper way to their best mate – which is great news.
There are plenty of benefits which come with being part of a committed romance – just as girl pals can find their periods syncing up, guys can also find their bodies changing on account of their best bud.
A previous study asserted how a good bromance can bring about pain relief, lowered cortisol levels and heightened generosity, all making for a pair of healthy, happy bro’s.
However, it isn’t all love, lager and laughter – co-author Adam White has expressed concerns about bromances leading to sexist behaviours, which ‘may well be disadvantaging’ women.
Imagine a world where it’s completely the norm for two straight men to live together, fulfilling all the needs which are usually met within a traditional relationship, except for being romantically intimate.
This is the future envisioned by some social scientists and could well soon become a ‘genuine relationship lifestyle’.
Although you might not be able to think of a happier existence than growing old with your bro’, this attitude could have some nasty implications for the way heterosexual men regard potential female partners?
Speaking with National Post, White explained how there’s a definite ‘worrying aspect’ to the rise of the bromance:
What happens in 50 years, say, if these bromantic relationships really take off and men decide, ‘Hang on, we really enjoy these.
These are much better. We can gain more emotionality from it.
We’re less regulated, we’re less policed and therefore women actually just become the sexual fulfillers of men and nothing else.
Are there any best bro’s out there who have prioritised their ‘bromance’ above their relationship?
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.