Bromance over Romance – Privileging the Bromance – A study & Examples

Young men get more emotional satisfaction out of “bromances”—close, heterosexual friendships with other males—than they do out of romantic relationships with women, according to a small new study published in Men and Masculinities. This study along with a few examples in the reality exemplifies that men need more bromance than romance. Bromances can be important to heterosexual men, and can, in fact, be even more valued than romances.

We all have one or two close friendships with whom we share more intimate things without borders and this article is all about it. This article only for men, so girls don’t!

Just like “Blood is thicker than Water”, similar it is “Bromance is stronger than Romance”. I have written a few answers in Quora earlier about how the loss of a friend in life affects your performance. We may have many friends, but a “Bro” could be one or two. Calling / Addressing you as “Bro” doesn’t mean unless I feel the term without any grudges. 

A bromance, to the men in the study, was similar to a romance with a woman, except for the lack of any desire for sex. The participants said things like, “We are basically like a couple,” and “They are like a guy girlfriend.”

These bromances usually included:

  • Disclosure of personal matters.
  • Sharing secrets with the bromantic partner and no one else.
  • Overt expressions of emotions.
  • Feelings of trust and love.
  • Willingness to be vulnerable.
  • Hugging, kissing and cuddling — all regarded as non-sexual. (All but one of the men said that they had cuddled with a bromantic partner. All 30 said that their physical interactions were not about sexual desire.)

The physical intimacy is perhaps the most surprising component of the bromances, especially considering that not so long ago, the stigma against intimacy between men was quite intense. Here are some examples of the ways the men talked about physical intimacy with their bromantic partners:

  • “We hug when we meet, and we sleep in the same bed when we have sleepovers.”
  • “There’s a great photo of me and Tom on Facebook cuddling.”
  • “I think most guys in bromances cuddle … It’s not a sexual thing, either. It shows you care.”

The men valued their bromances over their romances in every way but one.

There was just one way in which the men valued their romantic relationships over their bromances: Sex was included only in their romantic relationships. In every other way, the men valued their bromances more:

Self-disclosure: All but two of the 30 men said they would prefer to discuss personal matters with their bromantic partner than their girlfriend. Six specifically mentioned matters of health — they said they would tell their bromantic partners about those concerns before they would tell their girlfriends.

Nonjudgmental: One participant said, “A girlfriend will judge you, and a bromance will never judge you.” With their girlfriends, the men worried more about saying the wrong thing. They felt that they were more often performing, rather than just behaving naturally.

The men felt particularly constrained in what they could say about other women. As one participant noted, “The first rule is you don’t speak about other girls.” Interestingly, though, the men claimed that their girlfriends knew about their cuddling with their bromantic partners and did not mind it. Still, the women wanted their boyfriends to prioritize their romantic relationship over their bromance.

Emotional stability: The men described their bromances as calmer and more emotionally stable than their romances. (As the authors noted, the men sometimes described their girlfriends in sexist ways.) According to Robinson and his colleagues, “the participants overwhelmingly stated that arguments with girlfriends were more intense, trivial, and long-lasting in comparison to their bromances.” One of the men, referring to his girlfriend, said, “She will store up something you did wrong two years ago and recall it, with the exact date and time.”

Honesty: The men felt that they needed to monitor their own words and behaviours more often with their girlfriends than with their bromantic partners. In their romances, the men worried that they might say something that would start an argument. They thought their bromantic partners were more forgiving and felt they could be more honest with them.

Some of the men acknowledged that the dishonesty in their relationships with their girlfriends was on them — for example when they said what they needed to say in order to get sex. One of the men coined the term “sexual pollution”: “Sex is expected, and it interferes with the emotional stuff … bromances are stronger because there is no sexual pollution.”

Putin & Trump Bromance

Everyone knows the strong Bromance exhibited by Vladimir Putin in all his meetings. Here is a small video about Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump Bromance!

Trump owns everyone or thinks he does, save the man stronger than himself. That man, today, is Vladimir Putin, who has risen to the top in a world incomparably more brutal than any Trump himself has known. He has taken what he wanted through force and guile. Perhaps Trump really does accept that Putin interfered in the 2016 elections, but what he can’t reveal is that he only admires the Russian leader all the more for his audacity. Trump looks at the leaders of countries he’s told are America’s allies and he sees powerful people meekly submitting to rules. Vladimir Putin laughs at rules. How can Trump not respect, envy, and defer to this man? Perhaps the word “love” has no place in Trump’s emotional vocabulary, at least for people who have not sprung from his loins. But if he could love anyone, would it not be Putin? read a newspaper article a few months ago.

Putin & Berlusconi Bromance

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s friendship with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi appears to reflect the Russian leader’s moral principles and need for political allies. During his recent visit to Italy, Putin kept Pope Francis at the Vatican for more than an hour for a meeting. One may think the Russian president was busy, but he managed to find time to spend with his old buddy Silvio on the night of June 10. Berlusconi came to the airport to meet with Putin just before he departed for Moscow. Removing his jacket, the clearly relaxed Putin embraced the Italian politician in a show of friendship. Berlusconi gave Putin two large bottles of what seemed to be an alcoholic beverage and the pair chatted. Out of the public eye, Putin secretly invited Berlusconi to spend time with him in western Siberia. Between June 26 and 28, the pair enjoyed a summer vacation at a resort compound in the Altai region.

His tons and tons of offered gifts have made the internet to raise the eyes. Behind Putin’s loyalty to his old friend Berlusconi are two factors: the Russian’s personal beliefs, which were shaped during his time with the Soviet-era KGB intelligence service, and his political calculations. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Putin saw many people betray their friends through the 1990s. Many sought to promote their own interests at the expense of others. Putin at this time realized the importance of sticking to his moral compass in dealing with personal relations. Putin and Berlusconi share an aversion to U.S. President Barack Obama’s businesslike political posture. By maintain his close relations with Berlusconi, who has been criticized as a male chauvinist with anachronistic values, Putin is enjoying playing the role of the bad guy for the West.

There are few records that the pair had even celebrated with a bottle of wine in the mid-night leaving aside all the busy schedules and events during Putin’s visit to Italy. A confirmed source quoted that Putin’s chamber is well decorated with the gifts only from his very close friends.

Obama & Bin Bromance

The last and final Bromance which the entire world is aware of. Just before President Barack Obama awarded Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a surprise ceremony Thursday, the President joked that he was giving the Internet “one last chance” to talk about the pair’s bromance. Predictably, the Internet ran with it, turning the emotional moment into a meme of Obama presenting a tearful Biden with a “Best Friends Forever” necklace.

It’s no secret that former Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama have a bromance for the ages. From birthday friendship bracelets to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, their relationship became an internet meme sensation throughout their tenure in office. There’s even a social media handle called Motivational Biden dedicated purely to Joe Biden memes. While an abundance of witty captions and photos featuring Obama and Biden have long circulated the web, the vice president has now named his top contender. The concept of the bromance isn’t new. George Washington wrote endearing letters to other men, the study authors note, and Abraham Lincoln shared a bed with a male friend for several years. But close male companionship became more taboo in the second half of the 20th century, say researchers from the University of Winchester in England, due to a rise in homophobic sentiments and changing ideals of what masculinity should look like.



The fact that men are finally comfortable getting close with one another is a progressive step forward. “Love is permanent be it bromance or romance. Lust is limited only for romance!!!”

Kokula Krishna Hari K an Indian born in Pondicherry, South India in the 1980's is a pure veteran with acquired knowledge in Business Administration, Computer Research and Entrepreneurship.

Kae Kae or KK or Kokula Krishna Hari is a strong Public Policy and Strategic Expert. All the contents and views expressed in this Blog are personal and nowhere represents his official comments or associated with his Professional Associations.

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