Is bromance killing romance?
For the boys
(Extremely) generally speaking, women tend to build mass friendships in flocks. Walk into the girls bathroom at any bar on a Saturday night and you will no doubt find 8-10 girls bonding over pressed translucent powder and Velvet Teddy lipstick, followed by synchronized 'love you-s' chased with vodka lime sodas. Male friendships however, are (again generally speaking) extremely different. The pack mentality seen with women is replaced with a desire to find just one or two 'significant others' to form a platonic friendship with. Enter the bromace: a modern day bond between two men that pop culture has proven to be just as iconic as its heterosexual romantic counterpart. Think about it, Timone and Pumba were just as memorable as lioncubs Simba and Nala; Joey moving out of Chandler's left a bigger hole in our hearts than Ross and Rachel's break, and J.D. and Turk are the ultimate bromance #goals.
Despite being typecast as emotionless beings, men hold their relationships with male friends in high regard, and according to a new study in the journal, Men and Masculinities, men are more emotionally satisfied by their bromances than the romantic relationships they have with women.
Researchers at the Universities of Winchester and Bedfordshire surveyed 30 heterosexual male undergraduates each of whom had at least one bromance, and one romance in the past year and found that for the majority bromance offered "a new social space for emotional disclosure."
28 of those surveyed stated they would rather discuss emotional issues with their male friends as opposed to their girlfriend. "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," the study explained.
The findings lead researchers to assume that this could have a negative impact on romantic heterosexual relationships and the way women are perceived by men. "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," co-author Adam Wright revealed to National Post.
OR the facts could merely reveal the progress society has made in breaking gender stereotypes, and that men too need an emotional support network (and are not ashamed to admit it). Food for thought.
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