Young men's 'bromances,' close friendships with other men, are more emotionally satisfying than their romantic relationships with women, finds a study out today in Men and Masculinities.
Study authors Robinson et al. interviewed 30 undergraduate straight men and found that the men felt less judged by their close male friends than by their girlfriends and that it was easier for them to overcome conflicts and express their emotions in their bromances than in their romances.
The researchers suggest that the rise in bromances can be recognized as a progressive development in the relations between men, but they also wrote that this progress may negatively affect heterosexual relations. For example, the study authors suggested that strong bromances could challenge traditional domestic living arrangements between men and women.
The study authors frame the tensions of the bromance vs. romance dynamic against a backdrop of declining homophobia, sexual liberalism, and inclusive masculinity.
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"Privileging the Bromance: A critical appraisal of Romantic and Bromantic Relationships," by Robinson et al, in Men and Masculinities.