Few things in life are more appreciable than a bromance. A bromance is when two dudes metaphorically come together in platonic matrimony to be best guy-friends. It’s a union that’s evolved by leaps and bounds since society decided to be cool about guys getting in touch with their emotions & stuff in between talking football and boobs.
Bromances are like everything else in that you get out of it what you put into it. But before you can put into it, maybe it’s wise to think for a moment about why you’re getting into it and make sure you’re not setting yourself up for a bromance fail.
Here are five motivations for initiating a bromance you might want to steer clear of.
5. You want your childhood back
We all miss being a kid, sometimes. But you’re a man now, and it can be dangerous to parlay a bromance into bringing back the good ole days. Part of the fun of the good ole days was the combination of mischievous adventure and destruction. You could break some rules and get away with it. You could do stuff like get into a fight, or break a church window, or light a cat on fire, or compare boners on sleepover nights without any profound repercussions.
But those feelings are like glasses of water. When you’re young, the glass is easy to fill up. But the older you get, the bigger the glass gets, and the same amount of liquid that filled you up as a kid doesn’t do the trick anymore. Being all grown up and seeking mischievous adventure and destruction usually means either getting sued or ending up in jail. One dude bromancing another dude just so he can watch him fight a homeless guy, or hold his beer can so he can do some ninja stuff to it can only end in disaster.
4. You don’t think you’re multicultural enough
There have been plenty of famous interracial bromances over the years that have taught us the wonders of cross-color man-love. Some of them were real (Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo), some scripted (J.D. and Turk from Scrubs), and some that should’ve quit while they were ahead (Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker).
Real or fiction, swirl bromances like these tend to have one thing in common—both bros were more or less brought together by force. Piccolo and Sayers were assigned to be roommates because they played the same position for the Chicago Bears, J.D. and Turk worked at the same hospital—the one where every nurse is hot, and Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker were running low on cash so they had to make another sequel.
It’s a good thing for us to maybe take a lesson from these guys—something about broadening our horizons, not judging a book by its cover, we all make the colors of the rainbow, and so on and so on. It’s kind of a dumb thing for a dude to pin his hopes on becoming a better person, or a hipper person, or a get-laid-more person by going out of his way to find people outside his race/class/creed and trying his damndest to plant bromance seeds.
On a related note, we’d now like to introduce you to somebody. His name is Scumbag Steve.
Maybe you’ve heard of him. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you think he’s one of the biggest douche bags you’ve ever seen (probable). Scumbag Steve is the ghost of guy-who-tries-too-hard-to-be-something-he’s-not future. A guy can end up like him if he’s not careful.
3. You’re lonely
One could argue that every other dubious reason on this list is just a variation of this one, but whatever. Post-college life can sometimes hit our social lives hard. A whole new set of professional and personal obligations have to come to fruition once that diploma hits your hand.
First, you have to get a big-boy job. Not just you, but all your friends, which sometimes means moving to different cities and states. Then the clock starts ticking on collaring a wife and spitting out some kids. These two things lead to a gradual lifestyle change that few wolf pack’s can survive.
Further complicating things is the fact that you can’t have a bromance with your wife/girlfriend. You just can’t. If it was possible, your wife/girlfriend would have no problem hearing you tell the story of how you got a handy from your ex at your high school reunion last week. So that just leaves you and your lonesome. But you can’t get needy. Desperately pursuing a bromance is like desperately pursuing sex with said wife/girlfriend. If you demand it, you won’t get it.
2. You’re bicurious
Bromances don’t work unless there’s an unspoken and agreed upon boundary between “nice abs, bro” and “you look so vulnerable right now…I must draw you, bro.” Normally, we’d have no problem condoning a lil’ experimentation now and again, but man-love and literal man-on-man love have to be kept separate, because that’s not how bromances work.
Remember that scene in Chasing Amy where Holden kisses Banky and then suggests they have a threesome with his girlfriend? And he more or less ends up ruining their bromance for even floating the possibility that they subconsciously yearn for each other’s meat? That’s pretty much what we’re talking about, here.
Bromances were realized with the idea of having a safe-haven intimacy that went nowhere any guy involved didn’t want it to go. They exist so dudes can slap each other on the ass and not feel gay about it.
1. Because he’s awesome on TV
Who’s awesome on TV? Some dude you’ll never share a drink with in real life, which would actually qualify this as more of an unrequited man crush than a possible bromance, but it’s on the list because there’s a lesson to be learned, here.
Man crushes basically work like this: random guy see’s another guy whom he instantly recognizes—for whatever reason—as infinitely more badass than he. Whether the guy’s a pro linebacker, a shark wrangler, or Richard Branson, the random dude pines for him in the most hetero way possible the same way he’d pine for a gold-encrusted AR-15.
Fictional man crushes are a dangerous thing. You tend to get the rug pulled out from under you. Just because he played a badass that one time doesn’t mean he won’t show up in the next Indiana Jones raping movie. For shits and giggles, let’s talk about Nicolas Cage. If anybody ever had a man crush on Nicolas Cage, we reserve the right to question their homosocial judgment. But in fairness, he was kind of a badass once upon a time in Con Air. Observe:
Now, if Cage had dropped dead from a heart attack the day after filming wrapped on Con Air, his appropriateness as a man crush would’ve stayed intact. But he didn’t. He kept making movies. Most of them bad. Some of them really bad. At one point, he punches a girl while dressed as a bear. Observe:
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