Don’t downplay the bromance, dude. According to a recent study, for heterosexual men, a close relationship with another guy is even more valued than a romantic relationship.
Professors at the University of Winchester in the United Kingdom interviewed 30 second-year university students about bromance versus romance, and in every way but one, the men valued their bromances more. Can you guess what that one way was? Yup, sex. The ways men valued their bromances more included self-disclosure: They preferred to discuss personal matters like their health with their bromantic partners more than their girlfriends. In addition, the men valued their bromances more in terms of honesty: They said they felt that they needed to monitor their words and behaviors more often with their girlfriends, but their bromantic partners were more forgiving and they could be more honest with them. They also described their bromances as calmer and more emotionally stable than their romances, which were filled with more arguments.
The study, published in the journal Men and Masculinities, noted that all the men interviewed described intense, emotional and loving (but nonsexual) relationships with other men. The upshot: Men are feeling more comfortable characterizing their male friendships as important than they did in the past. So plan that poker game, get tickets to that band you guys have always bonded over or ask a buddy to grab a beer after work — your bromance matters.