It has been a while since people took a positive thing for men and turned it into a problem for women, so I suppose we were due for one.
According to a recent study, men’s friendship with other men — commonly called a “bromance” — could ruin women’s romantic relationships.
The researchers interviewed 30 straight college men, all of them part of the college’s sports department. The researchers found that the men valued their platonic relationships with their male friends over their romantic relationships with their girlfriends.
None of this is new. Men have had intense platonic relationships with each other since humans existed. We have plenty examples of this throughout history and mythology. Many of these real and fantasy relationships were closer than any relationship the men had with women in their lives.
The researchers drew the rather bizarre conclusion that changing attitudes in homosexuality have led to a rise in the so-called “bromance.” However, this is inaccurate. Talk to men in the military, police officers, and athletes, and one will find that these intense male relationships are quite common. The reality is that our culture’s focus on homosexuality, specifically in treating any male intimacy as sex-driven or romantic — like calling such platonic relationships “bromances” — led men to keep their close relationships with other men secret.
Another factor is women’s reaction to men’s platonic relationships. It is not uncommon to hear of girlfriends and wives driving away their men’s friends, particularly their closest male friends. The unspoken element is that the platonic relationship poses a risk to the romantic one. Most specifically, the emotional intimacy provided in the platonic relationship would subvert men’s need to depend on women for it, thereby stripping away one element women could use to control, for lack of a better word, the relationship. Continue reading