What is a Bromance?
Ahh ‘Bromance’. A universally beloved term that means 'a unique and emotionally mature platonic relationship between men'. Unlike conventional friendships, these same-sex relationships transcend boundaries imposed by toxic masculinity and represent a profound connection between guy friends.
JustWears believes that all men should enjoy this form of male bonding that defies societal norms and allows for a level of emotional intimacy typically reserved for female friendships. In many ways, embracing a bromance can be seen as a radical act, challenging the oppressive definitions of masculinity prevalent in our society.
Is a bromance healthy?
Whilst there is nothing wrong with having friendships that don’t live up to definitions of a ‘bromance’, traditional forms of male friendship can perpetuate harmful forms of masculinity. This may fall short of giving you the social experience you need to feel happy and content. A bromance is healthy because it may satisfy your human need for meaningful socialisation more than traditional friendships.
If you feel unable to share intimacy with your friends or find yourself only engaging in activities that feel toxic when you’re with them, this could affect your mental health. You may have some work to do to find new, meaningful friendships, or to work on your ability to connect with feelings and experiences not typically associated with masculinity.
What are signs of bromance?
If you are able to enjoy meaningful and fulfilling conversations with a friend, non-sexual physical contact that you both feel comfortable with and the ability to talk about feelings and emotions, then you may be experiencing a 'bromance' if you're both straight men!
The concept of a bromance diverges from conventional notions of male friendship, which for young men, often revolve around "laddish" activities such as going to the pub and playing aggressive, machismo sports together. Though there's nothing wrong with this if you have a healthy relationship with these activities, these traditional confines of masculinity may inadvertently promote toxic masculinity, a set of standards that can be detrimental to men's mental health. Our society is patriarchal, and it imposes unattainable standards on men daily. Thus, finding ways to counteract these norms is part of a broader revolution in masculinity, aiming to break the confines placed on men and allow them new freedoms of self-expression.
Can a bromance be romantic?
It’s all about balance
There is nothing wrong with enjoying things typically associated with masculinity, as long as it isn’t having a negative impact on you, or those around you. If you feel able to enjoy time at the pub as well as being able to hug you’re friends, there is nothing wrong here. However, if you find yourself feeling isolated, unable to express your feelings, or like your relationships lack depth and intimacy, finding ways to express this with your male friends will help. Challenging tropes that are normally associated with masculinity can help to create a healthy and holistic relationship with your own unique identity.
I’m not your bro, bro
It's essential to acknowledge that the term "bromance" has not been without criticism. Some argue that by creating a specific word for close male friendships while lacking an equivalent term for female friendships, it insinuates that such relationships are unusual or suspicious, possibly implying a romantic aspect. "Bromance" has faced criticism for perpetuating the idea that close relationships between men are unnatural. It also assumes heteronormativity, however, we think heterosexual men should be able to access intimate friendships as well and that insinuating anything wrong with that is more problematic than naming the experience. Despite this criticism, it could be argued that finding a name for this experience allows people to talk about it and understand it better. In a world where patriarchy exists, being able to define ways we can diverge from it is empowering for those who experience it (everyone!)
JustWears: Encouraging Bromances
At JustWears, we wholeheartedly endorse and encourage bromances. We firmly believe that men should be free to cultivate deep, meaningful friendships with one another without fear of being stifled by toxic masculinity. There is nothing unusual about sharing a deeply meaningful connection with a friend; in fact, it's a profoundly positive experience. To us, bromance is about close friends supporting each other and nothing more. Why shouldn't non-sexual relationships fulfill us with the closeness, intimacy and meaning normally associated with romantic relationships?
Today, we are witnessing a greater acceptance of non-traditional forms of relationships, marking a significant step forward for society. We all crave connection, and no one should be restricted from pursuing meaningful bonds. Bromances are just one of the many types of relationships that can enrich one's life, and who wouldn't want a close friend with whom to savor life's experiences?
The Beauty of the Bromance
The benefits of having a best friend are immeasurable. Bromances should not be stigmatized as romantic relationships, nor should they be considered any less "manly" for involving a deep and close friendship between men. As we continue to normalise diverse relationships in today's world, we will witness a rise in happier men, and we celebrate this trend.
Bromances represent a significant shift in our understanding of masculinity and male friendships. They challenge toxic masculinity and provide a space for deep emotional connections between men. While they have faced criticism and controversy, the acceptance of bromances is part of a broader movement towards greater inclusivity in relationships. At JustWears, we celebrate bromances and encourage everyone to embrace and cherish the unique and profound friendships they bring into our lives.
Share JustWears with your bros by using our recycling scheme. Send us your old pants to recycle and you can share a brand new pair with a pal for free!