Pals Before Gals: Young Men Prefer 'Bromance' to Romance

Henrietta Strickland
October 15, 2017

For the study, detailed in the journal Men and Masculinities, the team interviewed undergraduate straight men.

Researchers at the University of Winchester in the United Kingdom interviewed 30 straight undergraduate men, who said they felt less judged by their bros, and that it was easier to open up and resolve conflicts with their male friends than with their girlfriends.

Researchers has found "close male friendship" among straight men are seen as beneficial.

The rise in bromances can be recognised as a progressive development in the relations between men, researchers noted while adding that this progress may negatively affect heterosexual relations.

For some young heterosexual men, a "bromance", or close male friendship, is more emotionally satisfying than a romantic relationship with a woman, a new, small study from England suggests. Usually, women have high expectations of men, and most participants admitted being afraid of saying something wrong, which might damage their romantic relationship.

One man surveyed, 'Harvey, ' said: "Well, for example, Tim knows I love listening to Taylor Swift and Beyonce, but I keep that quiet because [my girlfriend] would judge me".

However, the authors of the study warn these relationships could threaten the traditional patterns of men and women living together.

Here's why. Most women take for granted close, no-holds-barred intimacy.

Another talked about a time where he was upset about his grandfather and preferred the company of his bromantic partner rather than his girlfriend at the time.

'She expects so much from the relationship and will have a go if I say something out of line, and with Matt we just tell each other everything'.

This study also found that guys are more willing to "openly pronounce love" their for one another than they were in the past, that they are less anxious about "appearing effeminate".

"Our participants mostly determined that a bromance offered them elevated emotional stability, enhanced emotional disclosure, social fulfillment and better conflict resolution compared to the emotional lives they shared with girlfriends." .

Up to the early 20th century, men would often write "endearing letters" to one another, and even sleep in the same beds. This has reversed today, the authors say, with much more male interest in art, music and fashion.

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