(Commentary by Official TNGG Bro-espondent Colby Gergen)
Bromance, as defined by Urban Dictionary, is “the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males.”
Once rare and unusual, Bromance has recently become increasingly regular between two straight men. Bromances can be best observed in their natural habitat: a college frat party, bar or sporting event.
This peculiar friendship starts out much like a heterosexual courtship: bros wine and dine each other, even if it’s only with forties and burgers. They plan dates to see the latest Will Ferrell movie and advise each other on which color tee best matches their Nikes. They buy each other thoughtfully funny souvenirs from the Preakness and help each other spruce up their resumes. (Bros don’t need resumes. Our awesomeness speaks for itself.)
From time to time, they’ve even been known to gaze adoringly into the other’s eyes when he tells a great joke. (Every joke a bro tells is great. You should all gaze adoringly at bros.)
A true natural phenomenon, these two bros are obsessed with each other.
In the past, pop culture frowned upon two straight males behaving like this. After all, it fringes on homosexuality, and that isn’t the image straight men wish to portray. It is, if you please, “totally gay, bro.” (No homo)
Before bromance was socially acceptable, platonic girl friends were the excuse guys needed to hang out. Guys needed these girl friends (though not necessarily girlfriends) to accompany them on “man dates.” If two straight guys wanted to go out to dinner, a girl had to join them for it to be legit.
Then metrosexuality became mainstream. Guys could, without ridicule, care about their appearances as much as girls do. Forty-dollar haircuts? Check. Purchasing the entire line of clothes worn by a GQ model? Obviously. Even my fifty-something-year-old father started getting pedicures. All because pop culture deemed that it was no longer “gay” to do so. (Whoa there kiddo. Bros trust their hair-trimmer bro with haircuts and love their Greg Ostertag throwback NBA jersey. Sorry to hear about your father.)
So if bros can now pamper themselves like girls, why couldn’t their friendships model ours, too? And so, bromance blossomed, and we were the first to pick its [masculine] flower. (Chicks dig the bromance. They think it’s “sensitive” and shit.)
Movies like I Love You, Man reassure bros that their platonic romance is acceptable. In this “dick flick,” Paul Rudd’s character hilariously navigates through his first bromantic relationship with well-experienced bro Sydney Fife (Jason Segal). Their foray into the world of fish taco dinner dates, man caves and “slappa da bass” gave guys the message loud and clear: go ahead, be bromantic.
But bromance makes me a tad nervous. Why, you ask? (Because you love bros and don’t want us to leave you. Yes, bros have all the answers. We’re like a Magic Eight Ball of sexy.)
For one, I fear that the acceptance of the bromance is rendering girl friends unnecessary. Call it a “man date,” and everyone understands the underlying bromantic relationship. No proof of sexuality necessary. And it’s not just about dinner. When I asked my friends why I’d never been “iced,” the answer was a telling, “You’re not a bro, Lisa.” (Perfect 10s are always necessary, Lisa)
So will there be a place for girls in emerging bromances? Or is it time for the ladies to say, “See ya later, Jobin?” (Peace out, bro)