"Bromance", as a recent study
describes, is being "more emotionally intimate, physically demonstrative, and based upon unrivaled trust and cohesion compared to their other friendships". Researchers found that this relationship has actually been embraced more now by men, thanks to the decrease in homophobia (yay!).
They interviewed 30 undergraduate heterosexual and "mostly heterosexual" men studying sport-degree programs at a British University. Specifically, participants were asked about their willingness to share secrets with their "bromantic" friends as well as the level of their emotional and physical intimacy.
These men's definition of bromance somehow varied; some say it's a romance without the physical intimacy and others, brotherhood. They, however, have a common explanation- bromance is a relationship with deep emotional disclosure- and have all agreed that this had impacted their lives positively.
"They were clear that a bromance offers a deep sense of unburdened disclosure and emotionality based on trust and love," University of Winchester's Stefan Robinson, the study's lead author, said in a statement.
"We find these heterosexual men to be less reliant on traditional homosocial boundaries, which have previously limited male same-sex friendships," authors wrote in the study's abstract. "Contrary to the repressive homosociality of the 1980s and 1990s, these men embrace a significantly more inclusive, tactile, and emotionally diverse approach to their homosocial relationships." That means openness to bromances is believed to be, in part, due to cultural attitudes toward homosexuality.
With the stereotype of being distant and emotionally "controlled" individuals, men carry the burden of not being able to open up their problems to others. Having bromantic friends may help them be more emotive thus, providing a healthy masculine culture. "For those dealing with depressive symptoms or social anxieties, bromances may [also] offer a way forward and a coping strategy," Robinson said.