Bromance: Advice for Women on Dealing With and Understanding the Mystery
Men need other men. Thus, the bromance.
This is a fact that women in committed relationships sometimes don't understand. They believe that satisfaction their man might be getting from his male friends, they could just as easily be getting from them. In other words, time spent with his buddies is time not spent with his woman and that signifies a weakness in the relationship. This is simply not true. The more women understand the importance of male friendships and the bromance, the healthier their relationship will be.
Tips for Surviving a Bromance
Your man is in a bromance, now what do you do?
- Take it as a compliment - You should not try to be all things to your man and if your man is in a bromance and you decide that you need to bone up on your football or start figuring how to play "Gears of War 3" on the XBox 360, you're going about it all wrong. Your man is with you because of who you are as a woman, not because of how similar you are to his friends. Take it as a compliment that he wants to compartmentalize these things. That's what guys do. Bros are for certain activities and women are for other activities. If you start behaving too much like one of the guys in an effort to dominate his attention, he's going to find you less appealing, not more appealing.
- Be supportive - Don't guilt-trip your man into hanging out with you instead of hanging with his bros. Instead, give him his space and fully support his bromance. Say things like: "I understand you need to hang out with your bros. Have a good time." Don't say: "I wish we did everything together." Trust me, you don't wish that. You really want to sit around drinking beers, belching, and farting? Lo, thou are woman!
- Lay down some ground rules - The best thing you can do for your relationship when your man is engaged in a bromance is to gently and reasonably explain your expectations. You don't have a problem if your man is spending four hours every Sunday watching sports at his bro's house, so don't pitch a fit if this is your man's modus operandi. However, if the bromance is taking up increasing amounts of your man's time, do convey your expectations. The best thing you can do is let your man explain to you what his expectations are. If he says he's going to spend six hours a week with the guys and he's spending twenty, then you can have a conversation about that.
- Get his bro to like you - Another smart thing you can do is get your man's bro on your side. Meet him. Invite them to do bro things at your place. Be nice and open. You might be surprised to learn that a bro is very likely to back you up when your man starts spending too much time away, especially if he likes you. If your relationship is solid and the bro knows this, he's not going to let his bro screw it up by playing XBox all night long when he knows you're waiting at home.
- Have girlfriends - By having girlfriends, you can occupy your time the same way your man does: with friends. Don't be afraid to turn the tables. If the bromance is interfering with your life, make sure that you have the opportunity to show him what it feels like. Ideally, this shouldn't be some kind of passive-aggressive thing where you're leaving your man to cook his own dinner every night while you're out partying, but it's not a bad idea to go out some nights and let your man make his own dinner or put the kids to bed by himself or whatever. He'll quickly understand that in order to hang out with one's friends, one's partner is going to have a bit more burden. That's a two-way street.
When to Worry
Surviving a bromance means being able to recognize when certain activities have pushed the boundaries of normal, bromantic behavior. Look for these things and put an end to them before the bromance becomes more important than your relationship.
- Your "date night" is spoiled by an unexpected bromantic activity - Let's say you and your man have made plans and your man doesn't show up. This is unacceptable behavior whether it's a bromance, a romance, or just a friendship. However, if you've made plans, specific plans, to do the horizontal dance, and your man blows you off because he's hanging out with a bro having a beer or playing "Dance Fever" on his bro's new Kinect, then something is wrong. Give him a chance to make it up to you, but if he doesn't, something is really wrong. A man should never forget a nookie plan.
- Bromantic hours gradually increase - a healthy bromance and healthy bromantic activity provides balance, so it should generally be planned and predictable. Your man should be spending a predictable number of hours per week in his bromance. If he's got a special activity planned with his bro, he should tell you. However, the amount of time spent in the bromance starts increasing and gradually interfering in your relationship with your man, you'll need to find out why.
- Your man comes home smelling funny - If your man says he's out drinking with the guys, he should smell like beer. If he says he's drinking with the guys and he comes back smelling like perfume and has lipstick on his collar, then he's lying about something. Guys can flirt without looking like they got in a wreck on a modelling runway. If your guy comes home this way, then he unconsciously wants you to know he's got a problem with you. Or perhaps it's conscious. Regardless, you need to have a talk.
- You're friendless - imbalance in any relationship is usually a bad thing, but few people get this one sometimes. If your significant other has lots of friends and you have none, that's a recipe for disaster. If he's out with his buddies and you're always at home watching the clock in anticipation of his return, you're in trouble. Don't rely on your man to be your buddy as well as your lover. Yes, these are great things, but because a bro needs other bros, he's going to get a certain amount of satisfaction that way while you're getting none. It's not healthy.