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The bromance: every man's ultimate male friendship. Just like a romance, the bromance has certain rules that every guy needs to know. After all, who wants to put hours and hours into a fulfilling friendship only to have it fall apart? As a bro, it's your duty to avoid the following things if you hope to keep bromance alive.
Denigrating Your Bro's Significant Other
As we all know, in the normal, day-to-day relationships that men have, commenting on and/or criticizing women is not an unknown occurrence. In fact, it can become something of a sport among men. However, this can be death to a bromance, for a number of reasons, and should generally be avoided. For one, if your bro's significant other finds out that you've said something nasty about her, the bromance is likely over, because as much as your bro may like hanging out with you, he probably likes getting laid more. So it's fine to have bro-like conversations about women and even about a bro's significant other. You just can't come right out and throw her under the bus for no reason. If she's a total harpy, that's a bit different, but even then, you have to approach that topic like a bro who's looking out for the best interests of another bro. You want your bro's significant other to like you and not feel threatened by you, otherwise your bromance may be over before it begins.
Hitting On the Same Woman
Bros just don't fight over the same woman. If you're a real bro, then you're going to stand down if you notice your bro has eyes on a lady. When it comes to bros, it's early bird gets the worm. Sure, you see this situation all the time in movies, where one guy gets a woman first, but it's the other guy who's really in love. First of all, a real bro knows there's more than one fish in the sea, so to make a big deal about one particular woman is probably selfish. Secondly, bros can have real conversations about such things and not sneak around behind their bros' back secretly coveting their woman. There's just never a good reason to undermine a bro. Bros rise above this sort of thing.
Embarrassing Your Bro at a Sporting Event
I'm just going to use the sporting event here as an example, but embarrassing your bro at any bro-related activity is likely going to destroy the bromance because a bro's reputation is built on the demonstration of manliness in front of other bros. So let's use the easiest of examples. You're at a football game and your team scores a touchdown and you scream out at the top of your lungs "HOME RUNS RULE!" You've just told everyone within earshot that you are not the least bit into sports nor do you know anything about football, yet you've come to a game. You're with a bro who's probably very much into football and is now thinking: "who is this guy?" and "oh my god, people must think we're together." Bromance over.
Cheating on Your Bro
Cheating is something men do to women or women do to men. It's not something you do to a bro. That sort of thing is simply off the table in a bromance because you're not a bro if you don't step up and do something before the bromance goes under as a result of cheating. And what does it mean to cheat in a bromance? It means that your bro spots you with another bro at an event you two had once done together. So if you regularly attend hockey games with a bro and suddenly you're attending them with another bro, even if it's only once, you're stabbing your bro in the back. A real bro comes forward and lets a bro know if there's going to be a hiccup in their schedule - like his cousin is in town and wants to see a hockey game. You just don't pull a fast one and forget to tell a bro stuff like that.
Leaving Your Bro With the Check
Despite the progress of sexual equality, many women still stick a man with the dinner check while on a date. This is something men generally expect and accept, for the most part. Bros do not do this to other bros. If you're going out for a meal with another bro, one of two things happens: either you guys are alternating picking up the check or you are splitting the check. If you think you're a bro and you're sticking another bro with a bill over and over again, your bromance is going to disintegrate before your eyes. Unless your bro is mega-wealthy. I have a friend who's friends with Michael Jordan. You can let Michael pick up the check and not have to worry about the bromance going south, but that's a rare exception.
Cheating on Your Bro Without Explanation or Warning
Again, this follows a theme. If you're going to act like a woman, then you can't be a bro. That's just all wrong. And for those women reading this, I'm not being sexist. I'm generalizing to make a point. The bro's experience of dating includes being stood up and a woman is always going to be the culprit, so I have to phrase it that way. Usually a bro gets stood up for good reason: the woman isn't that into the relationship anymore. So it's a sore spot with a bro. For one bro to act like a woman (pardon the expression again) destroys the whole concept of the bromance on the spot because you're causing your bro to think of you as a woman. That's not what bros are for.
Attaching a Homosexual Connotation to Any Interaction
This is in no way meant to be derogatory toward homosexuals, but a bromance between two heterosexuals cannot have homosexual undertones. That's fundamentally anti-bromance. And I will sadly admit that some bromances are probably partially built on some kind of anti-gay prejudice, but that's not the type of bromance I'm defining here nor the type of bromance I'm interested in helping. That's not cool. I'm just saying that when a bro somehow introduces the perception, no matter how slight, that the thought of bedding his bro has somehow, however briefly, entered his mind, his bromance is cooked like a Thanksgiving turkey. It doesn't even matter if it's a joke. It's a line that cannot be crossed.
Blowing a Bro's Opportunity to Score More Than Once
A bro must be a wingman by default. If your bro is working a lady, you must always be there for your bro, ready to support him at a moment's notice. If you are not up to this task, then your bromance is headed for trouble. Let's say you're at a bar, and your bro returns with a lady who's got a well-endowed chest, and your first action is to comment on her bosom in some way that causes her to think that you and your bro are a bunch of soulless cads, you have made a major bromance faux pas. A real bro has always got to know what his bro needs in order to score with the ladies. This is classic Bromance 101. Always help your bro and be cool about it at the same time. That being said, most bros will give you one pass on this mistake because that's what bros do. The key is to learn from your mistake and never repeat it.
Badly Missing a Bro-ism of Pop Culture Reference
This basically boils down to always looking cool in front of a bro and making your bro look cool at the same time. So obviously, this goes both ways. If your bro comments on how amazing it was that Derek Jeter finally got to 3000 hits, you're supposed to say: "And with a home run, no less. Only the second guy to do that since Wade Boggs." You are not supposed to say: "Who's Derek Jeter?" Conversely, a bro does not say: "Did you catch that figure skating championship on the Oxygen network yesterday?" Although, in some circles, I suppose it could fly. Generally though, figure skating conversations are not likely to occur in most bromances and even broaching the topic could end a bromance on the spot.
Just cannot happen. This is like matter mixing with anti-matter. Remember that on "Star Trek"? Supposedly if this happened, the universe would end - or something like that. Same thing here: bro universe explodes. If you're familiar with the television series "Archer", there's an episode where Archer's sword makes contact with the sword of a fellow agent who's just been hired at the agency. This is an awkward moment to say the least. However, in a cartoon comedy series, it's all for laughs. If you and your bro are taking a shower after an exhausting game of basketball and somehow this happens, your bromance is deader than Elvis. Such a thing only happens if something has gone terribly, terribly wrong in the shower. And not only will this immediately destroy your current bromance, it could conceivably destroy your chance for any bromance in the future if it gets out in the bro-niverse that you instigated a sword touching.
fashion on July 22, 2011:
WOW ! I enjoyed it reading.
crankalicious (author) from Colorado on July 20, 2011:
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 20, 2011:
There are few things I love so much as a good bromance, so I truly appreciate your helpful tips on keeping 'em together! Voted up, useful, and awesome! Hehee.
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on July 20, 2011:
Thank you for sharing bromance information to the general public. Bromances can be confusing for women, so this is a major help to us.