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10 Rules of Bromance
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.
1. Never Denigrate 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, but 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.
2. Never Hit On the Same Person
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 someone. 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 bro's back, secretly coveting their woman. There's just never a good reason to undermine a bro. Bros rise above this sort of thing.
3. Never Embarrass 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.
4. Never Cheat on Your Bro
Cheating is something that happens in messy romantic relationships. It's not something you do to a friend. 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.
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5. Never Leave a Bro With the Check
Despite the progress of sexual equality, many women still expect a man to pay the dinner check while on a date. This is something men generally expect and accept, for the most part, but 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.
6. Never Stand Up a Bro Without Explanation or Warning
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 treat another like that destroys the whole concept of the bromance on the spot because it implies that the friendship does not matter. That's not what bros are for.
7. Don't Confuse Bromance and Romance
A bromance between two heterosexuals doesn't make anyone homosexual. Confusing sexuality with friendship is fundamentally anti-bromance. I will sadly admit that some bromances are probably 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 if a bro gets confused, if the thought of bedding his bro somehow, however briefly, enters his mind, his bromance is cooked like a Thanksgiving turkey. It's a line that cannot be crossed.
8. Don't Blow a Bro's Opportunity to Score
A bro must be a wingman by default. If your bro is working a romantic opportunity, 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 well-endowed woman and your first reaction is to comment on her bosom in a 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 always plays a supporting role when his bro wants to score. 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.
9. Don't Miss a 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?"
10. Don't Touch Swords
This 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 could this immediately destroy your current bromance, it could conceivably destroy your chance for any bromance in the future.