Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What is a bromance?” The term is used in tons of pop culture references to describe a couple of dudes who are good friends. It sounds a bit cheesy, but these relationships are extremely beneficial to all parties. No matter what you call it, having close same-sex, non-sexual relationships is good for your mental and physical health. We’re giving you all the info on bromances, why they’re beneficial, how to find the best bro, and what activities you can do once you’re part of a bromance.
Enjoying a Guys’ Night Out With Adventures From Scratch
Don’t neglect your bromance, man. If you’re looking for fun activities to do on a guys’ night out, we’ve got you covered. Check out the Adventures From Scratch book! Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve cuddles and romance (although there is a date edition). Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition is all about bonding adventures with good buddies. Instead of always going to the usual beer and wings night at a local bar, pick from over 50 challenges that will have you laughing and creating memories. Cut loose tonight!
What Is a Bromance?
Before we get in too deep, let’s cover the actual definition of bromantic relationships and answer the question—What is a bromance? Dave Carnie, an American editor, coined the term in the 1990s, and it’s a blend of the words brother and romance. He was originally referring to skateboarders and how much time they spend together. The term has morphed into a term to describe a very close friendship between (usually) straight men and pokes fun at the intimacy that can be present.
Homosocial relationships are same-sex relationships that are not of a romantic or sexual nature. Because that’s a more scientific term used in sociology studies and reports, society clings to words that are way more fun to say and easier to understand quickly. Enter bromance, a term for male friendships where you might finish each other’s sentences and know all the quirks about a person without being in a romantic relationship. It doesn’t just have to refer to heterosexual men, but it’s used to describe best friends or young men who aren’t attracted to one another but spend a lot of time together.
Examples of Popular Bromances
Hollywood has many examples of BFFs that could be classified as bromances. Consider the movie I Love You, Man, starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. Paul Rudd’s character is getting married and realizes he doesn’t have any guy friends. He goes on a series of man-dates with the aim of finding new friends who can join him at his wedding. The entire movie is about two guys falling into a bromance, and it’s a perfect example.
Other movie bromances include Maverick and Goose from Top Gun, Bodhi and Johnny Utah from Point Break, Roger Murtaugh and Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon, and, really, all the guys from The Hangover. TV shows love to feature romances. From Cory and Shawn on Boy Meets World to Turk and J.D. from Scrubs, these relationships are often lifelong and provide great entertainment for audiences.
You can probably think of plenty you’ve seen in your own life. Even President Biden and President Obama have been referred to as a bromance, with hilarious memes circling the internet of them in matching aviators at the White House. Now that you’ve got the idea, let’s get into some of the benefits.
Why Would I Want a Best Bro?
Many people believe that men and women require different things from their relationships, but that’s not true. For a long time, men have been discouraged from sharing their emotions. They’ve been told that’s a feminine thing. Society is just starting to celebrate men sharing their feelings, vulnerabilities, and emotions. It’s healthy to have emotional intimacy, no matter your gender.
A study from Men and Masculinities reported that young men receive more emotional satisfaction from their bromances or non-sexual relationships than their romantic partners. The benefits of having a bromance are plentiful.
Benefits of a Bromance
Provides Emotional Support
Close male relationships have proven to elevate emotional stability and social fulfillment. You’ll have someone who isn’t your girlfriend, partner, or spouse to get advice from. You can also talk with them about real-life struggles. Conversations about various things can help you open up more in other relationships and build your conflict-resolution skills. Plus, you know you have a best friend who has your back and supports you.
Friends provide stress relief. When things at work or home are stressful, you can turn to your friends for an outlet. Talk it out or let them get your mind off things and get you laughing. Being around your friends will help lower your cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone. Whether you blow off some steam over a happy hour or hit the trails together and get some exercise, just having a person to chat with and bounce ideas off of is extremely beneficial.
Improves Social Life
Maybe you’ve developed a man crush on someone who always seems to be doing cool stuff. Maybe you want to get out and do more. Start a friendship. You’ll be introduced to new activities and more people by making friends. Once you have a tight relationship with someone, you’ll be much more likely to try new things knowing you have someone with you who can either help or try it right alongside you for the first time.
Benefits Physical Health and Brain Functions
Tons of studies show that having strong social connections is really good for your physical health and helps you fight off dementia. It also slows cognitive decline. Having in-person conversations helps you continue to learn new things and stay active. You have friends whom you can exercise with and stay motivated by.
Allows You to Be Yourself
Self-esteem is important during all phases of life. With your bros, you can always be yourself and have a support system of people who like being around you and care about you. Even though society’s expectations are changing, it’s still good to have close friends with whom you can share your emotions and feel comfortable. When you’re able to be yourself, it boosts your self-esteem.
Where Can I Find Bros?
So how do you know the best place to find bros? Here are some ideas to help you get out and meet new people.
Join a hobby group.
Make a list of the things you like doing and then start searching for groups of people who share those interests. If you’ve never looked at the available options before, you’ll probably be surprised at how many unique groups are out there. Whether it’s something physical, like rock climbing or kayaking, or you play chess or a certain video game, you can find a group that shares your interest. Meetup is a website dedicated to bringing groups like this together, so that’s a great place to start.
Sign up for a sports team.
Check the local recreation centers, Craigslist, and community Facebook groups for sports leagues. Whether you were a professional athlete or you’ve never played the sport, there are typically leagues and teams for all levels, and they are constantly looking for new members. Pick a sport you think you would enjoy, learn a few of the basics, and then sign up. Most of these leagues are pretty casual and laid-back.
Head out solo to local events.
Don’t be afraid to head out on the town without a wingman. Sit at the bar and strike up conversations. Attend events for a sports team, holidays, or museums on your own and be open to chatting with new people. The odds are pretty good that you won’t be the only person on your own. Just make sure you make yourself available for conversation; don’t sit with your face buried in your phone the whole time.
Use your current network.
Consider the people you already know and take advantage of the network you’ve built. Organize a happy hour and get to know your coworkers better. Host a party and have everyone bring one or two guests so everyone can meet new people. Start a book club with a few friends where each member invites someone in their circle and then plan monthly conversations.
Find a fraternal organization.
Multiple organizations exist to provide a place for men to gather. They’re called fraternities! Some were created for veterans, like Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, and others exist to help encourage positive change in the world, like the Order of Elks. These clubs and organizations bring men together and are dedicated to the members’ intellectual, physical, and social development. Check out the options, see if any sound appealing to you, and sign up. You’ll be initiated with a group of other people, and it’s a great way to meet other men in your area.
Take advantage of social media.
Social media can be used as a great tool to expand your network. It doesn’t matter if you live in a large metro area, like New York City, or a small town in Iowa. People everywhere are using social media. Instead of just scrolling through photos and TikToks, put the tools to use and seek out some people in your area who might share some of your interests. It’s no longer weird to follow people whom you don’t know or drop a message to someone. Not everyone will be open to meeting new people this way, but plenty of people connect with new friends this way.
What Can I Do With My Bro?
Spending time with your male friends is important, but it’s fun to have interactive experiences and do new and different things together. If you’ve been looking for new things to do with your guy friends, here are a few male bonding ideas to put on the schedule.
It might sound a bit nerdy, but board games have really evolved in the last few decades There are card games and strategy games that feature many unique characters and situations. Unexploded Cow is a funny but oddly dark game where bombs are littered across the French countryside after the Great War. You play the game by placing cows and trying to clear the field using tactical cards. Catan is another popular game for groups. Take turns gathering resources for your settlements and trade with other players. It’s simple to learn and provides hours of entertainment. Try these or another one of the top board games for adults with your buddies.
Local Scavenger Hunt
Get out and explore with an app-based scavenger hunt from Let’s Roam. Follow the prompts to find locations, complete challenges, and solve puzzles as a team. Compete against other teams and score as many points as possible while you’re out there. There are even some haunted ghost tours and bar crawls, depending on what you want to get out of your experience.
Most large cities have programs to rent bikes and pay by the hour. Grab some bikes and head towards a new neighborhood to explore for the day. Try a new restaurant or a new pub while you’re out (if you don’t need a shower). It’s a fun way to get some exercise and move your legs while still being able to hang out.
Training for a Marathon or Activity
Training for a big race is way more fun if you can do it with a partner. Look at calendars to see what fun events are coming to your city and create a training program. Running races are extremely popular, but there are all kinds of physical events that you can prep for. Work together to raise money for a good cause and help motivate each other. Knowing that you have an accountability partner will make it easier to show up consistently.
Has it been years since you’ve watched the original Star Wars trilogy? Maybe you’ve never watched all the Godfather movies. Put a date on the calendar and queue up whatever flicks you have on your list. Make sure to stock up on snacks, like popcorn and candy, and maybe even grab a six-pack of beers and spend some time watching movies.
Heading to an Event
There will be plenty of bands and sporting events you want to see that your girlfriend or wife has zero interest in. This is one of the best things about a bromance: You have a partner to see those concerts with! Talk to your buddies and see what things you’re interested in and then look for tickets. It’s nice to be able to go with people who enjoy the experience as much as you do.
Taste Testing Local Food
Food brings everyone together, so why not create an event that incorporates something tasty? Think about a food item everyone likes or a local specialty, like pizza in New York or fish tacos in Southern California. Once you have a particular type of food, pick a few places that claim to have the best. Ask your friends for suggestions. Then set out to try each place and rank them. You can do this all in one day or spread it over a few weeks. It’s fun to have a little friendly debate and enjoy good meals with friends. This can easily be turned into a competition with something you each cook, like chili.
Hitting the Courts (or Course)
Getting outside is beneficial for so many reasons, and there are some spectacular outdoor activities you can do with your friends. Golf is a popular activity. It gives you a chance to get fresh air and enjoy the beautiful scenery with good company. If you want to get your heart rate up a little more, try Pickleball. This racket sport can be played on most tennis courts and is gaining popularity rapidly in the US.
A classic activity for a couple of bros is spending an evening on the couch playing video games. You can find every kind of game now, from sports to strategy and racing. If neither of you has a video game console and the equipment, head to a local arcade and spend some coins playing each other in pinball, air hockey, or Cruisin’ USA.
Many pubs and breweries now offer weekly trivia nights. Gather your guy friends and see if you can put your heads together to come out on the top of the leaderboard. Hopefully, you each have your own specialty areas to contribute. Either way, you’ll learn something new, enjoy a few cold beverages, and maybe even win some stuff. It’s a great way to get out on a weeknight and do something interactive.
A book club is one type of group activity that never seems to go out of style. If you like reading, grab a group of your guy friends and start a book club. Pick a certain genre or take turns choosing the selection. It’s a great excuse to get people together and have a conversation about a specific topic. Plus, you can set out good snacks and drinks. It will encourage you to read a bit more, which has all kinds of benefits.
Final Thoughts on Bromances
Hopefully, now that you’ve read this article, you’re already pumped up for your next guys’ night out. Don’t worry, if you aren’t in a bromance currently, you aren’t alone. Just put yourself out there and work to meet new friends, and you’ll build a strong bond with someone soon. You’ll find the Wayne to your Garth and be ready to party on.
Do you already have a bromance? Where did you find him? Let us know in the comments!