Privileging the Bromance: A Critical Appraisal of Romantic and Bromantic Relationships

Stefan Robinson, Adam White, Eric Anderson

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In this research, utilizing data from thirty semistructured interviews, we examine how heterosexual undergraduate men compare their experiences of bromances to that of their romantic relationships (romances). We find that the increasingly intimate, emotive, and trusting nature of bromances offers young men a new social space for emotional disclosure, outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. Participants state that the lack of boundaries and judgment in a bromance is expressed as emotionally rivalling the benefits of a heterosexual romance. Our participants mostly determined that a bromance offered them elevated emotional stability, enhanced emotional disclosure, social fulfilment, and better conflict resolution, compared to the emotional lives they shared with girlfriends. Thus, this research provides an empirically grounded conceptual framework for understanding men’s view of close homosocial relationships in comparison to their romantic relationship in the twenty-first century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number000
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2017


  • Bromance
  • friendship
  • homosocial
  • homohysteria
  • inclusive masculinity

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