There's nothing better than a good bromance, especially when it's between a President and his Vice President. But according to one study, bromances actually give men more satisfaction than their romantic relationships. The study, published in the journal Men and Masculinities, found that in recent years intimate male friendships have become more socially acceptable.
And as a result, bromances could be leading to weaker bonds among dating or married couples, or even reducing the likelihood of men and women pairing up at all.
The study states that bromances aren't exactly anything new. George Washington wrote endearing letters to other men and Abraham Lincoln shared a bed with a male friend for several years.
However, intimate friendships became more taboo in the second half of the 20th century according to researchers from the University of Winchester in England. They believe that homophobic sentiments and new ideals on masculinity drove male friends more apart.
In recent years, though, bromances have made a resurgence, thanks to high-profile celebrity examples like Obama and Biden, as well movies and other forms of media like The 40-Year-Old Virgin. To find out how satisfying bromances were to the men involved, the study surveyed 30 heterosexual second-year college students who had been in a romantic relationship before, or were currently. All the men had a sports-related major all but one were white.
The researchers found that all the men had at least one bromantic friend, and that they had "no boundaries" relationships with them, which included expressing love or sleeping in the same bed. All but one of the men claimed that they had cuddled their bromantic partner at some point.
The men felt less judges by their close male friends than their girlfriends and felt more satisfied by the relationship as a result. One participant said:
“Tim knows I love listening to Taylor Swift and Beyonce, but I keep that quiet [around my girlfriend] because she would judge me. I feel like I have to be more manly around her.”
The men also said it was easier to overcome conflicts and share their emotions with their bromance than with their girlfriend, with 28 out of 30 saying they would discuss personal matters with their bromance over their girlfriend.
“If I found a lump on my testicle, I’d talk to [my bromance] rather than my girlfriend,” one man said.
“There was a conclusive determination from the men we interviewed,” the researchers concluded. “On balance, they argued that bromantic relationships were more satisfying in their emotional intimacy, compared to their heterosexual romances.”
But they also warned that “the rise of the bromances may not altogether be liberating and socially positive for women.”
The men in the study sometimes referred to their girlfriend in sexist or disdainful language, a trend which the researchers concluded was representative of a "bros" over girlfriends attitude.
“Lovers are temporary,” one study participant said during his interview. “A bromance can last a lifetime.”