Somewhere beneath the realm of brotherly love lies a connection so deep that not even Megan Fox's pouty lips and bad-ass boodie could penetrate it. This phenomenon is called a "bromance"; a unique and purely platonic bond between two heterosexual males that forms over a variety of interests such as beer, porn, sport, Journey and other such recreational past times. It's the male version of Romy and Michelle and Thelma and Louise, the cast of Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias all rolled into one camaraderie of man-love at its best. He's your guy's best and most trusted ally, a confidant and loyal mate, the Robin to his Batman and the dude who you'll probably spend your entire relationship trying to live up to.
As if beating off the bevvy of belt-wearing tartlets and desperate fishwives wasn't bad enough, along comes Bob, the bane of every girl's relationship. There are many things a girl can fake in a relationship but not liking your boyfriend's life partner is not one of them. Like balls, they come in a pair so you have to acknowledge them from time to time. Trying to sever them can cause some serious complications especially if your boyfriend regards his bestie as the best thing next to grilled cheese. To you on the other hand, he's nothing more than a pesky nuisance, a third wheel incapable of taking a hint, a bunion that keeps popping up at the worst of times and whose general presence seems to interfere with all your romantic efforts, retreats and weekend getaways.
Contrary to popular belief, girls are not as selfish as guys like to think. They understand that maintaining a quality bromance is just as important to guys as one-on-one Cosmo time is to girls, but what happens when the future best man in question starts becoming a major problem in your relationship? What happens when his best friend's lifestyle choices start becoming a potential threat to the man you are trying to mould into the perfect husband? Is it time to abandon the holy gift of grace and open up the can of extremely uncomfortable worms? And just how does a girl approach a sensitive issue such as this without coming across as a possessive bitch trying to sabotage the only link associated with his single life?
"Unless you have a single girlfriend to distract his bestie with, you don't." Henry, a 31-year old IT specialist had been in several long-term bromantic relationships and had managed to crack the code of this non-sexual boy crush phenomena. "The bromance is a sacred connection much like the sisterhood of ya-ya traveling pants. It's a safe place where guys have the option to open up and speak freely about things they're generally uncomfortable about such as feelings and emotions. It's not much different to girl world actually. A true bro knows how to keep his boy's secrets and defends him no matter what kind of douche you think he is. Don't forget...before you, it was only him. Neglecting your guy because of some relationship is the number one no-no on top of that list and can only paint you in a bad light. Would you ditch a girlfriend who was going through a break up because of something your boyfriend had planned or would you drop everything to be there right by her side?"
Yikes! Perhaps Mars wasn't that far from Venus after all? Did boys really experience the same kind of bond that girls did with their female companions? Was a bromantic encounter some form of social progression that allowed men to open up to each other in a non-threatening, non-homoerotic way? And if this was the case, why the hell are we giving them such a hard time about it? Surely we have the odd girlfriend or two that annoys the living shit out of our man and still, finds a way to tolerate them albeit from a healthy distance? Do girls need to adopt a more empathetic approach to bromantic relationships or pull the plug completely?
"I dare you to ask a guy to chose between you and his bro. It's your jealousy issue to get over and no one else's. You want to know what drives you mad? Bob is a guy who probably knows your boyfriend ten times better than you do and that kills you. Not only is he able to do guy things with him, most of which you find boring and neanderthal, but he is also able to open up to him on an emotional level. It almost feels as if your role is redundant, doesn't it? The other major problem is that most girls try to sledge the sidekick for not living up to your standards. So what if his friend still comes home pissed every night with a new chick that looks young enough to be his daughter. You're not dating his friend so why should it matter to you? If his bromance is worth the sweat, your guy will eventually come to realise that his friend's behaviour is unacceptable and have a talk with him but on his own time, not on yours." Well there you have it.
Sigh, they'll probably have more nicknames for each other than they do for you and sometimes it may feel like you're starring in a warped remake of Three's Company. I guess we just need to tolerate our lover's brother from another mother. I'm sure that they would probably hold hands and braid each others hair if that did not come across as gay but then again, the things we girls get up to during a slumber party are our own secrets to bear. He may seem like public enema number one for a very long, long time but accepting that your man's nasty best friend is here for the long run is just another bullet we girls have to bite especially if the guy we're with is totally worth it.
When it comes to metrosexual matrimony, I couldn't help but wonder, why is it always bros before ho's?