By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
If movies such as "Wedding Crashers," "I Love You, Man" and "Superbad" are any indication, we're in the midst of a "bromance" revolution.
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As far as we can tell, a guy might be involved in a "bromance" if he goes on true man-dates and openly admits to "loving" his pal. We're not talking about sporting events or getting together for beers at the local pub. More along the lines of day trips to a museum, movie nights or even dinner together at a nice restaurant sans the ladies. While these types of outings are the norm among women, until recently, they were somewhat taboo for straight men.
Here's why you should not only accept, but encourage your man's bromance -- and how to deal with it if it starts driving you crazy. "Bromances are all the rage because it is increasingly OK for men to express their feelings for other men," says Dr. Geoffrey Greif, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and author of "Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships."
"Many social trends are making this possible, including the acceptance of gay marriage. We aren't quite there yet in terms of being 100 percent comfortable with men expressing feelings for each other outside the war zone or end zone, but we are getting closer," he added.
And the good news is that having close relationships with men is good for your Sig O's health. As Greif points out:
* Men with closer friends live longer healthier lives -- they're even more likely to start exercising.
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* Good friends watch out for your man. Just like your girlfriends have your back, his guy friends ideally have his.
* They help him stay engaged with the world by stimulating him intellectually and physically pushing him to try new things.
So how can you manage the boy beaus (including those you don't exactly love)?
"Keep your mouth shut and focus on the positives," says Greif. "No one wants their friends attacked. Only criticize the friend if danger is lurking or if there is risky behavior every time they get together."
Instead, Greif recommends asking your man what he likes about his friends, mentioning specifically the names of guys you like and don't like. This will provide some insight into what the attraction is and help you better understand and appreciate the "bromance."
And, as Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Romance), psychotherapist and author of "Money, Sex, and Kids: Stops Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage" points out, if you cultivate a good relationship with your guy's best pal, you'll have an ally who can be very useful -- not in a mischievous way, but in a caring way.
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"When your guy is obviously stressed out and won't talk about it, the bro can find out what's going on and let you know. Or, he can help you figure out how to get your guy to lose weight, or leave a job that's killing him, or to set limits with your mother-in-law. But this can only happen if you become friends with the bro yourself."
Does your man have a bromance? Are you cool with it or does it drive you crazy?
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