Platonic-friendships

Should You Encourage Your Partners Bromance?

The bromance is a weird phenomenon isn’t it? It’s basically when heterosexual men have a platonic affair with a male friend. They chat on the phone like teenage girls, get excited about seeing each other and being able to spend time together. Plus some get pretty physical like play fighting, wrestling, slapping butts, hugging and kissing. It can be a lot like dating except your partner has another man not a women and there’s nothing sexual about it. I did say it was weird! The question is though should women encourage their partners bromance?

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Now having witnessed a few in action, elements of intimate relationships are present. They have highs and lows and peaks and valleys and sometimes there’s arguments or even fights. There are positive bromances which are supportive, but also negative ones which can potentially cause your relationship harm. So as you’ll read, not all bromances are created equal.

The positive bromance

These bromances are great and should be encouraged. Together men enjoy playing sport or watching a game, jamming, fixing things, hanging out, helping each other and will provide mutual support. In fact they maintain good mental and physical healthy. Plus if it makes him happy, it will be good for you in the long run.

When it comes to lifestyle, it can be tricky to have a positive bromance if one has a partner and the other doesn’t. Regardless of how well they get along or try to include you, it can lead to relationship issues between the two of you.

If your partner has a bromance with a single friend you’ll need to look at the individuals and the situation. If the friend respects you, your relationship and doesn’t encourage your partner to push boundaries, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Just because the other man is single doesn’t necessarily make him a bad influence.

Encourage the friendship by giving your partner the freedom to enjoy it. Men need to have good friends to discuss their problems and relationships with just like women do. If you find he is spending all of his free time with his friend, establish some boundaries about getting alone time together. If they have a partner or kids, encourage the families to mingle.

The negative bromance

When the bromance is negative, the two men just aren’t good for each other. They may drink too much together, gamble or engage in other behaviours that lead to relationship problems. This will often lead to altercations between the two of them as well. If your partner has continuous problems within the friendship, it’s usually a negative bromance.

Other signs can include if the friend disrespects you, treats you as an inconvenience, wants to spend all their time alone with your partner regardless of set boundaries, or encourages them to cheat on you.

They would like nothing more than to see the two of you split up so they can have your partner all to themselves. Their motives aren’t what good friends wish for each other and are purely selfish. Your partner may not see the friendship for what it is so you have two choices.

The first is to discourage the bromance. Your partner may be unaware of what’s going on and want to continue the friendship, so be aware of opposition. You’ll likely be seen as the bitch for not letting them spend time together. This has the potential to make it stronger and prolong the inevitable, so tread carefully.

The second option is to let the relationship run its course. Explain that you’re not keen on this person but understand your partners need for friendship. You never know, this person may have entered your partners life to teach them something, as negative experiences often do. Don’t encourage the bromance, but don’t discourage it by denying the friendship. Everyone deserves the right to make their own decisions even if they turn out to be mistakes.

After a time your partner will likely become bored, frustrated or aggravated with a negative bromance. This is when they generally end as abruptly as they begin. Be available when they experience the disappointment of their friendship not working out and treasure your time alone together until the next one comes along, as they often do.

Image demotivationalposters.org

February 19, 2015

Is Friendship A Higher Form Of Love?

It’s been said that friendship is a higher form of love than romantic attachments; in its purest form, platonic friendship is unconditional love, unhampered by the complications of sex or monetary arrangements.

And long-term female friendships, in all their complex glory, can be extremely rewarding and joyful when they work –like the glue that holds you together.

RELATED: Friends Are Like Lovers – Minus The Smarts And Looks

Conversely, when they fall apart, a best friend break-up can be extremely gutting and heartbreaking – indeed almost as painful as a divorce between opposite sexes (or so I imagine).

Arguably no other TV show before groundbreaking 90s’ hit Sex and the City (pictured) came even close to demonstrating this depth and complexity of female friendships.

Of course, the much-loved TV hit which so beautifully chartered neurotic sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw’s loves, friendships and shoe fetishes in New York, did glorify female friendships. You so related to Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda’s many wondrous highs and lows in love, sex and careers that you felt like you knew them, or indeed that they became a part of you.

But SATC’s genius was also in its ability to reflect the real-life dark side of female friendships as well: the toxic, soul-destroying friendships which crush your spirit.

BFFs, female friendships, Sex and the City
Like most of us, I’ve experienced both the highs and lows of female friendships, but am happy to say my BFF and I have been firm friends for almost 20 years. Our 20th friendship anniversary in 2015 will no doubt be marked with more than a few wines and much happy reminiscing.

We met at a local newspaper and it was so long ago, I can’t even recall how our friendship first developed, only that we quickly became immersed in each other’s lives and barely ever went a day without speaking.

Jen is six years older than me, but our birth dates are a day apart, and somehow – despite our emotional, fiery Gemini temperaments – we’ve remained loyal, honest and trusted friends through thick and thin; BFFs despite many highs and lows and both lengthy interstate and overseas adventures apart.

Aside from one dark and thankfully short-lived period, years ago, when we were at war over something stupid (I forget what), Jen has always been my best confidante. She lifts my spirits and makes me laugh like no other and I’ve come to rely on her brutal honesty and amazing strength.

She’s at once tough as a CEO and soft as a marshmallow and an amazingly accomplished career woman and mother of three. Just like a sister from another mother, she is the one person whom I’ll really listen to at times, one of the few people I can always rely on for sane advice, wise counsel and tough love, if I need it.

Many men have come and gone in our lives, until we both, purely coincidentally, met and married men both called Marty! And prior to that, when I was single and despairing that I’d never have a baby, let alone fall in love with the right kind of man, Jen was always there saying: “I know you will. Keep the faith, sister,” and so I always did.

When I had also lost faith and confidence in my career at one stage, she was also instrumental in giving me the boost I needed to apply – and get – that shit-hot job in my 20s.

We’ve joyfully danced at each other’s weddings (see below); grieved each other’s losses; ecstatically celebrated each other’s career wins and toasted champagne following each other’s safe and healthy childbirths.

There’s no high or low I haven’t experienced with my BFF and I hope we are fortunate enough to grow old together.

What’s the secret to a great, long-lasting friendship? I’m no expert, but brutal honesty and unconditional love goes a long way, I reckon, as in our case: knowing someone inside out, warts and all, and still wanting to hang out with them all the time anyway.

What do you think? Is your BFF one of the most important people in your life too?

Images via www.episodegenerator.com and geniusquotes.org.

BFFs, female friendships, Sex and the City

January 7, 2015