Chances are you haven’t had a lifelong bromance. Don’t feel bad about that. I can think of only one example, and that’s in the tight-knit circle of celebrities. Remember that bromances aren’t built to last the way family ties and marriages are. It’s easy to get into and out of a bromance, but you don’t get to choose your family, and it’s much harder to find a life mate. Or divorce one.
So what happens as we navigate our lives?
At the beginning, young boys don’t really have bromances. They get together with classmates and with neighborhood kids because they both like playing the same kids’ games. That’s not a bad thing, obviously. It’s just all they need, emotionally, at that age.
The time when bromances flourish the most is usually from the mid-teens through the twenties. At that age, a dude’s friendships help him establish his identity as an adult, and what he values most in life. It’s also an age where people have more spare time to spend with friends, at least more than older guys do. Being in college helps a lot with all this, because everyone is living fairly close together and partying together.
Then it all falls apart.
Okay, it’s not hopeless, but finding and maintaining a bromance gets much harder once you hit middle age. For one thing – even if you don’t have to worry about setting aside a lot of time for your spouse, your kids, or your aging parents – most of your bros, and potential bros of the same age, will have these obligations and start neglecting their friendships. Second, many or most of your bros from school will now be living hundreds or thousands of miles away. You can keep them on your Facebook feed, but it’s obviously not the same.
Finally, things can pick up again after you retire and any kids you’ve had have become adults. You get more time for golf, of course, but many older guys go back and reconnect with longtime friends, too.
What can you take away from all this, regardless of your age right now? Probably your best bet is to be flexible when it comes to bromances. Don’t hesitate to try to make new ones, but at the same time, don’t lose touch with your bros from the past. There’s nothing wrong with having friendly acquaintances in addition to your closest bros.
-The Blog Dude