Moises: Decoding bromance

BOB: Hi, Singlestalk.There’s this guy I got so close to back in college. Was it a bromance? We were inseparable from first year to third year. Until I had a girlfriend and she told me people were gossiping about us. They thought we were gay. It bothered me so much that I ghosted him. He reached out several times but I was a jerk. We joined the same firm after college. I was assigned to Manila for the first two years. Now I’m back in Cebu. I care about the guy. We both graduated with honors. I wouldn’t have earned that high of a GPA if not for his support and influence. He was diligent and acted as a good-natured tutor whenever I was academically challenged. Life was never the same after he was gone. I want us to be friends again. What should I do?

DJ: Why did the friendship even end in the first place? When you’re best friends with someone, you think that you’ll be friends for the rest of your lives. But you left him without warning. Ouch! Much worse than being ghosted by a love interest in my opinion. To think he reached out several times. Friends are supposed to be there for each other no matter what.

Healthy friendships are valuable to all people regardless of our sexual identity. Have you fully come to terms with what happened? A gay relationship is a gay relationship. A bromance is a very close relationship between two men. Somewhat akin to that of Adam Levine and Blake Shelton’s or Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s. Pretty much similar to what sisterhood is to women. It’s having a greater sense of trust compared to the usual friendships, allowing men to be emotionally vulnerable to one another. As close as brothers, even love each other but in a non-sexual way.

Unfortunately, a bromance is often misunderstood because of the way masculinity and femininity are constructed by society. Close male companionship became more taboo in the second half of the 20th century according to a research from the University of Winchester in England due to a rise in homophobic sentiments. Passionate friendships among guys are considered un-masculine.

I’m curious, though, whether your bromance was interfering with your relationship at that time. Did you ditch your girlfriend far too often to hang out with your bro? Did you take more selfies with him than with her? To be frank, was it a manufactured script to satisfy your romantic desires while keeping your masculinity intact? If ever there was already a lingering suspicion within you that you wanted to conceal or deny, I suggest that you process that first. Call it as it is. It’s not him. It’s also not the people around. It’s you.

If it was nothing more than an elevated trust and fulfillment with another guy, how comfortable are you being in this kind of friendship at this point in your life? It is okay for two guys to be joined at the hip and spend time together, goofing and supporting each other. Compared to women, we guys have fewer important friendship bonds. And if you’re now okay with the idea of having someone you can be yourself regardless of what other people think, start by telling him you’re sorry. Clearly state what you have done. Acknowledge and take responsibility for the offense. Show as well that you’re aware how your action impacted him. Then take it from there.

It takes a lot of courage to admit one’s mistake and to apologize for it. I wish you the best. A genuine relationship is good for a person’s mental health. Hopefully, you’ll win the friendship back. Being comfortable getting close with another man is a progressive step forward. What’s wrong with dudes connecting with other dudes? Women do that all the time!