5 years ago, famous YouTuber nigahiga released a song all about this wonderful phenomenon, bromance. A blended term based off of the social understanding of romance – usually used to describe affection between heterosexual couples – and brother – in recent years, brother is no longer only used to refer to siblings, but also used as a term of address between especially close friends (usually male). Wikipedia defines it as a close, but platonic friendship between 2 guys.

not sure if they count as friends but just stay with me

According to the internet, this term emerged around the start of the 21st century, and gained popularity very quickly. Anecdotally, I would have to be in secondary school when I first heard of this term being used in my social circles. I will always remember when my Social Studies teacher – let’s call him Mr. X – walked into class and asked us what that word means in all curiosity, and I replied “you and Mr. Y lor“. For the record, Mr. X and Mr. Y were my definition of bromance back in the day – they were extremely close colleagues and friends, worked in the same department, sat next to each other in the staff room, and as long as they weren’t in lessons, where you find one you would more often than not find the other. (Even if you didn’t you could bet your money that they knew of each other’s whereabouts all the time.)

Hailing from an all-girls school, I don’t know what it looks like nor what bromance means for people who are my generation or around my age, other than what I’ve had seen in media or fanculture. AND THEN there comes the shipping wars too – as far as my knowledge goes, claiming two stereotypically males to be in a bromantic relationship meant that you don’t see them in a homoromantic/homosexual relationship, which may be what some fans like to believe in their own little alternate universes.

And it could just be me, but I wouldn’t go around claiming my dad or brother or boyfriend or any stereotypical guys I am close with to be in a bromantic relationship with anyone else either – it is just so peculiar and stalker-ish, for lack of a better word. One thing’s for sure though, whoever thought of the word bromance extended #friendshipgoals beyond just between close (stereotypically female) friends to males who can now describe their love and affection for ‘his brother from another mother’, even if they don’t say or admit it. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, by the way.

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