For those unfamiliar with the term, Wikipedia provides this:
A bromance or "man-crush" is a close but non-sexual relationship between two men.
Enlightening I know, but this post will focus on the man-time aspect of bromance, when men spend time with each other in the often misunderstood "guys night out" or similar events. Your Brothers-in-Christ often need some time with the guys and I hope to provide a few suggestions as to why.
Girls are much more in tune with their emotions, and are able to talk through things with their girlfriends and spend time catching up.
As noted by previous MAN-day contributors, a lot of the time guys don't want to talk, or we're disinclined to have DMCs and sit in a café, sharing our feelings. Although some guys do do that.
The majority of male bonding (from my experience) is usually through participation in an activity.
Video games. Sports. Going out for a drink. Having a jam session. Going to the beach. Gymming.
Although these seem trivial, they do create an opportunity for bromance without the compromise on our culturally-defined masculinity. Catching up while participating in an activity avoids all the awkward silence and provides an ideal excuse to avoid suspicion.
Firstly, a man-date provides the opportunity for the dispensing of advice. In this day and age advice is only a few mouse clicks away, but there's no comparison to hearing some words of wisdom from a man you respect and someone who personally influences your life.
Proverbs 27:17 says "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" and there is great truth in that. Whether it's from an older figure such as a father, uncle or mentor who's been there and done that, or from a peer going through the same thing, there is comfort in fellowship.
A man-date also provides the ideal framework for accountability. Meeting up regularly with brothers-in-Christ helps us deal with our struggles together, keeping focused and being encouraged on an ongoing basis. As we continue to grow we need to keep each other sharp.
Finally, man-dates provide an outlet for the alleviation of stress. Sometimes all we need is a few hours unwinding, just mindless relaxation to take our minds off of things either by shooting hoops or shooting aliens. Even if we don't get deep in our conversations, or if we don't approach anything close to it, there's always the fact that we're spending time together which helps with the growth into brotherhood.
There's much much more to the wonderful world of bromance, but for now I leave you with this small insight. Next time your brothers-in-Christ have a guys night in with Gears of War 2, maybe it isn't just about the crisp graphics or superb gameplay; maybe they just need some man-time.