| 03.24.2018

A vote for friendship – It”s time to set aside romance and let friendships, and the bromance, shine


Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, Kirk and Spock – these are some of the greatest love stories told in truth or fiction, and yet at no point was this love romantic. That is because the love felt was that of the bromance.

Women often openly compliment their female friends, constantly showering them with support and praise, calling them their “girlfriends” in public. Yet, with men, it seems as though the love felt between two guys is something to be hidden or embarrassed about.

Sam Balas

Men, when is the last time you told your guy friend that you love them, and truly meant it? It”s probably been awhile, and it”s unfortunate to live in a society where guys can”t express their care for each other for one reason or the other.

Yet, the bromance isn”t some new or strange concept. Jesus spoke to his disciples saying, “Dear friends, let us love one another.” Going even farther back, the story of Achilles and Patroclus has been celebrated for centuries. The concept of a male BFF has been going strong for centuries, and friendship in general has always been an integral part of human existence.

While Valentine”s Day is promoted and celebrated as a day to spend with a significant other or a romantic interest, it doesn”t have to be that way for everyone. The holiday can also be used as a means of celebrating platonic friendships.

What would we be without our dearest friends there to accompany us through life? Doesn”t that same love and affection warrant as much celebration as the guiding light of a romantic partner?

Especially when modern dating habits are so cold and disconnected. Most people today, especially college students, are scared of being vulnerable toward a romantic partner, choosing instead to open up solely to a select few friends.

Many celebrities have even recently put their hearts on the line by proclaiming their love for those close to them. For example, several years ago Terrell Owens, the famous Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, publicly became emotional and began crying after media personal were blaming quarterback Tony Romo for a devastating playoff loss. Despite being willing to show a great amount of vulnerability in defending a teammate, the media proceeded to then deride him for being a “cry baby.”

Fast forward a few years, and the future hall of fame running back Marshawn Lynch received criticism for refusing to answer media questions, instead deflecting said questions to his teammates. Reporters were angered because a professional football player refused to give into his personal ego and instead allowed his teammates the spotlight. That”s sad. It seems like our culture today celebrates arrogance and independence. Valentine”s Day in particular also sometimes brings out an unsavory part of contemporary culture – the societal pressure to couple up or enter a relationship.

Yet, the strongest friendships we often develop are with people who are willing to set aside personal ego and express strong emotions even when it seems unpopular. Maybe that”s what we should really be celebrating this Valentine”s Day – those in our lives who are willing to fight for us whether they are our closest lovers or simply our good friends.

Sam Balas can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu

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