Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. “Bromances” can be a thing of beauty.
Here at Huff/Post 50 we couldn't help but notice that while female friendships and “girlfriends” are often celebrated, it's the unique bond between long-term male friends that is sometimes forgotten. Male friendships are about so much more than just sharing pastimes. To many men, their friends are like brothers … always there through thick and thin.
“In the late '80s, we all met during law school. We studied together throughout school and for the bar exam. Since graduating, weve remained very close friends, experiencing new jobs, opening of law firms, weddings, births of children, childrens milestones, professional milestones, divorce and death of parents. Now that weve all reached 50 our bond has grown stronger, especially during difficult personal times. In 2013, I went through a divorce and in 2014 my father died. Through it all Ive had the support of my friends. We all anticipate that these friendships and trust will only continue to grow as we grow older.” — Arthur Hernandez
We always refer to each other with the formal title of Brother, leading some outsiders to conclude that we must be members of a wacko religious sect. Lou is proud of his Italian heritage, while I am ethnically ambiguous. Lou is a ‘big picture thinker,' while I'm detail-oriented. Lou personifies the word ‘gregarious,' while I'm circumspect and serious. Lou is a verbal communicator and I'm a writer. Our friendship has persisted to some extent because of these differences: disparities of personality, life history and outlook that are fodder for constant teasing. Lou is the one friend who can consistently make me laugh at life's occasional absurdities. — Brent Green
“Weve known each other since we were schoolboys in Kenya. Our families have known each other for generations. In the 70s, we both got married and became next door neighbors. Ever since then weve been the closest friends. We used to vacation together, go to the cottages and have weekly barbecues.
“A few years later, both our families decided to move to Canada and soon we were both living in Toronto. They were a great support when we first moved here. They didnt have family here and neither did we, so we became one. We continued the same activities in Canada as we did back in Kenya.
“Hes my oldest friend. Common interests, or common thinking, my wife says, have kept us close. We have a great understanding. Our families are very similar, simple and down-to-earth. Theyre always welcome here and were always welcome there.” — Iqbal
Although we are now scattered around the country, for the last 17 years, the four of us meet annually for a long weekend in a different city. We laugh and console each other, catch up with each others lives, joys disappointments and dreams. We attend a baseball game, sightsee, tell the same old stories and stupid jokes and by the end of the weekend were usually sick of each other until the next year. Of course we get together on other occasions weddings, family vacations and so forth, but we especially look forward to ‘Boys Weekend' each year when we turn back the clock and revert to our high school personas. — Dave Ogimachi
My bromance is four male friends who met in the 1980s in Boston as college students in our 20s. This bonding led to decades of friendship across the usual patterns of lives — Thanksgiving dinners, New Years Eves, weddings, divorces, births of children, funerals of parents and major birthdays.
“Why has our friendship stood the test of time? Theres a fusion of nostalgia for the past and creating new memories There are phone calls to investigate and ruminate and support each other through life. There are group texts of chatter about nothing more than a photograph or a funny anecdote or commiserating about politics. Lifelong friendship is about only that: unconditional friendliness, mutual accord, complete affection, devotion, solidarity, harmony, good will, benevolence and empathy. — David Biespiel
“Phil and I posed together for our first day of kindergarten. We were inseparable through 8th grade. We would play baseball, football, basketball and hang out together at each other's houses almost every weekend.
“In so many ways, we are very different people. But, in the end, Phil gets me like no one else. When my ex-wife and I sadly decided to call it quits after an 18-year marriage, Phil was the first person I called. That's because Phil has been looking after me ever since he smiled at me, in my playpen, 56 years ago. Who else am I gonna call?” — Jack Anderson
Doug and I have known each other since our blue collar days building limos. We started out having a mutual interest in music, cars and then motorcycles. We were even neighbors for a short time. Over the years our paths have rarely been parallel, but Ive taken the responsibility of keeping in touch, and Doug has assumed the responsibility of apologizing for not doing the same! Hes been divorced with kids, and now Im doing the same, so he has become a ‘mentor' of sorts. Our friendship has persevered because were consistent in caring about each others well-being and the well-being of each others families. — Jim Cox
Fifteen years ago I suffered an inconceivable tragedy. I wasn't in a relationship at the time, so when I received a phone call that my youngest son Jessie had died, I knew Tony's was the only number I needed to dial. Tony stayed with me for a week. He slept on my couch and did what he could to comfort me. I can't imagine how I would have survived that nightmare without Tony's support.
“Years later when Tony's long-term partner left him he was inconsolable. And just as Tony had never limited the amount of time I needed his help to heal, I listened to him with unlimited compassion and patience. We know what it means to be best friends, and we never forget.
“Our best friendship is built on openness, honesty, and compassion, and never offering each other unsolicited advice. Our dialogue lacks ego, it's not judgmental or opinionated, and we talk about everything no matter how painful. — Ken Solin
There are acquaintances, friends, close friends and then best friends. Karl is my best friend. We first met playing soccer as little kids. In high school we became best friends. He saw me through ups and downs, through two divorces, through good times and bad. The night my father died five years ago, the first phone call I made was to him…and he was there to see me through it, every painful step of the way. How do you define a best friend? One simple word: love. — Ron Rogers
“My father talked of many friends, like Frankie, Dinky, Danky, and Applehead. But when he was on his deathbed, Charlie was the one to whom he directed his dying wish: ‘Please promise me youll take care of Mimi.' Mimi was my mother, Marianne.
“Charlie was the first person outside of the family that I saw in the hospital when I stood by my fathers bed, as he lay with eyes half-open, heart still.
“Almost five years have passed since my fathers death. I try to call my mother weekly to hear how she is doing. I hear about Charlie and her going golfing, attendingbirthday parties, winning the Veterans Club lottery and splitting the money. I recently asked her how Charlie and my father met. She answered, ‘Charlie was always getting in fights because he was always sticking by his friends no matter what. Even if he was smaller than the other guy, he still fought them, if it was for his friends. He was like thatloyal.'” — Andrea Tate, Anthony's daughter
** Some responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.