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We thought we went over this a few years ago with that New York Times "Man Date" article. But now the Seattle Times has taken it a step further with a trend piece dissecting the bromance - close friendships between hetero dudes.

From "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" to Good Will Hunting, popular culture is filled with examples of straight guy love. The sitcom Friends often crafted jokes around the ultratight nature of Joey and Chandler's relationship, and in the 2005 film Wedding Crashers, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson seemed to have something more like a tortured love affair than a friendship. But close male friendship isn't just a quirky television fantasy or a running gag in the movies. Real-life bromances are everywhere.

Um, okay! So basically, this article should have been titled "Breaking: Dudes Still Friends." The story points to a delay in major life milestones as the culprit behind these abounding male alliances. The average marrying age for a man is now 27, as opposed to 23 in 1960. And since guys are marrying later, more of them are living together to offset the financial hardships of subsisting on a single income, allowing bromances to flourish. The article cites one group of guys who are so close that their friends call them "Team Brokeback."

According to Peter Nardi, a sociologist at Pitzer College who specializes in male friendships, all these phrases are safer than they used to be because men are less afraid of being perceived as gay. It has become more acceptable for them to show some emotion. Al Gore and Bill Clinton hugged when they won the 1992 election and sports figures cry on camera when they're busted for steroids, Nardi pointed out.

So in other words, once men were no longer worried about being labeled gay, they were able to relax into the friendship and be straight with each other. And they say women are complicated?