There’s an emerging trend developing on the wedding circuit that is surreptitiously gathering momentum – that of the Best Man buying a gift for the Groom. Whilst not traditional, or as yet ubiquitous, ‘Groom Gifting’ is becoming increasingly common, as friends seek to cement their friendship with an exchange of gifts.
So, what’s driving this new wave of bromance? Are post-metrosexual men more comfortable in their own masculinity, or is it down to cynical marketing gimmicks, courtesy of wedding-industry innovators.
Ironically enough, according to sociologist Dr. Michael Kimmel — the author of Guyland, a study of young-male friendships — the delay of marriage has in part been responsible for strengthening male relationships. Whilst gents from a previous generation might have dedicated more time and money to raising families, the modern man has had the opportunity to enjoy a larger disposable income to spend on time with friends.
Bromann says: “Compared to mothers of previous generations, the mothers of Male-ennials (men of the new millennium) instilled values of open communication within their children from a young age. Many Male-ennials were raised by mothers who came of age during the height of the second wave of feminism, and certainly were influenced as mothers by the zeitgeist of their formative years. Contrary to the parenting they received, these mothers encouraged their sons to express themselves, rather than bottling their emotions.”
Add in to this social melting pot a greater tolerance of sexual orientation and it goes a long way to explaining why men are increasingly comfortable to outwardly recognise male-male friendship without reprise. According to findings from research agency Gallup, men, and more specifically young men, have overtaken women in agreeing that gay relations are morally acceptable. In a long standing tracking survey in to values and beliefs, they report the proportion of adults agreeing that gay relations are morally acceptable has increased 22 points over 10 years amongst those aged 18 – 24. Most interesting was the revelation that more men than women said they considered gay relationships to be acceptable.
It would seem that this generation of men are more at ease with themselves and the relationships they have with each other than ever before. Expect to see an increase not only in ‘Groom Gifting’ therefore, but also in ‘Man Gifting’ as the 21st-century man displays comfort in his new emotional identity.