A social engagement between two heterosexual men, particularly one that occurs in a setting other than a traditionally masculine venue such as a bar or live sporting event. Also: man-date.
It's not just women. Even Hollywood's A-list have their best buds. Look at Jake Gyllenhaal and Matthew McConaughey. ... Matt and Jake are a perfect example of the new trend in male relationships. It's been called man date, or the gro-man. As opposed to go-man.
—Judy Kuriansky, "Showbiz Tonight," CNN, January 16, 2007
Talk to people. Don't lower your standards, but open your mind to different "types" of straight guy. The guy next to you on the bus may be groomed and welldressed, but that doesn't make him gay. Are you good at sharing? Maybe he's bi. Or he might be metrosexual, or just on a heterosexual man-date.
—K. Shea O'rourke, "A hetero manhunt at NYU," Washington Square News, February 1, 2007
Anyone who finds a date with a potential romantic partner to be a minefield of unspoken rules should consider the man date, a rendezvous between two straight men that is even more socially perilous.
Simply defined a man date is two heterosexual men socializing without the crutch of business or sports. It is two guys meeting for the kind of outing a straight man might reasonably arrange with a woman. Dining together across a table without the aid of a television is a man date; eating at a bar is not. Taking a walk in the park together is a man date; going for a jog is not. Attending the movie ''Friday Night Lights'' is a man date, but going to see the Jets play is definitely not.
''Sideways,'' the Oscar-winning film about two buddies touring the central California wine country on the eve of the wedding of one of them, is one long and boozy man date.
—Jennifer 8. Lee, "What do you call two straight men having dinner?," The New York Times, April 10, 2005
A strong friendship between two hetero men has been called a bromance (or bro-mance). Here's the earliest citation:
Since punk-rock bands Hot Water Music and The Bouncing Souls first toured in the summer of 2000, they have embraced each other emotionally, musically and idealistically. Their current tour, titled the "True Bromance Tour," has members of each band on stage with one another — with The Bouncing Souls playing Hot Water Music songs and Hot Water Music doing the same with The Bouncing Souls songs. There's shameless hugging, wrestling and a general fraternal bond that is truly a sight to see.
—Kevin Hopper, "Bands double impact with joint appearance," Albuquerque Journal, February 13, 2004