(Pal)entine's Day

“We’re going to hold hands during this if that’s okay with you.”

If there was a photo in the dictionary next to the term “bromance” (or if that word was in the dictionary at all) you would likely find one of Chris Williams and Stephen Barmore, two juniors on the Yale football team, sitting next to each other on the couch in their common room eating Sweet Chili Doritos and watching Family Guy. These guy are rarely apart. Between being on the same team, living in the same suite and being in the same fraternity, Chris and Stephen spend nearly all of their time together. Plain and simple, these two are inseparable. They are a reminder of how friendship can be so special, and because of this, Her Campus wanted to get to know the “bros” in this legendary bromance a little bit better.

First impressions can be tough, and Chris and Stephen let HC in on the fact that they weren’t each other’s biggest fans on Day One.

Chris: Well we’re both football players so we showed up for the same official visit back in January of our senior years of high school. My first impression of Stephen was that he was kind of standoffish and I wasn’t sure if I liked him very much.

Stephen: My first impression of Chris was that he was a mime because he didn’t talk to anybody and he was one of three people who didn’t drink on the official visit and he kind of just sat in the corner the whole time…

Chris: …Yeah I still kind of do that…

Stephen: Yeah he still does that. So I often forget that’s where we first met because I don’t really remember meeting him because he didn’t really talk to me.

Luckily, the for these two, the second time was the charm.

Stephen: Summer going into our freshman years we reported here a month early [for football training] and we roomed together and really hit it off. We had some really good conversations late at night, especially about adjusting to life as a college athlete. And ever since we’ve been best friends.

Chris: Best friends! Inseparable! Attached at the hip! Make sure that’s in there.

So what now? Ever since those days of grueling football training in the summer of 2014, these two have developed such an appreciation for one another. When they were asked to describe each other in three words, Stephen said that Chris is “loving, compassionate and intelligent” and Chris described Stephen as “driven, witty and kind.” But HC wanted them to delve deeper. And deep is what we got.

Chris: He gives me a different perspective on life.

Stephen: I would echo that. I grew up in a very homogenous community so hearing what Chris has to say about things is a very helpful tool for me. And additionally if I ever need someone to help me to be myself and forget about everything else going on in my life, Chris is my guy.

Chris: Also I can just goof off and laugh with Stephen any time. No matter what…And let’s put it this way: If someone asked me, ‘Yo, who is Stephen Barmore?’ I’d say that’s my best friend for life, the future best man at my wedding, someone whose family has been great to me and who I consider an extension of my family, and someone that will put me before himself sometimes. Not always, but sometimes.

Stephen: I grew up in a house with only two sisters. I’ve never had a brother, but I’d say that I do now – that I have had a brother for the past 3 years. If I ever need something or need to talk to someone, I can go to Chris for help. He’s the person I always go to, he’ll be the best man at my wedding, my best friend for life, all that. He’s just very, very important to me.

Like all friends they have their differences, but the way in which they approach their differences is why they seem to have such a special relationship.

Stephen: We fall on two separate sides of the political spectrum, but I think we both accept each other’s positions as a product of the environments we grew up in. So it’s not as much that we disagree as much as it’s that we’ve had dissimilar experiences growing up and therefore different outlooks on life. And we have different levels of religiosity. And music.

Chris: Oh my GOD, music.

Stephen: My dude thinks Demi Lovato is better than Borns. It is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

Chris: That is 100% true.

Stephen: The past election made things a little shaky.

Chris: Especially with everything going on around campus and on the news, it sparked some feelings but we talked it out like grown men.

Stephen: Like grown ass men. [We’re good at communicating] when Chris want to bring [issues] up because Chris is very anti-confrontational and sometimes I can tell that things are bothering him and he won’t tell me what’s bothering him but when we’re actually able to talk about stuff we have very good communication.

And don’t worry, they still annoy each other just like in any relationship.

Stephen: The most annoying thing that Chris does is he will tell me that he has to tell me something and make it seem like a huge deal and then when he actually tells me it ends up being this minute thing that he could’ve just told me when he first brought it up so I’ll sometimes spend a while in anticipation waiting for him to tell me something and --

Chris: He’s too good looking!

Stephen: Oh SHUT UP.

Chris: Um…

Stephen: It’s probably that I don’t take out the trash.

Chris: Oh! Yes. You being messy. That is the most annoying thing. I won’t even deny that. But I still love you.

Stephen: I love you too brother.

And, of course, they definitely know how to roast each other.

Stephen: If I could change one thing about Chris I would give him two inches. Do you know how embarrassing it is to tell people your 6’ when you’re only 5’11”?

Chris: Yeah brother? Wow. Wow. Well if I could change one thing about Steve I would change his metabolism because I know he’s very self-conscious about his stomach and his abs.

To end the interview, HC asked Stephen and Chris to tell each other what they would want to say if they knew this was the last time they’d see each other for a long time. We might have shed a tear.

Stephen: I don’t know what I would do without you in my life. I am beyond thankful to have met you even though it came under some unlikely circumstances. It’s truly been a blessing to call you my best friend.

Chris: I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that we were both brought to Yale for a reason and both stuck in a room together freshmen year for a reason and I think this is a relationship that will last for life, and if anything ever happens and even if we’re 100 miles apart you can always call me and I’ll be there for you.