The Male Friendship Recession

Male Friendship

Although it definitely resonates with me, I’d never heard of the term ‘male friendship recession‘ until recently. Now I’m seeing it everywhere. And it turns out that it’s been around for at least a couple of years.

I had assumed that my own relative lack of close friends was due to having moved country twice in the last decade. And as I’ve got older, making new friends has just become less easy. Or I’ve put less effort into it. Whatever – the fact is that my circle of male friends that I hang out with has got smaller and smaller over time. But I’m far from alone in this.

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Men’s Groups

Remarkable Men's Groups

I’ve been in a men’s group since November 2018, meeting with seven (recently it became eight) other guys and the facilitator every other week, and it has literally changed my life because it’s opened me up to a whole other world of possibilities. It set me on a journey to finally, in my mid-to-late 50s, figure out and get in touch with who I am.

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Mates – who needs them?

Mates enjoy a beer

In a recent issue of the Guardian an article appeared with this tagline:

“Some things get easier with age. The intensity of my friendships and the emotionally sharing nature of them has deepened.”

If only that were true for all men. Particularly when we get into middle age and the balance of life starts to shift from infinite potential and novelty to mortality and loss, that’s when close friendships become all the more important. But sadly, as the article goes on to explain, male friendships tend to dwindle in number as we age and often don’t involve that kind of emotional sharing.

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