Do you need male friends? Do you find it hard to make male friends who are just friends? Do you have more friends of the opposite sex than male friends? Are you interested in making the right male friends and not just your co-workers? Are you looking for information on male friend groups? If your answer is yes to any or all of these questions, this article is for you.
Hi. My name is Sean Galla, a facilitator for male friends groups like men support groups, men’s forums, and men’s groups. In my line of work, I create a platform where men can meet other men in a safe environment that allows them to nurture platonic friendships. I have seen firsthand how important it is for every man to have male friends. If you are interested in understanding male friendships, this article is for you.
This article will learn everything you need to know about making male friends and male friends groups.
Table of Contents:
What are Male Friends?
When it comes to platonic relationships, most men have a hard time really understanding the actual meaning of having male friends. Simply put, male friends are guy friends with whom you share a mostly platonic friendship instead of a romantic association. If you have one or a few guy friends, they can be termed as your male friends.
Male friends share a sense of camaraderie in little things. They often spend time in a group setup where they share, learn and explore together. They have a deep level of connection that is different from what is found in a romantic relationship. Sometimes, male friends have an unspoken or spoken commitment to one another, including being there for each other emotionally. Close male friendships accommodate and encourage vulnerability around one other.
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Why Men Need to Connect With Male Friends
For most men, it becomes harder to build or maintain long-term friendships with other men. This is why most men keep more female friends. Emotional isolation is one of the leading causes of smoking, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, high blood pressure, tumors, and other neurodegenerative behaviors.
From a young age, making friends as a young man comes more naturally. However, as boys grow older, especially in high school, fear takes over and affects their effortless ability to make male friends. When a man gets too late in adolescence, most young men lose their close friends because being part of a group of guy friends is believed to be gay, girly, or immature.
At this stage, young men start to focus more on ensuring they do not send out the wrong ideas about who they are instead of making lasting male friendships and spending time with their friends, which often causes them to let go of their closest friendships.
When young men ignore the need for male friends, it often leads to a generation of emotionally stoic, autonomous, and isolated adult males with personal issues. These men try to live up to societal expectations and beliefs of what a man is and how a male friendship should look like. Men have been programmed to believe that they are not allowed to be vulnerable, show emotions, or allow people to get too close to them. This forces them to lead a lonely life.
While some men can have tons of guy friends, others have a hard time making friends in general. As a man gets older, you tend to retain a few male friends with hardly the chance to make new ones. Yet, according to research, men still crave intimacy in friendships, just as women do. Not having close friendships is not advisable as it leads to prolonged loneliness, which affects a man’s emotions, cognition, health, and behavior. Lack of a close-knit group of male friends or even a best friend causes physiological aging in men.
Loneliness is one of the greatest threats to men’s health. Most men have a hard time admitting that they are lonely or need more male friends because growing up, most men were never taught the importance of having a close group of male friends. According to scientific research, loneliness can trigger signal hormones and molecules that dictate human behavior, lasting effects on men’s mental health.
How to Make Male Friends
When you finally find that perfect male friendship or Bromance, you enjoy emotional intimacy that is not necessarily romantic. Contrary to popular opinion, straight men can share a deep platonic emotional intimacy where they get together for shared experiences, offer emotional support, respect each other’s virtues, values, and qualities. Having such a friendship is invaluable.
If you have a hard time making and keep male friends who are just friends, it is still possible to get it right next time. Here is how to make new friends that will become your best friend.
Be ready to open up
One of the reasons you probably lost your old friends is that you were unwilling to open yourself up. It is only possible to form a bond with other people if there is a connection, mostly shared ideas or experiences. While you do not need to start pouring your heart out the first time you meet new friends, you should be willing to go deeper in your emotional connection with time.
Going beyond small talk can be scary, so most men only keep casual beer and football friends. However, once you allow yourself to be open about your deepest thoughts and feelings, you allow other men to do the same around you, which is what real friendships are built on.
Encourage and listen
Once you start to open up freely, it is easy to get carried away and make a friendship one-sided. True friendship is also about listening and encouraging your circle of friends even as you seek support for your issues. A genuine male friendship should be built on mutual support and active listening while taking time to understand and offer a solution.
Do fun things together.
If you want to build a lasting bond between you and your new best friend or friends, you need to have shared interests. Doing things you like with other men is one of the best ways to build a shoulder-to-shoulder friendship, which is common amongst men. Whether it is hiking, watching sports, playing video games, or just spending time in a circle talking and having a beer, you need to find things you have in common with your new friends.
Learn how to share platonic touch
Physical contact amongst straight men is one of the most difficult topics and things to do. It is only allowed when in a field for sports or at the gym and shunned in open space since it is seen as a gay men thing. Most men are subconsciously afraid of physical contact with other men because they have been conditioned to relate physical touch to romance or sexual connections.
While you do not have to walk around town hand in hand, being able to develop a platonic touch with your male friends strengthens your bond and reinforces a friendship.
Remain proactive in keeping the friendship
Most men lose their closest friends and old friends because they do not actively maintain friendships. For a friendship to last, you need to make an effort to meet face-to-face and connect with good friends. Also, recognize when your friends are making an effort and appreciate their willingness to keep the friendship going. Be open to talking about different issues, including the very personal ones. Sometimes all you need a listening ear from a male friend to feel better.
Where to Make Male Friends
Fraternal are the perfect places to make a close friend since they provide the ideal platform to make new male friends without worrying about romantic feelings. You meet people who share common ideas, the same sense of responsibility and tradition, and a focus on self-growth.
If you are a sports lover, joining a sports team can be the best way to make new male friends amongst your teammates as you share an activity you all enjoy. Most cities and towns have men’s clubs you can join for some man competition. Being part of a sports group also helps you stay in shape as you feed your man spirit and create lifetime bonds with other males.
Male friends groups
Sometimes, the easiest way to make male friends is by joining a male friends group on social media or online. Joining a men’s group ensures you build friendships that meet your needs from the start. Male friend groups ensure you meet like-minded men who share your interests, ideas, and plans. Some of the best groups include:
Guy Burstein is a self-help forum that encourages healing, growth, and transformation. It is specifically created for men who want to achieve a higher sense of self-awareness and anyone looking to cultivate better personal male relationships.
This benefit corporation brings together men from all walks of life to a space where they can freely exercise their emotions to lead a fulfilling and successful life. Everyman uses life-coaching, events, and retreats as part of their service delivery to allow men to be themselves in a natural habitat.
Men’s Group is a men’s support group where men can acquire skills by learning how to remain dedicated and disciplined. This is a space where young men can harness their full potential through learning leadership, emotional intelligence, integrity, and accountability.
Since it is an online-based male friends group, you can join a meeting from the comfort of your home or office. Mensgroup ensures regular meetings online to ensure men can get the support they need at any time, whether in New York or London, especially after the pandemic last year.
If you are interested in making guy friends, it’s time to put in the work to cultivate the friendship and make it what you and your new best friend want it to be. Join a fraternity or a men’s group to increase your chances of making new male friends. Mensgroup is one of the best places to make friends with whom you share common interests, goals, and ideas.
*Sources: 1. Men and Friendship: An Exploration of Male Perceptions of Samesex Friendships 2. Male and female friendships are maintained by different psychological dynamics, study finds 3. The Challenges and Rewards of Male-on-Male Friendship 4. Why strong friendships are key to men's mental health 5. Why Friends Make Us Happier, Healthier People