Adult male friendships are incredibly important. They can improve your sense of connection, combat feelings of isolation, and can even improve your mental and physical well-being.
But, have you ever felt like it’s difficult to have solid, meaningful friendships with other guys as an adult? When you were younger, it was probably effortless to make friends. But, think about the situations you were in. Things like school, sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities automatically put you in circles of like-minded people, so it was easier to develop friendships.
As an adult, you might be busy with work or raising a family. It doesn’t always seem as easy to develop quality friendships. But, that doesn’t make them any less important.
So, what can you do to overcome life’s obstacles and foster solid male friendships? How can you improve your life, fight back against loneliness, and develop relationships that will last a lifetime? Let’s talk about some of those common obstacles and how you can tackle them.
Finding Common Ground
If you’re not in school anymore, you might find it hard to develop friendships with other men based on your interests. But, there are no rules that suggest you can’t still join groups or clubs to fuel your hobbies. There are groups out there for just about every type of interest, including:
- The outdoors
Consider your interests and how you might like to share those hobbies with others. A quick local search might surprise you. Many chain hardware stores have classes that allow you to complete projects with others. Local music shops might offer group lessons. Or, consider joining a nature enthusiast group for camping trips or hiking adventures.
When you join things you’re already interested in, you’re more likely to meet people that share your views and ideals. It’s always easier to form friendships faster with others when you already have a built-in subject or two to talk about.
Take Advantage of Your School Situation
If you’re still in school, now is the time to take your friendships seriously. Joining school clubs, sports, and other activities are easy ways to form friendships and meet other guys who can potentially be friends for life.
Managing your mental health while in college is extremely important and not something enough students (especially men) give attention to. So, while you shouldn’t stretch yourself too thin with activities, it can be helpful to know you have friends you can lean on and talk to through the groups you’re involved in.
If you want to make the most of your male friendships, you might have to make some personal decisions and changes, including:
- Choosing to be more vulnerable
- Accepting your desire for intimacy through friendships
- Asking more questions
Masculinity and vulnerability can (and should) go hand-in-hand. Be open with the friends you have now, so you can hang on to those relationships long after you graduate. Don’t become a victim of toxic masculinity and close yourself and your feelings off. Far too many men lose touch with the guys they were close to in school because they don’t want to come across as weak or vulnerable. But, letting your friends know how important they are will strengthen your bond, and can open the door for them to be honest about their feelings, too.
Change Your Scene
Sometimes, the greatest obstacle to developing adult male friendships could be your mindset. Maybe you feel “stuck” or uninspired. Maybe you’re even dealing with some mental health issues like depression.
Consider changing your environment and hitting the proverbial reset button.
One great way to do that is to travel more. There are countless benefits to traveling, including rediscovering your sense of self and boosting your spirituality. Travel can also:
- Reduce stress
- Allow you to recharge
- Boost your creativity
- Improve your physical health
It’s also a wonderful way to introduce yourself to new cultures, new environments, and new people. Traveling can give you a fresh perspective on the world, and open you up to meeting individuals either from other cultures, or other people who like to travel.
If you don’t want to go on any solo adventures, consider joining a traveling group. You could meet other men looking for the same things out of life, and you’ll have an easier time forming friendships with your new fellow adventurers. Plus, with things like social media, it’s easier than ever to remember your trips and stay connected with your new friends, no matter where they live.
Overcoming obstacles to developing adult male friendships isn’t impossible. But, it may require you to step out of your comfort zone from time to time. The good news? Doing so can open you up to meaningful friendships that can last a lifetime. As a man, those are the kinds of friendships that will add something to your life, and make it more fulfilling.