Explained: Why Men Have a Harder Time Making Friends

The Huffington post:

In my college course on the science of well-being, I devote at least three classes to what psychologists have learned about nourishing healthy relationships. Ask school children who their friends are and many list last names close to them in the alphabet. Why? Because most friendships are determined by seating charts. Schools shove future friends in your face. During the innocence of youth, proximity alone is grounds for liking someone. But things change dramatically as we get older, especially for men. Open-mindedness takes a hit. What other people think of us and where we stand in the social hierarchy is of epic importance. But there’s something else that makes it hard to make friends, something insidious that few people talk about.

When men hit their 30s, many cling to their high school and college friends. And if these don’t last, men have a hard time forming new friendships. I’m not talking about work-out partners and neighbors you pound a few beers with while ribs are grilling, I’m talking about confidants. People who you are willing to share your innermost self to because you feel it will be valued and accepted (regardless of what evils lurk there). Women are fantastic at cultivating these relationships. Women spend substantial time and energy to creating intimate relationships, safe havens and people that care about the good things that happen to them. Men? Not so much. With one exception: Men who get married. With wives in charge of their social life, men get a free pass to a rich social life.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

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