Natural Awakenings Twin Cities June 2023
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Featuring: What Every Man Wants, Social Conscious Investing, Conscious Fatherhood, Keeping Eyes Sharp, and more.
In the last few years, there have been numerous articles on the epidemic of loneliness in men. A simple Google search offers up a plethora of articles and videos to support this assertion. Within those articles are research findings that explain how, as children, boys are nearly equally as successful as girls in building and maintaining relationships. This starts to fall apart as boys enter their teenage years, focusing more on success in sports, academia and their careers.
Once men partner with a spouse, friendships are often led by the female partner who arranges gatherings with other couples. If the relationship ends, the friendships often end as well. Even more devastating, the spouse is often the only person with whom the husband has shared their innermost feelings, and now there is no one to hold that space.
Many of these articles focus on how women can support the men in their lives to make their own connections, holding safe space for them to connect on deep, emotional levels. This provides a temporary bandage; true healing will only ensue when the man wholly owns his responsibility.
The global pandemic has brought to light many things that are wrong in our society, including people feeling lonely, even though we are constantly surrounded by other people in-person and online. It has also created a desire in all of us to have more meaning in our lives, including deeper friendships. For many men, this requires a significant change in how they relate to others.
I often speak with men who are open, emotionally intelligent and versed in numerous topics of interest. They share how disheartening it is to meet a potential friend who cannot have a conversation without making off-color jokes or arguing why their viewpoint is the only one. As a society, we have not allowed men to be vulnerable without seeming weak.
I am encouraged by how many men in my age group are making changes to become their authentic selves, stripping away the many masks/personas they have worn most of their lives. They actively seek friendships with other men willing to do the same, finding deep connection in their willingness to do things differently. The best part is, they are modeling this for the young men in their lives.
The positive impact this has on physical and mental health is exponential. Loneliness is stressful; it depletes your energy and eats away at your soul. Connection is life-giving; it increases energy and feeds the soul. Our men deserve long, healthy, purposeful lives; kudos to the forerunners who are making it happen! As more men actively make these choices, not only will their lives change, so will our world.
Here’s for the shift!