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It’s the great paradox of male friendship; while we want to connect with our male friends, we don’t dare for fear of losing man points.Even amongst the people we supposedly trust the most – people we might metaphorically or take a bullet for – we are expected to continue performing the tropes of being a man.We put our emotional needs on our romantic partners and – often – on our female friends instead.Many men, even men with seemingly strong social circles, are often desperately lonely.Save that emotional shit for your wives and girlfriends, bro. One of the oldest and hoariest cliches when it comes to relationships comes from how men and women approach problems: men want to while women want to be heard and understood. Part of the whole “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” bullshit stereotypes is that men are socialized to focus on actions while women are taught to be more connected to their feelings.So men grow up thinking that the answer to a problem is to fix the cause.It becomes a perverse balancing act: trying to bond without the shame of acknowledging your emotions.
Our ability – and our willingness – to connect with others contracts as we get older.
Our careers take us in different directions, responsibilites mean we have less time to spend with anyone outside of our immediate family, etc.
Because we’re not able to spend the time it takes to maintain those ties – even if it’s just once every couple of weeks – those friendships wither and fall away like a diseased tree limb.
Being a man means putting down the tropes of manhood, even in the dark of a movie theater.
Sit too close to another man and you may as well hand in your testicles.