This Valentine’s Day, Let’s Celebrate Platonic Male Love

This Valentine's Day, Let's Celebrate Platonic Male Love

This Valentine’s Day, Let’s Celebrate Platonic Male Love


As a psychotherapist, I’ve met men who have been in and out of relationships, men who are attached, and men who are not attached. I’ve watched men become stay-at-home dads, stay-at-home dads, and juggling dads determined to right their absent dads.

So many of these diverse men have a sense of alienation from other men. I label it “malicious”. Although malice is a fictional word, it is an actual internal phenomenon. It’s a little-known story, hidden beneath figures of a disproportionately high suicide rate among men and a precipitous drop in close friendships.

Embody the masculine bond

Alienation isn’t just a man’s desire for a man; after all, we’re half the population. It’s deeper than that. It is alienation from a concrete and fragile brotherhood. An inner understanding of fighting fallen branches, dodging bullies, building forts, placing yourself on a pile of corpses to test the threshold between play and attack, sharing secrets, wiping your snot but leaving tears. The Fall is mourning this. Kind of love, this synergy between emotion and flesh.

What some advantaged men have gained in family time by working from home during Covid has allowed them to slip further away, building strong, wholehearted blood ties that are far from the occasional one-liner in high school group texts .

Men, primarily heterosexual cisgender men in the Western world, are particularly shy about fostering same-sex friendships, especially those obsessed with romance, parental or professional commitment. While men may desire close friendship, they are often disgusted or ashamed of this desire. Fostering and fostering male friendships may sound appealing, but it seems like an outdated privilege, and 60-hour workweeks and diaper responsibilities don’t make sense.

Men need more and must enhance their intimacy through conflict and trust, believing that diverse intimacy is a substantial return on investment. Men must use their childhood wisdom to reimagine their altered adult social world.

What can “Men’s Park” do

SNL’s “Man Park” sketch last fall satirized how straight men struggle to make new friends. In one scene, a woman (played by Ego Nwodim), irritated by her romantic partner (Pete Davidson), pleads, “I need you to get out of the house and make friends, so you talk to other people about these things and it’s not just me. “

“This is crazy!” exclaimed Davidson, playing the clown stereotype. “Where would I even go?”

Nwodim went on to bring Davidson to “Man Park” for much-needed emotional exercise with other relationship-damaged men. This meant that by releasing Davidson to the local Manpac, she could be released from caregiving.

Prioritizing friendships can enrich men and those around them, and can even help realign invisible labor imbalances within families. When men fill their sense of belonging through some kind of physical and emotional interaction in a men’s group, a game of poker, or a basketball game, their romantic partner or mom doesn’t have to be their repressed aggression, work stress, and insecurities. The loved one—most likely a woman—can then take the load off an impromptu coaching session or social program.

When men nurture their social lives through dinner, on the phone, or by dusting off and swinging a tennis racket, I see them energized, energized by being recognized through connection. I’ve noticed that they’re less likely to dump or replace their needs.

It’s hard to make male friends

In her book, Deep Secrets: The Crisis of Boys’ Friendships and Bonds, Psychologist Niobe Way has documented how society downplays the emotional texture of young boys’ natural interiors, leading to their later “connection crisis” into adulthood.

As the boys grow up and “grow up,” their friendship is fraught with innuendo and stigma.

For example, it’s common to define friendships between men as “male bonding,” as psychologist Andrea Bonior points out in her Psychology Today blog post. “…It’s not the same as two other people hanging out and enjoying each other’s company,” she wrote. The same goes for a brother hug, as opposed to a regular hug.

If we assume that men’s parties are goal-driven or create an exclusive boys’ club, if we ditch terms like “bromance,” we might elicit laughter, but also trivialize and objectify male bonding. We collude with counterproductive ant sissy and lone wolf cultural messages about your problem.

For some men, acknowledging and acting on platonic same-sex desires may fuel fears of femininity or being dominated by other men. However, our fear of other men contains the camaraderie we long for.Psychologist Michael Addis writes about this basic male dilemma in his book invisible Man Explain “how other men can be a potential source of fear, shame and betrayal, just as they are a potential source of friendship and support”.

Relationship Essentials Reader

Men end up in friend barren, partly due to socialization related to domination or femininity, shame- and fear-based self-story, but also due to pandemic-induced malaise, changes in marriage, religion and mobility patterns, and parenting increased time investment.

Let us normalize the desire for male intimacy in a variety of face-to-face and side-by-side manifestations. Let’s build new men’s parks – men’s communities – where we bark facts, make one-liners, playfully bite each other at one-man games, and share our quieter, inner conversations and secrets before heading home ,Revitalization.

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