+
snl, man parks, pete davidson, men's wellness

"Man Park" on YouTube

“It’s not their fault masculinity makes intimacy so hard.”

This was a line from a recent "Saturday Night Live" sketch, aptly titled “Man Park.” The premise: A girlfriend is so concerned that her male partner has no friends, that she takes him to the “Man Park” to socialize. ”It’s like a dog park, but for guys in relationships.” Like a cute clumsy puppy, the boyfriend (Pete Davidson) plays with other “breeds” as the women cheer from the sidelines. Finally, the boyfriend gets to bond with his fellow males over Dave Matthews, Marvel, and Rick and Morty. You know … guy stuff.

That sketch might be hilarious, but it is touching on the very real loneliness that men experience. If you have any doubts, just take a look at some of the comments to the video:


“I feel personally attacked but also kind of disappointed this isn’t a thing. How do you make new friends as an adult? … my girlfriend is also my only friend lmao.”

“This really hits home. It’s incredible how men fall into this state of loneliness of friendships apart from their partners. I had lots of friends when I was young and have a lot of old time friends, but as an adult it’s been pretty hard forming these new bonds. It’s a mix of a lack of time, social events and COVID has kept us isolated and at home.”

“Jesus's biggest miracle was he had 12 close male friends at age 30.”

Loneliness. A problem...

Avrum Weiss, Ph.D., wrote a brilliant article on the subject in Psychology Today (it even references the SNL sketch). In it, he pointed out how in heterosexual relationships, men often rely on their female partners to maintain friendships. And that boys start out with as many close relationships as girls do, but often start to neglect their personal relationships to “pursue external success.” Basically, the skill of making friends is not like a bicycle. You do forget if you don’t keep at it.

Add to that a culturally taught association between vulnerability and weakness, and it’s no wonder that so many men find themselves lost.

Though SNL makes light of it, Weiss notes the serious toll isolation takes, stating that “loneliness is not only an unpleasant feeling; it is an interpersonal impairment that causes significant harm.” This includes less satisfaction in their intimate relationships, and even extends to a steep decline in physical health.

...and a solution

Billy Baker, author of We Need to Hang Out, has become a bit of an expert in overcoming loneliness. His now famous article for The Boston Globe retells him getting asked to write a piece about being middle aged and having no friends. Which is, as Baker shares, quite typical.

Baker eventually solved the puzzle of the elusive male companionship with a simple, yet radically effective strategy: He made engagement a regular activity. Wednesday nights were, and still are, planned friend nights.

Meeting new people could be as simple as taking a class or even volunteering (doesn’t hurt that the last one also appeals to a masculine drive for service and purpose). The real challenge, however, is maintaining those connections once they’re established.

Though regular social interaction is important for anyone, sociologist Rebecca G. Adams notes that regular activities might be particularly important to men, who tend to use friendship to escape reality, while women tend to use friends to face reality.

...and an invitation

Perhaps the biggest takeaway though, was that Baker reframed his outlook on masculinity. As his article expresses, he learned that admitting loneliness does not make you a loser. Nor does showing affection—even to another man—imply a lack of strength. Circling back to the SNL sketch, it’s not men’s fault that many of them have been taught to think that emotion = burden. The only way to change this belief, however, is to put themselves out there and move through the discomfort of potential awkwardness or rejection.

Sounds like a pretty classically labeled male trait when you think about it: a willingness to persevere through a difficult circumstance, in order for something better. That inherent determination serves to create emotional well-being, too.

Though finding friends might not be as easy as a walk through the “Man Park,” the results are well worth the effort. And men deserve to experience the type of emotional fortitude that comes from knowing people are out there when times are hard.

via PixaBay

Being an adult is tough.

This article originally appeared on 01.28.22


Nothing can ever fully prepare you for being an adult. Once you leave childhood behind, the responsibilities, let-downs and setbacks come at you fast. It’s tiring and expensive, and there's no easy-to-follow roadmap for happiness and success.

A Reddit user named u/Frequent-Pilot5243 asked the online forum, “What’s an adult problem nobody prepared you for?” and there were a lot of profound answers that get to the heart of the disappointing side of being an adult.

One theme that ran through many responses is the feeling of being set adrift. When you’re a kid, the world is laid out as a series of accomplishments. You learn to walk, you figure out how to use the bathroom, you start school, you finish school, maybe you go to college, and so on.

However, once we’re out of the school system and out from under our parents’ roofs, there is a vast, complicated world out there and it takes a long time to learn how it works. The tough thing is that if you don’t get a good head start, you can spend the rest of your life playing catch-up.

Keep ReadingShow less
Courtesy of Brittany More

Toddler chasing bubbles finds missing woman.

Bubbles are the best thing in the world if you're a toddler. Giggling behind bubbles that you just can't seem to catch can provide hours of fun. But sometimes, imaginary adventures with bubbles can lead to real discoveries, and that's exactly what happened to a Georgia toddler named Ethan Moore. The 1 1/2-year-old was chasing after bubbles in his yard when he became an unexpected hero. His bubble chasing led him to a missing woman that local rescue teams had been looking for.

Keep ReadingShow less

Jessica Higgs had a sense that something wasn't right at a customer's house and her action saved his life.

This article originally appeared on 02.08.22


One the more mysterious aspects of being human is our sense of intuition. This "sixth sense" isn't something we can see or measure, but many people have experienced it in some form or fashion. Maybe it comes as a strong feeling that something isn't right, or that we or someone else should or shouldn't do something. It can be hard to read—not every feeling we get is truly our intuition—but there are plenty of examples of people trusting their instincts and being glad they did.

One such story has gone viral on TikTok. Jessica Higgs, a mom who works as an Instacart grocery delivery person, shared a story in an emotional video that illustrates the importance of listening to that inner voice when it prompts you to make sure someone is OK.

"I just want to start this off by saying if you see something, say something," Higgs said.

Keep ReadingShow less