Men and Emotional Loneliness

By Pat McChristie

Men and Emotional Loneliness: Emotional loneliness is harder to cure than social loneliness as it requires at least one close relationship.

For the Male of Today:

Emotional loneliness is the absence of a close emotional relationship. Those superficial buddies that can cure social loneliness won’t touch the emotional variety. That explains why people can party for weeks and still feel lonely.

Although even one close relationship can cure emotional loneliness for many, that close relationship is much harder to build than a social network. And, it seems particularly difficult for men to build.

Why?

1. Developing a close relationship can be scary. All close relationships require self-disclosure. That frightens many men because of the potential rejection factor. Many men fear making a “fool of themselves” and just drop out of the game rather than risk it.

2. Just as with a love relationship, any close relationship requires a certain amount of “chemistry,” that click that comes with finding a kindred spirit. Again, this becomes a “numbers game.” We need to meet a lot of people to find our kindred spirits. Meeting a lot of people requires a lot of effort. And it does not happen quickly.

3. Developing a close relationship also requires a non-competitive atmosphere. Dropping that competitive self is hard-to-impossible for many men, especially those who have been socialized to be competitive beings–as most men have been.

4. Developing a close relationship is often stalled by sex too early in a relationship. Yet many men equate sex with the end of loneliness and as proof a woman cares. They push for sex before they have developed the underlying closeness needed to support an intimate relationship. Sex feels good for those few minutes, then loneliness returns.

Is loneliness a “woman” thing or a “man” thing?

No. Men and women suffer from loneliness in exactly the same way. In many cases, women often have a much better friend and family network for curing emotional loneliness. Men, however, can have a better network for curing social loneliness with the male “buddy” system.

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