Matt Forney
Spread the Word!

On Male Friendships: Part Four


This is a guest post by Adiaforon.

Read First: On Male Friendships: Part Three

In my very first guest post here, I mentioned an article by Alex Williams, which came out last year, on why it seems to be so hard to make friends after the age of 30. As a still-burgeoning member of the manosphere, I’m very interested in this subject because it highlights my own lack of friendships, especially male. Try as I might, I haven’t been very successful in making lasting male friendships. There are a host of reasons, and I quoted some very good points that Williams made in his article.

Then I stumbled upon this article by Melanie Pinola earlier this morning. It’s from Lifehacker, which I read often during my typical week. Though written by a woman—and, by extension, somewhat suspect—she does make some good points, the most salient being this:

Making friends is no longer a survival requirement.

This is where I think she hits the nail on the head, especially for someone in my predicament.

So what does this mean? Pinola says that when we’re little, making friends is almost a social necessity. We can’t seem to function without other people around us because we’re at an age where we have no self-identity apart from what others have given to us. (And on a related note, Zygmunt Bauman, the great Polish sociologist, has said in his works that self-love is the love that others give to us, but this is for another story.) Who we are is influenced by the kids around us and with whom we associate, and what we do is defined in the same way. We ‘spherians know this very well in the context of what the culture into which we are born deems “appropriate,” “necessary,” “right,” and “wrong,” among other things. Sadly, many of us here in the Western world have been victims of feminist brainwashing, coupled with a hyper-competitive atmosphere. When it comes to men, we already have the cards stacked against us in forming meaningful friendships that don’t invovle sports, beer, and chasing pussy.

Somewhat simplistic, I know, but I think you get the point.

Anyway, the older one gets and the more that one comes into one’s own as a person and what their wants and needs are, the more than one becomes pickier in the people with whom you spend your time. This is one major reason why “pure” friends seem to fade away and more “situational” friends develop. You spend your time more with people who have similar goals and interests that you do and less with people who are, quite literally and figuratively, wasting your time.  As you age, time narrows and, referencing Williams’ article again, the age of exploration diminishes and the emphasis on the here and now emerges.

I can speak to this in my own life. Most men I’ve come across aren’t worth my time, for a whole host of reasons. First, they don’t have the same kinds of interests and values that I have. Nothing wrong with their values and I try not to make value judgments. But, to be fair, I’m not about to spend a lot of time trying to convince them that Carl Czerny is a great but undervalued composer, or that libertarianism and voluntaryism is something worth thinking about more seriously. Add to that my lack of patience with men who can’t articulate themselves clearly and who are pussified, and my interest drops even more. Judgmental? Yeah, probably. But I’m also mindful of how much time I have and who I want to spend it on. I don’t want to spend my time attention-whoring on Facebook. That much is clear.

In closing, Pinola compares making new friends to be a lot like dating. Sad to say, but seems to be true. The conundrum I face on this note is how much time am I willing to “game” new guy friends. In recent years, it’s not been much. Really, I prefer to exchange ideas through message boards and blogs and have like-minded guys come my way. Maybe we can meet for a drink sometime (as has happened before), or not.

At the end of day, Pinola’s point about survival not being wholly dependent on new friends hits home.  That is, until the shit hits the fan and I’d wind up in the hospital somewhere.  I guess that’s what family is for… but I’ve not kept up with my family that much, either.

Hmm… what to do?

Adiaforon blogs here.

Read Next: Don’t Be Pro-Male, Be Pro-Man

  • Advocatus Diaboli

    Did I not make those same points over three years ago? I am sure you remember my posts on that subject and the related ones about the consequences of social atomization.

  • Advocatus Diaboli

    Just a clarification about my previous comment- I thought the post was written by Matt. But it is not, so the author might not get what I am talking about.

  • @AD

    I’ve not been aware of your posts because I’ve only started contributing to the ‘sphere since earlier this year. I’ll check them out when I have the time.

  • You are not the only one suffering from this. Well i guess suffering is not the word im looking for but i too do not have many male friends. The ones i do have are because we work in the same place or like you have the same ideas and opinions about things.

    I remember when i was younger i always made friends with every new kid that moved to the neighborhood. I was giving fives everywhere i went. But then one day slowly but surely as i got older those fives were becoming less and less until now.

    Personally i like to be on my own by myself i feel more in control of my mind and the area i’m in. Even my parents get scream and yell at me because i do not call them frequently enough. Its not that i do not want to talk to them its just that i like to be myself. Most people do not have anything interesting to offer other than regurgitating last nights episode of a reality show or a sports game. That is just boring to me

    In the end though i think there are a lot of people out there who are in the same boat as we are. I can never understand how some people can have so many friends in their lives and still are able to live life normally? Just thinking about it is making my brain tried!

    Great Post!

  • AD: Repetition is the keystone of getting people to accept ideas.

  • Matt

    r/K strategy. The r approach is to tear everyone around you down so no one can get ahead. The K strategy is to support and boost those around you.

    The downside to the K strategy is that is requires deeper bonds and effective feedback mechanisms to prosper. It is very effective in scenarios with extended families or close knit tribes, but that’s not today’s world.

    Personally, I would join even a mediocre tribe that would give me those sorts of deeper connections, but I haven’t been able to find one.

  • John Diaz

    Ever since I read “The Way of Men” I’ve been thinking the same way. I’m looking for a tribe or I want to start one. But where to find like minded men?

  • Thanks for mentioning my article, Adiaforon (even though I’m a lady ;). Some thought-provoking points.

  • bluto

    Making friends for a K selected person in the modern world means spotting talent, meeting people where they are, and investing heavily in them to build other candidates up to a level where they sharpen you as well.

    Spot talent is by far the hardest part, as it is in every field, especially since the usual societal filters don’t always work well. My only advice is cast a wide net, and look for folks who stand out for being odd at least in part because they’re likely to be interesting even if not friend worthy. Filtering is massively easier online as most people share far more information with their computer than they do in person, especially the people you should be looking to find. Filtering can be done many ways, but since ancient times alcohol has been a useful shortcut, so I’d advise using it.

    Meeting people where they are means when you find a relatively interesting candidate, see them as they could be rather than as they are. This will take time, though learning more about the backgrounds of others may speed it, typically learning this will be hard won experience.

    Finally invest time in worthy candidates. Almost every friend I know today, was someone I’d have passed over at some time in his past, invest a little effort in those who don’t seem worth it both as a potential friend for you, and because it will benefit your peers (most of our fathers badly bungled this step, sadly).

    Finally minds become less fluid as one reaches their 30s, so if you’re beyond that threshold, it may become necessary to mentor candidates.

  • @bluto

    Spotting talent, as you put it, is something I’ve done more or less instinctively since my early 20s when I was setting down a different path, inspired by Langston Hughes. Indeed, if you take the time to notice the “weridos” (e.g., misfit in high school who liked to read Nietzsche, but didn’t understand it, set me down that path later on) or irreverent types, this might serve you well, provided that these types are willing to follow the path that you’ve set.

    I also agree that, with the advent of the Net and attendant oversharing, filtering becomes easier because you can read writing and, at least at first, gain a sense of where the other is coming from. We in the ‘sphere are somewhat united by common themes, but our paths and goals are different. Younger guys are more motivated by chicks than we older guys are, for example.

    Lastly, also very true about the loss of mental fluidity that comes with age. I’ve seen this in myself and just chalk it up to aging. Not much I can do about it except continue to work against cultural programming. Mentoring, however, is always something noteworthy. I’m finding myself, more and more, in the position of the older guys I used to look up to in my youth.

  • Furtive

    I was fortunate enough to undergo a succession of ideological deprogramming seminars in my mid-twenties thanks to a circumstantially bizarre crossing of paths with a former golden boy ten years my senior. Ten years later, we’re still good pals and correspondents. Getting together for a barbecue to share stories punctuated with maniacal laughter and engage in soft-drug-fueled guitar jam sessions has become somewhat of a tradition that never gets old for me.