Modern Bromance: Five Ways for Men to Make Friends
Meaningful connections lead to happy and successful lives.
Posted May 1, 2018
As an adult man, sometimes the idea of making friends seems awkward if not impossible. But at the same time, meaningful relationships (and not just with your wife or girlfriend) are tied to virtually endless positive outcomes. Connecting with friends, or engaging in what we might call a “bromance,” is good for your mind, body, and soul.
Men often forget that we also need to feel connected to others, as it is our evolutionary need for survival.
Nowadays, we may not be literally hunting for food, but we do hunt for financial success, which is a modern expression of our old instinct. If we feel more connected with our tribe, we will lead more successful lives.
So here are five ways to branch out, make friends, and find that modern bromance.
1. Reconnect with old friends.
When’s the last time you spoke to your friends from high school or college? Barring a nasty fallout or conflict of interest, it’s never too late to reconnect with old friends. Today there are so many ways to reach out to people; send them a message on social media, an email, or a text.
No matter how awkward it might feel, you will automatically have things in common. And it might feel good to find out what’s been going on in each other’s lives for the last few years.
What’s the worst that could happen? They say no? Then you’re just right back where you are right now.
Men tend to connect more by doing things together rather than just talking. So calling up an old buddy may be hard because just asking, “Hey, how’s it going?” may not be enough to get the friendship going again. So listen to the things you may have in common now, and suggest an activity.
2. Forge new connections.
Are there people you see every day that you’ve never had a meaningful conversation with? It takes some courage, but engaging a co-worker, fellow gym-mate, or child’s friend’s parent in conversation can help you determine common interests, and develop a future friendship.
So strike up a conversation or ask a question. Be outgoing. You never know where it might lead. Going from zero to sixty in this way might feel uncomfortable, so try not to think about it like that.
Instead think, “I can do this. Maybe this person is also looking for new connections and will welcome the opportunity.”
Changing your thoughts about approaching such a situation can change your feelings and lead you to feel less awkward and make a better first impression.
3. Meet others through hobbies.
What hobbies do you have? Are there ways that you engage with this hobby that could involve others? Maybe you could join a sports league or a book club or a volunteer group?
There are many resources to get you connected to like-minded groups. Apps like Meet-up give you updates and info about all sorts of events related to your interests. Whether you go alone or with someone, this can be a great way to make new friends.
Signing up or beginning a new activity can feel overwhelming due to the anticipation of awkwardness. But practicing tolerating these kinds of emotions can help you get over that hump.
4. Reach out and make plans.
When’s the last time you invited someone, or multiple people, to do something with you? Are you waiting on your friends or acquaintances to take the initiative?
Be the one to reach out and suggest an activity.
Band up with a work friend and invite some other coworkers to grab drinks after work. Set up a golf game with old high school buddies. If you’ve found that your romantic partner seems to be your only friend, invite another couple over for dinner. Make it a double date.
Making plans, and trying to involve new friends or potential friends, could lead to establishing more meaningful relationships.
5. Get outside your comfort zone.
Putting yourself out there and trying something completely new is a great way to gain exposure to new people.
Tolerating that initial awkwardness may feel difficult, but it will be worth it.
Ask yourself, “Are there thoughts about new activities that are stopping me from trying them?”
For example, do you think, “That yoga class seems too difficult,” or, “Everyone who volunteers at that animal shelter already knows each other.”?
Try to change your thoughts to something like, “The yoga studio could be looking for new members. They’ll respect me for trying something new. I’m an easy person to talk to; I can handle introducing myself to new people.”
This could change the emotions you’ve attached to trying a new activity, and allow you to open up.
So don’t discount the bromance. It might be a missing piece in your life.