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Are men's friendships in crisis? Commentary and resources from the Friend Forward podcast

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

If you search "men's friendships" online, you’ll likely be hit with a ton of recent headlines highlighting what they’re calling a “crisis”. It’s likely that these headlines reflect observations you’ve made about the men in your own life. Maybe it’s your brother, your father, your partner who either doesn’t really have people he spends time with – and if he does, the friendship, while active, may lack the kind of emotional support that we expect these kinds of relationships to offer to us.

Are men's friendships in "crisis"?

One of the most recent surveys on the issues was conducted in 2021 with more than 2000 adults, as the Survey Center on American Life sought to understand how we’re faring when it comes to friendship. Some of the findings may not have been too surprising considering some of the significant cultural and environmental changes that have transpired over the last decade, but one interesting theme were the trends for men.

The survey found that the percentage of men with at least six close friends fell by half sin the past 30 years, and the number of men who say they have ZERO close friends has increased fivefold.

So what exactly is going on? And what do men themselves have to say about it?

Are men's friendships suffering?

In the three years of hosting, scripting, and producing the Friend Forward podcast, we’ve never focused on men’s friendship because here on this show, it’s all about the ladies. But it’s hard to ignore what’s happening to the men in our lives.

In our men's friendship episode we spoke about:

  • -why the number of friends men have is decreasing

  • -how a lack of male friendship impacts their romantic relationships

  • -what men can do to begin building a trusted circle

  • -how women can support the men in their lives

Listen to the episode here (the YouTube video drops next week!), and share with anyone you know who might need permission to begin having this conversation.

Resources to help men's friendships

Additionally, here are a few resources to support your journey toward unpacking harmful ideals of masculinity that may be keeping men feeling isolated, misunderstood, and under supported:

The Man Enough Podcast explores modern ideas of masculinity, touching on topics such as fatherhood, marriage, friendship, success, and mental health.

"The Black Male Mental Health Struggle" TedX Talk by Dr. Curtis Jasper, one of the men we interviewed for this interview series.

"Men have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden" Harper's Bazaar article by Melanie Hamlett, who we interviewed for our men's friendship episode.

"Billy No-Mates: How I Realised Men Have a Friendship Problem" by Max Dickins, who we interviewed as a part of our men's friendship episode.

"Why Friendships Among Men are So Important" by Jill Suttie for Greater Good Magazine

Kier Gaines is a therapist and the kind of friend every guy needs! Follow along with his content to get perspective on a range of issues, including friendship.

Drew Newkirk, LMHC has tons of content for men, and was one of the voices you heard in our men's friendship episode.

And just for laughs: A video from Hasan Minhaj


Danielle Jackson, Friendship Coach and Speaker

To learn more, come check out our free resources or share with us on Instagram @friendforward or on Tik Tok!

Have any questions about online friendship coaching or need an expert as a speaker? Check out our different personal coaching packages or contact us online for quick responses on any of your questions!

We provide advice on how to make friends, navigating toxic relationships, friendship breakups, and other issues common in female platonic relationships. Want to get closer with your girl friends? We can help!

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